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Monday, May 10, 2010

Gun Owner Kills Intruder

Posted by on Mon, May 10, 2010 at 8:12 AM

The kind of story gun nuts love to bits:

(Seattle Times) A 72-year-old Port Orchard man was arrested on investigation of manslaughter on Saturday after he apparently shot and killed a fleeing intruder...

...The man told police he had been awakened by a noise in his home, had armed himself and left his bedroom to investigate when he found a young, adult male in his living room, the sheriff's office reported.

The 72-year-old man told police the two struggled and then the intruder was pushed out the front door.

The resident fired shots at the intruder's fleeing form, according to Scott Wilson, spokesman for the Kitsap sheriff's office.

The dead intruder's body, which was was not found for several hours, was eventually located face down against the side of an apartment building, police said.

The last sentence says everything.


Comments (73) RSS

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Telsa Grills 1
Sounds like Pasadena, Texas, all over again. Shoot 'em in the back as they're retreating.
Posted by Telsa Grills on May 10, 2010 at 8:34 AM · Report this
Shelby 2
Fucking gruesome.
Posted by Shelby on May 10, 2010 at 8:35 AM · Report this
SurlyYurmom 3
We have a BIG shotgun that I was very uneasy with at first (for the record: no kids, not even a pet and we've taken the house plants to the range so they're comfortable with the gun), but after having it a while and shooting it, it doesn't bother me anymore. Even after reading this, I wouldn't hesitate to pull it on an intruder. It's pretty intimidating, even the sound of loading it, so I would hope to not have to fire it, but still wouldn't hesitate.

I don't really know what the point to Charles post was though. To inform? To make fun of gun owners? To point out how silly someone being charged with manslaughter when defending their self and property is?
Posted by SurlyYurmom on May 10, 2010 at 8:35 AM · Report this
4 Comment Pulled (No) Comment Policy
Rotten666 5
Gruesome? More like awesome!

And I'm not even a gun nut. Imagine that.
Posted by Rotten666 on May 10, 2010 at 8:41 AM · Report this
SurlyYurmom 6
@1 It really doesn't sound like that at all. In Texas they were having people defend others with their guns while this situation was self defense. Huge difference.
Posted by SurlyYurmom on May 10, 2010 at 8:44 AM · Report this
Can we contribute money to his legal defense fund? I certainly will.
Posted by Thank You Susanswerphone on May 10, 2010 at 8:46 AM · Report this
gttim 8
"The resident fired shots at the intruder's fleeing form..."

No, this situation was not self defense. That is Charles' point. You cannot shoot a fleeing person in the back. You have to be in imminent danger. This is the same as Texas.
Posted by gttim on May 10, 2010 at 8:49 AM · Report this
J-Haxx 9
It is illegal to shoot a fleeing felon unless you know that he/she is armed or a danger to the public. When someone is in retreat, you are not suppose to attack them - this goes for cops too BTW. I am guessing that the shooter in this case panicked - and will probably get charged with negligent homicide or voluntary manslaughter.
Posted by J-Haxx on May 10, 2010 at 8:50 AM · Report this
slake 10
I like the last bit of the article...."but in general, it is illegal to shoot in the back a fleeing intruder who no longer poses a threat."

Seems reasonable... but I want to know.. WHEN can I shoot a fleeing intruder in the back who no longer poses a threat? Just askin'
Posted by slake on May 10, 2010 at 8:53 AM · Report this
SurlyYurmom 11
I love how these stories get retold. These scenarios are played out with in minutes where you have a split second to figure out WTH is going on and then react. The intruder could be running straight at you but then turn when they heard the gun cock/load. You don't know what happened other than: dude broke into someone's private home while they were there, which is a direct threat to their safety.

