PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Port Arthur Police officers are investigating a house fire that happened around midnight on Tuesday at the same home where three people broke in and held a family at gunpoint Sunday night.
An eyewitness tells 12News a neighbor saw smoke and flames coming from the home and dialed 911. No one was home when the fire started. Right now, the motive is unknown, but police said they believe the house was targeted.
Sunday night home invasion details from the Port Arthur Police Department
Port Arthur Police detectives found three armed men had forced their way into the house on Sunday and held a family at gunpoint right after a woman who lived in the house came home, according to news releases. Officials believe the suspects and the homeowner know each other.
The mother of two inside the home said the children are shaken up by the incident. Her 5-year-old son is still upset after the suspects pointed a gun at young boy, she told 12News.
The 29-year-old homeowner heard the commotion and came out of another room with a rifle to confront the robbers and protect his young children, Port Arthur Police said in news releases. He fired several shots at one of the men, who died. The other two suspects fled the area before officers arrived at the scene.
Officers found Terence Ellies, 27, dead inside the home, Detective Mike Hebert said in a news release Monday morning. Justice of the Peace Tom Gilliam ordered an autopsy.
Shots fired near the home soon after home invasion
Less than 24 hours after the Sunday home invasion in Port Arthur, police were back near the scene Monday evening.
According to investigators, shots were fired Monday in the 2500 block of 18th Street. On Sunday night, investigators said a 29-year-old man shot and killed one of three people holding his family at gunpoint in their own home.
That call came in around 8:30 on December 27.
Detective Hebert said there's a possibility all three cases are connected.
How to send in an anonymous tip
The incident is still being investigated by Port Arthur's Criminal Investigations Division. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (409) 833-TIPS. Police haven't said if the Monday shots fired call is connected to the home invasion.
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Port Arthur house fire at the scene of Sunday night home invasion
If you have information about a crime you could earn a cash reward of up to $1000 by providing an ANONYMOUS tip to Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas.
Call 833-TIPS (8477) or download the P3Tips App on your mobile device to submit your tip anonymously.