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Thread: Last Night - Attempted Home Invasion at My House

  1. #1
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    I posted the following at the WarriorTalk forum, but it's a long story, and I'm starting to finally get tired, so I'm cutting and pasting my post from there.
    ----

    We woke up last night (Thursday night) at about 3:25 AM to someone pounding on our front door. My wife went down the hall first and said, "There's people outside." I already had my pistol out and chambered a round as I went down the hall. The person at the door had the screen door open and he was literally beating on the door, hitting it with his shoulder, and kicking it. I took up a position at the top of the stairs behind the wall, pistol aimed at where his head would appear should he open the door, finger off the trigger, safety was on.

    My wife said, "What should I do?"
    I replied, "Call 911. Call the police!"

    Then I mustered my best command voice and said, very loudly, "Get away from the door!"
    "F--- YOU!" was the reply.

    More beating on the door. I was wondering why this guy didn't back off and at least reassess his situation.

    "Get away from the door!"
    "F--- OFF!" He added some other words that I couldn't catch. More door beating.

    My wife was on with 911 by this time and she was explaining to them the situation and asking them to send police. My six-year-old daughter came down the hall and said, "Daddy! What's wrong!"

    "Go to your brother's room," I said, still in the same position, eyes and gun on the door. My sixteen-year-old daughter calls up from the basement, "Dad, what's happening?" I told her to go back to her room and yelled for all of the kids to stay in their rooms. Leah went into the bathroom and climbed into the shower, Randi and Alex were in their rooms upstairs. I realized the safety was on, and I took it off, finger still off the trigger.

    "Get away from the door!"
    "F--- YOU!" More words I couldn't understand and more door beating.

    My wife informed the dispatcher that her husband has a gun.
    911: "Your husband has a gun? What kind of gun is it?"
    My wife: "It's a pistol. It's a 1911."

    "We've called the police. The police are on their way! Get away from the door!"
    "F--- YOU!" He started throwing his weight against the door and the door frame made cracking noises.

    "Get away from the door! If you come in I will shoot you!"
    "F--- YOU!" Still beating on the door, still yelling.

    My wife: "He's still trying to get in! Please hurry!"
    911: "Officers are on their way. They should be there soon."
    My wife: "Please hurry!"

    "Get away from the door! If you come in I will shoot you!"
    "F--- YOU!" Still beating on the door. The door frame made more cracking noises.

    911: "Ma'am, officers are on the scene. Tell your husband to put his gun down."
    My wife: "I don't see them yet. Joel, the police are here. She says to put down your gun."

    I kept the gun on the door until I saw units in front of the house. I put the gun on the sofa table. Police told the guy to get away from the door and to lie down on the ground.

    "F--- YOU!"
    "Get on the ground! Get down on your stomach!" I looked down and he was still standing inside the screen door, with his hands up. Apparently he complied finally and they put the cuffs on him and sat him down at the curb. __________________

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    Here's the rest of the story.

    An officer came up to the door and I let him in. He asked me where the gun was, and I told him I'd put it down on the table. Should I unload it? He asked if I had a CCW and when I told him yes, he said, "No, the gun is fine where it is."

    He said the guy was drunk and then he took my statement. If they had anything to charge him with, would I like to press charges? Definitely. He told me that it would have been simpler for them if the guy had actually breached the door because then they could charge him with breaking and entering, but that right now he wasn't sure if he'd be charged. He went back out to the other three officers and they continued their interview. We went into a bedroom and opened a window and listened.

    Officer: "Where are you staying?"
    Bad Guy: "Illinois."
    Officer: "You're not in Illinois anymore, Toto. Where are you staying right now?"
    BG: "I'm going to Michigan."
    Officer: "Where are you staying right now?"
    BG: "I'm going to Michigan!"
    Officer: "Congratulations! You made it! You're in Michigan! Where in Michigan are you staying?"
    BG: "In Michigan!"

