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Old July 1, 2009, 10:28 AM   #1
OldMarksman
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Homeowner Shoots Burglar

Here's another one. A perp with a long record broke into a house at night and ended up getting shot.

The homeowner went outside and around the house with a shotgun to confront the burglar. Things seem to have turned out OK but most experts wouldn't recommend that strategy.

I would be surprised that anyone would try at that approach, but a few nights ago a friend of mine did exactly the same thing, but the people attempting to break in through a window heard him and slipped away.

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HOLLY HILL – A security alarm went off at a Holly Hill accountant’s residence in the pre-dawn hours Tuesday, rousing the sleeping homeowner who grabbed his gunshot, confronted an intruder standing in his doorway and shot the burglar in the shoulder.

L. Glenn Littlejohn, 71, of 1244 Peake St. interrupted the suspect, Roosevelt Elmore Jr., at around 4:55 a.m. as Elmore stood in the doorway of Littlejohn’s home, according to police.

Holly Hill Police Chief Robert Wunderlich said an unarmed Elmore allegedly forced his way though a doorway into the kitchen of the victim’s home.

Littlejohn, after being awakened by the alarm, “grabbed his shotgun, went out the back door and went around to the side of the house where the suspect made entrance and confronted the suspect in the doorway,” Wunderlich said.

He said Littlejohn shot Elmore in his right shoulder with a 12-gauge shotgun. The wounded Elmore fled the scene, and Littlejohn called 911, the chief said.

Moments later, Wunderlich said, a 30-year-old male resident of Gilmore Avenue called law enforcement after observing a man with a gunshot wound standing on his front porch.

Wunderlich said the suspect ran nearly 300 yards from Littlejohn’s house before arriving at the Gilmore Avenue residence. Holly Hill officers were able to follow a trail of blood in tracing Elmore’s escape route from Peake Street to Gilmore Avenue, he said.

“He (Elmore) had several pellet punctures in the upper shoulder area,” Wunderlich said.

Officers recovered one spent three-inch shotgun cartridge from the scene. Sgt. Andy Myers said an unspent cartridge could contain 15 pellets. Wunderlich said Elmore had 14 puncture wounds. However, he said some of the wounds may be the result of shotgun pellets exiting the suspect’s body.

Emergency crews responded and transported Elmore by helicopter to the Medical University of South Carolina, where he underwent surgery on his shoulder, Wunderlich said. He said Elmore’s injuries didn’t appear to be life-threatening.

Elmore was charged with felony first degree burglary, Wunderlich said. If convicted, he could face from 15 years to life in prison, the police chief said.

Wunderlich said Elmore is also a “person of interest” in three previous reported burglaries at Littlejohn’s home in recent months – on Dec. 24, 2008, March 5 and April 10.

Wunderlich said Elmore’s criminal rap sheet is lengthy, including convictions for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, burglary and forgery.



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Old July 1, 2009, 10:30 AM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Stupid.... but completely legal.
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Old July 2, 2009, 12:41 AM   #3
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Sounds like he handled it fine.
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Old July 2, 2009, 08:52 PM   #4
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Zap - immature blood lust

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Old July 2, 2009, 09:11 PM   #5
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There's no way for me to know what his situation is but I would definitely try to ascertain where the threat(s) is/are before I exited the house. Fortunately for me we're the only house for 100yds in every direction and surrounded by flat open pasture AND have motion activated floodlights covering about 270 degrees around the house.
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Old July 2, 2009, 10:01 PM   #6
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It's hard to say that what the homeowner did was smart or not tactically. It's quite possible that leaving the house as soon as the alarm went off was the smart thing to do. If you're in the back of the house when you hear an intruder break into the front of the house, immediately leaving by a back or side door might be the best course of action.

Once outside, looking to confront the intruder is a separate matter. In this case, it did not end unhappily for the homeowner.
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Old July 2, 2009, 10:13 PM   #7
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I don't see how leaving an area that you have control over to go into an area that could have any number of BGs waiting for you could possibly be the tactically smart move.

He should have retreated to a safe room and waited for the police, shooting only if confronted.

