Texas Man Shoots, Kills Robber Holding His Family at Gunpoint

A man in Port Arthur, Texas, shot and killed one of three home invaders holding his family at gunpoint on Sunday evening.

Sergeant Shannon Meaux of the Port Arthur Police Department said officers were called to the family's home at 8:31 p.m. on December 27, when they found one of the robbers dead at the scene.

Crime Scene Tape
Police in Port Arthur, Texas, responded to a home invasion Sunday night. Getty

Local television station WWL-TV, a CBS affiliate, aired video outside the scene.

After they arrived to investigate the report of a home invasion and shooting, officers found Terence Ellies, 27, dead inside the home, Detective Mike Hebert said in a news release on Monday morning. The release also stated that Justice of the Peace Tom Gilliam III ordered an autopsy.

Port Arthur Police detectives said three armed men had forced their way into the house and held the family at gunpoint right after a woman who lived in the house came home. Sgt. Meaux said the gunmen demanded property.

The 29-year-old male homeowner heard the noise caused by the robbers from another room and soon confronted them with a rifle to protect his young children, Port Arthur Police said in a news release. He opened fire at the men, and Ellies died in the ensuing gunfire.

"The homeowner fired several shots at the suspect, who was pronounced deceased on scene," Meaux said. The sergeant noted that the other two suspects fled before officers arrived at the house. No one else was injured during the incident.

As of early Monday, the two other assailants remained on the loose. Descriptions for those suspects have not been released. The incident is still being investigated by Port Arthur's Criminal Investigations Division.

Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call Port Arthur Police at 409-983-8600 or Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas at 409-833-TIPS (8477). You won't be asked for your name and you may be eligible for a cash reward. You can also make an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers by downloading the P3 Tips app on your smartphone.

Port Arthur is a city in Jefferson County in Southeast Texas, located approximately 90 miles east of Houston. Oil refining makes up the biggest part of Port Arthur's economy, and the city is home to the the largest oil refinery in the United States, the Motiva Refinery. Port Arthur was also the site of a major oil spill in 2010 after an oil tanker and barge collided, resulting in 450,000 gallons of oil to spill into the Sabine/Neches waterway alongside the city. Aside from its involvement in oil, Port Arthur has often made headlines in the past due to its vulnerability to hurricanes, which have hit the city hard in past years.

Crime is markedly high in the area. According to City-Data.com, the 2018 crime rate in Port Arthur is 1.3 times higher than the U.S. average, and higher than in 89.3 percent of U.S. cities.