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Old August 29, 2011, 09:55 PM   #1
gunuser
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It finally happened to me. . .

Just wanted to share a recent incident that happened to me. Attempted burglary. It may seem like a long thread, but I read other peoples thread on this forum, and the way I handled the incident is directly due to peoples comments on this forum.

It started with someone knocking at my door. I usually dont answer anyone knocking at my door but this one was different. The guy knocking on my door was banging my door continously for 5 minutes.

When I looked out my window I could see 2 additional teens sitting on the curb opposite my house. I automatically knew I was being the possible target for a burglary. I had my car in the garage, so it looks like no one was home. This happened about 3pm.

When the guy knocking on the door finally stopped, I expected him to go to my backyard. In the meantime I took out my pistol from its storage place (Beretta PX4 9mm). When I saw the guy who was knocking on my front door in my backyard, I called 911 and told them about the three suspects and informed the 911 operator I WILL defend myself with my pistol if the guy in the backyard attempts to enter my house.

I have security bars on all windows and a security door in the back. Guess when the guy in the backyard saw this, he decided not to do anything but leave. Holding my loaded pistol, with a chambered round gave me an adrenaline rush. I wasnt scared, I've been shooting at the range for the past 8 years and all that practice and training to load my pistol became second nature when the time really counted.

I had the tendency to go out of my house and confront the guy in the back but WHY leave a safe zone being in the house.

15 minutes later 4 police cars come to my house. They caught the 3 suspects, two 16 year olds (the lookouts) and a 18 year old ( guy knocking on my door) The 18 year old had a handgun tucked in his front pant waist. One of the 16 year olds was on probation, and the 18 year old had prior run ins with the law.

One thing I take from this incident is that if you are in a "safe zone" stay there. I SO wanted to confront the guy in the backyard, but if i did, would i have the reaction to pull my trigger if he went for his gun? Leave it to the police to handle these matters, but if the 18year old attempted a break in, I would have fired my pistol.

My question is if the 18 year old attempted a break in, and i shot him dead, would that still be reasonable defense? He was armed but the gun would have been in his front waistban. I wouldnt have known about the gun he was carrying. Btw i live in the state of Maryland, so each state has different gun laws. Any inputs??
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Old August 29, 2011, 10:14 PM   #2
shootniron
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In my state, you would have been justified provided he entered your home as he would have committed a forcible felony of home invasion or at least breaking and entering , but I am not sure of Maryland's laws.

Last edited by shootniron; August 29, 2011 at 10:22 PM.
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Old August 29, 2011, 11:05 PM   #3
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Every state does have its own laws, but you obeyed the law of common sense. Why start something if you don't have to, and a bullet can never be called back. Don't leave the safe zone to satisfy machismo. If you didn't go out to say something to the police, the kids might not even know you called them!
That was well done.
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Old August 29, 2011, 11:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
My question is if the 18 year old attempted a break in, and i shot him dead, would that still be reasonable defense? He was armed but the gun would have been in his front waistban.
I don't know MD specifically but I can't imagine it's that much different from the majority of other states. If an armed intruder breaks into your house you are justified in shooting him.

One thing I was wondering about though - is how important is what you say during the 911 call.

I mean if you end up shooting someone - does it help to say to the 911 operator when you first call them "I'm scared."
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Old August 30, 2011, 12:02 AM   #5
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Happy to hear that you had a good outcome and you reacted properly in that you did not leave a "safe zone" and you did not let machismo override common sense and good judgement.

Quote:
When the guy knocking on the door finally stopped, I expected him to go to my backyard. In the meantime I took out my pistol from its storage place (Beretta PX4 9mm). When I saw the guy who was knocking on my front door in my backyard, I called 911 and told them about the three suspects and informed the 911 operator I WILL defend myself with my pistol if the guy in the backyard attempts to enter my house.
The lesson to take away with you is that you can become a victim of a serious crime in the confines of your own home. A gun in a storage place is only as good as the speed it takes to retrieve it. I won't go into the details here but I was home during a home invasion robbery. My guns were locked away in the safe. I was shot and left for dead...and was ripped off big time while I was lying on the floor wondering how much blood I could lose before the lights went out for good. I no longer keep all my guns locked up when I am in the confines of my home. There are loaded guns stashed in each room and I have one in a holster on my strong side at all times except when in the shower or sleeping. At bed time, my EDC is on the night stand beside the bed. The point being is that no one will ever catch me being unarmed again. And not to be paranoid, but because it happened once, doesn't mean you won't get targeted a second time.
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Old August 30, 2011, 02:59 AM   #6
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Well done. Feels good not to be helpless in a situation like that, doesn't it?

