View Full Version : Nashville Man Defends Against Apartment Invasion with AR15

Bartholomew Roberts
April 20, 2012, 10:36 AM
The original story can be found here:
(Second Link: http://www.wsmv.com/story/17551512/shooting-reported-in-north-nashville)

Google Maps link to shooting location:

Short version: Knock at the door at around 11pm. Man goes to answer it and sees that someone is covering the peephole. Concerned, he gets his AR15 and tells his girlfriend to call police. Upon seeing the peephole uncovered, he opens the door and a man wearing a mask, gloves and armed with a pistol charges in, pushing the homeowner into the wall. Homeowner opens fire, killing intruder and second intruder who was waiting outside flees instead of entering.

After removing the mask, the girlfriend recognizes the home invader who she apparently knew through friends and who had somehow become aware that her boyfriend was a firearms enthusiast. The attacker had been convicted of 7 felony drug counts in November; but was out on probation.

I thought this story would make for good discussion in Tactics and Training because I think there are several places this could have been handled better.

1. Better information security would have prevented the couple from being targeted to begin with. They were targeted (according to the news story anyway) because they had things of value (firearms) and the attacker knew that through a friend/acquaintance relationship with the girlfriend. Once you give someone information, that information is out of your control.

2. The homeowner OPENED THE DOOR to a man who was blocking the peephole. The story says he opened the door after the peephole was unblocked though why you would open the door to a man who was wearing a mask and gloves and carrying a pistol puzzles me. This seems like a really poor tactical choice; but I'm glad it worked out for the homeowner despite that.

3. Once again, we see a second intruder waiting in the wings unknown to the homeowner. Luckily, the second intruder once again ran like hell when the gunfire started. I hope we are all that lucky; but planning to be lucky isn't much of a plan.

4. AR15 used in self-defense in an apartment setting. No neighbors ventilated. Bad guy stopped promptly. No charges against the homeowner.

April 20, 2012, 10:51 AM
Yes, I have been thinking a lot recently about confidentiality as it relates to firearms. I don’t feel like I have to keep it a total secret from everyone, but I also see no reason to discuss it with every person I meet.

Recently I had my alarm system upgraded and they sent out a guy to do an overall security audit. Now, obviously he was there to sell me a security system, but as an off-duty Police Officer he had a lot of good observation. One thing he pointed out that I had never thought about was firearms related magazines and books. He said that when I have various people out like the exterminator I should put these items out of site. He also said he recommends disposing of unwanted magazine, catalogues and related items in the general trash as opposed to the recycle bin.

April 20, 2012, 11:42 AM
It's too easy to Monday Morning Quarterback any situation. We don't know the whole story, we jump to conclusions.

As to peep holes, be honest, how many times have we gone to someone's (we know) house and fingered the keyhole? I have, not smart but its something we do, college kids are good at this. So are family members.

It's not really hard to figure out when some one is a gun lover. The way we shop, the time we spend at the ranges. Kids/grandkids telling their friends...the list is endless.

I have nothing to hide. Just an example, one time I called an appliance repair man. In giving directions to my house, he ask where I lived in relation to the guy who sets on his back porch and shoots all day.......that be me.

In this case, the guy did what he had to do with the tools available. Setting around at night with a girl friend, guys don't normally think of home invasions.

Every thing worked to his benifit and with out being there, and knowing a lot more info, I'll not condemn him in the least.

Sure we can all think, after reading this, how we could have done thing's different, IF WE WERE EXPECTIING A HOME INVASION.

One thing he could have done, was take his girlfriend to a movie and let the insurance company cover the loss. One thing is to have a rubber door stopper to keep the door from being openned enough for someone to enter.

Lots of things looking back, but this guy was thinking (I'm sure) more about entertaining the girl friend.

Pond, James Pond
April 20, 2012, 11:47 AM
Without wishing to sound flippant... fit more peepholes.

Fit two more a foot apart and a foot below the main one.

Put one in the door frame or something like that.

If they are covering all of them, then perhaps they are not prankster friends.
If other peepholes are less evident, any ne'er-do-goods may not even noice them as they try to cover the one in the door....

A thought...

April 20, 2012, 12:18 PM
Without being flippant, one peep hole is sufficient. If it is being covered, don't open the door.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 20, 2012, 12:51 PM
And if the one or two peephole thing is too confusing for you, here is an alternate decision making strategy - if you don't feel it is safe to open the door without an AR15, don't open the door.

