Homeowner fatally wounds burglary suspect in Jefferson County

David and Marla Gilmore, Cameron Kaminsky, and the alley where Kaminsky died

UPDATE: Homeowner faces no charges in shooting death of intruder

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A sleepy, rural neighborhood in Hamshire was awakened abruptly in the wee hours of Aug. 17 when gunshots rang out as a San Jacinto Street homeowner fired his pistol at a masked intruder. The suspected burglar was fatally wounded in the incident, and once his bandana was lifted, shock set in as the community learned the alleged intruder was 16-year-old local high school student Cameron Kaminsky.

Now, newly revealed information about the homeowner and his family connections, as well as the teen intruder – including items he carried with him during the break-in – have shed new light on the incident.

According to the initial news release from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, a homeowner in the 15000 block of San Jacinto Street in Hamshire was awakened by his barking dog after 2 a.m. on the morning of the shooting. The man got up from bed and went to investigate with pistol in hand to confront any potential intruder, reports JCSO. When he reached the kitchen of his home, he told investigators, he saw a man whose face was obscured by a bandana. Several shots were reportedly fired, and when deputies arrived sometime after 2:30 a.m., they discovered the still-masked suspect lying motionless in a neighbor’s yard. Concerned neighbors had armed themselves and gathered in the street nearby, Chief Deputy Rod Carroll reports, keeping an eye on the wounded suspect until law enforcers arrived.

Hamshire Volunteer Fire Department EMS responded, but it was too late. Kaminsky, was pronounced dead in an alleyway between two San Jacinto Street homes.

In the days following the shooting, Kaminsky’s family reportedly told local media sources that Kaminsky would never have illegally entered someone’s home, speculating that the teen was acting as lookout for the true perpetrators who must have been behind the planned crime.

But investigators looking into the shooting and neighbors who witnessed its aftermath say they believe that Kaminsky acted alone. Residents of the neighborhood who did not wish to be identified told The Examiner they heard the shots fired that fateful August morning.

“I heard it, but I didn’t see anything,” one woman said regarding the shooting.

According to her, she heard the shots and went outside to see the homeowner who shot Kaminsky and another neighborhood man running in the direction they were told the masked suspect had fled. The homeowner reportedly was not sure he had actually struck the intruder, who was exiting the home through the back door, and reports indicate that he did not know the identity of the suspect, even after the shooting.

“They got outside so fast, there is no way there could have been anyone else with (Kaminsky),” she said. “They would have seen them.”

“It’s always a tragedy when a teenager is killed,” Chief Carroll remarked, but added, “We have no reason to believe there was anyone else working with him.”

Investigators are reviewing video surveillance from the neighborhood, according to neighbors, but have not named any other persons of interest nor have they made any arrests in connection with the presumed burglary.

Bullet holes could be observed through the 6-foot wooden privacy fence the injured suspect reportedly climbed in his effort to escape. From observation, it appears that two bullets struck a camper at a nearby residence on the other side of the damaged fence.

No charges are currently pending against the homeowner. Chief Carroll said the case would be turned over to the District Attorney’s office for review upon completion, but it appears the man acted in self-defense. Carroll would not say whether or not the teen was armed at the time of the shooting, but neighbors say Kaminsky was carrying a weapon and something else.

“He had a some kind of club, I think it was (a portion of) a pool cue — and duct tape,” said a witness to events following the shooting.

Carroll would not speculate regarding Kaminsky’s possible motive.

The home where the shooting took place, according to public records, is the home of David Gilmore, a Hamshire-Fannett Independent School District board of trustees member, who reportedly lives at the San Jacinto Street residence with his family. His wife is Marla Gilmore, a teacher at Hamshire-Fannett High School where Kaminsky was a student.

The investigation is ongoing.

 

Sharon Brooks can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 241.

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