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WHEN CRI MI NALS FACE

ARMED RESISTANCE
FROM CI TI ZENS
CLAYTON E. CRAMER AND DAVID BURNETT
WHEN CRI MI NALS FACE
ARMED RESISTANCE FROM CI TI ZENS
CLAYTON E. CRAMER AND DAVID BURNETT
An expanded list of defensive gun use cases can be found at
http: //www.cato.org/guns-and-self-defense/.
INSTITUTE
Copyright 2012 by the Cato Institute.
All rights reserved.
Cover design by Jon Meyers.
Printed in the United States of America.
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Executive Summary
The ostensible purpose of gun control legis reducti on, t hey shoul d pause t o consi der how
l ation i s t o r educe fi rearm deaths and i nj ur i es. many cri mes murders, rapes, assaults, robber
The restri ction of access to f i rearms wi l l make i es are thwarted each year by ordi nary persons
crimi nal s unabl e t o use guns t o shoot peopl e. with guns. The esti mates of defensive gun use
Gun control l aws will also reduce the number of range between the tens of thousands to as hi gh
accidental shoot i ngs. Those are the desired ef as two mi l l i on each year.
fects, at least in theory. It is impor t ant , however, This paper uses a collection of news report s
for conscienti ous pol i cymakers to consi der not of self'-defense with guns over an eight-year pe
only the stated goals of gun cont rol regul at i ons, riod to survey the circumst ances and out comes
but the actual results that they produce. of defensive gun uses in Ameri ca.
What would be the effect of depriving ordi Federal and st at e l awmakers of t en oppose
nary, law-abiding citizens from keeping arms repealing or amending laws governing the own
f or self'-defense? One resul t seems certain: t he ership or carrying of guns. That opposition is
l aw-abiding woul d be at a disti nct di sadvantage typically based on assumpt i ons that the average
should cri mi nals acquire guns f rom under citizen is incapable of successfully employing a
ground markets. After all, it is simpl y not possi gun in self'-defense or that possession of a gun
ble for pol ice offi cers to get to every scene where in public will tempt people to violence in "road
they are urgently needed. rage" or other cont ent i ous si tuat i ons. Those as
Outside of cr i mi nol ogy ci rcles, relatively sumpti ons are f al se. The vast maj ori t y of gun
f ew peopl e can reasonably esti mat e how of t en owners are ethical and compet ent. That means
people use guns t o f end of f cr i mi nal at t acks. tens of thousands of cri mes are prevented each
I f pol i cymakers are t r ul y i nt er ested i n h ar m year by ordinary citizens with guns.
Clayton E. Cramer teaches hi story at the College of Western Idaho and is the author of Armed Ameri ca: The
Remarkable Story of How and Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie (Nelson Current, 2007).
David Burnettis the director of public relations for Students for Concealed Carry.
Introduction still l ose hi s or her l i fe but these cases are Even the most
the exception, not the rul e.
vehement
News organi zati ons generally report i n Federal and st at e l awmakers have of t en
c idents i n whi ch c r i mi nal s used guns t o opposed repealing or amending laws gov
advocates of gun
perpetrate thei r cri mes. What t ypi call y goes erning the ownership or carrying of guns. control have to
unreported are instances in whi ch or di nary That opposition i s t ypically based on as
acknowledge
citizens use guns t o put a st op t o cr i mi nal sumpti ons that the average citizen is incapa
attacks. To be sure, if a cri mi nal i s actual l y ble of successfully employing a gun in self
that Americans
shot, the i nci dent may very well be covered, defense or that possession of a gun in publ i c
use guns for self
but the vast maj or i t y of t he def ensive uses will t empt t he average citizen to vi ol ence in
defense.
of guns do not i nvol ve shoot i ngs. Feari ng "road rage" or ot her cont ent i ous si tuat i ons.
for thei r l i ves, most cri mi nal s fl ee the scene Thi s paper f i nds t hat such cases represent
once they realize that t hei r i nt ended t arget an exceedingly small mi nority of gun uses
i s an armed ci t i zen. Wi t h no shots, no i nj u by otherwise law-abiding ci t i zens and that a
ries, and no suspect i n cust ody, news orga great number of t r agedies murders, rapes,
nizati ons typi call y do not r epor t such i nci assaults, robberies have been thwarted by
dents, or t here i s onl y a t erse paragraph i n self'-defense gun uses.
t he newspaper. In t hi s mi l i eu, where cri mi This study will begin with an overview
nal gun use makes the evening news, but of the academi c st udi es t hat have t r i ed t o
self'-defense cases get littl e or no coverage, it estimate t he f r equency of d ef ensive gun
is understandable why many people would uses. It wi l l t hen exami ne r ecent l egal i s
develop negative opi ni ons concerning guns sues and trends surroundi ng the law of self
and gun use. defense, such as the enact ment of " st and
Thi s paper exami nes i nst ances of gun your-ground" l aws. The st udy wi l l t hen
use i n sel f'-defense i n or der t o p r ovi de a explore the manner and ci r cumst ances i n
better under st andi ng o f th ei r c h ar act er. which people use guns against criminals.
When ordi nary Ameri cans use guns i n sel f Finally, the Appendix will provide scores of
defense, what is the nature of that use? How documented examples in whi ch ordi nary
f requentl y do t hese events occur and what people have used guns to defend themselves.
are the consequences? These are impor t ant
questions, but t hey are also di f f i cul t t o an
swer. The survey data on def ensive gun use How Many Defensive Uses?
i s cont roversial. Some met hods of r ecord
ing or estimat i ng the i nci dence of gun usage A recurri ng cr i mi nol ogi cal question f or
underestimate the number of defensive gun t he last several decades has been how of t en
usage, while others may overstate it. Americans use guns f or sel f'-defense. Even
This paper makes use of a news report t he most vehement advocates of gun con
gathering pr oj ect t o expl ore i n mor e det ai l trol have to acknowl edge that Ameri cans use
how Ameri cans use guns in self'-defense. The guns for self'-defense. Because of the clear im
collection of n ews r eport s of sel f ' -defense plication for gun cont rol l aws, a number of
shootings over an eight-year period provides criminologists have prepared studies of de
a useful survey of the circumstances and out fensive gun use incidence over the years with
comes of def ensive gun uses. Some shoot startli ngl y di f f erent results. The most wi dely
i ngs are treated di f f erentl y t han t hey woul d known is the study by Gary Kleck and Mare
have been a few years ago because of recent Gertz, compl eted in the 1990s, when viol ent
changes to state laws. Some shoot i ngs have crime rates were higher than t hey are today.
been considered legal by the aut hor i t i es yet That study found t hat there were somewhere
are unwise or f ool i sh. And some def ensive between 830,000 and 2.45 mi l l i on def ensive
gun uses are unsuccessful the defender may gun uses per year in the Uni ted States.
Another promi nent st udy was the federal sequence of the questi ons posed may cause
government' s Nati onal Cri me Vi ct i mi zat i on some vi ct i ms t o not r epor t def ensive gun
Survey (NCVS), which also asked if victims of uses. For exampl e, the survey asks, "Have
crimes had used a gun i n sel f-defense. That you been the vi cti m of a cr i me?" If you an
study found t hat t here were about 108,000 swer, "yes," you will be asked about defensive
defensive gun uses per year. The Nat i onal gun uses. If you answer, "no," you wi l l not
Survey of Pr i vat e Ownershi p of Fi r ear ms be asked that questi on. I t i s pl ausi bl e t hat
(NSPOF) was performed in 1994. It was con a respondent who has defended himself or
ducted partly because of widespread skepti herself wi t h a gun, but was not i nj ur ed or
cism about t he number of def ensive gun robbed, will answer, "no," to the "vi cti m of a
uses reported i n the Kl eck and Gertz st udy. crime" questi on. A respondent who defend
Still, the NSPOF study found approximately ed someone else with a gun is also unl i kely to
1.5 million defensive gun uses. r egard hi msel f as a crime vi ct i m. The poi nt
The academi c researchers who conduct here is that there are defensive gun use situ
ed the NSPOF survey, Philip Cook and Jens ations that may not show up i n the NCVS.
Ludwig, not ed t hat t he nu mber s were so With r egard t o t h e NCVS, r esearchers
The National
high as to be i mpl ausible: the number of have matched up sur vey respondents wi t h
r apes prevented by women armed wi t h guns local police reports. This matching effort
Survey of Private exceeded the number of rapes reported by shows t hat vi ct i ms appear t o f or get and
Ownership of
the NCVS, and "NSPOF esti mates also sug thus under r epor t o n t he N CVS crimes
gest that 130,000 cri mi nal s are wounded or t hat t hey reported t o t he l ocal pol i ce. Thi s
Firearms found
killed by non-law enforcement civilian gun problem i s most pr onounced among Af r i
approximately defenders. That number al so appears com can Ameri can and poor vi ct i ms and these
1.5 million
pletely out of l i ne wi t h ot her, more rel i abl e are the members of our society who are most
statistics on the number of gunshot cases." likely to be victimized. This underreporting
defensive gun
For those reasons, Cook and Ludwi g arri ved also means that such vi ct i ms wi l l not have
uses per year.
at the conclusion t hat Ameri cans were exag the chance to answer "yes" to t he questi on
gerating or falsifying defensive gun uses in about using a gun i n self'-defense.
the surveys. At one time it was quite common for gun
The high-end fi gures on defensive gun control advocates to use the very low num
uses may wel l suf f er f rom exaggeration or ber of r ecorded j ust i f i abl e homi ci des wi t h
outri ght l i es. In addi t i on, t here is the prob guns as evidence that there were very few self
l em of "t el escopi ng": di d t hat t r aumat i c i n defense shooti ngs. The mai n pr obl em wi t h
cident happen 11 months ago, or 13 mont hs t hat l ine of reasoning is that i t onl y i ncl udes
ago? If the survey asks, "i n the l ast year," i t t hose defensive gun uses where a citizen ki l l s
is very easy for a respondent to get the exact a crimi nal . It does not tell us anythi ng about
number of mont hs conf used. Even mi sre i nstances where the cri mi nal was wounded
membering such an i nci dent by one mont h (but did not die), where the victim held an
could infl at e the defensive gun use count by attacker for pol i ce, or where the brandi shi ng
more than 8 percent. The surveys that show of a gun caused the cri mi nal to fl ee.
defensive gun uses on the low end may have Another pr obl em i s t hat t he dat a gat h
problems as well. The NCVS, for example, ered on j ust i fi able homi cides employs a
asks questi ons about cr i mes the vi cti m ex very strict defi ni t i on of what i s "j ust i f i abl e":
perienced in t he l ast si x mont hs. The same where one person kills another person to pre
telescoping problem can occur here: Was the vent a felony, and the action i s lawf ul . That
crime 5 months ago, or 7? narrow defi ni t i on does not i ncl ude excusable
Still anot her pr obl em wi t h t h e NCVS homi ci de. Many st ates have two categori es
numbers on def ensive gun uses concerns of excusable homi ci de. The first category is a
t he sequence of t he survey questi ons. The homi cide "commi t t ed by accident and mi s
fortune, or i n doi ng any ot her l awful act by justi fi abl e or excusable homi ci de, will not be
l awful means, with usual and or di nary cau moved i n t he Uni f or m Cr i me Report s dat a
t ion, and wi t hout any unl awful i nt ent. " For f rom the homi ci de col umn t o the j ust i f i abl e
example, that woul d be the case where a gun homi cide col umn.
owner does everything ri ght about hi s target How do we find out how many such cases
shooti ng, but anot her person wanders i nt o exist? In 1989, Time magazine published an
t he mi ddl e of t he gun r ange and gets shot . article called "Death by Gun." It i ncl uded
In other words, it is an accidental death. photographs and i nf or mat i on about every
But the second category of excusable ho person killed by a gun i n one week in the
micide is so similar to justifiable homicide United St ates: May 1- 7, 1989. There were
t hat one may not i mmedi at el y see the di f 464 gun deaths reported i n t he ar t i cl e. Of
f erence: "When commi t t ed by acci dent and t hese, 216 were sui ci des, 14 were i ni t i al l y
misfort une, i n t he heat of passi on, upon reported as non- l aw enf orcement defensive
any sudden and suf f i ci ent pr ovocati on, or homicides, 13 were police justifiable homi
upon a sudden combat, when no undue ad cides, and 22 accidents. T h at l ef t 199 mur
vantage is taken, nor any dangerous weapon ders and mansl aught ers.
used, and when the ki l l i ng i s not done i n a The Time arti cl e, li ke t he FBI ' s data col
cruel or unusual manner." I f a st ranger ran l ection, showed t he nu mber of d ef ensi ve
up to you on t he street, knocked you t o t he gun uses that resul ted i n a deat h based on
ground, and you pulled out a gun and shot initial reports. A year later, Time followed up
t he attacker, that r esponse woul d l i kely be on the mur der cases, to see how the cour t s
ruled an excusable homi ci de. It woul d not be handled them. I nstead of 14 self'-defense or
a justifi able homi ci de, because you were not "justi f i able" homi ci des, there were now 28.
