Houston Pastor, Wife Shoot and Kill Home Intruder

Rev. Jeff Powers and his wife, Julie. (Jeff Powers Facebook)

If 24-year-old Roberto Sanchez thought hitting a pastor’s home in suburban Houston would make an easy score, he discovered his mistake far too late.

Local media reports that United Methodist Church Rev. Jeff Powers and his wife Julie were awakened just before midnight on Saturday by a loud noise coming from their back yard. Going to investigate, they noticed their gate was open and saw someone creeping through their yard.

Both husband and wife retrieved their firearms while “the suspect forced his way and gained entry into the residence,” according to a police report.

That’s when the couple opened fire.

“At that point, they discharged their weapons several times at him and struck him,” a homicide detective at the scene told ABC station KTRK-TV in Houston.

SEE ALSO: Pistol-Packing Pastors Seek Concealed Carry Permits To Protect Their Flock

The couple called 911, went outside, and placed their firearms on the ground to wait for first-responders to arrive. Firefighters pronounced Sanchez dead at the scene.

No charges were immediately filed against Powers and his wife, but a Houston Police Department spokesman told ABC News the case will be presented to a Harris County Grand Jury to decide whether charges will be filed.

Rev. Powers had been the pastor at Westminster United Methodist Church in west Houston. The shooting occurred the night before Powers had been set to deliver his final sermon before turning the church over to a new pastor, Shannon Martin, a spokeswoman for the United Methodist Church in Texas, told ABC News on Monday.

Powers is now the Senior Pastor of Christ Church United Methodist in The Woodlands, according to a Facebook post. It’s unclear whether he delivered his final sermon on May 5, the morning after the shooting, though the Westminster Church website has not posted a sermon from that Sunday.

SEE ALSO: 911 Audio: Pro-Gun Pastor Shoots Robber Then Leads Him To Salvation

Rev. Powers and his wife declined to speak to the media, telling ABC News that the couple “is not making any comments right now.”

The pastor does not appear to hold strong views on firearms or gun rights, according to a survey of his sermons and Facebook account. His only gun-related comment of the last year and a half appeared four days after the Parkland massacre. Rev. Powers shared an article titled, “One Teacher’s Brilliant Strategy to Stop Future School Shootings—and It’s Not About Guns.”  

“Sometimes there are simple approaches to effectively dealing with complex problems,” he said.

In a statement, the United Methodist Church said Powers and his wife are “mourning the loss of life and cooperating fully with authorities.”

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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.

{ 54 comments… add one }
  • joee May 27, 2019, 10:31 pm

    What if the intruder was high on xenex and got disorientated? Why empty two clips? You hold on your tactical position and shot the warning shot first, than legs, than treat them accordingly. It all depends on the situation and circumstances.

  • Mike May 12, 2019, 10:41 am

    Why do media scum always say “No charges were immediately filed…”. Some pos breaks in my house while I’m here he’s dead and police can kma.

  • EM May 11, 2019, 10:18 pm

    Well…I read all the comments and a few are just so stupid. My mother was anti gun and objected to me having even one gun. I enjoyed shooting and even took gun classes for the major platforms, including a CCW class for which I didn’t receive my license. Then…one day that training, as well the one that I got from the CCW class, paid off. Three intruders ran up my driveway after a minute of reporting suspicious activity to a sheriff on the phone. When I saw one of the guys with bright green gloves going towards one of our gates, I told the sheriff I was grabbing my shotgun. By the time I went downstairs I was able to position myself tactically, and I was in control of my breathing and mindset. I was ready to shoot anyone who would have broken into my home. The criminals were all caught within minutes after the fled the sight of my shotgun, but the first sheriff car arrived about 2 minutes or more after the criminals left in their luxury car. We would later see that there were four guys, including the driver, when we went in the sheriff SUVs to identify the criminals. One thing that stayed with me was when my partially disabled mother told me her fingers were shaking so bad she couldn’t dial the phone. After she saw me positioned in a defensive/tactical position, her anti gun stance quickly changed. Where were the sheriffs while all this was happening? They didn’t arrive in a timely manner to stop the threat. I was the first and last responder in that case.

