Thursday, May 14, 2009

Texas: Local man reacts to an almost home invasion

Lubbock, Texas

From KCBD of May 13, 2009
Local man reacts to an almost home invasion

A local man wants your help finding two men who tried to break into his house, and he caught the almost home invasion on his web cam.

Many people would be frightened if they were at home and someone tried to break in, but Andy Hartman says he stayed calm because he had a weapon, and he knew the rules on when and how to use it. "I heard somebody knock on the door, and rang the doorbell. I thought it was just a salesman so I kind of ignored it," Hartman said.

Every day when he gets home from work Hartman puts his wallet, keys, phone and gun on the kitchen counter. He carries his gun with him where ever he goes, and last Wednesday, he almost had to use it in the comfort of his own home.

Hartman's home web cam taped someone kicking his back door repeatedly. In the video, you can see the shutters shake each time the person kicks. Hartman grabbed his phone, his gun and called 911. "I'm in my bedroom with a gun. They're breaking in my house," he said in the 911 call.

While waiting for police, Hartman stayed in a back room and listened as the intruder kicked his door more than 20 times. "The officers will want you to put the gun up once they're there, but it's okay obviously for you to have it while they're still breaking in," the 911 operator told him.

Hartman says he was able to stay calm because he knew exactly what to do. He took a concealed handgun class in January. "You know when you can and cannot use the gun, and when it's time to use it you know how to use it," he said.

The woman who led the class Andy took, Gay Lynn Stone, says, "The rules of deadly force for the state of Texas, it just simply says if your life is threatened or the life of another person is threatened then y ou have the right to protect you or that person."

Stone says because Texas' handgun laws are written loosely, he probably could legally shoot the intruder even before they entered the house, but she thinks Hartman made the right decision in waiting for the police. "He did exactly what he was supposed to do, and he treated it as if the use of deadly force would be the last resort," she said.

Police arrived in less than three minutes, but the suspects got away. Probably better for him than if he had made his way into the house. When asked if he would have shot the intruder Hartman said, "Absolutely. No question in my mind."

The police still have not caught the suspects, but Hartman believes two Hispanic males in their early 20s driving a gray Dodge Neon were involved.

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