ELGIN, Texas (KXAN) — Elgin police say a jewelry store owner shot and killed a burglar inside the store early Monday morning.
Just before 1 a.m., police responded to a call about shots fired along Highway 290. Upon arrival at Harper’s Jewelry Store, between Ochoa and Main streets, the store owner reportedly told police he had shot and killed a burglary suspect.
Police say the owner was in a back room when 41-year-old Robert Trevino broke in with a hammer and tried to break a jewelry case. That’s when the owner confronted him with a .12-gauge shotgun.
“The suspect turned toward the owner, had something in his hand that we later found out was a hammer, and the owner shot the suspect one time, killing him instantly,” said Elgin police Chief Chris Bratton. Police say Trevino was hit once in the neck.
Police say then the store owner, 46-year-old Juan Torres, ran into the parking lot and opened fire on Trevino’s truck. Police say two women sitting inside the vehicle were Trevino’s accomplices. They were hit by flying glass, but no bullets. They were identified as Sulema Sanchez, 48, and 37-year-old Amanda Yanes. Both have criminal records.
A records search on Trevino also pulled up a long history of evading arrest, assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and burglary. Records show Trevino used the street name, “Rooster”.
Police say he was recently implicated in a burglary at the same jewelry store two weeks ago, but Trevino’s family members deny that. Debra Trevino, the suspect’s cousin, says her cousin was never interviewed by detectives regarding that case, and she does not believe he was involved.
“It’s devastating,” she said. “I understand you have the right to protect your property, but killing him was overkill. He would have laid down and given up, if he had the chance.”
She says Trevino’s truck had the tire blown out, the windshield blown out and had several bullet holes from the owner opening fire on it. Police would not allow the media to see the truck.
It’s still unclear whether the store owner will face charges for opening fire on the truck in the public parking lot. The case will be handed over to the district attorney as soon as Elgin police complete their investigation.