View Full Version : Home Invasion - Was I wrong?

January 20, 2006, 02:30 PM
11:00 PM, I was in the bedroom with the wife, all the kids (8) were asleep. I heard the front door open and shut (not locked, yeah, I know now). I walked into the dark Livingroom and came face to face with a stranger with both his hands in the pockets of a large jacket.

I pushed him with one hand to the chest back towards the door, and ran back into the bedroom, yelled at my wife to get behind the bed & call 911, as I grabbed my .45 auto from the bedside pistol safe.

Now, carefully, I went back into the livingroom. I found they guy seated on my couch, hands still in his pockets. With my gun on him, I yelled at him to get his hands where I could see them. I manuvered to the safest shooting angle I had (house full of kids) and told him to stand up and head for the door. He smelled of booze & was obviously high on something.

I could now hear sirens & knew the good guys were on the way. He stopped at the door (me behind him), I told him to reach down, slowly open the door, and get out of my house.

He stopped, put his hands back into is pockets, turned around, and began stepping slowly towards me.

I know began to put pressure on the trigger & I remember the hammer coming back as I screamed at him to stop & get his hands out where I could see them.

My gun was an AMT Backup DAO with about 15lbs of trigger pull (my daily carry piece at the time). He stopped and took his hands out before my gun fired, turned back around and exited into the sights of 8-12 of Phoenix finest. I shut the door, yelled at the kids who had awoken during the to lay down on the floor and not move (worried now about stray LE bullets) while I made a quick check for any body else in the house. I then got on the phone with the dispatcher and followed her instructions.

I was glad I did not kill him, I think I was willing to do whatever it took. What would you have done? Was I wrong?

Bo Hunter
January 20, 2006, 02:38 PM
Did you press charges? What happened to him? Who was he?

January 20, 2006, 02:43 PM
Obviously you were wrong in leaving the door unlocked, I can't fathom that. So he didn't say a word the whole time? Sounds like you did everything right, why did you not take the .45 to begin with if you heard the door? If he chased you upstairs, could you have gotten the gun out of the safe in time? I wonder what his deal was? Glad you are okay.

January 20, 2006, 02:44 PM
Once the cops got him to (once again) get his hand out where THEY could see them, they cuffed him & found out he lived in the neighborhood. They speculated he wanted to commit 'suicide by cop' or by me.

He was charged & pled guilty (I have forgotton to what charge; six years ago), I was not even asked to testify. Got a letter sometime later from the Sheriff's Dept. with the details of his case. Never heard from him again.

January 20, 2006, 02:46 PM
That is CRAZY, glad you and your family are safe. I would have been really hard pressed not to let one go, I definately believe you did the right thing. If it where my home he probably would've recieved one or at LEAST the butt end of my 870. I commend you for not taking a life, from what you have said he didnt seem to put an immediate threat on your life or you familys but you never know that. Doors should always be locked, breaking in rather than walking in would almost certainly end in death.

January 20, 2006, 02:47 PM
Holy crap!! Just reading that set my spine a tingling:eek:

January 20, 2006, 02:49 PM
Yeah, I still wonder how I could have been so stupid to leave the door unlocked (it's never unlocked now).

I would have to say if he were to have followed me back to the bedroom, I would not have made it to the pistol safe at the side of the bed. My wife knows the combo, It could have gotton real ugly.

January 20, 2006, 02:54 PM
I've had occasions where I needed to check the house, and I've always brought Mr. Springfield or Mr. Winchester along. One time the guy was someone whom I learned later was looking to buy some drugs from a dealer and got the wrong address. I was glad to have a friend with me. The other times were all false alarms. I was still glad to have a friend with me.

Going back to grab your gun seems like a tactically poor decision to me. Defeats the purpose of having a gun in the first place. The guy could have shot you first, or he could have followed you and put you and your wife in danger.

As to whether you should have shot the guy, that's a decision only a person in the situation can make.

January 20, 2006, 03:05 PM
Did you make tactical errors? Yes. Should the door have been locked? Yes. But that's all monday morning quarterbacking. Its not how you play the game. Its whether you win or lose. You won. Congratulations! Best to learn from what you think you should have done, but always remember you came out alive as did all of your loved ones. Great job! Now keep that damn door locked!:D

January 20, 2006, 03:08 PM
First and foremost congrats on coming out of that alive and in one piece. You posted the incident here so I assume you want to hear teh constructive observations of your esteemed fellow shooters. So here it goes.

