DICKINSON — Authorities arrested a man who they allege was shot with his own weapon in a home-invasion robbery.

Authorities identified the man as Richard Charles Holcomb, 32, of Alvin. Holcomb remained jailed Monday on $250,000 bond on a charge of aggravated robbery, stemming from a 7:45 a.m. Sunday incident near Dickinson, the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

A man entered a house in the 200 block of Shady Bend Court, which is in an unincorporated area near Dickinson. The homeowner, Charles Eiler, 47, heard a signal that let him know the door was opening, sheriff’s office Capt. Barry Cook said.

Eiler confronted a man wearing a white mask. The man pointed a handgun at Eiler, ordering him to the ground.

The robber demanded his money, car keys and jewelry, Cook said.

Eiler told the man his wallet and keys were in his bedroom, and they went to the room where the homeowner’s wife and son were. The robber then demanded jewelry, which Eiler didn’t have, and the robber became angry, Cook said.

“He defended himself,” Cook said. “A struggle ensued over the gun, which discharged twice.”

The struggle continued until the homeowner had possession of the gun, and it discharged two more times, Cook said.

The robber fled and left in a dark color Chevrolet on FM 517, Cook said. As deputies investigated, Alvin police called.

“They had stopped a vehicle with a gunshot victim, who was in possession of the victim’s wallet,” Cook said. “The suspect had a gunshot wound to the hand and leg.”

Holcomb was taken to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and was treated and released to the sheriff’s office.

Eiler didn’t know Holcomb, Cook said.

Contact reporter Chris Paschenko at 409-683-5241 or chris.paschenko@galvnews.com.


(25) comments

George Croix

An almost happy ending.

Dorothy Holt


Gary Miller

A story in news might be linked to this incedent.
The FBI reported gun sales have doubled over the last ten years.
During that time gun crimes fell by half.
Yes BHO. More guns means less crime.
This one was ended by the criminals own gun.

Lars Faltskog

Maybe this victim needed a second gun handy to counteract his 1st one he owned that got used in his getting shot. As mentioned in many intelligent corners, weaponry that is not wisely accounted for can cancel out any advantages or upper hand that one thinks he/she has.

Hopefully the victim knows now to secure his weapon(s) from now on. Very fortunate that he'll be able to recover so that he can get a 2nd chance.

william martinez

sverige1, you refer to the victim in this as the man that was shot, the way i see it the homeowner and his family the victims...the idiot that got shot is far from being the victim unless you mean he is a victim of his own ignorance.[wink]

Kevin Lang

In Sharia Law, he'd probably get his hand chopped off. Apparently, the reason is becoming clearer as to why some people hate the thought of Sharia--the punishment is too lax.

George Croix

The bad guy survived.
That rates the incident an 'almost'.

Kevin Lang

Your initial post was quite clear. Hence, my post. You feel that Sharia is too lax for robbers.

Under gecroix's law, are there any crimes that you wouldn't prescribe death for? We already know that you feel murder and robbery should. How about jaywalking or speeding? Or maybe a couple of co-workers go out for drinks and one coworker leaves after the other bought the first round?

Certainly, this homeowner would have been within his rights to shoot the robber, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with this outcome. The robber has a couple of painful reminders of the downside of the life of crime. I guess we'll see how well he learns his lesson.

George Croix

Maybe you'll get a chance to personally see if he's learned his lesson if the next person he holds a gun on is you.
I'm not sure why this subject is worthy of petulance on your part. If being attacked in one's own home by a person pointing a gun at you, and subsequently having 4 shots fired in the area of ones family as you attempt to not be killed by the attacker, isn't reason enough to wish ill for the person who started the whole fracas in the first place for you, then what is?
Now, we'll in all likelihood get to provide at taxpayer expense an attorney for this poor victim of society who'll see to it that he spends the least amount of time in jail possible, then in all likelihood this loser will lose it again and get a shot, pun intended, at somebody else. Again, maybe you.
There are lots of crimes for which death is not appropriate. Fortunately for so many advocates for criminals, criminal stupidity is one of them.

Lars Faltskog

Well, isn't it 'christian' to forgive and encourage that these criminals seek redemption? Will robbers, DWI-ers receive ultimate and eternal forgiveness if we, on the human end of things, cut their life short for our revenge's sake?

For those who advocate lopping off criminals, one of these criminals might end up being your own son or daughter, seeking your and others' forgiveness.

Kevin Lang

gecroix, if he happens to invade my home, and if he fails to escape alive, I will seek my own personal guidance, and if I feel any praise is deserved, I will afford it upon myself. I will neither seek nor accept your applause. I will be happy that my family is alive, but I will not take pleasure that someone else's family is lost one of its own. I'm sorry, but I just don't feel that the death of anyone is cause for celebration.

The homeowner successfully protected his family and the bad guy is going to face the criminal justice system. What's wrong with leaving it at that? Why should anyone be giving cause for the homeowner to feel his performance was somehow lacking?

Lars Faltskog

Response to kevjlang posted at 12:11 pm on Tue, Mar 19, 2013 -

Well, Kevin...I have blow-hard relatives who talk big and brag about how when everytime they suspect that an "intruder" has darkened their propertylines - their tales of protectedness get more colorful. More colorful each time they tell it.

With their tales of macho prowess, the guns/rifles grow bigger, the square footage that they chased the culprit increases ten-fold. But, if the real thing were to happen, I'm certain they would cower and hesitate - as to be expected - because we're all human. Our reaction toward these kinds of things would be unpredictable, no doubt.

George Croix

It's always easier to win your argument when you create it from thin air in the first place.
It's your loss, sport.