That was a long response time! That would be a high priority call, as you were home and armed, I would think. How were the officers to deal with? Were they overly concerned about your gun?
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Old August 30, 2011, 04:35 AM   #7
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Well done! You didn't loose control of your emotions and did the most reasonable course of actions one could take. The most effective self defense tactic is the one that doesn't require you to fire (or leave to the Police to do this instead of you).

Bravo!

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Old August 30, 2011, 06:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
I had the tendency to go out of my house and confront the guy in the back but WHY leave a safe zone being in the house.
I really like that statement. It seems you thought it through and acted correctly.

I am glad this turned out alright for you.
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Old August 30, 2011, 07:20 AM   #9
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When I initially called 911, i got a recording so i hung up the phone. About 30 seconds later, 911 called me back. I reported to 911 how many suspects and a description on what they were wearing. I also told the 911 operator that I was a registered gun owner and I had my weapon loaded and that I will defend myself if the intruder in the backyard attempted to enter my house.
The police came 15 min later due to the fact they saturated the neighborhood. In all about 7 police cars responded. When they arrived at my house, they had caught all three and they came to my house so I can ID the suspects and fill out a police report. I didnt ID the suspects at my house, the suspects were caught down the street, I rode one of the squad cars to ID them.
The cops were really cool. I mentioned to them about shooting an intruder in my house and they said I would have been justifed. But you never know nowadays with lawyers and the courts. Bravo to the police department!
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Old August 30, 2011, 08:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C0untZer0
I don't know MD specifically but I can't imagine it's that much different from the majority of other states. If an armed intruder breaks into your house you are justified in shooting him.
There have been cases in court where people who shot other people who were armed were convicted, because when they shot there was no way they could have known the other party was armed. Remember, the OP said the police found that the 18-year old was armed. He didn't report seeing the gun either while the punk was knocking on the door or when the punk was in the back yard.
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Old August 30, 2011, 09:14 AM   #11
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Glad everything worked out for you.

Quote:
One thing I was wondering about though - is how important is what you say during the 911 call
I had a friend in a similar manner, a man was following my friend in his car, my friend had taken several turns but this person was still following, he pulled over into a large parking lot, the car pulled in there with him, my friend got out of his car and so did the assailant, my friend was on with 911 at the time, the assailant had a baseball bat and charged at my friend, on the phone with 911 he indicated to assailant twice to stop, the assailant did not stop, and got shot in the shoulder. The whole occurrence on the 911 tape. The police came arrested the assailant, took my friends weapon for evidence. my friend was ok with that part, he just went to his trunk, got another hand gun out. No charges were ever filed against my friend. Months later, at least 6 months later the police called my friend back, and he was able to pick up his weapon again.
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Old August 30, 2011, 09:17 AM   #12
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Aguila Blanca, it depends where you live.

Where I live, the forcible entry alone justifies a shooting, as it is one of the specifically listed justifications. Intruder doesn't need to be armed.

That said, I'm not into the shoot first and identify the threat later mindset. And I think the OP handled things just fine.

One thing the OP didn't specifically state in the thread, though: Did you describe yourself to the dispatcher, to help the police recognize you if they had arrived after trouble started?
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Old August 30, 2011, 12:39 PM   #13
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Thank god I am not required to keep my gun in a storage place or locked.
15 minuets to respond to a call like this is more common than you think. I have personally had the cops take 45 to respond to an unknown vehicle/individuals on my property (ended up being teens drinking).

Sounds like you made the right call, but if you had a wife and kids IN the home would you have done the same thing, regardless of legality?



I had something similar enough happen, though it ended up being benign. It is without a doubt though the most bizarre thing I ever encountered. I live in a condo, at about 9am on a Saturday someone started banging on my door. I had my P226 tucked in the back of my pants when I looked through the peep hole, turns out it was a rather short and unthreatening looking woman. I opened the door (slowly) oddly enough she asked me if I "smoked" I said no and she walked off, no accomplices were in sight but I kept my weapon at the ready that whole day.

