Raymond Balcerowicz, a 79-year-old Army veteran who owns and operates both Central Guns and Central Barber stores in Crosby, Texas, was startled awake at 4:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning by a loud bang at his gun store, which was on the same property as his apartment. Balcerowicz went to check and discovered that a group of thieves had used a vehicle and chains to pull the doors off his business.
Unfortunately, this was not the first time. Crooks had smashed into Balcerowicz’s Kennings Road shop, which he had owned for almost 40 years, only two months before. This time, though, things would turn out quite differently than previously. In reality, one individual would not survive the firefight between the gun shop owner and the burglar suspects.
As soon as he heard the chaos, which was most likely from the door being pulled, that’s when he came out, so he confronted them pretty swiftly, said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. When the suspects saw Balcerowicz, they fired but missed. Fortunately, he was armed and ready to teach the thieves a thing or two, most notably that his aim was superior to theirs.
Raymond Balcerowicz, who was hiding behind a tree, returned fire with a.25-caliber pistol and did not miss. He rather struck one of them. The culprits fled, leaving a blood trail. A few minutes later, a 20-year-old male with gunshot wounds—subsequently identified as one of the thieves—was discovered outside a vehicle on a roadside near Baytown, roughly 10 miles away, according to authorities.
CPR was attempted, but proved unsuccessful. The suspect, subsequently identified as Jose Flores, 23, was declared dead at the scene. Several stolen firearms were found near the man’s corpse. “A couple of pistols, believed to have been taken during the burglary, were recovered near the deceased male,” Sheriff Gonzalez tweeted.
Two more guys were detained, according to the sheriff, and the vehicle they were in seems to be one of the vehicles used in the commission of the burglary. Angel Cardenas, a 17-year-old Baytown juvenile who cops claim took part in the Crosby gun store heist, was charged with felony murder after his accomplice died from gunshot wounds sustained in the incident.
Flores was hit by bullets from two kinds of guns, one of which was shot by an accomplice, according to a criminal complaint filed against Cardenas. The bullets retrieved from Flores were from.25-caliber and 9mm pistols, the latter belonging to his accomplices, according to medical examiners.
Cardenas, who was accused of murder, was also charged with messing with and falsifying evidence in the case after three firearms — two 9mm and one.40-caliber — were discovered in a burning woodpile. Two of the weapons matched serial numbers taken from the Crosby company. He was ordered detained in the Harris County Jail, with a combined bail of $225,000 imposed.
A lot of shots were fired, Sheriff Gonzalez stated of Raymond Balcerowicz. He’s quite fortunate to be alive. It’s a marvel he’s still alive, but Sheriff Gonzalez doesn’t believe luck has anything to do with it. This is what the Second Amendment, which allows this individual to protect himself and his property, accomplishes. Unfortunately, he must now live with the reality that he was forced to take another man’s life, but as Balcerowicz’s buddy Bill Newcomb noted, he wasn’t given much of a choice.
“What else are you going to do?” Newcomb inquired. “They just keep coming back and breaking in.” This time, at least one of them will not, according to the 79-year-old Army veteran. Let this serve as a warning to other would-be burglars. A war veteran who operates a gun shop is the last person you want to face in a shootout. Criminals, like Flores, are likely to learn quickly that the “old guy” can outshoot you and should not be underestimated; failing to recognize that very real potential proved disastrous for Flores.