This past Sunday, Corey Blaskie was found stabbed to death in someone else's home. According to reports, Blaskie was attempting to break into the strangers' home; when police arrived, the father and son who lived there were fine, but Blaskie was dead.
Details about the incident are still shaky — we have no confirmation as to how the confrontation started, who was armed, and what course of action was taken by the homeowners before the burglar was stabbed — and the consequences are still unknown. An investigation is ongoing, and there are chances that the homeowner may face charges.
The moral grounds around the incident are nebulous. Blaskie should never have been trying to break into the home, but does that transgression mean that any harm that comes to him isn't malicious? The homeowner may have felt threatened, but does that exempt him from rules around killing another man? Is harming someone else, even killing them, considered self-defence when it is property being harmed and not the individual themselves?
The Ontario Court of Appeal recently made a ruling in a previous case that said if someone is being attacked in their own home, retreat isn't the only course of action. A person breaking into someone else's home accepts the risk of consequence from the initial illegal activity.
Because the details have still yet to be released, we're not sure if Blaskie threatened the safety of the homeowners or if there was any kind of violent confrontation that led to the apparent stabbing, so the above court ruling may not apply.
Whatever the decision ends up being, one thing is clear: when faced with potentially armed robbery, fighting back isn't always the best advice. While the homeowners in this case may have avoided physical harm — they have not, however, escaped the potential consequences of their retaliatory actions — it doesn't always work out for the best. I hope that this story doesn't encourage people to fight back; it is better to lose and recover property than to put lives in danger.