(Bad) Off duty firefighter shot, Trying to enter wrong house

(Bad) Off duty firefighter shot, Trying to enter wrong house

This is a discussion on (Bad) Off duty firefighter shot, Trying to enter wrong house within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Very sad story KAIT - Jonesboro, AR: Police Call Case "Justifiable Shooting" TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - Trumann firefighter Todd Short, 34, was shot and killed ...

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Thread: (Bad) Off duty firefighter shot, Trying to enter wrong house

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    Member Array NKMG19's Avatar
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    (Bad) Off duty firefighter shot, Trying to enter wrong house

    Very sad story KAIT - Jonesboro, AR: Police Call Case "Justifiable Shooting"

    TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - Trumann firefighter Todd Short, 34, was shot and killed early Saturday morning after reportedly trying to enter the wrong home by force. According to Trumann Police Chief Larry Blagg, Short was shot at point blank with a 12-gauge shotgun by Jimmy Hand at 220 Cypress Drive.

    "It appears, through statements, that he thought he was at a different house. He actually thought he was at a friend's house named Barry Barber, which lives at 244 Cypress. The houses are cookie cutter style houses. They all kind of look alike," said Blagg.

    Blagg said both homes have similar style vehicles in the drive-ways. Couple that with alcohol, and Blagg said that was probably the reason Short had the homes mixed up.

    Shelia Hand, wife of Jimmy Hand, said she and her husband woke up at about 12:30 Saturday morning to the sound of someone screaming.

    "My husband and I woke up to a man beating on the front door, asking Barry to open the door," said Mrs. Hand.

    "We congregated in the hallway and we knew he had the wrong house. So my husband grabbed the gun, and went out through the carport door, and peeked around to the front door to tell the man he had the wrong house. He said, ‘man you have the wrong house,' and the guy obviously didn't care. He started running after my husband, chased him right into the house and he got to the doorway. And my husband had to make a quick decision and make it fast," said Mrs. Hand.

    "The guy comes out of his carport to see who is beating on his front door and Mr. Short noticed him and chased after him. And this guy ran back into his house and Mr. Short, from statements, says that he charged him into the house. And as he entered into the doorway, he was within probably a foot or two of the house, is when the shooting happened," said Blagg.

    Trumann Police called the shooting justifiable, but the case remains under investigation.

    According to witness statements and the police report, Mr. Hand felt threatened after Mr. Short started chasing after him. Once Short got close to the door, Mr. Hand pulled the trigger, striking Short in the left chest.

    Earlier that evening, Todd and his wife Michelle got into an argument after having a few drinks. Michelle left with her kids and Barry Barber, heading for his house at 244 Cypress Dr.

    Police believe that's when Todd became agitated at the thought of his wife being with someone else, triggering his rage.

    "All we can figure at this point is that Todd got to thinking about it and went to get his wife, and went to the wrong house. That's why he was yelling Barry; I know you're in there. Let me in, that kind of thing, so I figure that the alcohol was a factor, he being upset was a factor, and those two together, it just made for a situation that turned out like it did," said Blagg.

    Mrs. Hand said her family is having a tough time dealing with the shooting, and feels bad for the Short family as well.

    "It was a nightmare, it was a nightmare. Like, we could not believe it just happened," said Mrs. Hand.

    "He's definitely horrified and tore up. He's been crying and he hasn't slept. We've both been just thinking about his family, especially since it's right here before Christmas," said Mrs. Hand when speaking about her husband.

    Blagg said Short was a friend of his and of the community's.

    "He's the kind of guy that would not to enter a fire if it was too serious, or he would be the guy who would put his life on the line to run in there to save somebody even though it was too serious of a situation," said Blagg.

    "Here we got, Christmas time. We got a guy that's lost his life, a wife that's lost her husband and an 8-year old girl who's lost her dad. And on the other side of this, we've got a guy who has shot a weapon, killed somebody and has got to live with that for the rest of his life," said Blagg.

    Mrs. Short was too distraught to speak with Region 8 News, but she did issue this statement:

    "Todd was a very good husband and an amazing father, a great fireman. He loved what he did for the community. He was loved by everyone in the community and had many friends. He would do anything for anyone at any time. What happened the other night was an unfortunate accident and I hold no one to blame."
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Arm yourself, call police, and stay inside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    Arm yourself, call police, and stay inside.
    Doesn't seem like that would have helped in this situation. Sounds like the guy was ready to bust the door down. Horrible tragedy. Unfortunately, seems the homeowner was justified.
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    Member Array G96X0's Avatar
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    Alcohol is the main culprit here. It's a tragedy this happened.

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    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonehead View Post
    Doesn't seem like that would have helped in this situation. Sounds like the guy was ready to bust the door down.
    "Ready to bust the door down" does not equal "busting the door down." If your door holds until the police arrive, no shooting need occur. If he does bust the door down and you have to shoot anyway, no second-guessing for opening a door and allowing this guy access to your house.

    It is possible, although not guaranteed, that by staying inside the shooting could have been avoided. That is a chance I will willingly take if doing so does not add risk to my family.

