Activist Quanell X and dozens of other protesters Sunday faced hundreds of homeowners and supporters of Joe Horn, the Pasadena man who shot and killed two men he suspected of burglarizing a neighbor’s home more than two weeks ago.
Families of the slain men, Miguel Antonio DeJesus, 38, and Diego Ortiz, 30, also were present.
Yard signs lined the 7400 block of Timberline in Pasadena, where the incident took place, as well as on nearby streets.
Residents and Horn supporters waved American flags and carried signs reading, “We love our neighbor for protecting our neighbors” and “Burglary is a risky business.”
Motorcyclist Aaron “Blowout” Morrow, 43, and dozens of his fellow bikers lined Timberline, loudly revving their engines each time Quanell X attempted to speak.
“I support our rights as Americans to protect ourselves and support our Second Amendment rights,” Morrow said.
Quanell X, who said he is not certain the shooting was racially motivated, said he “wouldn’t be surprised” after Sunday afternoon’s events.
“Our protesters were peaceful in spite of racial slurs,” he said.
Some attendees screamed “USA! USA!” when Quanell X tried to speak while others booed the activist.
Numerous Pasadena police officers were on hand during the confrontation as were members of the SERT, Special Event Response Team, in riot gear but no arrests were made.
“I just can’t believe that we’ve got a race riot going on in our neighborhood,” said Michelle Howell, who lives several doors down from Horn.
“First of all, this is a quiet place, secondly we’ve got neighbors of all different races. This has nothing to do with race.”
Quanell X has called for Horn, who is white, to be charged with murder for shooting DeJesus and Ortiz, who were black.
“Our position is that we do not condone their actions. We condemn their actions,” Quanell X said. “But Horn acted as police officer, judge, jury and executioner all at the same time.”
Maritza Munoz marched with the members of the New Black Panther Nation.
“Yes, they broke into people’s houses, but it wasn’t his right to kill them. What he (Horn) did was criminal,” she said.
Carrie West grabbed a bullhorn and taunted Quanell X during his second formal attempt to address the crowd and media.
“We’re just citizens standing up for another citizen who chose to protect himself,” West said.
Supporters came from as far away as Onalaska and from all corners of Harris County.
Many took photographs and videos of the event. Most were outraged at the protest of Horn and the insinuation that race played a factor in the shooting.
Hundreds signed the back of signs that read “I support Joe Horn” with bluebonnets and a Texas flag in the background.
“It’s really simple — don’t break into people’s houses and you won’t get shot,” said Kim Jackson, who waved an American flag while yelling “Go home” at members of the New Black Panther Nation.
Horn, 61, shot DeJesus and Ortiz on Nov. 14 after telling police he saw them steal from a neighbor’s home. Horn told a 911 operator that he intended to confront and shoot the men.
The blinds were closed at the Horn home Sunday and two “No trespassing” signs were on the lawn. One noted “Violators will be prosecuted.”
It has not been determined if Horn will face charges for the homicides.
“We will be turning the case over to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in 7-10 days, and at that point it’s out of our hands,” Pasadena police spokesman Vance Mitchell said Sunday evening.