View Full Version : Yikes!! Prowler Episode JUST NOW!!

June 13, 2008, 02:20 AM
OK, I have just transitioned from "hypothetically, maybe it could happen someday" to "Oh my gosh, it just happened to me!" No shots fired, but I almost did. I live in a nice, white collar subdivision in the suburbs of Louisville, KY. I'm sitting up late watching my recording of the Lakers/Celtics game. My wife, teenage daughter, and younger son left two days ago for a week at the beach, I stay home because I have work obligations. So I'm home alone, just me and my dogs (two English cocker spaniels and a spunky toy poodle). Suddenly the dogs start going crazy, barking and making a racket. I'm thinking...what in the world is that about. I look at the clock, it's 12:45am. The dogs run to the back of the house and bark excitedly at the back door. One of the dogs, my "alpha male", has gone into "don't mess with me" mode...he's really upset, the hair is up on the back of his neck, and he's baring his teeth. The only times I've seen him this agitated is the times he has run into raccoons or coyotes in the tall grass when we are pheasant hunting. His current agitated behavior has my nerves on edge. Then I hear tapping and rattling on the back door.

Although I got my Kentucky concealed carry permit last year, I hadn't ever actually "carried", because I didn't have a gun small enough to conceal comfortably. But just last week I bought a new Ruger LCP, and have just started doing concealed carry on a regular basis. My Beretta Cheetah stays locked in the car (no help to me now). But my LCP was in my desk drawer with my wallet and keys.

So I grab the LCP and slide it in my pocket. As I head towards the back door, I hear tapping again. Somebody wants me to let them in. I'm trying to think of why someone would be here at this time of night, and why they would be at the back door, and not just come to the front, which is the natural approach for friends and visitors. The back porch light is not on, so I can't see who is there. I stand to the side, taking cover beside a bookcase, and I yell out "who's there", and nobody answers. I'm thinking they are gone. I stand quietly for a minute, trying to decide what to do. Then they tap again!! I yell "who's there, identify yourself!". No response. Now I'm really scared. I yell "identify yourself!!" one more time. Again, no response. Now I'm convinced this not a friendly visitor. I want to turn the porch light on, but the switch is next to the door, and I would have to fully expose myself to turn it on. I wonder if someone will try to shoot me through the glass door. Then it occurs to me that maybe I should shoot through the glass at whoever is out there. But then I think, what if its just a kid playing a prank? So I don't shoot. The dogs are still going crazy. Finally I get up the nerve to expose myself enough to go to the door and flip on the porch light switch. By this time, nobody is there. I let the dogs out (hunting dogs) and they growl and sniff wildly all over the back yard and along the fence. Clearly somebody has been there, but has fled. I call the local police for our neighborhood area. I have the number in my desk, because last month a notice had been sent out to everybody that there had been a series of home invasions in the area, and people should be aware. When I get the duty officer on the phone, he is not the least bit surprised at what I tell him. As he turns his car around and heads for my address, he wants to keep me on the phone. After he arrives and looks around a bit, we get into a discussion. He tells me they know of at least two active "problems"...one is a burgler they are trying to catch in our area, and the other is a rapist. The burgler's MO is to knock on people's back door, and if nobody answers, he kicks the door in. If they do let him, I guess he just barges in and does his business!! Folks, this isn't the "inner city". This is a nice, upscale, quiet home in the suburbs. Although I'm 6' 2" and 215 lbs, I feel violated and vulnerable. This guy (or "these guys"??) must have been watching me through the window. They must have heard and seen the TV on, and they certainly heard the dogs. Yet they still had the balls to try to get me to open the door!! WOW. I don't think I'll ever feel safe in my own home again. I probably won't even sleep tonight. My adrenalin is still flowing, which is probably why I'm still sitting up telling this long story. But if you've read this far, I guess you found it interesting. If you are a policeman or other LEO, this kind of thing is nothing new to you...you guys deal with this stuff all the time. God bless all you guys!! I was sure glad to see that officer show up in front of my house! But I'm just normal business guy, and even though I read about it and have my hunting and gun hobbies and such, this is new to me. And I don't like it one bit!! My Ruger is in one pocket, and my Beretta is in the other. I'll probably have them both under my pillow tonight...if I go to sleep at all.

June 13, 2008, 03:32 AM
Wow, that is a really scary story. It doesn't help that I'm sitting alone in the dark either! Glad you got out of it ok. Stay vigilant.

June 13, 2008, 06:20 AM
First, I'm glad you got out of it ok.

Now, let me analyze a little.

The first thing you should have grabbed was your cell phone or the house phone. Get the cops on the way FIRST, unless the threat is imminent.

