I Almost Killed a Man Last Night

This is a discussion on I Almost Killed a Man Last Night within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Very interesting night for me. I live at the corner of "no" and "where". My property borders a protected national lakeshore on Lake Michigan, and ...

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Thread: I Almost Killed a Man Last Night

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    Member Array grbr's Avatar
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    I Almost Killed a Man Last Night

    Very interesting night for me.

    I live at the corner of "no" and "where". My property borders a protected national lakeshore on Lake Michigan, and there are roughly as many wolves and bears as people nearby. The closest real city is 30 minutes away, and it's basically the type of area where you live your whole life without locking your doors...because bears don't use doors; they prefer to scratch away siding anyway. I often cite the FBI statistics that 82% of people will be a victim of an attempted (successful or not) violent crime in their lifetime...but then readily admit that my stats are a bit different because of where I live, and that I mostly carry for 4 legged animals when around my home (wolves, coyotes, cougars, bears, giant boars, bobcats...all exist in my back yard), and that the 2 legged concerns are mostly for when I'm in Flint, Saginaw, Lansing, and Detroit (at one point 4 of the top 10 worst crime cities in the nation...and I have ties to each). That being said...I do still carry all the time. Odds are low for me, but the stakes are just as high.

    However, in my county the police still admit that once every decade or so dangerous stuff actually does happen around here...and last night I got the pleasure of being party to it.

    2:30-3:00 AM ish a man on a sport bike that was evading police (probably quite successfully too I imagine...the officer in direct pursuit was in an SUV...your average SUV does not accelerate to 150 on a dime like those dang bikes do). Unfortunately (for him) he was not familiar with the area. Heading north on my road there is a small hill crest right before a curve. There are no warning signs, since there is easily enough time for someone (even going 10-20 mph over the speed limit) to slow down first. However...someone going 70-80 mph over the speed limit is in serious trouble when they crest that hill and see that curve.

    He slowed down as far as he could, and ditched from the bike right before it wrapped itself around the tree toward the base of my driveway. He managed to not be seriously injured from this somehow. However, this loud noise woke me, and I immediately grabbed a SIG 9mm handgun. He then made what was almost the dumbest decision (and last decision) of his life. To get away before the police cruiser a few hundred yards behind him could show, he ran up the hill to my house and tried to gain entry.

    Like previously stated, this is not a door locking area. People just don't do that often here. However, my wife spent her childhood split 50/50 between living in a rural setting like me, and living in a bigger city area. She picked up habits I never did. She has a tendency to lock whatever door she comes in at night (even if every other door in the house is unlocked). I arrived home 5 minutes before her that night...and did not lock the front door. She locked it when she arrived. Of course...it was the only locked door of 3 main entry doors though.

    Back to the chronology of events: at this point I had a gun in hand, flashlight in the other, more guns beside me, was fully awake, was listening specifically for the sounds of any doors or footsteps, and a fugitive was cluelessly testing my doorknob. Had my wife not locked that door, I'd be spending most of today cleaning up blood stains off the floor. Same if he had tried one of the other 2 doors instead of that locked one...I had no intention of yelling "freeze" or any junk like that...not in my house in the middle of the night. Too many variables, I would have shined the light to identify and then put 2 in the chest, no unnecessary chances taken. I think he still thinks last night went about as bad as it could have gone...I doubt he has any clue that he tried to break into the home of the stereotypical gun nut.

    Of course...he didn't gain entry, as I'm not cleaning my floors today. For those interested in the conclusion: after coming a door's thickness away from doing the dumbest thing he had done yet that night (which is saying something given the night he was having), he decided to run down the hill to a neighbor's house visible through the woods. That home is owned by an elderly lady, who told me that she had a "bad feeling" earlier that night and had locked her 2 doors (on her house the guy tried both outside leading doors, so basically at that point he had tried the only 3 locked doors within miles...). At this point the officer was starting to catch up to him. He then got into her garage, locked it behind him, ran through to the other side (there was a back exit from the garage) and out into my neighbor's back yard. The officer kicked in the door to the garage, followed him through and was able to taser him in their back yard.

