According to Johnson City Police Chief Randy Holland, a home invasion in the early morning hours of August 1 resulted in the homeowner shooting an intruder inside his home.
The alleged intruder was identified by Holland as Christopher Ricketts of Johnson City.
The homeowner was awakened at approximately 1:26am by an intruder inside his home in the area of Avenue G and East Ash, the chief said. Upon spotting the alleged intruder, the homeowner fired one shot from his 9mm pistol, striking the suspect in the upper left chest. The homeowner did not know the intruder, Holland reported.
The home’s front door was unlocked; there was no forced entry. Holland said that the suspect apparently rode a bicycle to the scene of the crime. He was wearing a backpack that contained a screwdriver and a sock.
Christopher Ricketts was airlifted to Brackenridge Hospital in Austin with life-threatening injuries. At press time, Holland reported that he was in stable condition in the intensive care unit.
“This case involving the home invasion and homeowner shooting the intruder appears to be justified,” Chief Holland stated, “however, JCPD will submit this case to the district attorney and present the facts to a grand jury in Blanco County, Texas.”
Chief Holland said that his “biggest hope” was that Ricketts recovers from his gunshot wound; the homeowner also expressed concern to the chief and is praying for Ricketts’ speedy recovery.
Holland expressed gratitude to the offices of Sheriff Bill Elsbury and Blanco Police Chief Milton Willmann for their quick response in assisting Johnson City PD with the call.
“Even prior to Governor Rick Perry signing Senate Bill 378 in March of 2007, better known as the ‘Castle Doctrine,’ this shooting would likely be deemed justified,” Holland explained. “The ‘Castle Doctrine’ states you have no duty to retreat if you are in a place you have a right to be. [It] went into effect September 1st, 2007.”
Holland strongly suggests everyone keep their doors and windows locked. He also suggested that everyone take advantage of their Second Amendment rights to possess a firearm and lawfully protect their families and property.
“I can only hope and pray that would-be criminals everywhere are deterred by this incident,” he concluded, “as there are honest and honorable ways to provide for the needs of one and their families.”