April 20, 2012, 01:11 PM
I've got to admit, if someone covers the peephole in my door, to me they just don't want to come in right now and want to hang out on the porch. My house actually has two side windows about 4 inches wide (but VERY far away from being able to reach in and open the door). If I can't see them (and if you hug my front door, then I can't see you) I'll simply ask who is it. If they don't answer, then they don't really want me to open the door. ;)

April 20, 2012, 01:20 PM
There was a whole thread on having better doors, doors that can be securely opened partway and use of camera systems.

This was for a guy who had a wife that had a bad habit of opening the door to whoever knocked IIRC...

I'll try to find the thread, a lot of good info in that thread.

April 20, 2012, 01:23 PM
A lot of good info in this thread:


April 20, 2012, 01:37 PM
I don't know exactly how it went down, but we know that opening doors with long guns can be tricky.

I sort of think that if someone was able to barge in, they would have been "toe to toe" with the home owner, would have knocked him back/knocked him over, or at least gotten a good opportunity to grab the long gun.

There certainly is a discussion about the decision to open the door - getting visibility to the outside etc... But I'm thinking that, if you are going to open a door, a long gun is not a good choice when doing that.

Either that or you just turn the door knob and immediately jump back with your long gun leveled at the people who just knocked... :eek:

April 20, 2012, 01:41 PM
if you don't feel it is safe to open the door without an AR15, don't open the door.

ya - I have to wonder about this..

"You call the police, I'll get my AR !"

"OK, you called the cops. I've got a full mag of NATO 5.56... alright, lets open the door."

April 20, 2012, 01:44 PM
1. As Kraigwy said sometimes people finger or thumb the peephole as a joke.

2. Not opening the door is an option but that doesn't always stop the attack if there is one coming.

3. This whole idea of "once again we see a second intruder..." yes we know there's usually a second and we know there's possible a third or more too. The thing is that unless the other(s) waiting in the wing has balls of steel or are beholden to get in and finish the job they're not going to stick around once the gunfire erupts. If they do I hope you DO have an AR-15 with a fully loaded 30rd mag.

4. Kudos to him that he had the sense of mind to do what he did (the home owner that is). He could have been like a lot of single guys out there who would have been thinking with their other head... and things could have turned out a lot worse.

5. An AR is NOT a bad weapon for home defense even in an apartment setting. Once again it all has to do with what you load it with and how you use it. He could have been shooting a Glock 17 and any missed shots would have easily penetrated the next apartment's walls and perforated some unwitting neighbor - just as easily as a 55gr SP .223 from an AR could have.

Strafer Gott
April 20, 2012, 02:01 PM
I'm saying the pistol grip on the AR, or any shotgun or AK for that matter, really helps keep the long gun in play. Plus a huge lethality plus up over a pistol. Allow me to paraphrase, "When a man with a pistol meets a man with a rifle, the man with the pistol is a dead man!"

April 20, 2012, 02:03 PM
^ He got taken to the wall.

If you're in that spot, it's way more difficult to bring a long gun to bear than a pistol.

I'm not saying a long gun is an inferior HD weapon, my actual opinion is that a 18" auto-loading shotgun is a great HD weapon in most HD circumstances.

One of the circumstances I don't think long guns are so great in is opening doors.

April 20, 2012, 02:05 PM
If all I had was a rifle or a carbine, I'd stand back from the entrance a good ways and have my girlfriend open the door :D

Jamie B
April 20, 2012, 02:13 PM
My 9 y/o son shares my enthusiasm for firearms.
He has been instructed not to discuss our weapons with anyone.
Silence is golden!

Glad that the homeowner survived, and was not charged!

April 20, 2012, 03:02 PM
"OK, you called the cops. I've got a full mag of NATO 5.56... alright, lets open the door."

Some people seem to relish the idea of having a firefight at their front door. I figure they must still be children. Perhaps they spent a lot of money on a firearm and are looking for an opportunity to justify that expense and prove they are the better warrior. Perhaps.

Going to the door and looking through the peephole strikes me as a wise move. Opening the door after it was determined that whoever, unknown number, had blocked vision of themselves strikes me as foolish at best. Especially after noting that the potential victim was uncomfortable enough with the situation tyo arm himself with his AR.

Ego reactions will get you killed.

April 21, 2012, 02:54 AM
Seems like the guy needs a different girlfriend...

