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Homeowner Shot Teenage Intruder Over Twinkies

In the State of Texas, homeowners have the right to use deadly force to protect their lives and property. But the case of Jose Luis Gonzalez sparked a controversy when the jury found him not guilty for shooting a teenage intruder over snacks and soda:

Gonzalez had endured several break-ins at his trailer when the four boys, ranging in age from 11 to 15, broke in. Gonzalez, who was in a nearby building at the time, went into the trailer and confronted the boys with a 16-gauge shotgun. Then he forced the boys, who were unarmed, to their knees, attorneys on both sides say.

The boys say they were begging for forgiveness when Gonzalez hit them with the barrel of the shotgun and kicked them repeatedly. Then, the medical examiner testified, Anguiano was shot in the back at close range. Two mashed Twinkies and some cookies were stuffed in the pockets of his shorts.

Another boy, Jesus Soto Jr., now 16, testified that Gonzalez ordered them at gunpoint to take Anguiano's body outside.

Gonzalez said he thought Anguiano was lunging at him when he fired the shotgun.

Many people in Laredo — a town just across the Rio Grande from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, where drug violence runs rampant — defended Gonzalez's actions. In online responses to articles published by the Morning Times, comments included statements such as "The kid got what he deserved" and calls to "stop the unfair prosecution."

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gQaQF39EbtehzlGgDJF34yEYviEwD93F8OD00 | (Photo from this FOXNews article)

Previously on Neatorama: Was It Self Defense or Murder?


*sigh* That's sad. If you really still feel threatened when you're holding a lethal weapon in your hands (against unarmed children), you've got bigger problems than ending up in court.

Are snack foods really that important?
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He had every right to shoot them. How would he know they were there for Twinkies? Because they told him? Even if they did tell him are you supposed to believe someone who has just broken into your home? As far as I'm concerned it's one less future felon. Good riddance.
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@ascp: seriously? The kid was 13 and unarmed. Even if he was there to steal stuff, Gonzalez already had them on their knees. On top of that he shot them in the back so his life was probably not being threatened at the time. He could've easily turned them in to the cops. This was not defense, this was an execution.
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The vigilante punishment far exceeds the crime perpetrated by the boys. Any other attitude is so absurd as to not be given a moments serious consideration by an advanced civilization.
Socialization and cognitive development is not considered complete yet, and proper rehab and discipline are needed, instead of being put to death.
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Obviously you guys haven't been robbed before. It's a scary experience that can lead the most levelheaded people to otherwise erratic behaviour. Admittedly, they were only teenagers, but he's a senior (63 year-old) facing four young men. It's not hard to imagine how easy it would be for them to overpower him.
As well, you have to remember that this wasn't premeditated. He didn't start the encounter. He reacted out of instinct and I think the jury was right in acquitting him.
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That is why I got out of that state. So many people think it's right to use a gun for even small thing. (eg, When a friend of mine got mugged, everyone kept telling us to carry around a gun of our own - as if that would stop them, lol. I grew up in DC and saw just how bad rampant gun use is, so no thanks.) Terrible, terrible.

What he should have done was use the gun (unloaded!) to get them on their knees, then tie them up together or lock them in a secure room, and call the police. The police are there for a reason!
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Well... i don't think it right that he shot the boys once they were on their knees and surrendered. He definitely should've called the cops or something, but really.... what did those kids expect.
Just b/c they're younger doesn't mean they couldn't have done more damage and had weapons of their own.

I don't fault the guy for protecting his property, but shooting one in the back when he didn't have to is awful.
Unfortunatly, the surviving kids learned a tragic lesson. Hopefully they use it to make their lives better seeing that crime doesn't pay.
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NicoNico says:
"What he should have done was use the gun (unloaded!) to get them on their knees, then tie them up together or lock them in a secure room, and call the police. The police are there for a reason!"

Yeah.
When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

Maybe he should have given them all a hug, too.

How naive can you be?
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Wow. I can't believe how stupid some people are.
"He should have shot all of them?" ONE WAS A FUCKING 11 YEAR OLD. Anyway. What were they stealing? Some cash? Some electronics? Some valuable papers? HELL NO. THEY WERE LOOKING FOR SOME SNACKS.
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I am in favor of castle doctrine laws. But putting unarmed kids on their knees, then shooting in the back of the head is murder. No matter how you justify it.
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Just because he got the drop on them while they were commiting a crime on his property doesn't mean the situation was any less life threatening.

