View Full Version : How do you prevent this from happening?

May 7, 2002, 07:18 PM
This happened for real...we'll just put you in it.

You're sleeping in your room. You're visiting your relatives and you have brought your favorite handgun into the bedroom and put it on the nightstand. The door is locked. You have also taken your glasses off and put them on the nightstand.
There is a nightlight on in the corner of the room.

All of a sudden, there is a crashing sound. Then another crash and the door flies open. Someone is shouting and is moving towards you.

What do you do?

In this real case, the uncle (who is sleeping) grabs his .357 revolver and puts one COM, hits the threat one inch from the heart, perforating the lungs, but the nephew who was playing around with his uncle, survives. By the way, the nephew was carrying a play sawed off shotgun.

For those of you with glasses or could wake up out of a dead sleep in this kind of situation and you would have less than blurred vision....what would you do? and what could you have done to prevent shooting your own nephew?

May 7, 2002, 07:40 PM
That scenario looks to me like a perfect setup. An unfortunate but unvoidable set of events. I don't know how he could have handled it any different other than maybe having a better-educated nephew? The nephew is a shoe-in for a Darwin 'honorable mention'.

- Gabe

May 7, 2002, 08:37 PM
Poor shot.


May 7, 2002, 08:40 PM
Damn thats rough but I dont think I would react any differently.
What kind of legal trouble is the uncle in?

May 7, 2002, 11:06 PM
Sounds like the nephew nearly stupided himself right out of the gene pool.

I wouldn't have done anything different in that situation. The only thing that could have prevented this would have to have been done before he went to bed. The nephew should have known you don't fake violent acts and break down locked doors in the middle of the night

May 8, 2002, 12:47 AM
"what could you have done to prevent shooting your own nephew?"

My Rottweiler would have known the difference between a family member and an unwelcome intruder.

May 8, 2002, 09:26 AM
I would've done exactly as the shooter did and shot him. How was I supposed to know "it was a joke", and who says family can't go on a rampage and try to kill you? Most of the murders in the news recently were family killing family.

Double Naught Spy
May 8, 2002, 12:54 PM
C.R.Sam suggested he was a poor shot. My first reaction was to figure why he didn't continue firing until empty.

Well, you are always supposed to know your target and in that case, he really did.

Let's face it, not everything works perfectly. Had it not been his nephew and he waited to verify identity, he would be dead. The Uncle would feel bad for what he did, but he had NO reason to believe it was anything but a horrible event such as a home invasion.

The Uncle had taken reasonable precautions which is indicated by locking the door. People aren't supposed to come through locked doors unless they are bad guys. If some idiot (family member or not) comes through a locked door in the middle of the night with a (play, how would you know?) shotgun, then it just sucks to be them, in this case, what sounded like it would be a sucking chest wound.

May 8, 2002, 08:36 PM
That was a very bad joke to begin with, and the nephew should have known that the uncle was packin'.

I like a joke as much as the next guy, but that was just plain stupid on the nephews part. If you woke me from a sound sleep, no glasses, running in like a maniac with a shotgun, then you'd get all 7 rounds of mr. 1911 COM. Might feel bad after the dust clears, but family should never put you in a situation like that.

What's this world coming too... :(

May 8, 2002, 11:08 PM
i would have also had a flashlight beside the gun. if not, when he comes bashing into the room, i get behind the bed with the gun, and command him to drop his weapon and slowly face flat on the floor and tell him if he makes sudden moves, i blow him out of this world. that should scare the crap outta him. ;)

May 10, 2002, 02:35 PM
Didn't the nephew KNOW that his bad shot uncle had a gun on his nightstand?
Although I'm not surprised about his reaction..without classes and in the dark it's hard to get a good visual ID on the fella, so you'd have to rely on your hearing. I totally agree with Mr. Stalker--If he's going to sleep in a dark room (...), he should have thought about having a flashlight on the stand as well.
Anyway, the nephew's joke was stupid.