Mess with the bull....
Posted by SurlyYurmom on May 10, 2010 at 8:54 AM · Report this
Jeffrey Whitelaw 12
What about if you're fucked up on crack? Are there any loopholes here?
Posted by Jeffrey Whitelaw on May 10, 2010 at 8:58 AM · Report this
I strongly disagree with the sentiment that a 72yo living alone has a responsibility to make a calm, rational decision when waking up and finding an adult male intruder in his home. It is so easy for people who have never felt their life was in imminent danger to judge people who do.

How often do we hear about cops doing the exact same thing? I am sure the professional lefties of Slog think that is because every cop is a sociopath, but it just might be that even with pretty exhaustive training there are certain reactions that a human being cannot be trained out of. And to condemn a man WITHOUT training for acting as he did is just knee-jerk anti-gun bullshit.

There is exactly one person responsible for the death of the intruder: the intruder.
Posted by renbot on May 10, 2010 at 9:04 AM · Report this
I'm sure thieves and intruders enter houses in a concealed carry state aware that its residents have the right to bear arms. I'm sure the intruders and thieves have their wills and testaments squared away before attempting robbery. Everybody in America acts as if they could have a gun pulled on them at any moment, right? That's why everyone is polite and considerate?
Posted by How was the thief to know Americans have guns? on May 10, 2010 at 9:04 AM · Report this
Foggen 15
Actually, there are a lot of other words that describe different parts of the story, so no, the last sentence doesn't say everything.
Posted by Foggen on May 10, 2010 at 9:05 AM · Report this
Telsa Grills 16
If the intruder is retreating, back turned, then that is not an action of threat or assertion of holding one's ground. So @6, they are synonymous: that one was the neighbour's house (Texas) while the other was the victim's house is not the point as these laws are concerned: in both, state laws permits self-defence in respective circumstances. Neither states' laws permit self-offence, if you will. A suspect retreating, back turned and receding, forfeited that aggression and has surrendered by leaving quickly (cowardly or otherwise).

What to do? Shoot around the suspect if necessary. The crack of gunfire will instill the fear of their god (and their bladder), especially if they hear ammunition whizzing nearby their ear. Striking their body, under these states' laws (i.e., WA and TX), would only be permitted if they are still facing the victim(s).

I do believe that if the initial details as reported are roughly correct, then this will advance to criminal trial.
Posted by Telsa Grills on May 10, 2010 at 9:16 AM · Report this
rob! 17
The problem with guns everywhere is that too many of the people most enamored of them (note I did not say "gun fetishists," nor did I say "all of them") don't know the laws, don't respect them, or can't control themselves in the heat of the moment. To be fair, I doubt if I could stop myself shooting at a fleeing intruder, were I all jacked up on adrenalin. There is a fundamental downside to instant fatal force being in the hands of millions of people every day who, on average, will be in mortal danger maybe once in their lives.
Posted by rob! on May 10, 2010 at 9:18 AM · Report this
ams_ 18
@11 "These scenarios are played out with in minutes where you have a split second to figure out WTH is going on and then react."

@13 "I strongly disagree with the sentiment that a 72yo living alone has a responsibility to make a calm, rational decision when waking up and finding an adult male intruder in his home"

@17 "I doubt if I could stop myself shooting at a fleeing intruder, were I all jacked up on adrenalin."

This is exactly why it is a bad idea to allow every private citizen to have a gun. It is also why it is wrong to "go for your gun" when dealing with an emergency- you don't know wtf you are going to do with it. If you can't control yourself from shooting someone who poses no threat to you because you are jacked on adrenaline, then you should not pull a gun. period. I've been burgled before, and I'm damn glad I called the cops instead of going and shooting some kid in the back.

The penalty for burglary is not death.
Posted by ams_ on May 10, 2010 at 9:29 AM · Report this
If you break into my home, you run the risk of being shot at. You run the risk of being maimed or killed. Those are the penalties and risks of coming into MY HOUSE thinking you can take MY PROPERTY. If you think you can break in and the worst that will happen is you will run away while I shout and shake my fist at you, then you are mistaken.