Stephen Murphy

If an intruder breaks into a home pointing a gun at the homeowner, most normal homeowners would take that to mean their life is in imminent danger. In Texas and other "castle doctrine" states, the homeowner is, by law, permitted to end the intruder's life without becoming liable for prosecution. That works for me. Unfortunately, this intruder lives to see another day.

Kevin Lang

GalvTexGuy, that the homeowner was within his rights to shoot the guy is not in question. Seemingly, the fact he didn't "finish" the job seems to be. In my book, the fact he and his family are safe and the suspect is in custody is perfectly fine. Regardless, he and his family have more than enough trauma to live with. I wouldn't wish a dead body on anyone's household.

Stephen Murphy

Believe me, I wouldn't lose a minute of sleep. You can call me heartless, but as far as I am concerned, scumbags who prey on innocent victims don't deserve a second chance. The fact that the scumbag WILL get a second chance at some time in the future to victimize another innocent family and you are perfectly okay with that disgusts me.

When a scumbag breaks into someone's home and points a gun at them, the scumbag has demonstrated a willingness to take calculated risks. One of the risks the scumbag demonstrates he is willing to take is being killed. If the homeowner had, indeed, killed the scumbag, the homeowner could take solace in the fact that the scumbag was perfectly okay with dying in the first place.

Kevin Lang

GalvTexGuy, I agree with everything you write, except for characterizing me as being OK with the guy potentially having another chance. What I'm not OK with is implying the homeowner failed his duty for not killing him. The guy is still alive and beyond that, we have nothing else we can do except let the criminal justice system take it from here.

At this point, if the criminal justice system determines this to be a capital case, and a jury of his peers finds him guilty and subject to capital punishment, that's what he'll get. Otherwise, he'll get some jail time and eventually be back on the streets. Is that good? Perhaps not. Is that something we can change by imposing our own will on? No. It's the foundation of our criminal justice system.

Everything the homeowner did was legal and within his own rights and perogative. The homeowner did not fall short. If this man happens to get out of jail and tries something like this again, then it's not this homeowner's fault, but that of the justice system and this criminal.


Good arguments from both sides. Here is something to think about. What if the intruder later after he heals up, then wants a little "PAY BACK?" What if he comes back at the family who gave him lead instead of jewelry, gold and silver? I'm just asking.

Lars Faltskog

Well, JBG -
I've often heard that these home burglar robber-types do these things at random. When he heals up and later gets out, he'll seek out another hapless suburban family to victimize.

All I know is that most burglars/robbers don't know who or who doesn't have a gun in the home. Defending home and hearth with a gun is a crap game. A blunt instrument might be just as effective or non-effective, but at least it won't "go off" unexpectedly.

Kevin Lang

The single biggest deterrent to home burglary/robbery? Being home. Second? Making it appear you're home. Third? Motion sensing lights and/or dogs barking.

If you aren't home, it doesn't matter how well armed you are.

In a few years, if then, when he's back on the street, it's likely this family will have moved, possibly well out of his range. If he decides to resume his career in robbery, I'd think the might not want to mess with that family again. It's quite likely he'd look for an easier target--a home where they're all out fo rthe evening, perhaps?


I disagree, burglars have been known to hit the same targets more than once, and I know this to be true.

Kevin Lang

Yeah, if they know there's a particularly good supply of "stuff" there. Most homes aren't that good of cachet's of good stuff--unless you're a drug dealer, or you refuse to keep your money in a bank. Once a reasonably intelligent homeowner gets burgled or robbed once, they usually take better prevantative measures to avoid a next time. Of course, some people--victims and perpetrators--don't learn lessons very easily, and when you combine the two, you probably do get a few repeats.

When you're talking about convenience stores, banks, game rooms, etc., the draw for repeat business is pretty obvious.


Okay Mr.Lang, whatever you say. I digress and move on.

Kevin Lang

Jbgood, I certainly wasn't trying to disagree with your statement. Rather, stating that it's probably not the general MO for burglars to keep hitting the same house over and over.

Lars Faltskog

As Kevin said - "Most homes aren't that good of cachet's of good stuff--unless you're a drug dealer, or you refuse to keep your money in a bank."

And, that is the crux of the issue right there. I recall about a year ago that infamous case on the island where this family who did a fundraiser stashed the $ in an armoir (full of tightie whities and socks) and surprise surprise: all the $ got stolen.

I still would bet the farm that someone in the family tipped off to a friend/acquaintance that they had all that $ in the chest of drawers.

While that hapless family wasn't involved in crime (no drug dealers, no mob hit men), they had the ingredients for opening themselves up to burglary. They probably won't get "hit on" again, unless they do something else dumb.

That's how it is, generally. Burglars do their thing at random, looking for easy targets. The family in this latest story will likely never have another break-in, and thank goodness, since they went through a lot.

I got broke into once when I was living in Austin. It was kind of humorous, looking back, because the burglar used some box cutter and cut through the screen window cover and unhooked the window frame from the windowsill. And, wahlaa....he made his way into my rent house only to find Top Ramen in the kitchen and a make-shift dining room table, a cheap hand-me-down color TV set (the kind you had to twist the knob to get rid of the isobar lines). Paper plates, plastic silverware. And, an annoying/barking mixed breed small terrier mutt that looked like Toto on "Wizard of Oz". She had to have growled at the burglar in the same way Toto growled at the wicked witch when they all confronted her in the castle. Needless to say, nothing was taken.

I didn't have to ward off the fool with my supped up "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte"-type rifle. So, sorry, I don't have a macho "I killed a burglar" story to tell so that I can "trash" our President and his goal to "get rid of all our guns".

This burglar had to have been on crack to "choose" my house. Again - it was just random. He/she never came back again.

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