PS. I'd just hide under the bed :p


May 10, 2002, 03:41 PM
To answer your headline question, "How do you prevent this from happening?", the first answer that comes to my mind is to warn the nephew (plus anyone else in the house) that you are sleeping with a gun. But this pre-supposes that you know that the nephew is prone to stupid practical jokes.

Another option is to barricade the door so that it cannot be broken down faster than you can wake up, get your glasses, and get in a position from where you can positively identify the threat before responding.

I wish I knew the correct answer to how you can protect yourself from making a reasonable self-defense response to a practical joke that looks like an actual attack. If this is a true story, then I feel sorry for the uncle. He has to live with the results of someone else's stupidity.

May 10, 2002, 04:21 PM
This could have easily been avoided if the uncle had made the rest of the family aware that he was keeping a loaded firearm for self defense. Everyone that spends the night in my house is aware that I have defensive firearms and not to come running in my room or make excessive noise late at night without identifying themselves first.

May 11, 2002, 12:04 AM
I use a cheap rubber doorstop wedge under the door whenever I travel. If I am a guest in another home I inform my host that I carry a handgun and am trained in it's use. I would think that both of these measures, along with the bedside surefire P2, would have provided the warning, time, and light needed to prevent such an inadvertant shooting.

Ben Shepherd
May 11, 2002, 06:37 PM
As I've posted before. On the rare occasions someone stays at my house(split-level), they sleep on 1 floor, myself on the other.
Full bath on each floor, kitchen on the guest floor.
The last thing I alawys tell them: If you absolutely have to come downstairs in the middle of the night, yell down the stairs and make d*** sure I'm awake before you come down.

They all know I have an "always" gun and being single, 96% of the time, if there is anyone else in the house at night, they shouldn't be there.(The other 4% she's in bed with me.)

Bottom line: Darwin wins again

May 11, 2002, 07:52 PM
I retract my comment :"POOR SHOT":

Played with door crashing and bed charging. Uncle possibly got the gun off the night stand and drilled incoming COM.....

Between 0.5 and 1.5 seconds from door to bed on several runs. Good sized bedroom.

Uncle should go on the road doin demos.

OR....Uncle was ready between the first crash and the door through crashing of the nephew. In which case he maby could have alerted the nephew that he was getting real stupid rapidly.

As 00Spy noted, if gonna shoot him, shoulda shot him more.


November 4, 2002, 06:55 PM
Personally, I think all the prevention stuff is BS. There is no need to announce to everyone in the house that you have a gun. For some, this could equal problems. (Certain anti family members, or members who just don't want loaded guns in the house, etc.) You simply cannot prepare for EVERY single situation that could happen. I think that crashing into a bedroom where someone is sleeping late at night, carrying a toy gun isn't something someone should have to be told NOT to do... :rolleyes:

I think it is 100% the kids fault. WHERE, oh where do kids get such STUPID ideas??? He's lucky he isn't dead. BUT, are WE lucky he isn't dead? He better get smart quick...

November 4, 2002, 07:34 PM
Know the feeling.
My brother came by late in the evening a few weeks ago.
I had fallen asleep, and he claims to have been ringing the doorbell for a long time.
I wake up from the sound of someone fiddeling with the locks.
I know that those in the family that have a key knows how to use them... :rolleyes:
So my first thought is that someone is breaking in!
I almost grab the shotgun, but leave it 5 meters away and then go to the door to look out the peep hole.
I see him and open the dor for him.
Guess he'd be surprized to come through the door and find a 12ga shotgun. :eek:


November 4, 2002, 09:54 PM
Stupid nephew. Startling somebody awake is liable to be fatal for somebody. They even teach that in the Army....

Admiral Thrawn
November 5, 2002, 04:26 AM
I don't like peepholes.

For anyone that is serious and determined on the other side, a peephole will provide a guarunteed headshot...

November 5, 2002, 09:56 AM
I don't think he had time to grab a flashlight and turn it on. Probably only 1-1.5 sec. as Sam said. Best go for the gun first. the flashlight would have only let him see the incoming round if it had been a real BG.:eek: I always think gun first, then light.