I have absolutely zero empathy or tolerance for home intruders, especially as a woman. Chances are this scumbag broke into that man's home because he knew the guy was old and probably harmless. He didn't know the 72 year old was packing heat. Good on the old guy for shooting that fuck. As a neighbor, I'd bake him a pie.
Posted by dubsea on May 10, 2010 at 9:34 AM · Report this
@13 Situations in which you might want to have a gun are pretty much by definition going to be situations in which it is difficult to make calm, rational decisions, even for trained professionals. That's one of the reasons many people are so skeptical about the value of widespread gun possession.

I hope the guy doesn't get in too much trouble for this, and I don't think he will, but if he had chosen to defend his home with an alarm system, a taser, or (gods forbid) a pit bull then we, as a society with a legal system, would have a chance to make a calm rational decision about what to do with the intruder other than bury him.
Posted by Another Nick on May 10, 2010 at 9:35 AM · Report this
"The penalty for burglary is not death. "

With any luck we can get that changed.

Another scumbag burglar gone? Good. Give the old man a medal and move on.

Posted by PaulBarwick on May 10, 2010 at 9:36 AM · Report this
The dead intruder's body, which was was not found for several hours, was eventually located face down against the side of an apartment building, police said.

How does this sentence say everything Charles..? Because the guy happened to keel over into an apartment building face first? He could do that no matter where he was shot, if he passed out from blood loss. I see little relevance to the position of the body, especially since he managed to get far enough away that it took several hours to find him.
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on May 10, 2010 at 9:45 AM · Report this
Asparagus! 23
Someone is not a threat to your personal safety when they are fleeing you. Period.

This man used his gun to scare off an intruder, that is reasonable.

He shot him in the back because he is pathetic and violent.
Posted by Asparagus! on May 10, 2010 at 9:56 AM · Report this
ams_ 24
@19- You value your property more than the life of another human being. There isn't much I can say if you don't see how utterly fucked up that is. Are you fighting for survival? Are you going to starve to death if someone steals your "kenny G" greatest hits album? You aren't protecting your family's winter food stores, your protecting a wii fit. There's a big difference.

And I'm a woman too, so that's no excuse.
Posted by ams_ on May 10, 2010 at 9:56 AM · Report this
onion 25
19 and others - if cops can't shoot at people who are merely stealing things, why should you be able to? like the cops, unless your life or the lives of others is directly and obviously in danger, you are responsible for controlling your adrenaline rush. that's the RESPONSIBILITY that comes along with gun ownership.
Posted by onion on May 10, 2010 at 9:58 AM · Report this
onion 26
just wow. a cop who had done this would get hammered from all sides. why should a civilian get away with it without at least some scrutiny?
Posted by onion on May 10, 2010 at 9:58 AM · Report this
onion 27
13 - do you realize the logical flipside of your statement? if that 72 year old is young enough to own a gun, then he's young enough to make calm, rational decisions.
if he is not young enough to make calm, rational decisions, then he shouldn't own a gun.

when folks get too old to be able to make calm, rational decisions while driving, guess what happens? their licenses are taken away.

age isn't an excuse here.
Posted by onion on May 10, 2010 at 10:04 AM · Report this
Jasys, I didn't know Charles Bronsen was still alive
Posted by sall on May 10, 2010 at 10:05 AM · Report this
rob! 29
@18, I guess I sounded too even-handed (@17) and got lumped in with 11 and 13. I do not own a gun, and would not keep one in the house. The daily risk of shooting a pet, a loved one, a drunk neighbor, an intruder outside the bounds of the law does not balance with the statistical fact that I am unlikely to ever be in mortal danger. Humans are notoriously and laughably bad about assessing risk and making rational choices.

@19, you'd be lucky to get a magazine or paperback book to your hypothetical neighbor in the hoosegow, let alone a pie. I understand your fears and outrage about intrusions, but you'd be in the slammer too if you shoot JUST BECAUSE a stranger broke in and then tried to run away.
Posted by rob! on May 10, 2010 at 10:10 AM · Report this
Josh Bomb 30
this just happened in olympia last week as well: some poor hipster kid got drunk, wandered into the neighbor's yard and ended up shot in the back as he was leaving.…
Posted by Josh Bomb on May 10, 2010 at 10:12 AM · Report this
Rotten666 31
Yes, my property is worth more than the life of a scumbag burglar.