Age has nothing to do with it, and just because it was Twinkies they were after makes it no less a serious crime. Apparently Texas Law saw it his way this time.
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Commentor DOJ on a previous post of similar nature:

"In this case, 'Castle Doctrine' refers to Frank Castle"

I sincerely hope that one day people will stop acting like any violation of the law makes you an immoral scumbag.
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Holy flipping crap. Comments from ppl like ascp and Joe make me completely dumbfounded.

He had them on their knees and shot a CHILD in the back. We've sent American soldiers to jail for treating prisoners and terrorists unfairly at Gitmo, this guys gets completely off innocent? Murdering over junk food???

Fourth time he's had a break in? Hey, how about buying some better locks for your trailer? You can't tell me shotguns and ammo are cheaper than deadbolts in Texas.
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When I was a kid if I went and stole some snacks and got caught, I would just get reprimanded and my parents would get called. I certainly wouldn't have gotten SHOT IN THE BACK WHILE I WAS ON THE GROUND BEGGING FOR MY LIFE.
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"how about buying some better locks for your trailer?"

Yeah right. It's his fault they broke in. I hope y'all have someone break into your house. I'm sure you'll automatically know that they mean you no harm and just want some cookies.

Hypocrites.
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Don't get all defensive just cause they're kids - they have the criminal mind. It's all about the environment they're in.

They start off with breaking and entering - then they move onto stealing cars. Then they mug someone. If they don't get caught or killed, they move onto rape and homicide.

IT HAS HAPPENED THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF TIMES.
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Okay, Jerse. Whatever. I knew of kids who used to steal stuff from the corner store. None of them grew up to be rapists and murderers.

Stealing Twinkies and setting kittens on fire are two different things. The first might not lead to anything. The second is a huge red flag that something is wrong... what you'd call "the criminal mind".

I'm so glad I don't live in Texas. I'd hate to think what these guys will try to get away with next. Shooting the neighbours' toddler because she decided to pick the flowers in your garden? *shudder*
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Joe, Tim and Jerse, I want you for my neighbors!

These kids didn't get shot while playing on a public basketball court, people. They were breaking and entering someone else's private home. Last time I checked, that was ILLEGAL. AND they were doing all this before they were old enough to drive! Niiiice...bet they were on the fast track to college, huh?!

The guy whose home they broke into had no way of knowing if these intruders intended to raid his fridge or cut his throat. I'd love to see what any of you bleeding-hearts would do if you should suddenly be confronted with someone breaking into YOUR house while you're eating your veggie burger and watching "Dancing with the Stars".

Are you going to ask them what they intend to do or are you going to do whatever you can to stop them from hurting you or your kids?

I don't give a watery, lukewarm crap how old the person is if they're breaking into my house or trying to attack me. I'll do my best to kill them first. NO ONE has the right to make me a victim.

If you think an 11 or 15 year old kid isn't capable of murder, well...you need to get your head out of your ass and read the news once in a while.

The kids in this story could have done one simple thing to keep themselves alive and unhurt. They could have chosen not to commit a crime. Those "free" Twinkies they thought they were going to get wound up costing them plenty and they have no one to blame but themselves.

Justice has been served. Lock and load!!!
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"It was a case where it was my life or theirs, and it's a very good thing that they (the jurors) decided in my favor."

Something is not ringing true about his whole story. No matter how you feel about guns or the ability to protect yourself and your twinkies, no law should give a person the right to execute another person, whether young or old, male or female. That's why you have a justice system. That's why you have police.

The story seemed to say he killed two boys. I kinda skimmed, though. I wonder if he has any remorse?
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While shooting a 15 year old in the back might be harsh, the man was within his rights in the state of Texas to shoot an intruder. The law presumes that anyone who enters into your dwelling is able and willing to cause you grievous harm and gives the benefit of the doubt to the person defending their property.

Even if the guy SHOULDN'T have shot the kid, that doesn't mean the guy should be locked into a cage for doing so. That erodes one's right to defend their dwelling and property- the next prosecution might be of a 17 year old "kid" coming in through the window... and the next an adult who turns out to be unarmed... then very quickly a man no longer has the right to defend his home. Given what I've heard, I couldn't and wouldn't have shot the kid, but if there were a group of them and they didn't immediately comply with my orders restraining them from potentially harming me (hands in the air, or get on the floor, etc) then I'd feel I had little other choice.
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@Cheeseduck
"Wow. I can’t believe how stupid some people are."