in danger of death or great bodily harm al This was because 14 of the "cri mes" report
though that mi ght not have been obvi ous at ed in " Deat h by Gun" wer e now f ound t o
the time. Excusable homi ci de laws recognize be justi fi abl e homi ci des. At least 43 mur der
t hat i n t he ci r cumst ance of " sudden com cases had stil l not gone t o t r i al , and i t was
bat" one does not have t i me t o make t hat possible that some of t hose woul d be found
The FBI's
subtle disti nct i on. "justifiable." Cl early, the FBI's justifiable
The FBI' s Uni f or m Cr i me Report s al so homi cide data i s not par t i cul arl y meani ng
justifiable
signifi cantl y overstate murders and understate f ul f or under st andi ng def ensive gun uses
homicide data is
defensive gun uses. If the pol i ce i nvestigate t hat resul t i n death and is useless for un
a homi cide and ask the di st ri ct at t or ney t o derstanding the vastly l arger number of de
not particularly
charge someone with mur der or mansl augh f ensive gun uses that do not resul t i n death. meaningful for
t er, that i s r epor t ed as a mur der or man Just as clearly, a better data set is needed.
understanding
slaughter t o t h e Un i f or m Cr i me Repor t s
program. But di st r i ct at t or neys wi l l of t en
defensive gun
i nvestigate a case i n t he weeks af t erward, The Data Set
uses that result
f ind evidence that the ki l l i ng was justi f i abl e
in death and
or excusable homi ci de, and drop the case en Even if there were reasonably trustwort hy
tirely. statistics about the number of defensive gun is useless for
Further, some of those charges are found uses what would t hose numbers say about
understanding
t o be j ust i f i abl e or excusable homi ci de by the nature of those events? Were guns really
judges and juries during a trial. This is very necessary for civi l i ans to defend t hemselves?
the vastly larger
often the case i n spousal abuse si t uat i ons Or wer e t hey j ust t h ere and the r esul t s number of
where a woman defends herself or her chil would have been the same, even if the victi m
defensive gun
dren from an estranged husband. A ki l l i ng did not have a gun?
initially charged as a murder or nonnegli At one ti me, it was wi dely believed that a
uses that do not
gent homi ci de t hat i s l ater reclassified as a fairly large percentage of defensive gun uses
result in death.
Many defensive might be cri mi nals defending themselves State Laws Vary about
gun uses never
f rom ot her cr i mi nal s: mar i j uana gr owers
Defensive Gun Use
protecting t hei r cr ops, gang members de
make the news.
f ending t hemselves from ot her gang mem Before specifi c cases are exami ned, i t i s
After all, "Man bers, a f al l i ng out bet ween members of a import ant t o not e that t here is considerable
Scares away
crimi nal ent erpri se. That was onl y specul a variation f rom st at e to state concerning t he
t ion. For a long ti me, there was not much i n lawful use of guns for self'-defense. Some of
Burglar, No
the way of actual data. t his is because of di f f erences in the stat ut es
Shots Fired" is
Since the survey dat a has severe l i mi t a with respect to when l et hal f orce is permi s
not particularly
t ions wi t h r espect t o def ensive gun uses, sible. State courts have also i nt erpreted the
collecting account s of sel f'-defense as they statutes i n ways t hat ar e somet i mes nar
newsworthy. are reported i n news out l ets may be a better r ower t han t he act ual t ext of t he st at ut e.
method of assessing the f requency and na For example, a Californi a statute says deadly
t ure of self'-defense with f i r earms. The dat a force may be used against a fleeing felon.
set supporting this paper is derived from a The Californi a Supreme Court, however, has
collection of news stories publ i shed between narrowed that st at ut e so that i t i s unl awf ul
October 2003 and November 2011. to use lethal force against a robber where no
There i s a sel ection bi as pr obl em wi t h weapon was used, and wher e t he amount
the method of gatheri ng news stories. Many taken invol ved petty cash.
defensive gun uses never make t he news. In a number of the cataloged cases, a per
Sometimes t hat i s because the person us son originally charged with a crime is later
ing a gun i n self'-defense saw no need to call released, as a result of pret ri al i nvestigati on,
the police he or she scared off the bad guy. action by a grand jury or trial jury, or an ap
I n some cases, the vi cti m mi ght not want peal. Of course, there are no doubt def en
t o expl ai n t o t he pol i ce t hat he has a gun, sive gun uses that were ori gi nally charged as
perhaps because he is a felon, or perhaps crimes which di d not make i t i nt o t he dat a
because he l i ves i n a j ur i sdi ct i on wi t h ver y set simply because there was no news cover
restrictive gun cont rol l aws. Someti mes the age of this change, or it di d not come to our
police do get call ed, but t he of f i cers do not attenti on. In a few instances, we have includ
f ind t he ci r cumst ances suf f i ci entl y i mpor ed cases where the i ni t i al news reports were
t ant to i ssue a press release. After all, "Man clearly of l egi t i mat e defensive gun uses, but
Scares away Burgl ar, No Shot s Fi red" i s not where law enforcement or a prosecutor chose
particul arl y newswort hy, unl ess you live in a to charge a gun owner. Those are relatively
very small town. rare; when there was any doubt as to whether
I n spi t e of t he sel ection bi as pr obl em, a use of a gun mi ght be cri mi nal , i t was not
t here i s one enor mous advant age t o t hi s i ncluded i n our l i st of news account s unt i l
model of gathering data: it provides a rich such t i me as t here was conf i r mat i on t hat
set of i nf or mat i on about mot i ves, ci rcum the defensive gun use was deemed lawful . In
stances, victi ms, and cri mi nal s. It al so pr o only a handful of cases did later investiga
vides a suf f i ci entl y l arge dat abase (al most tion t urn an i ni t i al defensive gun use i nto a
5,000 i nci dents), randoml y selected, so crimi nal charge. The most common scenario
t hat some concl usi ons about t he nat ure of is that law enforcement of f i cers chose not to
armed self'-defense in America can be drawn. prosecute based on the evidence at the scene
Best of all, whatever the defi ci encies of news and testi mony of wi t nesses, but referred the
reporti ng, the model i s not compl et el y de case to a grand j ur y f or r evi ew. It i s the ex
pendent on t he honesty or accuracy of t he ception, rather than the rul e, that the grand
r espondent unlike some of t he quest i ons j ury f i nds cause for pr osecution where l aw
raised with respect to defensive gun use sur enforcement did not. Indeed, it is more likely
veys. t hat someone wi l l be arrested and t hen r e
leased after addi t i onal f acts i n t he case are Three states do not require a license to car
discovered. ry a concealed firearm: Vermont, Alaska, and
Arizona. Vermont has never had a concealed
weapon permi t l aw. Alaska and Ari zona both
The Laws on went from having a compl ete prohi bi t i on on
Concealed Weapons
concealed carry t o a "shal l -i ssue" concealed
license system, and then they both abol i shed
America has a history of concealed weap the requi rement f or a l i cense. (Alaska and
on permi t l aws that i s both curi ous and fas Arizona still issue concealed carry licenses to
cinati ng. I n br i ef , t he l aws r egul at i ng t he their residents, but that is essentially to allow
concealed carrying of deadly weapons first them to carry concealed in ot her states that
appeared in the period 1813-1840, primar recognize Alaska or Arizona licenses.) z
ily in the southwest states. They were part of There ar e ar gument s f or an d a g ai nst
a broad and generally fut i l e att empt t o sup what gun ri ghts activi sts call "consti t ut i onal
press dueling. As with many social problems, carry" allowing anyone who may lawfully
l egislating cont rary t o the popul ar mor al i t y possess a firearm t o al so carry i t concealed.
of the society only shifted the problem from The argument f or t hi s i s t hat i f t he r i ght
There has been
dueling to brawl i ng it did not solve it. t o bear arms i s t r ul y a const i t ut i onal ri ght ,
In the period after the Civil War, the states then any l i censi ng, even "shal l -i ssue" l aws, a dramatic
that had completely prohibited concealed i nfri nges on t hat r i ght . No one woul d con
expansion of
carry, with a few exceptions, such as for trav sider it acceptable to require a license before
the number of
elers, revised the laws to requi re a l i cense to you could print and di stribute a book, be
carry concealed weapons. Li cense issuance cause freedom of t he pr ess i s prot ected by people licensed to
was compl etely di screti onary and common the First Amendment . Woul d anyone argue
carry concealed
ly racially biased. It remained that way i n for i nst ruct i on bef ore a person coul d be al
the vast maj ori t y of st ates unti l t he 1980s, lowed to exercise his freedom of speech? Not
weapons.
when Fl ori da began a movement t oward a everyone understands libel law; perhaps law
nondiscreti onary permi t system. Ov er t he makers could enact a rule requi ri ng aut hor s
past 30 years, there has been a dramatic ex to take a six-hour class on the legal compl ex
pansion of the number of people licensed ities of libel and obscenity.
to carry concealed weapons and, as will be Gun cont rol pr oponent s argue that mi s
examined below, many cases where those li use of a firearm in a public place (whether
censed have made local headl i nes. There re i ntenti onal or acci dental ) presents a publ i c
mains consi derable vari ation f r om st at e t o safety hazard. A negligent or improper use
state with respect to how concealed weapon of a firearm may result i n a severe or perma
permits are issued. Some states require ap nently disabling injury, or death. Supporters
plicants to compl ete a trai ning course with a of licensing argue that shal l -issue concealed
live fire test before issuance of a permit, some l icensing laws create only a mi nor hi ndr ance
require classroom instruct i on i n deadly force to carrying a concealed weapon. Even the li
l aw or basic fi rearms safety classes, and oth censing cost i s l ess signi f i cant t han i t f i r st
ers require only background checks and fin appears si nce the cheapest handguns st i l l
gerprints. Some st ates recognize concealed cost more than a license in most states.
carry permits issued by all other states; some Another ar gument agai nst l i censing i s
recognize permits issued by other states only t hat t hose who are at t he most si gni f i cant
i f the permi t was issued to a resident of t he risk of f i rearms misuse (convicted felons,
other state. Unsurpri si ngly, many states will t he ment all y i l l , t hose wi t h seri ous al cohol
only recognize permi ts issued by other states or drug addi ction probl ems) are already
if their issuance standards are comparable or prohibited from possession of a firearm by
even more demandi ng. both st at e and f ederal l aw. The l i cense re
quirement onl y di sarms t hose who are not the data set do not i nvol ve concealed carry
a threat. Whil e largely true, it is by no means licensees; the typical i nci dent i nvol ves a per
clear that t hi s i s al ways true. The l i censi ng son defending himself on residential prem
process, and i n many st at es, the t r ai ni ng i ses, not i n publ i c spaces. Before turni ng t o
requirement, may act as a mi l d di scourage t hose inci dents, i t wi l l be useful t o br i efl y
ment for persons who may lawfully possess consider the "castle doctri ne." Thi s doct ri ne
a firearm but because of temper, psychi at holds that a cri mi nal who at t empt s to f orce
ric probl ems, or al cohol i sm, are at gr eater entry i nto a home is presumed to i nt end t he
risk of mi suse. Of course, this mi l d di scour occupants great bodil y harm and the occu
agement will not stop a person who is deeply pants may therefore use deadly force against
commi t t ed to carrying a concealed weapon. such an int r uder.
