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. mindy larel

    the texan man in the shooting was doing something that maor americans need to be doing , protecting your property and your neighbors against these criminals if they were stealing they should be stopped if the fact that he told them to stop and they were shot in the back they may have been illegal aliens that don't speak or understand english, in that case they should not even be in this country maybe the citizens of america need to start taking back this nation like this man did protect yourself and your neighbor!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  2. kirisipeni

    Thank you sir.Robbers beware.Tired of being robbed.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  3. Dane

    This guy was clearly trigger happy. He is a Murderer plain as day. These guys were thieves but they did not deserve to die like that. Shot in the back by a cowardly man.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  4. DJ Smith

    Joe Horn was absolutely right to defend himself and his neighbors. Americans are sick and tired of being victims of every jerk who wants to attack and intimidate us. Those men had no right to be where they were. Go, Joe Horn!!!!!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  5. Gilbert Barajas

    I live in Texas also...and if you threaten me, my family or my property or that of my neighbors I'll shoot you too. We look out for each other down here

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  6. Eddie

    If I had neighbors like that I wouldn't have to pay ADT security sytems!!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  7. Joe Pavlich

    This is just another example of how dollars are valued more than human life in this sick society. It seems like every day brings a new way in which this country disgusts anyone with a sense of decency. What happened to the America that I knew?

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  8. Bill Krane

    While I would have preferred that burglars had permanent damage to their legs, rather than killed. Their deaths will serve as a reminder to other people commiting an illegal act that you do the crime you may serve the time or worse pay with your life.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  9. Big Mark

    This country need to go back to the way things were done back in the 1800s. I am tired of being the victim and live in a middle class neighborhood that is under attack by these types of thugs.
    The police show up, make a report and that is it. The police are under staff and have no budget.
    Nice shot Joe

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  10. DK

    This man did the right thing, in my opinion, he was protecting his neighbors and you never know what could have happened in that house, they were invading his space, and it's about time we all stick together and start to help eachother out, start being nice to one another, so this kind of tragedy does not have to happen again, don't take other peoples stuff, come on now, we are all human and we are all the same.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  11. Mike

    I think he dis what was right, though he really should have recorded the break in rather than intervene. If someone wants to come to this country and then disrespect our laws and property, they deserve the outcome that comes to them.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  12. Barbara

    Yes. He was justified. People need to think TWICE before they criminalize homes – he was simply doing what he was asked to do – protect property.
    Illegals need to know they live by the rules of our country while they are here....and our citizens have a right to bear arms for protection.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  13. Jeffrey McGinnis

    Yes, Mr. Horn was justified. It truly is a great day in America when justice is rendered. Law abiding citizen 1 – Criminals Dead 0!

    The Supreme Court affrimed the right for law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms and Joe Horn is found not guilty; it is a great week for the Constitution and the rights of free, law abiding citizens of America.

    Praise the Lord!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  14. sergio amaton

    I think he did the wright thing. Maybe his house was next.
    Sending a mesage, let the next thief know what kand happen!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  15. Rob Collins

    I was thrilled to see he was not charged, this is one for the good guys. Criminals need to know that there actions can and should be stopped. I would have personally tried to scare them into surrender and I dont know the specifics about what they did when confronted but removing two more criminals from the planet is always a good thing. We dont need to feed and house them only to let them go after a few years to start their crimes over again. I currently live in Japan where crime is hard to find, too bad we cant say the same for the US.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  16. Leonard Manders

    I would have done the same thing. I say good for Joe Horn! They were out of line for sure! If we don't protect ourselves, who will?

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  17. Getachew Hagos


    This killing shouldn't have been justified. Shooting to kill by a civilian should be justified only and if only it is for self defense.
    It is sad this guy is set free and it is like sending a message to gun owners , "it is ok to kill an immigrant!"


    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  18. Veronica V. Losee

    Didn't anyone hear the man say he believed he might get killed during the robbery? Of course, he was justified in the killings. He has very likely saved lives in the long run.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  19. David

    If only more people protected their personal property, and that of their neighbors, the country would likely be in much better shape. This act is likely more effective as a deterrent than our legal system ever thought of being. Enough is enough. Defending the criminal has become obscene, just look at Ramos and Compion. They should be given awards, not sitting in prison.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  20. Jesse Miracle

    I think all states should alow the same laws to b past if i was him i wouldve done the same two to the chest and one to the head god bless the right to bare arms..................................................................

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  21. Ace

    I think that is ridiculous, firstly i understand the Castle Law, but from the sounds of the phone call he personally was definatley not threatened and the men were not on his property. He completley ignored the advice from the trained 911 operator.
    I am an Australian and already despise the American gun laws, but to see now that people can get away with obvious murder like that, not only sickens me but angers me greatly.
    Why can't somebody fix this??

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  22. Clint

    Do you believe the killings were justified or not?