You went to the door, not knowing who was out there. Do NOT try to clear a house or meet the threat head on unless you have tactical training in that type of action.

You called out to an unknown, unlocated person or persons. Now he has a good idea just where you are.

You took concealment behind that bookcase, not cover. You'd be surprised how much stuff a bullet will go through and still have the power to kill. Concealment hides, cover protects.

You advanced to a still-unknown threat. You had absolutely NO idea who, how many, or where.

You took some big chances and got away with it, IMO. Everything in your house is replaceable, your life isn't.

You were wise to not shoot, you had no cause or justification. NEVER shoot unless you have identified your target as a imminent threat to life or grave bodily injury.

OK, let's eliminate that scared feeling. Go practice with your weapons until you can draw and shoot blindfolded. Take a tactical course, if possible. Learn to defend, learn to barricade, and learn to gunfight. Yea, it sounds kinda like the "old West", but you need the skills you don't have go with the weapon you do have.

Again, glad you're safe.

June 13, 2008, 12:57 PM
Next time call the police first.

Then go to the back door gun drawn and let him knock.


Do yourself a favor and stand on the side of the door away from the hinges.

Nothing worse then getting a door kicked in your face.

He kicks in your door,he's made a dreadful mistake.

Remember this too,it may have not been a bad guy at all.

It might have been a neighbor lady wanting to say 'hello'.:D

Rich Miranda
June 13, 2008, 02:38 PM
jrmichael, I am no tactical expert and I won't critique your response to the situation. I'm just glad you're safe.

I will venture to say that the fact that you live in a nice, low-crime area (as do I) probably causes you to feel 'safe', and therefore be less prepared. One thing we all have to realize is that we are never truly safe. And it's a scary thing when we realize that.

I would suggest that you take the time to re-evaluate your home security. Here are some ideas. Others will add others, I'm sure.

- Install a / Use your alarm system.

- Install motion lights outside.

- Make sure entry doors are steel or steel-covered to reduce ease of kick-in.

- Re-think your gun selection. As a carry piece, the LCP is great. But, if you're home, consider having access to a larger caliber weapon.

- Make your neighbors aware of what happened. It would be very bad if the lady down the street was successfully attacked because she didn't know this was going on.

Anywho, I'm glad you're OK and will thank the Lord for same.

June 13, 2008, 02:45 PM
that they didn't come on in giving you a good reason to pop 'em.

I'm a LEO and we've had a few home invasions/ interrupted burglaries that ended with the resident killing or otherwise seriously injuring the perp (God Bless Alabama) and few things give the warm and fuzzies like true justice.

You did make a few tactical misjudgements as have been previously pointed out, but you didn't get hurt, and you were prepared to do what needed to be done. Seek out some additional training and get comfortable with your weapons, it seems like you've already got the determination to take care of you and yours. And yes, if at all possible call the police first, IF you have the luxury of time... if you don't, handle buisness and we can come do the clean-up.

June 13, 2008, 05:22 PM
That is a wild story. Glad you are ok.
I say grab the gun first, then the phone.

It would have been a big mistake to have fired, glad you didn't do that. Who knows, it could have been that good looking neighbor lady with a double martini in her hand.

All I can say is thank God for barking dogs and loaded pistols in the house, I have two of each.

Also you ought to get some of the motion detector security lights, bad guys just hate them, would give added protection to your family when you are not at home.

vox rationis
June 13, 2008, 06:06 PM
Yikes...I'm glad all is well and you are safe.

I agree with get a gun, get good cover, call 911, and announcing in a loud voice that the Police are on the way (in one way or another)...also about the motion detector lights, etc..but I just had a thought:

after you did the gun, cover, 911 thing, how about having one of those blowhorn/megaphone near by and announcing, in a deep command voice: "INTRUDER! YOU HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED! POLICE ARE ON THE WAY!" :D ...not sure that this is practical but it would have made little tap tap boy crap his pants as he fell over trying to get away as quickly as his flea ridden hide allowed him....actually what about the idea of having a megaphone in your safe room/bedroom whatever, to announce to whomever has broken in, or trying to break in, some version of the above? I think it might be a pretty good psychological deterrent.

June 13, 2008, 06:41 PM
Another option is to yell out in a deep voice: "Otis! Wake up the gimp! We got ourselves another playmate!"

June 13, 2008, 07:02 PM
The time I called the cops and said the words "suspect present" you (and this is no exaggeration) could hear four patrol cars from various directions go to WOT. Get to the phone and get 911 in the loop right away.

Glad you thought ahead and everything worked out.

June 13, 2008, 09:26 PM
You handled as you thought.
Now, get a motion detector light on the backporch and or the garage for backlighting the porch. Also put one high up on the garage to illuminate the yard.