Especially i n t he western st ates, such as I t is di f f i cul t t o cl early di sti ngui sh whi ch
Idaho and Ari zona, the so-called "open car of the def ensive gun uses wi t hi n t he dat a
ry" of a f i r earm even in ci t i es is not onl y set benefi t f r om cast l e doct r i ne l aws, but
l egal, but const i t ut i onal l y pr ot ect ed. I n i t is not at al l di f f i cul t t o i dent i f y gun uses
such states, no l i cense is requi red to openl y t hat i nvol ve resi dential bur gl ari es and t he
carry. In those jurisdictions, requiring a li more fri ght eni ng home i nvasi ons. The data
cense to carry concealed creates an incenti ve set shows 488 defensive shooti ngs invol vi ng
to carry a gun openly which many people residential burglaries many of which dem
consider to be unnecessarily provocative. onstrate the unsettl i ng reality that no home
An addi t i onal ar gument f o r l i c ensi ng i s trul y safe from i nt r uders. Consi der j ust a
i s t hat i t h el ps pol i ce of f i cers det ermi ne few examples.
whether a person they encounter is disqual i On June 28, 2010, a South Carol i na farm
fi e f rom possessing a firearm. A police offi er returned from selling homegrown pro
cer can verify that a license is currently val i d, duce to f i nd an i nt r uder at hi s home. The
and that the possessor may lawfully pos f armer hel d t he cri mi nal at gunpoi nt unt i l
sess a firearm. The onl y al t ernat ive strategy authori t i es arrived.
would be for states to mark dr i vers' licenses On April 15, 2010, Roger Dale Ramsey, 63,
or state ident i f i cat i on cards wit h a "no f i r e of Shelby, Nort h Car ol i na, ret urned home
arms" fl ag. That , however, woul d cr eate a around mi dni ght . Ramsey heard noises in the
different set of c o nst i t ut i onal quest i ons. house and then saw "a suspect step out of
Many of t hese same critics of concealed car his bedroom i nt o the di ni ng room." Ramsey
ry li censing t ake exception t o l aw enf orce pointed a gun, and or dered the i nt r uder t o
ment knowi ng who is armed and who is not; halt. Instead, the burglar "l eapt out the bed
under most cur r ent l i censing systems, l aw room wi ndow on the east side and ran."
enforcement of f i cers can trace a car owner' s
The "castle
On February 9, 2010, a Modesto, Cal i
registration and determi ne if the owner is li f orni a woman came home i n t he mi ddl e of
doctrine" holds censed to carry a concealed firearm. Thi s can t he mor ni ng and di scovered evi dence of a
that a criminal
be both a benefi t and a det r i ment ; dur i ng burglary. She armed herself, confronted the
r outine t r af f i c st ops, an of f i cer can know burglar, and because "she feared for her safe
who attempts
who is armed before ever approaching the t y" f i red one shot apparently not hi t t i ng
to force entry car. (Some states even require permi t hol d the intruder who fled the scene.
into a home
ers to i nf or m a pol i ce of f i cer, upon bei ng On September 2, 2009, a 13-year-old boy
stopped, of the presence of a firearm.) i n Ari zona conf ront ed burgl ars entering hi s
is presumed
home. When two j uvenile burglars forced
to intend the
entry through the back door, the boy ran to
"Castle Doctrine" Laws a neighbor's house. Before the police arrived,
occupants great
the boy's father had ret urned t o t he house,
bodily harm. Most of t h e s el f ' -defense shoot i ngs i n grabbed his gun, and took one of the bur
glars into custody. The police, who arrived such i nt r uders are not pl anni ng on l eavi ng The far more
shortly thereafter, arrested the other burgl ar witnesses so perhaps the best perspective
frightening
as he jumped from t he second story. on the circumstances of a defensive shooti ng
cases are the
On January 21, 2009, Gabriel Flores, 17, is in light of what could have happened. Here
"kicked in the door of a home" i n Dal las, we have 1,227 i nci dents far more than t he so-called "home
Texas, and provoked a deadly response. While 488 incidents involving residential burglar
invasions,"
Flores was inside, the adult son of one of the i es. It is l i kel y t hat t hi s i s because home i n
homeowners happened to show up to drop vasions are more dramati c stories of the sort
where those
off a newspaper. The son conf ronted Fl ores. that attract media coverage.
forcing entry are
Flores drew a gun and f i red at the son but Sometimes the i nt r uder i s a rel ative or a
t he son, who has a concealed handgun l i friend with serious problems. On May 22,
fully aware that
cense, drew his gun, shooting and ki l l i ng 2010, Gary D. Parker, 46, had been attempt the residents
Flores. i ng to break i nt o the house of Jonathan and
are home,
On April 6, 2004, a Spokane, Washing Ashley Townson wi t h an ax. Jonathan was
but don't care.
ton burgl ary also i nvol ved shot s f i red but Parker's stepson, and Parker was t hr eaten
no apparent injuries. Two burglars kicked in ing to behead Ashley with the ax. Parker had
a door of a rural f ar mhouse but then beat been "confront at i onal , t hreatening and bel
a hasty retreat when the homeowner f i red a l igerent wi t h hi s nei ghbors for some t i me"
shot from a .22 semi-aut omati c target pi stol before this incident. Jonathan Townson shot
over their heads. Parker, killing him with a single bullet to the
Of course, not every defensive gun use is head 28
a success. On October 8, 2005, Robert Col e More typically, the home intruder inci
man, 42, of Ho ust on, Texas, l ost hi s l i f e dents involve strangers. Some are the classic,
while defending a famil y member's home "My car broke down; can I use your phone?"
from a burglar. Upon hearing the break-in,
gambit. On May 8, 2010, a woman knocked
Coleman grabbed a gun, went to the house, on the door of Scot t and Penny Kni ght ' s
and conf ront ed the j uveni l e suspect. "Af t er home at 1: 30 a. m., cl ai mi ng t hat she was
an argument, shots were fired and Col eman having car t roubl e, and needed to use thei r
was struck once i n the head. He died at t he phone. Scott Kni ght "became suspicious and
scene, police said." Bearing arms is clearly fetched a.22-caliber pistol." When he opened
not al ways the sol ut i on t o every i nt r usi on the door, the woman and two armed men
and vi ol ent conf r ont at i on. Of t ent i mes t he tried to f orce thei r way i nsi de. In t he ensu
only good t hat can be f ound i n a def ensive i ng gunf i ght , t he woman was f at al l y shot
gun use gone wrong i s the knowledge of t hrough t he t hr oat . The ot her t wo r obbers
what coul d have happened and what was fled the scene.
averted. On May 4, 2009, two masked men wi t h
The vast maj ori t y of t hese defensive gun guns burst into a home in College Park, Geor
uses seem to be like this inci dent f rom Janu gia, while a birthday party was in progress.
ary 2, 2006, in Denver, Colorado. Michael Ten people, some of t hem col l ege students,
Gadbois, 22, allegedly tried to ki ck i n an were i nside t he apar t ment . The i nt r uders
elderly coupl e' s door at 4:15 a.m. Af ter t he separated the men from the women. One of
homeowners tol d Gadboi s to go away sever the intruders started counti ng his bull ets; the
al times, they "fi red a warni ng shot over the other asked how many bullets he had. "He
suspect's head." When police arrived, Gad said he had enough." It does not t ake much
bois was "hiding in some bushes." imagination to f i gure out that there were go
The far more fri ght eni ng cases are the so i ng to be no wi t nesses. At thi s poi nt , one of
called "home invasions," where those forcing the students managed to reach into hi s back
their way are fully aware that the residents are pack, pull out a gun, and shoot one of the in
home, but don' t care. It seems a fair bet that t ruders, who then fled the apartment wound
ed. The student then ran into the room where I f the accused di d not p r ovoke t he
t he ot her i nt r uder, Cal vi n Lavant , 23, was assault, and had at the time reasonable
starting to rape a young woman. The armed grounds to believe, and in good faith
student tol d the naked woman to get down believed, that t he deceased i nt ended
and shot Lavant, who t hen j umped out t he to take his life, or do him great bodily
window. harm, he was not obl i ged t o r et r eat,
nor to consider whether he could safely
retreat, but was ent i t l ed t o st and hi s
"Stand-Your-Ground" ground, and meet any attack made upon
Laws
him with a deadly weapon, in such
way and wi t h such f orce as, under al l
Closely related to t he castle doct ri ne are t he circumstances, he, at the moment ,
f airl y r ecent st at ut es t hat h ave r emoved honestly believed, and had reasonable
t he so-called " dut y t o r e t r eat " f r om th e grounds t o bel i eve, were necessary to
l aw. The i dea i s t hat a cr i mi nal br eak-i n of save his own l i fe, or to prot ect hi mself
someone's home shoul d not t r i gger a l egal from great bodily injury.
The number
obligation for t he homeowner t o r et reat i n
the event that r et reat i s an opt i on. I nst ead, More t r enchant l y, Just i ce Ol i ver Wen
of Americans t he resident can choose to fl ee or conf r ont dell Holmes, Jr., pointed out the absurdity
licensed to carry
the crimi nal . Indeed, the legal debate is now of requi ri ng a person under at t ack t o con
s hifting t o c onf r ont at i ons out si de of t h e sider the l evel of f orce al l owed: "Det ached
firearms has
home: If you are not requi red to retreat from reflection cannot be demanded i n t he pres
grown to about your home rather than use deadly force, why ence of an upl i f t ed kni f e. " A s t he number
10 million.
should you have t o r et reat rat her t han use of Ameri cans li censed to carry f i rearms has
deadly force when you are in a public place? grown to about 10 mi l l i on, and perhaps
The historian Ri chard Maxwell Brown i n No more, the question of whet her the vi cti m of
Duty to Retreat argues that the Engl i sh com a crimi nal at t ack must ret reat wil l come be
mon law requi red you t o r et reat unt i l your fore the courts. M or e t han a dozen st ates
back was against the proverbial wall before have adopted "stand-your-ground" st at ut es
you could lawfully use deadly force, and that i n order to cl arify the law on t hi s poi nt .
the idea that you had " no dut y t o r et r eat " Should t here be an obl i gat i on t o r et reat
was an Amer i can i nnovat i on. Br own al so in public unti l your back is against a wall
contends that the development of "no dut y before using deadly force? Although the cir
to retreat" also causes the level of viol ence in cumstances of publ i c conf r ont at i ons wi l l
modern Ameri ca t o go up. Br o wn' s r ead rarely be as clear cut as the home i nvasi on
ing of English common law is disputed. As scenario, the legal standard is essentially the
r ecently as 1985, Br i t i sh cour t s hel d t hat same: one may use deadly force when there is
there was no dut y t o r et reat. In t hat case, a a threat of i mmi nent death or serious bodi l y
victim used a gl ass as a weapon agai nst an harm. Not e t hat even i n t he j ur i sdi ct i ons
attacker, causing the cri mi nal to l ose an eye. that have enacted "stand your ground" l aws,
The court concl uded t hat " r easonabl eness" some peopl e are goi ng t o r et r eat anyway,
was the appropri ate standard for the j ury t o out of a reluctance to escalate a dispute, and
use in deciding culpability. out of a reluctance to take a life even if it is
Over the last 10 years, a number of states t he life of a person who i s menacing t hem.
have passed what are now popularly referred However, it i s unj ust t o i mpose a legal dut y
to as "stand-your-ground" l aws. Federal law to retreat on them when they are not respon
since Beard v. United States (1895) has recog sible for creating t he peri l ous si t uat i on. I n
nized that a person who is lawfully in a par other words, if you have to ki l l someone i n
ticular pl ace is under no dut y to retreat: self'-defense because of the threat of death or
10
great bodi l y i nj ury, t hat ' s unf or t unat e, but Clearly, Fiallos did not need the "stand
t he attacker made the decision that your l i f e your-ground" l aw at al l . I n every st ate, an
i s worth l ess than your wal l et or ot her val u armed robber who has t aken t he omi nous
ables. In such cases, it is sensible to concl ude s tep of her di ng vi ct i ms i nt o t h e back of
t hat the aggressor forfeits his own l i f e. the store woul d have justi f i ed use of deadly
Perhaps because of the number of st at es force. This use of force woul d be justi f i ed ei
t hat h av e e n act ed "s t and- your-ground" ther as self'-defense or defense of others, and
l aws or perhaps because of the rel uct ance t he enactment of a "stand your ground" l aw
of gun owners to t ake a l i fe, even that of a had no genui ne appl i cat i on i n such si t ua
crimi nal there have been few cases chroni tions.
cled by the authors i nvol vi ng t hese statutes. Another defensive gun use story t hat ac
A t otal of 19 news st ori es i n t he dat a set t ually i nvol ves the "stand your gr ound" l aw
mention a st ate "stand your gr ound" l aw came from the November 30, 2006, Pensacola
but most of t hese were gratui t ous ment i ons (Florida) News Journal. Marilyn Caraway, 53,
with no relevance to the actual use of deadly shot her ex-boyfriend, Johnny Ray Clark, 47,
force. who had apparently forced his way into the
Two r epr esentative exampl es capt ur e screened-in porch of Caraway's home. She
some of t hese probl ems. The f i rst news re shot hi m once i n t he chest, ki l l i ng hi m on
port, f rom t he August 6, 2009, Mi ami New the spot.
Times, carried a headline that really captures
t he newspaper's bias against the victi m:
Who Defends Themselves
South Fl or i da St or e Cl e r ks Go
With Guns?
