Houston Firefighter Shot Dead By Neighbor After Entering Wrong House

Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 11:36 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A Houston firefighter was shot dead by his neighbor this week after he returned home from a night of partying and tried to go into the wrong house.

A 64-year-old Houston resident claims that Sam Keen, a 27-year-old with the Houston Fire Department, tried to enter her home Monday night around 9 p.m., CBS affiliate KHOU reported. Keen had reportedly been out celebrating St. Patrick's Day.

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The woman told police she told Keen to go away and even warned him that she had a gun. When he continued to try and enter the home, the woman fired two shots through the front door and then called 911.

Keen was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"No one did anything wrong. It was just a confluence of events that provoked a tragedy," Mayor Annise Parker told reporters Tuesday. "My understanding is that the firefighter, off-duty, had been out. He did what he was supposed to do: He took a cab ride home, got dropped off in the wrong place and wasn’t aware of it. Tried to get into what he thought was his house and was tragically shot."

Keen, who had been with the HFD since 2010, was reportedly a newlywed who moved to that section of the neighborhood about a year ago, according to KHOU.

"We're here to support [Keen's widow] and do whatever we can to kind of help them through this process," HFD Chief Terry Garrison said in a statement. "But it's, it’s a travesty. Whether we lose a firefighter on duty or off-duty, we lose a member of our family."

The shooting case will be sent to a grand jury for review, as is policy for all Houston shooting deaths, but some in the community say the 64-year-old woman shouldn’t be in trouble.

"If someone is coming through your door and trying to get in, I could see where she was scared," neighbor Kathy Pimms told KHOU.

"She’s a good woman," neighbor George Henry said. "[I've] known her about five years. She’s a very nice person."

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