    LESSONS LEARNED:

    1) A locked door goes a long way. Last night it was the difference between watching quite a light show out my windows and me killing a man. When you live where I live doors are not often locked...but even just the front most facing one being locked made the difference for me. At least just lock that 1 at night.

    2) When you have a gun in your hand and you see the police arrive...my first instinct was to get the gun out of my hand. Right or wrong, it was the instinct. I sat it down on a shelf next to me (inches away) for a moment while I watched to see what the officer was doing. It was just as quick to pick up again as it would have been to draw from a holster...but less threatening to an officer than me holding it (and I was in an interior room where I would have had warning to an entry). Once I realized the officer was heading another direction (this was the point where the guy was now moving away from my house) and was not going to be in a situation to feel threatened by my gun, it went back in hand, and a holster got put on so I could have it on me in a non-threatening manner. The exact lesson in that? ...not sure. Just be aware that you may want to think about how you're going to act when both the threats of being near a dangerous person and being mistaken for a dangerous person by the police collide. I know that was going through my head.

    3) 1 gun in your bedroom is not enough. There needs to be 1 gun per person. If I had not had guns for both me and my wife on hand in the bedroom then things would have been a lot more complicated, as I would have not wanted to leave my room for the (tactically superior) living room area. Things were a lot easier to handle knowing she had an M9 in her hands and did not need me hovering, so I could move to the point in the house where I felt I'd best intercept any threat.

    4) The police were pursuing the person BEFORE he even came up on my property. There was not even need for a 911 call, since they were already in pursuit and backup on the way. Yet, even with that IDEAL police response time...they would have done me no good if the door had been unlocked or if the guy had decided to force entry (doors are not that hard to break down). They were 20 seconds behind...and I would have had 5. Seems like an inconsequential difference...until that 15 second difference IS the difference for you. 20 seconds was not fast enough...and how could one even dare to hope for better response time than that? Unless I happened to have an officer sitting at my dinner table at the moment it all happened...I was on my own for those seconds. Don't get me wrong, the police were great. They worked hard, put themselves in danger, were extremely polite and nice to me...heck, the one that drove around in my yard even spent some time trying to fix the ruts before leaving (and they really weren't even that bad). But...reality is reality. You have to be responsible for your own safety.

    5) Armed? Not armed? Never knew, never cared, never asked. It changed nothing about my intentions or plan. Am I a hardened son of a gun for not caring if the man I had every intention of shooting if he stepped foot inside was armed or unarmed? I don't think so, I think I'm a pragmatic one. There is no way for me to know for sure that the guy entering my home is unarmed, therefore I'm going to shoot him dead as if he's armed the moment I have the advantage, not give him time to get an advantage, and let the police see if there's anything on him. This is something pre-thought out. While on this forum and thinking about such possibilities, I came to the decision that in a home invasion it was identify, shoot, and let the police sort out whether he was armed. Since this was a pre-made decision there was nothing for me to think about. The moment you suspect there's a fugitive around that might be trying to gain entry to your house is NOT the time for you to have an internal debate on your moralities vs. tactics. Decide now. Think about various situations and at what point you'll draw and/or shoot. It may never happen quite like you imagine...but it sets up general patterns that your mind can simply default to when it has to think quick. There was zero time wasted thinking about what I should do should he step foot in the door, and that's the way it should be.

    I'm really not shaken up or anything. While stuff was happening everything was just another bit of data to add to figuring out what was going on, and after it was all over I pretty much just stayed up the rest the night, watched some TV and what-not because I thought it was prudent to be awake for awhile...then once all looked good and the sun came out I slept for awhile until now. The thought that I was 1 locked door away from killing a guy isn't really seeming to be bothering me. I wondered if it would later...but it's not. I guess in my mind when you make the decision to enter someone's house like that you're the one responsible for the bullets you receive, not me. I am thinking about calling the police station and seeing if they'll tell dufus all about how close he came to death that night in front of my front door (I thought it prudent not to relay such things to the police at the time, they had enough on their minds), so that maybe he'll realize that he's orders of magnitude dumber than he even realized after last night, and hopefully turn something around.