Vigilante
I t was pour i ng r ai n j ust af t er 1 The data set tracked several categories of
p.m. Monday, July 20, when a man incidents: type of crime; whether the defend
burst i nt o a Hondur an gr ocery st ore ers (or much more rarely, the criminals) were
on NW 36t h St reet i n Mi ami . A shi r t women and, i n i n f r equent ci r cumst ances,
was wrapped around hi s face as he whether or not a mi nor was i nvol ved (de
gripped a black semiautomatic hand fender or cri mi nal ). There are other catego
gun. Twenty-year-old Charles Bel l r ies that pr ovi de some i nt eresting demo
shoved the pi st ol i nt o t he f ace of a graphic, stati sti cal , and anecdotal i nsi ght s
manager behind the count er. Then he into what sort of peopl e defend t hemselves
demanded t he cont ent s of t he cash with guns.
register and car t ons of ci garet tes i n
a plastic bag. Next he began herding Concealed Weapon Li censees
customers t o t he back of t h e smal l Concealed weapon l i cense hol ders have
market. their own cat egory. There are 285 news ac
counts i ndi cat i ng t hat t he def ender had a
Without the
The manager of t he st ore, Valenti n Fi al l os, concealed weapon license. In some cases, the
24, opened fire on the robber, killing him. defender was i n hi s home or busi ness, and
spread of "shall
the li cense was not act ual l y necessary but issue" license
Cops termed it "j ust i f i abl e homi ci de." i n most of the i nci dents, the confront at i ons
laws over the
The rul ing i s backed up by f ormer t ook pl ace out si de the home. Wi t hout t he
Gov. Jeb Bush's 2005 "Stand Your spread of "shal l -i ssue" l i cense laws over the
last 30 years, the
Ground" law, which offers wide-rang l ast 30 years, the result s mi ght have been
confrontations
i ng l egal pr ot ect i on t o vi ol ent -cri me tragic.
victims who open f i re on thei r aggres On May 5, 2010, a St . Loui s man was
might have been
sors before trying to make peace. robbed at gunpoint but "fought back and tragic.
11
Matthew Murray shot the r obber t o deat h. " The vi ct i m was as to j ust i f y a separate headi ng. There i s a
entered the lobby
walking down t he st reet at 8:40 p.m. when reason why a Det r oi t pi zza del i very dr i ver
a 20-year-old robber demanded his wallet. invented modern soft body armor: pi zza de
firing his rifle
The victi m t ur ned over his wallet but whil e livery drivers are apparently considered easy
but Assam shot the robber was going through the wall et, the t argets for r obbery. Th e d at a set has 34
him, ending the
victim drew hi s handgun and shot t he r ob stories in thi s category.
ber to death. A representative example is from May 11,
killing spree.
Occasionally, t her e ar e c el ebri t y c on 2010, in Mobi l e, Alabama. Bennett Dean, Jr.,
cealed weapon licensees. On April 27, 2010, was making a pizza delivery, but when he
Texas Governor Ri ck Perry was out j oggi ng reached the address, the l i ght s were off . As
with his daughter's Labrador retriever pup Dean approached the f r ont door , a r obber
py and a coyote mistook Perry's puppy for came out f rom t he si de of the porch wi t h a
food. Perry drew his .380 Ruger and shot the shotgun aimed at him. "I dropped my pizza
coyote. bag when I drew my weapon and that got his
Some i nci dents st art out wi t h r udeness attenti on. He gl anced to the si de, and when
but escalate rapi dl y t o t hr eats and vi ol ence. he glanced, I just drew my weapon, and he
Sara Brereton, 31, was riding a bus in down ran off."
t own Seattle wit h her chi l dren on Apri l 25, On July 13, 2006, four juveniles in Buf
2009, when a 26-year-old man turned a minor f alo, New Yor k at t empt ed t o r ob a p i z za
bump i nt o a conf ront at i on of "angry words, delivery driver at gunpoint. The driver drew
obscene gestures, and, finally, the man charg his own gun, and was able to hol d one of the
ing the woman even though she showed she robbers for police.
had a gun. " Af t er many mont hs of r evi ew, The cri mi nal s of yest eryear commonl y
prosecutors concluded that she "acted in de selected a t arget, evaluated the r i sk pot en
fense ofherself, her children and her partner" t ial, and t hen f aced t he unknown hazards
when she shot and ki l l ed the attacker. of executing a cri me. Rather t han go t o al l
Perhaps the most wi del y publ i cized t hat effort, and at t ack a vi cti m i n t hei r own
shooting i nvolving a concealed carry l i home or shop, or i n " neut ral t er ri t ory" on
censee in the last few years clearly prevented the street, cri mi nal s are now usi ng regi onal
the murder of at l east dozens of peopl e. The I nternet sal es websi tes l i ke Cr ai gsl i st , or
criminal was a mentally ill young man who phoning bogus pi zza orders, to l ure vi ct i ms
had already killed four people in the previ t o them. One such case occurred i n Gal i on,
ous 12 hours. On December 10, 2007,Jeanne Ohio, where a man agreed t o meet a pr o
Assam used a gun in the lobby of New Life spective seller of const r uct i on equi pment .
Church, in Col orado Spri ngs. Matthew Mur Fortunately, the buyer was a concealed carry
ray was carrying "t wo handguns, an assault l icensee. He took two handguns with hi m t o
r ifle and over 1,000 rounds of ammuni t i on. " t he meeting pl ace i n a r emot e quarry. The
He had already killed two people in the park "sale" turned out t o be an ambush, and t he
i ng lot and two others the previous night. He buyer was forced to empty bot h weapons to
entered the lobby fi ri ng hi s ri fl e but Assam, repel the robbers.
a former pol ice offi cer, shot hi m, endi ng t he Unless members of today's society recuse
kill ing spree. I t does not t ake much i magi t hemselves from Cr ai gsl i st, eBay, and ot her
nation t o understand the l i kel y out come i f new mi l l enni um r endi t i ons of the yard sale,
Assam had not been armed at t he scene of i t becomes even mor e i mper at ive t o al l ow
t his horri fi c cri me. citizens the option to carry arms out side the
home.
Pizza Delivery Dri vers
Some categories in the data set may seem Animal Attacks
odd, but t hey t ur ned out t o be so common The data set also incl udes more stories of
12
defense against ani mal at t acks t han many A hiker in Denali National Park in Alas
people would expect: Since 2007, 172 inci ka was forced to shoot an at t acki ng gri zzl y
dents have been documented and not all of bear, one of the fi rst reported defensive gun
them in rural areas, either. From the Philadel uses in t he nat i onal parks si nce President
phiaa Daily News of May 12, 2010: Obama signed a bill into law allowing con
cealed carry in nati onal parks. The bear
They all said he was a nice dog. charged at the hi ker' s traveling compani on
But somethi ng i nside Zeus snapped until the hi ker fi red ni ne shots from a hand
t his morni ng. gun, at whi ch poi nt t he bear wal ked away.
The American bulldog who l oved The ani mal was l ater f ound dead, and i t i s
dog bi scuit s and backscratches went diffi cul t t o i magi ne any ot her means of re
berserk and at t acked an 11-year-ol d sistance bei ng ef f ect ive when ni ne shot s
neighbor as the boy and his friend got from the large-bore .45 only prompted the
ready for school in Port Richmond. creature to walk away.
Thirteen-year-old Br ad Bu cher I n l i ght of t he t hr eat posed by nat ur al
heard hi s br ot her screaming and predators, the deci sion t o al l ow concealed
sprinted t o hel p. The scene out si de carry in nat i onal parks such as Yellowstone,
his home on Mercer Street near Ti oga t he Smoky Mount ai ns, and the Grand Can
"The dog ripped
seemed strai ght out of a hor ror mov y on becomes even mor e i mpor t ant . Th e part of the boy' s
ie: Shane struggled frantically on the acres of wild lands set aside for natural beau
right ear o6;
s idewalk, Zeus' t eet h sunk i nt o h i s ty and growt h at t r act mi l l i ons of t our i st s a
bloodied neck.
bit his neck and
year, but, by def i ni t i on, sti l l harbor t he ri sk
of wi l dl i f e at t acks f aced by our ancest ors chewed his side
The injuries were severe: "The dog ri pped centuries ago. Such wi l d l ands al so pr es
open, injuring
part of the boy's right ear off, bit hi s neck ent attractive targets for human pr edat ors;
and chewed his side open, injuring his intes potential vi ct i ms are more l i kel y t o be i so
his intestines." A
t ines." A nei ghbor hear d t he commot i on, l ated and unwary, communi cat i on such as
neighbor heard
grabbed his .357 Magnum and shot the dog cell phone signals may be difficult, and help
twice. could be hours away.
the commotion,
On October 17, 2009, Mat t hew Reppucci grabbed his .357
went out for a wal k i n Nor t h Andover, Mas Assault Weapons
Magnum and
s achusetts, when a nei ghbor' s pi t bul l at An astoni shing number of st ori es report
tacked him. Reppucci pulled out a Colt .380 no details beyond the fact that the defender
shot the dog
and shot the pit bull. used a gun sometimes the st ory does not
twice.
Of course, there are many wild ani mal de even say if the weapon was a handgun or a
fensive gun uses, too. On August 6, 2008, a long gun, such as a rifle or shotgun. The in
Colorado man shot and ki l l ed a mount ai n complete nature of the news accounts makes
l ion af t er i t got t oo cl ose t o hi m and h i s c ategorizing i nci dent s by t he t ype of t h e
wife. They t ri ed t o scare i t of f , but when i t weapon used i mpr act i cal . That sai d, t her e
approached and went i nt o the "crouch posi are at least eight st ori es in whi ch def enders
tion," he decided the risk was too high, and used an " assaul t weapon. " Whi l e " assaul t
he shot and killed it. weapon" i s a very i l l -defi ned category, there
Two Mont ana bow hunt ers ki l l ed an ag was still enough i nf or mat i on i n t hese eight
gressive female grizzly bear on October 8, news accounts to clearly identify the weapon.
2007. "One of them used bear pepper spray For example, two men went on an ambi
and halted a charge withi n ni ne feet, but the t ious crime spree in Nort h Car ol i na i n May
grizzly turned and charged a second time. 2008 but were finally stopped by an armed
That's when the second hunt er shot i t t wi ce citizen. They had robbed a motel earlier in
with a.44 Magnum pi st ol . " the day, then tried to rob a coffee shop. Next,
13
t hey tri ed t o r am a van t hr ough t he f r ont On February 7, 2009, a Georgia man was
door of a busi ness but the f emal e owner, able to get cont rol of t he gun even after hi s
" Bouaphan Chant hunom, 51, opened f i r e attacker shot him. Richard Ellis, 38, pulled
with an assault rifle, instantly killing Joseph i nto hi s garage in Mari et ta, when John Har
Murphy McRae, 36, of Mount Gilead." rison, 33, an acquai nt ance (but not , appar
ently, a friend) appeared with a handgun
"A Criminal Will Just Take the Gun demanding money and then shot Ellis in
Away from You" the leg. Ellis immediately "grabbed the gun
For a very l ong t i me, gun cont rol pr opo and a f i ght ensued i n t he dr i veway of t he
nents woul d i nsi st t hat havi ng a gun was a r esident." El li s was able to get cont rol of t he
mistake, because many people (especially gun, and shot t he assailant t wi ce. Harri son
women) woul d not be wi l l i ng t o s hoot a died later at the hospi t al .
person who was at t acki ng t hem and the There may be a fine l i ne between stupi d
crimi nal woul d t hen t ake away the vi ct i m' s i ty and courage, and trying to di sarm a cri m
gun and use it on the vi ctim. Oddl y enough, inal when you do not have a gun could pres
while the authors have recorded a large num ent more risks than simply complying with
ber of inci dents where someone has their gun a robber's demands but it i s start l i ng how
taken away from them, it is usually the other often thi s works out well for the victim, con
way around. I n 227 i nci dents, a cr i mi nal ' s sidering how of ten the opposite si tuat i on i s
gun was taken away from hi m by the vi ct i m. claimed to exist.
