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Old November 17, 2009, 08:39 AM   #1
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Had a break in.

I have to apologize for the way this is written has im still very shaken up, I cant get back to sleep and felt i might aswell get this out there while im awake going over everthing in my head thank god i didnt have to shoot I have faith in the training ive recieved and little else.

Well me and my girlfriend are both 21 and moved into our first place this last month. Tonight I had the unfortunate experience of having to draw a weapon on an intruder.

We live in a small 2 room appartment on the bottom floor of a apartment complex, really a quite area to live very low crime rates only reason I keep the safe so close to my bed is 1. it was bolted there by me and 2. dad put a good bit of 'always plan for the worst case' in me. I have to stress this apartment is small, i think a little over 300sq ft.

Was about 11pm AKST and I had just gone to bed, and the very distinct sound of a lock being broken got my ears perked. Our hosue is layed out Front door, living room small kitchen door into bedroom. We have the door to the bedroom closed so I unlock the safe witch is located by this door and I am able to peer out the door and reach the pistol. So I peer through and see that that front door is open and there is someone in the living room. I pull the pistol and announce that I am armed and suggested that he not move. The pistol has crimson grips and an under the barrel tac light. I start making ALOT OF NOISE to get someone to wake up around has he is between us and the only phone. Thankfully there is a teenager that lives nextdoor who was up playing xbox and called 911, I didnt know it but the police arrived within 10 minutes of me drawing the pistol. They arrived and took the man away, a seargeant stayed behind and talked with us for a bit and took statements.

Things i think i need to work on...

Get phone in the bedroom.
More training, has I was shaking the whole time, im not proud admitting it but damn...just damn I cant describe it.

Im still shaking. Need wisdom.
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Old November 17, 2009, 08:51 AM   #2
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I recently posted a situation I was in and I am too still shaken by it.

I don't think there's anything wrong with being shaken up by a life or death situation, especially when thinking about it after it's diffused.
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Old November 17, 2009, 09:23 AM   #3
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It is normal to shake from an adrenaline dump. If you did not have a normal "fight or flight" response I would wonder what was wrong with you.

If you have a cell phone keep it by your bed. If you call 911 on your cell be prepared to give them your name and location (say it twice, CLEARLY) as most cell phones cannot automatically give the 911 operator your location. A cell phone has the advantage of being free from cords that can be cut to prevent a call from going out.

You might consider what risk/reward you are accomplishing by moving towards a possible threat. From your post you peaked out
unlock the safe witch is located by this door and I am able to peer out the door and reach the pistol
, that is safer than moving towards the threat. If you stayed in your bedroom as concealed as you were able, that seems like the preferred course in your situation.
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Old November 17, 2009, 09:26 AM   #4
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I'm hate to hear that happened to you.

I think the important things to remember are; You defended yourself and your loved one and you did so without the situation escalating to require the use of lethal force. You never want this situation to happen, but if it does, then I would imagine your outcome is exactly what you want to happen. You were prepared and your show of force most certainly made the difference.

I'm glad you and yours came out safe and nothing worse happened.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety - Benjamin Franklin
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Old November 17, 2009, 10:01 AM   #5
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Sounds to me like it went off pretty textbook. Homeowner hears BG entering, arms up, takes a peek from defensible location, sees BG, draws and announces, cops arrive to take BG away--the short summary. No shots were fired, no one was injured (or worse), BG was taken into custody, and the only loss or damage is a door lock (that sounds like it needed replacing anyway). The only "wisdom" I could share has already been acknowledged--run a phone line into the bedroom. Cell phones are handy, but have too many variables--is it charged? does it have reception? is it where it's suppose to be or did I forget it on the coffee table? etc. etc. etc. The only other thing I might suggest is a small bedside safe or putting your HD piece in/on a nightstand. Had the BG managed to get all the way to inspecting what was behind door #2, he would have been between you and your firearm, with an unlocked safe at his disposal.

That being said... The way it DID go down sounds like it was handled very well.
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Old November 17, 2009, 10:13 AM   #6
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I'm glad your situation ended with the best possible outcome...but if someone has broken into my home, they are now a serious threat to my family. With the responsibility of keeping my family safe, I don't think I would give them verbal warning. If they are armed you give away you're tactical advantage of being concealed and surprise.
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Old November 17, 2009, 11:40 AM   #7
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All-in-all, a good outcome and reasonable response.

Two things: You need a phone in your bedroom; you need better access to your gun.

You could have then holed up in the bedroom and defended that space while your girl friend called 911 and reported the entry.