    Finally, they found someone local on his cellphone and called him and told him the story and asked if he could stay there tonight.

    What? No jail for this guy? At least drunk and disorderly? Nope. The officer came in and told me that, since he hadn't actually broken in, and he was so drunk he didn't even know what town he was in, they were going to take him to his friend's house and let him sleep it off. He apologized, but said that he was sorry they weren't going to be taking him to jail.

    The officers all did Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who would take the SB to his buddy's house, and they all left.

    Four squad cars just for our call. I thought that was cool.

    They didn't take him in. I thought that sucked.

    I'm glad I didn't have to shoot anyone tonight, but had that door cracked open, bullets would have flown through the opening at face level. I was surprised at how calm I stayed through the entire thing, considering that this is the first time I've ever pointed a gun at someone with the intention of shooting them. The whole situation went exactly as I had trained and wargamed in my mind previously, except for having the safety on.

    After the police left, the entire family sat in the living room and we debriefed. My twelve-year-old son said, "I was a little scared. Well...I wasn't really scared." I told him that it was okay to be scared. He said, "I wasn't scared for us. I was kind of scared for him!"

    No sleep for the rest of the night for me. Leah and Randi decided to sleep in the same room.

    Interestingly, after the event I had dry mouth and I was very hungry and I couldn't stop talking. Other than that and not being able to sleep, there were no other effects from the adrenaline. No shakes like I'd had after my two car accidents.

    Anyway, I was glad I had the gun, or we would have been sitting up with the phone, hoping the police could get here before he got in and hurt us. Instead, I was hoping they'd get here before he ran away.

    The weirdest part about it was that when I went to bed at 2 AM I had the oddest, uncomfortable feeling that something bad was going to happen tonight.

    Many prayers of thanks that it turned out with no deaths.

  3. #3
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    nobucks wrote:
    ...We woke up last night (Thursday night) at about 3:25 AM to someone pounding on our front door. My wife went down the hall first and said, "There's people outside." I already had my pistol out and chambered a round as I went down the hall...
    A gripping and terrifying story.

    An unloaded gun would not have done you much good if he breached the door on his initial attempt.

    I suggestyoukeep one in the chamber.

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    nobucks wrote:
    snip

    An officer came up to the door and I let him in. He asked me where the gun was, and I told him I'd put it down on the table. Should I unload it? He asked if I had a CCW and when I told him yes, he said, "No, the gun is fine where it is."




    Ok, I'm , sure about the laws there, but even had the cop come into my house, asked where the gun was, I would answer him, but dont offer to unload it. It is in your house, you have eminent domain there. It shouldnt matter if you have a CCW or not in your house.




    On the plus side, very well handled sir, very well handled. Too bad the cops didnt do their jobs and hit him with trespassing, disorderely conduct, intoxicated in public. I would contact the chief of police, mayors office, someone and ask why not.

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Man, what a messed up situation. You definitely kept your cool and protected your family. Good job. Can't believe they didn't take the guy to jail....drunk in public? Attempted burglary? Something?

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    I don't like all the laws in NC but we do have the right to shoot to "prevent" entry into our home. After I told him a third time to stop and that I was armed I would seriously start considering it. The way our law is written you may be better off shooting to prevent entry than waiting till the enter. Glad it worked out for you though. I find it appalling the cops took the incident so lightly. I'm sure they would not have done so if it was one of them. He should have to pay for doing something that stupid, fine, time or something.

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    Thanks for the comments, guys!

    I agree, the only thing I wish had turned out differently was jail time, even overnight, for the BG.

    As far as a round in the chamber or not, I'm reevaluating everything right now.

    As far as shooting him through the door, I feel that I would have been justified. I did have an internal discussion with myself though. Two or three times I suggested to myself that I should pull the trigger, and my inner voice said, "No, don't shoot through the door. You can't see a clear target."