This does not necessarily mean that the vi c By compari son, the data set contains only
tim shot t he cri mi nal , but i t does mean that 11 stories out of 4,699 where a crimi nal took
t he victi m successfully di sarmed the cri mi a gun away from a def ender; the reverse, as
nal and t hen t hr eat ened the cr i mi nal wi t h we have seen, was reported mor e t han 20
i t in order t o make hi m l eave, or make hi m t imes more often. Again, these are situati ons
remain on the scene until the pol ice could ar where a defender may not have been shot.
rive. Often, these were situati ons where the Of course, even if a defender loses control of
victim, at the start of the att ack, did not have t he gun, i t does not mean t hat the cri mi nal
a gun. On May 14, 2010, police arrested Ma "wins" the engagement. Here is a reasonably
j or Lee Barnes, 19. Barnes is alleged to have positive out come, nonet heless. On January
f irst sol i ci ted an act of pr ost i t ut i on f r om a 16, 2008, a Pi t t sbur gh, Pennsylvani a man
woman, and when she decl i ned, he t hr eat confronted t wo home i nvaders. They t ook
ened her with a handgun, ordering her to, as his rifl e from hi m but the homeowner then
the newspaper described it, "get on her knees drew his handgun, shooting one of the rob
The data set
and perform a sex act on hi m." Barnes appar bers. The other robber fl ed wi t h t he ri fl e.
ently put the handgun back in hi s pocket, This enormous disparity 227 criminals
contains only
"put hi s arms back i n an apparent r el axed disarmed by t hei r vi ct i ms compared t o 11
11 stories out
gesture," at whi ch poi nt t he vi cti m gr abbed victims di sarmed by cri mi nals is not neces
of 4,699 where a
t he handgun, and shot hi m. sarily an accurate measure of how of ten t hi s
On March 13, 2010, t hree men, at l east happens. Because the data set gathers defen
criminal took a one of them masked, walked i nt o a st ore i n sive gun use stori es, many i nci dent s where
gun away from
Romul us, Mi chi gan, and at t empt ed t o r ob a criminal disarmed and killed a victim will
i t at gunpoi nt . A cust omer wal ked i nt o t he likely not be reported. Still, since the research
a defender; the
store, saw what was going on, and "success methods of t he aut hor s are unbi ased (i .e.,
reverse was f ully f ought t he gunman f or cont rol of t he stacked in favor of f i ndi ng one type of story
reported more
weapon and f i r ed t wo r ounds," ki l l i ng t he versus the other), the numbers suggest that
gunman. The ot her suspects l ef t , havi ng the great f ear of gun c ont r ol advocates
than 20 times
f ailed t o r ob t he st ore short at l east one crimi nal s disarmi ng vi ct i ms is exaggerated.
more often.
handgun. I t may also be true that a great many of t he
14
criminals are so easily disarmed by their vic truder. "I hol l ered, ' Who' s t here? I' ve got a Avi Manges
tims because the offender is intoxi cated, stu gun.'" The i nt r uder fl ed af t er seeing her
grabbed her
pid, or overconf i dent . Yet, i t woul d appear and her pi st ol . Th e i n t r uder act ual l y at
.38-caliber
that a shop owner threatened with l osing hi s t empted t o ent er a nearby dwel l i ng, where
entire livelihood, a woman i n fear of rape, or he was confronted and t hen detai ned by an revolver when
a parent afraid of l osing everything, often other pi stol -wi el di ng homeowner.
she heard an
has a greater mot i vati on and f i nds a greater In February 2010 an Albuquerque, New
t enacity to fi ght back than a crimi nal hopi ng Mexico, woman called 911 to report a break
intruder. The
for an easy "score." i n attempt and while she was on the phone
intruder fled
t o pol i ce, two men f orced thei r way i nt o t he
How Many Defensive Gun Uses by Drug house. She shot one of them i n the head.
after seeing her
Dealers? On June 9, 2009, Marty I mpast ato react and her pistol.
A commonly held view among skeptics ed to a home i nvasion i n Sout hern I l l i noi s.
of defensive gun uses is that many perhaps She confronted an acquaintance who gained
most involve cr i mi nal s def endi ng t h em entry through an unl ocked wi ndow and was
selves from ot her cr i mi nal s, such as dr ug rifling through the "safe where the family
dealers who are stealing f rom r i val deal ers. keeps jewelry and prescription drugs." Im
Without questi on, t here are stories that f i t pastato shot the i nt r uder.
that description or where you can read be It is di f f i cul t t o say whether the relatively
tween the l i nes and get t hat i mpr ession. In sparse population of armed females repre
February 2008 Washi ngton r esi dents Mar sents news medi a selection bi as or si mpl y
cus Bradford, Khiry Jackson, and Lawrence t he di sparity bet ween women and men on
Adams went to steal drugs and money from gun ownershi p. Women r epresent a mor e
L uis Acevedo. Acevedo shot Br adf or d t o attractive target to male cri mi nal s, either be
death. While Acevedo was still facing charg cause they are on average smaller and weaker
es, it was not for shoot i ng Bradf ord but for or because the cri mi nal i s l ooki ng for a rape
the drugs t hat Br adf ord and hi s associates victi m.
were there to steal.
Still, such stori es seem to be suf f i ci ent l y Rape
rare that the data set does not have a separate There are 25 news st ori es where rapi st s
category for drug dealers defending them discovered that the vi cti m was able to f i ght
selves. A search for the st ri ng " drug deal er" back. Take the case of a Char l ot t e, Nor t h
in the database found onl y nine news stories. Caroli na, woman who, af t er bei ng r aped,
It is entirely possible that police responding disarmed her at t acker and t hen hel d hi m
to shoot i ngs i nvol vi ng known dr ug deal ers f or the pol i ce. I t was l ater f ound t hat t he
are less inclined to give such i ndi vi dual s the perpetrator had "an ext ensive cri mi nal hi s
benefit of the doubt on questi onabl e shoot tory, dating back 20 years, and many of the
i ngs but still , t he overwhel mi ng maj or i t y offenses involved sexual conduct wi t h chi l
of defensive gun use stories involve ordi nary dren."
and decent people defending t hemselves Sometimes a gun pr events a r ape f r om
against cri mi nal s. happening again. On October 31, 2008, a
Missouri woman shot and ki l l ed Ronni e W.
Armed and Female Preyer, 47, "a r egi stered sex of f ender who
Some of the ot her categories are unsur had broken i nt o her home early one mor n
prising. There are 154 defensive gun use sto i ng wi t h t he i nt ent i on of r api ng her a sec
ries involving women. On Apri l 29, 2010, ond ti me."
two Col orado residents used pi stol s to deal Shockingly, when i t c omes t o r esi sti ng
with an i nt ruder. Avi Manges grabbed her sexual assault, resources are few and ef f ec
. 38-caliber revolver when she heard an i n tive armed resi stance i s not consi dered an
15
option by certai n law enforcement agencies. Armed Seniors
Instead, the I l l i noi s St ate Pol ice advise vic One of the poi nt s of t en made i n publ i c
t ims to claim they have AIDS, forcibly i nduc debates about gun owner shi p i s t hat even
ing vomiting, or fighting back with nail files if you are young and st rong and are able to
or keys. The city of Davis, California, sug protect yoursel f f r om an unar med at t ack
gests mace or whistles, but also recommends er you may not be abl e t o do so af t er you
urinating or defecati ng. Con sequently, fe pass the age of 65. Consequently, the dat a
males shoul d become a special f ocus f or set tracks defensive gun uses by the elderly
self'-defense advocates, teaching not j ust t he with 201 such i nci dent s.
means and met hods, but the mi ndset to re In May 2010 an el derly Pennsylvania
sist an assailant. I f mor e r api st s expected couple held a burglar at gunpoint outside
their woul d-be targets to resist wit h f orce, a their Stroudsburg home. Devin Tyler Ayala,
reduction i n t he r at e of such cri mes woul d 24, forced entry i nt o t he home, whi ch set
seem inevitabl e. off a burglar alarm. The 68-year-old wife
screamed, and the 74-year-old husband came
Armed Mi nor s downstairs with a gun, and was able to hol d
Pritchett
Another cat egory i s mi nor s those un Ayala for the police.
der 18 years of age. There are 21 r epor t s In March 2010 Stephen Pritchett attacked
"grabbed her
where mi nors used a gun i n sel f'-defense or an 82-year-old woman i n a Wal - Mar t par k
cane and started
t o def end f ami l y members. I n November i ng l ot . Pr i t chet t appr oached t he woman
2008 a 16-year-old boy shot his mother's ex and said, "This is your day. You are too old to
beating her." At
husband on t he f r ont l awn i n Kansas Ci ty, be alive anyway." He then "grabbed her cane
that point, she Missouri. The woman had di vorced hi m t wo and started beating her." At t hat poi nt , she
drew a handgun
years before because of abuse. "But at 2: 30 drew a handgun and f i red at Pr i t chett . She
a.m., he suddenly barged into her home. She did not hit him, but unsurprisingly, the gun
and fired at
said he pulled out a knife and dragged her shot drew attention to her probl em, bri ngi ng
Pritchett.
i nto the f r ont yard, and t hat was when she employees and then police.
said her son grabbed a gun from the house
and pulled the trigger, hitting his ex-stepfa Students and Firearms
ther in the stomach." If "decrease in ability to fight back" is pos
Some of t hese i nci dent s are mor e dr a i tively correl ated wi t h " escalation i n cr i me"
matic, but hopef ul l y l ess t raumati c t o t he then coll ege campuses may be an exception
defender. A Baton Rouge, Louisiana, boy to that rul e. The rate of cri me across Amer
who was left home al one with hi s sister shot ica's insti t ut i ons of hi gher l earning i s stati s
an intruder who t r i ed to ki ck i n t he door of tically less than the rates in ci ti es, neighbor
their apart ment . The 10-year-ol d r et ri eved hoods, and homes.7 Yet , because col l eges
his mot her' s gun f r om a c l oset , and shot have become the target of many high-profile
Roderick Porter, who was, by then, insi de. shooti ngs, t here i s st i l l a l u r k i ng f ear f or
These stories are not meant t o suggest where the next mul t i pl e vi cti m shoot i ng i n
children can or should be armed, but they cident will be.
do show t hat mi nor s of t en do possess the Coupled wi t h t hi s, report s now i ndi cat e
mental f acul t i es t o i dent i f y a t hr eat and the rat e of cr i mes on col l ege campuses i s
when pr esented t he means and abi l i t y t o rising at a ti me when overall cri me rates are
neutralize that t hreat to do so. in decline. In a report by the FBI, the Secret
Along with mi nors using guns i n self Service, and the Depart ment of Educat i on,
defense, we also tracked defensive gun uses t he numbers collected since 1900 show that
where the cr i mi nal s were mi nors. At l east crimes of every nature are on the rise on col
141 instances involved at least one cri mi nal lege campuses. Out of 110 years of data col
identified as being under 18 years old. lected and studi ed, the past two decades ac
16
count for 60 percent of the t otal number of ports how a Mer cer Uni versity l aw st udent
crimes commi t t ed. In 2008 there were 3,287 shot and ki lled a man who broke into hi s
rapes, 60 killings, 5,026 assaults, and 4,562 home.
r obberies commi t t ed acr oss col l ege cam A student f rom Or em, Ut ah, possessed a
puses. Statistically, combi ni ng col l ege cam concealed carry permi t and was forced to fi re
puses nati onwi de, there are about 9 sexual on an attacking pi t bul l i n 2007. The ani mal
assaults per day. survived the shoot i ng and, at t he shoot er' s
Certainly there are more college students behest, the ani mal was not eut hani zed.
i n the l ast t wo decades as a percentage of And i n August 2008 a st udent i n Hi l t on
t he popul at i on t han f or mer l y. Perhaps the Head, South Carolina, displayed a pistol to
increased availability of student loans (and ward off a road rage driver wielding a base
i ncreasingl y f avor abl e a t t i t ude t owar ds ball bat.~9
debt-fi nanced educati on) i s spur r i ng mor e These are stories of successful defensive
college attendance, and t hus r i si ng cr i me. gun use across the nation by members of the
Regardless, one wonders what t he r at e of population considered to be college-aged,
crime would look l ike if defensive gun use and thus presumed likely to be rebellious
were i nt r oduced as an opt i on on c o l l ege or i rresponsi ble. One neglected fact i s t hat
campuses. What i f the Vi rgi ni a Tech massa college "gun-free zones" also forbi d vi si t ors
cre could have been cut short l i ke t he New from carrying for pr ot ection and such visi
Life church shooting in Colorado? tors could i ncl ude any one of the thousands
The rising crime rates and high-profile of responsibly armed citizens.
occurrences of mass shooti ngs has led to the As support ers of gun r i ght s of t en poi nt
formati on of a grassroots student -led orga out, every day mi l l i ons of guns wer e not
nization known as St udent s for Concealed used to kill. They passively existed, perhaps
Carry on Campus, organi zed af ter t he Vi r only in a gun safe. Like a seat belt, these guns
ginia Tech i nci dent t o advocat e restori ng were a safety measure that was available for
concealed carry t o col l ege campuses. As a protection i n the event of an emergency, but
silent pr ot est, group members wear empt y not used. It shoul d be not ed t hat st udent s
holsters to symbol i ze being defenseless. are permi t t ed t o c ar r y f i r earms f or s el f
Many cr i t i cs quest i on i n c r easing t h e defense at no l ess than 25 col l ege campus
availabil ity of f i r earms f or st udents, ci t i ng es, primarily in Col orado and Utah. Many
Colorado State
students' procl i vi t y t owards vice and rebel other col l eges allow defensive carry on uni
l ion once t hey r each t he newf ound i nde versity sidewalks and i n l i br ari es but not i n
University
pendence of a c ol l ege envi r onment . Thi s classrooms. allows concealed
concern refl ects a view that approaches ste In fact, after Col orado' s 2003 concealed
carry, while
reotyping and prej udi ce, casting students as carry law was enacted, Col orado St ate Uni
i rresponsibl e by nat ure. The same charges versity deci ded t o a l l ow c oncealed car ry,
the University
are often l eveled by the same cri t i cs oppos while the University of Colorado prohibited
of Colorado
ing the carrying of arms al together, yet thei r firearms. The former observed a rapid de
prohibits
dire predicti ons seldom come true. cline in reported cri mes, while the latter, un
The age requirement for ownership and der the gun ban they clai med was for safety,
firearms. The
the concealed carry of handguns remains the observed a r api d i ncr ease i n cr i me. Cr i me
former observed
same regardless of educati on, yet in order to at the Uni versity of Col or ado has ri sen 35
moni tor t hei r f r equency, the aut hors began percent since 2004, whil e crime at Col orado
a rapid decline in
tracking the occurrence of legally armed col State Uni versity has dropped 60 percent i n reported crimes,
lege students engaging i n act s of def ensive the same time frame.
while the latter
gun use off-campus. There were a total of 14 The effect on cr i mi nal behavior i s per
stories. For example, a September 19, 2005, haps the clearest il l ust rat i on. Cri mi nal s ob
observed a rapid
story from the Macon, Georgia, Telegraph re tain firearms just like they obtain drugs il
increase.
