[Guest post by DRJ]
UPDATE: The Houston Chronicle has updated its article to provide more information:
“On Friday, [Police Capt. A.H. “Bud”] Corbett described the shooting scenario that had been pieced together so far. According to a transcript of Horn’s 911 call, at 2 p.m., he became concerned that his next- door neighbor’s home was being burglarized after hearing some glass break. The dispatcher repeatedly urges Horn to stay in his house but Horn states that he doesn’t feel it’s right to let the burglars get away.
“Well, here it goes, buddy,” Horn tells the dispatcher. “You hear the shotgun clicking and I’m going.” The dispatcher replies: “Don’t go outside.” Then the tape records Horn warning someone: “Move and you’re dead!” Two quick shots can be heard, followed by a pause and then a third shot.
Corbett said the plainclothes detective, whose name has not been released, had parked in front of Horn’s house in response to the 911 call. He saw the men between Horn’s house and his neighbor’s before they crossed into Horn’s front yard. Corbett believes neither Horn nor the men knew a police officer was present.
“It was over within seconds. The detective never had time to say anything before the shots were fired,” Corbett said. “At first, the officer was assessing the situation. Then he was worried Horn might mistake him for the ‘wheel man’ (get-away driver). He ducked at one point.”
When Horn confronted the suspects in his yard, he raised his shotgun to his shoulder, Corbett said. However the men ignored his order to freeze. Corbett said one man ran toward Horn, but had angled away from him toward the street when he was shot in the back just before reaching the curb.
“The detective confirmed that this suspect was actually closer to Horn after he initiated his run than at the time when first confronted,” said Corbett. “Horn said he felt in jeopardy.”
The wounded man crossed the street, collapsed and died, authorities said. At the same time, the other man had turned and ran away from Horn. Horn swung his shotgun around after shooting the first man and fired at the second one after he entered the neighbor’s yard, investigators said. He was hit in the back but continued running until collapsing a few hundred yards down the street, Corbett said.
According to a final ruling, Ortiz died of shotgun wounds to his neck and torso, said Ellie Wallace, an investigator at the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office. The report said that Torres died of shotgun wounds to his torso and upper left extremity. Wallace could not confirm whether the men were shot in the back, saying the autopsy report only indicated they were shot in the torso.
Neither suspect was armed, but one had a “center punch,” a 6-inch pointed metal tool, in his pocket that might be used as a weapon, authorities said. Also, they were carrying a sack filled with more than $2,000 in cash and assorted jewelry believed taken in the burglary, police said.”
Police speculate there may have been a third person in a car, since no vehicle was located that belonged to Ortiz and Torres.
In many respects, the undercover officer helps Horn’s case.
** END OF UPDATE **
The Houston Chronicle reports that Joe Horn shot both burglary suspects in the back and the shooting was witnessed by a Pasadena undercover officer:
“Two men suspected of burglarizing a neighbor’s home were shot in the back by Pasadena homeowner Joe Horn after the suspects ventured into his front yard, Pasadena police disclosed Friday.
Also, for the first time, investigators revealed the Nov. 14 shooting was witnessed by a plainclothes Pasadena detective, who had pulled up in an unmarked car seconds before Horn fired three shots from his 12-guage shotgun.
The detective’s name was not released as the new details emerged about the controversial shootings that have outraged minority activists but also brought an outpouring of support from others.
“We have now documented a summary of what we think happened. We will turn it over to the district attorney in a couple of weeks after we finish our extensive quality control review,” said Pasadena Police Department Captain A.H. “Bud” Corbett. The Harris County district attorney will then present the case to a grand jury to determine if any charges should be filed against Horn.”
I think Joe Horn’s outlook to avoid a grand jury indictment has taken a dramatic turn for the worse.