Fact Check

Did a Texas Homeowner Shoot 5 Armed Robbers with an AK-47?

A social media meme claimed three of the men died from gunshot wounds during the home invasion robbery, and that two others were injured.

Published Jul 5, 2022

A meme said that a Texas homeowner grabbed his AK-47 and shot at 5 men during a home invasion and killed 3 of them after they came into his home to rob him. (Twitter)
A meme said that a Texas homeowner grabbed his AK-47 and shot at 5 men during a home invasion and killed 3 of them after they came into his home to rob him. (Image Via Twitter)
Claim:
A Texas homeowner grabbed his AK-47 and shot five armed men, killing three of them, after they broke into his house to rob him.

On July 3, 2022, a meme was shared on Twitter that claimed, "Five armed men broke into a Texas man's house to rob him" and that "the homeowner grabbed his AK-47, shot all 5, and killed 3." The tweet read, "You never hear about these stories." The story described in the meme was true.

The meme was shared in the aftermath of several recent deadly mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, and others, by users who appeared to be advocating for the Second Amendment.

The shooting described in the meme dated back to Jan. 19, 2019, and happened in the city of Houston. The picture of the crime scene that was shown in the meme appeared to come from KHOU.com.

Click2Houston.com reported that at least some of the five men were armed and that three died, just as the meme described. The incident "occurred just before 1 a.m. on Sherman Street near 71st Street":

One man was left dead in front of the house, at least one wounded man took off on foot, and the others left in an SUV, police said.

The car crashed into a pole nearby at Harrisburg Boulevard, where a man was found dead inside, according to police. Police say another person in the car fled, collapsed down the street on Capitol Street and later died. 

The fourth and fifth suspects were also injured and taken to a hospital, police said.

According to ABC13.com reporter Stefania Okolie, the Texas homeowner said he was 20 years old and defended himself with an AK-47. He also said that he was familiar with the men who entered his home, meaning that the attempted robbery did not appear to be a random act.

We reached out to the Houston Police Department to learn more about the shootout. We were directed to contact the office of the Harris County district attorney. This story will be updated if we receive a response.

In sum, yes, a Texas homeowner defended himself during an attempted home invasion robbery with an AK-47, killing three men and injuring two others, some of whom where armed.

Note: A similar meme about the same shooting incident read, "Texas homeowner with AK-47 fatally shoots 3 armed robbers, injures 2 more. I'll file this under 'reasons I need a semi-auto rifle and 30 round magazines.'"

Sources:

Evon, Dan. “Did Buffalo Shooting Suspect Attack Fox News in ‘Manifesto’?” Snopes.com, 16 May 2022, https://www.snopes.com/news/2022/05/16/did-buffalo-shooter-attack-fox-news/.

Gonzalez, Sandra. “Homeowner Fatally Shoots 3 Men, Injures 2 during Home Invasion, Police Say.” KPRC, 20 Jan. 2019, https://www.click2houston.com/news/2019/01/20/homeowner-fatally-shoots-3-men-injures-2-during-home-invasion-police-say/.

KTRK. “5 Shot and 3 Killed after Homeowner Opens Fire on Suspects in East Houston.” ABC13 Houston, 20 Jan. 2019, https://abc13.com/shooting-homicide-investigation-east-houston-four-people-shot/5097015/.

Morris, Mike. “3 Dead after East Houston Home Invasion Triggers Shootout.” Chron, 19 Jan. 2019, https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Three-dead-after-East-Houston-home-invasion-13546708.php.

@nahbabeenah. Twitter, 3 July 2022, https://twitter.com/nahbabeenah/status/1543752583814287361.

Pfeiffer, Sacha, et al. “The Creator of the FBI Mass Shooting Protocol Is ‘Shocked’ by Uvalde Police Response.” NPR, 9 June 2022. NPR, https://www.npr.org/2022/06/09/1103790131/mass-shooting-protocol-uvalde-law-enforcement-school-safety-gun-control.

Reaux, Emily, and Matt Dougherty. “3 Suspects Dead, Another Injured after Homeowner Opens Fire during East Houston Break-In.” KHOU, 19 Jan. 2019, https://www.khou.com/article/news/crime/3-suspects-dead-another-injured-after-homeowner-opens-fire-during-east-houston-break-in/285-29b21dcb-0f08-43bb-8d1e-6bd7d8b559e2.

“Second Amendment.” Cornell University, https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/second_amendment.

Jordan Liles is a Snopes reporter with expertise in investigating misinformation, inauthentic social media activity, and scams.

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