1. Keep your door locked! (But you already knew this and I am certain do this now.)

2. Dogs are good. Having a dog may have driven him off at best and at worst, with a good dog, had let you know something was really wrong sooner.

3. Don't investigate "bumps in the night" unless you are ready to deal with the worst case scenario, ie bring the gun with you. (I keep a www.smartcarry.com next to the bed and just throw it on, even if I am only in my underwear. The gun is in my hand, as is a flashlight, but I at least have a place for my reload and to put my gun if I need to pick soemthing up that fell downstairs.)

4. In addition to the bed side pistol have a bed side cell phone/charger. If the home invader leaves a phone off the hook downstairs your land line call for help will not get out.

5. After encounterring a BG in your home, or if you are certain there is one, do not confront them unless you have to to protect a life. THis guy now knew you were there and awake, he could have easily been waiting for you to come down again. Make the call for help and wait for the cavalry from a defensible postion. Stair wells are great for that, especially with a shotgun.

6. 21 feet & 2 seconds. A knife armed, or otherwise motivated opponent, can reach you on average in 2 seconds from 21 feet away. If you are in your home, with a gun pointed at an invader and they proceed to close on you the safest bet for you and your family is to shoot. I am willing to bet your living room encounter was more like 10 feet. If this nut had charged you perhaps you would have hit him, perhaps not. Perhaps the hit would have stopped him but there is a strong chance you were going to be fighting for control of the gun or to keep him from inflicting a knife wound. Your desire not to take a life was noble but in my opinion it was misplaced. You and your familys' lives come first. He refused to show his hands and advanced on you after being challenged. Fire until the threat is removed.

7. Assuming you are taken out and he either has his own gun or yours now, what is your wife supposed to do to stop him? Mine has a Remington 870 and is waiting at the top of the stairs for my "all clear honey." She knows if I say "All clear Debbie" to not let down her gaurd. Her name is not Debbie.

Ghost Rider
January 20, 2006, 03:11 PM
When he turned to come at you how far away was he?

January 20, 2006, 03:16 PM
Phxdog......I have to say, you displayed ENORMOUS restraint. I'm not sure what the laws as far as home intruders are in Arizona, possibly that had something to do with it, but nonetheless, he's very lucky to be alive.

It's hard to say how I would react in that situation. The worst part about it was the hands in the pockets thing. Add the fact that your family was there makes it even more dicey.

I live in FL so the laws as far as home break-ins are concerned are very pro-homeowner (you are permitted to use deadly force whether the BG is armed or not), so I would have to guess he would have left in a bag. I would have a given him a chance to comply with my demands (hands out of pockets and leave), but that would not have lasted long. I think the first sign of him not complying would have resulted in him being taken down.

One question..........the living room where all this went down......did you turn the lights on when you went back down? The only thing that would also make me hesitant would be if you could not confirm his identity. Not sure if you would have an older son that might have been out partying and was trying to sneak back in.

Nonetheless, glad to hear you and your family made it through unharmed. Could have been MUCH worse.

January 20, 2006, 04:11 PM

Phxdog won, but in this instance the more important question is why did he win? Through luck or through his actions? From the description, he got lucky. Problem with luck is that you can't count on it. Change one factor and maybe he would have lost.

He didn't really take charge of the situation; the intruder didn't take charge of the situation; luck did. Taking charge doesn't necessarily mean shooting; it means gaining control over the situation as much as you can. Musketeer has it 100% right.

Did Phxdog make serious mistakes? I believe so. That doesn't make him a bad person; it makes him human, and smart humans learn from their mistakes. We already know Phxdog is smart because he's seeking advice. Is all of this Monday morning quarterbacking? Yes. But that's the purpose of analyzing these incidents: to study them, find the pluses and minuses, and see where improvements can be made. To say, "Hey, you got lucky! You won!" does nothing to help improve his odds if something like this happens again. If he does the exact same thing next time, he might not be so lucky. And he might not win.


I wouldn't sweat any of this or take it personally. This is education. You did better than a lot of other people who have simply frozen like deer in the same situation. You showed you can still think and act under pressure. I just hope this forum can give you some helpful ideas on improvements, that's all.

January 20, 2006, 04:30 PM
If everything worked out ok then you didn't do anything wrong.(besides not locking the door):D But i wouldn't have given ground to retrieve my pistol. I would have dealt with him with my empty hands. But thats only me like i said if it all worked out then you did ok!