  • Rick Morris May 11, 2019, 9:26 pm

    The stand your ground law was way to late in coming
    If this law had been around there would be far less good guys turned bad by being laced in prison for protecting themselves and there famalies and property. Prisons are a school for criminals 90 % of people that enter prison come out with a colder heart than they had when they went in. The pastor and his wife did what any person in there right mind would do the only way to stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun. I america we are fortunate enough to have the right to keep and bear arms not only for self protection but to make sure we do not fall into the situation of many nations like Venasualla were the govt can come and take all you have and there is nothing you can do about it Thank the founders of this country for having the for site to include the second ammendant with the political situation going on in this country today we will need every advantage we can get to keep the freedoms that so many have died for to protect not only in this country but countries all over the world Thank you Thomas Jefferson Ben Franklin George Washington America is not the good guys that they want to make it many lives were taken and many rights were taken to make this country I hope this is not the best we can be but it is a start . Before we start giving money to blacks because there own people gathered them up and sold them into slavery look at what Andrew Jackson did to the real native Americans do some research Hitler did no more to the jews than Jackson did to the native Americans also look for the AMAII American militia against Illegal immigration if we are not careful we will be the Indians.

  • JD May 11, 2019, 11:35 am

    “suspect forced his way and gained entry into the residence” = a reasonable fear. Good thing the couple had armed themselves and were able to put a stop to years of additional crimes against themselves and other people. Good riddance to the filthy criminal, but, I’m sorry the pastor and his wife are having to go through this.

  • eddie-eddie May 11, 2019, 4:32 am

    The man is righteous for sure. Loves God, Guns and even marries a fat lady.

  • Glenn61 May 10, 2019, 8:12 pm

    But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; THEN KILL THEM… !

  • Tyler May 10, 2019, 3:24 pm

    A wonderful heart-warming story. If you violate anyone or their personal space this should be your fate.

  • david huckabee May 10, 2019, 2:58 pm

    not sure about this whole shooting event, but i can appreciate the HIGH STRESS moment. was awakened one night with a BUMP IN THE NIGHT. it is 2 am. i see a something moving at the foot of my bed. i think it is a CAT. we do NOT have a cat. i tap the wife on her back and ask “WHAT IS THAT F ING CAT DOING IN OUR HOUSE”? that is when ALL HELL broke lose, when the AFRO HAIRED individual stood up and made a very NOISY EXIT. i rolled out of bed, grabbed my 38 and tried to follow the individual. wife called 911. cops came in about 8 squad cars. it was a very LONG NIGHT.

  • Stravo Lukos May 10, 2019, 12:44 pm

    What part of “Love your enemies” didn’t those two understand? How about showing me anywhere that Christ or His apostles ever harmed anyone.

    Let the dead bury their dead. Those who live by the sword….

    This is no more an act of Christian valor than pederasty, gluttony, avarice, etc. It is evil, yet those two are puffed up. They should be on their faces begging God to forgive them. Anathema!

    • Phil May 10, 2019, 2:04 pm

      In Samuel the Phillistines banned.blacksmiths so the Isrealites couldn’t arm themselves. In the. New Testament Christ asked if any of his disciples ow ned swords. ‘Two are enough.” In that day it was forbidden for the Jews to own any. My advise is to reexamine the scripture, Stravo.

      • Stravo Lukos January 6, 2020, 9:16 pm

        In so doing, they fulfilled scripture. Now, you’re telling me that Jesus wanted two armed fishermen to face blooded Roman infantry? Really? And what did Christ do when Peter Hoof’n-Mouth lopped off the servant’s ear? Where do we ever read of Christ’s disciples wielding the sword against their enemies? And praytell, why didn’t Jesus use His legions of death angels to save Him? Don’t look to the Old covenants. They’re irrelevant, all fulfilled by Christ Himself. But just for giggles, tell us why David couldn’t build the Temple? What did God tell him? Please don’t condescend. I’ve prayed & studied this marvelous book for 45+ years now. It’s as nourishing now as it was when I first picked it up in earnest.

    • Charles May 10, 2019, 2:37 pm

      Bet you never had to be put in a situation where you had to shoot someone much less kill have you? GOD put a safety switch in all of us not to kill or the whole world would be pretty empty of humans. You sound like you’re slamming the preacher. You were not there sport and you didn’t feel threatened either. However it also stated in the Bible “Judge not less thee be judged also Mathew 7: 1-3…How about about Ecclesiastes 3 has verse 3 where it say’s “a time to kill and time to heal”

    • Highdry May 10, 2019, 4:55 pm

      John 18:10 King James Version (KJV)
      10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

    • Keith May 10, 2019, 5:06 pm

      Ummm, what about when Peter cut the ear off of the soldier? Obviously the apostles traveled armed with weapons of the day.

