Texas (The Gaslamp Post) - One teenager is dead and two others are in custody after they apparently attempted to burglarize the home of an armed 51-year-old man, on Monday. Police say that the homeowner, Lee Cobler, heard his doorbell ring moments before his back door was kicked in. Investigators believe that the three juveniles may have thought that no one was home when Cobler didn’t answer the door.
Cobler immediately grabbed his gun, as his adult son who was also in the home with him called 911. As the burglars burst through the door, Cobler immediately opened fire; killing one of them. The other two suspects fled the scene on foot, but were apprehended a short time later, police say. Neighbors reportedly saw two teenagers who “looked like they were up to no good,” running from the house and hearing as many as five gunshots, a pause, and then three more.
14-year-old, Luis Avila, a middle school student died from his wounds, at the scene. Investigators have declined to comment whether the perpetrators of the crime were armed.
“He was able to make the right choice to protect his child,” said Shirley Starks, president of the local homeowners’ association. “It was important, because he did not know that those — whoever was coming through that door — was not going to kill all of them.”
“This can happen to any child that is doing something like this,” said Starks. “Why weren’t the parents watching him to make sure that he wasn’t doing something like this, is my question.”
Residents say that the community has been on high alert after four burglaries had occurred there in recent months, and believed that it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. The two other suspects, a 13 and 14-year-old, are in custody and have been charged with attempted burglary. “It’s surprising like to see like kids — 13-year-old kids — like breaking in nowadays,” said neighbor, Sarah Trevino.
Cobler is not believed to have been charged in the shooting, but the incident will go before a grand jury to review the details.