When Tim Dunman drove past his neighbor’s house Tuesday around noon, something didn’t sit right.
The garage door was open, both of the homeowners’ vehicles were gone and there was a vehicle he had never seen before in the driveway.
“It just felt like something wasn’t right,” he said. “I could just tell something wasn’t right, so I turned back around.”
Dunman said the homeowner, who is in her 80s, returned to the Carrabba Road home with her grandson and parked in the garage, and Dunman pulled in to the driveway behind her vehicle.
As the homeowner walked into the home through the garage, Dunman said, a man walked out the front door with a flat-screen TV in his hands.
“I told him three times to stop, that I have a gun,” Dunman said. “He got in his car and started reversing on me, and that’s when I felt like I was in danger and opened fire.”
Dunman, who got his concealed handgun license about two months ago, said he fired seven rounds from his Colt .45. At first, he was aiming for the tires, he said, but then he aimed a little higher.
“And that’s when he went from slowly trying to leave to really leaving fast,” he said.
Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk said Shane Thomas Vaughan drove across the home’s lawn to make his getaway before being stopped a short time later and getting arrested. The homeowners’ TV was recovered from the vehicle, officials said.
Vaughan, 18, was being held in the Brazos County Jail without bail Tuesday night. He has two prior convictions in Brazos County for misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Dunman said he got back in his truck and was chasing after the vehicle when he saw another man coming out the back door of the home and hopping over a fence.
“At that time, though, I was on the phone with 911 dispatch and they were asking a lot of questions, so I kinda lost track of where he went,” he said.
Investigators spent all afternoon Tuesday looking for the second man. The search involving dogs from the Texas Department of Corrections and at least 25 law enforcement officers was called off Tuesday evening.
Police said the man was Hispanic or a light-skinned African-American.
Kirk said the tracking dogs were able to find the man’s trail and an article of clothing believed to be his.
Investigators will follow up on the case, Kirk said, and continue to look for the man. Kirk said investigators don’t believe the two men are related, and there didn’t appear to be a connection to Monday’s home invasion robbery of a Woodville Road home.
Residents of the neighborhood off Carrabba Road were told to lock their doors and stay inside while the officers combed the area, and the reverse 911 system was activated.
“It’s not really common that we do that,” Kirk said. “But any time there is a potential public threat, we like to send those out.”
Kirk said Dunman had a license to carry a concealed weapon and was within his rights to use it because he thought his life was in danger.
“Clearly, you have to have a legal right to carry a weapon first,” he said. “And you can use deadly force if you reasonably believe your life is in danger or the life of another.”
Dunman said he thinks he did the right thing and worries about what would have happened if he hadn’t stopped.
“The man of the home was in Conroe fishing and the woman was with her grandson,” he said. “I just hate to think about what might have happened if I hadn’t been there — her in the house with those guys.
“I’m glad I was able to help them out,” he said. “I just hope it doesn’t happen again for a while.”