A 75-year-old Texas man jumped into action when he noticed that a would-be thief was trying to steal his trailer. When Jimmy Rotan noticed that his trailer, which held a John Deere Gator and was parked inside of his property’s fence, was being driven away unexpectedly, he managed to grab his firearm and shoot the suspect before he could get far.
Rotan told KHOU-TV that he was about to eat breakfast on Saturday morning when he noticed the theft in progress. “I grabbed my protection and my phone and I come out,” he said, referring to his gun. “The man was trying to steal my property, and I stopped him.”
According to police, the suspect, a 35-year-old Hispanic male, used bolt cutters to gain access to the property and had hitched Rotan’s trailer to his own vehicle. When he tried to drive away, Rotan shot him twice in the arm. The suspect was transferred to a local hospital and is expected to survive, KPRC-TV reported.
Officials also revealed that the suspect already had a felony warrant out for his arrest due to auto theft at the time of the incident. A Harris County grand jury will handle the case. According to Texas law, homeowners can use deadly force to protect themselves against imminent harm, or when a person is unlawfully or forcefully entering their home, vehicle or place of business.
As for Rotan, the incident did not appear to leave him rattled. “I’m fixin’ to go in the house and eat breakfast,” he told KHOU. “He interrupted my breakfast.” When asked whether the suspect said anything to him, Rotan said: “Don’t shoot no more.”
“I’m just happy I stopped him before he got away,” he added.
Neighbors also voiced their support for Rotan’s actions. “If they’re coming in to take what I worked hard for, then why not defend myself?” one neighbor told KHOU.