MAYPEARL — Two teenagers died Wednesday afternoon in a failed home invasion robbery attempt south of Maypearl in Ellis County.
The teens were identified as Kenneth Chaffin, 17, and Dillon King, 18, both of Oklahoma.
It all started around 1 p.m. when a woman alone in her two-story rural farmhouse on Bee Creek Road heard a rattle at the door. She told deputies she saw two men trying to break in — one of whom was dressed in camouflage with a gun strapped to his back.
The woman called her husband, who was pulling into the driveway at about the same time. He raced inside the house and got a gun.
Investigators said the homeowner and the suspects exchanged a significant amount of gunfire, with some rounds penetrating the walls of the residence.
"The homeowner was hit. There's multiple rounds through his house," said Lt. James Saulter of the Ellis County Sheriff's Department. "Actually, one of them went through the side, and is above the bed in the master bedroom." The homeowner's wound was superficial. He was treated by paramedics at the scene and is expected to fully recover.
One suspect was shot by bullets from the homeowner and was dead at the scene, although he appeared to have died from a self-inflicted wound, Saulter said. The other suspect fled in a pickup truck reported stolen from Oklahoma. He only drove a few hundred yards across the street into another field. He was found dead. Investigators believe he also shot himself.
The pickup truck had Oklahoma plates, and police there had put out an alert warning the owner's 17-year-old son, Chaffin, was thought to have taken it. He was also suspected of stealing guns, pills, ammunition, and $1,000 from his family.
Police had warned that Chaffin was armed and dangerous.
Some neighbors who live in the same Ellis County community said they heard gunfire Tuesday night, and then saw a red pickup speeding away. They now wonder if it is the same truck involved in the home invasion on Wednesday.
"We live out here because we like living in the country," said Lacy McCarty. "It's really odd and scary that it's this close."
Saulter said while there will be an investigation, it appears the homeowners did nothing wrong. "Our sheriff is always letting homeowners know to arm themselves. This is one of the reasons why," he said. "Sometimes it takes a while for us to get out this far, and they have to take care of it themselves."
"They were in fear for their lives, their house was being broken into, the suspects were armed," Saulter added. "Early indications are everything was justified."