Should Texas Homeowner Face Charges For Shooting 21-Year-Old Knocking on Door?

Last Monday, a Texas homeowner fatally shot a 21-year-old man who was knocking on his door at 4 a.m. and, allegedly, refused to leave. 

Andrew Russell was the young man’s name.  

Russell suffered from epilepsy and seizures and recently had an electrical device implanted in his brain in the hopes that it would alleviate his suffering.  

Cynthia Williams, Russell’s mom, believes he had an episode on the night of his death and mistakenly wandered outside the home. 

“We can’t tie him down to a bed. He’s an adult,” she said. “And sometimes whenever he has seizures, he does wander.”

Police told KDFW-TV that Russell knocked on the doors of several houses in the Saginaw neighborhood before he ended up at the homeowner’s residence.

The homeowner reportedly told Russell to leave but as the young man was walking away he suddenly turned back and rushed toward the homeowner. 

That’s when the homeowner opened fire.

In a statement to investigators, the homeowner said, he “was threatened at that point and felt the need to defend himself.”

Williams disagrees. Though she wasn’t there, she believes the homeowner was too quick to pull the trigger.

SEE ALSO: Fresno Home Targeted by Burglars, Homeowner Shoots Teen Home Invader

I’m very questionable [sic] of what happened. I think there’s more to this,” she said.

The incident was caught on camera, so police will be examining the footage as part of the investigation. Hopefully, it provides more clarity as to how things played out.

“This was not justified. The homeowner could have secured himself in the home,” Williams said. “He could have called 911. They could have spoken to him through the door, through a Ring camera.”

Saginaw Asst Police Chief Russell Ragsdale acknowledgedRussell’s medical condition.

However, that may not be relevant because the homeowner was not privy to that information at the time of the encounter.

“It could have some factor into it,” saidRagsdale. “Ultimately, it’s going to be the grand jury that makes a determination if this is a castle doctrine defense case or if this is a homicide case.”

Police also said that there was a burglary in the neighborhood several days earlier and that may have put the homeowner on high alert.

As mentioned, the details of the case will be presented to a grand jury. It will utlimately decide whether the homeowner will face charges.

Thoughts and prayers to all involved. As based on the available facts, this seems like a tragedy through and through. Your $.02?

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Republican Patriot February 1, 2022, 10:32 am

    If he shot an unarmed kid who wasn’t even in his house he’s a menace and should be prosecuted.

  • Stephen November 15, 2021, 9:18 pm

    If the deceased was trying to break in thru the door, then it would be justified. If the owner went outside it would be hard to say he was in fear of bodily harm or death. The homeowner who was safe inside his home should not have gone outside. Grand jury will most likely come back with a True Bill.

  • dave brown November 12, 2021, 1:43 pm

    We don’t know enough to tell what was done correctly or not. But, any 5 year old knows not to open the door. What I do know is I would have gone to the door with my daily carry and talked to him with the door closed. Now I also have a locked storm door, and a chain on the main door, so I would have had a bunch of options, I am guessing this guy could have done anything other than open the door. That or if this guy was scared or concerned he could have called 911. Sure the LE might not have got there quick, but the guy was safe inside his house with his firearm. I have been a Gunner for 57 years and a DC for over 40 years, and to me we seem to have become Shoot Em Happy, SAD. Now if you disagree that is your right, but you should hope you ain’t on the receiving end of what has become way to come now-a-days. God Bless Us All

  • anthony November 12, 2021, 12:02 pm

    If the 21 year old was unarmed then throw the shoots ass in jail. Too many cup cakes who hide behind their guns.

    • Dean R. November 13, 2021, 5:05 am

      Hey ant.

      Why don’t you go shoot your ignorant asparsgus hole off somewhere else.

      You don’t belong here.

    • Yep yep November 15, 2021, 3:28 pm

      Age is a weapon when you’re 50 years younger!! Cupcakes also hide behind keyboards 😉

  • LJ November 12, 2021, 9:39 am

    Of course his mom questions the need to use a gun. All “little Johnnies” are good kids until they do something stupid and loose their life over it. “The home owner …” – should’a, could’a, would’a, as they say. We haven’t seen the video of the incident yet but it sounds to me like the homeowner gave this person the benefit of the doubt.