High Planes Drifter
January 20, 2006, 04:45 PM
3. Don't investigate "bumps in the night" unless you are ready to deal with the worst case scenario, ie bring the gun with you.

+1. Always be prepared. Glad your ok!

January 20, 2006, 04:59 PM
Door locked. Proper sequence - get gun, wake wife and have her call 911Investgate noise ,never get close to intruder ,use cover. Assume he is armed and dangerous .Give orders -loud, clear, brief- if he doesn't obey them - shoot.

January 20, 2006, 05:26 PM
Thanks for the great input so far. I am very interested in hearing insight and instruction that you guys (& gals) have to offer with respect to this encounter.

To answer some of the questions. . .

I turned the light on when after I got the gun and had him covered. It was on the way to where he was.

When he turned around at the door & put his hands back into his pockets, I was about 8 feet away.

It turned out this guy did not have anything but hands in his pockets. He had no previous criminal record.

The idea of not going back for the gun is an interesting one. I might have been able to take this guy, he was pretty well built but I had a good 75 pounds on him.

I found out later that my 17-year old son was standing at one end of the living room holding one of those little giveaway baseball bats, ready to defend the family. I never remember even seeing him. Tunnel vision?

After they had the intruder in custody, I spoke to the Officers who came out on the call. (That was an event of its own, I had to open my door to 8 pumped up officers who don't know if I'm a nut or another BG.) Anyway, after going through the situation they said that there would not have been an officer on the force who would not have shot this guy. I would have to agree, I was tactically wrong in not stopping a threat. I'm glad both of us lived through this, but as has been pointed out it could easily have turned out very badly. I had 9 other people in that house that might have been hurt/killed. If I would have fired, I don't believe I would have been in the wrong and would have had to live with the fact that he was in fact, unarmed. How could I have known?

I know have a very alert dog (boxer) who only barks at first hint of someone approaching the house, but happily not at other dogs.

I now investigate threats with a USP45 and a Surefire.

My biggest concern/joy/challenge is still having 7 kids at home who all have a million friends who like to hang out at my house. I'm careful not to be trigger happy.

Bottom line: I did fear for my life (as I had to tell the Police at least 6 or 7 times that night). I did not want this guy getting to any of my kids. I was also worried about having a bunch of cops with guns in my house hunting down a possible armed BG.

Afterwards I also wondered, if I would have shot this guy, would some prosecutor make a big deal of the stack of back issues of Guns & Ammo, Handguns, etc.? Would my gun safe containing a dreaded AK-47 among 6 or 7 other weapons have been a big deal?

January 20, 2006, 05:45 PM
If you had shot the guy, I don't think you would have been morally or legally wrong. The guy was putting out very strong threat messages even if he wasn't talking. But like I said in my first post, the decision to pull the trigger is up to the guy in the situation. Lots of other things going on at the time that I'm sure you can't adequately capture in an Internet forum post.

As for being able to take the guy because you have 75 pounds on him, I would not assume that. Attitude and other factors, such as being drugged up, can make huge differences. For example, when I lived in California, there was a guy who had won some sort of major judo competition, one of those "people competing from all over the world" sort of things. This guy had something like 15-20 years of experience and was very beefy. Shortly after the competition--within a week, I think--some young street punk with a knife tried to rob him. The judo guy decided to fight back and lost his life. The little punk had apparently grown up on some mean streets, knew how to handle a knife, and didn't give a rat-squat about killing people.

January 20, 2006, 05:55 PM
My biggest concern/joy/challenge is still having 7 kids at home who all have a million friends who like to hang out at my house.

EEK!!!! I think my wife would keep ME out of the bedroom with the shotgun after 2 or 3. We have one now and that is trying enough...

January 20, 2006, 06:07 PM
That's why I eventually got interested in guns rather than, well. . . you know.

January 20, 2006, 06:11 PM
I'm new here so I'll say "howdy." I think you showed fine judgement and were more than merciful towards the scumbag that felt he could walk into your house AT NIGHT no less.
Now, as far as your door being unlocked-of course that's bad and could have been TERRIBLE for you had you fired. I think the scumbag's relatives would have claimed you were sitting up late waiting for prowlers etc.... Keep in mind that the locked door is no real deterrant either-however if an a-hole smashes your window and comes in AT NIGHT I say the stakes get weighed much more heavily in your favor if things "go sour."
Lastly, I hope you are able to feel secure in your home and that the kids are ok too.
Y'see, even when you don't shoot there are emotional wounds.
You did damn good.