Maybe have something more heavier (firepower) that wife and family could handle. (20ga shotgun or M1 Carbine with softnose ammo)

June 13, 2008, 11:52 PM
Did I read correctly? Your Beretta was locked in the car? Why would you leave a gun in a car...unless the car was locked in a garage. Even then...nothing stays in a vehicle around here. Too hard to get to in a rush. Glad you made it through the problem. Get ready for the next one. There is always a next time.


June 13, 2008, 11:58 PM
I have 4 security lights around my house. Porchlight is a heat/motion detector and then there are 3 double floodlights with heat/motion detectors. Practicly the entire perimeter of my property is covered and my next door neighbor's is the same. It is just plain no fun for a perp to jump over my fence or his.:D It has happened and all we hear is fences rattling through the block as the idiot heads ass over teacup into darker yards. First line of defense, for sure.

June 14, 2008, 12:08 AM
I'm the Original Poster of this thread.

Thanks to everybody for your analysis and feedback. Much of what you folks have shared I fully agree with, and I had arrived at similar conclusions after thinking this through myself.

I think the main lesson is this...I just wasn't expecting or mentally prepared for an actual perpetrator. As I went to investigate the barking dogs and knocking on the door, I just didn't really believe that there would be a prowler. I was trying to think of all the other reasons someone might be knocking on my door, and a prowler was still just a "theoretical possibility". In all honesty, the only reason I even slipped the LCP into my pocket is that I have been making a conscious effort to form a "carry" habit, so I thought, ok, it's late at night, and someone is knocking at the door, so why not grap the LCP while I check this out. Actually, I felt like I was being a little over-dramatic, and would have been embarrassed if the friend or neighbor (who was surely at the door) knew that I had stuffed a gun in my pocket.

After getting my CCW license last year, I only actually "carried" outside my home one time. Even when I did the CCW class, it was primarily because a friend at work wanted to do it (he lives about 15 miles away, his home had been burglerized twice), so I did it with him. I like hunting and guns, so even buying the LCP and learning to carry wasn't because I actually expected to need it. It was more like the reasons we buy life insurance...we all expect to live til we're 95, but, you know, we still buy insurance because its the responsible thing to do...not because we really believe we will suffer an accident or get sick. So even learning to carry was more of an extension of my hunting and gun hobby, not because I ever really expected to need it. I guess I'm a little naive (or dense, maybe) but even the prior neighborhood warning was little more than an amusement to me. I don't know why...I just didn't take it seriously.

Only when the prowler(s) knocked the third time and still refused to identify themselves did it dawn on me that I might actually be in trouble. I had fully expected that someone I knew would respond, "Hey, it's me, so-and-so..." But by the time I realized what was actually going on, my mistakes had already been made. I think this is a lesson for all of us...the crazy guys and bad guys don't give us advance announcements of the times and places of their next attacks.

So, anyway, I did spend the day at the hardware store buying extra deadbolts, new blinds for our downstairs windows that are easy to see through, new window stops, etc. I already have a backyard flourescent flood light that I rarely use, but it's now lighting up the back yard, and will always be "on" from hence forth. I replaced the front porch bulbs that have been burned out for a long time and my wife occasionally nags me about.

I told the police officer that I had gotten pepper spray for my wife and daughter (my daughter works the late shift at a restaurant). He politely told me how thoughtful I was to care about them, and then he scolded me (again, politely) that pepper spray was just a nice gesture, what I really need to do is give them each a gun. He wasn't the least bit kidding. He repeated the exhortation twice more before the evening was over. So today after the hardware store I went to the gun shop and bought a new S&W Model 63 22LR revolver that my wife and daughter will learn to shoot with, and once they demonstrate proficiency with that, I will purchase a similar S&W revolver but in higher caliber (probably 357/38+P) that will stay in the home for whoever might need it. Neither my wife nor my daughter have ever had the slightest interest in my hunting/gun hobby, but now they have both agreed to learn to shoot. I will take it one step at a time, but I'm hoping they will be willing to take a CCW course and get licensed. I am already on the waiting list at the gun store for another LCP, which I will insist that my daughter keeps in her purse, so she will need the CCW license.

I had a long talk with my closest neighbor about this incident. Their front and back yards are now all lit up, just like mine.

Thank you guys for the opinions and insights. I will be checking back to see others have to say.

June 14, 2008, 12:14 AM
Yes, you read correctly...the Beretta was in the car. But the car is locked in the garage. Still, not much help in the current situation. Interestingly, for some reason I've thought if I ever actually did need a gun, it would be while in my car...travelling out of town, car-jacking possibly (it's a nice car), those kinds of things. But once you get home, you're safe, right...???

