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Old January 17, 2014, 05:05 PM   #1
kenpomace
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What would you have done at 4 am?

We got this email in our intranet for our neighborhood. We live in a semi rural area where houses are on min 1 acre and lots of woods out here.

Suspect banging on back door at 4am this morning...

Someone was setting off our back yard motion detector lights multiple times, banging on our back door several times.

PD and nearby family was called to assist.
Family saw a grey primer Honda Prelude sitting on Galley.

If anyone knows anything please let us know.
Be safe.


Some of the comments I've seen from other neighbors were like shoot thru door then call police.
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Old January 17, 2014, 05:30 PM   #2
southjk
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If they are on the other side of the door, I don't see how you could feel your life was in danger. That is the only time you are allowed to fire a weapon at another human being and to fire a gun through a door and not know what's on the other side goes against one of the major rules of gun safety. Be sure of your target and what's beyond it. If they start coming in the door then that's another story.
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Old January 17, 2014, 05:34 PM   #3
BarryLee
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Gather everyone in the most defensible location inside the house, call the Police and wait for them. If someone did gain entry then that escalates things significantly and might require you defending yourself. However, anytime someone is outside call the Police and let them handle the situation.
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Old January 17, 2014, 06:05 PM   #4
madmo44mag
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Plus one on both of the above comments.
I may have gone out the front and surprised the person at the back door and ended it right there.
In most cases it is someone in trouble or a drunk who is lost or confused.
That said I am a single male and have no live in family to worry about.
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Old January 17, 2014, 06:31 PM   #5
kenpomace
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I believe the person who was banging on the door was at the wrong house. There is a new construction house across the street and I figured it might been the wrong house. If someone was really trying to break in, you think they would try to sneak in instead of making a ruckus
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Old January 17, 2014, 06:33 PM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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Deadly force should be employed only when it is the last remaining "safe" option for the defender.

Quote:
Gather everyone in the most defensible location inside the house, call the Police and wait for them. If someone did gain entry then that escalates things significantly and might require you defending yourself. However, anytime someone is outside call the Police and let them handle the situation.
The above is very wise advice and it (or very similar) is the proper course of action. The only proper course in most cases, with a few exceptions where "holing up" is not possible.
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Old January 17, 2014, 07:32 PM   #7
g.willikers
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Since you asked, I would have secured any family members in a safe room, turned on the outside lights, and the lights to the room immediate to the door the guy was banging on.
Then retreated to the next room that was available for cover and waited to see what happened.
If he stayed outside, and if after a short time he hadn't left, then call the police.
If he came through the door, well........
And there's always the chance that the banging on the back door is a diversion and someone will be coming in somewhere else.
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Old January 17, 2014, 07:52 PM   #8
GeauxTigers
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I second the idea of putting everyone into a central room with one route of entrance and waiting for the police. This is where having a dedicated home defense weapon such as a short shotgun pays dividends, because if the intruder finds my family inside of that room before the police arrive I want something in their hands that it takes a split second to point and fire, and a 3" magnum number 1 buck from a 20 gauge with an 18.5" barrel doesn't require much in the way of aiming and will out an intruder down in an instant where as it will take a little more in the aiming department with a pistol.

As far as shooting through the door goes, in the state of Louisiana, the law states that deadly force may be used to prevent unlawful and forceful entry into an inhabited dwelling, meaning that any attempt to unlawfully enter, whether picking the lock or forcing their way in, can be met with deadly force. My CCW instructor told us about a case he had followed years ago of a woman who had shot and killed a man through her front door as he continually rattled the handle and banged on the door. Turned out the man was drunk and at the wrong house on the wrong street and his keys wouldn't open the front door. The woman never faced charges because of the law, but had to live the rest of her life knowing she killed an innocent man. I'm not saying what she did was right or wrong, I'm just saying that legally defensible or not, it isn't something I would want to live with on my conscience.
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Old January 17, 2014, 11:15 PM   #9
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confronting someone under those circumstances is not wise....there may be multiple people, the cops won't know if you are a good guy or bad guy and a weapon could evoke the wrong response from the cops. sit tight with your loved ones secured
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Old January 18, 2014, 01:06 AM   #10
45Gunner
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As mentioned above, one of the cardinal rules of guns is know your target and what is beyond. Would you really know what you were shooting at thru a closed door?

