Pastor, wife shoot and kill alleged burglar at their Houston home

The fatal shooting occurred in west Houston.

May 6, 2019, 5:29 PM

A Texas church pastor and his wife, both armed with guns, shot and killed an alleged burglar they caught breaking into their parsonage, police said.

The pastor, the Rev. Jeff Powers, 52, and his wife, Julie Powers, 54, heard noises in the back of their west Houston home around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, and both retrieved firearms, according to the Houston Police Department.

Armed, the couple went to investigate the noise coming from the rear of their home and saw a man forcing open their back door, police said.

"A preliminary investigation revealed the residents were asleep in their bed when they were awakened by a loud noise. While investigating the cause of the noise, they noticed their backyard gate was opened and saw a male (suspect) in their back yard," police said in a statement released on Monday.

"The suspect then forced his way and gained entry into the residence. The residents, in fear for their lives, discharged their firearms several times, striking the suspect," the statement read.

PHOTO: A police car in an undated stock photo.
A police car in an undated stock photo.
STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

The suspect was identified Monday afternoon by the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office as 24-year-old Roberto Sanchez. His primary cause of death was reported as "multiple gunshot wounds."

Jeff and Julie Powers called 911 and firefighters responded, finding the mortally wounded man inside the house, police said. He died at the scene, police said.

Following the shooting, the pastor and his wife went outside, placed their guns on the ground and waited for police, authorities said.

Houston police are still investigating the shooting. No charges were immediately filed against the Powers'.

A Houston Police Department spokesman told ABC News the case will be presented to a Harris County Grand Jury to decide whether charges will be filed.

"Julie and I are not making any comments right now," Rev. Powers told ABC News on Monday when reached by phone.

The shooting happened a day before Rev. Powers was scheduled to give his last sermon at Westminster United Methodist Church and turn the church over to a new pastor. However, he was unable to make the service on Sunday, said Shannon Martin, a spokeswoman for the United Methodist Church in Texas, told ABC News on Monday. Church officials initially told ABC News that Rev. Powers attended the service, but then later said he did not.

Martin said Rev. Powers -- who is being rotated to a new church, which is customary for United Methodist ministers.

In a statement, the United Methodist Church said Powers and his wife are "mourning the loss of life and cooperating fully with authorities."