Just listen to the 911 tape of Joe Horn killing before, during and after killing two burglars in Texas and you're sure to see why it is generating such a controversy.
Here's a link to the audio http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=local&id=5538780
Here's a link to a (partial) transcript: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1926577/posts
61 year old Joe Horn was sitting alone in his home in Pasadena Texas during the afternoon of November 14th, 20o7 when he heard breaking glass in his neighbor's house and then saw two men burgularizing the neighbor's property. Joe's next move was to call 911 to try and get police to come and take care of the situation. The police didn't arrive in time though, and Joe went outside and shot and killed the burgulars.
The tape is ripe with evidence to support both sides of the debate on whether Joe was in the right or whether it was just premeditated murder.
Joe's friend and an attorney, Tom Lambright, is quoted as saying "He (Horn) was just doing what everyone is supposed to do. He called the police. He was cooperating with them as best he could, trying to give the police the direction of the burglars. He knew there was danger going outside."
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Quotes from the 911 tape supporting Joe's side:
He was scared for his own safety- "I don’t know if they’re armed or not. I know they got a crowbar 'cause that's what they broke the windows with....Man, this is scary, I can't believe this is happening in this neighborhood."
"I can't take a chance on gettin' killed over this, okay? I'm gonna shoot. I'm gonna shoot... I don't want to but if I go out there, you know, to see what the hell's going on, I mean, what choice am I going to have?"
The dispatcher tells him not to go outside and not to use his gun and Joe responds, "I understand that, OK, but I have a right to protect myself too, sir, and you understand that. And the laws have been changed in this country since September the First and you know it and I know it. And I have a right to protect myself. And a shotgun is a legal weapon. It's not an illegal weapon."
He believed that justice was on his side- "They just stole something, I'm going out to look for 'em, I'm sorry, I ain't letting them get away with this ----. They stole something, they got a bag of stuff. I'm doing it!"
He didn't believe that the police were going to get there in time to defend him and resolve the situation- "Hurry up, man. Catch these guys, will ya? I ain't gonna let them go, I'm gonna be honest with ya, I'm not gonna let them go. I'm not gonna let them get away with this ----."
"--- dammit, they just stole something. I'm going out there, I'm sorry. I ain't gonna let them get away with this. They stole something... this ain't right, buddy." Dispatcher, "You're going to get yourself shot if you go outside with that gun." Joe, "you want to make a bet!"
"They got a bag of loot." When dispatch asks, "which way are they going?" Joe responds "I'm going outside and I'll find out." the dispatcher asks him not to but Joe comes back with the line "Well, here it goes buddy, you hear the shotgun clicking and I'm going."
After the shooting he says, "I had no choice, they came in the front yard with me man!" Does this fact justify the shooting?
Crimefilenews.com summarizes the pro-Joe side pretty succinctly here:
The other side of the argument is that Joe went way over the line as far as premeditated murder. That he should have listened to the 911 dispatcher who said "Property's not worth killing someone over. OK? Don't go out the house. Don't be shooting nobody."
Joe says early on "I'm gonna kill 'em." So is he wrong to go outside given that he already knew the outcome of that situation? Or was he in the right because he rightly feared that his safety was at risk?
Other sites with info both for and against:
Houston Chronicle http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/5309288.html
ABC: Activists protesting article http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=local&id=5771154
ABC: Widow's side http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=local&id=5766455