Mother repels three home invaders with rifle

thc0655
By thc0655 on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - 9:20pm

A Detroit mother repels three home invaders with a rifle:

http://www.thedailysheeple.com/mother-opens-fire-on-home-invaders-to-pro...

Take aways:

1. Most modern doors are just this EASY to breach: no tools, no skill.  Just a few kicks and it gives way. Plan accordingly or fortify your doors.

2. The gun-banners always ask: "Who needs an assault rifle? What legitimate need would any civilian have for an assault rifle?"  Ok, here's another example of a civilian using an "assault rifle" for home defense. It's impossible to tell for sure from this brief news story, but my impression is of a woman with very little in the way of skill at arms. Nevertheless, she knew how to launch rounds down range, and that was enough in this incident, and it would be enough in many situations.  I don't recognize the rifle or it's caliber, but I'm guessing it's a pistol caliber carbine, and pretty cheap.  Can anybody help out here with an identification of the weapon and caliber?

3. When the home invaders initially break into the house through the back door they are verbally warned by the armed mom that she is armed and will shoot. They are not impressed and continue to advance on her. She fires in self defense (but not accurately) and THAT impresses the thugs who pile back out the door. It is true that many armed good guys and gals are not psychologically prepared to use lethal force when the moment of truth arrives. This is also true of many criminals.  We are all hard-wired with powerful inhibitions against killing fellow human beings, and most of us have a very hard time overcoming those inhibitions (at least in the beginning).  The best teacher is experience (unfortunately, because you don't want that kind of experience) but you shouldn't completely trust yourself to quickly and skillfully respond to the first lethal threat against your life with your own use of lethal force. You might hesitate. You might not be able to pull the trigger at all. You might go into brain lock.  Physical training can help, but it's the psychological training that will be most effective in overcoming your natural inhibitions when the time comes to overcome them.  Experienced violent criminals know these things too, and some of them will not be impressed with the sight of your gun or knife.  They will be impressed if you come across convincingly as quite willing to shoot and kill them.  Still, some will not be turned away and have to be put down with lethal force.

4.  The three home invaders had one handgun between them.  The one with the gun has a moment of courage after initiallly retreating into the backyard and decides to go back inside and kill the mother.  However, he's untrained and unskilled.  He drops his gun in the snow, picks it back up, and heads back inside.  The mom fires at him again (inaccurately, again) and that's all the thug can stand.  He runs away once and for all. I don't know how many rounds the mom fired in her first fusillade, but if she had had a revolver she might have been empty when the thug with the handgun came back in the house with his gun drawn. That's a fine reason for having a rifle with a 20 or 30 round magazine, which gun banners also want to prohibit us from owning and using.  It's also a good reason to train on reloading smoothly and quickly with every weapon you do own.

5. What does this confrontation tell us about accuracy and speed in a gunfight?  The Second Law of Gunfighting says, "You can't miss fast enough to win."  The mom prevailed in this situation, but I would have liked her to hit one or more of the home invaders.  Take her time, get a good sight picture, and smoothly pull the trigger.

6. And finally, what does this confrontation teach us about how to store the gun you will depend on to defend your home and your life?  This mom's gun was available to her in the 4-5 seconds it took for the home invaders to kick in her back door.  I don't know where her rifle was stored, but I'm 100% sure it was NOT unloaded and locked in a gun safe.  Think about your own situation. At any moment, could you access your self-defense weapon in less than 4-5 seconds?  How about less than 2?

Did you see any other lessons to be learned here?

Tom

13 Comments

Boomer41's picture
Boomer41
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Defender's Weapon

It looks like a Hi-Point pistol caliber carbine. Not a very high quality weapon but, in this scenario at least, very effective. Could be either 9mm or .45 ACP

I find the fact that it would be described by most gun-banners as an assault weapon a delicious irony. Its black, has a pistol grip and a detachable magazine. Just what you need to repel three thugs who invade your home. But Dianne Feinstein or Chuck Schumer would take it away from this woman in an instant - if they were given the opportunity.