June 14, 2008, 12:16 AM
An exterior camera rigged up to a VCR might not be a bad call as well. Who knows how many times this guy has been through your yard, etc.

I hope youve given some consideration to mindset as well. Someone knocking on my back door (already inside my "safety" zone) late at night (another huge RED flag- they didn't care that someone is home) should have had your gun in your hand, IMHO. There's something to be said for having a "What's the worst thing that can happen?" mindset. Be safe.

June 14, 2008, 12:23 AM
OMG thinking about shooting through a door with out knowing what is on the other side is VERY BAD!!!! get control and think about it. You have no clue whats going on or who if anyone is on the other side of the door. Time to get to cover and dial 911. You cant just start shooting at the boogey man.

June 14, 2008, 05:10 AM
"I already have a backyard flourescent flood light that I rarely use, but it's now lighting up the back yard, and will always be "on" from hence forth. I replaced the front porch bulbs that have been burned out for a long time and my wife occasionally nags me about."

Motion detector lights are much better.
First, who wants bright lights on all the time?
Plus, when the motion detector lights go on, you know that somebody, or some animal, has gotten within 50 feet of your house.
Also if it is a bad guy, he thinks he is about to sneak up to your house in the dark, then that floodlight hits him in the face. It is a surprise to the bad guy. He thinks that maybe you have spotted him and have flipped the switch on a flood light. Like someone else said, when that light pops on good chance the bad guy will run.

June 14, 2008, 07:42 PM
Here's a thought, you said you are a hunter maybe you should think about the shotgun as something more than a bird getter. I view handguns as something better than a sharp stick but nowhere near as good as a rifle or shotgun. In my house we have a few handguns in strategic spots and there are shotguns, rifles and a cellphone in the bedroom.

June 14, 2008, 08:17 PM
In my house we utilize floodlights around the perimeter of the property....

mainly we have the lights set to shine on all of our cars as the theives were going after our cars/car parts.....

My brother even went as far as installing miniature surveillance cameras and aimed at at his car...so from his bedroom tv he can keep an eye on it in the night hours...

Because of this he was able to thwart the bad guys 2 times as they came once at 1:30am and once at 4:30am to steal his car....and he only drives an S2000.... and guess what? the theives showed up drivin a Land Rover the first time, then an Infiniti SUV the next :confused:

But in any event, I keep my 12ga shotty and my Ruger 10/22 unloaded and locked up in its case.... probably not a good idea as if my house was ever broken into I would need 2-3 minutes to get every thing "locked and loaded"....

June 15, 2008, 12:06 AM

Just because I thought about shooting through the door at the guy(s) outside doesn't mean I'm crazy or stupid or "very bad". Lots of things can go through a person's mind when faced with an unfamiliar or stressful situation.

The only reason my thoughts even went in that direction is that I was surprised to realize there were bad guys outside my door about 6 feet away from my position, and I was afraid they were about to bust in on me. You will notice that, while I confessed to "thinking about it", I did, on my own, quickly determine that wasn't the right move...so I didn't do it. :)

June 15, 2008, 12:42 AM
This is why I dont have a nightstand.... I have a gun cabinet next to my bed with a 10 gauge, a few 12 gauges, my USP, my PM9, and my S&W m60. Sitting on the ledge of the gun cabinet on the outside is the keys, and my cell phone. If i hear something that goes bump in the night, whatever went bump hears the pump of my shotgun in the night. Which I might add, is a sound there is no mistaking what it came from.

June 16, 2008, 10:09 PM
Ive always been paranoid of home invasion kick your door in type incidents. I keep the steel door bars at every outside door in the house. It wedges under the doorknob to the floor. I figured the average door being kicked in would open first kick. The bar will at least change that to 2 or 3 kicks and give me the extra 4 seconds to grab my weapon and point it at the door. They are less than 20 buxs a piece. 2 seconds could be all it takes. Doors with windows also make me paranoid. I know that most modern houses have a back door with full windows. But the motion activated flood lights are great. Get the really bright floodlights that blind the person:eek:. ANyways, theres my 2 cents worth. Stay safe

Master-Lock-Door-Security-Bar is the name. $16 on ebay

June 17, 2008, 07:12 PM
Call me stupid but I would have opened the back door and let my 2 pittbulls out with gun drawn. They could use the sob as a chew toy till the police arrive.

I always have back and front light on.

June 17, 2008, 08:32 PM
You mentioned pheasants so you must own a shotgun. If it is a O/U, double or semi auto that you hunt with buy another one. The sound of a slide racking on a pump gun will send them scurrying. I can just about guarantee they wouldn't have tapped again after hearing that distinct CHA CHING as you slide a shell into the chamber.