17
Gun accidents do l egally. Therefore i t st ands t o r eason t hat and then demanded his car. Although he did
occur, but they
f ew cri mi nal s are going to be deterred from thwart the carjacking at t empt , the defender
commi t t i ng a cr i me on a c ol l ege campus also accidentally shot himself in the leg.
are among the
due to the threat of expul sion or arrest. Nor
most overstated does it seem l i kel y t hat a woul d-be robber Unhappy Endings
of risks.
would be deterred because of stickers on the Not every defensive gun use ends well the
doors announci ng t hat ar med r obber y i s data set identi fi es 36 incidents in which a de
severely frowned upon by t he st udent code fender was killed. One example comes from
of conduct . Conversely, a campus t hat al Texas in August 2007. Ant hony Hemi ngway
l ows concealed carry, and wher e even one Sr., 43, died i n an exchange of gunf i re wi t h
student, professor, or even a member of t he a man who kicked in the door of his apart
maintenance staff is armed, woul d present a ment i n Ki l l een. I t i s har d t o i magi ne that
much ri skier target to cri mi nal s. Thus, com the victi m i n t hi s case would have ended up
prehensive bans on defensive carry of ar ms better off if he had not fought back. In addi
at postsecondary i nst i t ut i ons shoul d be re tion, the int ruder was now identi f i able by his
examined. gunshot wound.
Along wi t h t hose 36 i nci dents where the
What about Accidents during Def ensive defender was killed, there are 210 defen
Gun Uses? sive gun use stories where the defender was
Gun cont rol proponents often claim t hat shot, but not ki l l ed (at l east at t he t i me of
the average citizen is not suf f i ci entl y trai ned t he news story). These inci dents, l ike t hose
to use a gun defensively that the risk is very where the defender di ed, of t en i nvol ve ci r
high t hat a homeowner wi l l , say, shoot hi s cumstances where the defender' s situat i on,
t eenager who stayed out beyond hi s curf ew while bad, was l i kely i mproved by bei ng
and i s sneaking i nt o t he home l at e i n t he armed. On February 20, 2010, the Houston
evening. Or the homeowner wil l accidental l y Chronicle r eported an i nci dent i n whi ch t wo
shoot hi mself. Gun acci dents do occur, but home i nvaders i n Har ri s Count y ended up
they are among the most overstated of ri sks. in a gun bat tl e wit h the homeowner. One of
There were 535 acci dental f i r earms deaths the invaders, an adult, died; the other, a juve
i n 2006 every one unfort unate, but i n a na nile, was wounded, as was the homeowner.
t ion of al most 300 mi l l i on peopl e, t hat i s Another st or y i nvol ves an ar med r ob
not a parti cul arl y start l i ng rat e. bery that might have ended differently had
Yet i n spi t e of t he wi despread concern t he vi ct i m c ompl i ed wi t h t h e c r i mi nal ' s
about accidents involving defensive gun uses demands but who knows? In Apri l 2004
by "untrai ned civil i ans," there are far fewer of Connecti cut r esi dent Joseph Gi gl i ot t i en
these incidents making the newspapers than gaged in a gun bat tl e wi t h t hree robbers. As
supposed. The authors did not actively look a result, Gi gl i ot t i ended up i n t he hospi t al
for gun accident stori es. As a result, no claim with a gunshot wound but so di d hi s as
i s advanced here that t hese results are typi sailants.
cal, although i f def ensive gun uses resulted Although not t echni call y f i t t i ng under
i n a hi gh r at e of gun acci dents, one woul d t he "accident " cat egory, cases of mi st aken
expect searches to fi nd such news stories as i dentit y are al so i nvoked as a j ust i f i cat i on
well. t o restrict l awful gun ownershi p. But what
Only f i ve accidental shoot i ngs appear i n happens when the police have a case of mis
the database. One story describes a Shreve t aken ident i ty? In December 2007 a Mi nne
port, Loui si ana, man who f ought of f a car apolis SWAT t eam, on a t i p f r om an i nf or
jacking "by two black males wearing all black mant, ki cked i n t he door and i nvaded t he
clothing and bl ack bandanas over thei r f ac home of an Asian i mmi gr ant . The man was
es." The carjackers drew a revolver on hi m, watching TV wi t h hi s wi f e, but al so had si x
18
children i n the house. The homeowner, sus i n state af ter st at e about t he l i kel y conse
pecting a criminal intrusion, grabbed a gun quences of "shall-issue" concealed handgun
and exchanged gunf i re with the SWAT team. l icensing was a f ear about an i n cr ease i n
Mi racul ously, no one was i nj ur ed; SWAT pointl ess murders and mansl aught ers, as or
t eam gunf i re mi ssed the man ent i rely, whi l e dinary people engage in parking lot disputes
the homeowner' s shots at two of f i cers were or road rage incidents that woul d qui ckl y es
repelled by body armor. Police later apolo calate to deadly force.
gized for the i nci dent, expl ai ni ng t hat t here There have been some defensive gun use
was a " communi cat i ons br eakdown" and i ncidents of t hi s nat ure, where the person
t hey had acted on bad i nf or mat i on. using the gun was legally in the right but
where the i nci dent di d not need t o happen.
Carjackings Such inci dents have occurred, but so rarel y
Carjacki ngs are very dr amat i c, and un that the authors di d not f i nd i t necessary to
surpri si ngly, when t he vi ct i ms t ur n t he t a create a category for " What were you thi nk
bles on the bad guys, i t makes great press. i ng?" The shoot i ng death of Aaron P. Davi s,
The authors recorded 65 defensive gun uses 39, by Glenn Ei chstedt, 52, in Aur ora, Col o
i n carjacking si tuat i ons. In March 2010 New rado, on November 13, 2004, is one of these
Joshua
Orleans resident Joshua McElveen, 24, point rare exampl es. I t i s, however, an i nci dent
ed a handgun at a man i n a pi ckup t r uck that shoul d make all gun owners thi nk very McElveen, 24,
and demanded that the dri ver turn over the soberly about t he ser i ous i mpl i cat i ons of
pointed a
truck. The driver drew his own handgun and carrying a gun.
fired, fatally wounding McElveen. The grand jury report that cleared Eichst
handgun at a
On November 17, 2006, Quavale Finnell, edt of any cri mi nal charges describes in great man in a pickup
14, stole a car from Benni e Hall, Jr., 61 and detail the sequence of events that l ed up t o
truck and
t hen att empted t o r un Hal l over. Hal l had the shooting. Mr. and Mrs. Davis parked
obtained a concealed weapon per mi t af t er t heir SUV, and Mr s. Davi s went i nt o a r es
demanded that
his grandson had been a shoot i ng vi cti m i n taurant t o r et r i eve a t o-go or der. Ei chstedt
the driver turn
the same block. Hall shot and killed Finnell. parked next t o t he Davi s' SUV, and Ei chst
over the truck.
No charges were filed. edt's passenger went i nt o t he restaurant t o
WJXT Channel 4 Oacksonville, Florida) make a di nner reservati on. When Ei chstedt The driver drew
reported what happened on September 30, opened his car door, Davis accused him of
his own handgun
2009, when two men t r i ed t o st eal a t r uck causing damage to his SUV with hi s car door.
from a group of people outside a home: Davis and Eichstedt then became increas
and fired, fatally
i ngl y ar gument at i ve about wh et her any
wounding
Keith Lof t i n was out si de t he home damage had taken place or not and soon
McElveen.
with some fri ends shortl y af ter 2 a.m. t he argument had become so heated that i t
when t wo men asked f or a r i de i n could be overheard on t he 911 t apes aft er
Lofti n' s t r uck. Lof t i n sai d one of t he phone calls were placed by witnesses. Mrs.
men pulled a gun on them and forced Davis came back to the car and attempted to
Lofti n i nt o hi s t r uck. Lof t i n t ol d of f i separate the two. Davis and Ei chstedt, whi l e
cers that hi s f r i end, Barry Smi t h, r an not legally drunk, had both been drinking
i nto t he house and r et ur ned wi t h a earlier.
gun and Lofti n pul led hi s own gun Some wi t nesses i ndi cated t hat vi ol ence
from i nside the truck. Police said both started wi t h Davi s pushi ng Ei chstedt, and
Lofti n and Smi t h f i r ed at one of t he Eichstedt punchi ng Davi s. Ot her s cl ai m
men, stri ki ng hi m mul t i pl e t i mes. t hat t he f i r st physi cal cont act was when
Davis attacked Ei chstedt wi t h a met al bar .
Legal But Foolish The metal bar was solid, eight inches long,
One of the recurri ng concerns expressed and 1 '/z inches in di ameter. Davis hi t Ei ch
19
stedt in the head, by some accounts, several Moreover, i t i s i mpor t ant t o n ot e t hat
times, and hard enough t o dr aw bl ood at when a gun owner ki l l s an at t acker or i s
which poi nt Ei chstedt, who had a concealed able to hol d a r api st or a bur gl ar unt i l t he
handgun l i cense, fired one shot. Davis subse police arrive, it is very l i kel y that mor e t han
quently di ed; Mrs. Davis, who had at t empt one crime has been prevented because if the
ed to i nt ervene to stop the f i ght , suf f ered a culprit had not been stopped, he could have
life-threatening i nj ury, but eventuall y recov targeted other ci ti zens as well. Policymakers
ered. interested in harm reduct i on shoul d t hus re
At the poi nt wher e Davi s hi t Ei chst edt frain f rom t r eat i ng or di nary gun owners as
with the metal bar, Ei chstedt was legally i n hoodl ums or l oose cannons and adopt pol i
t he ri ght shoot i ng Davi s. The ri sk of gr eat cies that respect the ownership and carryi ng
bodily injury or death was very real, and Eich of arms by responsible individuals.
stedt's actions almost certai nly prevented his
own death. But wel l bef ore t hi s, Ei chstedt
should have wi t hdr awn f r om t he conf r on Appendix
tation, of f ering t o have thei r two i nsurance
companies settle the mat t er. Thankf ul l y, as This section provi des an extensive list of
noted, such i nci dents are not t erri bl y com defensive gun uses between Oct ober 2003
mon. Thi s i s by f ar t he most sobering and and November 2011. It is by no means com
disturbing defensive gun use in al most eight prehensive. As previously noted, when a gun
years of gathering such news stories. i s simply brandished, criminals often fl ee
t he scene and ar e not appr ehended. Wi t h
no shot f i red, no i nj ur i es, and no suspect in
Conclusion custody, news organi zati ons somet i mes re
port not hi ng at al l . Our ai m here i s not t o
Self'-defense i s one of ou r m o s t b asi c criticize the way in which t hese incidents are
rights. Strict gun cont rol r egul at i ons i nt er treated by news organizati ons. It is simply to
fere with that ri ght because ordinary citi zens r emind readers that news report s can onl y
abide by the regulations whil e cri mi nals provide an i mper f ect pi ct ur e of def ensi ve
acquire guns f r om u n der gr ound mar ket s. gun use in Ameri ca.
That l eaves honest, law-abi ding peopl e at a The Cat o I nst i t ut e has pl ot t ed an ex
distinct di sadvantage because it i s not pos panded l ist of cases on an i nt eractive map,
sible for the pol ice to be at every scene where which can be found at http: //www.cato.org/
they are desperately needed. guns-and-self'-defense/.
Many people support gun control regu
l ations because they are convi nced that t he Homeowner Shoots Woul d-Be I nt ruder
average citizen is either i ncapable of using a Chandl er, Ar i zona: On De c ember 15,
Gun owners
gun in self'-defense or will use the gun in a 2005, Cary Dennis heard his front doorbell
stop a lot
f it of anger over some pett y mat t er. Those ring, then observed Sagio Maur i ce Henry at
of criminal
assumpti ons are false. The evidence on t hi s his back door. Denni s went to get a weapon,
point has grown so st r ong t hat even Presi then caught Henry prying open a window.
mayhem
dent Obama has had t o chi de gun saf et y Henry t hr eat ened Denni s wi t h a p i c k axe
attempted
advocates t o accept t he pr oposi t i on t h at handle, and Denni s shot Henry i n the chest.
murders,
" almost al l gu n own er s i n Ame r i ca ar e Henry fled, but was later apprehended by
highly responsible." And, as the scores of the police at a hospital. Chandler Police De
rapes, assaults, i ncidents described i n t hi s st udy show, gun t ective Frank Mendoza suggested t hat t he
robberies
owners stop a l ot of cr i mi nal mayhem at homeowner should have fled his home and
tempted mur ders, r apes, assaults, r obber called 911 instead of conf r ont i ng the cri mi
everyyear.
ies every year. nal."