      To be clear, I’m not defending the pastor. Let’s wait for the grand jury decision.

    • Doc Loch May 10, 2019, 5:32 pm

      You forgot to leave a Sarcasm indicator on your post. If this post is not sarcasm, you need to seriously get into the scriptures and learn A LOT more about Jesus Christ and what he taught and did during his brief but violence filled life.Which ended when he was brutally crucified after his excommunication from his church for apostasy and blasphemy. At least twice he was know to have scourged (innocent) Jewish merchants with a home-made weapon. He was charged with sedition and found guilty by every government court that he appeared in. He was racist in the extreme and was known to pay taxes from fish (likely caught illegally and in a most non-fair chase way) and upon which income he also should have been paying taxes in addition to that which he already owed. Defending oneself against attackers, however, has little to do with what Jesus taught.

    • Rodney A Thompson May 10, 2019, 6:12 pm

      Matthew 10:34  “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword”.

      Luke 22:36  “Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one”.

      Both of these are directly from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself.

      Also – John 2:15  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 

    • Timothy Yorgan May 10, 2019, 6:54 pm

      I love you Pharisaical little snips, who’ve never had to face any real trouble in the form of a physical threat and look down your noses at people who who have exercised their God given right to self defense. I’ve witnessed to many people and one of the objections to joining the body of Christ is the hypocrisy they’ve perceived in people like you. You fill the bill for the phrase…”You’re so heavenly, you’re no earthly good.” Having the sanction of God how many Philistines did Samson kill with the jawbone of an ass? Take your “namby-pamby” self righteousness and peddle it as a missionary with some radical Islamist and see how far you get with your holier than thou attitude.

    • Mark Boyer May 10, 2019, 7:56 pm

      God never said you are supposed to let someone murder you. You have the right to protect yourself even as a Christian. Your comment is moronic and bigoted against Christians.

    • Boris May 10, 2019, 7:59 pm

      You can choose to be the victim. You can chose to be the sacrificial lamb that quietly lays down and submits to your untimely death at the hands of another. It is not your place to judge. If you are as reverent as you purport to be, you wouldn’t be pointing your crooked finger of self-righteousness. “Christ or His apostles ever harmed anyone”. Perhaps they were fortunate enough to never have anyone forcing their way into their homes in the middle of the night intent on doing them harm.

    • Robert May 10, 2019, 8:21 pm

      1. Jesus overthrew the money changers tables in the Temple
      2. What about Peter whacking off the ear of the Temple guard?

    • PGiddy May 11, 2019, 2:21 am

      Seriously? You think G-d wants people to be raped, tortured, or killed by intruders and do nothing? What kind of sicko are you?

    • Mike May 12, 2019, 10:44 am

      You deserve to meet up with some scumbag breaking in your house.

    • nICKO June 21, 2019, 2:33 pm

      Stravo I’m with you on this. For a pastor . TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART mind set was traded

      for a gun. Instead of giving an out come of saving this man soul he took his life.

      • Stravo Lukos January 6, 2020, 9:23 pm

        nICKO– having eyes that see, you see, & ears that hear, you listen. Follow the Anabaptist trail….

  • John May 10, 2019, 12:30 pm

    Based on the report, it seems the criminal was found outside the home. That Police referred this incident to a gran jury indicates they found conflicting information, or they are Libturds that want to prosecute all law-abiding gun owners.

    Remember, this is a Houston suburb…….NOT TEXAS. Houston suburbs are full of white cowardly Liberals who think it is a sin to own a gun. They are mostly Northern transplants who are too stupid to understand that their liberalism is what made their home states unliveable.

    This couple is right to keep their traps shut, AND hire a good lawyer.

  • CaicTarbh May 10, 2019, 12:28 pm

    All shootings, even ones that are blatantly justified, go before a grand jury in Texas. If the DA thinks that it is not justified (or is just a anti-gun leftist loon), he might refer it to the grand jury with charges. If he thinks that it is probably justified, he will refer it to the grand jury without charges. There’s also the possibility that if the DA doesn’t get what he wants, he can submit it to another grand jury in an attempt to get what he wants.