November 5, 2002, 10:17 AM
Flashlight and door stop, as suggested.

Isn't one of the first rules to clearly identify your target? Well, you're in a relative's home (should be safe enough) and your door is locked (should be safe enough too.)

A door stop would likely have prevented the door from crashing open. A flashlight could be fixed on the potential intruder if the shooter took a position on the far side of the bed, if possible.

I'm wondering how a youngster survived a .357 Magnum round one inch from the heart. What happened to 96 percent one shot stops? Thank goodness...

November 5, 2002, 01:42 PM
Well, you're in a relative's home (should be safe enough) and your door is locked (should be safe enough too.)

Really? When did the govt. declare relatives homes "crime-free zones???" :rolleyes:

And clearly, if a young teenager could bust through that door, it ISN'T safe enough.

I can't say I'd have reacted very differently in that situation...someone BUSTS down my bedroom door in the middle of the night...they'd be VERY lucky if I grabbed my Beretta instead of the Mossi!

November 5, 2002, 03:00 PM
"What happened to 96 percent one shot stops?"

This kid was part of the 4 %. Good thing he wasn't shot twice?

November 5, 2002, 06:19 PM
My response to your question would be to have a white light source available on or with your firearm. You need to identify threats as such before pulling the trigger.

An equally critical part of avoiding these kinds of situations is appropriate training. Just having a weapon doesn't make you a master of it. And more people in our society are unfamiliar with the circumstances and skills involved with violent interpersonal confilicts than in any other age. Quality training and planning for different situations are key to preventing such tragedies.

November 6, 2002, 03:34 AM
"What happened to 96 percent one shot stops?"

This kid was part of the 4 %. Good thing he wasn't shot twice?Huh? Where does it say that he kept coming forward after being shot? 'Stop' and 'kill' are NOT interchangable. Killed does not mean stopped, and stopped certainly does not mean killed. And lest anyone think I'm splitting hairs, this is one of those trifling legal nuances that can be the difference between 'true bill' and 'no bill' in the context of Grand Juries.

This could also explain why he was not shot more...BOOM and down he goes like a sack of potatoes. Threat over...and, ah hell, its my idiot nephew anyway.

Bet he doesn't get invited back for Christmas.


November 7, 2002, 03:13 AM
This situation, as you've outlined it in a bare bones manner, is simply one of those unfortunate, sad and pathetic situations that nobody wants to see occur ...

You shouldn't shoot what you can't see .... and you shouldn't shoot just because you're startled awake in "unusual" circumstances ... being in hostile jungle environments notwithstanding ...

A hysterical family member running into the sleeping person's room to get help for some emergency reason, carrying some unexpected "tool" or article in their hands, isn't that far fetched for most large family homes ...

Too many family members have been shot and killed by other family members who thought they were someone else who represented a "threat", and didn't see who they were shooting at ...

"Bare fear alone" is insufficient to justify using deadly force. Other factors must be present.

Like the man said, Stupidity should be painful ...

But, since you shared, I'll share one that's always made me feel somewhat embarrassed, and ends on a lighter note ...

Somewhere between 28-30 years ago, I was a young man visiting my out-of-town girlfriend (now wife) and her family for the weekend. I was sleeping in the back bedroom at the opposite end of the ranch-style house from everyone else ... of course :rolleyes: ...

I should explain that once I became of age, my dad had encouraged me to sleep safely with my .45, even at home, but especially while traveling ... My girlfriend didn't like guns, and her family didn't own any, but ... like me, accept my guns ...

So, one morning, while I was sleeping very soundly and peacefully ... and quite safely, I might add ...

In through the closed bedroom door burst my girlfriend and her mother, without any damned warning, shouting "They're landing in the back, in the corn bed! They're landing in the back! ..." and frantically pointing to the bedroom window which was closed, with the curtains drawn shut, but which faced the rear orchard.

They're ?? landing ?? in the back ???

