A Texas father accused of fatally shooting a 17-year-old boy he caught hiding in his teenage daughter’s bedroom early Thursday morning might not face any charges, according to an area prosector.
Local officers are currently preparing a case to present to the grand jury.
“What was going on in the person’s mind at the time of the shooting, [not] what they found out after the fact” is key, prosector Warren Diepraam told MyFoxHouston.
“They’re looking at what he was thinking when he made the decision to shoot.”
Some accounts report that the 55-year-old man heard noises coming from the 16-year-old’s bedroom, while others report that his younger son saw two feet under the daughter’s bed in their north Harris County home and alerted the father. The incident occurred at approximately 2:30 a.m.
The father armed himself with a gun before investigating the bedroom, where he reportedly found the 17-year-old boy in bed with his daughter. Deputies told local reporters that, when the father confronted the boy, the daughter denied knowing who the boy was.
According to MyFoxHouston, the father instructed the teen not to move, but upon seeing the teen reach for something, he fired one shot.
The teen boy, who had no gun, was killed at the scene, while the father was transported to a nearby hospital for exhibiting signs of a panic attack.
Authorities say his daughter later admitted that the teen was, in fact, her boyfriend whom she had snuck into the house.
“We don’t know if the father knew him or not,” Sgt. Ben Bell with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, told the local news station.
Not much was known about the family who had recently moved into the neighborhood. One neighbor described the them as “extremely quiet,” KHOU reported.
“I never heard a peep out of them.”
It is not uncommon in Harris County for grand jurors to decide if a crime was committed in fatal shootings that may have self-defense claims or other legal issues, according to The Houston Chronicle.
In 2008, a Harris County grand jury did not indict homeowner Joe Horn after he fatally shot two burglars in the back.
The men had stolen about $2,000 from Horn’s next door neighbors on Nov. 14, 2007, and were running across his front yard. Even though a 911 operator had told Horn to stay inside and out of harm’s way, he fired three shots that killed Colombians Diego Ortiz, 30, and Hernando Riascos Torres, 38.
In Horn’s case, he claimed that he feared for his life, making the act justifiable under Texas law.