    A couple of cops on the other forum mentioned that perhaps because it was close to the end of the shift they didn't want to deal with the paperwork. My wife wants to go see the police chief about this, so I think we will be at least pursuing the way that they handled it.



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    nobucks wrote:
    As far as shooting him through the door, I feel that I would have been justified.
    maybe in a real world yea but in this world the DA would of hung you. since he didnt breach AND was drunk they could argue that he just didnt know what he was doing OR if he lived he could just say he thought that was his house/his buddies house and was trying to get in. the list goes on of stuff he could say to get you imprisoned and sued for everything you have.

    you did the right thing and acted very appropriatly imo. just take the situation as a lesson learned on what you did right/wrong, stuff you can improve on, that kind of stuff. plus, never hurts to do an AAR (after action review) with the family to better prepare them in the event you werent home.

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Good thing you did not shoot through the door. Unfortunately, you can't see what's on the other side and you could have easily ended up missing him and shooting someone behind him in another house, etc. You have to wait until you can see your target to be sure you are putting rounds on target and not into innocent bystanders.

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    definetly pursue the LEO's lack of action of the incident, it just promotes more laziness if you dont.

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    you must have had this...



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yjZRw5Ks3Y

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    Good work and God bless. You did the most important thing you will ever do in your life. You protected your family.

    Not to make light of anything, but doesn't this sound like the ideal circumstance for a .38spl revolver?

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    cool

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    Agreed on the issue of the door. The operative word re: my door is "feel." That's different than knowing. A dozen odd things were going through my mind at the time. There was definitely time distortion occurring.

    On the one hand, that's nice because you have time to sort through your ideas and discard or act on them. On the other hand, when time slows down it seems like it takes forever for the police cars to arrive.

    My door is a solid wood core door with 1/8" skin on both sides. Also, the jamb is pretty heavy, but by the sounds of the cracking and the fact that I found five cracks in the door jamb in the daylight, I think that if he'd known what he was doing he would have been in fairly quickly. That Door Armor looks cool.

    Joel

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    I think you did just fine. Sorry that not only were you troubled, but your family was rattled too. Like mentioned before, an unloaded gun is an expensive club. When I was 21-23 I used to keep my guns with the chamber empty.

    Now that I'm pushing 30 and have had a few close calls and scary moments, any gun that I keep handy for defense, I keep it loaded. That's a little odd that the cop asked for a CCW in your own home though. At least that was all the hassle you got over that though.

    Again, you did well. While it sucks that the drunk dude didn't get charged, at least things didn't end up with your family hurt. Also, be glad that there are no reddish brown stains that you have to clean up too. That would not be fun.



    -Gruu

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    Out here in California, the 911 operator would have told you to put the gun away. The following is my experience from a couple of years ago.

    At about 2 am, a few weeks after we were robbed, I saw suspicious lights outside. I loaded my firearm and called 911, asking for some officers to do a visual. Normally, I would not have called, but given the recent break in, I thought it would be expedient.

    I informed the operator that I was armed, in case someone attempted to breach the house, and that she should inform the officers. I was told to unload the gun and put it away. I said no, emphatically.

    While still on the phone with 911, at least 10 minutes later, I was informed that the police were having trouble finding my house. Keep in mind that I can make it to the police station in less than 5 minutes, while following all traffic laws, in a residential neighborhood.

    911 then asked me to go outside and wait for the police so that they would know where to stop, insisting that I leave my firearm in the house. Given that I have been told by officers out of that precinct that holding even an unloaded firearm outside is an arrest-able offense, I complied, but left the firearm inside the door, loaded, a few feet away.

    At this point, I was outside, in my boxers and a t-shirt, without so much as a flashlight (it was stolen in the burglary) for almost 15 minutes while the police were driving around, apparently confused by their GPS (as they indicated after they arrived).

    All said, it was a nearly a 30 minute response time, and I am less than 2 miles from the police station.

    As a side note, the officers who responded to the burglary a few weeks before threateningly told me that I was lucky that my firearm was not stolen.

