Hardin County Texas Shooting - bad situation

This is a discussion on Hardin County Texas Shooting - bad situation within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; It sounds like something is missing from this story. Regardless, no one should try to force themself into your home, especially not at 10 p.m....

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Thread: Hardin County Texas Shooting - bad situation

  1. #16
    Member Array gunlock's Avatar
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    It sounds like something is missing from this story.

    Regardless, no one should try to force themself into your home, especially not at 10 p.m.

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  3. #17
    Senior Member Array rachilders's Avatar
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    There's not enough detail for me to make a good judgment either way.

    As others have said, there's something missing from the story. What REALLY caused the home owner to feel he needed to use deadly force to defend himself? Was the driver armed in some way, did he break down the door and attack the homeowner with a weapon of some sort? These were both 27 y/o men, so it's not like the shooter was a 75 y/o woman who felt threatened by a young male intruder kicking in the door at 3 AM. Just because someone is pounding on my door at 10:30 PM is no reason to shoot them (I know there are more than a couple of people here who will not agree with that statement, so take your best shot).

    Why did the home owner even open the door in the first place? I personally would have immediately gone into condition red if a stranger began beating and shouting at my door late at night. I would have armed myself and gone to the door, but I think I would have done my best to AVOID a potential confrontation by simply keeping the door closed, calling 911, then warning the other man he needed to leave and police were on the way? IF, after all the above, the individual still forced the door open and proceded to advance on me, I would take whatever steps necessary to stop them. However, I could at least say I used deadlly force as a last resort.

    Saying I killed someone because I legally could - it's MY home, he was trespassing and pounding on the front door so I shot him - simply doesn't doesn't hold water with me. You should ONLY use deadly force if you legitimately feel you are in IMMINENT threat of GREAT bodily harm or death.

    Like I said, there seems to be something missing from this story. Either more happened and the article isn't reporting it or the police are still investigating and don't want to release the details.
    "... Americans... we want a safe home, to keep the money we make and shoot bad guys." -- Denny Crane

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Based on what we know now, I'm leaning towards the homeowner on this one. However, there are a lot of details we don't know. How exactly did the motorist try to force his way into the home? Was the motorist drunk or drugged out?

    Quote Originally Posted by rachilders View Post
    Saying I killed someone because I legally could - it's MY home, he was trespassing and pounding on the front door so I shot him - simply doesn't doesn't hold water with me. You should ONLY use deadly force if you legitimately feel you are in IMMINENT threat of GREAT bodily harm or death.
    As a legal matter, Texas gives homeowners very wide latitude when someone breaks into their house, particularly at night.

  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by artz View Post
    No doubt...
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  6. #20
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rachilders View Post
    There's not enough detail for me to make a good judgment either way.

    As others have said, there's something missing from the story. What REALLY caused the home owner to feel he needed to use deadly force to defend himself? Was the driver armed in some way, did he break down the door and attack the homeowner with a weapon of some sort? These were both 27 y/o men, so it's not like the shooter was a 75 y/o woman who felt threatened by a young male intruder kicking in the door at 3 AM. Just because someone is pounding on my door at 10:30 PM is no reason to shoot them (I know there are more than a couple of people here who will not agree with that statement, so take your best shot).

    Why did the home owner even open the door in the first place? I personally would have immediately gone into condition red if a stranger began beating and shouting at my door late at night. I would have armed myself and gone to the door, but I think I would have done my best to AVOID a potential confrontation by simply keeping the door closed, calling 911, then warning the other man he needed to leave and police were on the way? IF, after all the above, the individual still forced the door open and proceded to advance on me, I would take whatever steps necessary to stop them. However, I could at least say I used deadlly force as a last resort.

    Saying I killed someone because I legally could - it's MY home, he was trespassing and pounding on the front door so I shot him - simply doesn't doesn't hold water with me. You should ONLY use deadly force if you legitimately feel you are in IMMINENT threat of GREAT bodily harm or death.

    Like I said, there seems to be something missing from this story. Either more happened and the article isn't reporting it or the police are still investigating and don't want to release the details.
    It didn't say he shot him for pounding on the door...It was pounding on the door compounded with him trying to force his way in: (bold added)
    Police say Matthews began beating on the door, Leviness also 27 claims Matthews tried to force his way into the home that's when Leviness fired one shot at Matthews hitting him in the chest.
    Either way, you're right in that it's lacking a good bit of info.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
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  7. #21
    Senior Member Array rachilders's Avatar
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    "Police say Matthews began beating on the door, Leviness also 27 claims Matthews tried to force his way into the home that's when Leviness fired one shot at Matthews hitting him in the chest."

    That quote essentially makes the point I was making earlier. If the driver was only beating on the door and/or yelling, is that enough justifiction for shooting? I doubt it! Besides, how was he able to try and force himself into the home unless the door was opened? If he was trying to break down the door to the home (which seems strange if he's only looking for help after a minor auto accident), there must have been more to the story that isn't being said. OTOH, if the man was trying to force the door open after the owner had opened it, simply keeping the door shut and locked should have prevented the problem and thus there'd have been no reason for shooting the driver. No harm, no foul, no dead man, no police reports and inquiry, lawyers, etc ... I think we can all see where this is now leading.

    We've all heard about the ounce of prevention, well this is an example of just how easy it would have been to prevent the entire incident with the use of a little common sense and caution.
    "... Americans... we want a safe home, to keep the money we make and shoot bad guys." -- Denny Crane

  8. #22
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    Call it the pessimist(or some may say cold/callous) in me but sometimes I think it's best to just let darwin take hold.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

  9. #23
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    If in fact he was trying to force himself in the house with force, he is asking to be shot. We really don't know all the facts. Was the guy trying to force his way in the house drunk, a crack head, an outstanding citizen? "A stuck driver" really doesn't give us much. The article makes it sound like he is just a regular guy that is stuck.

