July 1st, 2008
09:29 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Hero or Vigilante?

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight, we're taking another look at the controversial actions of Joe Horn. Back in November, the Texas man shot to death two men robbing his next door neighbor's house. That's even after a 911 dispatcher told him not to do it. Yesterday, as we told you on 360, a grand jury said Horn should NOT be prosecuted. They said he broke no laws. Yet, the legal decision has our nation divded ( just check out the reaction to this story in last night's Evening Buzz). Could this case set a dangerous precedent as some fear? We'll be looking at that tonight on 360.

Also, breaking news – manhunt over.
The search for a man suspected of killing at least 8 people over the last several days in Illinois and Missouri has ended. The victims included a child and a 93-year-old man. Tonight, we're on the scene with the latest developments. We're also looking at what would drive someone to go on a killing spree.

And, left for dead. A woman collapses in a hospital waiting room and what happens next?
Nothing. OK, well, not quite nothing. Almost everything that does happen, will make your blood boil. We're keeping them honest.

All that and more tonight on 360.
Hope you'll join us at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (165 Responses)
  1. David - Pasadena TX

    I live around the corner from Mr. Horn and I do not think he was wrong in shooting the two men. Both of those men were in the middle of committing a crime. This country is so PC that even if a person is breaking into your house and cuts there hand in the process, they can sue you for damages. Since Katrina, Houston and it's surrounding suburbs has seen a high rise in crime. Most of the criminals seem to be Katrina victims that had to flee to Texas from Louisiana. I say let this be a warning to criminals.

    July 1, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  2. Scott

    As a white, middle-class Republican, even I know this is murder. It’s obvious that with the anti-immigrant sentiment flourishing throughout our country, there are those who believe Mr. Horn is a hero. I know there would have been an indictment if Mr. Horn were an undocumented immigrant who shot two white men in the same situation.

    July 1, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  3. Mike, GA

    It's a sad day in America when we as Americans would rather kill someone in a neighbors yard to help catch burglars than help someone who has just been hit by a car ,or you who has passed out in a hospital waiting room.

    July 1, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  4. B Newman

    " If you can't do the time don't do the crime " Most of us are sick and tired of all the crimes that the police curiously arrive to late to stop. If you are a criminal and are intent on doing a crime you should know that there is a significant chance you will get killed. What matters the crime. I work hard for what I have and disagree with the lawyer who makes far more money than I do and probably works half as hard. Let them steal, vandalize etc her property or hurt her, but as for me I hope more people will help their neighbor and so whatever is necessary including killing them.

    July 1, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  5. Wally

    Give Joe Horn a medal. He's beautiful. We need more of this stuff.

    July 1, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  6. Julie

    It would be nice to have a neighbor like Mr. Horn. There is too much crime and people dont seem to do anything but watch most of the time. People are affraid to tell on these criminals, in general. I would want my neighbors to help me if possible.

    July 1, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  7. Billy

    The grand jury said it all. "No Billed!" End of story. 12 citizens of the Great State of Texas agreed with Mr. Horn. He acted appropriately.

    July 1, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  8. Ed Brennan

    He told the 911 operator he was going outside to KILL them.

    July 1, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  9. Brian

    Mr. Horn is nothing short of a murderer. Those men posed absolutely no threat to Mr. Horn. He had his mind set on murdering them and even had the nerve to admit it to the 911 operator before he ever went outside. I would have an open mind had the burglars been robbing Mr. Horn himself, but I can not understand how shooting two burglars fleeing from your neighbor's home can be considered self defense. They were fleeing the scene and he chose to confront them with a weapon so he actually was the aggressor. I pose this question. If the burglars had shot and killed Mr. Horn because he charged them with a shotgun, would it be self defense???

    July 1, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  10. David in Ma

    I find no problem with what happened.
    Please take into consideration that I myself served 5 years in jail.

    I feel that if a person starts a life of crime that they have made the decision that they are not subjected to the law,... then they are not protected by the law.
    Every criminal knows that there is a risk,...... time to pay!!!

    July 1, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  11. Brandon from MIchigan

    I think Mr. Horn was politically correct. We need more like him, the criminals who take high risks and do get caught, get mabe a slap on the wrist. I believe in the same situation I would have to admit, I would have done the same. This my friends is why we have the second amendment.

