HOUSTON - Authorities are investigating at least three shootings this week when the victim of a robbery or burglary shot the people allegedly committing the crimes.
Since Sunday, three people have been shot in Houston while authorities say they were attempting robberies. Of the three people shot, two of them died.
"The way society is going, more and more people are going to look to that and say hey look, the officers can’t defend us because there’s not enough of them to be here," said Douglas Griffith, President of the Houston Police Officers’ Union. "So, they are going to take matters into their own hands."
One of the shootings occurred on Sunday in Humble. Investigators believe a man was being robbed by two teenagers outside a convenience store. That’s when authorities say the victim’s friend saw what was happening and shot both teens. One of the teenagers died.
"If you’re [a] criminal, you may want to think about it," said Griffith. "There are people out there who are tired of this. They’re going to do what they have to do to protect their property."
On Monday, a woman was found dead in a ditch in Northwest Harris County. Law enforcement believes she was shot after burglarizing cars. Another man she had been with managed to run away.
"I would caution people to be careful when using deadly force," said Charles Adams, a FOX 26 contributor, former judge and former police officer.
Last week, there was a shootout between a gun owner and someone allegedly trying to steal his girlfriend’s vehicle outside his home. Authorities say the gun owner was shot and killed after confronting the alleged burglar.
"A gun is not a magic wand," said Adams. "If you’re going to carry a gun, don’t have the mistake and belief that brandishing it is going to fix all your problems. You need to train, train, train. Use it as a tool, but only when you absolutely have to."
Officials urge gun owners to know the laws and to only use deadly force if absolutely necessary.
"We tell people, use caution," said Griffith. "Call us. Let us deal with these guys."