Off-Duty Houston Officer Kills Burglary Suspect at Home

June 11, 2011
An off-duty Houston police officer shot a group of men who broke into his home, investigators said.


An off-duty Houston police officer shot a group of men who broke into his home, investigators said.

Harris County sheriff's deputies said Lt. Donald Hamilton was at his home on South Presidents Drive near Teck Court when he heard knocking at his front door about 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Hamilton ignored the knocking, and a few seconds later heard knocking at his back door, officials said.

Detectives said Hamilton went to investigate and spotted three men breaking a window.

Deputies said the intruders saw Hamilton, but they kept coming inside.

Hamilton fired several shots at the men, detectives said.

Investigators said there were a total of four intruders and at least two of them were shot. One of the men died and the other was taken to Ben Taub Hospital. A third suspect was arrested and the fourth got away, deputies said.

Police said they found the fourth person's getaway car and it is being processed for evidence.

Neighbor Roslyn Larsen said she heard the shots.

"After I heard the shots, I came downstairs," said Larsen. "We saw the young man out on the concrete, face down."

Antonio Ford lives just a few houses down from Hamilton. He also works in law enforcement and said the neighborhood has recently been terrorized by thieves.

"We've had some issues to transpire in the neighborhood, and (the thieves) made some poor decisions on yesterday," Ford said. "There are several officers who live in the neighborhood. I'm a police officer. I've had some issues."

Detectives said they are working to determine if the intruders were armed.

Hamilton is 28-year veteran of the Houston Police Department and is assigned to the Southeast Patrol Division.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident. The Houston Police Department said it would conduct an internal review, which is customary in cases like this.

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