January 20, 2006, 06:17 PM
were more than merciful towards the scumbag that felt he could walk into your house AT NIGHT no less.

And if that scumbag was mentally ill?


January 20, 2006, 06:24 PM
whoa nelly! are you suggesting wildalaska, that the armed citizen should not pull the trigger until slide lock on an intruder?

i'd be the laughing stock of the mallninjas if i didnt take the pre-emptive strike against an intruder!

January 20, 2006, 06:31 PM
are you suggesting wildalaska, that the armed citizen should not pull the trigger until slide lock on an intruder?

Sick isnt it...suggesting that under some circumstances one shouldnt just blow the scumbag away.....I should be ashamed Im sorry


January 20, 2006, 06:33 PM
Phxdog, I will add this one observation: You should have proned the guy out in your living room instead of asking him to get up and leave. Action beats reaction. Since you ordered him to get up and get out, he now has more options open to him. Prone him out and wait for the police. If he makes a move from there, it will be much harder to get at you, and consequently should make up your deadly force decision for you.
Glad you're ok.

January 20, 2006, 06:41 PM
That's a VERY good point. That would have been safer for LE as well, I suppose.

January 20, 2006, 06:47 PM
Glad you're OK. You may want to consider keeping some pepper spray/OC in the bedside table. With all the kids' friends coming in and out at all hours of the night-that may help. It's easy to walk around with if your firearm isn't always immediately available. I don't lock up my OC, I do lock up all firearms.

Is it the best possible scenario-no but if there are a ton of kids around it's probably better.

Again, glad it worked out for you.

January 20, 2006, 07:08 PM
Sounds to me like you handled it just fine, particularly considering you aren't a trained pro. Congrats on keeping a cool head under stress...

January 20, 2006, 07:08 PM
WildAlaska said:
And if that scumbag was mentally ill?

It is a good question that should be addressed. It was also very much discussed on these boards after the mentally ill man was shot by the air marshals.

The intruders motivation does not matter. Perhaps martians are transmitting to his fillings messages to invade homes, or voices told him, or he is just delusional and thinks he is in his bathroom. In every case where the intruder is mentally ill one thing does not change, the apparent threat to the homeowner. How does the homeowner know if the guy is harmless crazy or serial killer crazy? You do not know if he just plans at looking at the wall or eating your children's livers. You do know he is certainly where he doesn't belong, is inside your "danger area," and is ignoring the commands of an armed individual.

Feel bad for his "sickness" but as Connery said to Costner when standing over the body of a ganster he had remorse about shooting "would you rather that had been you?" You make the decision based on the information at the time and do your best not to look back.

As far as orderring him out of the house to the awaiting officers instead of having him go prone. Given the situation in this case I agree with the poster. Sending him out was the best thing to do. I base this on the following:

1. The cops were already near, note he heard the sirens.

2. People can fault you for "taking someone prisoner" but can never fault you for orderring them out.

3. In the end what you really want is him to be out.

4. The police ARE going to enter the house and with guns drawn. Personally I would rather I NOT have my gun in my hand at that time. At the same time I do not want to put it down while a BG is on my floor before the officers enter. Sending him out gives you the opportunity to put the gun down without any risk before the police enter. Sure, it may endanger the police some to send him out there but it is THEIR job to arrest nut cases. It is my job to protect my life. I am going to make the decision that lowers the risk in my favor every time.

Having him go prone if the police are not there yet is a good idea. Personally I want him to be apprehended and I do not want him getting away to return later. In this case though it sounds like the police were there.

January 20, 2006, 07:21 PM
Charles Manson is mentally ill. Wasn't he involved in some people getting butchered?

I'm no doctor, so any prognosis I might make that the guy is a sheep and not a wolf would put my family at serious risk if I'm wrong.

Face it: In a home invasion scenario, you will have to make a decision without all the facts. You must do the best you can with what you have. I will err on the side of safety for my family and me. Regardless of the outcome, I couldn't live with myself otherwise.

January 20, 2006, 09:53 PM
Whyte38: I thinbk he deserves to be applauded for reaming alm. I think he came out on top, so he won tht one. My response to his post was merely to give him a little credit for showing restraint and not needlessly blowing the guy away. Your certainly right: It is important to analyze these situations. But I do think it was a little more than just luck. Also, his later post shows he was unaware of an older son with a baseball bat, good thing he didn't spray and pray.