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
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Excellent article and points, thc0655!

Thanks for continuing to share these valuable lessons with us!  I fall short on at least two or three of the points you made, and appreciate you bringing these home-defense considerations to our attention.

MarkM's picture
MarkM
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Good stuff, Tom

Stories like this make me refocus. It is easy to drift when one's life is seemingly "safe". My wife wonders why my weapon is on my side when I am relaxing at home. I will pass this on to her.  Thanks.

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
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Thanks Tom

A much appreciated and thoughtful review of this case and analysis of the issues to think about.  I can see the weak point at our house is our doors and ground floor windows.  ANYONE could come through them.

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
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home

It is very difficult to harden a suburban home with multiple stories IMO. I've thought about it for a while, have vacillated about putting bars on all eight basement casement windows (and a slider). First floor is almost as hard. Given my situation, I'm actually more concerned with theft when away from home after reading about several robberies here so have ordered these, rather than spending $ on a security system. You do what seems prudent.

http://reviews.costco.com/2070/11609936/autochron-autochron-3-pack-wirel...

thc0655's picture
thc0655
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Another armed Detroit woman stops home invasion

Another armed Detroit woman stops a home invasion!  This time the armed assailant gets off one wild shot and is killed by seven shots from the intended victim.

 

BobbyJoe's picture
BobbyJoe
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We own every bullet we fire

The woman's shots missed the thugs and apparently none of her neighbors were hit by any of the bullets. If they were the MSM would have informed us.

Legally we are responsible for every round we fire even the ones that miss (or hits and passes through) the thug attacking us. Tom, do you have any suggestions for the best home defense round for a handgun in a suburban environment? That is, the bullet least likely to escape from a house into the neighborhood?

Consider the following five types of bullets:

Lead Round Nose (LRN - solid lead bullet)
Full Metal Jacket (FMJ - solid lead bullet covered with copper)
Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP - hollow lead bullet covered with
copper)
Expanding Full Metal Jacket (EFMJ -- hollow lead bullet covered
with copper and the hole filled with rubber)
Frangible ammo

These are my thoughts:

LRN and FMJ should not be used for self defense. Even if the bullet hits the intended target it will likely exit the body at high velocity unless it hits bone. These bullets can easily pass through drywall and siding especially if the bullet did not first pass through flesh.

JHP will expand if it hits flesh and will likely stay in the body, but if it fills with cloth (a hit on the thug wearing a heavy coat) or drywall (a miss) it will likely not expand and will act as a FMJ bullet and may escape into the neighborhood.

EFMJ expands if it hits flesh, cloth or drywall and has a greater chance of slowing down and not escaping the house to jeopardize the neighbors.

Frangible ammo will act as a solid if it hits flesh but will disintegrate it of hits a solid surface. Frangible ammo is used by Air Marshals. It is the most expensive of the listed ammo.

I have selected EFMJ (9mm) as my self-defense round but do you think it is worth it to purchase some Frangible ammo?

Also if a person in his home fires at an attacking thug in self-defense and hits an innocent bystander, obviously there is civil liability but do you know if there is also criminal liability such as an involuntary manslaughter charge? Would it matter if the bullet first hit the thug before it hit the bystander as opposed to being a clean miss? Could a prosecutor argue that a person whose shot missed the thug but hit an innocent bystander is criminally negligent because he chose not to get the proper training to handle a weapon under stress?

Tom, I don't know if you can answer the legal questions but I wanted to raise the issue. The happy ending for the woman in the story may not had been so happy if any of her missed shots had hit a neighbor.

thc0655's picture
thc0655
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Legalities

I'm not a lawyer, just a police Sgt. So take what I say from that perspective: not legal advice, just the opinion of someone who's been in a lot of court rooms.

