La Vernia, Texas

From of October 2, 2007

Elderly man shoots, kills suspected burglar

An elderly man in La Vernia caught two burglars in the act, but they were no match for his trigger finger and his shotgun. One of the men is dead, and the other is behind bars.

“He’s an old timer up there in the county and an old hunter,” Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt Jr. said.

And 83-year-old Raymond Bunte wasn’t afraid to defend someone else’s home.

“He didn’t take any mess, I mean he meant business,” Tackitt said.

Bunte heard suspicious noises next door on a rural road in La Vernia at about 2 p.m. Friday. He stumbled across a kicked in door and two thieves helping themselves to Dolores Hendershot’s valuables. He blocked their exit and ordered the men out and on the ground. But 23-year-old Dustin Houston didn’t get very far when he tried to flee.

“One of them for sure is never going to do another burglary,” Tackitt said.

That’s because Houston was shot dead through the windshield. Deputies say 24-year-old Steven Christopher Muniz then took off running. Texas Rangers tracked him down in San Antonio.

“If it’s a matter of your life or someone else’s life? You do what you have to do to protect yourself,” Tackitt said.

It will be up to a grand jury to decide whether or not Bunte’s actions were justified or if he will face charges.


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