SAN ANTONIO — A San Antonio man tracked his stolen truck to a southeast side shopping center using Apple AirTags, confronted the alleged thief, and then killed the man in self-defense, police say.
San Antonio Police Department spokesperson Nick Soliz said the man called 911 to report his truck missing from his northside residence Wednesday, but did not wait for officers' help.
Instead, he and two relatives drove to the Chevy Silverado's location and approached a man sitting inside the vehicle.
The alleged thief flashed a gun at the truck owner, who then he shot him dead in response, he told police. The suspected thief died at a San Antonio hospital later that afternoon. On Friday, he was identified as 44-year-old Andrew Herrera.
"If your vehicle is stolen, I know it's frustrating," Soliz said. "But please do not take matters into your own hands like this."
Investigators have not confirmed whether they found a weapon in Herrera's possession. As of Thursday, police were still investigating and debating whether to charge the shooter with a crime.
"Whether something is wise to do or not is different from whether it's illegal," said Nico LaHood, a defense lawyer who previously served as Bexar County's District Attorney. "A lot of people, unfortunately, confuse 'That wasn't the best choice' with 'That must have been illegal.'"
LaHood says that, if he were district attorney again, he would not pursue charges against the shooter. He sees the incident as a series of separate, legal events.
It is legal to pursue someone who's stolen property to prevent consequences of theft, he said. It's also legal for most Texans to carry a gun.
And it is legal for Texans to use deadly force to defend themselves from apparent and imminent danger.
"This case reads, to me, like it's clear," LaHood said. "You just have to make sure you educate a jury about what the law really is."
LaHood noted, though, that his opinion could change if police are not able to confirm whether the alleged thief had a weapon in his possession.
Police say the only person who fired a gun Wednesday was the man who tracked down his missing vehicle.
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