January 20, 2006, 10:16 PM
oh man whyte, that elevates it.
I remember the testimony of one of manson's victims crying out, "stop stabbing me, you already killed me."

January 20, 2006, 10:33 PM
I liked the fact that you had back up if things went bad. Your son showed some smarts by staying out of the way but at the same time being close enough to help if you needed it.:cool: When i said i would have engaged him without the pistol. At that time you had the advantage of surprise. I don't like them having time to get their act together. If he was there for nefarious reasons he wouldn't expect you to react so quickly on the offensive.Always do unto others before they can do unto you!:D

January 20, 2006, 10:49 PM
I'ld love to claim that I knew I "had back-up" but the truth is I do not even remember seeing my son in the room that night. I first learned of it when he told the Police as they were asking questions. I guess that's what they mean by getting tunnel vision. I was so focused on the BG.

I would like to think I saw him and just did not register because he was not a threat. If that's not the case, and he had been another BG, I would almost certainly have been dead meat.

Also, he's just a little guy and the "bat" was one of those 12" - 14" giveaway at the gate jobs; not very effective.

January 21, 2006, 12:13 AM
I think you did a great job restraining yourself. That being said, I would never have investigated any noise without a sidearm. And knowing the castle doctrine law here in Florida, this guy would have been taken down in my living room. Drunk, lost, dillusional, whatever....I feel very strongly about defending myself from an intruder in my home.

I have answered the door before in the early evening (not quite dark yet) just to recieve a package from the UPS man. Guess what was in my right hand behind my back? Where he pulled up in my yard, I couldn't see his truck. Had I seen the UPS van, I probably wouldn't have carried my pistol with me to the door. Anyway, when I answered he strained as he set the package on the porch and handed me the pad to sign. I said pretty heavy huh? Must be ammo he said. I suppose I gave myself away :D .

January 21, 2006, 02:41 AM
From your account of the event, you believed your kids were asleep in bed, you hear a noise that you identify as the front door opening, and then you check it out WITHOUT your gun? I don't get that one. Did it even cross your mind to get your gun? When something goes bump in the night in my house, I either positively identify the non-threatening cause of the noise, or I go investigate the cause...armed. And that's just for starters.

January 21, 2006, 03:05 AM
3. Don't investigate "bumps in the night" unless you are ready to deal with the worst case scenario, ie bring the gun with you.

Yeah, really.

It's not like you were going down for a glass of milk or something. You were actively going out to check on the sound of your DOOR opening late at night.

I guess one thing you might have thought of was, "It could be one of my 8 kids..." So naturally you would not want to shoot one of them (I imagine). But surely some part of you also was saying, "Damn, it would be unusual for one of my generally well-behaved kids to be going out the front door at 11 p.m., so I'd best be on my guard."

Being on your guard would certainly not have included going out into the dark house without the gun you say you later ran back to retrieve.

Glad it worked out for you, though. It would have sucked to have killed a weirdo unarmed dude, and then had his blood and guts all over your house to clean up... [barf]


January 21, 2006, 03:11 AM
I think you did a great job restraining yourself. That being said, I would never have investigated any noise without a sidearm. And knowing the castle doctrine law here in Florida, this guy would have been taken down in my living room. Drunk, lost, dillusional, whatever....I feel very strongly about defending myself from an intruder in my home.

Yeah, I pretty much would have to go with what you said.

"Some guy" is in my house, hands are not where I can see them, he's not doing what I loudly order him to do -- he'll be lucky if he gets orders at all apart from, "fall to the ground bleeding and die -- I doubt very much that I'll be "waiting to see what he does next," when that thing might very well be "get the drop on me, kill me, and take what's mine."


January 21, 2006, 09:23 AM

Please look again at my post. I gave him credit for remaining calm and thinking. I simply disagree that restraint is always good. Look at police reports and crimes stats, and you will see plenty of times when too much restraint got the good guy killed. Which side of that ledger do you wish to be on?

The intruder had his hands in his pockets. Unless you have x-ray vision, you don't know what is in his pockets. You also don't know if this guy is bait to catch your attention while his buddies move in. As for his son, according to the description, his son was not in the field of fire, so his son was not at risk if he had shot the intruder. Please correct me if my understanding is wrong on that score.

