Homeowner Charged After Shooting Intruder

This is a discussion on Homeowner Charged After Shooting Intruder within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; This is a classic case of what not to do during a home invasion. I heard on my way in to work this morning, that ...

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Thread: Homeowner Charged After Shooting Intruder

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Homeowner Charged After Shooting Intruder

    This is a classic case of what not to do during a home invasion.

    I heard on my way in to work this morning, that the guy (Home owner) fired a warning shot in the air before shootin the guy in the pooper.

    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- A Lithonia homeowner has been charged with aggravated assault after shooting a man he said was attempting to break into his home Thursday, according to police.

    DeKalb Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said the homeowner was charged because he shot the intruder outside his residence.

    Neighbors said someone tried to knock down the door of a home on Gadwall Circle Thursday afternoon.

    “The homeowners were inside. They didn’t know (the suspect) and they shot. We heard four shots and he ran out and fell out here,” said neighbor Willie Brooks.

    Parish said the suspected thief received two gunshot wounds to his buttocks but the injuries are not considered life-threatening. He was charged with attempted burglary.

    Police have not officially released the suspect’s name, but a DeKalb County police source told Channel 2 Action News he is 26-year-old Frederick Lee Williams from Monroe, La.

    Neighbors said it wasn’t the first time there had been trouble in the neighborhood.

    Channel 2 Action News reporter Diana Davis asked Brooks if he was surprised that the incident happened in the middle of the day. “Very, very much so. For something like this to happen in broad daylight…it’s scary. It’s really scary.”

    The homeowner was not injured.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array JoJoGunn's Avatar
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    West Virginia 55-7-22 of the Code of West Virginia
    (a) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using reasonable and proportionate force, including deadly force, against an intruder or attacker to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's or attacker's unlawful entry if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder or attacker may kill or inflict serious bodily harm upon the occupant or others in the home or residence or if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder or attacker intends to commit a felony in the home or residence and the occupant reasonably believes deadly force is necessary.
    (b)A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder or attacker in the circumstances described in subsection (a) of this section.
    (c) A person not engaged in unlawful activity who is attacked in any place he or she has a legal right to be outside of his or her home or residence may use reasonable and proportionate force against an intruder or attacker: Provided, That such person may use deadly force against an intruder or attacker in a place that is not his or her residence without a duty to retreat if the person reasonably believes that he or she or another is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm from which he or she or another can only be saved by the use of deadly force against the intruder or attacker.
    (d) The justified use of reasonable and proportionate force under this section shall constitute a full and complete defense to any civil action brought by an intruder or attacker against a person using such force.
    (e) The full and complete civil defense created by the provisions of this section is not available to a person who: (1) Is attempting to commit, committing or escaping from the commission of a felony; (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself, herself or another with the intent to use such force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant; or (3) Otherwise initially provokes the use of force against himself, herself or another, unless he or she withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.
    (f) The provisions of this section do not apply to the creation of a hazardous or dangerous condition on or in any real or personal property designed to prevent criminal conduct or cause injury to a person engaging in criminal conduct.
    Don't know about Georgia, but here's what WV has to say about that, especially kicking in a door while homeowner is there.
    Last edited by JoJoGunn; September 11th, 2009 at 09:14 AM. Reason: add bold to phrase
    "A Smith & Wesson always beats 4 aces!"

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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    The way the news media said it on the radio was, the homeowner fired a round off while inside the house and chased the guy out into the yard. who knows how accurate they are with that, but because the HO was charged, kinda sounds like that's what he did. Goofy way to defend you home and life IMO.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WV Law
    "... including deadly force, against an intruder or attacker to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence ..."
    Uncertain what Georgia's statutes' wording is. But this brings up the question of whether "prevention" of a felony is justifiable cause to defend to that degree.

    This compares with the posting from a couple days ago in which a woman shot through the door to stop an attacker, a felon who then pulled his own gun and fired a couple shots. Same basic deal, firing a gun through a building and not knowing for certain what's on the other side. Two completely different outcomes: vilification by the DA, and statements of justification and support from the police and investigating officers.

    Moral of the story: aim to the higher standard.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    I recall two incidents in my area where criminals were attepting to break into homes. In both there were warned by the HO to leave or be shot. In both cases the HO shot through the door killing the BG. Both were ruled justifiable homicide. Of course this is in rural New Mexico.
    "First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand."
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    Member Array socal2310's Avatar
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    From the article, it sounds like the homeowner fired a warning shot in the air, the bad guy ran away and the homeowner shot him twice in the hindquarters. I'm not sure that would fly anywhere outside of Texas.

    He'll probably get off, but he could have saved himself a lot of aggravation had he simply shot the guy without a warning shot in the front, or held fire when the guy turned tail and ran.

    Ryan
    Those who will not govern their own behavior are slaves waiting for a master; one will surely find them.

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    The homeowners were inside. They didn’t know (the suspect) and they shot. We heard four shots and he ran out and fell out here,” said neighbor Willie Brooks.
    As usual the press doesn't give enough info to really make an informed decision. If you go by the statement given by the neighbor, it sounds like a good shoot. Without knowing all the facts it's really hard to say.

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    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Uncertain what Georgia's statutes' wording is. But this brings up the question of whether "prevention" of a felony is justifiable cause to defend to that degree.
    It is just as the statute of WV. Deadly force is authorized to prevent or to stop a forcible felony.