Even my Kenny G greatest hits CD. Especially my Kenny G greatest hits CD.

Posted by Rotten666 on May 10, 2010 at 10:12 AM · Report this
Y.F. Redux 32
I'm ambivalent. If the guy was caught breaking into the house, and fled and the old man shot him that would be wrong. However, the burglar struggled with the homeowner first. He had to be fought off. Fear and adrenalin were in play. The victim was elderly and perceived as frail and alone. I can't work up too much sympathy for the dead burglar.
Posted by Y.F. Redux on May 10, 2010 at 10:21 AM · Report this
Here's the thing- don't want to be shot at? Then don't break into my house. You (the intruder) obviously don't live by any moral standard as it is and show no response to civil means of ethics or you wouldn't be in the situation in the first place, so I will not respond in a 'civil' and 'reasonable' manner.

If I find someone in my house, I have thought ahead and have decided to err on the side of most harm because there is no real way for me to determine why they are there, whether or not they have help or weapons. I am going to assume they are they to harm me and would do so if I did not have a gun or some means of fighting back. And if they freak out and try to run away, I'm still going to shoot because even if they don't suffer a fatal wound they will be injured and caught, or be so scared they won't break into another person's home again. I'm not just running through the street waving my gun at folks. This is my home, my place of safety, and by violating it I believe I have every right to react in an incredibly forceful manner. You do not get to just come in and they say "Oh! So sorry! I'm leaving now!" when you find out I've got a gun.

(Also, I'd bake a file into that pie and hope the old guy finds a way out of the slammer.)
Posted by dubsea on May 10, 2010 at 10:23 AM · Report this
rob! 34
BTW, my cat attacked my knee through the quilt last night in a way he never has before in his 13 years. Thank god I didn't have a gun to pull and blow him away in my sleep-addled state. Once I fumbled the light on, he rolled over for a belly rub and just looked insufferably cute.

I guess my knee had been jerking as it so often does, asleep or awake.
Posted by rob! on May 10, 2010 at 10:25 AM · Report this
schmacky 35
I think I'm actually with @19 on this one. Her tone is a little...strident, perhaps, but the basic concept--if you break into somebody's house, getting shot comes with the territory--is sound.

It's not a question of valuing my stuff more than I value human life...that's a total straw man bullshit argument, @24. It's a question of boundaries and personal safety. If I catch a stranger in my home in the dark at 3am, I have no way of knowing what his intentions are, if he's armed, or what. He might be robbing me; he might be planning on some prolonged home invasion, he might want to harm my wife.

I understand these people have problems...they're disadvantaged, they're hooked on meth, blah blah blah. But if some sorry fucker is going to break into my house, he's lost the benefit of the doubt, you know?
Posted by schmacky on May 10, 2010 at 10:28 AM · Report this
passionate_jus 36
A part of the story I don't understand is that this 72 year old with a gun struggled with the "young, adult male" in his house and then pushed him out the door.

Which leads me to several questions not answered in the article:

How is it that the 72 year old was stronger than the young man?

If that is the case, why did the 72 year old feel the need to use his gun after the struggle had ended, after the young man was running away from the house?

If the 72 year really felt threatened, why didn't he shoot the young man inside his house?

I hope these questions are answered in the trial and that it is covered by the media.
Posted by passionate_jus on May 10, 2010 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Yeah, the lack of imminent danger spoils it for true guns-rights advocates.
Posted by tiktok on May 10, 2010 at 10:39 AM · Report this
rob! 38
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Get a bunch of X-10 (or similar) controllers--there are plug-in styles as well as ones that replace wall switches--and install them. When you hear a noise downstairs or out back, hit the "all lights on" button before you even get out of bed. Chances are the intruder, if there is one, will run away. If not, you'll be better able to see whether he's armed, or to find your way to the phone without stubbing your toe.
Posted by rob! on May 10, 2010 at 10:42 AM · Report this
passionate_jus 39
Other question are, where was the gun during their struggle?