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    Distinguished Member Array lionround's Avatar
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    It sounds like you did EVERYTHING right with the possible exception of not locking the other doors. It was just dumb luck on his part, and maybe yours, that is the only door he tried.

    No, I would not call the police to tell them to tell him. You were probably only waxing rhetorically anyway. That just gives him the excuse to come back to your house when he gets out on bail and break in, through the aforementioned unlocked door, and steal any weapons he can find.

    Overall, a fine job.
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    Senior Member Array Oldpsufan's Avatar
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    I guess when you have something like that happen out in the boonies where you live, it causes quite a conversation as we see here.

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    Gbr, I think you handled the situation very well.

    Although it would be emotionally satisfying to inform the guy how close he came to meeting Jesus I think it smarter and safer that you have no contact with him. Possibly a guy like that might resent that type of information and come after you to show you who is "boss."
    You can get a lot with a smile but you can get a lot more with a smile and a gun...Al Capone

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    Member Array grbr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aphdmansoc View Post
    Gbr, I think you handled the situation very well.

    Although it would be emotionally satisfying to inform the guy how close he came to meeting Jesus I think it smarter and safer that you have no contact with him. Possibly a guy like that might resent that type of information and come after you to show you who is "boss."
    Yes, that's possible. My thinking was more along the lines that the idiot tried to walk into 2 different houses when he had thousands of acres of wilderness to run into shows he considers breaking into people's houses to be not very risky...and if I could correct that thinking it might do some good in the future.

    But you're right, the risk to myself is not worth that.

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    Member Array gowie2's Avatar
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    Glad everything came out ok. I live in N. Mich. and can relate to your situation. Police response time is a real issue. I have 3 handguns in my bedroom and my wife is a deadly accurate shooter!

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    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    That's one heckuva story. Wow. You never know what may come your way.

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    You should probably start keeping all your doors locked at all times.
    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
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    Great story and very well told. It would seem you were prepared and had the door not been locked you could have handled the situation. Good outcome, all is well.
    I shoot with a pistol and a Canon. We must all hang together amigos, or we will all hang separately. NRA life member.

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    Ex Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Grbr, I am glad everything worked out. You are lucky that you did not need to clean up afterwards It is not fun...

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    Senior Member Array daffyduc's Avatar
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    Good write up.

    I agree, let it pass.

    Glad all worked out ok for everyone involved. There are many ways this could have gone very bad.


    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."
    "People crushed by law, have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws; and those who have much to hope and nothing to lose, will always be dangerous." - Edmund Burke 10-08-1777
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    I grew up in Northern Michigan. I lived the first 17 years of my life without ever locking a door. That area used to be that safe, at least, we thought it was at the time.

    Now, meth labs and home invasions happen there nearly as often as they do down state. My parents still live out in the woods with their doors unlocked. I have argued with them time and time again over this. It is a hard mentality to overcome. Heck, my family still laughs at me when I lock my car door in their driveway.

    I'm glad things worked out for you. Stay safe.
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    Distinguished Member Array GlassWolf's Avatar
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    Lock your cars up. Lock your darned doors. I spent 15 years in rural MI on lake Michigan, too. I also lived 30 miles from the nearest gas station or store. We still had a rash of break-ins that caused the neighborhood to start a Neighborhood Watch program, had one local nurse murdered in her home with no suspect ever caught, and the body not found for 3 days, and another young lady who's ex-boyfriend kicked in her door, stabbed her to death, stuck her corpse in the trunk of her own car, and set both the car and her apartment on fire, before fleeing the state.

    I don't care where you live. Rotten crap happens. The ones it happens to are the ones who don't think it will happen to them.
    I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

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    If he had walked in my door, my pit bull would have given him a "toothful" greeting.
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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    Lock those doors. They won't stop a determined intruder, but they will give you a few extra seconds to react.
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