Harker Heights police said a city resident narrowly escaped unharmed after a would-be burglar fired shots at the homeowner inside the home in the 100 block of Wren Drive.

Thomas Ritchie McBride, 56, was arraigned on June 15 by justice of the Peace Garland Potvin on a charge of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit theft.

An available arrest affidavit stated that police responded to the victim’s Wren Drive residence after the homeowner said he saw a man walk by the sliding glass back doors in his back yard.

According to the affidavit, after walking outside to attempt to locate the man, the homeowner went back inside his residence and found the man standing inside his home.

Also quoted in the affidavit, “the man stated he would shoot (the victim). The man then pointed a handgun (at the victim) and discharged the firearm.”

According to information derived from the affidavit, the victim ran to the home of a neighbor and asked the neighbor to call 911. The neighbor witnessed McBride leave the residence through the front door.

According to the affidavit, McBride fired a handgun in the direction of both the victim and his neighbor.

Police said moments after McBride was observed leaving the victim’s home, they saw a man fitting McBride’s description jumping over a wall behind Bluebird Lane and ordered him to stop. According to police, they caught up to McBride and detained him.

Police said they located a .22-caliber handgun in McBride’s possession, from which two rounds had been fired. It was noted that two rounds had misfired.

Police said they also found several items of jewelry and gloves in McBride’s possession.

The victim subsequently identified McBride as the man who was inside his home and who discharged a firearm.

McBride initial refused to identify himself. Several hours later, he stated his name was Thomas Ritchie McBride.

McBride was booked into the Bell County Jail on June 15, on a $75,000 bond.

Although Heights police have likely already done so, they would do well to compare local pawn receipts in McBride’s name to property reported missing in recent burglaries.

I say this because there have been other reports of suspicious persons roaming neighborhoods under suspicious circumstances.

Last week, a Heights resident known to me, telephoned me to ask advice after observing a suspicious male checking houses and side yards in her neighborhood.

My advice? Call police. From experience, I can say that police would rather respond to such a call than to investigate a crime.

Observant residents are the best deterrent to neighborhood crime.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, with a decade in city and county law enforcement and 20 years with state police.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a Copperas Cove resident.​

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