June 30th, 2008
09:28 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Justified Killings?

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer
Do you remember this man?  Joe Horn shot and killed two men back in November who broke into his neighbor's house. He called 911 to report the buglary happening in daylight - right next door. The 911 dispatcher told him NOT to fire his shotgun.  But Horn did.  He shot the two men in the back. Today a Texas grand jury made a decision in the case that may lead to more protests and rallies in front of the house where the shootings took place.  We'd love to know what you think? Do you believe the killings were justified or not?

Tonight, there are also several developments on the campaign trail. We've got the fallout from Retired Gen. Wesley Clark's comments over the weekend on John McCain. His message: "I don't think riding a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification for being president." Did he go too far?

We're also looking at the phone chat today between Barack & Bill. The two have finally spoken one-on-one. How important is Bill Clinton to the Obama campaign? Do you think he can help or hurt the ticket?

Also tonight, the politics of fear. The McCain camp is talking up the possibility of a terror attack next year. Are they crossing the line? We'll take an up close look.

All that and much more tonight at 10pm ET.
Hope you'll join us.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (205 Responses)
  1. Robert Gomez

    OF COURSE HE HAS THE RIGHT! You step on my property and your getting 2 in the back or front. How dare someone defend someones right to steal another persons property. Whats wrong with these people who are marching for these thieves? A homeowner has a right to defend himself, even if they are outside of his door. Would you like someone breaking into your daughters window while shes asleep? Its too bad 2 had to learn their lesson the hard way. Dont Mess with TEXANS........

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  2. Andrew L. Costax

    It was cold-blooded calculated murder. There is nothing to prove that either man was breaking in the neighbors property. For all we know, this guy saw two latinos outside, and murdered them, despite being told (although without much force) by the 911 operator, not to.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  3. Louis D. LoPresti

    I'm no lawyer, no leftist, and no radical-but shooting a man who is fleeing, in the back, is pure cowardice. The man who shot Jesse James, shot him in the back, and was eventually put out his misery. Redneck nonsense.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  4. Reginald

    I'm sorry, I am a black man and this case to me was not about race. Anyone who come into my property without my concent in the middle of the night will be shot. This is what we call protecting my life and the people I love.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  5. Janeth Z

    I believe that Mr horn was justified to shoot , If i would 've be in his shoes i would done the samething we got let these criminals know we going to protect ourselves and out property at any cost.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  6. Nitin Kumar

    WOW, if they were looting the house and he called the cops he should have just let the cops handle it, this guy actually tells the operator if he wants to bet him if he can shoot them or not. I would rather see them burn in prison for their crime than for someone to go out and shoot them in the back. He should have been atleast punished in some way or the other, it looked more like he was eager to use his shotgun, and he took advantage of his rights.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  7. Ricky

    There are 3 rules that cops have to follow when we are going to use our weapons...Intent, capability and opportunity...and all 3 have to be present...So when they turned there back to him he lost all those precondition...he should be in jail...and the tapes dont help

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  8. Janice C. Eteme

    This is another example of the miscarriage of justice.

    It amazing to me that anyone would make light of it as if these two men's lives meant nothing.

    Things like this definately make me want to leave this country and never return. Of course Joe Horn is a criminal whether he is in jail or not. What he did was shameful.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  9. doug

    The robbers got what they deserved.
    More of this and the crime rate will take dive.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  10. Kurt Frey

    Yes...Justified. Were the "illegal immigrants" justified to break into someones house? I would do the same for my neighbor in the Great State of Texas!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  11. angie shelton

    Yes sir , Mr. Horn was right to kill those burglars maybe more burglars well think of changing professions now

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  12. Dave

    Also...oneother thing....Since when does a burglar get the death penalty? Just answer that one simple question for me...Thanks everyone...

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  13. sam ausa

    joe horn did the right thing i dont see why all the noise is stealing in any form right ?i dont think so if some one was in that house i am sure they would have killed him

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  14. Nancy

    Though shall not kill!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  15. Denny

    Only in Texas!! Or maybe Arizona?? Give 'em all back to Mexico!!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  16. Lois Dogey

    Yes he was justified. Arm the citizenry – more guns, less crime.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  17. Tom Harmon


    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  18. joe hill

    well, i don't think it was justified because he shot them in the backs and could've as easily shot them in the leg just to slow them down. He shot them like they were deers.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  19. Trish

    How was this man in danger. He was in his house, armed with a shotgun and went outside and shot 2 people in the back. If that's legal in Texas, I'm glad I don't live there.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  20. Yoni C

    Joe Horn did the right thing. In addition, the evidence also proves so.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  21. Donna Brown

    I feel the killing was justified and it sends a message that deadbeats need to GET A JOB!
    I am a black female Texan! All of the protestors should go home and protest something worthwhile such as Drug-Dealers in the neighborhoods.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  22. Tony Metoyer

    Yes! A man who tries to deter or stop a crime, and is protecting his or another's property or person should not be indicted or charged. He was willing to put himself on the line to stop a crime. He was a brave man.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  23. david perez

    as sad as it is, Yes Mr. Horn had the right to shoot...although he could have used a smaller gun and not a shot gun, and aim at the legs...


    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  24. Ariel Martinez

    100% Justified. These men were in his property. Under Texas Law, you have the right to protect yourself (shoot a criminal element) if that person is at your property.