    • Kerry whitworth May 11, 2019, 1:58 am

      If you shoot someone in Texas and AG doesent refer it or it is no billed you better demand a trial to get a not guilty. If you dont you can be prosecuted for iy anytime in the future. Former texas cop

  • Jose E Pena May 10, 2019, 12:18 pm

    You and your plump wife shot and killed a young man under circumstances where you could have avoided killing him by making your presence know before he broke into you home, and now you mourn the loss of his life. You and your wife are disgusting hypocrites. Burn in hell, pastor.

    • Timothy Yorgan May 10, 2019, 7:09 pm

      Bet you’re ugly along with being stupid. You had that coming for referring to the pastors mate as, “your plump wife.” You know absolutely nothing about armed self defense. Letting an insurgent know your location in the dark of night so he knows where to mount his attack is beyond dumb. And you should be ashamed of having the desire for this pastor or anyone for that matter to “burn in hell.” I wouldn’t wish for my worst enemy to spend an eternity in a place of horrible torture created for the devil and his angels. In your blithering ignorance, you have no idea of what a mean spirited thing you’ve wished for a fellow creature.

    • Pro Jalapeño Anti Jose Pena May 10, 2019, 7:52 pm

      Funny. I’m not a Christian and have the same belief that they did – shoot first and ask, if they can answer, why the hell they’d try and enter my home – regardless of “giving them fair warning.”

      My fair warning is that there’s a damned door on my home and it’s locked for a reason their (burglars) safety, not mine. Once breached, their safety is not my concern but my own (family and self) comes into account at that point.

      So, where does that put me, in an eternal void filled with nothingness? Maybe. If it does, I’m putting a locking door on that bitch too, and if anyone enters illegally….

    • Boris May 10, 2019, 8:21 pm

      Perhaps this “young man”, aka: Burglar, shouldn’t have been breaking into someones home in the middle of the night. He is the main contributor to his own death. If he had a legitimate purpose, he would have knocked on the door or rang the door bell. We can only surmise that this “young man” did not have a legitimate purpose. Maybe he was looking for a nice quiet place to study for an upcoming exam and didn’t want to wake up the home owners. It’s a statistical fact that nighttime burglars EXPECT the occupants to be home and are usually armed as a result. Did the homeowners call 911 and make a racket to scare off the “young man”? Did their shouts for him to leave get ignored? I don’t know. I wasn’t there. Neither were you. You shouldn’t be condemning a man and insulting his wife, especially when you don’t have all the facts. One thing you did clearly demonstrate is how ignorant and rude someone can be.

    • Bob Jones May 11, 2019, 2:06 am

      Stupid ass you’re probably illegal yourself

  • Timothy Yorgan May 10, 2019, 11:17 am

    The authorities always want to make sure that the shooting was a “justified” shooting, however, there are hundreds of videos over the years, where cops have shot and killed someone for not following their orders and used the…”He was reaching for what I thought was a gun”, as the impetus. That’s not an anti-cop statement, but only making the point that an intruder shot in the middle of the night, while breaking into the home of the innocent, apparently needs more investigating of the homeowner, than a cop needs for shooting someone. Nothing more, nothing less…it’s just a little lopsided in my estimation. Again, we should support our police, they stand between us and anarchy, but it’s the political wind of anti citizen firearms use and ownership, to which I object.

    • Christopher Sourp May 10, 2019, 1:01 pm

      Well said Sir.

  • Faye Whiddon May 10, 2019, 11:14 am

    Of course they should not be charged…they would both likely be dead if they had not acted.

  • Kimberpross May 10, 2019, 10:29 am

    Good luck to the victims!

    Speculation of what actually took place that night and questioning the situation is a bit unfair without the facts. If I was awakened in the middle of the night to someone breaking in, I believe my mind would be focused on protecting me and mine and not considering the 911 call. That whole scenario could have gone down in less than an minute. At that point forget the cell phone. It is unfortunate that someone protecting themselves has to go through the legal fight. Indiana has a law up for vote, maybe passed already, that will protect the shooter who protecting themselves in their home from civil lawsuits from the perpetrator.

    • PGiddy May 10, 2019, 12:12 pm

      Of course you’re right. Do you want to be fumbling with a cell phone when some maniac is bearing down on your family?

