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Police: Texas lawmaker shoots would-be thief

/ Source: The Associated Press

A state lawmaker who opposed a law giving Texans a stronger right to defend themselves with deadly force shot a man he said was trying to steal copper wiring from a construction site, police said Monday.

Rep. Borris Miles told police he was fixing a leak on the second floor of the Houston house he is building on Sunday night when he heard a noise downstairs and saw two men trying to steal the copper. After Miles confronted the pair, one of the men threw a pocketknife at him, police spokesman Victor Senties.

Miles, a former law enforcement officer, shot the man in the left leg, police said. The wounded suspect was being treated at a Houston hospital. Charges of aggravated robbery are pending against the wounded suspect, Senties said.

Police said Miles, a freshman lawmaker, is licensed to carry a concealed weapon. No charges have been filed against him, Senties said.

Miles, a Democrat, voted against a bill that gives Texans a stronger legal right to defend themselves with deadly force in their homes, vehicles, and workplaces. The so-called "castle doctrine," passed by the Legislature this year, states that a person has no duty to retreat from an intruder before using deadly force. The law goes into effect Sept. 1.