Was it in a holster? Was the 72 year old carrying it? What kind of gun was it?

What kind of struggle was it? It seems weird that the old man could struggle with a young man while holding a gun in one hand and still push the young man out the door.

The article leaves out a lot of important information.
Posted by passionate_jus on May 10, 2010 at 10:43 AM · Report this
I'm pretty sure shooting someone in the back once they're outside your home is not cool. Just sayin'.
Posted by STJA on May 10, 2010 at 11:08 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 41
In related news, 500 adult children of old people with dementia were shot by their parents who didn't recognize their kids that were staying with them ...
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 10, 2010 at 11:09 AM · Report this
ams_ 42
Sorry @29- I misread your comment.

@35- It is not a straw man argument. I have been burgled, and I am very glad that I did not bust in and shoot those burglers dead. Because then I would have killed somebody, and I don't know how I would live with myself after that. You know what the burglers took? A few bottles of wine and CD's. That's really not worth killing someone over. You can't use "I assume the worst about every situation" to treat people in the worst way possible and have that be ok.

Posted by ams_ on May 10, 2010 at 11:12 AM · Report this
schmacky 43
@42: It is a straw man argument, because the point you keep making--your stuff isn't worth a person's life--isn't the point in question. Of course human life is worth more than stuff...nobody's debating that (well, some are, but I'm not). What I'm saying is that when you encounter a dark figure in the dead of night lurking in the shadows, you don't know if it's some meth-head jackass just ripping you off or something else, like a serial rapist, for instance. You don't know if he has a gun or not or what his intentions are at all. When somebody enters your home and puts you in this position of not knowing their intentions, in my opinion they've surrendered their right to not get shot.
Posted by schmacky on May 10, 2010 at 11:28 AM · Report this
Is it just me or do virtually all of these stories include the "struggled with the intruder" part? That seems very suspicious to me. Are you telling me that these gun owners are more than happy to shoot a guy in the back as he's running away but won't shoot him when he's charging in for a struggle?

What sounds more likely?
1)72YO man sees a guy in your living room and aims his gun at him, the intruder charges him, struggles with him and the 72YO beats him and throws him out the door then the guy has time to get up and start running away before the guy shoots him in the back as he flees.
2)72YO man sees a guy in the living room and the guy sees that he's armed. The guy runs out the door and the 72YO man shoots him in the back in cold blood then makes up a story that will sound better in court.

As I said, it seems like all of the "shooting a fleeing criminal in the back" stories always include the "struggled with the intruder for the weapon" part. So, either a large percentage of gun owners are hopeless pussies who can't pull the trigger when they're being attacked but are happy to do it when someone's got their back to them...or...they're uncontrollable sociopaths who are just looking for an excuse to shoot someone, even if that someone's running away.

Either way it makes me reluctant to let people own guns.
Posted by Root on May 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM · Report this
45 Comment Pulled (No) Comment Policy
lizdini 46
In your house and threatening you? Shoot 'em. Running away like a pussy from a 72 yoa man? Call the cops.
Posted by lizdini on May 10, 2010 at 12:06 PM · Report this
@43 forgive me for butting in, but you seem to be the only one reasonably arguing for the old man. the question I see is that in order to secure your own safety, is having a device that instantly kills reasonable? surrendering the right not to get shot (in the eyes of the law) only happens in pretty extraordinary circumstances. unarmed burglary doesn't qualify. so yes, in the instance that it's the sadist from down the street who wants to torture you, shooting is reasonable, but the point thats been alluded to here already is that given the (in)frequency of those ridiculous circumstances, is it reasonable to have the countless petty thieves pay with their lives due to the irrational epinephrine-induced trigger happiness of the homeowners who own guns. it's not an attractive position to defend the burglar, but having the situation that you propose means creating a neighborhood of fortresses which you enter on pain of death.
Posted by ib+ on May 10, 2010 at 1:06 PM · Report this
I am not talking about people breaking into my car. I am talking about people breaking into my house... while I am there. You surrender all rights while I secure my safety- and that includes making sure you don't come back.