    He told him to leave and as he did he turned back and started running towards the homeowner. We don’t know what was said. Was he violent? Agitated? Using a threatening tone? Sounds to me like the homeowner did all he was required to do. He had the right to protect himself and his family.

    • ken January 31, 2022, 11:40 am

      WAnt to get away with murder or terrorism ask OJ..you sound like a loud mouth PUNK..just like that thief jogger..the guy was unarmed asking for freaking HELP..but a bum like ya have not a clue.this POS was waiting to kill an unarmed KID..funny if this kid was black be a different story and you be singing different tune

  • PilotBill November 12, 2021, 9:21 am

    The homeowner took a gun to the door to confront an individual face to face. Perhaps a face to face confrontation wasn’t necessary and foolish. That’s inconsequential. People make mistakes all the time but their lives should not be deemed indefensible from a perceived attacker because of a moment of stress induced lapse of judgment. A homeowner is also well within his right to carry in Texas even to his own front door. Whether he would have confronted the individual without a gun is also inconsequential and hearsay.

    The deciding factor is if the homeowner had time to retreat and if the man truly lunged at the homeowner. That is it. If the homeowner was close enough the perceived attacker could grab the door and gain entry to the home before it could be closed and locked then it is a tragedy but not an unlawful one.

    This is an example to all of us as to why you should train and decide ahead what you would do. Whether unlawful or not no man would be charged or shot if there had been a pre-decided plan by the homeowner but that does not make him guilty in and of itself.

  • allonright November 12, 2021, 9:11 am

    It seems “GA” is censoring comments…apparently critical thinking and meaningful debate is not allowed here – guess the lefty censors have infiltrated this site too.

    Well, okay. Good to know. Please remove me from your mailing lists and unsubscribe me from ANY electronic notifications, mailings, ads, etc. You obviously don’t need MY eyes (or wallet) for your ads.

    • dave brown November 12, 2021, 1:46 pm

      You can read so read my comment above. As for you it appears the best thing you can do for most of us is to Leave and take your closed mind with you. Now, I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, but what you say here tells me I do not want to know you! Yet, God Bless You.

  • Alej Marcos November 12, 2021, 9:07 am

    Unlike most Northern states, Texas law favors the homeowner. Deadly force may be used in defense of self AND/OR property, AND the property and/or person of others.

  • Nick November 12, 2021, 8:52 am

    I would like to see the video. Unless it shows something egregious I think the homeowner will not be charged (or at least convicted). This was in TX. In Illinois, I would have already been arrested, fingerprinted and charged for murder. In defense of the victim, I don’t think a burglar would go knocking on doors at 4:00 am because they are smart enough to know they could be shot. This kid was disabled from what I can tell and did not know better. I would NEVER what to put myself in the position of having to shoot and with a door between me and a potential bad guy helps. Keep the gun handy, call the cops and wait…even if the wait is 10 minutes or more.

  • CDB November 12, 2021, 8:38 am

    This is tragic and the homeowner could have called police but this probably happened in a matter of seconds. I would not open my door at 4am.

  • Er November 12, 2021, 8:37 am

    Literally, just 20 miles northwest of this town is Decatur, Texas. One month ago a Decatur man who shot a Texas State Trooper thru the closed door of his house, is facing no charges.
    I know that Plain cloths cop that was shot and was shocked when to hear no charges were made. The guy was driving at a high rate of speed while weaving in and out of traffic and passed a plain cloths cop in an unmarked vehicle. The cop decided to pull the guy over but the guy then exited the highway and ran into his house and closed the door.
    When the plain cloths cop knocked on the door, the guy shot thru his door, striking the cop in the shoulder.
    The guy later claimed that he thought the person who had followed him home was an act of road rage, feared for his life and shot thru the door. The cop did knock on the door and identify himself as a cop just before being shot. That was verified by the doorbell video, but the guy claimed he didn’t hear the cop identify himself before shooting thru a closed door.
    No charges were filed.

