East Texan fatally shoots man she says forced entry into her home

Updated: Feb. 10, 2015 at 6:36 PM CST
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VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A man, accused of arson, was fatally shot in Van Zandt County after a woman says he was trying to enter her home.

According to the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office, at 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, they received a 911 call from a homeowner on Texas State Highway 19 north of Canton, in rural Van Zandt County. The caller said she had just shot a man who was attempting to force entry into her home.

Van Zandt County Sheriff's Deputies arrived a short time later and identified the deceased suspect as Christopher Ray Foster, 37, of Edgewood. Foster, who had a lengthy criminal history, was recently released on a Personal Recognizance Bond from the Van Zandt County Jail for Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements as a Sex Offender.

Investigators with the Sheriff's Office determined that Foster was in the process of forcing entry into a side door of the home when the homeowner fatally shot him.

According to a statement released by Van Zandt County Fire Marshal/Emergency Management, "The subject shot and killed was the suspect in the arson fire being investigated by the County Fire Marshal. The County Fire Marshal, along with the investigators with the Sheriff's Office and Justice of the Peace were able to link the subject to the fire by physical evidence found on his person."

Firefighters responded to a structure fire Monday night on Highway 19 and Van Zandt County Road 1106. The department said Tuesday that the fire is being investigated as an arson and a person was seen on the property prior to the fire.

Sheriff Michael Lindsey Ray stated, "Presently, as the result of underfunding and inadequate staffing at the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office, homeowners need to take appropriate precautions to protect their families. I will continue to support the law abiding citizens of our community when they are forced to take actions to protect their lives, liberty and property."

The Texas Rangers were contacted by the Sheriff's Office and requested to assist with the investigation. No arrests were made and as a standard procedure, the case will be forwarded to the Van Zandt County Criminal District Attorney's Office for Grand Jury referral.

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