From a criminal standpoint, there are risks to their actions and one of them is the possibility the home owner may be armed. I assume they have wieghed that risk and still break in. Don't tell me to factor in my civility when I've got someone in my living room that didn't give a damn about me, my property, or my family.
Posted by dubsea on May 10, 2010 at 1:45 PM · Report this
Josh Bomb 49
update: 22 yr old neighbor-victim identified, 72 yr old arrested for manslaughter:…
Posted by Josh Bomb on May 10, 2010 at 3:50 PM · Report this
Thanks for posting that. It certainly raises questions. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Posted by Root on May 10, 2010 at 5:37 PM · Report this
Charles Mudede 51
I also agree. i want to keep a close eye on this story. also love the comments for that post.
Posted by Charles Mudede on May 10, 2010 at 6:48 PM · Report this
The intruder can't think about his actions if he's dead.

Aim for the legs next time, old man.
Posted by JesseJB on May 10, 2010 at 6:57 PM · Report this
kill em all, let god sort them out! you break into my house, i'm not gonna shoot you i'm gonna torture you to death.
Posted by gillettebret on May 10, 2010 at 8:24 PM · Report this
seattlejenny 54
the kid who died was named Donald Axthelm. here is a quote from his myspace page:
"i like wakeboarding, snowboarding, ride quads, i dont know i guess anything that will give me a rush. i like doing crazy stuff that their is a possibility that i could get in trouble but i dont get CAUGHT!"
he was just a stupid kid. really, really stupid. most of us live to outgrow that.
according to the article the old man aimed in a premeditated manner. seems more like murder than manslaughter to me.
any hunter knows that when you take a shot you must follow up to see if you got a hit. it's cruel to let an animal bleed out.
that said, i believe people have a right to own guns and defend themselves. that is not what happened here. he could have hit anybody.
Posted by seattlejenny on May 10, 2010 at 9:47 PM · Report this
Josh Bomb 55
his name was Donald Axthelm.
Posted by Josh Bomb on May 10, 2010 at 10:57 PM · Report this
Pmasp 56
Oh I JUST HATE myself for saying this but... here goes: Yeah, fuck that dead guy. One less sociopathic idiot in our town. Couldn't have happened to a bigger dick. I'm sure he had a nice family & lots of friends, but apparently that wasn't "crazy" enough. And breaking & entering into a private residence as a 22 year old male? Of COURSE you'll be shot. Grow up or die, asshole!
I hope the shooter gets out soon. A few years ago, someone shot a thirteen year old burgler in the ass & killed him, too, there were no charges filed! Why here? How about the cop who ran the innocent Christopher Harris' head into the Cinerama. No charges filed! Now that was murder! (You are not forgotten CH!) BTW whatever happened to him, did he die?
Posted by Pmasp on May 10, 2010 at 10:57 PM · Report this
Pmasp 57
#49: "neighbor-victim"? Because this jerkoff is now dead he's identified thus? Cry me a fucking river! Try "Assailant" "Home Invader" "Would-be Rapist" "Creepy-crawler" "Adult child" "Elder abuser" or "Sociopath"
Posted by Pmasp on May 10, 2010 at 11:04 PM · Report this
watchout5 58
Defending your home > saving the life of someone who's intentionally breaking and entering into a home they know isn't theirs.
I'm all for saving the life of everyone, society forced the criminal to become a criminal cause there's no jobs anymore, blah blah blah, but if you're going to be a dick don't expect society to treat you like a king. This intruder deserves nothing, and hindsight being 20/20 it might be that justice was really served. How many more homes was this guy going to break into? How many did he already try? Why was he stupid enough to break into the home of someone who owns a gun? If he had any brains about his chosen line of profession he should have thought about these things before doing something desperate. Maybe his line wasn't "chosen" but I don't see anything wrong with shooting a home invader. Threatening or not, letting him run away is no different than asking him to try again, and plan better next time. You show no remorse, you're going to get none.
Posted by watchout5 on May 10, 2010 at 11:47 PM · Report this
Roma 59
Well, there's one asshole who's not going to be breaking into any more homes. Too bad the 72-year-old guy didn't shoot and kill the asshole while he was still in his house.
Posted by Roma on May 11, 2010 at 12:07 AM · Report this
Fearing the worst is not an excuse to seriously wound or kill someone. It may "feel" like justification, but it isn't. It's laughable really, if it wasn't so malignant, this projection by the "shoot them all and let god sort them out" crowd, of their worst pulp fiction nightmares onto each and every person who dares to cross the designated line in the sand uninvited.

