Monday, January 30, 2006

Be Damn Sure You Are Home Before Breaking In

In two separate cases, someone broke into a home they thought was their own. (Or so it appears.) In both cases, the person was shot and killed by the real homeowner.

In a story from Houston, we have the first incident.

abc13.com: Homeowner shot intruder to death in wrong house mistake
"He was shouting and yelling, banging on the door and telling them to open the door and she said you don't belong here and went and got her husband," said Sgt. Brian Goetschius with the Texas City police.

By that time, police say the intruder, identified as David Wayne Stewart, 26, kicked in the front door of Jackson's house and was inside. That's when police say Jackson got a gun and opened fire, shooting and killing Stewart.
If you kick in my door, I guess I would consider you a threat - I think most reasonable people would. It is an aggressive, violent act. What aggressive violent acts are you going to do next? Stewart was described as drunk, and he was described as "hot tempered" when drunk by his father.

And a very similar story from Los Angeles

NBC 4 - News - Police: Man Shot, Killed After Breaking Into Neighbor's Home
Investigators said Soto entered the house by removing a window screen and forcing open the window. The 65-year-old homeowner, who lives with his wife, confronted Soto after returning from the bathroom.

Authorities said the two men fought in the bedroom before the homeowner grabbed a pistol from a nightstand and fired one shot.
Was he confused and in the wrong home? No one can say, but that is how it appears to investigators.

Neither homeowner was arrested, as both cases are clearly justified. A reasonable person would believe there was a threat of death or grave bodily injury. The homeowners acted appropriately.

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