I played your scenario over a few times in my head. Most everyone hit on the right course of action. First and foremost, gather your family in a safe area of the house, one that gives you a tactical advantage where no one could sneak up on you from behind. After all, the banging on the door could just be a diversion while someone sneaks into a window or another door in a different location. Once everyone is safely together, call 911 and stay on the line with them. And if there was ever a time to have a shotgun for home defense, this seems like the likely scenario. In situations like this, one must be defensive. Being offensive against what may turn out to be a drunk that is at the wrong house could cause you problems that you can't begin to imagine.
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Old January 18, 2014, 12:54 PM   #11
MikeNice81
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The only thing I can add is, call the cops as soon as safely possible. Get it on record that something is happening and you are concerned. It sets up a timeline and establishes your "fear." It also helps to show you aren't a trigger happy vigilante.

"I was scared so I called the police. I grabbed my gun and hunkered down in my bedroom. When I saw him coming down the hallway towards my bedroom I fired on the intruder because I was scared that my life was in danger."

That sounds a lot better than,

"I heard somebody banging at the back door. I grabbed my weapon and crossed the house. When I realized I didn't know the person I fired through the door to stop them from entering."
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Old January 20, 2014, 11:45 AM   #12
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I can think of at least to stories where people went knocking on doors seeking help only to be shot dead by the home owner.

Why not find out who's banging on your door and then determining what the best course of action is?
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Old January 20, 2014, 11:59 AM   #13
Dragline45
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Best thing you can do is to grab a gun, call the police, hunker down and wait until an officer arrives. Of course if they forcefully enter your home then that is a whole other story. Shooting through the door as one neighbor mentioned is a good way to land yourself behind bars.
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Old January 20, 2014, 12:31 PM   #14
OuTcAsT
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As others have mentioned, getting your family to a defensible area is paramount, inside a room with limited access is ideal. If anyone else in that room can shoot, arm them as well. Have someone call 911 and explain there is an intruder at the door.

I would likely turn on both outside, and inside lighting adjacent to the door and, from cover, command them to "State their name, and business being there" I will also announce that I am armed and, will defend myself as necessary.

I want to illicit some sort of response, and make the person aware of the possible consequences however, I will not, under any circumstances open the door until police arrive.

As for shooting through the door ? I would not do that for a number of reasons, not the least of which is, I cannot identify the target or, his exact location and, I do not know what lies between me, and the nearest backstop. The liability is too great to even consider it, IMO.
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Old January 20, 2014, 12:38 PM   #15
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The idea of shooting through the door without knowing who is on the other side is possibly the most irresponsible, unreasonably paranoid, and flat out stupid things I have ever seen suggested here. Ranks right up there with the "shoot 'em in the dark" line of idiocy.

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Old January 20, 2014, 07:12 PM   #16
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Turn on all outside lights. My house can light up like a football stadium. If they are up to no good they will leave. I have enough game cameras placed around my 10 acres they are already been photographed. Sit back and wait for LE to show up. A door or window gets kicked in it is a whole different story.

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Old January 21, 2014, 01:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Some of the comments I've seen from other neighbors were like shoot thru door then call police.
That's a bad idea. Here's a personal experience that explains why I believe this. I was riding my motorcycle home from my parent's house one night at about 10pm (pre-cell phone). I happened to see a motorcycle lying down on the side of the road, so I pulled over to check it out. About 15 feet up from the motorcycle was the rider - no helmet, laying down unconscious with his head bloody in a huge fire ant nest. I got off my bike, ran into the nearest neighborhood. I saw the owner of he bike - he mistook me for his friend who was apparently trying out his new motorcycle. I told him his friend wrecked his bike and was badly hurt. I told him to go get help. He wasn't from around there, froze and didn't know what to do. So, I went and knocked on one door, was basically told to go away. I knocked on another door, this time pleading with the owner to call 911 or the police because someone was badly hurt. I told them not to open the door, just call the police. They did.