    A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person against such other's imminent use of unlawful force; however, except as provided in Code Section 16-3-23, a person is justified in using force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or herself or a third person or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
    16-3-23 is use of force in defense of habitation. Basically it says that if a person kicks in your door in a violent manner, you have the right to use deadly force on them.

    A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to prevent or terminate such other's unlawful entry into or attack upon a habitation; however, such person is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:

    (1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner and he or she reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person dwelling or being therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence;

    (2) That force is used against another person who is not a member of the family or household and who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using such force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred; or

    (3) The person using such force reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.
    Take your pick as to which condition was met by the invader kicking in the home owners door while he was at home.

    In another recent home invasion shooting in that county, the home owner was not charged. Lots of people in the IIA community feel that the same analysis should apply in this case. We are all watching the developments very closely as this guy is one of ours and a neighbor.
    Last edited by Moga; September 11th, 2009 at 05:32 PM.
    2nd Amendment: because personal violence never makes an appointment.
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    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Situations like this are the reason you have a GOOD ATTORNEY to defend you immediately after such an event. I have an attorney's card in my wallet right behind my CCW; if anything happens, he gets a call right after 911 does......
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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    I have stated before and still believe that it is unwise to shoot through doors.

    I prefer to wait and positively identify the bad guy before I shoot him.

    After he has busted the door open, he is fair game!

    Plus the splintered door is evidence of violent physical entry which tends to give credence to your legitimate fear that death or a violent felony will ensue as soon as he is inside.
    -Bark'n
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moga View Post
    It is just as the statute of WV. Deadly force is authorized to prevent or to stop a forcible felony.
    Yeah, well, there's where it can get sticky.

    The "forcible felony" stuff isn't there to protect the door. It's there to protect the occupants. If the door is threatened, that's not good enough. The moment the people are, though, then that meets the standard.

    If they were banging on the door frame, what then? Or, three feet further down the wall? Or, on the corner of the building? Or, on the wall to the garage? The banging might well be just as noisy and appear to be just as violently delivered, but it becomes far easier for such claims to be made as the risk to the people goes down. There's the rub.

    So. Dependent on the situation, the accusations against the victim might be they responded too violently, too early. Hence, waiting for the door to FIRST be breached might be safer legal choice, here. That way, there's no way the claim can be made that the threat of forcible felony wasn't front and center.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Agreed Bark'n [and CCW9mm]...Agreed 100%

    Shooting through doors along with 'warning shots' FTL.
    Do not do this.

    Only exception being interior doors such as barricaded within a room (Alamo point) and known attackers being on the opposite side attempting to breach an _interior_ door which is far weaker in general than that of a primary entrance point exterior door.
    Yes exterior doors can be kicked in too...But until it actually is, do not shoot.

    As to shooting a person in the backside and such...No thanks.
    If he's fleeing then he's fled, and thus no longer a threat.

    - Janq
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    Agreed Bark'n [and CCW9mm]...Agreed 100%

    Shooting through doors along with 'warning shots' FTL.
    Do not do this.

    Only exception being...
    My former state of Connecticut specifically allows you to use deadly force on a person outside your home if you know he is about to commit arson on your dwelling. (I have to wonder what case law prompted the inclusion of that particular circumstance!) Seems like a reasonable exception, but probably not embraced by MA , NJ or CA.
    Smitty
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I would never fire a warning shot,if you are justified to use deadly force then shoot to stop the threat
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Yeah, well, there's where it can get sticky.

    The "forcible felony" stuff isn't there to protect the door. It's there to protect the occupants. If the door is threatened, that's not good enough. The moment the people are, though, then that meets the standard.

    If they were banging on the door frame, what then? Or, three feet further down the wall? Or, on the corner of the building? Or, on the wall to the garage? The banging might well be just as noisy and appear to be just as violently delivered, but it becomes far easier for such claims to be made as the risk to the people goes down. There's the rub.

    So. Dependent on the situation, the accusations against the victim might be they responded too violently, too early. Hence, waiting for the door to FIRST be breached might be safer legal choice, here. That way, there's no way the claim can be made that the threat of forcible felony wasn't front and center.
    I'm not following the introduction of whether banging on a wall constitutes a break in. Do you know something about the incident that I don't? As it relates to Georgia law, banging on a person's wall is not a felony of any type, much less a forcible felony, regardless on the part of the house that it's committed. But DKPD did charge the guy with attempted burglary, so there must be more to it than that.

    I know of a case from a few streets over that involved the home owner killing a kid two years ago through the door, resulting in a no-bill. The offender was in the process of giggling the door knob while trying to force open the door with his shoulder. I didn't think that the guy used the best judgment but was glad that he wasn't charged.

    Let's play with the possibilities here. Say the home owner in the latest case has the door reinforced, and that's the only reason that it wasn't kicked off the hinges during the attempted breach. I could see how it could be enough that an unknown person made a determined effort to enter the dwelling in a violent and tumultuous manner, irrespective of whether the door actually opened, to satisfy the requirement for the use of deadly force. If you are the person on the inside of the door, are you supposed to wait until the person makes entry to find out whether he intends to rape or kill you before you attempt to stop them?

    The DA told an acquaintance by email that the cops had no choice but to arrest the home owner in this case. She said that whether her office will pursue aggravated assault charges is the only variable in the matter.
    2nd Amendment: because personal violence never makes an appointment.
    Evil resides in the heart of the individual, not in inanimate objects.
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