  • Brent Franklin May 10, 2019, 10:25 am

    My guess is, given that this is Texas, and not Austin Texas, no charges will be brought. However, they are not necessarily off the hook. They discovered him BEFORE he broke into the home. One of them could have gone for a weapon while the other turned on lights and made noises to scare him off. Burglers, if that is what he was, don’t try to rob houses where the occupants know they are there before they even get into the home. Now, question if this was a burglary or not. It almost sounds like they were expecting this. Had they been threatened? There seems to be more to this story than is being reported yet

    • Kerry whitworth May 11, 2019, 9:05 am

      Burglars dont break in at night except to do harm. Day burlars want no confronation

  • perlcat May 10, 2019, 10:08 am

    “Pastor’s last sermon was very persuasive; it really blew his congregation away.” Yeah, I’ll see myself out; I know my humor’s pretty dark.

  • Steve May 10, 2019, 9:46 am

    How could they file charges if the a$$H0LE is already dead!!??!! 😉

    • Timothy Yorgan May 10, 2019, 10:47 am

      Steve, it’s easy to fall into the trap you did, because the absurdity catches you off guard…the authorities are actually checking all the evidence to determine whether or not to file charges against the Pastor and his wife, for killing someone, even though the someone is an @$$hole and an intruder. I know, that sounds incredible, but they do that to emphasize the idea, that people can’t just shoot someone on their property, unless it’s a lead-pipe cinch, they were in real, life threatening danger. It’s the old “cry for the criminal and victimize the real victim.”

  • PF Flyer May 10, 2019, 9:40 am

    Why do bad people do things that force good people to do something that then makes them look like the bad person?!

    • Godfrey Daniel May 10, 2019, 10:53 am

      Because bad people think all good people are weak and will do nothing to stop them.

  • Wayne May 10, 2019, 8:18 am

    Prayers for the Pastor and his wife after suffering such a traumatic experience!

  • MB May 10, 2019, 8:05 am

    Unlikely there will be any charges based on existing Texas law, it would be hard to convict anyone who kills an intruder. Stand Your Ground laws authorize deadly force not just when an individual has reasonable fear of death; but also for fear of great bodily harm or a “forcible felony.” In many states, these provisions are potentially authorizing disproportionate force in response to a fear of crimes as low-level as third-degree assault or robbery. But even these crimes involve injury to a person. Texas is different. In Texas, one can use deadly force not just to protect a person, but also to protect personal property, including to “retrieve stolen property at night,” during “criminal mischief in the nighttime” and even to prevent someone who is fleeing immediately after a theft during the night or a burglary or robbery, so long as the individual “reasonably” thinks the property cannot be protected by other means

  • PGiddy May 10, 2019, 7:34 am

    Why put these people through the stress of a Grand Jury? Don’t they have stand-your-ground laws in Houston? In my area, the sheriff would say “have a good day,” and that would be it.

    • GregB May 10, 2019, 9:25 am

      In Texas, it is routine for self-defense scenarios to be referred to a grand jury. Usually always results in a no-bill for a justified self defense case. My concern in this story is that they didn’t appear to initiate a 911 call when first observing the perp in the back yard. Then they could have retrieved weapons for protection in case police did not arrive on scene in time to stop perp from gaining entry to the residence. Shooting someone illegally breaking into your home around midnight while police have already been called and are responding certainly imparts a greater sense of urgency for use of lethal force in my humble opinion.

      I am grateful that a thug was taken off the streets and that the pastor and his wife were unharmed. My statement above is more about wondering how a grand jury might see it, not necessarily my own personal stance.

      • Peter Brown May 10, 2019, 12:06 pm

        With their hearts in their throats and approaching panic stage or in a state of panic, mistakes are made. You’re right, if those on the grand jury are leftist-biased and opposed to the 2nd Amendment, the couple and immediate family will pay.
        Hopefully, those who pray, will pray for them.

      • GunbunnyGuy May 10, 2019, 5:43 pm

        Seems to me like the burden of proof would be on the prosecutor to establish a requirement to dial 911 before you’re assaulted.

  • Dr. Strangelove May 10, 2019, 6:47 am

    Not speaking to the media while waiting for (an unnecessary, IMO) grand jury is a smart move.

    • Sgt. Pop May 10, 2019, 10:24 am

      Amen, classic MAG 20 class instruction also.

    • Peter Brown May 10, 2019, 7:11 pm

      Yes, Very wise! “If it bleeds, it leads”.

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