Former Cop Opens Fire on Suspected Burglars - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/28/05

Former Cop Opens Fire on Suspected Burglars

Lubbock PD Lubbock PD

Retired Lubbock Police Officer, Lieutenant James Kimber, came home to two unwanted guests burglarizing his home in the 4800 block of 45th Street on Thursday afternoon. Police identified the dead burglar as 19-year-old Fermin Martinez, Jr. of Idalou. Nineteen year-old Richard Steven Lovato was his accomplice, he was treated and released for gunshot wounds to the leg.

The incident started when Kimber came home just after noon to find his garage door slightly open. The events that took place over the next couple of minutes would be life altering for the two burglars.

Crime scene tape is not a usual sight for residents of the Central Lubbock neighborhood, let alone dozens of police officers responding to a burglary which resulted in death. Neighbor Jim Scott has never heard of such an incident in his neighborhood. "It's scary to know stuff like this goes on around here, that people would do that," says Scott.

After Kimber saw his garage door open, he got a pistol and proceeded further inside his house.

Lubbock Police Department Public Information Officer, Lt. Roy Bassett said, "As he started toward the back bedroom where the sounds were coming from he heard the very distinctive sound of a firearm of some sort being cocked. As he ran to the corner into the bedroom there were two Hispanic males."

Bassett went onto say Kimber fired multiple shots to Martinez's chest when he ran at him. Martinez ran out of the house and died in the alley. Kimber shot Lovato in the leg when he ran toward him.

Police said state law gives Kimber the right to protect his property. Many neighbors say they would likely do the same. Scott said, "I don't guess you'd know until that happened, but if you want to protect your property, that's one of the things we do."

NewsChannel 11 learned both burglars have a record with the law. Lovato has been indicted for burglary of a building. Martinez has several previous indictments including burglary of a habitation, evading arrest with a vehicle and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

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