Sheriff: Shootout between 79-year-old Army veteran, gun shop burglars ends with 1 dead

CROSBY, Texas – One person was killed when an Army veteran was involved with a shootout with people who had broken into the veteran’s gun shop near Crosby, according to authorities.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said deputies responded about 4:30 a.m. to reports of a burglary at a gun shop near the corner of Kennings Road and Green Cove in Crosby. Gonzalez said the shop owner, identified by a friend as 79-year-old Raymond Balcerowicz, encountered two people who broke into the shop.

“As soon as he heard the commotion, most likely from the door being pulled, is when he came out,” Gonzalez said, noting that Balcerowicz lives near the shop. “He encountered them pretty quickly.”

Gonzalez said Balcerowicz exchanged gunfire with the two people who fled the scene. Balcerowicz said he believed at least one of the two people was wounded.

“A lot of shots were fired,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said that 11 minutes later, authorities responded to reports of a man in his 30s who was suffering from a gunshot wound near Baytown. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said later that two people were detained at the scene where the man was found dead. Gonzalez said at least three guns that were believed to have been stolen during the break-in were also recovered at the scene. One getaway vehicle was also found at the scene, Gonzalez said.

Bill Newcomb, Balcerowicz’s friend, said this isn’t the first time someone has broken into the shop. He said the last break-in happened in November.

“What else are you going to do?" Newcomb asked. “They keep coming back and breaking in.”

Gonzalez said the case will be referred to a grand jury.

About the Authors: