HOUSTON (May 9) - A 7-year-old boy who was allegedly shot in the head by a couple who thought he and three other people were trespassing on their property died Saturday, authorities said.
Donald Coffey Jr. died Saturday morning at a Houston hospital, less than two days after the boy was struck in the head by shotgun pellets, Liberty County Sheriff's Cpl. Hugh Bishop said.
Sheila Muhs and her husband, Gayle Muhs, both 45, were charged with second-degree felony counts of aggravated assault in the shootings Thursday. They were being held at Liberty County Jail with bail set at $25,000 each and had not yet retained an attorney, Bishop said.
Bishop said the district attorney could upgrade the charges to murder on Monday, but investigators were "still trying to get the circumstances behind the incident."
The boy, his 5-year-old sister, their father and a family friend were off-roading near a residential area about 40 miles northeast of Houston when they were shot after stopping so the children could go to the bathroom.
Authorities said the couple fired after they mistakenly thought the group was trespassing on their property.
Bishop said the area includes a dirt road, trees and overgrown brush and that it wasn't uncommon for people to go off-roading there. The Houston Chronicle reported that a sign in front of the suspects' home reads: "Trespassers will be shot. Survivers will be reshot!! Smile I will."
Liberty County Chief Deputy Ken DeFoor said Sheila Muhs fired a 12-gauge shotgun once, then handed it to her husband, who also fired once.
DeFoor said Sheila Muhs then called 911 and told the dispatcher: "They're out here tearing up the levee, so I shot them."
DeFoor said the levee belonged to the subdivision and was not private property.
Bishop said there was no indication the unarmed victims did anything threatening toward the Muhs.
Donald Coffey Sr. suffered a pellet wound in his right shoulder and his daughter, Destiny, suffered a wound to the elbow. The family friend, 30-year-old Patrick Cammack, was in serious condition Saturday with a head wound, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center spokeswoman Alex Rodriguez said.
example number 842 351 why there needs to be stricter gun control laws.
This isn't a gun control issue. This is a f*ckin retard issue. Most people who have guns legally(and these 2 idiots very well may have purchased a gun(s) legally being that it's Texas) don't cause problems.
you're allowed to open fire on someone if they're on your lawn?
is that really the law down there!?
Texas Penal Code states:
9.41. PROTECTION OF ONE'S OWN PROPERTY.
(a) A person in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property isjustified in using force against another when and to the degree theactor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to
prevent or terminate the other's trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property.
(b) A person unlawfully dispossessed of land or tangible,movable property by another is justified in using force against the other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the forceis immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession and:
(1) the actor reasonably believes the other had no claim of right when he dispossessed the actor; or
(2) the other accomplished the dispossession by using force, threat, or fraud against the actor.
9.42 DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY.
(a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:
(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and
(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the
(3) he reasonably believes that:
(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or
(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.
Regardless of the law, the people weren't trespassing to begin with.