Our legal system (by centuries-old precendant, no less) insists that an appropriate use of force is one that's proportionate to the threat. Sorry, you don't get carte blanche, not even in your home at 3am. Unfair? Try to consider what society would be like if every fear, any fear, could be answered by deadly force. Right. If you are prone to react violently when scared, don't own a gun. Maybe making this poor dead fool into some kind of monster who deserved his fate, as some of the posts above do, is comforting, but without real evidence of an imminent threat against yourself or someone else, actually acting on your fantasy of endangerment endangers everyone.

Anyway, off to jail with this shooter.

Posted by Edward on May 11, 2010 at 2:12 AM · Report this
61 Comment Pulled (No) Comment Policy
@13: As a gun owner, it is the 72-year-old's responsibility - AS A GUN OWNER - to know when it is appropriate to fire his weapon in self defense. If he is unaware of when it is or is not appropriate to use his gun WHICH HE OWNS, then he shouldn't have a gun.

Period. End of story. This is a news report about an irresponsible, dangerous old man with a gun. Responsible gun owners know the rules and how to use their weapons. This old man did not.
Posted by RobotRevolution on May 11, 2010 at 8:22 AM · Report this
Josh Bomb 63
@57: there is ZERO evidence that the dead man shot is the same man that the 72 year old thought was breaking into his house. he is a neighbor. perhaps while unloading his gun in an residential apartment complex, he struck an innocent bystander, asshole.
Posted by Josh Bomb on May 11, 2010 at 10:15 AM · Report this
Geni 64
Something about this story just stinks to high heaven. Too many pieces missing.
Posted by Geni on May 11, 2010 at 3:12 PM · Report this
@43 "What I'm saying is that when you encounter a dark figure in the dead of night lurking in the shadows, you don't know if it's some meth-head jackass just ripping you off or something else, like a serial rapist, for instance."

Or a family member. This "it's a dark, menacing shadow; better git mah gun!" mentality is exactly why you're more likely to kill a family member than a burgler/rapist/etc.

And btw, if you shoot someone in your house then you can make the claim of self defense but if you're shooting at someone as they're running away then you're just a trigger happy asshole with a sever case Bronson-itis; too much of a fucking sissy to join the police force but you still want to shoot the "bad guys."
Posted by bassplayerguy on May 11, 2010 at 4:34 PM · Report this
J-Haxx 66
Anyone else notice in the updated story that the police say there was no evidence the shooter's home had been broken into? Older man heard something, got confused maybe, and took four shots at a guy outside his house - a guy who LIVES in the apartment complex.

Guns, right to defend my house, EVIL burgler.....blah blah blah blah blah blah
Posted by J-Haxx on May 11, 2010 at 7:27 PM · Report this
@ 66 If there's no finger prints in the house or any other indication that the house was broken into then the old guy is pretty much fucked.
Posted by bassplayerguy on May 11, 2010 at 7:31 PM · Report this
venomlash 68
Yeesh, what's wrong with people. The right thing to do there was to fire a few rounds into the air; scares him shitless but doesn't give the coroner more work. These kinds of stories just demonstrate that most people should not have guns.