    We may never know if it was in fact a "misunderstanding" but a little information on each persons background could shed some light.

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    You can't call this one for sure without more informationThis sounds more like shooter error. If this is not the case then we are not getting all the information. I had a car load of drunks try to beat the door down one night and it scared me but I didn't shoot any body. They saw a had a gun in hand and apologized saying they had the wrong address. Some people get a little too trigger happy.

  11. #25
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    You know it's awful easy to sit here behind a computer screen and say well I would have done this or that and judge the guy; and we as CHL holders are the quickest to jump to conclusions in a shooting involving a CHL. Most of the time it seems to be in favor of the BG! I say unless you were there in his position don't judge him until you know all the facts.

    All I know is if somebody I didn't know came banging on my door late at night I would be wayyy into condition red. What would I do? I don't know because I wasn't there.
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  12. #26
    Senior Member Array rachilders's Avatar
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    FWIW, I personally feel that as someone who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, I have an extra responsibility to remain calm in potentially dangerous situations, avoid confrontations when possible and, only use the weapon I've been licensed to carry as a last resort to protect myself and/or others from imminent grave physical harm or death.

    BTW, for those who didn't get a chance to read it, this is the complete text of the article on the shooting. There is no mention of the shooter having a carry permit (irrelevant anyway under the situation as it was described) or that the dead man actually ATTACKED the homeowner.

    "A Silsbee man was shot and killed last night in what police are calling a horrible misunderstanding.
    Hardin County Sheriff Deputies say around 10:15 last night 27 year old Larry Matthews car got stuck in a ditch on Kerr just north of Silsbee.
    Matthews was going door to door trying to get help when he approached the home of Roger Leviness.
    Police say Matthews began beating on the door, Leviness also 27 claims Matthews tried to force his way into the home that's when Leviness fired one shot at Matthews hitting him in the chest.
    Matthews was pronounced dead at the scene. No charges have been filed against Leviness."
    "... Americans... we want a safe home, to keep the money we make and shoot bad guys." -- Denny Crane

  13. #27
    Member Array ttpete's Avatar
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    I don't know about anywhere else, but in MI, a broken down car story is often used as a pretext for a home invasion. I'll dial 911 for anyone who claims his car is broken down, but I won't open the door to anyone I don't know, especially at night. And if they force the door, I'll have something else waiting........
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  14. #28
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    Whatta ya wanna bet this guy's car ended up in the ditch because he was three sheets to the wind? And then he can't get anybody to help him so he gets mad and trys to kick in somebody's door?

  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rachilders View Post
    FWIW, I personally feel that as someone who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, I have an extra responsibility to remain calm in potentially dangerous situations, avoid confrontations when possible and, only use the weapon I've been licensed to carry as a last resort to protect myself and/or others from imminent grave physical harm or death.
    I agree with everything you said in your quoted post above..........
    However (as you also stated)......this shooting situation was at a person's home, not using their CHL out on the street or in the Wally World parking lot.
    If someone attempts to break into my home I ain't grabbing my glock 30.....I'm getting the mossberg and racking one in the chamber. This is totally irrelevant to me having a CHL or not.

    We all need to wait to get ALL the facts on this case and every other shooting before we render our "verdicts". Also, according to our state laws, the homeowner had every legal right to use deadly force in this situation.
    Hopefully we'll get all the details soon. Maybe the guy was kicking the door in, etc...who knows.

    Also, as for someone not answering the door in this situation.....I was involved in a car wreck that was almost fatal in 2004. The other driver was able to get out of his vehicle and go to the nearest house on this country road and the homeowner answered the door and let him in and they called 911. Now picture this same situation letting someone in to help and they pull a knife/demand money/whatever and now its robbery.....out comes a firearm from the homeowner.....

    just food for thought
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  16. #30
    Senior Member Array rachilders's Avatar
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    Someone in another reply had said that "we as CHL holders are the quickest to jump to conclusions in a shooting involving a CHL." I was pointing out in my last post that there was no mention of the homeowner having a CC permit and even if he had, it would have not applied to this situation since he was at home.

    As for the auto accident you said you were involved in, it points out (along with the tragedy in the original post) the sad state we currently live in where people can't trust their neghbors or strangers anymore. In your case, someone DID help, but as you pointed out, many times "accidents" are simply a tool used to gain access to a home by criminals, so the Good Samaritan took a BIG risk by helping a stranger. How many here can say they would have done the same in his situation? On the other hand, the victim in the Hardin County shooting was also (supposedly) looking for help after a real situation and wound up dead because he went to the wrong door at the wrong time. The home owner say's the dead man tried to force his way in, but since dead men tell no tales, we'll never know the other side of the story.

    The fear seems to go both ways now, so it's a no win situation for everyone because who can we trust anymore? We're ALL assumed to be BG's now by default and are treated accordingly... sometimes to everyone's regret and for no real reason other than fear itself (didn't FDR say something about only having fear itself to fear?). But, better safe than sorry!!

    I still feel there is MUCH more to this story than is being told, but since it's unlikely we'll ever know the whole story, we'll have to judge this on what we do know and try to learn from the mistakes that BOTH men obviously made.
    "... Americans... we want a safe home, to keep the money we make and shoot bad guys." -- Denny Crane

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