Though you did well under the circumstances. If you weren't shaken, I would worry about you.

Good Luck and stay safe.
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Old November 17, 2009, 11:43 AM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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Well done but, holy smokes man, you need a phone next to your gun. Don't prepare for the worst without preparing for the basics.
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Old November 17, 2009, 11:47 AM   #9
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Sounds to me like you did pretty good; as previously posted,
no shots, nobody hurt, police have bad guy.

Regarding shooting with no warning, I would look into case law
in your state before making that decision.

Although it is legal in NYS:

NYS Penal Law Part I, Title C, Article 35.20 subsection 3:
A person in possession or control of, or licensed or privileged to
be in, a dwelling or an occupied building, who reasonably believes that
another person is committing or attempting to commit a burglary of such
dwelling or building, may use deadly physical force upon such other
person when he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to
prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of such
burglary. (italics are mine)

The part in italics is the part that could cause trouble. It might be problematic
convincing most juries that shooting first and asking questions later is reasonable.
Louis L'Amour said it best!!
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Old November 17, 2009, 12:21 PM   #10
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again, I agree with the outcome, but me personally, my first responsibility is to protect my family...if I have identified someone who has broken into my home in most circumstances I don't think I'll gamble my family's saftey by telling them to stop or get out. If they have broken into my home, trust me, I feel that they are an immediate threat to mine and my family's life.
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Old November 17, 2009, 01:46 PM   #11
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Since your landlord will be replacing the lock/door anyway maybe you can make sure he improves the quality of the lock/door/frame while he's at it? I've heard those chain locks like you see in motels can be pretty effective and they also sell various kinds of door wedges etc that can make kicking down a door a lot more difficult. Don't forget the windows. You should also consider a better door/lock on your bedroom as well as a second line of defense because as scary as your situation was, waking up to a bugler in your bedroom would be even worse.

BTW How did the GF react?
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Old November 17, 2009, 01:49 PM   #12
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Good job, heed the previous advice given and you will do well.

Alaska is very different from New York... New York statutes only muddies the water in discussions such as these...
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." -Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights.
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Old November 17, 2009, 02:18 PM   #13
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WOW! I'm sorry to hear what happened, but it seems as if you handled it like a pro. Great job and I hope this never happens again!
God bless,
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Old November 17, 2009, 02:31 PM   #14
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jmarshall, you did good! Adreniline dump is normal and you did well handling it. Now you have more experience and will be less suprised by it next time. If you were unfamiliar with that physiological response, then you did SUPERBLY to act so deliberately.

Better locks, cell phone and land line phone (when you really need something NOW, then have a backup) at bedside, maybe an alarm system. For a small place you would not need an extensive alarm system, just a door or motion sensor and an audible alarm. You can get various door reinforcers besides locks (chains, bars, etc.) but the first thing is a better quality lock and deadbolt.

You protected yourself and your girfriend in an effective and legal manner. Enjoy being a man, and celebrate with your girfriend. When you settle down a bit think through how you can improve your advantage next time. I guarantee the next time the shakes won't be as much an issue.

Being a man isn't about whether you get scared or the shakes or anything else. It is whether you act when you need to, in spite of those things. You did.
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Old November 17, 2009, 02:34 PM   #15
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jgcoastie, I agree, laws vary by state, as do jury attitudes, hence:

"I would look into case law in your state"

However, I still maintain that shooting without warning before you know if you are
confronting an armed intruder may get you into serious legal issues. I STRONGLY
advocate the right to armed self-defense, but you can't take back the bullet that shot
the un-armed 14yr old in your living-room. Taking a half-second to issue a verbal warning
would seem prudent, as borne out in the situation the OP is telling us about.

I think jmarshall handled it very well, that was the gist of my first post, supporting
the idea of a verbal challenge.
Louis L'Amour said it best!!

Last edited by armedbutnotdangerous; November 17, 2009 at 02:37 PM. Reason: content added
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Old November 17, 2009, 03:04 PM   #16
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Best way to judge your performance is to examine the outcome. I don't think there is any room for improvement, other than providing access to a phone in the bedroom.

BUT-As mentioned, I hope the landlord steps up to the plate and helps make it tougher for that to ever happen again. If not, I'm betting they will also make it tough to do on your own, like enhanced locks and the like.