If he was going to confront the BG then it was far safer to do it from inside, where he was in reasonable control.
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Old July 2, 2009, 10:16 PM   #8
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I wouldn't suggest going outside, so I am glad this turned out ok for the homeowner...for now...
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Old July 2, 2009, 10:19 PM   #9
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I guess i cant judge him since i wasnt in his shoes.But he's alive and well and thats all that counts.
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Old July 2, 2009, 11:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
I don't see how leaving an area that you have control over to go into an area that could have any number of BGs waiting for you could possibly be the tactically smart move.
Control over an interior area may be illusory. The fact is that the BG already entered a "controlled area." And there could be any number of BGs waiting for you in the house.

Don't you know that in every teen slasher flick, the victim runs upstairs instead of outside!!!! And everyone in the audience knows it's a mistake.

Quote:
He should have retreated to a safe room and waited for the police, shooting only if confronted.
That's assuming he had a safe room. We're not discussing what might be ideal. We're discussing whether it might be advisable under some circumstances to leave the house. I say that there could well be such circumstances. Particularly if passage to the safe room might have exposed the homeowner to any number of BGs waiting for him.

Quote:
If he was going to confront the BG then it was far safer to do it from inside, where he was in reasonable control.
I wasn't proposing to confront the BG. That's a separate decision.

But assuming the decision has been made to confront the BG, doing so from the outside can provide the element of surprise and ability to maneuver.

One size does not fit all, no matter what the label in the hat says.
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Old July 3, 2009, 08:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
The fact is that the BG already entered a "controlled area." And there could be any number of BGs waiting for you in the house.
"Waiting for you in the house?" The homeowner was in the house when the alarm went off. Yeah, there could have been more than one intruder in the house, but that possibility would not motivate me to go out to try to sneak up on one of them from outside.

Quote:
But assuming the decision has been made to confront the BG, doing so from the outside can provide the element of surprise and ability to maneuver.
But the advantage of the element of surprise would more likely accrue to the intruder, who could hear the homeowner coming out and around, or to accomplices waiting outside.

And it could put the homeowner square in the sights of a neighbor or of a policeman who had been called. A man with a gun in the dark approaches a door to a house that has another man inside when a burglary has been reported...a prescription for disaster.

I'll second Peezakilla's earlier comment: "stupid." Harsh, perhaps, but properly descriptive.

Again, a friend of mine took exactly the same approach the other night. The burglars heard him coming and took off.

This isn't a matter of training, it's a matter of thinking.

Quote:
Don't you know that in every teen slasher flick, the victim runs upstairs instead of outside!!!! And everyone in the audience knows it's a mistake.
Joke, I presume. The victim is always unarmed.

Quote:
We're discussing whether it might be advisable under some circumstances to leave the house. I say that there could well be such circumstances. Particularly if passage to the safe room might have exposed the homeowner to any number of BGs waiting for him.
More likely that the "BGs" would be outside than waiting in the safe room, I think. Now, some state laws do require retreat from the home, but it would seem likely to me that that would entail great risk. Could the 71 year old homeowner have safely escaped? Who knows? I'm younger than he is, and it's unlikely that I would try even if I were home alone.

Far better to defend oneself from a defensive position whenever possible.
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Old July 3, 2009, 08:23 AM   #12
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Don't you know that in every teen slasher flick, the victim runs upstairs instead of outside!!!! And everyone in the audience knows it's a mistake.
No self respecting teen slasher flick antagonist would be named "Roosevelt Elmore Jr." nor would they stalk a 71 year old male so this doesn't apply.

The homeowner is lucky that this guy was just a fairly incompetent and unobservant burglar. I would have called the police, turned on the outside lights, and waited inside quietly with the gun. I doubt if he would have hung around after the lights went on. I'm glad the guy was caught but I wouldn't have risked an outside encounter especially with a wife and kids in the house in my case.
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Old July 3, 2009, 10:17 AM   #13
OldMarksman
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Quote:
The homeowner is lucky that this guy was just a fairly incompetent and unobservant burglar.
My thoughts also. Also--this may sound cruel, but if he suffers any noticeable permanent disability from the effects of the shotgun blast to the shoulder, he may also be regarded as incompetent and stupid by his new associates while he is incarcerated.

