BEAUMONT, TX – An intruder was stopped in his tracks by an elderly couple when the forced entry alerted them to his presence, and they responded with gunfire. The homeowner was woken up by his wife to someone breaking into the house and obtained a firearm to defend them.
Recently released court documents provided more information, which actually have a number of fantastic lessons for the armed citizen.
Police in Beaumont, Texas, responded to the scene of a home invasion with reported shots fired and a downed home intruder in May of this year, according to the Beaumont Enterprise.
The suspect was in the process of breaking a glass patio door with a lawn chair to gain entry into the home of an elderly couple around midnight on the evening of May 19. Pouding on the glass door woke up the wife (77 years old), who went to investigate and saw the suspect attempting to break in.
She woke up her husband, who grabbed a gun as he feared for their safety. He warned the suspect to stop and that he was armed, which didn’t deter the intruder and, having a reasonable fear for their safety, fired, hitting the man.
The alleged burglar continued forcing his way into the home, prompting the couple to flee through the front door and call police from the front lawn.
When police arrived, they found a trail of blood leading to a bathroom, where the suspect was unconscious in a pool of blood from a wound to the extremities. Officers applied a tourniquet at the scene, saving the suspect’s life.
According to 12 News Now, the suspect, Jason Omar Cruz, was reportedly facing a burglary charge after his recovery in May.
Recently released court documents indicate he lived a few doors down from the elderly couple – in a neighborhood considered to be very quiet – and had been reported missing by his mother several hours prior, indicating he may have some sort of issues.
Fight And Flight Are Both On The Menu, And Delayed Incapacitation
This incident has a number of points worth thinking about.
First, warning a home intruder or attacker that you’re armed may not deter them. Violent or disturbed people acting violently may not be capable of listening, understanding, or reasoning.
Second, the phrase we hear is “fight or flight.” It isn’t a binary choice; circumstances may dictate doing both, as this couple did. The man shot Cruz, and they decided to flee when he didn’t stop.
The relevant phrase is “breaking contact.” They shot him, buying enough time to escape.
Third is that there are actually a lot of parts of the human anatomy that will eventually result in incapacitation but not immediate incapacitation. Cruz not only kept trying to break into a glass door, he got inside and to a bathroom before passing out.
News reports don’t say where he was hit nor what weapon he was shot with, but the use of a tourniquet and a large pool of blood suggests an arterial wound in the lower extremities, possibly the femoral artery. Unless the shooter is an expert marksman, he got very lucky.
The recent release that Cruz was reported missing is a great reminder that just because a neighborhood is “quiet” doesn’t mean there aren’t potential dangers. People with severe mental disturbances or substance abuse issues live in every kind of neighborhood you can imagine, gated and otherwise.
That doesn’t mean you have to live in fear; it means there are things you don’t know. Therefore, be able to respond with more than incredulity just because something doesn’t make sense.
Lastly, the elderly are arguably in more need of a firearm as a means of self-defense than almost anyone. The great equalizer made safe exfiltration possible and possibly saved them from harm.
Given that the suspect was breaking into their home in the middle of the night and lived to be charged…if this wasn’t a clean shoot, it’ll do until one shows up.