Teen's Death Prompting Discussions Between Kids, Parents

Boy shot, killed during attempted burglary, police say

By Ben Russell
|  Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012  |  Updated 12:21 PM CDT
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The death of a 14-year-old east Dallas boy, who was shot and killed Monday by a homeowner during a burglary, has forced a series of difficult conversations between classmates of the teen and their parents.

Ben Russell, NBC 5 News

The death of a 14-year-old east Dallas boy, who was shot and killed Monday by a homeowner during a burglary, has forced a series of difficult conversations between classmates of the teen and their parents.

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Photos and Videos

Teen Fatally Shot While Allegedly Breaking Into Home

Dallas police say a 14-year-old boy was shot and killed by a homeowner when he tried to burglarize a home with two other teenagers.

Teen Killed in Deadly Home Invasion Shooting

Police say a 14-year-old boy was shot and killed by a Dallas homeowner. Police said the boy and two other juveniles were breaking into a home on Vallejo Drive.
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The death of a 14-year-old east Dallas boy, who was shot and killed Monday by a homeowner during a burglary, has forced a series of difficult conversations between classmates of the teen and their parents.

Lawrence King, who dropped his 12-year-old daughter off outside of John B. Hood Middle School Tuesday morning, told NBC 5 that he and his daughter stayed up late Monday night talking about what happened.

"I want her to pass on to her friends there's no need to skip school.  For what?  You've got a chance to be an adult when it's your time," King said.

Luis Avila, 14, and two other friends, aged 13 and 14, reportedly skipped class Monday and went to a home on Vallejo Drive, just a few blocks from their school.

After ringing the doorbell, according to police, Avila and his friends went around to the rear of the home and kicked the back door in.

Inside, the homeowner, Lee Cobbler, reportedly warned the teens to leave the home and that he was armed. 

Dallas police told NBC 5 that Cobbler was on the phone with 911 at the time.  Cobbler then shot Avila, who died at the scene.  The other two teens were later arrested running away from the scene.

Avila's cousin, Daniela Chavez, 17, said Tuesday that her family is having a difficult time coming to terms with what happened.

"It's hard to lose somebody so close to you," Chavez said, fighting back tears.

Avila was a good kid who hung out with the wrong crowd, Chavez said.  Why he decided to skip class Monday and, instead, break into a home, she cannot say.

"I've heard a lot of people just talking down on him, and I don't think that's right ... saying that's what he deserved. He was young," Chavez said.

Cobbler has not been charged with a crime, police said, but the facts of the case will be presented to a grand jury.

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