A new video of a shotgun-wielding Houston resident doing his best to ward off looters in his neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has been making the rounds. Watch the clip above.
According to the New York Post, the man in the video identifies himself as a former law enforcement officer. He’s shown yelling at multiple looters trying to steal from the local strip center.
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“Hey, don’t you go back in that store! I’m telling you one time: I’m not scared to shoot you. I’m an ex-f*cking SWAT deputy. I will cut yo’ ass in half. Don’t go in that store no goddamn more!” he says to one looter.
“Hey! Put it down!” he says as he catches another looter who soon runs off.
“It’s a shame,” the man says to the woman filming him from her car. “We need more real men out to step up and protect where you live. This storm is temporary … It don’t make no sense that these guys out here, too lazy to get a damn job, the energy they using to rob — they need to use that energy to rescue people.”
At one point, another man approaches and starts filming him as well.
“[I’m] protecting the community where I live,” the man says to the man. “I grew up in this area, I’m a former law enforcement officer, so I understand what the law says. If you’re looting, you’re stealing. It’s a violation of Texas law and federal law in the time of a catastrophe … Constitution says you’ve got the right to bear arms.”
At a press conference Tuesday evening, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo warned that looters would be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
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“This is the state of Texas. We’re a welcoming city, but we are not going to tolerate people victimizing, especially committing armed robberies in our community,” Acevedo said. “We’re going to catch you, and I promise you this: We are going to push hard — I’ve talked to the district attorney — to seek the fullest prosecution possible available for any crime that is committed.”
As CNN points out, Hurricane Harvey resulted in heavy rain and massive flooding that has affected thousands of people. At least 37 fatalities have been reported. Just this morning, two explosions were reported at a flooded chemical plant in Crosby, Texas between Houston and Beaumont, unleashing plumes of black smoke in the air and sending multiple people to the hospital.