KHOU: Thomas Lopez likes to watch Westerns. There are good guys and bad guys. He’s got a message for the bad guys. “I don’t care if you’re 10, 15, 20 years old, you got no business being in my apartment, stealing from me,” Lopez, 74, told News 8. “I’ll end your criminal career in a minute, if I can.”
Police say 55-year-old Saeid Ardestani did try to rob Lopez Wednesday night. Ardestani was later found, fatally wounded, at a Valero station in Dallas. Dallas police are looking for a man and a woman who they say dumped Ardestani from their car and then drove off.
Lopez has led a rough a tough life. In his younger days, he was shot, and he shot the man who shot him. But these days, Lopez is diabetic and can barely walk. The toes on his left foot have been amputated. In March, after being burglarized twice, he got a 9mm handgun.
Lopez said no, and began to shut the door. One of the men pushed his way into the apartment. Lopez said the man had his hand in his pocket, pointing it as if he held a gun. He said the man threatened to shoot him and told him to get in the bathroom.
He turned toward the bathroom. “I only did that because I wanted to a chance to get the gun out,” Lopez said. The robber grabbed $20 off a table. Lopez fired twice. The man appeared to duck and ran for the door.
The other robber still stood at the door. “I was going to shoot him; he threw his hands up and ran,” Lopez said. Lopez hobbled over and shut the door. “I thought I had hit him, but I wasn’t sure,” he said. “I sat here trying to think, ‘What am I going to do? I guess I got to call the cops because I fired some shots.'”
A 74-year-old Dallas man was forced to defend himself when two men broke into his home.
On the floor, he spotted a screwdriver, which is he believes is what the robber was hiding in his pocket. Then he saw the specks of blood. “I thought, ‘Damn, I do need to call the police?'” he said.
Lopez said police found his $20 in the parking lot. Surveillance video shows Ardestani’s accomplices then dropped him off at a Valero gas station at Webb Chapel Extension and Larga Drive. The surveillance camera is one of 108 that have been installed in high-crime areas as part of Dallas Police Chief David Brown’s plan to fight crime with technology. Ardestani later died from a gunshot wound to the stomach.
Tomorrow, Lopez said, he’s going to get another gun. “If you’ve got a burglar in your house, shoot’em, because they’ll keep coming back,” he said. “Once you shoot one and everybody knows about it, they ain’t gonna come back.”
Dallas police say Lopez was cooperative with detectives. The fatal shooting will be referred to grand jury, as is standard procedure. Texas law allows residents to shoot someone breaking into their home.
Score one for the Second Amendment!