KLTV ^ | November 11, 2006 | Molly Reuter
A well-known business owner in Tyler has his home broken into, and ends up shooting the alleged would-be burglar to death. The shooting happened early Saturday morning in a neighborhood police say does not see a lot of criminal activity.
Police responded to a house on the 900 block of Watkins Street in Tyler around 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning, after they received a call that a man had been shot.
Tyler police say the owners of the home in South Tyler were asleep when a man tried to break into their home. "They were woken by hearing something beating on the front door, and then the door was actually caved in as the person was making entry," said Tyler Police Department Sergeant Bill Goecking.
Police say the homeowner, Robert Delk, grabbed his handgun for protection. When the alleged intruder got the door open, police say the homeowner shot and killed the man. "We arrived and the subject was taken to medical center hospital and pronounced dead at the hospital," said Goecking.
Police identified the alleged intruder as Justin Herrera, 22, of Tyler. Police say Herrera just recently moved to East Texas from Fort Worth and is a student at UT Tyler. According to authorities, records in Tarrant County show officials there have dealt with Herrera, but the details are unknown.
Police sayDelk did not know Herrera. Delk is well known in the Tyler community for his photography business located in South Tyler. Police say they don't often get called out to Delk's neighborhood.
"The neighborhood's been pretty calm," said Goecking. "This is a very unusual thing for this neighborhood, especially the 900 block of Watkins."
The big questions that remain are why Herrara chose Delk's home and what was he going to do once he got inside.
Police say an autopsy will be performed on Herrera to see if drugs or alcohol were a factor. At this time, police say no charges will be filed against Delk, but it is still an ongoing investigation.