    July 1, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  12. bce

    I don't feel bad for the people that were shot. I'm not saying that shooting the men necessarily was the right thing to do in Mr. Horn's case, since he was in his house to begin with; however, these people were illegal immigrants, burglarizing American CITIZENS. It's not like Mr. Horn didn't warn the two men not to stop. Clearly in the audio tape Mr. Horn told them to stop, or he was going to shoot. Maybe other illegal immigrants or anyone else for that matter will think twice about committing a crime like this. These men CHOSE to commit a crime that has risks. What did they expect to happen?

    July 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  13. Jim Duckworth

    I agree completely with Mr. Horn's act of defending his neighbor's home and his home through the use of deadly force. There are not enough police to defend our lives and property, so it is up to private citizens.. These two men freely chose to commit a dangerous crime and they suffered the consequences of their actions. Should we just stay still and hide in our homes and let the criminals do what they want? I commend Mr. Horn for taking action. These two men won't be putting the lives and property of citizens in jeopardy anymore. End of story.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  14. Dan B

    If anything Horn is a hero! The two guys that got shot were burglars that had no business in Horns neighbors house they needed shot. If the laws were written this way we would have less crimes. They were caught red handed stealing and I think Horn had every right to protect himself and his neighbors house. If crooks thought more and worried about whether or not they would get shot by a neighbor maybe they wouldn't steal!

    The laws are written to protect the crooks with loop holes. We need to bring back the old testament....an eye for an eye. Two more crooks off the street! Better for the economy and public!

    July 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  15. Dawn

    He didn't sound the least bit scared on the tape. Actually he sounded eager to shoot them.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  16. Cathy

    Joe Horn is a great guy in my book to have the courage to do what he did. If that had been my house and my property, I would have wanted Joe to do the same thing. If I was in the same situation and saw someone commiting burglary at my neighbors house, I would feel threatened by them. I've heard of burglaries in my neighborhood & even that makes me feel vulnerable... what if my house is next? The burglers are criminals and if you put yourself in that situation, you'd better expect you can be shot.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  17. JohnC

    Joe Horn is symbolic of the hatred so many whites feel against non-whites. The message that the Horn Grand Jury sent is that if you are the wrong color and in the wrong neighborhood, anyone can shoot and kill you if you are merely near their property and claim it was self-defense.

    Oh and the Castle doctrine passed to protect homeowners from lawsuits from the families of the criminals that they gun down.

    Yes..if a burglar breaks into my house...you can bet I will not ask questions and just open fire on him. But conversely, criminals will now be expecting Mr. Horn's kind of behavior and make burglars more prone to carrying firearms in the commissions of their crimes and that puts innocent families at risk.

    Oh and I believe that Joe Horn committed this crime in cold blood only because they were non-white. Had these burglars been young white men, I think it's a safe bet that Mr. Horn's actions would have been less violent.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  18. Mario

    Are you serious?
    another great example of people who cant mind they're business. If someone is robbing your neighbors you dont go outside with a shotgun and take two human lifes who are not endangering yours. Bylaws will acknowledge this as self defense, but common sense will prove this is a case of American bred Ignorance.
    If cops would have confronted these two suspects (those who are trained to do this, not neighbors) a different resolution would emerge.
    Two lifes over a robbery? Or property retrieved after manslaughter?

    July 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  19. Adam

    Anyone who defends these robbers as having the right to commit their crime without getting shot is clueless!

    You don't want to get shot...? Don't rob!!!!

    Enough of criminal rights....I'm glad I live in Florida and own a gun...Try robbing me!

    July 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  20. John

    I would love to have Mr. Horn as my next-door neighbor!

    July 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  21. Ohio Mother

    That man is far from a hero. He is a coward. He shot two men in the back who were not threatening him in any way. All he had todo is get a description. The police were there just as the shooting occured. He just wanted an excuse to shoot some minorities. Would this same acion had been ok if they were white young men who may have just made the wrong decision? Nobody's life is worth taking over property that can easily be replaced or recovered. I'm pretty sure his neighbors had insurance, that is what it is for. He should have kept his scary self in the house. For all he know these men may have had starving children at home. They were unarmed and didn't intend to hurt anyone and I'm sure didn't approach him or his yard.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  22. Robert, NC

    They were not threatening Mr. Horn. Period. He was determined to shoot them from the moment he called 911. This is a perfect example of vigilante rationalization. Any excuse to take someone out. The men were on another property UNTIL Mr. Horn confronted them by going outside of his home. The he shot them in the back. How on earth is that a threat to his safety.

