The owner of a Ford pickup truck left the San Antonio mall at which he was shopping early on the morning of Thursday, July 27th to discover that his truck had been stolen. Acting quickly and thinking on his feet, he realized he could track the truck, and so and found it on the other side of South Park Mall.
The truck wasn’t left on its own, however. Inside it were two individuals: the alleged thief and his female companion. The truck owner, who was armed, approached the stolen vehicle and ordered the two individuals in it to the ground.
Though they initially followed his commands, the alleged thief drew a weapon of his own while the truck’s owner was on the phone with the police department. He then fired at and wounded the truck’s owner, who returned fire with his weapon. The return fire killed the alleged thief and wounded his female companion.
Commenting on the incident later, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said that the bad guy was deceased thanks to the gunfire of the truck’s owner, saying, “The bad guy is the one dead, yes. The driver of the stolen vehicle is deceased, shot by the owner of the stolen vehicle.”
Continuing, Chief McManus encouraged people to let the police handle matters such as this one in the future, as now two people are wounded, and one is dead, but added that the owner of the stolen vehicle was doing what he thought he needed to in order to retrieve his stolen vehicle.
Chief McManus said, “We would prefer that (you) call the police before taking that into your own hands. But he (the truck’s owner) did what he felt he needed to do, and we have one dead suspect, and we have a critically wounded passenger who was with the suspect, and we have a wounded owner of the vehicle.”
Chief Mcmanus also said that the man was just trying to get his property back, telling reporters, “Look, he was trying to recover his property. I guess it would depend on who you asked if he did the right thing or not.” Though not an outright endorsement of the man’s actions, it also wasn’t a condemnation.
Watch the local news report on the incident here:
Even a local law professor admitted that the stolen truck’s owner was probably in the legal clear to do what he did to recover his property, particularly considering that it was the alleged thief who opened fire first, not the truck’s owner. That professor, Alexandra Klein, told NBC News, “It’s certainly more desirable to ask law enforcement for assistance in these kinds of situations and the whole thing is terribly tragic — but potentially, under Texas law, he may have been acting within what the law says he got to do. The specific provision that authorizes deadly force to recover property is different (in Texas), a lot of other states don’t allow the use of deadly force under any circumstances to recover property.“
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