Two men were shot and killed Sunday near Athens after they invaded a home and attempted to rob two residents, according to Henderson County Sheriff's Office reports.
Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said the deceased are Steven Kelley, 49, of Winona and Cecil Spain, 31, of Grand Saline.
The residents of the house were slightly injured in the confrontation that occurred shortly after 4 p.m. in the 2800 block of Hopson Drive
“It was a home invasion and attempted robbery that went very bad,” Hillhouse said. “The assailants entered the residence under the pretext that they were customers. The two men posed as customers looking to purchase a dog from a man and woman at their Athens-area residence.”
The couple was physically restrained and suffered minor injuries during the home invasion. Both deceased men were armed with handguns during the home invasion.
The deceased were identified with the assistance of the Mesquite Police Department, Crime Scene Unit’s fingerprint analyst Detective Aaron Martin.
Henderson County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 Milton Adams conducted an inquest at the scene and ordered the deceased to be sent to American Forensics in Mesquite for an autopsy.
Henderson County 392nd District Judge Scott McKee issued a search warrant for the residence. Officers spent several hours at the home gathering evidence. Hillhouse said the HCSO has a vehicle thought to be the one driven by the alleged robbers in its possession.
The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Henderson County District Attorney’s Office, and the Texas Rangers are investigating the case.
Though the residents sustained only minor injuries in the confrontation, they are dealing with the emotional impact of the incident.
“They're fine,” Hillhouse said. “It was traumatic, but they're holding it together.”
Hillhouse said it's been a long time since Henderson County had an incident where someone had been killed in a robbery or break-in attempt.