    The right to defend oneself is all but dead in California.

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    r6-rider wrote:
    nobucks wrote:
    As far as shooting him through the door, I feel that I would have been justified.
    maybe in a real world yea but in this world the DA would of hung you. since he didnt breach AND was drunk they could argue that he just didnt know what he was doing OR if he lived he could just say he thought that was his house/his buddies house and was trying to get in. the list goes on of stuff he could say to get you imprisoned and sued for everything you have.
    Isn't that a cowinkydink? Nobucks probably thought it was his house and his family he was defending.

    I'm not saying your analysis of probable outcome is wrong, just that the legal system sometimes overlooks that one fact.

    Whether you shot through the door or not you did what you sought out to do and that was to protect your home and family. Kudos.

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    nobucks wrote:
    My door is a solid wood core door with 1/8" skin on both sides. Also, the jamb is pretty heavy, but by the sounds of the cracking and the fact that I found five cracks in the door jamb in the daylight, I think that if he'd known what he was doing he would have been in fairly quickly. That Door Armor looks cool.

    Joel
    If the police don't charge him with anything you should talk to the DA about at least charging him with vandalism for the property damage and/or a civil claim for the damage. You now need to replace or at least repair the door jamb so it will hold up to the next time this guy gets drunk.

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    N00blet45 wrote:
    r6-rider wrote:
    nobucks wrote:
    As far as shooting him through the door, I feel that I would have been justified.
    maybe in a real world yea but in this world the DA would of hung you. since he didnt breach AND was drunk they could argue that he just didnt know what he was doing OR if he lived he could just say he thought that was his house/his buddies house and was trying to get in. the list goes on of stuff he could say to get you imprisoned and sued for everything you have.
    Isn't that a cowinkydink? Nobucks probably thought it was his house and his family he was defending.

    I'm not saying your analysis of probable outcome is wrong, just that the legal system sometimes overlooks that one fact.

    Whether you shot through the door or not you did what you sought out to do and that was to protect your home and family. Kudos.
    of course. gotta remember, that would of made sense for him to shoot this guy and defend his family... and what better person to put on trial then someone who did something right that made perfect sense. i know i sound negative here but the reality is there are alot of f***ed up lawyers that would turn his world upside down.

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    nobucks wrote:
    As far as shooting him through the door, I feel that I would have been justified.* I did have an internal discussion with myself though.* Two or three times I suggested to myself that I should pull the trigger, and my inner voice said, "No, don't shoot through the door.* You can't see a clear target."
    My point was not necessarily to suggest you should have shot through the door. I was merely stating that we have the right to do that in NC. I would not do it outside of knowing that I legally can. As said, it's easier to defend yourself in court if he enters the house. Unfortunately, the way NC is set up is seems easier to defend yourself if you "prevent" him from entering. We seem to be stuck with being OK to prevent entry, but once inside we have to establish that he is a threat. We need a Castle Doctrine! I can't fault you for going with your gut instinct, and it worked out fine for you.

    14‑51.1. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
    (a) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using any degree of force that the occupant reasonably believes is necessary, including deadly force, against an intruder to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's unlawful entry (i) if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence, or (ii) if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence.

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    Too bad you couldn't hear him well enough to hear if he threatened you with bodily harm either, just the threat could be assault in most jurisdictions.

    The after action talking is something I am really familiar with - and a lot of what comes out at those times is not necessarily what I was trying to convey, sometimes even hard to understand. Which is why if I ever actually shoot someone defending my family or myself, I know I need to fight not to talk and ask for my lawyer, even if it is a by the numbers kind of thing.

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    Others have commented that other charges should have been bee filed against the perp. Since you say he put cracks in your door frame, that means destruction of property, which will cost you to have fixed, I guess! He should have been charged with that! He may just be some common drunk, and may not even have two nickles to rub together, but its the principle of the thing!