This whole "hey it worked out, so you did good" mentality reminds me of my ex-wife. She used to use only the rear view mirror when backing up the car. I told her that she needed turn her head and look backwards so she could use her peripheral vision to see cars or kids on bikes coming from the sides. She replied that she'd been doing this for years and never had a problem, so therefore it must be okay. I told her she'd been lucky. Six months after we divorced, she totalled her car by ... surprise, surprise ... looking in the rear view mirror while backing up and then getting t-boned by an oncoming car. Luck can run a short time or a long time, but eventually luck runs out. Thankfully, hers ran out when I was no longer legally responsible for her; I really hate being sued.

After 2,000 flight hours in the Navy and 65,000 accident-free motorcycle miles, including two cross-country trips, I've had my share of good luck. I have never thought, "It worked out, so I did good." I've had too many times when things worked out despite the dumb things I did. I rode home drunk one night on my motorcycle. I got home safe. No one was killed; no serious property damage. It worked out--I came out "on top" so to speak--so I must have done good, right? If you do something good, doesn't that mean you should do it again? There is no logic in saying, "You did good, but don't do that again." I say I got lucky, that I shouldn't do that again, and so that was the one and only time I did that.

Things work out because of something that you did or because of luck. I prefer the first result because I can't control the second one.

January 21, 2006, 10:28 AM
I have replayed this event in my head dozens of times since it happened, trying to learn from the mistakes I may have made. The input and observations I have read here have been VERY beneficial.

The thing that sticks out most in my mind (as you all have noted), I should have not have walked into a potential threat without a weapon. Especially since I had one, ready access, right by the bed.

Why did I do that? I got COMPLAICENT. "Home" had become a false refuge. I took off my gun when I got home and did not think about it until the next day when I went outside where it was "dangerous." I guess 20 years in the same home can do that to you.

I'm going to get up on my pulpit again and say that negligence is something none of us who are armed or who have weapons in the house can afford. In the time since this all happened I have tried to remain aware and ready to respond appropriately.

Now let me step down. . . ahhh, that's better!

Thanks for all your input; I hope this review has helped clear a few cob-webs from us all.

BTW - My door is locked.

January 21, 2006, 10:42 AM
I think U handled it like a pro. I know in California, U can't shoot someone unless it looks like they are going to bring U harm right then and there. Pretty scary situation though. I don't know what I would have done. I know if this was a police situation in California, the guy would have had 27 bullets fired into him for not taking his hands out of his pockets.

Blackwater OPS
January 21, 2006, 11:37 AM
I know in California, U can't shoot someone unless it looks like they are going to bring U harm right then and there.
In CA if someone uses force to enter your home you are assumed to be in fear for your life, thus deadly force is justified, someone would have to prove that there was a reason you were not in fear, such as you knew the guy and inviteded him there.

January 21, 2006, 11:58 AM
I have to say ,aside from leaving your room the first time unarmed ,you handled the situation properly.For those of you who said you wouild have shot him.Its easy to pull the trigger.However its not so easy to deal with all that comes after.The emotinal side of it is as big as the actual action of shooting someone.Remember you will live that moment over and over again in your mind.The legal side also is no picnic.You may be arrested and spend a night in lockup.Not to mention the amount of money it will take if it should go to court.Be careful and shoot straight

Capt. Charlie
January 21, 2006, 01:04 PM
Any ending that doesn't result in death is a good ending. You made a mistake or two, but you've learned from them and moved on. That's how we get better. Good job!

While there are pro's and con's on this, the only other suggestion I would make involves the BG's detainment. I don't like serious bad guys on their feet. They aren't under real control while they're standing. Put 'em on the ground, face down, with ankles crossed and arms outstretched, palms up.

When you do this, command and control each and every movement by the BG, step by step. Don't just tell 'em to get on the ground, take it step by step, and make your commands clear, simple, and concise. Try to use a "command voice"; you want to be taken seriously.

This is all assuming, of course, that the BG will obey your commands. If not, your decisions and actions will have to be made split-second by split-second.

January 21, 2006, 07:54 PM
WhyteP38: I'm not saying trust to luck. If I haven't been clear then, here's the deal: I don't think he should be too hard on himself. Yes he made mistakes. But he did do well. His family is safe, the intruder is in custody, and no one got shot. That's a success. Should he learn from the tactical errors he made, sure. But I don't think he should be paranoid, either. Do you freak out remembering the time you rode your bike home drunk every time you ride? Don't break out the chains and start the self-flagellation is all I'm saying. Just learn from your mistakes and move on.

