This is a tragedy of errors.

Maintenance worker killed at Grand Prairie apartment complex after resident believed he was being burglarized, police say

An investigation is underway after a maintenance worker was fatally shot while checking on waterlines at an apartment complex in Grand Prairie on Saturday evening, police said.

Officers responded to a shooting call around 6 p.m. at the Clayton Pointe Apartments along the 2900 block of Alouette Drive near Arkansas Lane and Highway 360.

Upon arrival at the scene, police said they found an apartment complex maintenance worker identified as 53-year-old Cesar Montelongo injured with a gunshot wound on a resident’s balcony.

Police said their investigation revealed that Montelongo was checking on multiple balconies for frozen or busted waterlines after pipes had burst throughout the apartment complex due to the recent arctic blast that has plagued the region.

According to police, a resident spotted Montelongo on his balcony, believed his apartment was being burglarized and shot Montelongo through a window.

Police said the resident stayed at the scene and cooperated with detectives. He was not arrested.

This was a fuck-up compounded by another fuck-up that resulted in one man dying, his family mourning, another man left with the emotional toll of what he did, and perhaps some prison time.

Let’s count the fuck-ups.

One: The resident shot Montelongo through a window.  Shooting through a window or door is almost always unjustified.  When the person is on the other side of the barrier, they are not in your property and don’t constitue an immediate threat.

The only exception to this is if the person on the other side of the window points a gun at you, if they can shoot you through the window, then it would be justified to shoot them through the window.

Texas law may be different.  My opinion is based on a general, non-lawyer understanding of castle doctrine.  But I’m inclined to err on the safe side.

Two: The maintenance man climbed onto people’s balconies without announcing himself or his intentions.  If I saw a man I didn’t know on my balcony I would definitely break my gun out of the safe and call 911 expecting the worse.

The apartment management and Montelongo should have gone door to door and spoke yo residents and asked to check their balconies.

I don’t believe either man acted with malicious intent, but a combination of stupid actions created a situation that led to a tragedy.

Don’t cut corners, use your brain, and obey common sense and the law.

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By J. Kb

5 thoughts on “A bad situation all around leads to death”
  1. Common sense isn’t common anymore….
    These situations are a good example of why you should take training courses to learn number one, the law and number two how to behave….

  2. I was specifically asked in CC class, “what would you do if a guy was in your backyard and you see him?” Me, call 911. “What would you do if he broke your window?” Me; shoot him dead. Instructor; “case closed”. Side note, instructor was a 30+ year police veteran, place; Texas.

  3. I was specifically asked in CC class, “what would you do if you saw a guy in your backyard?” Me; get my weapon and call 911. “What would you do if he broke your window?” Me; shoot him dead. “Case closed”. Instructor was a 30+ year veteran of Houston police agencies.

  4. I’ve noticed a trend at work to be “mission focused” – in a not-so-good way. Basically, someone tries to address an emerging problem but becomes so focused on getting it done, all the usual safety protocols and procedures get ignored. This can lead to, for instance, people going into a small space to shut off a leaking nitrogen line, while the oxygen deficiency alarm for that space is blaring, rather than waiting 5-10 minutes for the guys with the SCBA gear to arrive.
    .
    I have to wonder whether something like that was in play here.
    .
    Regardless … This is just horrible for all involved.

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