Glad everthing worked out ok for you.

June 17, 2008, 08:50 PM
I live in the East end of Louisville... Do you mind being a little more specific as to your location. Cross streets, general neighborhood, etc? I would like to know for obvious reasons...

June 17, 2008, 09:55 PM
Sounds like you did OK... I'm not too sure I could've done any better, 'cept I have an assortment of weapons to choose from in the house... (no .380 for me... .45ACP or 12 Guage... .44 Magnum in case they're Zombies)

One (or two) posts mentioned "cover" as opposed to "concealment"... I'm not sure what, in the average home, would provide real cover... I mean most homes in the US are built with the internal walls being mostly drywall with a 2 x 4 here or there.... how effective is drywall at stopping a bullet (not very... I've tested it before)? What would one use as cover?

In any event, sounds like this is a good excuse to get some more guns... It's good to hear the LEOs out there believe in self-defense and RKBA as well.

June 19, 2008, 12:03 AM
To JupiterJoe:

I live in the northeast corridor framed by US 42 and US 22, just shy of Prospect and inside the Snyder Freeway. In discussing my incident with neighbors, I learned that there has been a considerable problem not only in my area, but in Prospect/Oldham County as well.

Also, the police officer told me about some home invasion/rape incidents in the area, and then a friend at church told me that one of her best friends was raped just a couple of weeks ago in the Chamberlain Lane area. The victim had always been a jogger, but this fateful day she came back from jogging only to find the rapist waiting for her inside her home. He apparently had been watching her patterns, knew when she would be out jogging, and forced his way into the house through a window while she was on a jog. When she got home, there he was. Clearly, there is an alarming trend of the criminals invading the higher-end suburbs.

I guess you saw the local news a couple weeks ago, where they interviewed the 72-yr-old man who shot the two home invaders? I don't know what part of town this was. If you didn't see it, the short version is that the man heard a knock on his door, wasn't expecting visitors. (Sounds uncomfortably like my situation!!) When he opened the door to see who it was, two bad guys busted in on him. One guy put a gun to his head. His wife was in the kitchen. He thought, "I'm a dead man, and they will hurt my wife, if I don't do something." So he faked a heart attack, and as he clasped his chest and bent over, he kicked the gunman in the knee. When the gunman reflexed in response to the kick, the homeowner drew a gun from his waistband and shot the gunman, then shot the accomplice. Then he looked back at the gunman, saw that he was still alive, and considering him still a threat, shot him again until he was dead. The news folks also interviewed the police and some other law enforcement person (attorney general? not sure). They all supported the homeowners actions, citing Kentucky's laws which ensure a person's right to self-defense.

June 19, 2008, 06:21 AM
We just had our houses painted, 20 year old sub division (second time)

I have new coach lights to install, dawn to dusk automatic. The street light illuminates my path to the front door.

Glock 19 on me when I am up, bedside table when I am down. Small house, two storey, looking into gate on stairs. Marked Security vehicle in garage, it does not get parked outside, when out monitored alarm is on, motion detectors.

There is no such thing as a safe place to live, criminals have vehicles, coming in at night, I do a quick prowl about, Air horn and P/A get attention, never needed up to now.

JR, quite a wake up call Yes! Put the 3M hurricane sheeting on your glass, it is mandated on all Federal buildings now, a base ball bat takes a while to get through, also good for windy City. Orlando.

June 19, 2008, 08:40 AM
I think the best thing about threads like this one is it causes folks to sit back and "keyboard quarterback" the scenario. And No, I'm not being sarcastic.

What I mean is that it causes the OP and the rest of us to go over the scenario bit by bit and consider what happened, how to best respond, and then we all develop plans.

As someone once said "after the whistle blows is no time to come up with a game plan".

So every time I read a thread like this and review/consider the scenarios/responses presented it acts just like a sort of practice in case (God forbid) something ever happens to ME.

It also reminds me of important stuff like the fact that I need to get a good deadbolt on the front door of the house TONIGHT! (We're remodeling and doing that kinda got lost in the shuffle lately).