Did you buy the car your ex wrecked? If you did, and she got it in the divorce, then you should be happy.:D

PS: When I was a teenager, my high school sweetheart used to leave the door unlocked so I could sneak into her house and hook up as her bedroom was on the first floor. Lucky for me her stepdad never investigated with a .45 and blew my head off. Guess he'd still be in prison now. Well maybe not, that was 20 years ago:p

January 21, 2006, 10:54 PM

Regarding the ex, that's another time I got lucky. :) She had the payments for it after we divorced. Shame though; it was a nice car. Anyway, she didn't get hurt, just her bank account and her car insurance. (She wasn't a bad person, just not very careful; my biggest fear was that she'd run over some toddler or a tike on a trike.)

I'm not saying Phxdog should don sackcloth and put ash on his head. The situation isn't digital: all good or all bad. I do think he was extremely lucky that his gentleman caller wasn't armed or psychotic. I do think he made some serious tactical errors. I also think he demonstrated an impressive degree of self-control and thought. He can learn different tactics. That's relatively easy. The hardest part is learning to think under stress. I'd say he's got the hardest part licked.

And I'm not saying he should have pulled the trigger. Getting the intruder to put his hands on top of his head and then go prone can often be a viable option. But I think anyone who owns a gun for the purpose of self-defense should determine ahead of time where their personal line is. It's as vital a part of one's training as anything else. And I would save luck for poker or Monopoly.

Daniel BOON
January 22, 2006, 05:56 PM
I think I would have barricaded myself/wife into the bd room, called the boyz in blue, and let the dog do his job; I can tell you from experience that massive dog bites hurt really bad; of course the bd room is armed to the hilt, (no guns in safes) and would take the swat team to extract us:)
but I think you did an excellent job; next time, lock the door.......

January 23, 2006, 11:46 AM
Glad everything was ok....but everyone said it and now I have to chime in....KEEP YOUR DOORS LOCKED WHEN YOU GO TO BED. I actually had a friend of mine come home from a party around 4am, very drunk and walk into the wrong apartment. Scared the heck out of an old lady (who thankfully was an early riser and awake watching TV). She never called the cops. Next day after he sobered up he when to the apartment to apologize, and since he lived in a not so nice neighborhood to ask the woman to please keep her door locked in the late night, early morning hours.

January 23, 2006, 12:10 PM
Most of it has already been said, so I'll just add my 'good job' to it.

You realize all the errors NOW. But you protected your family and didn't have to shoot. Feel good about it, lock your doors, and take your gun with you.

January 23, 2006, 07:10 PM
yeah, in a word. Thats about as nutty a thing as I have ever heard. You are lucky you and your family are still alive. Hope you at least lock the darn door in the future.

January 23, 2006, 07:54 PM
Ok, I think the "lock the door" defense has been covered quite well, no? Jesus, the guy has already admitted to that mistake.

January 23, 2006, 07:58 PM
I was just thinking the same thing!

January 23, 2006, 09:01 PM
This is why I have an alarm on my house. Not just as an alert to wake me up, or notify authorities (darn glad it does both) but also possible backup in court just in case (god forbid) things go bad in this type of situation. This why you need to know the law clearly in the state and city you live in. But for most, including me, at the wee hours of the morning with an intruder standing his ground, the law is probably the last thing on our mind. From the sounds of it you were very close to DOING WHAT YOU HAD TO DO. I for one am glad you didn't have to do what none of us want to do.

January 23, 2006, 10:47 PM
Have you ever considered purchasing a shotgun and getting some serious beanbag rounds? This way you won't have to make a life changing decision. If you're unsure, just pop him a couple times with it until he's incapacitated. If you made a mistake, it will heal...if not, then you'll be able to take control of the situation very fast. I would keep that handgun by my side though as a secondary weapon in case you need to get serious. However, this is something that you should consider.

January 24, 2006, 04:01 PM
However, this is something that you should consider.
Ack! No, no, no, no, no. Bad idea!

Beanbag rounds can and do kill, especially at across-the-room ranges. There's a reason they're now called "less-lethal" instead of "non-lethal" weapons - to keep LEOs and other users from assuming they can freely employ them with little danger to the target. "Popping" someone "a couple of times" at close range is a good way to end up with them getting severly injured or even dying in your hallway.