April 21, 2012, 07:56 AM
I was thinking the same thing about the girlfriend. If she is hanging out with people that would pull and armed home invasion or know people like this I think I would look for a replacement girlfriend.

I also wouldn't open the door. I would stand out of the way of the door. Some one this bad would think nothing of firing a few rounds into the door.

Stand clear of the door.
Call the cop's
If they kick the door down shoot them.

Strafer Gott
April 21, 2012, 10:23 AM
My sense is that the pistolero lacked commitment. Seems he had bitten off more than he could chew. Probably unsuited to murder. Hitting people with
a weapons stash takes training and confidence. Not to mention courage!

April 21, 2012, 11:53 AM
She actually knew the perp. This bad economy is bringing out the worst in people. Perhaps the moral of this story is that its time to weed out the questionable friends. Only rock solid friends continue to be invited over and those friends get the talk. The GF too if she can't keep a cork in it.

He stopped them at the door though! You have to give him that, even with all the mistakes he made. I'm not sure why one would answer the door with a rifle, but things were happening fast for him so I'll just say huh, glad it worked out for him.

Now I am thinking about my friends and wondering who should get cut.

Double Naught Spy
April 21, 2012, 02:40 PM
2. The homeowner OPENED THE DOOR to a man who was blocking the peephole. The story says he opened the door after the peephole was unblocked though why you would open the door to a man who was wearing a mask and gloves and carrying a pistol puzzles me. This seems like a really poor tactical choice; but I'm glad it worked out for the homeowner despite that.

So you are going with certain information as factual for disucssion and throwing out other information and replacing it with what you think happened because you don't believe it? I can understand your disbelief of specific facts, but replacing the information with facts you make up to suit the story doesn't seem to offer any better reliability.

And if the one or two peephole thing is too confusing for you, here is an alternate decision making strategy - if you don't feel it is safe to open the door without an AR15, don't open the door.

Hmm, I don't really feel that it is a good idea to open the door to an unknown person without a firearm, so I should never open the door? Or is it that the standard is that it is okay to open the door if all I think is sufficient is a pistol, but if I think I need the AR15, then I should not open it?

We even answer the door armed when we can see someone we know on the porch.

"When a man with a pistol meets a man with a rifle, the man with the pistol is a dead man!"

Cute saying, but not a truism and certainly not the absolute it is made out to be.

April 21, 2012, 03:08 PM
BarryLee makes a good point about gun magazines lying in your recycle bin where they can be seen by passersby ... here's a better idea than putting them in with the fish heads and dog food cans ... cut off the subscription address label and donate them to your local library ... I volunteer at our library; we have a few shelves for donated magazines, where anybody can just come in and take them ... a good way to help your neighbors and perhaps pass our love and respect for firearms on to somebody who might not have been exposed to shooting as a hobby, sport and means of self-defense ...

Bartholomew Roberts
April 21, 2012, 03:19 PM
DNS, your point. I'm missing it.

April 22, 2012, 06:34 PM
Home defender could have simply done a callout.

As in: "Who the hell is it and what do you want!" Delivered from a more advantageous interior position.

People seem to have an ingrained "need" to open their doors for improved situational awareness. Probably reinforced from a lifetime habit of doing exactly that for minor things. A mindless, conditioned reflex.

A habit to train yourself (and loved ones) out of.

April 22, 2012, 06:58 PM
"When a man with a pistol meets a man with a rifle, the man with the pistol is a dead man!"
Cute saying, but not a truism and certainly not the absolute it is made out to be.

It is true. I saw it in A Fistful of Dollars.

Hog Red
April 22, 2012, 07:18 PM
owner: who is it?
perp: candygram
owner: huh?
perp: i'm not a masked intruder with a gun or anything.
owner: ok, come on in

April 22, 2012, 08:00 PM
^ :D

Iron Man
April 22, 2012, 08:17 PM
Two words. Security camera.

They can be inexpensive and in many instances wireless. They are often easy to hide as well.

April 22, 2012, 09:33 PM
Three words, "security screen door". I have multiple ways to watch the front door, but if I absolutely HAVE to open the door, you still face a tough, hard to see through security screen door of metal.
Good that the defender made it through OK.