Now, if someone shot me - through a door - for simply knocking on their door late at night trying to get help for an injured person, what do you think the outcome would have been for me? For the shooter? For the guy dying on the side of he road?

If someone knocks on your door, stay armed, stay ready, don't open it and call the cops.
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Old January 21, 2014, 02:04 PM   #18
lcpiper
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Quote:
I will also announce that I am armed and, will defend myself as necessary.
I believe this is a mistake. You might as well just tell them they are free to come and rob your house of all your guns, tomorrow morning, after you go to work.

If the person outside your door is in need of help, or has very important information for you that might even be an emergency, like your barn is on fire. You can probably figure it out right there at the door.

If you are unsure tell them you are calling the cops for them so help is on the way.

But if they are bad guys then the reason they haven't already busted in is because they don't know if you are armed. If you tell them you are, then they will just wait for you to leave and come back again because now they know you have something that they want.
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Old January 21, 2014, 02:10 PM   #19
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The idea of shooting through the door without knowing who is on the other side is possibly the most irresponsible, unreasonably paranoid, and flat out stupid things I have ever seen suggested here.
Well, it's good thing no one here suggested it isn't it?
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Old January 21, 2014, 04:55 PM   #20
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I don't understand the idea of doing ANYTHING that advertises you or your family's presence inside the home to the person on the outside. I don't see what it accomplishes. If anything, it is likely to antagonize that person and to give him or her additional reason to keep banging on the door, now that he/she knows someone is home.

No...stay inside, get everyone in the safest place possible, and call 911. Any other action is foolish.
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Old January 21, 2014, 06:00 PM   #21
OuTcAsT
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csmss wrote;
Quote:
I don't understand the idea of doing ANYTHING that advertises you or your family's presence inside the home to the person on the outside. I don't see what it accomplishes. If anything, it is likely to antagonize that person and to give him or her additional reason to keep banging on the door, now that he/she knows someone is home.
It is very common (around here) for burglars to knock on a door to see if someone is home, if they think someone is home, they leave. If not, they are more likely to try and gain entry.

lcpiper wrote;
Quote:
You might as well just tell them they are free to come and rob your house of all your guns, tomorrow morning, after you go to work.
That's not a problem for me as I work from home.

Quote:
But if they are bad guys then the reason they haven't already busted in is because they don't know if you are armed. If you tell them you are, then they will just wait for you to leave and come back again because now they know you have something that they want.
IME Bad guys don't like armed folks, there are much easier, and safer targets elsewhere but, alas, to each his own. I would much rather they know that forcibly crossing my threshold comes with consequences.

Out on the street, the element of surprise has advantages, At my doorstep I have no problem making it clear that I will make a stand.
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Old January 21, 2014, 07:44 PM   #22
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csmsss
Around here it is also common for burglars to knock on doors first & if no one answers they will find a way to get him.
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Old January 21, 2014, 07:58 PM   #23
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I would have called the cops, and as other members have said taken my family into a room and waited for the police. If the suspect made an unlawful forced entry and came at me or my family I would then consider using lethal force.
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Old January 21, 2014, 09:47 PM   #24
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What would I do?

Well, I would first get my pistol then call 911 and simply wait and see what happens. If the fellow gets inside, then I will react.. if he hangs around long enough for the police to arrive, I will let them handle it. If he leaves I will try and recount all I can recollect about the fellow [to police] then go back to bed. The next day I would put up a dang fence and get a dog.
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Old January 22, 2014, 12:24 PM   #25
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Quote:
lcpiper wrote;
Quote:
You might as well just tell them they are free to come and rob your house of all your guns, tomorrow morning, after you go to work.
By Outcast;
That's not a problem for me as I work from home.
OutCast, as this is the training and tactics thread, giving advice that is good for special circumstances, well those circumstances should be stated up front I would think. Do you?
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