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Old February 7, 2007, 03:02 PM   #1
Lurper
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Somone tried to kick in my front door!

I wasn't going to post this, but my nephew talked me into it because it shares some good tactics with the community.

Two weeks ago, I was awakened at 11:00 p.m. by a knock on my door. I live in an apt. in not the greatest neighborhood. I grabbed my PT1911 and went to the door. Standing off to the side of the door, I turned on the outside light and peeked out the peephole. I couldn't identify who it was and since both of my neighbors are single woman (one in her 20's, the other 89) and have asked me for help before, I decided to open the door. I put my left shoulder against the door and leaned into it (figuring it would take quite a bit to move me out of the way before I could fire). I cracked the door a couple of inches. There was a guy standing in front of the door (not big - about 5'6", 160lbs) so I asked him "what do you need?" He just stared at me with a blank stare, so I repeated the question. Same response, so I closed the door and locked it. I keep my front window (next to the door) cracked about 3 inches to let in fresh air. It has one of those little devices with the set screw that is supposed to stop the window from sliding and I have an entertainment center with the TV, stereo, vcr and dvd in front of the window. The guy knocked on the door again, so knowing he could hear me, I said "look buddy, get the hell outta here." He replied "open the f**** door, B*tch!" Then he started kicking the door. I went to the kitchen, grabbed the cell phone and dialed 911. I told the operator what was happening. I also told him "make sure you tell the responding officers that I am armed so there are no misunderstandings." He asked what I was armed with and if the other guy was armed (I didn't know). He then asked me several questions, all the while the BG was hollering epithets, saying he was going to kick in the door and actually kicking the door. The 911 operator could hear him. Meanwhile, I moved into my bathroom. I positioned myself behind the doorjamb just like shooting around a barricade. From there, I could see the window and the foyer, but not actually see the door. Knowing that 911 calls are recorded, I told the operator "I have retreated into my bathroom because it is the safest place and farthest from the door. However, if he enters I have no escape and I am afraid I will have to defend myself." The operator said "hang on, I show one officer just arriving on scene." Then I heard aluminum breaking (turned out to be the screen on the window), so I told the operator that I believed "he is coming thru the window." The operator said that 3 officers were on scene now. Next thing I know, the window slides open and the BG's arm reaches across the top of the entertainment center. I told the 911 operator, then everything got quiet. I again reminded him to tell the officers that I was armed so there were "no mistakes." Then I saw flashlights and finally I heard an officer identify himself. I hung up the phone, made my pistol safe (empty w/slide locked back) and went to the door. Two officers came in, I pointed to where my pistol was, one walked over and put the magazine on top of my computer monitor. The other asked me to step outside and identify the suspect. The arresting officer asked me what I wanted him to do and I said "taking him away is probably the most prudent course of action because if you don't, he'll probably just come back and I'll be forced to shoot the S.O.B." He agreed. The suspect was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. His preliminary hearing was this morning.

Turns out he was drunk (you think?) and was at the wrong appartment. He thought his wife was in mine (I even had the cops check so they could tell him). They are having marital problems obviously.

For me, the incident points out several things.

First it highlights the importance of training and the connection between competence and confidence. Knowing you have a high level of competence instills confidence. It also illustrates that you fight the way you train and that proper training makes all of the difference in the world. This is not anywhere near the first time I have been faced with shooting someone, nor the most dire situation. I can tell you that I was not scared in any of the situations. I fell back on my training and remained calm throughout. Much of what we believe in life comes from our experience. Therefore, I take issue with the claims that some people make that your reactions/perceptions/skills suffer in these situations (perhaps I should post that as a seperate thread). Not just from my experience, but from several of my LEO and military friends. My skills didn't suffer, my thought process didn't suffer, in fact my focus increased.

