SHINER, TX — A man in Texas caught another man in the process of molesting his 4-year-old daughter and proceeded to beat the man to death.

Police say they received a call from the father late Saturday afternoon who told them he attacked a man he caught trying to sexually assault his daughter. When police arrived at the location, they found a 47-year-old man dead at the scene.

According to police, the father and daughter were with other members of the family tending to horses when the 47-year-old victim, known for his horse-grooming abilities, arrived at the family’s rural ranch with several others. Reports are that the man was not well-known to the father or his daughter.

At some point the group heard the father’s daughter screaming from behind a barn. When the girl’s father ran to check on her, he witnessed the man assaulting his daughter. After pulling the man off, the father then punched the man in the head repeatedly, killing him.

So far no charges have been filed. “You have a right to defend your daughter,” Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon said. “He acted in defense of his third person. Once the investigation is completed we will submit it to the district attorney who then submits it to the grand jury, who will decide if they will indict him.”

The girl was taken to the hospital to be evaluated and has since been released. Harmon said that, aside from mental trauma, she is fine. Harmon also told reporters that the girl’s father is “very remorseful” and didn’t know the man was going to die.

The small community rarely has murders, Harmon stating he has only investigated six in the eight years he has been sheriff, so this story has residents talking. Some who live there gathered at a popular convenience store and expressed their support for the father.

“A lot of people have said that he got what he had coming to him. That’s been the consensus. They’ve been supportive of doing what needed to be done to take care of the problem,” said Howard Gloor, owner of the convenience store that sells bait, beer, and–God love ’em–ammo.

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