Really? You must be new to this planet? Once you've stayed here a while, you'll be totally convinced of the stupidity of humans and you wont give it a second thought.
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I happen to live in the next town over (and can't wait to move elsewhere), and believe me many people around here are vengeful and sadistic, so the jury's decision comes as no surprise to me... this is the a$$hole of the USA and what happened here proves it.
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I have said it before, and I will say it again many, many times.... I am so glad I do not live in Texas. The the fact that people can even entertain the idea that that was ok utterly sickens me.

It's not necessary to shoot and kill 11-year-olds over petty crimes to 'teach people a lesson.' Really, it's not. There's 5 criminals in this story and one of them stands out.

Strangely enough, my home state of Wisconsin has both incredibly strong gun control laws and a small fraction of the crime per capita that Texas has... (The difference is even more noticeable for violent crimes.)
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I truly hope the parents of the kid who was shot appeal this hick towns findings and take this one to the supreme court. this man should be charged with murder as he was fully aware that he was not in danger once he had the gun drawn on the teens while they where on their knees.
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I am surprised at the amount of people who call "Breaking and Entering" a petty crime. I may be wrong, but I believe it is probably a felony. They were almost certainly not looking for food, but for anything of any value they could grab.

Was he justified in shooting them? Probably not. Why did he shoot them? Probably because, while they were on their knees, one of the kids said something that really pissed him off, and he pulled the trigger. That's my guess. But, maybe not. Maybe one of the other kids lunged for him. There is no question he had every right to be scared, with four almost adults in his house. We know that children that age don't have full moral faculties yet. He had no way to know that none of them would be armed, or that they wouldn't try to swing around and take the rifle from him.

It doesn't seem fair to me to punish someone severly for a situation which they didn't ask for or initiate. I guess he could have just sat back and waited 15 minutes for police to show up, but, until he pulled the trigger, he acted in a reasonable way. How you react to a stressful situation should be criminally different from the situations you willfully initiate.

All in all, if I was the prosecutor, I would have pushed for a charge of manslaughter.

On a side note, I think someone should conduct a study on a connection between junk food and violent, irrational behaviour.
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Hmm. I didn't see in the article whether he was charged with murder or manslaughter or what...if he were charged with murder, I can definitely see the legal case as to why he may be acquitted. If they charged him with manslaughter, however, I'm not sure why they would acquit him.
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To everyone jumping to the conclusion that this guy is guilty:
Have you ever had the pleasure of confronting four intruders in your home? They were unarmed, you say? How the hell was this guy supposed to know that?!! They were kids?? Yeah, teenage kids committing crimes have never been known to be armed, act irrationally, or KILL people. Shot in the back "execution" style? We don't know the details, so slow down on that jump to a conclusion. Sudden movements in tense situations lead to alot of unnecessarily dead people. (ask all the well trained police officers who have fumbled the same ball) I'm betting Mr Gonzalez had f*ckin' had it with piece of sh*t criminals in his house, was scared, and had a chip on his shoulder. (all understandable) That being said, he obviously handled a difficult and infuriating situation poorly. He should have just held them at bay until police arrived. Then again, since we don't know the details, who's to say that wasn't what he was trying to do, when one of the kids decided to make a break for it before the cops arrived, banking on the old man not shooting? That kid's sudden movement opens up the situation to all kinds of interpretation. Point being, given our information, this is anything but an open and shut case.
To Cheeseduck: When you were a kid, they didn't have metal detectors at school. "Calling the parents" doesn't quite cut it for felony offenses.
To Jeremy: "Buy a better lock"?!! You give naive bleeding heart liberals a bad name.
To Mouserz: Can't wait til you're shot in the back robbing an old man.
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They were young and stupid. A friend is having the same problem. 3 times in the past 2 months the kids have broken in to "sling" crack out of her back window. She knows who they are but can't get proof.

Although this story is of younger kids I'm all for shooting but not with a "live" load. I was raised country and rock salt will make you want to be shot with lead shot.

I don't agree with the "gangland" approach this guy used. Once he had them down he should have called the cops. Not psychologically terrorize them and then shoot one of them in the back.

