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Citizen kills intruder who was fleeing from police

Originally ran here as:
"Resident kills fleeing intruder
Shooting followed chase by police"
By Ian McCann / The Dallas Morning News

COCKRELL HILL A resident shot and killed a Grand Prairie man on parole who burst into his home after being chased by officers late Saturday night, police said.

Darrell Ray Canup, 30, was shot after he kicked in the back door in the 500 block of Archer Avenue just before midnight, police said. The resident, who was not identified by police, told investigators that he picked up a handgun from his nightstand and fired once at Mr. Canup, hitting him in the back. The resident could not be reached for comment Sunday.

"He was woken out of a deep sleep with a stranger in his house," Cockrell Hill Police Chief Bill Avera said Sunday. "He had no idea what the man was doing there and had no idea that anything else had been going on."

Mr. Canup was taken to Methodist Medical Center in Dallas and was pronounced dead at 12:38 a.m.

The incident happened after police tried to stop Mr. Canup on a traffic violation on Cockrell Hill Road. He fled two blocks west on Garfield Avenue and stopped in the 500 block of Calumet Avenue.

Chief Avera said that Mr. Canup evaded police by jumping over a fence and going through several back yards. As police were returning to Mr. Canup's 1985 Chevrolet Blazer about midnight to get it towed away, they received a call about a shooting on Archer Avenue, one block east of Calumet.

Chief Avera said his investigation will continue through the next few days, but there are few answers in the case.

"I'll be interested in the toxicology report to see if there were drugs or alcohol involved," Chief Avera said. "I'd like to know what would have prompted him to flee from the police. We have very little to go on."

Mr. Canup's mother, Mary Stone, said that her son, who was on parole and trying to rebuild his life after a conviction, probably panicked.

"He had gotten a ticket and felt like he was being watched," Ms. Stone said. "When his car stopped, he probably got scared. And when he gets sacred, he runs."

Police have been unable to find anyone in the neighborhood who could provide detailed information about what happened, Chief Avera said.

"Apparently this all happened rather quickly," he said, "but I haven't finished interviewing all the folks."

Chief Avera said that he has not spoken with the resident since he first interviewed him early Sunday but plans to conduct follow-up interviews on Monday. He said the man was visibly shaken by the incident.

Cockrell Hill police have not filed any charges in the case, which will be referred to a Dallas County grand jury, Chief Avera said.

Chief Avera said that Mr. Canup did not have any active warrants.

Dallas County criminal records show that Mr. Canup, who lived with his mother, had been convicted of four counts of burglary of a vehicle, one count of burglary of a habitation, delivery of marijuana and assault. Most recently, he had been sentenced to 15 years in prison for burglary of a vehicle in 1993.

Ms. Stone said that Mr. Canup, her youngest son, was trying to move to Amarillo to live with a friend so he could continue to rebuild his life. Since he had been on parole, she said, he had worked long hours at a salvage yard. And though he had a few relapses with a drug habit, she said, he was doing his best to rehabilitate himself.

"He was on parole, but he paid for what he did," she said. "He was no saint, but he was a good son to me."

Services for Mr. Canup will be at 3 p.m. Thursday at Bean Massey Burge Funeral Home in Grand Prairie.

Chief Avera said that Mr. Canup's death was tragic.

"He chose a course of action that resulted in loss of life," he said. "Any time there's a loss of life, it's tragic."

Ms. Stone said she doesn't blame the resident for her son's death.

"I love Darrell, but I have no animosity at all about the person who shot him," she said. "Darrell kicked in his door and went into his home. I have no animosity at all."

KABA NOTE:  Being awakened from a slumber with someone kicking in your door, self-defense must be foremost on your mind. It is unlikely that the man whose home was invaded had time to think about whether or not the now-deceased criminal was armed and/or dangerous. In fact, when someone is desperate enough to kick your door in, it's fair to assume both. Though this is an unfortunate situation all the way around, we support any and all homeowners in protecting their lives in such a circumstance, and we consider the only guilty party in this incident to be the lost soul who is now pushing daisies.

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