    Yep, weather our flawed judicial system agreed with me or not.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  23. Billy

    I wish Joe Horn was my neighbor.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  24. cortland allen

    Since when does property have more value than human life. I did't hear that they left the house with any stolen property. I feel this is racially motivate, just another incident were a minorites life has no value.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  25. Thomas R

    I feel like Mr Horn is in the wrong for the simple fact he shot the men in the back. I don't see how someone can be a threat to you if thier back is turned. In my opinion, it is a cowardly thing to do.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  26. steve

    He had every right to shoot them!!! A message needs to be sent to these dopers that law abiding citizens are sick of being taken advantage of. It is up to the people to take care of ourselves, not the police dept. Lets be honest, how many times has the police dept actually stopped a crime in progress, NOT VERY OFTEN!!! It is up to the people to govern ourselves!!!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  27. Anthony Dillman

    I think Mr. Horn did the right thing. It's sad that people don't agree with it. I am from a city and I don't see anything wrong with defending your home, or a neighbor's home for that matter. Hopefully career thieves will see this story and think twice before they make the decision to continue on that path.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  28. Sriram S

    This is double murder, plain and simple. He wasn't defending himself and the police were on the scene. Cannot believe this is happening here, looks like there are 2 Americas. I think this would reinforce latent suspicions in all immigrants and people of color that they cannot seek equal protection under the law

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  29. jon

    Only in a crazy, trigger-happy, cowboy-loving country is this issue even been debated.....for the rest of the world, this man should be behind bars. No law could possibly condone something like this...and if such a law exists, it is simply archaic, wrong and reflecting the sinister and dark dimension of America. This, most likely racist, guy was just waiting the opportunity to shoot someone...he probably researched the loophole in the law beforehand. I am not surpised, though, that this law exist in the home state of that idiot president of your Bush.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  30. G. Shubalis

    He did the right thing. If he had left it to the "law", those theives would be out and about robbing and threatening the lives of others.
    People need to protect themselves without fear that the law will not stand by them when they do.

    The liberal media always sides with the criminals.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  31. YaYa

    Joe Horn is a Murderer. What the heck is wrong in Texas?

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  32. tauffique

    The answer according to me is to amend the gun laws the country has.
    The gun lobby is so strong that it has become one of the biggest challenges to our society to try and curtail how one can own a gun

    If guns were not that easily available we would have fewer incidents of all sorts.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  33. FN

    So much for the cowboy code:

    "The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage."

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  34. larry c

    mr. horn did us all a favor in killing those 2 thugs.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  35. Wayne Ross

    I think Joe did the right thing and we need more like him. There are more and more Thugs in this world and they need to be numbered.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  36. Wil

    This guy is a Texas yahoo and a killer...the two 'victims' are a couple dirt bags who were breaking into someone's home...
    bottom line...one day there will be a case of some kid who lost his key and "breaking into" a house...he shouldn't have to worry about some neighbor shooting him. If a neighbor wants to be responsible...diall 911...call the police...that is it.
    cut out the yahoo routine and whipping out the shotgun.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  37. Carlos from illinois

    Moreover... haven't we had enough of the Texas way of doing things? Geez...

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  38. clint

    I think he did the right thing.Mr Cooper seems to think its ok to break into someones home what if it was his.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  39. Dorothy Nicholson

    I think that it was jusifiable,he did what he should had done protecting his fellow amer icans, who knows what they were going to do. I think that if we had more american's like this the world would be a safer place!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  40. laney

    I think the situation is have been handled completely different due to the fact the he was instructed not to shoot anyone and he did. Also the if any materials were taken they could have been replaced it's just materials, not saying the intruders were right. With all due respect Americans that believe that families of the intruders should not seek justice is wrong regardless or not if they were Americans.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  41. Ed P

    I think it is about time true justice is served to people who break the law. The courts take to long and the criminals have the upper hand in "justice'. I respect what Joe Horn did. It WILL send a message to criminals looking for the easy score. Wasn't so easy for them. I just wish California had laws similar to Texas.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  42. Brandon

    Kill or be killed? Live by the gun or die by the gun? The two men shot were criminals/illegals and Americans need to be able to defend their country and neighbors.and family...if we wait for violent terrorism to strike us then we will die as innocent victims, on the other hand, if we strike down criminal, violent, terroristic activity expediently, we will send a message to criminals to reconsider committing crimes against us.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  43. Whitney Etter-Allen

    Just so so sad,

    These men were not even threatening him. He had no right to take their lives. No matter how many homes they robbed. He should not have been allowed to get away with this. I feel like, if these men were white, they would still be alive.
    Just so so sad.

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

    I think this act was barbaric.... and in my view makes Mr. Horn a murderer. He could simply have fired in the air or better yet wait for the police to arrive. The only justification in shooting directly at these common thieves would be if he was directly threatened and obviously from his 911 call he instigated the confrontation.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  45. joan dudley

    This is a case of murder. I lived in Texas for 3 years and learned Texans are still in the "Wild West" mindset.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  46. Tommy Louisiana


    I do not believe that he was justified........... This opens up a window for this to be repeated. I wonder if the children and families of those men are really ok with the decision?????..

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  47. Larry

    There are too many criminals taking advantage of laws that are not being enforced. Living near Philadelphia and reading about police being shot daily makes you think that the criminal mind has no preference when picking a victim. If its time to steal or cause bodily harm and I have the right to carry a weapon then the decision of the criminal becomes much harder to make.
    If there had been someone carrying a handgun at Va Tech there may not have been so many poor defenseless children killed aimlessly.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  48. Allen Jordan

    Wherever they were shot is irrelavant. Where they were located when shot is what is important. They were obviously on the wrong side of the fence.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  49. Bob

    It was justified. Plain and simple. If he had not done anything, then they would have most likely killed him too in order to get away without any witnesses to report them. What he did was the right thing to do.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  50. Bill Grant

    Joe Horn for Sheriff !!! I love the guy!!!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
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