It also illustrates that the most important weapon you have is mindset. There was no doubt whatsoever in my mind what would have transpired had he entered the living room. There is no doubt in my mind that I would have hit him every shot I fired (and yes, I was focused on the front sight). I already knew that I would tell him "I am armed and if you come any closer I will be forced to shoot." But, that is because I have given these situations much thought BEFORE they occured. The first question I ask people who seek instruction when buying a firearm for self-defense is "Can you take another person's life?" If there is any hesitation in answering the affirmative, then I advise them to think about it and come back when they can answer without hesitation. I am amazed at how many people including LEO and miltiary have never even thought about shooting someone. While one can never say with complete certainty until the event happens, I can tell you with as near complete certainty as possible that I wouldn't hesitate for a second. Man, woman or child. Nor will I feel guilt about having done it. Those issues have already been resolved in my mind and should be in anyone's mind who contemplates a firearm for self-defense. I think I'll stop there for now as I am sure there will be some comments.
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Old February 7, 2007, 04:16 PM   #2
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Sounds to me like you did an admirable job of keeping your head on straight and behaved well under great pressure. Good job on keeping the dispatcher informed. You'd be surprised how many people expect us to know who's who at a house we've never been to. It can get pretty tense on a prowler call when somebody runs around the house with a gun in their hand only to find out it's the resident. I'm sure they'll be some disagreement from members, but I think you did pretty well.
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Old February 7, 2007, 04:40 PM   #3
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You did well. Didn't freek out and do something stupid and kept your cool. That is one crazy situation and nobody got hurt. Most people would have waited for the jerk to come in and not even have called 911 and who knows how well most people handle themselves in that scenario. You made sure that the cops who were arriving on scene knew you had a gun through dispatch so you didn't end up shot. Well done.

I think that if I were in that situation I would have picked up the shotgun instead.
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Old February 7, 2007, 04:58 PM   #4
markj
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This was one of the best tactical posts I have read so far, thank you for posting.

Quote:
I grabbed my PT1911
A Taurus? how do you like it? I am thinking of buying one myself to add to my .45 collection.
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Old February 7, 2007, 05:51 PM   #5
yomama
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Guys one lucky drunk.
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Old February 7, 2007, 06:37 PM   #6
Don H
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Quote:
Then I saw flashlights and finally I heard an officer identify himself. I hung up the phone, made my pistol safe (empty w/slide locked back) and went to the door.
How did you know that it was an officer? Did you look out the window before opening the door? Did you disarm yourself before confirming that there was a LEO outside?
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Old February 7, 2007, 06:50 PM   #7
quintos
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"While one can never say with complete certainty until the event happens, I can tell you with as near complete certainty as possible that I wouldn't hesitate for a second. Man, woman or child."

Would you even bother checking if they are a threat.
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Old February 7, 2007, 07:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Would you even bother checking if they are a threat.
If you have ever taken a life, or contemplated taking a life, surely you would understand the consequences of your actions. I would think that he's done quite a bit of thinking on the matter and has, like many folks with a good, strong survival instinct, decided that its better to live through a bad situation than to be a sacrificial lamb.
To those who have never taken a life, or experienced life threatening situations where another human is trying to take your life, this may seem callous. Its not.
I would say the man has a great mindset, and coupled with his training, and cool thinking, it makes him a credit to his community.
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Old February 7, 2007, 07:29 PM   #9
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Nice playout of the situation. excellent "by the book" response on your part.

I do have the same concern about making sure it is truly a LEO by listening to both the responding officer and also the dispatcher. Make certain the dispatcher or officer directs you to hang up. There may still be more necessary recording that could occur before the situation is completely diffused.

Otherwise, THANKS for sharing for others.
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Old February 7, 2007, 07:37 PM   #10
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Kudos!

Thanks for sharing!
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Old February 7, 2007, 08:46 PM   #11
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MarkJ: Yeah, I love my Taurus, but we did a lot of work to it. It is both my carry gun and the gun that I use to compete in Single Stack division. The quality is okay and as a basic platform it is good. Mine had rust in a lot of places because the bluing salts had not been properly cleaned off (you could still smell them). Also, fitting the trigger group components and even the mainspring housing was a bit of a chore. It seemed like the dimensions were slighty different than other 1911's. But, for $450.00 I think it is a good buy. If I get a chance, maybe I'll post a picture so you can see what we did.

Quintos: Touche, I meant after they had already been assesed as a threat to my life, not that I would wantonly roam the streets engaging targets of opportunity.
I realize that there were some mistakes that I made, but I felt it was safer to go to the door unarmed than to answer it with the gun in my hand. In fact, the initial officer who made contact with me said that dispatch had not advised them that I was armed. He also asked me if I was in Law Enforcement because there were pistols, magazines, holsters, etc. in my bedroom. I told him I was a competitive shooter and that was good enough for him.

