TX: Armed Apt resident shoots and kills intruderby Armed Residents save lives
Student killed after forcing way into apartment
FORT WORTH An 18-year-old Fort Worth man killed Tuesday afternoon inside a north Fort Worth apartment had apparently forced his way inside, armed with an aluminum bat, when he was shot by one of the apartments residents, investigators said.
Derek Splawn, a student in the Keller school district, had been upset with the apartments 18-year-old resident and had reportedly threatened in an earlier telephone conversation "that he was tired of this and he was going to come over there," homicide Detective Curt Brannan said.
Around 4 p.m. Tuesday, police said, Splawn made good on his word and had a friend drive him to the Watercolor apartments in the 8600 block of Spring Tree Lane, near Beach Street and North Tarrant Parkway. As the friend waited in the car, Brannan said, Splawn first pounded on the apartments patio door, shouting for the 18-year-old resident to come out, before beating on the apartments front door.
Though the resident did not emerge, Brannan said, Splawn was able to force his way inside the apartment after the residents roommate opened the front door to peek out and saw Splawn standing there with the bat.
"Before he could get the door shut, the man [Splawn] pushed the door open and had taken several steps inside the doorway in the direction of the [18-year-old]," Brannan said.
Brannan said the 18-year-old, in turn, picked up a shotgun he kept in the home and fired once, striking Splawn in the face.
An apartment manager, who was in the area showing an apartment to prospective tenant, was alerted by the roommate and called 911.
Splawn was pronounced dead at the scene. Brannan said he is still investigating what prompted Splawns anger with the apartment resident.
Brannan said Splawns friend, who was waiting in his vehicle, left the scene after hearing the gunshot but later returned with Splawns family members.
"He heard the shot and even heard the sound of the bat bouncing off the floor, and he panicked," Brannan said. "He drove from there to the shooting victims familys resident and told the victims brother and mother what had happened and brought them back to the scene."
Also arriving at the scene Tuesday, Brannan said, were the parents of the 18year-old resident.
Brannan said the 18-year-old was interviewed and released pending further investigation and presentation of the case to the Tarrant County district attorneys office for review.
Keller school district officials say Splawn was a junior at the New Directions Learning Center, an alternative campus.
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