Last edited by Patriot86; August 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM.
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Old August 30, 2011, 04:00 PM   #14
maestro pistolero
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It sounds like they were on the scene faster than fifteen minutes, but focused on creating a perimeter to corral the miscreants. If I understand correctly, at the fifteen minute mark, they already had the in custody and were seeking a positive ID from gunuser. Pretty good police work, actually.
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Old August 30, 2011, 04:02 PM   #15
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Very well done! My plan is exactly as you performed and hope it never happens to me. I live in the country and the term, "when seconds count, the cops are minutes away" really means :15 - :30 minutes. Listening to my police scanner, many times the sheriff's deputy's have to call dispatch and ask directions. I've heard 911 response times of forty-five minutes because they couldn't find it. Good work!
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Old August 30, 2011, 04:34 PM   #16
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Very interesting and a good response by you. Thanks for the info.
We had a house where we spent the weekend. Got there one Thursday evening and realized it had been burgled. Very uncomfortable feeling.
We have been living in the country for 12 years and this was a house we bought in town. We were very stupid. Gates to back yard unlocked. No lighting. They went into the back yard, knocked out a window and went through the entire house. Camera, computer, DVD player, etc. were all taken as well as several smaller items--electric drill, shaver.
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Old August 30, 2011, 04:40 PM   #17
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I think you did very well, and you kept control of the situation at all times. The perps were powerless against you because you did the right things
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Old August 30, 2011, 06:42 PM   #18
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The guy wanted you to open the door and confront him on his chosen ground. You refused to do that and threw his plan off.
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Old August 30, 2011, 07:36 PM   #19
maestro pistolero
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Nah, the knocking was probably just to make sure nobody was home. Pretty common ploy.
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Old August 30, 2011, 08:09 PM   #20
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One thing I take from this incident is that if you are in a "safe zone" stay there.
Amen. Well done!
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Old August 30, 2011, 08:12 PM   #21
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Quote:
One thing I take from this incident is that if you are in a "safe zone" stay there
Great decision. In your case, there was no need to go looking for trouble or prompt a self defense situation.
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Old August 30, 2011, 10:34 PM   #22
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Most states go by your intent.

If you BELIEVE your life is in danger then the shooting is justified.
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Old August 31, 2011, 09:23 AM   #23
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Could depend on whether or not the DA is up for re-election that year. They only call it a justice system.
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Old August 31, 2011, 09:30 AM   #24
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Nah, the knocking was probably just to make sure nobody was home. Pretty common ploy.
This. Had you answered the door, I imagine the perp would have had one of two responses:

1) Disengage- offer to sell magazines or some other junk, expecting you to refuse and they'd leave.
2) Engage more violently- come up with some story to enter your home (hey, my car broke down, can I call my cousin?), whereupon he would draw his weapon and it would become a full blown home invasion, not just burglary.

Since the guy was armed, I'd expect he was thinking more option 2. Somebody looking to burglarize and arms himself for that is NOT likely to back down from a confrontation if they think they can come out on top.
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Old August 31, 2011, 09:31 AM   #25
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NJ, the legal standard is normally just a bit tougher.

It's not what YOU believe, although that is part of the evidence taken into consideration.

The standard is what would a reasonable person have believed, if put into the same situation, and given your knowledge of the event.

So, you should be able to articulate why you believed what you did, and authenticate it with details. Documented training can help you, here. Otherwise, the rules of evidence may or may not allow your lawyer to draw out your specific knowledge. (For instance, you'd have to prove you knew about the Jared Reston incident prior to your SD event, if you wanted to tell the court about your knowledge of an instance where both the officer and the bad guy hit each other 7 times, with .45acp, before the gunfight ended.)

"But you shot him five times! Surely that shows intent to kill!"

"I was trained (in class X by instructor Y) to shoot until threatening behavior stopped. He had a weapon pointed at me, and did not drop the weapon or attempt to leave. I have read many cases where assailants continued their attack after having been hit multiple times, and believed he still posed a mortal threat to me and my family. When he fell, and ceased his attack, I stopped shooting."

That kind of thing.
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