San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 4th, 2009
Updated: Two dead in San Marcos shooting

Frank Castro.


San Marcos police said Friday afternoon that they don’t anticipate filing criminal charges against a Chestnut Street resident who shot three Luling teenagers, killing two, early Friday morning in a bungled burglary.

Four Luling teenagers attempted to invade the home shortly before 2 a.m. Friday. Two of the invaders died after being shot by the resident with a 40-caliber Glock handgun. One 16-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene and a second 16-year-old died at Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC).

A third invader, another 16-year-old from Luling, was transported to Brackenridge Hospital in Austin with serious wounds.

A fourth invader, 17-year Frank Castro of Luling, has been charged with aggravated robbery, a first degree felony. Hays County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Joanne Prado set bond at $50,000.

San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) Chief Howard Williams said police will turn the case over to the Hays County District Attorney’s office for review upon completion of the investigation, which is still ongoing.

“At this time, we do not anticipate filing charges against the resident for firing the shots,” Williams said.

Three of the invaders were carrying weapons that police said included a handgun and two pellet guns that resembled real firearms.

Williams said police responded to a call of a home invasion with shots fired at 1:52 a.m. Friday. When police arrived, they found several people shot by a resident of the home.

Three residents who were in the home at the time of the incident and were not injured. Police did not release the names of the residents.

After no homicides occurred in San Marcos since January 2008, three have taken place in the city during the last ten days.

On Aug. 26, SMPD arrested 21-year-old Quenten Rashad Taylor of San Marcos and 20-year-old Zackhary Allen James of Luling in the murder of Byron Burse, 30, of San Marcos. The shooting occurred earlier that day.

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49 thoughts on “Updated: Two dead in San Marcos shooting

  1. It does not sound like these are homicides. Are these two of the three that you are stating happened in the last 10 days?

  2. Ted,

    You raise an interesting point that’s worth clarifying. From consulting with the dictionaries and Chief Williams, here is what I gather:

    The terms “murder” and “homicide” are commonly used interchangeably, but they are not, strictly speaking, interchangeable. A homicide is any taking of a life. A murder is an illegal taking of a life. A legal taking of a life, then, such as a killing in self-defense, is a homicide, but, in the legal parlance, is not a murder. Thus, all murders are homicides, but not all homicides are murders. Therefore, all three of the killings in question are homicides. In the Burse case, murder charges have been brought, but not in the episode from early this morning. So, it’s actually safer to call them homicides.

  3. What is going on in Luling that both incidents involve crimes committed here in San Marcos by 16-20 yr olds from that small town? Hopefully word now spreads over there that our city is NOT one to come and committ crimes in!!

  4. I had heard that we haven’t had a *murder* since January of 2008. If there hasn’t been a homicide (by the definition provided) since January of 2008, that is pretty impressive, especially since that would seem to include DWI fatalities.

  5. Or any death from a vehicle accident, for that matter. I can’t look into it right this minute, but I have to think intentionality on the part of the killer is part of what makes a homicide. Drunk drivers are certainly irresponsible, but I’d say an inference that they “intend” to kill people is a very long journey.

    It was SMPD Commander Terry Nichols who said the Burse killing was the first homicide in town since January 2008, according to the information released by the city.

  6. This is how the “Castle Doctrine” works.

    Call me Karnak, but I bet we don’t have any home invasions in this area for a while.

  7. Yea, Big Dog! But another news source is reporting that the SM Police took all the guns out of the house—now leaving these home dwellers unable to protect themselves—what is up with that if true? Hopefully Newstream will ask questions of our police and find out.

  8. We don’t live in that exact area, but we are following
    this with interest. If indeed the local police removed
    all the weapons, I certainly hope the “residents” borrow a handgun until theirs are returned!! And, if
    only the Glock was fired, what is the basis for
    removing any other handgun? And I do hope the word gets around in the 16-year-old set that it’s better
    to be home studying or sleeping at 0152 on a Thursday
    night! I pity the poor parents of the dead youths.

  9. Too bad for the parents but maybe they should have done a better job of raising and controlling their kids. At 16, I still had to have permission to be out at night and I had to be home by 11:30 pm at the latest and that was on weekends!

  10. Another tragic illustration of the dangers of illegal immigration. Note the names of most everyone arrested daily here and elsewhere..

  11. Mmm. Racism. An oldie, but a goodie.

    The recent blotters list:


    That’s about 35% Hispanic, which I assume is what you are talking about. How shocking that the percentage of Hispanic arrestees is EXACTLY the same as the percentage of Hispanic residents.