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    I thought that as well, when the officer asked me if I could hear anything else he said other than the profanities. Those came through loud and clear and I told my wife as it was happening, which she relayed to 911. Unfortunately, everything else he said was muffled.

    We'll be going to see the police chief on Monday. I'll let you know how it turns out. If the situation were reversed and it was me who was beating on the door and almost got shot and still might get jammed by the cops, I'd have headed back to IL the next day.

    When I say that I think I could have legitimately fired through the door, I still believe that it would fall into the Michigan Castle Doctrine, which states:

    (a) The individual against whom deadly force or force other than deadly force is used is in the process of breaking and entering a dwelling or business premises or committing home invasion or has broken and entered a dwelling or business premises or committed home invasion and is still present in the dwelling or business premises, or is unlawfully attempting to remove another individual from a dwelling, business premises, or occupied vehicle against his or her will.

    http://law.onecle.com/michigan/780-c...l-780-951.html

    I obviously felt the guy was a threat to me and my family or I would have gone down and opened the door to find out what he wanted. :shock:

    Had I shot him through the door (or inside for that matter) I'm sure that his family would have been on TV saying, "He was such a nice boy! He was just out having a good time, had a little too much to drink, and got confused! He probably just wanted directions back to his friend's house!"

    I was not in a hurry to shoot anyone for a variety of reasons.


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    nobucks wrote:
    I thought that as well, when the officer asked me if I could hear anything else he said other than the profanities. Those came through loud and clear and I told my wife as it was happening, which she relayed to 911. Unfortunately, everything else he said was muffled.

    We'll be going to see the police chief on Monday. I'll let you know how it turns out. If the situation were reversed and it was me who was beating on the door and almost got shot and still might get jammed by the cops, I'd have headed back to IL the next day.

    When I say that I think I could have legitimately fired through the door, I still believe that it would fall into the Michigan Castle Doctrine, which states:

    (a) The individual against whom deadly force or force other than deadly force is used is in the process of breaking and entering a dwelling or business premises or committing home invasion or has broken and entered a dwelling or business premises or committed home invasion and is still present in the dwelling or business premises, or is unlawfully attempting to remove another individual from a dwelling, business premises, or occupied vehicle against his or her will.

    http://law.onecle.com/michigan/780-c...l-780-951.html

    I obviously felt the guy was a threat to me and my family or I would have gone down and opened the door to find out what he wanted. :shock:

    Had I shot him through the door (or inside for that matter) I'm sure that his family would have been on TV saying, "He was such a nice boy! He was just out having a good time, had a little too much to drink, and got confused! He probably just wanted directions back to his friend's house!"

    I was not in a hurry to shoot anyone for a variety of reasons.
    ... and those variety of reasons are part of the "cool-head" approach that you took to a tactical situation - good decision-making in a stress-induced situation.

    The cops actions suck - and do NOT instill confidence in the general public (not to mention your young ones who now have a "real-time" image of what cops do). Not saying ALL cops react the same; but when a situation such as this occurs, you/citizens expect protections.

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    The officer that I talked to, a young guy, obviously the lowest ranking guy on site, plus, he's on the night shift, was not happy with the fact that they were letting this guy go. He was apologizing up one side and down the other. He even said, "If it were up to me..." I think the officer in charge made the call. I'm going to ask the police chief on Monday if this is SOP for violent drunks. If he blows us off, I may talk to the local newspaper about this.

    That said, I do appreciate the fast reaction time that they had, getting here as quickly as they did. Lights were on, no sirens. Plus, it was fun to watch the show in the yard out my daughter's window.

    Re: the CCW question, a cop acquaintance of mine suggested that asking about CCW saved the responding officers a whole lot of time by not having to run my name through the system to find out if I could legally have a gun.

    Asked in the context it was, i.e., after I asked him if I should unload the gun, I think he just wanted to gauge my level of training and whether I had secured the gun safely.

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