    • Armed and Dangerous November 12, 2021, 9:10 am

      While I find it odd that no charges were filed, anyone can identify themselves as police. A smart home invader can shout “police” to get the drop on the homeowner. I don’t see the need to shoot through the door as long as the man was inside his home where he could have called police. If the person outside breaks in, he could be at the ready to shoot then. Seems to me charges should have been filed.

  • CDB November 12, 2021, 8:36 am

    Did the young man die? Was he seriously wounded? Important fact to report.

    • Armed and Dangerous November 12, 2021, 9:17 am

      The first thing the lady on the video said was the guy was “a 21 year old Saginaw man is dead”

    • LJ November 12, 2021, 9:46 am

      It clearly states: ‘homeowner fatally shoots man knocking on door’

  • John November 12, 2021, 8:27 am

    With all the crime that is going on everyone is on edge. Thats what happens when there are not enough police and you are on your own.

  • Rick November 12, 2021, 7:02 am

    My thought after the reading the headline was “yes”.

    My thoughts after reading the story was probably. The homeowner didn’t have to open the door, potentially could have closed the door, and it appears that Andrew was unarmed.

    My take is the homeowner had only one tool in his toolbox box—a gun, so he believed that all he could do in response is shoot.

    • allonright November 12, 2021, 8:57 am

      A tragedy, for sure. However, consider the following:

      It’s 4am. It’s dark. You are startled awake by knocking on your door. You are 80 yrs old and have a sick wife who is having an anxious reaction to the repeated knocking…Or, say you are in your 30’s with a wife and an infant in a crib in the next room.

      What would you do?
      1) Do you grab the gun you have to protect yourself and your family and investigate the intruder at the door?

      2) Do you run to the kitchen and grab a kitchen knife and investigate the intruder at the door?

      3) Hide in your bedroom huddled around your wife and infant, hoping the police get there quick enough to keep the intruder from breaking in to your home and killing you and infant and raping your wife?

      4) Do you consider the constitutional rights of the intruder at your door, then try to determine what the threat level might be, then try to determine what the local judge and jury will think about your decisions to protect yourself and your family?

      Remember, it’s 4am, dark outside, you have no clue who is banging on your door and you were just startled awake; beyond the fact that it’s not your responsibility to ensure the safety and welfare of an adult who lives in the neighborhood, with health issues that are not known to you.

      • Dr Motown November 12, 2021, 5:14 pm

        Considering everything you’ve said with your multiple scenarios, I certainly wouldn’t open the door @ 4am to talk with the unknown person. I would talk through the door or intercom, have my weapon ready, and wait for him to make the next move (leave peacefully or try to breach the closed door). Meanwhile, wifey has already called 911 to document what’s happening and is keeping the dispatcher aware of what’s happening. Also, since the video evidence hasn’t been released, we don’t know if the homeowner exited his house to confront the individual, which may very well negate his “castle doctrine” defense and make him appear to be the aggressor.

  • Sneed Hurn November 12, 2021, 5:35 am

    Why would the home owner confront the person outside the house at 4am. If the home owner was that concerned for his safety that he needed to have a weapon with him he should have stayed in the house and called the police. If the unknown person had broken into the house then, in my opinion, lethal force would be justified.
    I wonder it the home owner would have confronted the person if he didn’t have a weapon? I doubt it. I’m a retired law enforcement officer. I’m all for protecting your home. However, when you look for trouble when there are other alternatives, calling 911for example, those alternatives should be used. Shooting someone should be the last resort.

  • Dannis Peavy November 12, 2021, 3:08 am

    Only a fool , a Rambo , or a liberal would make a judgement on that without knowing all the facts

    • allonright November 12, 2021, 9:03 am

      Bingo!

  • SIGO November 11, 2021, 9:53 am

    Honestly, without seeing the video, I’m not 100% sure. If the young man turned and lunged at the homeowner, therefore presenting a threat, then the homeowner responded appropriately. Whether the homeowner used prudence, by answering the door at 4am, or not does not change the situation. Based on the information presented, the homeowner should not be charged.

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