June 19, 2008, 10:38 AM
I had a similar situation happen years ago. I was spending the night with my grand parents, something I did Sunday thru Thursday because I worked in my gramps printing company next door to his home. As we watched the news late one night someone knocked on the door. They lived in a bad section of town but the business forced them to stay. Anyway Grandma jumps up (as did I) and asks in a very unhappy voice "who is it". I ran to my bedroom to insert a mag into my Mini-14. Without answering the people again banged on the door. Bang bang bang....three very loud hammer fists to the door......everything amplified because it is an old wood framed above ground house so even the windows rattled. My grandfather now wobbling his way to his 38 special and I am walking toward the door with my Mini-14. Grandma now really upset shouts again "who is it" her voice partially cracking. Again no answer. I got down on my knee off to the side of the door and chambered a round into the Mini-14. I used the rifles barrel to poke up the porch light switch. With grandpa now ready with his revolver I opened the door. I walked out onto the now empty porch only to find two large men running away.......one was coming down from having jumped the fence. I truly believe that the noisy Mini-14's bolt chambering a round scared these guys away. I made plenty of mistakes for sure but I was 18 or 19 years old and had zero tactical training back then. Still things turned out ok. Unfortunately both grand parents have since passed.......from natural causes.

June 19, 2008, 11:25 PM
I guess you saw the local news a couple weeks ago, where they interviewed the 72-yr-old man who shot the two home invaders? I don't know what part of town this was. If you didn't see it, the short version is that the man heard a knock on his door, wasn't expecting visitors. (Sounds uncomfortably like my situation!!) When he opened the door to see who it was, two bad guys busted in on him. One guy put a gun to his head. His wife was in the kitchen. He thought, "I'm a dead man, and they will hurt my wife, if I don't do something." So he faked a heart attack, and as he clasped his chest and bent over, he kicked the gunman in the knee. When the gunman reflexed in response to the kick, the homeowner drew a gun from his waistband and shot the gunman, then shot the accomplice. Then he looked back at the gunman, saw that he was still alive, and considering him still a threat, shot him again until he was dead. The news folks also interviewed the police and some other law enforcement person (attorney general? not sure). They all supported the homeowners actions, citing Kentucky's laws which ensure a person's right to self-defense.

Kudos to the old man for faking a heart attack, drawing the gun and killing his attackers.....

I dont think a young looking 30 year old guy like me can fake a heart attack, but who knows, maybe I can fake an athsma attack??? :D

vox rationis
June 19, 2008, 11:28 PM
I dont think a young looking 30 year old guy like me can fake a heart attack, but who knows, maybe I can fake an athsma attack???

...how about an epileptic seizure...or fainting (vasovagal syncope)

June 20, 2008, 02:32 AM
I'll probably be repeating a few things others have said, but here I go. First of All, Thank you for your post. Everyone enjoys a good story, especially one with a happy ending and good lessons to be learned. Glad to hear your doing ok. But dont be too worried, bad things happen to the best of us. Dont let this fill your life with paranoia, just do the best you can to be safe and prepared. Like a Boy Scout;)
Obviously you should grab a phone, but get the gun first. A phone will just get help on the way, but the gun will save you in the event that something happens RIGHT NOW! I'm not totally against yelling out "who's there" Because, there might be a chance it's someone you know, or even a neighbor who is in urgent need of help, but they cant yell for you because then the "bad guy" will hear them, hence the reason they come to the back door, ya never know Anything can happen, Thats also a great reason to NOT SHOOT until you know who your shooting at, and why! But yelling out for identification is more of a judgment call which you can only make at the time. I would think most bad guys would wait till they were in your house before shooting you, but once again, you never know.
I think the best thing anyone can do is to have motion detector lights at every outside door of their house. To scare away intruders, and also to help you identify who's outside. Many intruders wont be scared by them, but then at least you have a chance of identifying them.
Bolts that bolt UP on to the door frame, and Down into the floor are a great way to keep your self locked up in your house. Even if someone brakes the glass on your door and unlocks the door nob, they will have a very hard time knowing about and reaching the top bolt and especially the bottom bolt. And it also makes it much harder to kick in the door. But if you have an all glass back door like I do, your pretty much screwed anyway, but atleast you can hear them comming!
Having an alert dog is always a good thing! Doesnt matter what it is, as long as it can hear and bark.
Thats about all I have to say as far as your situation goes. Congratulations on how you handled it, even though it wasnt "perfect" everything worked out well.

My family has always had guns in the house, but never loaded and always locked up (I live with my Parents, they have always "Kept" my and my brothers .22 rifles locked away) But I'm 24 now, and getting things together nicely, and I am enjoying all my time at home with my parents.