If you're in a self-defense shooting, you should expect to be sued in civil court. (If you're NOT sued, you can have a celebration for your good luck.)  Expect to be sued no matter how clear cut your justification was.  This is true of LEO's (law enforcement officers) as it is of civilians.  That's just the nature of lawyers and the American judicial system.  Being cleared of criminal charges will help your civil case, but that's no guarantee of not being sued (the burden of proof is lower for civil cases, so you can be cleared in criminal court and still be found liable in the same incident in civil court).  Example: a partner of mine responded to a report of a rape in progress. He arrived to find the rapist vaginally raping the victim on the ground in an alley with the rapist's pants around his ankles.  The officer announced himself and demanded the rapist stop and get up. The rapist got up, pulled his pants up and drew a handgun with which to shoot the officer. Before the rapist could fire, the officer shot him three times.  One of our local, world-class trauma centers saved the rapist's life.  The rapist was found of guilty of rape and firearm offenses (shockingly, he was a convicted felon who could not legally touch a firearm). The rapist, with the help of an ambitious young attorney with little other business, sued the officer and the department for excessive use of force.  The officer was not worried: the City paid his legal fees and would've paid any legal judgment imposed if the City had lost the case.  A civilian in the same situation would've needed a good (expensive) lawyer and possibly paid expert witness testimony. The City won the case.

Therefore, anyone who carries or stores at home a firearm for the purpose of potential self-defense should prepare their minds to only shoot in clear cut lethal force situations and prepare to win any criminal or civil case that arises against them if that nightmare occurs.  Massad Ayoob, in my mind, is the recognized top American expert on the use of lethal force in self-defense. His book In The Gravest Extreme should be read and his instructions followed before you arm yourself.  His training videos and his classes are top flight, especially in this area of law. 

Having said that, I would next say you should get professional training and maintain your proficiency by ongoing training SO YOU DON'T MISS.  "Spray and pray" is a common defensive tactic even among trained "professionals" (cops) in life and death situations.  Train enough to make good hits, even under the effects of an adrenaline dump.  This will greatly reduce your criminal and civil liability under all outcomes, but especially if one of your rounds hits a noncombatant or causes damage to someone else's property.  You'll be less likely to miss and your training and the accuracy of your shots that DID hit the criminal can be used in court to show you were reasonably accurate and well prepared to use your firearm responsibly in self defense.

Whether or not you will face criminal charges depends on a lot of factors, but let's assume for sake of simplicity that your self-defense shooting was clearly justifiable.  The factor most likely to get you arrested and charged ANYWAY is the political climate in the place where you live and in the prosecutor's office itself.  There's not much you can do about an overzealous prosecutor who hates guns and anyone who has one.  All you can do is make sure you are well within the law.  The second most important factor on whether or not you get charged are the things you say and do AFTER your justifiable shooting.  People in clearly justifiable shootings are regularly known to do and say things afterwards that make them look guilty and get them charged.  Ayoob's training, and that of others in the field, should prevent you from making those kind of mistakes.  Example: a homeowner had a violent hand-to-hand struggle in his home with a home invader armed with a handgun.  During the struggle the homeowner was able to reach for his rifle and fire one shot.  The bad guy was near the front door when he was shot and ran outside and collapsed near the door.  Before the police arrived, the nervous homeowner with adrenaline coursing through his veins, dragged the bad guy back inside the house right inside the door where he was initially shot.  The homeowner was worried about how it would look if he shot someone who was outside of his house.  He was charged with murder when the police discovered evidence the body of the deceased had been moved prior to police arrival.

Damage, injury and death caused to innocent bystanders by a victim using a firearm in self defense should normally be charged against the criminal who initiated the action.  For example: if I'm a restaurant manage and you rob my cash register at point of gun and one of my shots at you hits and kills an innocent bystander, you the criminal should be charged with second degree murder (any death that occurs in the course of committing any felony).  There's no guarantee that it WILL be handled that way, but that's the law, and it happens that way most of the time.  Even in that situation you could still be tagged with a civil suit.