Rock salt stings for days as it slowly melts and rarely can be removed like a lead pellet.
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I have determined through careful study that everyone who disagrees with me on this topic is a troll, who is seeking to make a funny. I can think of no other explanation for the outpouring of inflammatory, morally and logically inconsistent arguments.

I shall now laugh.

Ha ha ha.

You got me fellas, I almost believed you for a minute.
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I live in the England and am very grateful for this.
As a young girl, I was once caught liberating a zoom ice cream from my local shop, and the owner either took it back and banned me from the shop, or cut my head off and raped it. I forget which one. My point is, he didn't have a gun (and had no desire to own one) and only felt that only a head - raping was necessary, I think. Please America, put it down, and relax. No-one is out to get you.
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If someone breaks into your house and decides to have a cop of coffee while robbing it that doesn't mean they were only looking to steal a little caffein. You people at neatorama really need to get your heads checked or maybe your houses robbed so you know what its like!
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The thing that doesn't make sense to me are these two parts:

"Then, the medical examiner testified, Anguiano was shot in the back at close range."

and

"Gonzalez said he thought Anguiano was lunging at him when he fired the shotgun."

Ok, I understand that under stress things get hazy and otherwise innocent actions can be misinterpreted, but I can't see how you can shoot someone in the back while they are lunging towards you.

I disagree with his vigilantism in the end it was still a murder, justifiable in the eyes of the law yes, but it was still an act of murder. The kids broke in, but he forced them to surrender then shot them. Regardless of how much easier killing them there it is it doesn't make it right.
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I live in this town, and this is a gross misrepresentation of what happened -- these kids are vandals and gang members. They had broken into his house several times already
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>Yet another reason to never to go to Texas.

Or, maybe, yet another reason never to break into someone else's house?

Sorry, but it works my nerves when people think that because of the castle doctrine, Texans are all a bunch of crazy gun nuts like the guy on "The Simpsons" who dances and shoots his pistols in the air.

Yes, this was excessive interpretation of the castle doctrine. Yes, he shot a child in the back. These points are true and shameful. I've never been to Laredo, but understand that at one point it was the auto-theft capital of Texas. If I lived in a high-crime area where police were not likely to show up quickly or even at all, I'd want to be able to defend my person and property. And, as someone else pointed out, these kids weren't apprehended while doing something you know, lawful.

I'm sorry for the death, but please don't be blind and bigoted about the entire state because of this.
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Crime will always go on. How we respond to it reveals something about our own humanity and respect for it (or lack thereof).

Americans enjoy their sense of themselves as pioneering, free-range sorts. They value their "freedom" and their scrappiness. That's all well and good, if somewhat simplistic. But I feel like some of the responses here are born out of that kind of blind renegade spirit--a spirit that, while certainly useful at the dawn of our country and in all our various creative endeavors, has morphed in contexts such as this into a rigid, ignorant and dangerous attitude of fear masked as aggression.

I love this country, a lot. But we can be brave and righteous and compassionate all at the same time. Those who seek to justify a killing that was not strictly necessary are at the very least at risk, I think, of perverting the pride and spunk they associate with their national identity into a rather barbaric version of its former self-- of disrespect, or at least lack of meaningful consideration, for human life.
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Home invasion=getting shot. Kids are as dangerous as adults, and have less impulse control. They aren't legally accountable, and a lot of parents don't care what they do. It sounds like a really enraging ghetto situation, without a solution. I guess the guy could have gotten rich and moved. Or he could just absorb it forever without letting his charity and humanity be compromised. It's sad on a lot of levels.
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It makes me sick to think how are society has turned so Pro Criminal. Yes, lets please defend the little bastard that broke into another persons house. He wasn't shot over twinkies. Make no mistake. He was shot for breaking in. Do you blame the fuel or the fire? Kid would still be alive if he hadn't gone in. I'm a true Democrat but have no respect for worthless criminals. Nor will I defend any. Again, Kid would be alive had he not broken in. Stop blaming the innocent and place blame on those that deserve it. The criminals. The way I see it, this homeowner is a hero. He deserves a medal for cleaning out the trash. We are a ruined society when a homeowner feels he can't defend his/her own home and property because he/she might be charged with a crime. Ridiculous. Wake up, America. This is why the criminals are winning.
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