    This is a lesson for those criminals out there... you will be shot!!! pain and simple!!!

    God Bless this Man!!! And BTW, I am also an immigrant!!!!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  25. romin Alavi

    If a few brave people can reduce the workload of the policeand the courtsystem by shooting criminals, I don't sleep any worse at night because of it. In fact, Id love to have him as my neighbor. I'd sure feel safer!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  26. Jessica Radzio

    Was Mr. Horrn actually being threatened? Doesn't the law say if you are being THREATENED? The men were shot in the back. Why not just shoot them in the leg and wait for police? Did the men have guns?

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  27. larry c

    clarke is a demlib with no thought process what soever.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  28. Keith

    Horn's a hero!
    The country HAS changed JEFF! We're tired of being murdered by criminals!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  29. M Marquis

    He did the right thing...

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  30. Allen Jordan

    Coming on another person's property especially after watching them just loot someone else's house is enough reason to stop these guys from trying to do the same to your house.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  31. Alex

    He is Justified. if the criminals lived past that incident, who knows how many people the would have murdered. More so who knows how many people they had already murdered. Apparently most justice systems aren't the solution we think they are, How many offenders are repeat offenders in prison right now? Everyone get a gun kill any criminal and you won't believe how low crime rates will be in three months!!! 🙂

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  32. meredith

    absolutely justified. And I think he did it right – he got on 911, told them what was happening and why he was doing what he was doing. The law upholds it and he did it right.

    You trespass on anyone's property, it's your butt.. and you run the risk of whatever happens.

    That's just common sense!

    And, that's why we're allowed to bear arms. For protection.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  33. Randy

    A man uses deadly force to protect property and is acting within the law and doesn't get prosecuted. Good for him. I think maybe some more of this needs to happen to curb some of the crime in this country. You certainly can't count on the Police to help you.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  34. Art Roberts

    Justice was served. He ought to get a medal.


    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  35. Mark Modano

    He shot them in the back! They were running away, their backs to him, how can that be self defense. It was murder.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  36. Jill

    You're darn right Mr. Horn had a right to shoot those 2 men. He was protecting property. No matter whose property it was, the 2 men were stealing and deserved whatever they got. Both of the men were illegal immigrants anyway. Who cares. No big deal. You won't see a tear in my beer over the 2 intruders. Way to go Mr. Horn. More people should take action like this, and then maybe people will think twice when trying to rip people off. Maybe the crime rate will go down.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  37. bill

    joe horn is doing more to prevent crime than our legal system

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  38. Marty

    Horn's actions are a disturbing example of vigilante justice. It is sad that a legal loophole justified this murder.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  39. Sara H

    Let's get real people, two thieves died in the commission of their crime. Anywhere but Texas would have protected them. We shouldn't devise the law in such a way that we render ourselves obtuse. Criminals should never be protected!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  40. Joe

    It's pre-meditated murder. He told the 911 operator that he was going to kill them, and then he did. I'd love to know what the grand jury was thinking. The victims, now dead, had not been tried and convicted. We are a nation of laws. Law enforcement officials should be allowed to do their jobs. The smart thing would have been to take a picture of those guys, or their vehicle, to provide to the local authorities. A license plate number would have been great.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  41. Shlane

    Yes, I think he did the right thing. First, the two guys should have not been their in the first place, second, their intentions were to steal, third and the two guys where illegally in the country...and what about wanting to come to this country for a better life..is stealing from our American citizens a better life....I am behind Mr. Clark

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  42. Ron

    I think crooks may stay out of Mr Horn's neighborhood from now on.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  43. Don McGuirt

    He absolutely did the right thing! Get over it LIBERALS!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  44. Ben

    If this had happened in any other state or country, this would be murder. I live in Canada, and here peoples lives are placed in higher regard than a persons property. Property can be replaced, lives can't.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  45. Josh Stoner

    Joe Horn was right for shooting those men. They were robbing someone and shouldn't have been. If you want to take this chance of robbing someone, then face the consequences.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  46. Malcolm

    This is why I have an issue with gun ownership!!! Horn was not in danger, why did he have to get involved? He did his duty and that was to call the police, that is it, period. What he did was plain murder. These men were shot in the back!!! Where was there weapon? How was Horn threatened? Horn is just plain wrong.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  47. Kameka

    America is a wonderful place where if I have a gun and can go shoot two illegal immigrants without any consequences. I am a black international student. I'll be sre to walk with my papers and not look too suspicous or I might get shot in the back

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  48. Derek

    No one has the right to shoot another human being, regardless of circumstances, regardless of Texas law. This man should go the way of everyone else who defends the lawlessness of Texas–this uncivilized, ruthless and corrupt state–away. We do not want these people in our country. In our United States of America.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  49. Deborah Vogel

    I live in Memphis and am sick and tired of people pursuing crime instead of working like I do. I would shoot first and ask questions later. Strike that, I would ask no questions.........

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  50. Dave

    Well...how many more have to die for Americans to realize they live in the most dangerous westernized nation in the world? The proliferation of weapons coupled with the media's incessant desire for ratings thru airing violence is going to tear this nation apart. FEAR is not the way a country should handle itself. But the US has no way out of this...check your history...We're in Rome...350 AD...God Bless America...we sure do need it...The Bill of Rights never guaranteed anyone the right to murder someone..did it?

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
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