Dallas Man Shoots, Kills Burglar Then Goes Back to Bed Before Calling Police

James Meyer fired his handgun at least twice at a man in his yard… and then went back to bed. (Photo: Dallas County Sheriff’s Office)

A Dallas man on Thursday gave the self-defense community a tour-de-force in how not to act following a would-be home invasion.

James Michael Meyer, 72, has been charged with murder after he shot and killed a man who he claims was breaking into his shed with a pickax. The man fled, and after Meyer fired a shot “into the night,” he told police he went back to bed, according to an affidavit obtained by the Dallas Morning News.

Meyer’s bond was set for $150,000 on Friday, and he is no longer in custody, according to MSN.

Meyer told police he awoke to a sound in his yard, and when he went to investigate – handgun in tow – he saw someone using a pickax to break into his storage shed. Meyer said he ran out of his house yelling for the man to stop and told him he’d shoot if the man came any closer.

SEE ALSO: WATCH: North Carolina Man Holds Three Burglars at Gunpoint until Police Arrive

The man took several steps toward Meyer, so the homeowner fired his handgun once, according to Meyer’s recollection in the affidavit. The man fled towards the park behind the house, which is when the Meyer fired an additional shot “into the night” in the direction of the park.

Unsure whether he hit the burglar, Meyer went back to bed. When he awoke two hours later, he told police he saw something that looked like a “black bag” lying in the park, which turned out to be the intruder from the previous night.

The affidavit notes that Meyer’s wife called an attorney before the couple called the police. While on the phone with the dispatcher, Meyer refused to answer questions. Instead, he repeated that he was the victim of a crime and that medical assistance was needed.

SEE ALSO: Memphis Man Not Facing Charges After Killing Two Burglars with AK-47

When police arrived, they also discovered that Meyer had already thrown the spent shell casings in the trash, according to the affidavit.

Texas law includes “castle doctrine” language, but it applies the doctrine only in a person’s “habitation,” which it defines as “a structure or vehicle adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons.” In addition, the affidavit points out 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.”

It perhaps goes without saying, but former Crockett County, Texas, Sheriff Jim Wilson recommends calling 9-11 “immediately” following any kind of self-defense shooting.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • MeeesterPaul January 31, 2022, 1:12 pm

    sheriff “recommends calling 9-11 “immediately””
    What if he never called?

  • Reader February 5, 2021, 7:46 am

    I don’t understand how cops can kill with impunity and the courts usually always call the shooting “justified” – even when they’re not – such as the Michael Bell killing, Eric Quick killing, and Brionna Taylor killing. Then, if a homeowner is afraid and shoots they’re charged and often do jail time – such as the man who killed a teen when they broke into his house.

  • Joe October 24, 2019, 8:42 am

    Sounds like he got his priorities straight.

  • Ej harbet October 11, 2019, 1:28 am

    I’m not critical of the 2hour nap at 72 that had to be stressful.my big issue is the”chaser round”that could’ve went on and hit a innocent.
    I’d attribute picking up the brass to stress and lack of modern training.
    And the punishment would be a good scolding and strong urging for him to take a good class which in texas you can almost trip over.

  • DH October 4, 2019, 7:55 am

    He’s 72 and confused. Bad guy came to his property In the middle of the night to commit a crime. He may have handled the aftermath wrongly, because of his advanced age, but the initial encounter with the criminal was justified. Not guilty…

    • phil October 4, 2019, 8:14 am

      The man is facing charges….unfair at best….but he will be going to trial.

    • Mark Wynn October 5, 2021, 2:35 pm

      I’m 76. I’m not confused. But then I go to Issac Walton range once a month (can’t find enough ammo to go more frequently), and I also think out what I would do, and not do, if confronted with a situation at home.

  • Dr Motown October 1, 2019, 5:24 pm

    He should have called police immediately and stuck to the story that the perp made a move towards him. Now, his future is murky

  • SuperG October 1, 2019, 10:24 am

    Through his own actions, he knew he’d done something wrong, by disposing of evidence and hiring an attorney before calling the police. Still, we do have a dead criminal and a living victim, so I say let him go.

    • Robert Messmer October 4, 2019, 11:55 pm

      What evidence? The spent shell casings? He already said he fired his gun, the first time when the perp advanced towards him with the pickaxe in his hand. The second shot was fired wildly into the night which is a big no-no. I doubt seriously that there were any type of marks on the casings that have any thing to do with the case. How many rounds did they dig out of the corpse? Was a pickaxe present?

    • Ashley Fletcher October 5, 2019, 4:47 am

      Exactly! Because of the way it was handled by the homeowner. It has to be investigated. Hey! I’m 47 and I know how important sleep is to me! At 72 I can understand TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS at night and going back to bed. Hell! The deputies, investigators, crime scene people and everyone else who got to sleep all night because of him waiting to call should be thankful!! The way the libiot politicians,some libiot police chiefs and government people act about guns. Who the hell can blame him for calling a lawyer before calling the cops! If liberals continue to try to criminalize law abiding gun owners? Then we will begin to act like criminals. No longer will we call the police, help those in trouble or be the generally good American people we are! Let’s see how fast society will crumble when WE THE PEOPLE are forced to act like criminals. Liberal ignorance and unbelievable stupidity will destroy America if allowed!!!

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