    Once door gets busted in, all precautions are over and firing commences.

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    Member Array Rusty Bouquett's Avatar
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    What Grady sed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    Arm yourself, call police, and stay inside.
    +1 May not have made a difference but it may have.
    rolyat63
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    Quote Originally Posted by G96X0 View Post
    Alcohol is the main culprit here. It's a tragedy this happened.
    The booze didn't force it's way down his throat, it had help. There are often very serious consequences to our actions.

    Tragedy? Yes.

    Preventable? Definitely!
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    Member Array bonehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    "Ready to bust the door down" does not equal "busting the door down." If your door holds until the police arrive, no shooting need occur. If he does bust the door down and you have to shoot anyway, no second-guessing for opening a door and allowing this guy access to your house.

    It is possible, although not guaranteed, that by staying inside the shooting could have been avoided. That is a chance I will willingly take if doing so does not add risk to my family.

    Once door gets busted in, all precautions are over and firing commences.
    Whoa, whoa. I don't disagree with you one bit. Staying inside is of course what the homeowner should have done. But faced with a stranger pounding on the front door, screaming in anger, rationale may go out the window. I would hope I'd have the composure to sit tight, call the police, and wait it out. Judgment unfortunately can become clouded when faced with a potentially life-threatening situation.
    HK45c V1

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    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Sorry I misunderstood your post.

    I hate to monday-morning quarterback this guy's unfortunate situation, but what's done is done. The only variable now is to discuss what he might have done differently which might have produced different results. Heck, a few years ago I might have done what he did, although I would not have had a gun ready. I have since modified my default reaction to a similar situation after reading about other accounts that did not end well when someone opened their door.
    Quote Originally Posted by bonehead View Post
    Judgment unfortunately can become clouded when faced with a potentially life-threatening situation.
    Agreed, especially if one hasn't thought it out ahead of time. At least he had the forethought to have a weapon ready.

    I don't blame the homeowner for this shooting. He was reacting to protect his family. I do think it might have been avoidable, but we'll never know. The fault lies with the guy trying to enter someone else's home by force.

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    Member Array bonehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    Sorry I misunderstood your post.

    I hate to monday-morning quarterback this guy's unfortunate situation, but what's done is done. The only variable now is to discuss what he might have done differently which might have produced different results. Heck, a few years ago I might have done what he did, although I would not have had a gun ready. I have since modified my default reaction to a similar situation after reading about other accounts that did not end well when someone opened their door.
    Agreed, especially if one hasn't thought it out ahead of time. At least he had the forethought to have a weapon ready.
    No problem. That's exactly what I meant. We would all like to think we would follow the logical steps in such a situation, but as you said, he didn't have luxury of time to plan it out ahead. Regardless, terrible for both parties.
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    OK, OK, everybody think back a few decades (Some of you are just getting started, but think about college last year then.)
    Remember something really stupid you did or some trouble you got into??????
    Did it involve alcohol? Bingo...

    Had this guy not been drinking, a number of circumstances would have been different...it's a real shame and a wasted loss of life.
    I can't blame the homeowner though...

    Stay armed...guard the homefront...stay safe!
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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    Arm yourself, call police, and stay inside.
    Bingo, yet again.

    As well simply yell _through the door_; "HEY MAN YOU ARE AT THE WRONG HOUSE!!"

    Duh.

    Agreed, ready to bust the door down does not mean he is actually able to do so and especially does not mean he is.
    This homeowner very much risked his own life AND that of his wife for what? To go sneak up on door knock drunk guy to whisper sweet nothings in his ear and do him a solid of not having him arrested for drunk & disorderly by the cops he should have called...only to wind up in a foot race back to where he should have stayed in the first place. I bet the dead guy would have much preferred being arrested than being shot dead, and his kids never seeing their dad again.


    Stay in your home. Arm yourself. Dial 911 and let the cops do the talking.

    BTW for those who suppose as much, this is not Monday morning armchair quarterbackery.
    This is incident evaluation for the purpose of education/learning so that we the observers can/will do better ourselves should same or similar occur to us. Law enforcement does same as do firefighters and most everyone else too in a profession where errors can result in significant loss.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Sounds like the guy had a drinking problem ,why else would wife have left with the kids,then the guy decides he's gonna go get them back in a drunken rage,sorry guys but if you can't hold your liquor don't drink,just cause the guys a firefighter don't make him a saint.Also guy went out to tell the guy he had the wrong house and the guy chased him back into his house at which time the guy fired.looks like he shoulda just went home and slept it off
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    Member Array TravisABQ's Avatar
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    Let's see, he was drunk, he was trespassing, he was trying to break into the house, and he was in a violent rage.

    And I'm supposed to feel sorry for this guy?

    Nope. Don't.

    Is he extra special because he was a firefighter rather than some homeless meth-head? Small difference in actual behavior as far as I can see.

    I feel sorry for the homeowner, he should have called cops and only fired if his door was breached....

    but the drunk idiot didn't get anything he didn't bring on.

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