Thanks for all of the kudos as well. The main thing is that noone had to die that night.
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Old February 7, 2007, 09:00 PM   #12
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When you think of all the trouble you would have to go through if you shot him, it tends to make one not want to shoot....same way with LEO's, and it could cost you your life. You did a fantastic job, though.
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Old February 7, 2007, 09:31 PM   #13
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Appropriate response. Your guidance to authorities was spot on. You did everything well, especially while under some pressure/stress. Others should read your post.
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Old February 7, 2007, 09:46 PM   #14
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Only mistake was opening the door the first time, that could have cost you big time. Other then moving from your neighborhood, it was good you had a gun to defend yourself.
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Last edited by AR15FAN; February 8, 2007 at 11:38 AM.
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Old February 7, 2007, 09:58 PM   #15
Lurper
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MarkJ:
Here are the photos of my PT1911. I changed the trigger (the original was too heavy), sear, hammer, disconnector, mag release + button, mainspring housing, sights and thumb safety (the original broke on disassembly - it was rusted together). I also added the mag well. I have about $550 in it ($650 if I would have not had the Bomar lying around), and would put it up against any other 1911 you could buy for that price.
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Old February 7, 2007, 10:32 PM   #16
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This is why less than lethal should always be in your self defense strategy. Your gun was your only option and you could not use it.
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Old February 7, 2007, 10:48 PM   #17
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Not trying to bash you. But you lost the element of surprise by turning on the light. And never open the door. Otherwise you did good.

Had a coworker that answered the door late one night. When he turned on the front light and looked through peephole, he was shot 3 times through the door. He lived fortunately. Turned out to be case of mistaken identity.

Just so you know, I made the same mistake as you did 25 years ago. And the guy was a drunk.
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Old February 8, 2007, 10:37 AM   #18
markj
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Quote:
MarkJ:
Here are the photos of my PT1911.
Now that is one nice 1911. I like it. HAvent had the pleasure of actually seeing one yet tho. Maybe it is time to make the journey to the gun shop, every time I do tho I end up with a new weapon
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Old February 8, 2007, 11:45 AM   #19
Lurper
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Quote:
This is why less than lethal should always be in your self defense strategy. Your gun was your only option and you could not use it.
My gun wasn't my only option since I am a trained martial artist (aikido). But as I told the cops "Ten years ago I would've just opened the door and kicked his ass but I'm pushing 50 now and don't want to be bothered."
However I must disagree if you are implying that there was a better alternative. Had I gone outside w/a Taser for example and he died as a result of the confrontation then I would have legal issues to resolve (probably costly ones too). I can't think of a better altenative than to retreat to a position of cover and concealment while waiting for the cavalry to arrive. I am open to suggestions however.

BobK, I agree. I did have enough sense to not stand behind the door and look out the peephole though. I have seen Sharkey's machine too many times. I leaned over from the side of the door. I opened it because I was worried that one of my neighbors needed help. I had told them both that if they ever needed anything to let me know and they both had done so in the past. Since word of the incident got out, they come over even more to let me know when they are not going to be home, etc. We also devised a code for them to let me know if something was wrong in their apartment. lol
Thanks for the advice.
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Old February 8, 2007, 03:12 PM   #20
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I suppose this thread is something about the castle doctrine or something but to paraphrase something from a book about gunfighting, the more my home is like a castle, the more I like it. In other words, we need better doors.
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Old February 8, 2007, 09:10 PM   #21
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Lurper--
IMHO your head is on very strait. Thanks for taking the time!!
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Old February 9, 2007, 01:58 AM   #22
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Very good, you did well!
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Old February 9, 2007, 03:13 AM   #23
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cool post. I like your insisting on the operator knowing that you are armed so that she/he can realy that to the cops.
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Old February 9, 2007, 03:19 AM   #24
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Lurper, I think you would make a good cop, the way you handled everything. Have you considered it?
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Old February 9, 2007, 08:23 AM   #25
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Text book quality - nice style...
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