April 23, 2012, 09:23 AM
Without being flippant, one peep hole is sufficient. If it is being covered, don't open the door. hahaha! :D

I am glad it worked out well for the home owner but I will never understand some peoples overpowering urge to open the door. If I dont know you, have not invited you...I dont answer the door (even when I know they can see me watching tv from the 6inch side lights)

April 23, 2012, 09:27 AM
Good no matter what the after thought is there is one less crook walking the streets wanting to do harm to people.

April 23, 2012, 12:36 PM
I'll bet the homeowners ears are still ringing.
Bottom line is though BG is dead, homeowner + GF are OK. AR-15 saved the day.

If all I had was a rifle or a carbine, I'd stand back from the entrance a good ways and have my girlfriend open the door

My dad did that to me once...except the intruder was a woodchuck that ran into our garage. To this day I would have rather been the one with the gun than the one opening the garage door...

Sheriff Gotcha
April 23, 2012, 01:09 PM
I must say this thread has opened my eyes. After lurking around for quite some time I have to finally say thank you to the people on this board for giving me more awareness into a growing facet of my life. I would of never been made aware of this had I not joined some sort of firearm forum.

I just recently, over the last 2 months, acquired the "bug" for shooting and firearms knowledge. I am hoping to make it a hobby that I can enjoy till the day I pass on. Being new to this I have told just about all of my good friends, my mother and my girlfriend of my new found hobby. Now I know when I start to actually purchase guns and safes and things of that nature to be very "hush hush" on who I release the information to. Also, those who are told are to not release the information to others in a irresponsible manor.

I would of never of thought of this as being a reason why someone would go out of their way to invade my home and possibly harm me or my family. And I am especially appreciative of this seeing as we will be welcoming a new life into our home in August so providing and protecting my first child is the number one concern for me in life.

Again I say thank you all for the litany of knowledge I have been able to learn over two short months and apologies for the long winded response.

April 23, 2012, 03:41 PM
Home owner should have called out, asking who it was. Then the nice sound of a shotgun being racked would have been a nice deteraint. But if all he had was the AR, then that is what you have to use, glad they were OK.

April 23, 2012, 04:04 PM
There are so many things in here as far as tactics...

Having visibility to the area around your entranceway
Other windows

Having a secondary door like a security storm door

Not opening a door when something is suspect - like not being able to see who is there, or something odd about the situation.

There are a lot of points, but the one that sticks out for me is that opening a door with a long gun is pretty tricky. Most long guns are deployed with two hands. Despite all the other things listed above, it would have been a lot easier for him to respond with a handgun.

The fact that the resident got pushed to the wall indicates to me that the intruder was close enough to grab the rifle... he just failed to.

April 23, 2012, 05:46 PM
Your home. Does not matter you are the home owner or a tenant. People try to harm you, you defend it. If you are a tenant your landlord will not let you make extra peepholes, nor to do alterations to the property. You always have the right to defend the best way you can. If you did and there is one less bad guy in the world, congratulation! How you did it is your business. I am sure everybody defends their life and their family the best way they can.

April 23, 2012, 07:44 PM
ChindoHome defender could have simply done a callout.
Unfortunately, I think the residents had already missed that exit on this particular highway.

It's 11pm. The man/woman at the door is covering the peephole. The neighborhood (the residents' past history, etc) is apparently sketchy enough that this sets off alarm bells.

The residents called the cops: Great choice imho.

Maybe I'm too old, but if people are knocking at 11pm and not ID'ing themselves, they are probably not on my "friends list."

Whoever is out there WANTS you to answer the door blindly. That's in their tactical advantage. I"m voting for hunkering down and calling for the police, AR or no.

April 24, 2012, 03:01 AM
Been in a home invasion before. Multiple armed guys. I did in fact open the door even after I already knew my mum and I were in grave danger. It was back in 1989. Mum went to the phone to call the cops and found out it was dead cut by the perps. At the time we did live in the burbs and we had some money at the house. Guy we loved and considered as close as family sold us out to his criminal friends we didn't know he had.

Don't be so judgmental if you are wondering why I opened the door already. My mum and I both naturally decided to open the door. The guys threatened to burn down the house with us in it. They had what looked like a can and they claimed it was full of gasoline. Once we realized we were out numbered, surprised, cornered and with no good options, that deadly fear and the warm smell of blood you feel in your nose when you know you are about to die washed over me. I lost all fear and felt like I was in a trance. The outer body experience of watching a movie that you are in set it.

