A southwest Harris County homeowner shot and killed a man he discovered climbing into a window of his house at about 2:15 a.m. today, investigators said.
Steven Dunbar, 44, died in the window of the home in the 3400 block of Cascadia, Harris County sheriff's homicide Det. Rolf Nelson said.
Nelson declined to name the homeowner but said the man, 32, was asleep in the house with his wife, a son, 6, and an infant daughter when he heard a loud noise.
"The homeowner says he heard a loud noise, possibly a gunshot, that startled him out of bed," Nelson said. "As he got up, he said he heard another loud noise and he said the house was shaking."
The man had retrieved a pistol he keeps and was on his way to investigate the noises when he heard glass breaking in a bedroom.
"When he entered that bedroom, he said he saw a burglar coming through a broken window," Nelson said. "He shot several times and struck the burglar several times, killing him at the scene."
Exactly what Dunbar was trying to do and why there was so much noise before the homeowner discovered Dunbar remains unclear, Nelson said.
Deputies found a back screen door on the back of the house torn from its hinges, which could account for the shaking feeling the homeowner said he noticed after he awoke, Nelson said.
"He's got a pretty extensive criminal record of felonies over the last 13 years," Nelson said of Dunbar. "He has at least 12 arrests for felonies and a half dozen convictions. We don't know if he was intent on some other crime or if it was a burglary for something he could turn into money."
The area around the shooting scene was taped off by deputies at about 3 a.m. today and the homeowner was not available for comment.
The home is in the Forest View subdivision near the intersection of FM 1093 and Addicks-Clodine.
While the investigation continued late this morning, Nelson declined to say exactly how many times Dunbar was shot and where the bullets hit him.
No charges have been filed against the homeowner and the case is expected to be referred to a Harris County grand jury for review, Nelson said.
If the shooting occurred as the homeowner described it, Texas law allowing people to defend their homes from intruders likely will preclude charges being filed. Today's home-invasion fatality appears more clear-cut than that involving Pasadena resident Joe Horn, who shot two men allegedly trying to burglarize his neighbor's home last month.