    Of course, since we’re all immigrants (I did not see any Native American names), I guess in a way you’re right. We’re all here and we’re all getting arrested.

    Shocking indeed. Thanks for elevating the discussion to a level we can all be proud of.

  12. Thank you, Ted. There is much we don’t know about this horrible incident. Before people go spouting their mouths off, maybe we should wait for the rest of the facts to be discovered. Even if completely justified, there are a number of lives which will be forever changed…

  13. excellent answer Ted, the sad thing is that people like LEighton Stallones do not get it, that we all are immigrants, and crime committed daily by people of all races an example from CNN “Guy Heinze Jr., the son of one of the victims of last week’s killings of eight people in a southeast Georgia mobile home, has been arrested on eight counts of first degree murder, police said Friday.

  14. Great answer Ted! Leighton, NOW do you see why racism equals stupidity??? Since you aren’t Native American I assume you now realize that YOU are an immigrant too!

  15. I’m not defending Leighton’s position, but I do feel that it’s necessary to point out that there is a huge difference between being an immigrant and being an “illegal” immigrant. True, my family came to America long ago as immigrants, but they followed the proper legal channels to do so. I for one don’t want my ancestors being placed in the same thought as someone who came here illegally and lives here illegally.

    That being said, it’s preposterous for Leighton to assume that a hispanic surname equates to an illegal alien. Despite what you might think from listening to the pundits, the vast majority of hispanics in America are here legally.

  16. 90% of outstanding murder warrants in Los Angeles are for illegals. Those who can’t deal with facts can whine all they want.

  17. “harkin” you sound like a racist, and not too educated! ONCE AGAIN— a person’s last name is NOT an indication of whether they came illegally or not… duh!!! And, to save you some research time {in case you ever decide to ACTUALLY look for FACTS}, most persons with spanish last names DID NOT come here illegally.

  18. I believe the schools and parents need to get involed in Luling and San Marcos. I am hoping that a task force or team should be put together in both areas to cover why this is happening and address issues. This should be immediate. All counselors and school boards should be on the same team. We need mentors for these children and positive influences. Maybe a person of somewhat a celebrity status every once in a while come speak to the school and at least give pep talks etc. This may seem ubsurd but kids can be inflencial.

  19. We don’t live in Los Angeles, thank goodness.

    The stat is actually 95%. If you are going to trot out bogus statistics, at least use the “right” bogus statistics.

    A quick check of Snopes indicates that this statistic is unverified. It is also misleading. If, in fact, illegals are over represented in outstanding warrants, that is evidence that they are harder to arrest (more likely to flee, or perhaps left the country without even being aware of the warrant), but not that they are more prone to commit the crimes to begin with. It does not speak to the percentage of warrants total (outstanding and served), nor does it speak to the percentage of convictions (after all, we are innocent until proven guilty).

    The nature of the statistic, in and of itself, makes it suspect. The citing of “outstanding warrants,” rather than overall warrants and/or convictions, implies that these statistics actually show a low number of illegals represented, which is why they are not cited instead.

    Also, as many others have also already pointed out, illegals have nothing to do with this discussion, as most immigrants are here legally and most of the people arrested (regardless of ethnicity) are citizens.

  20. The ignorance deafens me. It is amazing how a forum of this nature dealing of some teenagers who yes were committing a crime turns into an argument about illegal immigrants because of their names. Go back to your hillbilly shanty where your hillbilly buddies wait to hear your next epic statement about how you get this thing called life. Why don’t you attend the next kkk rally on the courthouse steps. This is truly a tragedy. For that matter its a tragedy that people of your intelligence are allowed to own computers. Having said that, I’m going ask for forgiveness for sinking to your level, I’m going to pray that the fog will be lifted for you, I’m going to pray for these children who are no longer with us, I’m going to pray for the people who had their houses intruded on, I’m going to pray for the families of these children who are undoubtedly distraught, and finally for the ones out there that might not make that next bad choice as a result of this tragedy.

  21. Poor parent control over kids, poor kids decisions. Both are to respond for they’re desicions in life. No loving parent should have to see the day when they bury their children. May this serve as a lesson to the rest of us, those 16 year olds wouldn’t have suffered the consequences if they wouldve stayed home and if they’re parents wouldve set some ground rules. Losing a child is the worst feeling imaginable.

