San Antonio, Texas

From of August 7, 2007

ASU student shot, killed – Man mistaken as an intruder

The father of a Rowena man says his son inadvertently entered the wrong house early Saturday, then he was mistaken for a burglar and shot to death by a homeowner in San Antonio.

San Antonio police reported they found Tracy Glass, 19, dead near the home of Raymond Lemes, 48. According to a police report, Lemes told officers he was asleep when he heard a scream and realized an intruder was in his northwest San Antonio home.

The intruder ran, and Lemes chased him down the street, the report said. When he caught up with the suspect, Lemes said the man lunged at him, so he shot him, according to the report. Upon arriving at the scene, police found Glass face down, dead with gunshot wounds to the chest, neck and arm.

The police report said Lemes has a license for his .40-caliber Glock pistol.

The homeowner told police the intruder likely gained access to his home through a broken sliding door.

Burnell Glass said Monday that his son was visiting his sister at a house near Lemes’ residence. He said Tracy Glass went for a walk in the early morning and returned to what he thought was the home where he was staying.

When he heard a shout from the home, Tracy Glass turned and left, his father said. When Lemes followed him, Burnell Glass said his son turned around and was shot.

“This was a very tragic accident,” Burnell Glass said.

He said his son was a good person who simply made a mistake.

“He was not a thief,” he said. “He was not troubled or into drugs.”

Media Service Officer Joe Rios of the San Antonio Police Department said the incident is still under investigation. No charges have been filed against Lemes, Rios said.

“My son is dead, and nothing will bring him back,” Burnell Glass said.

“I have no reproach for the man. I will pray for him.”

Tracy Glass most recently worked in San Angelo at El Mejor restaurant and Dean’s Marine, his father said. He will be remembered by family and friends as a man who committed his life to God and to his family, Burnell Glass said.

Tracy Glass graduated from Miles High School in 2006 and was attending Angelo State University. A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Rowena.

Rowena is about 20 miles northwest of San Angelo.

From of August 10, 2007

Family struggles to understand son’s slaying

Carmen and Burnell Glass, two God-fearing cotton farmers from the fields of West Texas, are looking to a higher law these days in grappling with the sudden, violent death of their son.

For others, the slaying of Tracy Glass raises questions embedded firmly in the Texas Penal Code.

The case, experts said, hinges on whether a Northwest Side homeowner thought deadly force was his only option to protect himself or recover property when he chased the unarmed college student to the street and shot him to death.

Raymond Lemes, 48, found Glass inside his house early Saturday morning. Believing Glass was an intruder, Lemes grabbed his .40-caliber handgun and chased the young man outside, where he shot him in the neck, arm and chest, according to a police report.

The report does not indicate whether Glass, 19, took anything from the home. Lemes later told police he meant to detain Glass until authorities arrived, but he fired when Glass “lunged at him,” the report says.

Buoyed by their Christian faith, the Glasses already have forgiven Lemes, whom they’ve never met. But the grieving parents also believe that the slaying of their son was a terrible mistake triggered when he mistakenly entered Lemes’ house and then turned to face the homeowner.

“Tracy was not a violent person. He was not a thief,” said Burnell Glass. “He was taught when you step on somebody’s toes, you turn around and say, ‘I’m sorry.'”

Glass, a sophomore at Angelo State University who grew up on his family’s farm, had been staying at his sister’s house on Autumn Evening the night he died.

That house is painted white with blue trim and is on the right side of the cul-de-sac. Lemes’ house is also white with blue trim and is on the right side of another cul-de-sac, Autumn Star. One home is directly behind the other.

Living in a rural area, Glass had picked up the habit of taking late-night walks to get better reception on his cell phone, his father said. On Saturday, he sent a text message to his girlfriend and left his sister’s house.

“When she called back, there was no answer,” Burnell Glass said.

What happened next remains under investigation, said police spokesman Gabe Trevino.

(More, including several sidebars of interest)


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