VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - An intruder armed with a 9 mm handgun was shot and killed by an East Texas homeowner Wednesday night.
According to the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office, 40-year-old Michael Todd Brown of Canton drove to a home near Ben Wheeler on County Road 4715 around 10:30 p.m. When Brown arrived at the home he got out of his vehicle and began randomly shooting a 9 mm and threatening the homeowner.
The homeowner told deputies that Brown had been at the home earlier and had been instructed to leave the property and not return. Investigators believed he returned to the home with intention of assaulting the homeowner.
Neighbors say they heard arguing and shortly after shots were fired.
"There was a male voice yelling either get off my property or something to that affect, and I went inside for a second and heard a gunshot," Sarah Mayne said. "When I came back out I heard another male voice like he was trying to say no don't do that we can go. So, it seemed like who was ever there was wanting to go ahead and leave without getting hurt."
Police say the homeowner went outside and confronted Brown in the front yard in a second effort to make him leave the property. Investigators believe Brown seemingly lured the homeowner into a confrontation, leaving him with no other choice other than to shoot Brown.
"When you hear too many gunshots while it's nighttime, you know something is happening," Mayne said. "There's so many vehicles that come through there that chances are they've been there before. I don't feel like this was just something random that someone just automatically showed up out of the blue."
Brown was on probation for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is believed by deputies to have been under the influence of methamphetamine.
"It is sad and unfortunate that another law abiding citizen was forced into a situation wherein he had to shoot and kill another individual in self-defense. It's becoming painfully apparent that decent people are tired of the drug addicts, the drug dealers, burglars, rapists, and thieves who wreak havoc on our community," said Van Zandt County Sheriff Michael Lindsey Ray.
Brown was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities searched the white Nissan he was driving and later had it towed away. His body has been sent to Dallas for an autopsy.