  22. It all goes back to why these kids were out at this time of the night on a school night. Who are their mentors? My mentors were my parents. The parents of more and more of these kids need to step up. They dont need no freaking celebrities coming to their schools to speak ! They need mom and dad to sit down and have a talk with them. I am sick and tired of people trying to put the “raising” of their kids on other people. Take a stance! Raise your kids and know where they are at all times! This is a sad situation for both parties involved. But trust you me, I would have done the same exact thing if someone would have entered my house at that time of the night. Bang your gone. I dont give a whoo haaaa how old you are cause Im not gonna wait around to get your ID to see how old you are.

  23. Back in my day we had dicipline, we acted up we got a whooping. I agree a 100% with Elena, Im not gonna let them pull the trigger and put my children life in danger Im pulling it first ask later.

  24. Right on Elena. And it’s ALL on the parents. We help our kids make choices from the cradle. We listen to them, give advice, punish bad behavior (and I’m a real woose in that department)and make ourselves available for them 24/7. We monitor where they go, who they are with and what they are doing. Kids need that- they crave it, even if they think they don’t. It’s the hardest job on the planet to do well, but look at the consequences of ignoring your children and their social and academic lives- dead kids.

  25. Wow, I actually agree with Chris North and Elena on something! 🙂 The problem now days is with both parents working to try to keep up with the Jones’ they do not spend as much time as they should with their kids.

  26. COS, you are part right… but I think you’ll find a very high percentage of situations where both parents are working, not to keep up with the Jones’, but just to survive! And for single parents, well, it’s much worse. The middle class has been wiped out by politicians of BOTH parties in the last 20 years!

  27. Herein lies the problem. What is the definition of “survive”? Is it to have 2 cars? cable TV? Cell phones? Single parents, I agree have a very hard time.

  28. Yes we do, COS. But being a single parent is no excuse for ignoring your kids because it’s ‘too hard’.

  29. Sad that the “gang” philosophy is being embraced by many young people. It seems to cut across racial and economic lines. If you were to ask these kids about the possibility of jail you may be surprised at their lack of concern. Take a few hours when you have a chance and watch the popular music videos, certain cable channels, movies and video games that glorify the criminal world. Could it be that these cult like “gangs” are doing a better job at “selling” thier life style than the law abiding citizens are at “selling” thiers? I can only hope that a few citizens defending themselves and a whole lot of police and probation officers will ultimately make the case for the law abiding side.

  30. Sadly, while it is easy to say that the responsibility lies with the parents, the fact of the matter is that when kids like this hit the streets, the problem is all of ours and we all have a part to play in the solution. The next time, when they break into an unarmed citizen’s home, or when they otherwise gain the upper hand, blaming the parents isn’t going to save anyone.

    This is not to say that the parents aren’t largely at fault for the problem (although there are other factors), but many of those parents aren’t much better off than the kids and if the rest of us are content to sit and wait for the parents to fix this problem by themselves, it is only going to keep getting worse.

    “Selling” our lifestyle is an interesting way to look at it. I believe this includes providing guidance and a path to success. Gangs are recruiting all the time. Is it any wonder they have so little trouble finding new members, when so few of us see any responsibility to “recruit” these kids to our side?

  31. Stephen mentions music videos. How many of those videos are from performers who were and/or are still members of various gangs? With such high-profile personalities producing such compelling testimonials in favor of that lifestyle, it is hardly surprising that many of these parents find themselves unable to compete, particularly when they are driving a Hyundai and Snoop rolls in a Maybach and hangs out with movie stars (even scoring roles in movies). Hell, even those of us with successful parents decided they didn’t know what the *F* they were talking about, around the time we turned 16. Or are you all too old to remember that?

    The gangs aren’t sitting around lamenting that there aren’t enough parents sending kids to them; talking to their kids about the importance of bangin’. They’re recruiting actively and they win over and over in every community they enter.

    Maybe they know something we don’t about getting people to follow their lead.

  32. Ted ,Chris etal, Maybe I was premature accusing Illegals of too large a percentage of the crimes, but maybe you should look at the overall % and not just San Marcos. Yes, we are all immigrants going back. Mine came here many decades ago LEGALLY as most of ours did.
    Unfortunately my 82 yr old Mother was murdered by an illegal Mexican who fled back to Mexico as most of them do, so my emotional reactions tends to be biased.

  33. Stallone, first,you really don’t know whether ALL of your ancestors came here legally or not—you weren’t there and it’s not like people routinely admitted that sort of stuff! Second, I’ve had relatives murdered by white people–does that mean I should be prejudice against all white people? That would be stupid, right??
    Learn to blame the INDIVIDUAL and NOT the race or ethnic group. Mexicans didn’t kill your grandmother, one stupid man did. {No, I’m not hispanic– I’m of scottish descent}.

