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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Intruder wearing body armor shot in face by neighbor while robbing residents

An alleged intruder who police say was shot dead by a vigilant neighbor on the West Side this week was identified by the medical examiner Saturday as Joseph Howenstein, 24.

Police said the neighbor will not face charges in the fatal shooting, which occurred about 12:30 a.m. Thursday in the 8900 block of Hambledon Drive.

Howenstein was wearing a bulletproof vest and military-style clothing, police said, when he approached the home with a gun and attempted to rob the residents. The neighbor heard the commotion and came to the rescue, police said.

Police said the man, believed to be in his mid-20s, was dressed in military-style attire and began making demands to people inside of a duplex and was later shot by a neighbor.

The intruder said he planned to “get someone” at the home before he pointed the gun at a group of people inside, demanding money and a TV.

As the intruder walked out of the home's garage, a neighbor next door who heard the commotion went outside and shot him at least once in the face.

When police arrived, the intruder's white car was parked in the middle of the street with the trunk open, and there was a box labeled with the words “anthrax inside,”

Texas law allows deadly force against intruders and thieves to protect lives and property — even a third person's.

Deadly force is justified when immediate intervention is necessary to protect a third person, according to the Texas Penal Code.

Deadly force also is justified against those who appear to be committing crimes ranging from assault, robbery and even criminal mischief, or if they are fleeing after committing such offenses.

“I'm a firm believer in having guns in the house,” said Leech, who keeps one in his own home for protection. “I like being able to protect my two kids and my wife.

“I don't want to kill anybody,” he said. “But it's me or them.”



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