    The next thing we know, when you brush up against someone on a bus in TX, they'll have reason to take you out with a concealed handgun, and then walk away with no legal outcome.

    I wonder what the legal result would have been had Mr. Horn been Hispanic or African American and the robbery suspects been white. Would the gun rights defender have been equally enthusiastic about supporting the right to shoot down anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable?

    July 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  23. Dennis

    The bottom line is that he would not have felt "threatened" if he had stayed inside his house as the police dispatcher requested. Instead, he went outside, armed and ready to shoot. And he gets away without being charged with anything? Absurd.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  24. Kenneth Knowles

    I do believe in protecting YOURty if it is a neighbors do the proper thing by calling 911 and allowing the proper officials to care of the crime. Take pictures and or a video to identify the suspects.Who is to say if the men came in his yard and where the bodies were found. Myself being an African-American, if I were to do that to two caucasion assailants, I would not be found innocent. Lets face facts and face the truth.
    Kenneth Knowles

    July 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  25. Tess Fiant

    I can't believe those who are opposed to what Mr. Horn did. Not only did he have a constitutional right to do what he did out of self defense, he did America a favor by controlling the illegal immigrant popultion! These aliens came here to do nothing but exploit this country. Case in point, robbing the household of ordinary American citizens. Stop being a bunch of hippie democrats and realize that if it were you in this situation, you would have done the same thing to protect yourself and your property.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  26. oscar

    are you kitting me this guy shoot this people because he wanted to . hope the rest of the country never become like texas.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  27. David Taylor

    Bottom line these guys would not be dead if they had not been stealing or tresspassing. Seems that if people fear being shot they will think twice before they rob, steal or tresspass.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  28. VJ

    Forget about the whether he is Hero or not? The radio host who was praising him is a racist guy. You could see on his face....really. The man was talking that way only because the dead men were illeagl hispanic.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  29. Chris

    Too bad for the two burglers who happen to be illegals. My heart bleeds for them.
    Right on Mr. Horn!

    July 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  30. Dena

    Good Job! Mr. Horn!

    Those two men were not escapees. No one was detaining them.
    We need to teach that there are consequences for choices of behavior.

    I would protect my neighbors property with the same vigilance as my own and know that they would do the same for me.

    From a locked and loaded sister, daughter, mother and wife in Nevada!

    July 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  31. Cathy

    I say he's a hero. This was the second known crime these two illegals commited, the first one was when they crossed the U.S. Boarders illegal (but that's a problem of our weak government) Tell Lisa Horne to try going to their Country and see the kind of rules and regulations she'd have to pass in order to get into another Country. I say, get over it Lisa Horne, they're criminals and I say the Texas Man put them in their place.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  32. Steve

    MURDERER...Premeditated...He was told help was on the way. He said I'm going to kill them. He did the right thing by calling 911. But then went beyond what was right and took two human lives for stealing???? When did human lives become less valuable to materials. Revenge is not always a soup served cold...He shot them in the back, Are there anyone here who would accept a member of their family being shot down that way and not do anything about it??? He could have shot and killed friends or kids of his neighbors pulling a joke and messing around. But I think he only say some Hispanic looking people and had a flash back to the forty and fifties when blacks use to get hanged from trees and jurors cold not see the evil and injustice in that.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  33. Ernie

    All of you who think Mr.Horn is a hero or is justified in what he did in shooting two unarmed burgulars robbing his neighbors home are on drugs. In the 911 audio tape Mr.Horn specifically told the 911 operator that he was going to kill the thieves. He didn't say he was going to apprehend them or hold them until the police arrived he said he was going to kill them and he did as he said!

    July 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  34. Rod, Raleigh

    Let's see...illegal aliens entering his yard after they already commited a B&E next door. BOOM! Justice served. Maybe other illegals will think twice before commiting crimes in this country. That man is a HERO. Our country now has 2 less bums in it.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  35. Nate

    If you listen to the phone operator they are told not to leave his house and he stated I am going to kill them. If a representative of the local police office gives orders and they are not followed he has disobeyed the law thus he should be guilty. If it was a black man shooting a white robber the outcome would be different.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  36. Gary

    - Queestion -

    Will either of these 2 criminal be repeat offenders ????

    I don't think so !!!

