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73-year-old veteran shoots alleged burglars

Ira Thompson shot and injured two suspects he says tried to steal from his business in Howard County on Wednesday night
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 6:56 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - A 73-year-old man in Howard County shot and injured two suspects during an alleged burglary on Wednesday night. He shared what happened with CBS7.

“They came at me, so I was running backwards,” Ira Thompson said. “I had to shoot because I got up against this truck. So just boom, boom. I’m not sure which one I shot first.”

Authorities identified 39-year-old Rocky Zarraga and 27-year-old Julian Rodriguez Jr. as the suspects.

Thompson said this isn’t first time he’s caught them stealing parts from cars in his wrecking yard.

“Stealing converters,” he said. “Stealing radiators. Tailgates. Air conditioner condensers. Hoods. Just everything.”

Thompson had a handgun, and says he was asking the suspects to put their hands up when they charged him, and he shot.

“Why would somebody be stupid enough to come at me with me having a gun on them?” Thompson asked. “I said ‘Man that’s nothing but birdshot. You’re not going to die. Cause I didn’t want to kill y’all. I knew I was about to catch y’all, cause you got to the point where you just disrespected me so bad’.”

Authorities said Zarraga was treated and released from the hospital, and was taken to Howard County Jail.

Rodriguez Jr. was airlifted to a Lubbock hospital and is listed in critical condition.

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