I have been buying quite a few firearms over the last few years. (At my parents disappointment) (half of which they dont even know about:D, yeah yeah yeah, I know) And recently my Grandpa gave me his old Ruger Mark II. I have open carried with it just a few times, mostly to grow more comfortable exercising my rights, no matter how unpopular it may seam. And as of just 2 nights ago I've decided to start keeping it in the main open compartment on my headboard (I have a waterbed that I put a mattress in) right behind my Upright TV watching pillow, it's got a loaded 10 round magazine of .22's but I keep the chamber empty. Also keep a quick flip pocket knife within arms reach.
I even have a couple small boxes with paper targets over them set up on the other side of my room that I practice my front sight alignment, and shooting. Usually during commercials, with my very realistic airsoft pistol (30 bucks from walmart, just like a real 9mm auto)

Most of all that is for my own entertainment, and because I enjoy it all as a hobby more than some sort of serious training I need to keep me safe. I know this isnt the place to talk about my "beliefs" But I believe we are all safe, all the time, and there is nothing to fear other than fear it's self. Life is perfect and exactly as it should be, other wise it would be some other way.:)

June 20, 2008, 12:45 PM
Even if you have 10,000 watts worth of lights connected to motion sensors they are no substitute for a flashlight.

There are two things on my nightstand when I go to bed. S&W 6906 and a 3 D cell mag light.

June 20, 2008, 08:29 PM
Oh yeah, I've got a Mag light right next to my knife:D

June 22, 2008, 06:27 AM
I just wanted to thank the original poster. No Monday morning quarterbacking here.

Riminds me of when I had some loud banging on the door 18yrs ago in MS at 1:00 A.M. I investigated with my 357mag. It was the next door single mother who's newborn was having trouble breathing. It all turned out fine & she never knew I had my iron with me. My guard was up but you just never know.

June 22, 2008, 07:26 AM
Thanks for the post. I'm happy that if that had to happen at least it was you home alone and not your daughter or wife there by themselves with some piece of **** tapping on the back door.

My good friend's sister and husband got home invaded. I won't go into the details, but it was really, really bad. At least they are both still alive and 5 of the 6 attackers were caught, one made it back to mexico and got away.

Anyway, good to hear that you're okay and my advice is shotgun shotgun shotgun, 20 gauge pump or semi for your girls when they are home. CCW isn't for everyone, make sure your daughter is mentally willing to take aim, pull the trigger and end a life or putting a gun in her hands is about the same as putting it in a criminal's hands. At the very least, get her the best training you can afford and try to get some women who have had to use guns before to defend their bodies/lives to talk to her so she can hear a woman's perspective and all.

I worry about my sister and bro-in-law. They live in a nice house / nice area just like what you are describing and as far as I know they don't have any firearms in the house. I wish they'd at least get a dog and a 20 gauge semi-auto. I'd gladly buy both for them if they'd let me.

June 22, 2008, 09:16 AM
First of all, I'm glad nothing happened to you.

Shortly after I got married, my wife and I were burglerized. This was in the best gated subdivision in North Miami and the house across the street was worth over $1 million five years ago. Bad things happen in good areas since that is where the goodies are.

Since you are already a dog owner, maybe you might want to get a bigger and meaner dog. That dog could live outside and cover your yard. I have an akita and they are pretty intimidating. They don't bark much, but when they do, its usually because something is there (could be another animal). They are really smart dogs and very loyal. They only thing is they shed twice a year and there is enough hair for 3 dogs!


June 22, 2008, 09:41 AM
all the should haves were coverd already. glad your safe.

goes to show always carry even at home. just imagine if he just kicked in the door? you disarmed and in a poor tactical position having yo recover from the shock and engage hand to hand or retrieve a weapon.

again glad your ok.

situations like this are why i say work thru as many what ifs as you can and decide your course of action so you dont have to try to think it thru like you did during the huge adrenalin burst you were going thru.

June 22, 2008, 10:15 PM
I'm the Original Poster checking back in...

While I agree with most of the criticisms, suggestions, etc the ones I'm not quite in agreement with are 1) the idea that it is wrong to call out and ask for identification, and 2) the idea that I should call the police before checking things out for myself.

Regarding #1), if you don't call out and ask "who's there?", how else is the homeowner supposed to know whether the person knocking is friend or foe?

Regarding #2), maybe it's your neighbor who came to ask for some help, or maybe it's a friend of my daughter. In either case, the visitor coming to the back door (instead of the front) would admittedly be a little odd, but hey, maybe they just weren't thinking. My daughter and her friends come and go at all hours of the night, so, except for the fact that, in this case, she was out of town, having someone at the door at 1:00 am wasn't that strange. My point is, calling the police just because we have a visitor -- before checking it out myself -- seems a little premature, given that 99 times out of 100 the visitor will in fact be a friend, and not a foe.

Geez, I hope this doesn't happen 100 more times.

June 23, 2008, 09:00 AM
I will add my voice in the "I'm glad you and yours are Okay" category. Don't be too hard on yourself though. As you said, you were prepared physically (equipment, etc.) but unprepared psychologically (Never thought it might actually happen)

Many people have this happen to them and they get hurt in the process. Should a similar event ever occur, there are several people in this forum including yourself, who will master their fear better in the future becuase of this post.