Having said all of that, I would say bullet choice is the least important part of the equation when it comes to criminal liability.  Of course, it's more important for civil liability.  In my opinion, lead round nose and full metal jacket are strictly for training purposes, not self defense.  JHP and EFMJ are the only rounds I would use in a self defense handgun.  Frangible ammo, especially in handguns, has limited penetration ability and I would only use it if I could be reasonably sure I would not have to shoot through ANY kind of barrier except indoor clothing.  Air Marshalls carry frangible ammo because they don't want to pierce the plane's thin skin and because they can be reasonably sure they won't have to shoot through hard barriers inside of a plane's cabin.  If you have extra guns laying around, it might be OK to load one with frangible ammo and keep it near your bed so you would have additional confidence you wouldn't overpenetrate inside your home and hit an innocent person.  I don't own or load any of my guns with frangible ammo.

Good questions.  And the Detroit story would've had a much worse ending if the woman had not been armed at all.

Tom

Tycer's picture
Tycer
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Posts: 602
Nay on frangible

Nay on frangible. As stated above, its only intended purpose was airplanes. Do a bit of googling and you will find plenty of reasons why not to use it. It does penetrate drywall easily as one piece. Caliber choice will have a marked difference on projectile choice. 

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
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Posts: 963
state

In many ways, your emotional state might not be as important as your home state, to rephrase what you said. Here in MA, I am always on the verge of spending $400. per year to buy national insurance that helps pay your legal fees if you're forced to use a firearm in self defense. Aside from not wanting to spend the money, I have a sneaking suspicion that in this state, a DA would use my having purchased such insurance as "evidence" that I was planning to shoot someone. The perfect Catch-22 IMO.

CS

Boomer41's picture
Boomer41
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Posts: 132
Thanks thc0655

Your original post and subsequent comments are extremely interesting and very useful. As a police Sgt, your first hand knowledge of just how complex a self-defense shooting can become is invaluable. Thank you for sharing.

 

BobbyJoe's picture
BobbyJoe
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Posts: 5
Thanks for the advice

Tom, I appreciate your lengthy response and also the contribution of others. I'll take your recommendations and in the near term read the book In Gravest Extreme. I will also start a collection of Ayoob's videos. I have seen some of them, but more in a haphazard fashion than in a systematic study mode.

In many locales the legal system is not the friend of the gun owner. As Capesurvivor implied, many times a person is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. A reasonable decision made in good faith can be twisted to look sinister. A prosecutor could argue that the use of hollow points shows blood thirstyness. After all, they are banned for military use and they are designed to cause more tissue damage than FMJ. An uninformed jury may buy the argument. But I am still going to use JHP and EFMJ...and in the worst case, the services of a good attorney. Perhaps the best preemptive legal defense is to move to a state where the political elite are not trying to deny citizens an effective means of self-defense and using prosecutors to send the message that gun ownership is just not worth it.

I whole-heartedly agree with your last sentence: "And the Detroit story would've had a much worse ending if the woman had not been armed at all." Even with the legal jeopardy that attaches to gun ownership, it is still worth it to a have a gun. As the saying goes, it is better to be judged by twelve than be buried by six.

joesxm2011's picture
joesxm2011
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Posts: 259
Ayoob and ACLDN

I entirely agree that Massad Ayoob is the gold standard for training on the legal, moral and ethical issues related to using lethal force in self defense.  His MAG-40 class is not cheap, but it is money well spent.

Mas is on the board of an organization called the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network.  This is a good organization to join.  It has a legal expense fund that is used to help members if they have a justified self defense incident.  They give you good DVD's when you join and more each year.  These cover various important topics.  They also have a monthly journal that you can read for free on their web site.  They also have like-minded affiliated instructors that you might want to take training from.

You can get more details on their site:  http://www.armedcitizensnetwork.org/

You can find Massad Ayoob here:  http://massadayoobgroup.com/

 

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