It’s not every day that you hear the police give a civilian a warm “thank you” for entering a lethal shootout, but that’s exactly what happened in Early, Texas a bit over a month ago.
It began “as a squabble over dogs.” David Michael House, 58, and Iris Valentina Calaci, 53, were both residents at the Peach House RV Park in central Texas. They were also dog owners, and their pooches allegedly had a habit of relieving themselves on the lawn of neighbor Charles Ronald Conner, 58.
According to eyewitnesses, Conner approached House about his dog, and an argument broke out. Conner allegedly went back to his RV, got his gun, returned to House, and lethally shot him.
The gun shots prompted Calaci to run screaming from her trailer home, but she didn’t get far. Conner chased her down, shot her once and then fired another shot into her, execution style.
Sgt. Steven Means of the Early Police Department came rolling onto the scene, but he had barely gotten out of his car before Conner opened fire. Means took cover behind his police car and returned fire with an AR-15, but Conner maintained cover behind a tree. Eyewitnesses report that this positioning gave Conner the upper hand over the out-gunned police officer.
Vic Stacy, another resident of the RV park, saw the gun fight break out as he was watching TV in his mobile home and thought to himself, “I’m going to see what’s going to happen here and if I need to I’ll, you know, get in on it.”
Stacy watched the gun fight for a few moments and concluded, “I think (Conner) is gonna take (the officer) out if I don’t help him out.”
He then fired a single round at Conner–by Stacy’s estimate “a good 165 yards”–hitting the gunman in the leg.