Joe Horn's case headed to the Grand Jury

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by hughb, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. hughb


    Pasadena police say Horn shot 2 men in the back
    Both men were hit by shotgun blasts after entering Joe Horn's front yard

    Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

    Email Get section feed
    Print Subscribe NOW
    Comments (1266) Recommend


    Pasadena protests collide The two burglary suspects killed by Pasadena homeowner Joe Horn were shot in the back after they ventured into his front yard, police disclosed Friday.

    In another twist, investigators revealed that a plainclothes Pasadena detective witnessed the Nov. 14 shootings after he pulled up in an unmarked car seconds before Horn fired three shots from his 12-gauge shotgun.

    The men, who had just burglarized Horn's neighbor's house, faced him from seven to 10 feet away when they ignored his order to "not move"or they would be dead, police said.

    The controversial shootings have outraged minority activists but also brought an outpouring of support for Horn.

    "We now have a summary documenting what we think happened," said Capt. A.H. "Bud" Corbett. "We will turn it over to the district attorney in a couple of weeks after we do an extensive review for quality control."

    The district attorney will then present the case to a grand jury to determine if any charges should be filed against Horn, 61, a computer consultant, who has claimed self-defense.

    The two men — Diego Ortiz, 30, and Hernando Riascos Torres, 48 — collapsed and died not far from Horn's home on Timberline in a Pasadena neighborhood.

    Both were illegal immigrants from Colombia, authorities said. Torres had been deported to Colombia in 1999 after serving time for possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Both were also using fake identification cards and aliases, and their backgrounds are now being scrutinized by federal authorities to determine if they were part of a Colombian fake ID and burglary ring, authorities said.

    On Friday, 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."

    Autopsy report
    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.

    Self-defense claim
    Investigators believe a third person may have driven the men from Houston to the Pasadena neighborhood. Police could find no vehicle belonging to the pair parked in the area.
    On the 911 tape, Horn mentioned a new state law that allows residents to protect their own home from intruders.

    "This case is a little different," Corbett said. "We'll have to let the grand jury sort this one out."

    Horn's attorney, Charles T. Lambright, said his client fired in self-defense because he feared for his life.

    "One of them (suspects) moved and Joe thought he was coming towards him," Lambright said. "They were in such close proximity (to Horn) that they could be on top of him in half a second."

    The fact that a police officer witnessed the shooting but did not arrest Horn is further evidence that he acted in self-defense, he said.

    "You've got a trained police officer sitting there watching this, and he doesn't arrest Horn," Lambright said. "If the (plainclothes) officer thought it was not a righteous shooting, maybe the Pasadena Police Department would have arrested Mr. Horn for murder."

    Civil rights activist Quanell X said he would step up the call for a murder indictment against Horn, and questioned whether the Pasadena police should investigate the case.

    Quanell X said the shooting should be handled instead by the Texas Rangers and the FBI.

    "I don't trust the Pasadena Police Department," he said. "Why are they just now releasing the fact that an undercover officer witnessed the whole thing? This case stinks."
  2. maxpi


    An attack has two components, force and direction. When it's dark it's difficult to assess the direction of an attack, could be towards you, could be away really... and tracking a guy that runs at you and then goes on past... while the other guy is off in the other direction... it could seem like they were trying to dog attack you, one from front, one from rear... and somebody moving away could have been mistaken for someone coming up on you....

    Personally if a dispatcher told me to stay in the house I would stay in the house, maybe I'd be armed up in case the action came through the front door.... and also personally, if somebody draws down on me with a shotgun and says freeze, I am not going anywhere without a really good escape plan...

    I was reading up on some Mob history in New York City. One or two associate level guys went missing and were assumed taken out by homeowners during burglaries [with no police report] ... it happens to the best of the criminals at times... maybe that's why that pair just fled, pure fright... I guess I would assume a burglar was armed really but I would'nt go shooting anybody... typically there is no need for it, a burglar can move 20 feet without thinking just from hearing a shotgun round jacked into the chamber I'm told.... a cop told me that, his advice was essentially, have a scattergun and don't use it if at all possible..

    I could put a note on my door that read "Don't break in here, just call us ahead of time, we'll pile the TV and stereo and some coins in a sheet in the living room, milk and cookies will be in the kitchen and we will be at the movies". I could rebuild my household stuff in a week... no biggie to me....

    I knew a guy that knew somebody was mad and armed and coming to his house so he waited and blew the guy away... the law in the US really did not like that, he was supposed to vacate, not wait and have an armed confrontation so they sent him away for about 4 years... he was wealthy when he went away and broke when he got out... it was pretty bad for him, he had to start over after decades of builiding up a couple of businesses...

    Oh yeah, and the civil rights attorney mentioned in the article... when does he get blown away? Always the bridesmaid and never the bride for those guys......
  3. jonkster


    "When it's dark it's difficult to assess the direction of an attack, could be towards you, could be away really... and tracking a guy that runs at you and then goes on past... while the other guy is off in the other direction"

    Good point. Except the shooting was a 2 pm in the afternoon so lighting wasn't a problem. JH announcing "I'm gonna kill them" to the 911 dispatcher makes his intentions pretty clear.
  4. Thiis "Quanel X" guy is a fucking piece of shit. Someone should pop a cap in his "black power" hate mongering ass.

    In 1995, Quanell was quoted in the New York Daily News as saying,

    "I say to Jewish America: Get ready … knuckle up, put your boots on, because we're ready and the war is going down. … The real deal is this: Black youth do not want a relationship with the Jewish community or the mainstream white community or the foot shuffling, head-bowing, knee bobbing black community. … All you Jews can go straight to hell."[4]

    Quanell was forced out of the Nation of Islam for publicly inciting violence with his televised, and highly publicized, exhortation to Houston-area blacks:

    "f you feel that you just got to mug somebody because of your hurt and your pain, go to River Oaks and mug you some good white folks. If you’re angry that our brother is put to death, don’t burn down your own community, give these white folks hell from the womb to the tomb."[5][6]