I spend a lot of time trying to "Prepare for the worst, hope for the best" but I have never been faced with an imminent danger situation outside of my workplace (I'm a CO) and even then the types of danger are different than they might be if I were watching the Lakers get schooled in my living room.

Live and learn, sounds like you managed on both counts...

W. Perkins

June 23, 2008, 09:12 AM
You did make a few tactical misjudgements as have been previously pointed out, but you didn't get hurt, and you were prepared to do what needed to be done. Seek out some additional training and get comfortable with your weapons, it seems like you've already got the determination to take care of you and yours. And yes, if at all possible call the police first, IF you have the luxury of time... if you don't, handle buisness and we can come do the clean-up.


The OP was visited by a bad guy and he did OK.

June 23, 2008, 10:52 AM
the point about calling out was that in doing so you exposed your possible location.

this goes both ways as verbal commands are one of the first steps in the use of force continuum. understand im not insinuating in any way you have to go thru steps in responding to an intruder[ unless your state says otherwise in which case i suggest you move]. im just saying that a case can be made both ways on telling the idiot he is picking a predator to attack not a victum.

you most definitely need to identify if you know your attacker. that's the first step in both engaging and determining if your in danger. this can be done easily as they enter the door. screaming out gives them a direction to key on if they decide to shoot thru the door as you were considering. same goes for the idiot standing there and knocking. he was exposing his possible location. knowing how stupid criminals are i can bet he was standing right there.

the point about calling the police is for several reasons. one is you wont exactly be able to while engaging, two some prosecutors have a funny way of deciding things based on who calls for help first or the fact you feared for your life enough to call for help with a prowler, three is to get help on the way, four is to have a recording of the incident. again here is where you dont want to mis act screwing your self legally. if it turns out to be not an intruder just say thanks i dont need you anymore. this seems of little chance as family and friends dont do things the way this guy did.

again im just trying to draw a fine point on others suggestions.

Rifleman 173
June 23, 2008, 01:08 PM
Keep in mind that this guy might come back so be ready. Now you need to expand your protection ideas to you being home alone, home with family and your family home without you around there. There are two other things to consider...

#1. There is a slight possibility that what was making the noise was a raccoon or other animal. True, it's probably a long shot but it is still possible.

#2. If you have a teenage daughter, that tapping could quite possibly be a friend of hers, generally a boyfriend, trying to make subtle contact with here late a night. More than once I've gotten prowler calls at houses only to catch a teenage girl's beau trying to sneak around to see her. I would hate to see you shoot a kid who was trying to see a friend instead of a rapist.

June 23, 2008, 01:44 PM
Things like that happen somewhat often here in ElPaso. About 4 weeks ago I was sitting at my computer surfing the net when I heard footsteps in the gravel (our home has desert landscaping) right outside my window. We have security bars on the window so I leave my bedroom window open a bit to allow proper A/C circulation. I smiled, reached over for my 12ga "Persuader" (which is loaded with 000 mags) and said loudly, "you have until I get to my front door with this shotgun to be gone Mother*****" and loudly jacked one into the chamber right by the window so he could hear. I grabbed my mag-light off of the bookcase and bolted for the door. The porch light was on and I could see that there was nobody near the front of the house, went out and holding the light in a tactical position (along-side the barrel) I began to work my way to the side of the house just in time to see his a$$ rounding the corner of my "well lit" street at a dead run. He hasn't been back!

Since you couldn't see who was there it is probably a good thing that you didn't fire. NEVER fire at what you cannot clearly see! It MAY have been a burglar or similar predator -or- it could have been a raccoon or other animal up to mischeif in your yard. Since you couldn't see then there is no telling what or who it was. Once, I heard LOUD noises in my front yard and at my door at 3:00 am (we used to live on a farm) and grabbed my Smith 9mm. NOBODY should have been there and I was concerned to say the least. I asked, "who is there?" and heard a somewhat muffled voice say a name (I forget the name). I went out the back door and snuck around to flank my unwanted visitor only to find that it was an old Hispanic man with alzheimers who had gotten lost in the night and couldn't find his way home. I brought the man in, gave him a blanket to wrap himself in and a cup of hot coffee (it was the dead of winter and he was freezing) and then called the police to come and get him. THANK GOD I identified him BEFORE I considered pulling the trigger!!! I would have felt terrible for shooting that poor guy and probably would have gone to prison for it since he obviously posed no threat at all to me!

Of course, I would stay on the alert if I were you and just a little suggestion ... you might consider putting a motion detector on your back porch light. That way, nobody will be able to "sneak-up" to your door at night without setting it off.