20
Robbery Victim Defends Himself 16, 2011, Congressman Leonar d Boswel l
Congressman
Raleigh, Nort h Carol i na: On t he evening was getting ready for bed when he heard a
Leonard Boswell
of December 28, 2005, two men approached commot i on i n t he l i vi ng r oom of hi s f ar m
rushed down the
Damian Powell as he stepped out of hi s ve house. He rushed down the hall and found
hicle. According t o Powell , one of t he men an intruder hol ding hi s daughter, Ci ndy hall and found
produced a gun and told Powell to "give it Brown, at gun point in the foyer and yelling
an intruder
up." Powell knocked the gun out of the mug at Boswel l' s 22-year-ol d gr andson, Mi t ch
ger's hand and was able to get his permi t t ed ell Brown, t o " Get t he money or I ' l l shoot
holding his
gun from hi s SUV i n or der t o shoot at t he her." Boswell rushed the i nt r uder, and t hey
daughter,
two teens who wanted hi s money. Wi tnesses exchanged bl ows. Whi l e Boswell at t empt ed
i n a Farri ngton Dr i ve apartment compl ex i n to di sarm t he i nt r uder, Mi t chel l r et r i eved
Cindy Brown,
north Raleigh heard gunfire from the park a shotgun f rom a spare bedroom, ret urned at gunpoint.
i ng lot unt i l one t een was shot and he and t o the foyer, and ai med at the i nt r uder. The
his accomplice ran away. The police found i ntruder fl ed t hr ough t he f r ont door t o a
18-year-old suspects Ant oi ne Sanders and waiting pi ckup t r uck. Mi t chel l t hen ran out
Cesar Solorzano at a hospi tal where one of t he back door and f i red t wo war ni ng shot s
them sought treatment for a bul let wound i n into the air. The pol ice were called, and a K-9
his shoulder. uni t f ound t he i nt r uder' s backpack i n an
adjacent hayfield. The police later identified
Father Defends Daughter from the intruder as David Dewberry, who was ar
Estranged Son-in-Law rested three days later.
Union Gr ove, Al abama: On December
21, 2005, Calvin Har m showed up at hi s es Mom Defends Herself and Children
tranged wife's house with a shotgun and be Coalfi eld, Tennessee: On t he mo r ni ng
gan arguing with her. Hearing that Harm was of February 16, 2007, Suzanne Carson, at
at her house, the woman' s father, James Grif home al one wi t h her t hr ee chi l dr en, saw a
fin, came to the scene with hi s gun. The men young man at t empt i ng t o break i n her back
exchanged gunf i re, and t he husband was door. Carson grabbed her husband's pis
shot i n t he st omach. He was i n cr i t i cal but t ol and or dered the man t o st op. The man
stable condi t i on af t er surgery at Hunt svi l l e conti nued breaki ng i n, and Car son f i red a
Hospital. The Sheriff said that Harm had vi shot. The man st epped ful l y i nt o t he ki t ch
olated a protective order by approaching his en through the back door, and Carson fired
estranged wife, and that Griffin would likely t wo more shots, f i nal l y f or ci ng t he man t o
not be charged with any cri me. r etreat. The woman had been t aught how
t o shoot by her husband onl y a mont h ear
Restaurant Owner Shoots Armed Robber lier.
Bridgeport, Connecti cut: On the evening
of September 26, 2010, Allen Dixon and an Wife Protects Herself from Estranged
unknown accompl i ce ent ered t he Peki ng Husband' s Attack
Restaurant and ordered food. Once the cash Westville, Okl ahoma: On December 16,
register was open, Dixon pulled a gun and 2008, at about 2 p.m., Darrel Fouse viol ated
demanded the cash. The restaurant owner, a protective order by ent eri ng t he home of
a concealed carry permit holder, then pulled his estranged wife, Marilyn Fouse, and be
his gun and shot once. Dixon died whi l e gan assaulting her. When his gun fell out of
fleeing the scene. his pack onto the fl oor, she seized the weap
on and shot her assailant i n t he head. She
Congressman and Family Fight Off put a bl anket over hi m and moved her t wo
Armed Robber daughters (ages 11 and 14) safely out of the
Lamoni, Iowa: At about 10:45 p.m. on July home.
21
Homeowner Stops Three Burgl ars Resident Defends Against Home I nvasion
Bergen, New York: On the morning of May Port Charl ot te, Flori da: On the evening of
25, 2004, a resident ret urned home t o di s October 24, 2009, Keith Sowers and Joshua
cover t hree i ndi vi duals Michael Skavarek, Eugene Becerril, armed wi t h a kni f e and a
David Johnston, and Jacqueline Vasquez at t ire iron, f orced thei r way i nt o t he home of
tempting to break i nto hi s home. The home Peter L. Gi l mor e and hi s 26-year-ol d son,
owner conf ronted t hem wi t h hi s handgun, James S. McGlone. When Becerril took Gi l m
and the suspects then t ri ed t o fl ee i n a van. ore hostage with t he kni f e, McGl one ran t o
The homeowner, uni dent i f i ed i n i ni t i al r e a bedroom where fi rearms were kept. Sowers
ports, broke a wi ndow of t he van, at whi ch f ollowed hi m and st r uck hi m wi t h t he t i r e
point Skavarek and Johnston t hrew gasoline i ron. McGl one t hen wounded Sowers wi t h
at him and ran off. The homeowner was able one shot to the abdomen, and both i nt r uders
to hold Vasquez at gunpoint for police, and then fl ed t he scene. Police arrested the pai r
the ot her t wo bur gl ars were apprehended after Sowers sought medi cal assistance.
soon after. No shots were fired.
Clerk Defends Against Armed Robbery
Man Wrestles Gun from ATM Robber
The homeowner
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: In the early mor n
St. Petersburg, Fl ori da: On t he ni ght of i ng hour s of December 29, 2005, two ski
was able to August 5, 2011, Al medi n Mur at ovi c, armed masked men ent ered t he Raceway gas sta
hold Vasquez
with a handgun, t ri ed t o rob Cr i st i na Hop tion. Eric Baggett aimed hi s gun at the store
k ins at a Regi ons Bank ATM at 8250 Dr . owner, who responded by pulling a gun and
at gunpoint
Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. Hopkins' boy f atally woundi ng Baggett. The owner, not
for police, and f riend, Anthony Hal l , who was waiting in the named i n i ni t i al r eports, hel d Baggett' s ac
the other two
car with the couple's five-year-old child, ran complice, Jaime Witherspoon, unti l pol i ce
over and st r uggled wi t h Mur at ovi c f or t he arrived. Lieutenant Ll oyd Baker of t he Tus
burglars were
gun. The gun went of f , hi t t i ng Mur at ovi c. caloosa homi ci de uni t sai d t hat t he owner
apprehended
Hall was then able to take the gun away from would face no charges in what was clearly a
Muratovic, and t hrew i t out of r each unt i l case of self'-defense.
soon after. No
police arrived. No one else was injured.
shots were fired. Victim Seizes Robber's Handgun i n
Son Defends Mother and Girlfriend Defense
from Robbery Tampa, Florida: On November 29, 2008,
Deltona, Flori da: On December 14, 2008, J erome Haggi ns bur st i nt o a h o me a n d
j ust before 1:00 a.m., three men entered the r obbed si x uni dent i f i ed men at gunpoi nt .
home of Julio Blanco. They forced Blanco, When Haggins not i ced one of the men was
his mother, and his girlfriend to the fl oor, still wearing a bracelet, he set his gun down
and stol e a safe. Blanco pursued the assail on t he t abl e. One of t h e v i ct i ms qui ckl y
ants into the street where he exchanged gun grabbed the gun, and held the robber for po
fire with t hem as they fled i n a vehicle. After lice.
a brief pol i ce pursui t , the suspects crashed
t heir vehi cl e and f our peopl e wer e t aken Elderly Former Miss America Holds
i nto cust ody: Brandon Pr at her, Adam Sal Thieves at Gunpoi nt
gado, and two uni dentified teenaged girls
Waynes burg, Kentucky: On April 13,
who were released to thei r parents after po 2007, Venus Ramey spied an unfamiliar
l ice questioni ng. The t hi r d suspect, Patri ck truck parked against her farm building, and
Lauby, was found by police when a nearby i mmedi ately suspected t hat habi t ual scrap
r esident cal led 911 t o r eport a man wi t h a metal thi eves had returned. Upon being con
gunshot wound t o t h e gr oi n i n hi s f r ont f ronted, one of t hem, Cur t i s Parri sh, prom
yard. ised they'd leave. The 82-year-old woman
22
leaned on her walker, pulled out a .38 revolv l ice and the bar' s owner. The owner arri ved
er, said, "no you won' t," and shot hi s car ti re. and saw the men loading electronics into the
She then held the two at gunpoi nt for pol i ce. back of a t ruck. One of the cul pr i t s opened
Ramey is a former Mi ss Ameri ca. f ire on t he owner, who t hen r et ur ned f i r e.
The bur gl ars fl ed t he scene. No one was
Armed Di ner Shoots Robbery Suspect hurt . ' "
St. Petersburg, Fl ori da: At about 10 p. m.
on August 7, 2011, Raven Smith and Ashl ey WWI I Vet eran Shoots Burglar
Tanner were getting out of t hei r car to have Orangeburg, South Carolina: On February
dinner at the local Applebee's when a masked 20, 2007, Newman Ted Jackson, 80, was awak
man rushed up t o Tanner wi t h a gun i n an ened by his dog barking. Jackson grabbed his
attempt t o grab her purse. Smith pul l ed hi s gun just as an uni dent i f i ed 24-year-old man
gun, yelled "Get down, get down" to Tanner, kicked in Jackson's bedroom door carrying
and shot the assailant four t i mes. The assail a rifle. Jackson fi red once, hi tt i ng the young
ant, Anthony Lawrence Hauser, was taken to man in the back. The homeowner then called
a local hospi tal and was l ater charged wi t h 911. The young man was t aken t o t he hos
attempted armed robbery. Smi th, who has a pital, and l ater claimed to the pol i ce that he
concealed weapons permi t , was not charged was just there to discuss money with Jackson.
as the pol i ce det ermi ned he had act ed i n Two suspected accompl i ces gave ot her ac
self'-defense. counts of the i nci dent, one stating that t hey
entered Jackson's house "to get some l i quor
Armed Citizen Fights off Armed Robbers from the old man who l i ves there."
Birmingham, Al abama: On November
30, 2008, Malik Hameed and Patrick Cor Armed Woman Defends Herself from
tez Levert at t empt ed t o r ob a 39- year-ol d Knife-Wielding Assailant
man at gunpoi nt , not knowi ng he was also Augusta, Georgia: On Apri l 26, 2007,
armed. The man, not i dent i f i ed i n i ni t i al re Theresa Wachowiak awoke t o f i nd 19-year
ports, pulled his gun and shot both young old Justin "Brent" Haynie in her bed, hold
men. Both men were taken to area hospital s, i ng a kni f e t o her t hr oat . She reached for a
where Levert di ed. Hameed, who sur vi ved .357 Magnum she kept by her bedside, and
his wounds, was l ater t aken i nt o cust ody as Haynie moved behind her, she quickly
and charged with capi tal mur der as a result spun and shot hi m i n t he t or so. The pol i ce
of his involvement i n the cri me. placed Haynie under arrest and took hi m t o
the hospi tal .
Employee Defends Himself in Gun Battle
Forest Park, Georgia: On December 15, Bystander Defends Robbery Victim
2008, Tyrie Rolland was killed while attempt from Armed Assailants
i ng to rob a cel l phone st ore. An uni dent i Orlando, Florida: On December 23, 2008,
fied empl oyee at the store drew a weapon i n Willie Keys-Fairclough, 29, and two accom
Theresa
self'-defense and fi red. Rol l and was taken to plices, all armed, tried to grab an el derly
Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died. woman' s purse at the Fashion Square Mal l Wachowiak
A second suspect fl ed t he scene i n a whi t e when a bystander, uni dent i f i ed i n the i ni t i al
awoke to find
pickup truck. reports, chased them of f wi t h gunf i re. Keys
Fairclough was found behind a dumpster
19-year-old Justin
Bar Owner Stops Burglars with a gunshot wound t o hi s l eg. The other "Brent" Haynie
Charlotte, Nort h Car ol i na: On Novem two suspects remain at large.
in her bed,
ber 17, 2008, just before 3:00 a.m., two men
tripped the burglar alarm whil e breaking Store Owner Fends off Woul d-Be Robber
holding a knife
into Big Rob's Sports Bar, which alerted po Mi dwest Ci ty, Okl ahoma: On November
t o her throat .