If you want a non-lethal option, use spray (not the best choice indoors!) or a TASER (expensive, and has arguably caused deaths as well).

Better yet, leave that stuff to the police. Shoot someone only if you are in genuine fear for your life.

January 24, 2006, 06:23 PM
Just out of curiosity, since I know nothing about shooting bean bags from a shotgun, what happens when you run out of bean bags and the perp is not stopped? I remember reading a police report about some guy on PCP who cut slices of flesh from his own face and fed them to his dog. I'm thinking bean bags against someone like that won't be entirely successful. Do you then go for your pistol, which takes time to dump one weapon and grab another? Or do you have three bean bags and two live shotshells loaded? Or what if two or more perps are involved and you don't know it until you haul out the bean bag gun?

I'm just thinking bean bags are more appropriate when you have a much better idea of the entire situation, or for LEOs performing riot control functions and back up is available in case the bean bags don't get the job done.

January 24, 2006, 06:25 PM
If this was my story it would go something like this...

"When I saw the guy I would have screemed so load it woulda sounded like a teenage girl in a horror film. I would have continued to screem at the top of my lungs as I emptied my weapon into the guy. Once he was dead (or I was out of ammo) I would have crumpled to the floor in a screemed out exhausted mess."

I am sure my screaming would start my wife and children screaming so everyone in the house would be screaming. Heck the bad guy might even have screamed. But I would swear my wife to silence and tell the story like I was calm and collected, in perfect control.

So phxdog you did good my friend. Even if you screamed :D

January 26, 2006, 09:41 AM
"Ack! No, no, no, no, no. Bad idea!

Beanbag rounds can and do kill, especially at across-the-room ranges. There's a reason they're now called "less-lethal" instead of "non-lethal" weapons - to keep LEOs and other users from assuming they can freely employ them with little danger to the target. "Popping" someone "a couple of times" at close range is a good way to end up with them getting severly injured or even dying in your hallway.

If you want a non-lethal option, use spray (not the best choice indoors!) or a TASER (expensive, and has arguably caused deaths as well).

Better yet, leave that stuff to the police. Shoot someone only if you are in genuine fear for your life."

Very true, however, having someone severely injured in your hallway is the idea. I'm not arguing whether or not using beanbags is in fact the best decision, which you made a good argument to, I'm just stating that it will most likely eliminate the hesitation of making a life changing decision, which can, of course, go both ways. Also, if the intruder does in fact end up dieing, since you used beanbags rounds intended to stop, and not kill, it will most likely be brought up as manslaughter instead of murder, which should be easier to plead self defense.

January 27, 2006, 11:27 PM
I wonder what Rebecca Peters :barf: and other anti-gun people would do in that situation. I always think anti-gun people are only anti-gun until they get a little dose of home invasion or car-jacking.

January 28, 2006, 12:14 AM
Seems like a lot of anti-gun people are anti-gun because they don't need them; only their bodyguards need them. I suppose that means only bodyguards should have guns, and so only people rich enough to have bodyguards have lives worth protecting. As for the rest of us ... well, we have no special talents that the world can't do without, such as acting or reading teleprompters. We're so common you can't throw a rock 10 feet without hitting one of us. A few less of us won't make that much difference.

January 28, 2006, 07:43 AM
You guys are much kinder than I would have been in this scenario.

And in a word yes, you were wrong..on multiple fronts.

First, there is no excuse for an unlocked home. With my wife and eight kids in the house, this could have turned out much worse.

A drunk guy is one thing but 2 real armed thugs could have changed this story dramatically.

The primary responsibility of the man of the home is to provide and protect his family.

The hands in the pocket, investigating without being armed, the firearm to well secured, etc.. all questionable judgements from my POV. I'm not trying to offend, but this is pretty important stuff.

I recently watched a special about a tribe in Africa that had just returned from a battle (read: defending thier families) and the men returned SINGING.

1 guy had killed 8 men in seperate battles and he & the tribe seemed fairly proud of that fact.

Compassion should be saved for those in dire need and your family. Not for a stranger unlawfully in your home...I wouldn't care why a stranger was in my home. Take every precaution to ensure the homefront is secure.

If you are unwilling to deal with a threat after that, maybe a saferoom with a phone is a good second choice.

Leaving the fam unprotected to face an unknown threat uarmed were indeed wrong actions.

January 30, 2006, 11:27 PM
WhyteP38: You are absolutely right. +1!