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Patrick Sims, 28, Jeffrey Chaney Jr., 25, Marcus Whitaker, 33 Bayou Body Count Nos. 59-61

Many Texans like to think that stashing a gun in the house will keep them safe. But this isn't always the case. And there's a chance that two robbery victims could still be alive if they didn't have such easy access to a firearm.

Jeffrey Chaney, Jr. was standing in the doorway of his buddy Patrick Sims' apartment along the 7700 block of West Airport in southwest Houston on Sunday evening, police say, when an alleged robber walked up to Chaney, 25, and jammed a gun in his face. The gunman, later identified as Marcus Whitaker, 33, then forced Chaney inside the home.

Sims, 28, was already inside his apartment when he saw his friend, who was visiting from Rosharon, held at gunpoint, so he ran and grabbed his gun.

We're guessing, however, that things did not go as Sims planned.

Police say that Sims shot the intruder in the chest, but immediately after he fired, Whitaker was able to retaliate by squeezing off a pair of shots, striking both Sims and Chaney in the head. All three men died.

Officers say they found drugs and cash in Sims' home and that Whitaker was trying to rob the place.

We'd hate to think what might have happened if Sims hadn't kept a gun in his home.

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