@53: The fact that you talk about killing and shoot-em-up shit so much demonstrates that you obviously don't have the slightest bit of killer instinct. Please, stop trying to compensate for your little wiener.
Posted by venomlash on May 12, 2010 at 12:45 AM · Report this
The right thing to do was to stop once the intruder left the home. Shooting into the air, is not responsible and there isn't a need at that point to scare the guy as he already left. Now you have to at that point stay alert and you should be on the phone with 911 but guns are there to scare people, or to wound people. They are there to stop a threat, they are deadly force utilized when there is an immediate threat to your or other lives. I applaud the owner for being prepared but the goal is to use the firearm as little as possible and to know and respect boundaries and laws (unlike the original perpetrator)
Posted by murph on May 12, 2010 at 12:10 PM · Report this
No, "woken up", "struggled" and "form" are the most important parts of the story.

The victim was woken up, so was this at night? Was it dark in the part of the house where they "struggled"? Day or night a person isn't going to be fully aware of everything if they've just been woken up and thrown into a fight. Which leads to the last part, the 'fired shots at the intruder's fleeing form'. Imagine you've just been awakened, prepared yourself with a remote control that only has a pause and stop function, came face to face with a giant spider (say somewhere between 5 and 7 feet tall, a HUGE spider) and fought with it. The fight momentarily (as far as you know) stops, you're just relieved to not be currently fighting it, but then you see it's 'form' and being exhausted, scared and probably still disoriented all you want is to not have to fight it again so you point the remote at it and hit the 'stop' button and hope the batteries are fresh.

I'd think a reasonable person (or twelve) could easily agree that the victim feared for his life (it's a giant friggin spider afterall! That kind of thing only happens in the movies! Kind of like violent crime until it happens to you). The whole 'illegal to shoot a person in the back' garbage is just that, garbage spouted by people who don't know any better. A person trying to harm you can turn their back to you for countless reasons. Moving for cover to better fight you from (assuming they are armed)? Retrieving a weapon or alerting others that might be nearby to help finish you? If an attacker is nearby (a doorway/thresh-hold in this case?) they can still be a threat. If the intruder had made it well away from the victim and the victim still shot him, I could see that as excessive, even criminal. If the intruder had ran faster he'd probably still be alive. If he hadn't been a burglarizing and who knows what other types of crime jackass, he would also still be alive.
Posted by Doesthisnamework on May 12, 2010 at 9:28 PM · Report this
so, you folks who think people shouldn't have guns would have preferred it if the 72 year old man, in his own home, had been robbed, beaten, killed?
Posted by required on May 13, 2010 at 7:07 PM · Report this
"Yeesh, what's wrong with people. The right thing to do there was to fire a few rounds into the air; scares him shitless but doesn't give the coroner more work. These kinds of stories just demonstrate that most people should not have guns."


With your statement, you just demonstrated that you are among those that should not own a gun. If you knew anything about responsible gun ownership/handling, you would know that firing into the air, aka "a warning shot" is very dangerous and against the law.
Posted by tacosalad on May 14, 2010 at 12:17 PM · Report this
You never know until you experience something similar what you will do. I had a man kicking my bumper, swearing at me, and banging on my window in day light. Who knows if he thought I was someone else or he was on drugs. I didn't have my cell phone with me. I used my GPS and put it to my ear to make him think I had a phone. He screamed at me thinking I was calling the police. When he'd turned his back I went to the store to use their phone. He left then. The police came shortly thereafter. I am a female, had a gun in the car, have 3-gun permits and I'm a former police officer. I chose not to use my weapon. If it was the dead of night and there was nothing around, the scenario may have turned out completely different. You just do not know until you are in the moment.
Posted by Barettababe on November 21, 2010 at 5:11 PM · Report this

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