Quote:
I would have called the police, turned on the outside lights, and waited inside quietly with the gun. I doubt if he would have hung around after the lights went on. I'm glad the guy was caught but I wouldn't have risked an outside encounter especially with a wife and kids in the house in my case.
Good thinking.
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Old July 3, 2009, 11:32 AM   #14
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Keep in mind that I am not arguing that the homeowner in this case did the right thing or that others should follow his model. I am arguing that "always stay in the house" may not be the right thing in some cases.

And when I say "arguing" I am not intending to argue with you. I am making an argument. My goal is not to persuade you that you're wrong. It's to explore the tactical issues.

Also keep in mind that exiting the house and confronting the intruder are separate issues. I might exit a house but not confront an intruder. The two occurred in this case but are not inextricably linked as a tactical matter.

But in case anyone is wondering, I recommend not getting into a gun battle (either one-sided because only you have the gun or two-sided) if you can avoid it.

Quote:
"Waiting for you in the house?" The homeowner was in the house when the alarm went off. Yeah, there could have been more than one intruder in the house,
I wasn't suggesting that others had slipped in Ninja-like before the alarm went off. But others may have come in with the first intruder and fanned out. Since we don't know how much time elapsed from the alarm going off and the homeowner leaving the house, it's hard for me to accept that because one hears "an intruder" he can safely assume that there's only one. Particularly since the sounding of a siren or horn from an alarm can block a lot of other sounds.

Quote:
But the advantage of the element of surprise would more likely accrue to the intruder, who could hear the homeowner coming out and around, or to accomplices waiting outside.
"more likely" means it's not absolute, doesn't it?

You assume that the homeowner couldn't exit quietly and surreptitiously, but isn't it possible? It certainly is from certain parts of my house (and not from others).

Once again, since the sounding of a siren or horn from an alarm can block a lot of other sounds, it might be hard for the intruder(s) to hear the homeowner.

And where might these intruders be lurking while an alarm is going off? We don't know since we don't know how the homeowner left the house. So if the intrusion was made in the back of the house and the homeowner had a clear view of the public street in front of his house and could see all was clear, going out the front door might be a lot safer than staying in the house.

As for confronting an intruder, there are many, many risks. Assuming one has made the decision to do so, ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances when you choose one method over another.
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Old July 3, 2009, 12:28 PM   #15
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Tactically stupid, but even dummies catch a break every know and then.

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Old July 3, 2009, 12:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
I wasn't suggesting that others had slipped in Ninja-like before the alarm went off. But others may have come in with the first intruder and fanned out. Since we don't know how much time elapsed from the alarm going off and the homeowner leaving the house, it's hard for me to accept that because one hears "an intruder" he can safely assume that there's only one.
No assumption that there's only one. I'd make a BIG assumption that he's the FIRST one, unless the others are ninjas. Unless you hang out in the easy chair for a while before responding then it is particularly unreasonable to believe that you're surrounded inside what was a brief moment ago a completely controlled environment and as such you should feel safer outside which is not, and was not ever, a controlled environment.

Are there instances where one might find himself feeling safer outside? Yep. Is your alarm going off one of them, in and of itself. No way, no how.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; July 3, 2009 at 12:48 PM.
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Old July 3, 2009, 12:47 PM   #17
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Good Guy GOOD
Bad guy NOT SO GOOD
What else do ya want.
Don't really care how he did it it worked.
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Old July 3, 2009, 04:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Are there instances where one might find himself feeling safer outside? Yep. Is your alarm going off one of them
It is if it's the fire alarm, Tom said heatedly.
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Old July 7, 2009, 06:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Wunderlich said Elmore is also a “person of interest” in three previous reported burglaries at Littlejohn’s home in recent months – on Dec. 24, 2008, March 5 and April 10.
I would venture to say that if my house were being broken into for the fourth time in about six months, I might want to see the perp captured and put away.
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Old July 7, 2009, 06:22 PM   #20
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I would have put my house up for sale after the second break-in.
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