    July 1, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  37. james andrews

    The Natomas section of Sacramento, the newest and priciest part of the city has had 15 daylight home invasion armed robberies and 14 street side armed robberies in JUNE. The suspects are armed with handgun teenagers estimated from 15 to 21. I hope someone gets them before an innocent is killed. The are targeting women alone or women with children. Life is going to get worse before it gets better and shooting will put an end to it for some

    July 1, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  38. Eric

    Does anyone think that the fact that the victims were illegal immigrants had any influence on the outcome of this case?

    July 1, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  39. Eric

    The laws in Texas are what they are. Mr. Horn wanted to take care of business, whatever that business was. I submit that he could have shot below the waist (waste) and left them alive to face charges, but it appears that he shot them in the back. I hope, for the sake of the laws of Texas and Mr. Horn's imminent meeting with Gabriel, that his business was handled correctly.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  40. Robert Palmer

    God bless Joe Horn!!! Maybe if more people fought back like him, criminals might think twice about breaking into peoples homes. Besides, he saved the taxpayers alot of money if they haved lived!!

    July 1, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  41. Kim

    This is a travesty! How could this man get away with this crap? This man killed two individuals while their backs were turned and then dared to say that his life was in danger...?! Yeah right...! It seems more like he was looking to be some modern day Wyatt Earp! I am disgusted, we must treat all individuals who commit murder in the same manner. This man is named a hero when he should be named a murderer.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  42. Debbie, Toronto

    Trust me, if Joe Horn was Black and the two robbers were white. He would be charged with a crime. When I listen to the 911 recording it seems clear to me he put himself in harms way. They were robbing his neighbour's house not his.

    America the great, shines again.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  43. Steven

    The 2 guys were commiting a crime, all this guy did was stop them... forever. If I was his neighbor I would be happy and proud to see someone else care about my property. He did what was right, like it or not.


    July 1, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  44. david klos

    hello,I have found the problem with America today is that the people with objections to others choices in life some how think that they are correct where others are wrong. Such as lawmakers that don’t even live in or lived a particular lifestyle that they are trying to eradicate, or to attempt to control with words of law. There is no law enforcement personal to enforce our constitution? , When our civil rights are being denied by useless city codes, county laws and state laws. Right down to the selected enforcement of these laws by the front line in law, ”the uniformed officer” .a victim is some one who thinks that they are safe in a world of law’s, when in fact it’s the respect for the law that makes it work. But when the lawmakers don’t understand the basic right’s of its citizen’s. The citizen’s don’t respect the laws that are made? Therefor creating a paradox of law and criminal? Justice really is blind? Or do we learn this from childhood faith taught to us in predigest belief system? The right and wrong side of it ” no compromise” has divided us to the point of utter hatred for one another? thanx

    July 1, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  45. patrick

    he had no reason to shoot the two men in the back because they were not in his property, how dumb was the selected dury to see that. just a trigger happy texan but far from a hero.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  46. Patricia Maxwell

    As long as we have Supreme Court Judges that vote for the rights of perpetrator's over the rights of victims, we are going to see more of this vigilante action by ordinary citizens.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  47. Ed Brennan

    Horn said he was going to KILL them before he went outside.....Premeditated murder

    July 1, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  48. Flor in Calif

    Horn is a killer. This is totally crazy... These men were not threatening his life. That Lars Larson guy is everything that is going wrong with this country right now in my opinion. Since when did replaceable stuff become more important than a human life?? Makes me sick.

    And BTW we own several guns at my house... Guns don't kill people.... STUPID DISGUSTING PEOPLE kill people...

    July 1, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  49. Joy Lewis

    That man was trigger happy and excited about the opportunity to shoot somebody. You could hear it in his voice that he couldn't wait to shoot and then he shot them in the back! Why didn't he just shoot them in the legs......no, he wanted to kill them.

    The 2 men who were killed were definitely wrong but they never entered his home and it doesn't appear they were targeting him.
    All I see in this scenario are 3 guilty people.

    July 1, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  50. Dan Matlock

    Okay... let's put this to rest... you as a potential CRIMINAL in YOUR MIND decide to commit a crime. Until you ACTUALLY put the plan in action you have not committed a crime. BUT, and in this country this is the real problem we as a nation never stop to face, you do put it into action, THAT IS A CRIME the circumstances of what happens within that crime are irrelevant. The fact that you TOOK THE CHANCE to get away with it, brings with it ALL THE POSSIBILITIES that could take place at that moment. What would have happened if these 2 guys just stayed home? They didn't, they tried, and they paid for their choices. NO MERCY HERE...

    July 1, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
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