  34. Well, strictly speaking, one side of my family came here illegally, on the Mayflower. The other side came from Poland a couple of generations ago and it never occurred to me to ask if they came legally or not. They became citizens, but whether they followed all of the rules along the way, I can’t say. For all I know, they bribed someone to get them over here and push their paperwork through.

    I’m not saying that illegal immigration is not a problem. I just don’t see anything constructive coming from sweeping generalizations like your original statement, particularly in a town with such a large Hispanic population.

    I’m glad you have softened your stance. Thankfully, my parents are still around. I can’t say how it would change my views if something were to happen to them.

  35. How embarrassing for this to have turned into illegal immigrants. That is a state/federal issue. If our city wants to partake in taking further action with illegals,someone please write a separate article on that. It is an issue but not here on this forum or it shouldn’t be rather!
    Does anyone see this could turn into a bigger issue if the relatives of these young kids are anything like them? I pray for all the people this has affected.
    I agree we all have to have more positive influence on kids. However our city/ school boards etc, seems to let the local authorities discipline the children,(this creates a lack of respect for authorities). Parents need to be more involed in childrens lives. We need to have the parents in the principals office when the kids act up. We all need to work together to make that happen. Have a principals coffee, staff members coffee for the parents either during the day or evening. Encourage parents to be more involved. Have some parents in the schools as sort of mentors. just the presense of a mother or a father can bring a sense of calm in a crowded hallway.Little things can make a difference.

  36. Okay, this is in response to those who THINK they know what they’re talking about. I’m a resident of Luling (the town from which these kids were live) and recent graduate from the high school. I knew the two dead kids, and I know the two who are still alive. This incident is just another example of four kids who were bored and had nothing better to do. Ultimately, based on the fact that they knew the consequences of what their actions could be, they paid the price. Though I don’t know the whole story, I can tell you that all four of these kids were thugs, and I’ve known them to be that way for all of the time that I’ve known them. To answer a question, yes, the parties involved all knew each other. One of the residents of the house was aware of the four kids intentions. Either way, that’s my opinion.

  37. There is a book out there entilted, “The Gift Of Fear”, by Gavin De Becker. It ia a book about violence in America and covers everything from rape to 9-11. oprah read it. Truly an eye opening book.

  38. Those “victims” as people call them are drug dealers. As stated in an interview from one that lives in the house, they have an “open door” policy and anyone and everyone is welcome, so tell me why this particular night any noises were out of the ordinary that would cause them to think there was a need to grab a gun and start shooting. Also, another interview from someone living in the area says they have people coming and going all night long due to the saling of drugs, so we know they weren’t sleeping…major flaw in their huge lie to get out of murdering kids. Those boys were not breaking in, they went there to buy drugs, which I don’t agree with but that does not give those idiots a right to open fire on them! So if someone is going to sale drugs out of their home I don’t look at them as victims. From what I hear all but one of those boys had been to that house before and knew the guy. Drug deal gone bad is what it sounds like to me, and I can’t wait for that to come out in the report to shut up all these stupid people talking crap!

  39. They obviously had intentions beyond buying drugs. More like stealing drugs. If they knew the residents of the house and had been there before, why bring weapons? They were bored and broke and wanted to make a little money by selling something that they didn’t have to pay for, and couldn’t get in trouble for stealing because it was illegal in the first place.

    If it is known that these kids have always been “thugs”, then someone should have reached out to these kids to prevent something like this, ohhh I don’t know, maybe their parents.

  40. Just because you know someone, doesn’t mean you are gonna trust them. Hmmm…let see…drug dealer who collects guns and who I have also heard sells guns in addition to the drugs that he sells to minors…anyone going there to buy drugs would be stupid not to bring some sort of protection. Again, not saying that I agree with the kids going to the house, I am just waiting for the whole truth to come out so people will stop looking at the punk who shot them as a poor innocent victim and hearing on the news that he is having a hard time coping with all of this. I don’t know why, when you are already killing the youth in the area by providing them with guns and drugs, why would you feel bad about this? What he is upset about is that he had to move all his supply to another location since the police is all over his house, so it has to be making things difficult for his corrupted business…if that is what you want to call it.


    Oooh. He’s a racist because he doesn’t accept Illegal Aliens. They’re human too you know… They deserve our Social Security, even though they don’t pay a dime. Stop hugging that tree and retort. The evil non-left wing liberal is waiting.

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