Best of luck, and good job.
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Old November 17, 2009, 03:04 PM   #17
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Have you also thought about maybe getting some inexpensive magnetic door alarms for all your external doors and windows, like these? I'm guessing that at 21, you don't have too much money to spend on something much more expensive, and since it's an apartment, you probably aren't able to install any type of more permanent alarm system yourself. They're very easy to install and don't do any damage to walls or door frames.
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Old November 17, 2009, 03:40 PM   #18
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As others said, you did fine. I'd be shaking afterward, too. Get those phones taken care of. If you are not satisfied with the locks and/or door jambs that your landlord installs on the doors, you could pick up one of these:

The forked end fits under the door knob and the other end has a rubber foot for the floor. The length is adjustable and you can take the fork out to use it in a sliding glass door. A daughter of mine about your age has one and it has proven itself useful and effective. It also has the advantage of being temporary - you can take it with you when you leave that apartment, and take it on trips for use in hotel rooms. Cheap and effective.

Last edited by TailGator; November 17, 2009 at 03:57 PM.
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Old November 17, 2009, 03:48 PM   #19
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I still maintain that shooting without warning before you know if you are
confronting an armed intruder may get you into serious legal issues
...agreed, but I would rather take my chance with a judge or jury, and face the financial and emotional consequences than risk harm to my family from an intruder.

I'm surprised that anyone would feel differently, but whatever, that's your opinion and you are obviously entitled to it as I am mine.
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Old November 17, 2009, 03:53 PM   #20
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Thanks for the responses.

Alaska has a castle law, I'm not sure on specifics but im pretty sure if someone is in your house they are considered a threat armed or not and you have a right to take care of them. I need to look into this more closely, I took all my CC classes in Washington state.

My girlfriend reacted just has we have practiced, she got to the small...very small...window in the room and prepared to exit if stuff went south. I was very proud of her, Shes 5ft 110lbs (i didnt tell you her weight btw) and she moved a queen sized matress between her and the door like it was a blow up air matress.

Lock has been replaced already by landlord...same model has before I think he has a pile in the maintenance room. =\

He did say he was planning on adding deadbolts.
Do you know whats worth fighting for, when its not worth dieing for?
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Old November 17, 2009, 04:19 PM   #21
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A castle law gives you the right to use deadly physical force under certain circumstances,
WHICH I AGREE WHOLE-HEARTEDLY WITH! However, as I have stated repeatedly, prudence
would dictate a verbal challenge, followed by the use of whatever physical force necessary,
up to and including deadly physical force.

jmarshall did exactly right (I repeat!). If he had just shot before issuing a verbal challenge,
he would have blood everywhere, a lawyer asking for a check, and be wondering if the DA was going to schedule a grand-jury hearing.

Instead of "The law says I can! BANG!", he used some common sense,
and AVOIDED a shooting.
Louis L'Amour said it best!!

Last edited by armedbutnotdangerous; November 17, 2009 at 04:33 PM. Reason: technical accuracy
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Old November 17, 2009, 04:25 PM   #22
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You handled that one pretty well.
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Old November 17, 2009, 04:41 PM   #23
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Close call. I'm glad it turned out as well as could possibly be expected. It's good that you are able to see the weaknesses in your setup and are taking steps to correct them. I keep my cell, a tactical flashlight, and my Kimber on the nightstand. And having a German Shepard roaming the house doesn't hurt either.

Scary stuff to be sure. Anyone that says they aren't scared in a situation like that is lying - either to you or themselves.

Stay safe.

P.S. Your girlfriend's personal data is safe with us.
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Old November 17, 2009, 05:05 PM   #24
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Ask the manager to swap out the locks, I have found that house turned into apartments dont do this after a person leaves, they keep a key come back when you arent around etc.

Glad it wasnt a knock and enter like we have had around here lately. Thugs are getting braver or stupider.
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Old November 17, 2009, 06:03 PM   #25
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you did your job. Get something (like what Tailgator mentioned to reinforce the door). This helps with time and noise even if they still get in.

You can also find door alarms that hang on the inside knob and make a high
pitched sound if moved. They are on the web (google for door knob alarm) and in some stores.

Someone may have lived in the unit before you and may have had cash or
drugs. Not saying that is the case but it happens.

Another idea is keep your den or kitchen light on at night and maybe play a small radio so there is the appearance that someone is up and alert. If you
keep the br door shut it shouldn't bother you much.

as all others stated, keep phone / mag lite / pistol handy and stay put if you can. If trouble comes to you and you have to use your firearm, it will be from a defensive point which is harder to fault you for in court if it gets that far.

Pay attention over the next few days for suspicious vehicles and people hanging around who don't live/belong there.
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