Optics Jedi Master
07:37 PM CDT on Wednesday, September 3, 2008By BLANCA CANTÚ / The Dallas Morning News
Kellie Hoehn was finishing one last chore before heading to bed early Wednesday when two men in ski masks shattered the glass on the front door of her Blue Mound home and shoved a shotgun in her face.
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“It was the most horrific thing,” she said, “the scariest thing I could ever imagine.”
The shattering glass woke her 12-year-old son, and Ms. Hoehn told him to grab his 5-year-old sister and hide in his bedroom closet — which the family had designated as a safe place for the children.
One man had a pistol; the other had a shotgun and told her not to scream. But she yelled for her husband, Keith, 32. “He’s got a gun,” she said.
As Mr. Hoehn emerged from the bedroom, Ms. Hoehn grabbed hold of the intruder’s shotgun and pointed it upward and away from the children’s rooms.
“I wasn’t going to let them get to my babies,” the 34-year-old mom said. “No way in hell.”
While Mr. Hoehn wrestled with the intruders, Ms. Hoehn reached for a candle — the only heavy object within reach — and threw it at the man with the shotgun. Her husband grabbed the shotgun, and the struggle spilled out of the home.
Mr. Hoehn shot one of the men, who had jumped into a van parked on the road near the house. Injured, that man fled on foot.
The other intruder, who had been armed with the shotgun, came toward Mr. Hoehn. Ms. Hoehn said she screamed, “Shoot him, shoot him, shoot him.” Mr. Hoehn fired, and the man fell to the ground. When he lunged a second time, Mr. Hoehn fired again.
Dakota Benoit, 20, was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, where he died from shotgun wounds to his chest and abdomen, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.
John Pierson, 25, was apprehended by railroad police about a mile away on Burlington Northern Santa Fe property. He was trying to clean off in a fountain, Fort Worth police said.
Mr. Pierson was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, where he was listed in fair condition Wednesday afternoon. Police said he will face charges of burglary of habitation with intent to commit another felony.
According to Tarrant County court records, both men had criminal histories.
Mr. Benoit had convictions for possession of a controlled substance and theft. Mr. Pierson’s convictions include assault with bodily injury, possession of a controlled substance, burglary of a habitation and unlawfully carrying a weapon.
Mr. Pierson was released from prison in May after serving time for theft, according to Michelle Lyons, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman.
Fort Worth police said they believe the two men were involved in another home invasion about an hour before the Blue Mound break-in.
The first break-in was at a home on Calico Rock Drive about two miles away in Fort Worth. Two men entered through an open garage at about 11 p.m. Tuesday and confronted the 38-year-old homeowner and his wife. The couple’s children were asleep in the home.
The men stole a Honda Odyssey, a laptop, a wallet, a jewelry box and a police radio, which the homeowner had because he’s a member of a crime watch group. The homeowner declined to talk about the break-in Wednesday.
No injuries were reported.
Police said the two men drove the stolen van to the Hoehns’ home on Globe Avenue in Blue Mound. Investigators were trying to determine why their home was targeted. The Hoehns said they have no idea.
“We were just defending our family,” Mr. Hoehn said. “It was a nightmare. We thought we were dead.”
Blue Mound police Lt. Thomas Cain said it is unlikely the couple will face criminal charges.
Friends and family stopped by the Hoehn’s home Wednesday morning to offer support. The front porch still had shattered glass on it. Mr. Hoehn was recovering from cuts and bruises and Ms. Hoehn had a sore back.
“I am not happy that someone is dead,” Ms. Hoehn said. “But I am glad that my family is alive.”
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