Police have charged a Dallas man with murder after he told authorities he shot a burglar and went back to bed before calling 911.
James Michael Meyer, 72, is being held at the Dallas County Jail on $150,000 bond, the Dallas Morning News reported.
According to police documents, Meyer said he was awakened early Thursday morning by a man trying to break into his storage shed with a pick ax.
After arming himself with a handgun, Meyer said he went outside and shouted at the man, warning him not to get any closer, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
According to Meyer, he fired off a round after the intruder charged, causing the man to drop his pick ax and run off. Meyer told police he fired another shot “into the night” in the direction of a nearby park.
Unsure of whether he’d struck the man, Meyer told authorities he went back to bed. Two hours later, police were dispatched to Meyer’s residence in response to a home invasion call.
Officers located the suspected home intruder’s body in a park behind Meyer’s home. Rescue workers eventually determined that the deceased individual had been dead for a while.
The police affidavit noted that “from the suspect’s accounts, the threat of serious bodily injury against him was over when the complainant dropped the pickax and ran off.”
The affidavit also revealed that Meyer’s wife called an attorney before her husband contacted police. Meyer refused to answer the dispatcher’s questions, according to the affidavit, saying he was in need of medical attention and that he’d been the victim of a crime.
Neighbors’ statements to investigators contradicted Meyer’s account of the number of shots he said he’d fired, according to the Morning News.
The gun debate in Texas
Texas has become a hotbed in the debate over firearms and gun violence.
A series of laws that took effect in September made it easier to obtain firearms in a state known for already having loose restrictions on gun ownership.
The laws passed in the 86th Texas Legislature before an Aug. 3 mass shooting in El Paso claimed the lives of 22 victims, CNN reported.
Some Texans have gone against the grain in a state known for a strong culture of gun ownership.
Earlier this year, local news crew followed a Texas gun owner as he surrendered his AK-47 to police.
But other Texans have pushed back against the move to turn the state blue on guns.
A Republican state representative Briscoe Cain responded to pro-gun control remarks by Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke earlier this month by tweeting: “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.”