DPS Trooper attacked during attempted home invasion in Kirby
KIRBY, Texas —
KIRBY, TX – A backyard prowler discovers he’s hit up the wrong home when he comes face to face with a state trooper, who was shot with his own gun during the ensuing struggle.
It happened just before midnight Thursday on Tom Stafford Drive, named after a famous astronaut. Police say the suspect definitely wasn’t there to stargaze.
The trooper heard noise in the backyard, grabbed his service gun and put on his ballistic vest.
He told fellow troopers that when he confronted the robber, somehow the gun went off and he got hit - but the vest stopped the bullet short.
“That’s the second time he’s been broken into,” says neighbor Louis Talamantez. “Apparently this time, I guess they collide.”
The robber got away. The Department of Public Safety would not speak on camera about the attempted home invasion but confirms the Texas Rangers are now leading the investigation and the search for the suspect. Authorities have not released a description of the man.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” says retired trooper Ben Zamora.
He says he heard the news and knew instantly the injured homeowner is his friend, 42-year-old Edward Sombrano, a nine-year DPS veteran.
"Edward's a real nice fellow. I like him. He's a good trooper,” Zamora says. “I've known him to always be serious doing his job, like he's supposed to."
Over breakfast at a nearby restaurant, Zamora recounted his nearly four decades in law enforcement - the camaraderie, and the pain when you someone you know is in the line of fire.
"Any time it hits any law enforcement officer, especially one that's worked with you or has worked with you, it's very close to home,” Zamora says.
The trooper was taken to SAMMC with non-life threatening injuries and is expected to be okay. But if he could become a victim of crime, neighbors now fear for their own safety.
"Are they hitting these guys because they're trying to send out a message: we can hit you no matter who you are?" Talamantez says.
Chief Kevin Bois from the Kirby Police Department says this kind of crime is rare in the suburban city. The attempted home invasion was the second robbery of the year.
By EMILY BAUCUM