While I was bouncing up front a sound sleep ... I was much younger ... trying to make sense of what they were shouting, and the direction they were both pointing outside the window ... I heard the strangest loud, undulating humming and whooshing noise I'd ever heard.

My cocked & locked Commander was in my hand before my feet hit the floor, and I was fuzzily trying to imagine what & who the hell would be landing in back of the house, making that god-awful weird noise, which I just then was able to orient on ... and I realized it was traveling overhead and moving slowly away from the house, and lower ... toward the orchard where the women were still frantically pointing ... and it sounded uncomfortably too close, like right outside.

Wearing my underwear and my Commander, I threw open the curtains ... expecting ... what, I had no idea ...

But it damn sure wasn't a crippled hot air balloon ... being followed on foot by a fair crowd of folks that had been following it to its unexpected emergency landing point ... merrily trampling the rows of corn in which the gondola had safely landed.

Everybody was having such a damned fine time with all the excitement, I doubt they noticed the almost naked young man holding the .45 pistol at his side, looking out the window at the melee ... perplexed, and somewhat annoyed now that I was awake (I'm NOT a morning person under the best of circumstances) ... and also wondering what the hell my girlfriend and her mother found so entertaining suddenly ...

Well, it was time to get up anyway, and it sure seemed like it wasn't going to get any quieter any time soon ...

November 7, 2002, 11:33 AM
This is an old thread, but I think it is a shame that no one commented on my post. I guess it wasn't a dramatic enough solution. There was no gun-store commando stuff involved. It was just the same low tech stuff that has worked for thousands of years. Something like this is just one more reason to have a dog. He will know if it is friend or foe long before you do, and without any flashlights or other hardware. He will be able to immediately sense the other persons intentions and if nessessary protect you from them. This will happen no matter who the other person is (family member gone crazy situation). We often have threads on here about investigating noises at night etc. This is a non-issue if you have a dog; he will know someone is there before they make a noise for you to hear. He will know even before the noise is made if this person is supposed to be there or not, he will know what their intentions are.
House clearing ? Why, the dog took care of that without even moving.

November 7, 2002, 07:36 PM
444: you have a point, but this man was away from home.

What, you're supposed to travel with guns AND dogs???

November 7, 2002, 08:53 PM
True enough, although I frequently do travel with my dog. That option of course is dependant on your host.

November 9, 2002, 09:07 AM
Breaking a door is NO joke in my opinion.
And I have no friends who would do such a nonsense.

November 13, 2002, 03:13 AM
Like Sam , played this out, his assesment spot on. Age of nephew not given, but if able to break door should have been mature enough to match his size. Again if elaspes b/t crashes-but don't know how sound a sleeper. Not all facts here, but nephew in wrong.

When I visit, its usually like minded people. If I stay at mom's-we have arrangements,same with friends. Hotels etc, use wedge chair...etc-same goes for when in bathroom too.

Many years ago rash of robberies, our window busted to divert police while robbery occured elsewhere. Business next door's owners' teenage kid BUST through the door screams " This is a stickup"--2 handguns, and me with Model 37 throw down his direction--he wet himself. His dad comes over, to get him--oh he chews that boy out...kid said the rack of shotty scared him to death... He has never forgotton that day...never pulled that again. No guns at him-low ready- I turned safe area, removed 00 buck, toss to him as a reminder.

444- point well taken even if visiting, dogs will alert- good head up IMO

November 14, 2002, 04:35 PM
the nephew unfortunatley got what he asked for. But then again consider my tactics. I visit relatives, friends, and hotels all the time. I always am armed. I always am concealed. At night number 1 gun goes on nightstand, number two stays in pants at ready with shoes at ready and number 3 with body armor is in bag still--usually a shotgun or kel tec carbine. I also have on nightstand pepper spray, cell phone and flashlight. Also micro light on key ring and 2 flashlights bag as well. I always block door at night with chair, besides locking it. This has worked well for me after 2 attempted home invasions-one at home and one at hotel. At times if more security is needed i use a portable motion detector.