Truth is neither my mum or I can really give you a logical answer why we decided to let them in. We just did. There was no fear no nothing, I just unlocked the door let them in. To this door my behavior has puzzled me. It would appear when you loose all hope you just tend to go along with whatever your tormentor asks you for. Strange but true. I had a cross bow with a bolt ready, but I just calmly put it down. It may have saved our lives, but it was not a calculated or rationally thought out act.

If that was now, I wouldn't be so cooperative. Someone would have some lead embedded in them real fast am sure. Atleast I think so, but only way you ever really find out is when the real thing happens.most of the time you are not even close in terms of what you think you'd do. :eek:

April 24, 2012, 03:39 AM
I'm still trying to figure out why he opened the door without knowing who was there. Also, why didn't he wait for the police to arrive before opening the door? Just because someone knocks, especially late at night, doesn't mean you have to open the door. He put himself and his GF at great risk by letting the assailant in the apartment.

Never open the door unless you KNOW and TRUST who is there.

April 24, 2012, 05:40 PM
dec, don't leave us hanging - what happened? Did everyone get out of that one all right?

April 24, 2012, 07:37 PM
Well it's a bit of a thread detour, but guys standing in front of your door with a can of gas threatening to set fire to your house unless you capitulate:


This is when a .44 magnum or something like 10 ga with #000 Buck comes in handy. They get a lesson in the difference between cover and concealment. Or they're going to learn the second use of a peephole for a resident - used by the resident to line their gun up on target. And then they're going to get lead & wooden splinters.

April 25, 2012, 01:01 AM
Guys please excuse my detouring the thread here, I just like to respond to armored. Maybe we can all learn from the experience.

Armoredman,I have been a bit busy. But back to your question we all got out alright. Even the perps thankfully. They all got caught thanks to their sconned mastermind. Like you wouldn't believe it, he was among the neighbors who came over to offer their sympathies. But you know what they say about cops having a sixth sense? Sometimes they can smell a perp. We were heartened by his sympathetic posing, but it caught the attention of one of the investigating detectives :). He immediately told us he had a hunch our friend was in on it, and that to try and get him to come over the next day when the detectives would be back again to see if we had any new recollections or discovered what else they took.

So next day he was conveniently there and when interviewed about the prior week snd then he was pressed, he left a few too many clues so they arrested him on a different unrelated charge then let him bond out. His buddies then didnt give him his fair share and he having been the source was so angry when he was offered a chance to help the detectives so they'd go easy on the other charge, he ratted them out but claimed he overheard about their involvement. He was hoping to get them in trouble without implicating himself. He got arrested along with the entire crew. Got charged with receiving stolen property, aiding and abetting, as he was the lookout. The othe 4 guys got convicted of armed roberly and kidnapping. One of them got attempted murder for trying to run me over with a truck. God was with me that night. I fell trying to run away and the truck went over me but I didn't have a scratch on me. I just went under and between the wheels. He would later reveal he was stoned on crack because he didnt have th nerve to do a robbery without a little help.

The guys were not too smart. They started fighting among themselves over the loot and were all arrested within a week. Two of them were barely 20 blamed the older guys but it didn't work in court. They told the judge they did it for money for drugs. That they were misled by their older buddies.

I believe reason we didn't get killed or seriously harmed was because we didn't resist. My mum is very small couldn't physically do a thing to any of them. Myself I was 18y/o teen who didn't have much of a clue what to do. But the whole opening the door thing is strange. I mean I did open the door too, and I still can't explain it. It's weird. You just kind of open it and feel like you are I. A trance. You are not even afraid. I think it might be the mind resigning to the fact that the thug(s) will do what they cme thre for no matter what you do maybe. I used to be scared cat honestly, but when it happened I just opened the door and they came in. We had never ran over that scenario and made plans as a family. If we had, outcome would have been different. I don think I'd ever have been dumb enough to open th door.

My suspicion with this guy is he much like us had never run such a scenario in his mind therefore he had no plan at all. Under pressure, you can't think straight and instead go into auto-pilot mode and react based on prior practice or thoughts so incredibly stupid stuff can happen because from my own experience I can tell you there is not very much thought at all let alone rational thought. You just kind of act.

April 25, 2012, 02:08 AM
Thanks for sharing that story, and its great to hear it had a positive turnout. Must be a scary experience though!! :eek:

Back on topic, sometimes my go-to HD of choice is my AR because it is the only weapon in the home (when I leave the pistol in the car).