23
The woman' s
20, 2008, a man pistol-whipped an unidenti caped unharmed. The owner st ated he had
screams awoke
f ied convenience store owner in the parki ng not needed to use his gun for self'-defense in
l ot after wai t i ng f or t he st ore t o cl ose. The 21 years.
her husband,
r obber f orced the owner t o go back i nsi de
who retrieved a and get money. Once i nsi de, the owner was Elderly Store Owner Fends off Armed
pistol and fired
able to get a gun and then fi red several shots Robber
at the robber. The culprit fl ed i n a pi ckup Kensington, Maryland: On April 27, 2010,
several shots at
truck. Police were not sure if the robber was Charles Jackson and an uni dent i f i ed accom
the man. The
hit." 4 plice entered the Sandro Jewelry Boutique.
attacker died at
Jackson pointed his gun at the 77-year-old
Homeowner Protects Home Against store owner, Sandro Vendemmi a. Vendem
the scene. Armed Burglars mia was abl e t o gr ab Jackson' s ar m and
Tulsa, Okl ahoma: On D ec ember 2 4 , smash it i nt o a di splay case and then retrieve
2008, shortly before 3 a.m., Cody Ray Payne, his own handgun. When Jackson moved to
15, and t wo accompl i ces ent ered a home attack Vendemmi a agai n, Vendemmi a was
on the 1300 bl ock of Nor t h I r vi ngt on Ave. able to shoot hi m i n t he shoul der. Stil l not
The homeowner, uni dent i f i ed i n t he i ni t i al done, Jackson picked up a display case and
reports, exchanged f i re wi t h t he i nt r uders. smashed i t over Vendemmi a' s head, and,
Payne died on the front lawn. The home grabbing Vendemmia's gun, he and his ac
owner' s wi f e was al so wounded; however, complice fl ed t he scene. Jackson was l at er
she was hospi tal i zed and expected to recov i denti fied and arrested when he sought medi
er. Both accompl i ces fled the scene. cal assistance for his gunshot wound.
Homeowner Protects His Wife from Armed Citizen Defends Wife and
Attack Stepson from Home I nvasi on
Healdsburg, California: On February 27, Lilli ngt on, Nor t h Car ol i na: On Decem
2006, a man wearing a ni nj a mask and car ber 18, 2008, Derri ck Womi ack was home
rying an ai r gun at t acked a woman as she with hi s wi f e and stepson when f our armed
left her house for an early-morning walk i ntruders at t empt ed t o ent er hi s home at
with her dogs. The woman was able to break about 10 p.m. Womi ack wrestled cont rol of
away from her at t acker and run back i nt o a gun from one intruder, which discharged
t he house screaming wi t h t he at t acker i n i n the st ruggle. Womi ack t hen f i r ed at t he
pursuit. The woman' s screams awoke her men. Two of the assailants were wounded
husband, who r et r i eved a pi st ol and f i r ed one apparently by a shotgun blast fired by
several shots at the man. The at t acker di ed his accompl i ce and were taken to area hos
at the scene. Ini ti al report s di d not di scl ose pitals for t r eat ment . The ot her t wo assail
the names of any of the i ndi vi dual s invol ved ants fl ed t he scene. The pol i ce di d not r e
i n the inci dent . lease the names of the suspects.
Store Owner, Customer, Fight Back in Dogs Attack Spokane Valley Residents
Store Shootout Spokane Valley, Washington: On Apri l
Blenheim, South Carolina: On January 9, 2007, Jim Hammond and his two grand
23, 2007, Trax convenience store owner Bil l y children were threatened by a pair of boxers.
McArt hur was able to get his gun and shoot They were able to r et reat i nt o Hammond' s
at an armed robber who had j ust shot one house, but the dogs cont i nued t o scratch at
of the five customers present. The wounded the door and windows. Hammond grabbed
customer' s son t hrew a can of beans at t he his gun and went back out si de when t he
robber, giving McArthur t i me t o grab hi s dogs turned thei r att ent i on t o a coupl e who
gun and f i r e one r ound. The suspect es were walking by, biting Faith Yen on the leg.
24
Hammond was able to di stract one dog, and 25, 2005, Felix Vigil violated a restraining or
shot i t i n t he mout h when i t charged hi m. der and attacked his ex-wife, Joyce Cordova,
Both dogs then fled. with a kni fe at a Wal mart st ore. Due Moore,
a customer and vol unt eer wit h t he l ocal po
Armed Citizen Fights off Armed Robbers l ice department' s col d case uni t , shot and
St. Louis, Mi ssouri : On June 28, 2010, a killed Vigil. Joyce Cordova was treated for
young man and his girlfriend were parked at mul t i pl e stab wounds and was later released
a Rally's Hamburgers when two armed men from the hospi t al . Moore was 72 years old at
jumped inside and tried to rob the couple. the time and was among the fi rst in the state
The driver, not named i n t he i ni t i al report s, t o sign up for a concealed carry permi t .
drew his own f i r earm and engaged the rob
bers in a gun bat tl e that st arted i n the vehi McDonald's Employee Defends Self,
cle and then cont i nued out si de as the man, Loses Job
though shot once i n each l eg, exited the ve New Albany, Indiana: On December 24,
hicle and returned fi re. The man shot one as 2005, Clifton Brown Jr., a McDonald's em
sailant in the head, and the other in the chest. ployee, shot at a woman after she had robbed
The female passenger was uninjured. another employee in the parking lot and
then grabbed money f rom t he cash regi ster
Felix Vigil
Armed Beauty Queen Stops Home at the drive-through wi ndow. Brown shot at violated a
Invasion the armed woman t wi ce after she aimed her
restraining order
Tierra Verde, Florida: On March 12, 2011, weapon at hi m. The robber was able to run
at around 3 a.m. Al bert Frankl i n Hi l l f or ced
and attacked
away, evidently unharmed. The police con
his way i nt o t he home of Meghan Br own, cluded that Br own' s acti ons were legal, but his ex-wife,
t he 2009 Mi ss Ti erra Verde pageant wi nner, he lost his job regardless. McDonald's and
after she answered hi s knock on t he door .
Joyce Cordova,
many ot her r estaurant s have specifi c pol i
Hill grabbed Brown, dragging her i nto an cies forbidding their employees from carry
with a knife at a
upstairs bedroom. Br own' s f i ance, Robert ing a gun while at work. Brown had a permit
Walmart store.
Planthaber, was awakened by t he st r uggl e to carry a concealed weapon.
and attacked the i nt r uder. Brown was t hen
Due Moore, a
able to run t o anot her bedroom t o r et r i eve Armed Ci ti zen Prevents Home I nvasion customer, shot
her .38-caliber handgun. She shot Hill sev MacClenny, Florida: On December 29,
and killed Vigil.
eral times and he died at the scene. 2005, Richard Munoz, 23, and his brother,
17, disconnected the phone and power t o
Armed Homeowner Protects Girl fri end the home of Jody Paul Thrift before break
from Home I nvaders ing in through a back door. Hearing noise
Bradenton, Fl or i da: On D e cember 18, f rom downst ai rs, Thr i f t r emai ned wi t h hi s
2008, at about 1:50 a.m., two men at t empt pregnant wi f e i n t h e b edr oom and s h ot
ed to force their way into the home of James one of the armed i nt r uders when t he door
Custard, 52. Cust ard' s gi r l f r i end, Theresa opened. The police caught the 17-year-old
Carney, 47, answered a knock at t he door , accompl ice as he attempted to fl ee the scene.
and was t hen hel d at gunpoi nt . Cust ar d, His brother was cri ti cally i nj ured and t aken
who had r et ri eved hi s own gun, f i red once to Shands-Jacksonville Medi cal Center.
and hit one of the i nt r uders. Both men t hen
fled. Police dogs searched unsuccessfully for Store Clerk Protects Woman with Baby
the intruders' trai l . from Armed Robber
Indianapolis, Indiana: On December 21,
72-Year-Ol d Man Saves a Woman From 2008, Chr i st opher Bar r et o ent ered t he El
Knife-Wielding Assailant Mi choacana Supermarket with gun i n hand.
Albuquerque, New Mexi co: On August Barreto began herdi ng cust omers i nt o one
25
area of the st ore. He t hen poi nt ed hi s gun ports di d not name any of t he i ndi vi dual s
at a woman wi t h a baby. At t hat moment , a involved.
clerk, Mi guel Mondr agon, f i red a fatal shot
with the store owner's gun. Armed Ci ti zen Stops Four Burgl ars
Jackson, Mississippi: On the morning of
Baltimore Ravens Cornerback Confront s December 20, 2005, four teenagers attempt
Gunman ed to break i nt o t he home of Beverly John
Tallahassee, Florida: On January 21, 2004, son. Her son, i n t he resi dence with hi s t wo
Corey Fuller, a professional football player younger nephews, shot one of the teenagers
f or the Bal ti more Ravens, stepped out of hi s in the leg. The wound was not l i f e-threaten
home when he was accosted by a gunman. ing. All four juveniles face possible burglary
Fuller retreated to hi s house and the assail charges and may be connected to ot her area
ant pursued him, fi ring shots and kicking burglaries. Ms. Johnson' s son was q ues
through the door. Ful ler retri eved a revolver t ioned, but not charged; nei ther he nor hi s
and returned f i re, repelling the woul d-be in two nephews were hurt .
t ruder. A get away dri ver had been wai t i ng
and the two sped off. After the incident, Ful l Clerk Stops Armed Robbers
er offered $10,000 for i nf ormat i on about t he Mobile, Alabama: On September 28, 2006,
i ntruder. store clerk Lay "Bruce" Khat reacted to t wo
unidenti f i ed men at hi s shop door who were
Armed Citizen Saves Woman from Being carrying guns and attempted to push a pull
Burned Alive only door . When t he r obbers ent ered t he
Jackson, Mississippi: On March 3, 2007, store with guns drawn, Khat was able to re
42-year-old Henry Watson ignored bystand trieve a pistol and then exchanged shots with
ers as he repeatedly stabbed his wife, Gracie the men. The two cul pri t s fl ed after one was
Watson, and t hen poured gasol ine on her . shot in the shoul der.
She was screaming for help while the cus
t omers f rom t he sur r oundi ng st ores were Armed Citizen Defends Himself from
shouting at hi m and t r yi ng t o di st ract hi m Home I nvasion
with t hei r aut omobi l e hor ns. Before Henry Myrtl e Beach, Sout h Car ol i na: On De
could appl y a l i t mat ch t o Gr aci e, a man cember 11, 2008, at about 9 p. m. , Lamont
passing by drew his gun and threatened to Lee Reed Dur r el l and an accompl i ce, bot h
shoot i f t he assaul t cont i nued or i f Henr y armed, br oke i nt o a n ap ar t ment at t he
When the ran. The rescuer was able to det ai n Wat son Courtyard 1 Apar t ment s on Bur cal e Road.
robbers entered
until police officers arrived. The homeowner defended himself with hi s
firearm, killing Durrell while the accomplice
the store with
Homeowner Shoots Two Woul d- Be fled. Police questioned and then released the
guns drawn,
Burglars homeowner, and said that no charges woul d
Khat was able
Wil mi ngt on, Del aware: On November 10, be filed against him.
2005, a man was at hi s car when t wo men
to retrieve a t ried to mug hi m, sti cki ng somethi ng i n hi s Homeowner Stops Intruder with Ri fl e
pistol and then
side. He assumed i t was a gun so he pul l ed Creston, Cal i f or ni a: On De cember 11,
2005, Jedidiah James Williams used a rock
exchanged shots
out his own 9mm handgun and fired, appar
ently hi t t i ng bot h men. The men ran away. t o break a back door wi ndow and enter t he
with the men. One was found i n cr i t i cal condi t i on by t he l aundry r oom of Dal e St uve' s home. Stuve
The two culprits
police near the scene, and was taken t o t he heard the noi se, called the pol i ce, and t hen
hospital. The ot her was f ound a f ew hour s armed hi msel f wi t h hi s ri fl e. St uve t ri ed t o
fled a&er one
later in the bushes across the street. He was hold the laundry room door closed, but Wil
was shot.
pronounced dead at t he scene. I ni t i al r e liams forced i t open. Stuve then t hreatened
26
to shoot t he i nt r uder. Wi l l i ams demanded of the men t r i ed t o r ob her at kni f e-poi nt . The woman, a
Stuve's car, to no avail, and t hen l eft . Pol i ce The woman, a concealed carry permi t hol d
concealed carry
found Wi l l i ams a quarter-mi l e away, in front er, drew her gun and poi nt ed i t at her as
of another home. sailant. The men t hen fl ed. State Pol ice di d
permit holder,
not release the woman' s name but gave a de drew her gun and
Armed Ci ti zen Prevents Robbery scription of the suspects' vehicle.
pointed it at her
Oak Park, Illinois: On December 21, 2008,
a thief who sought a leather jacket as loot be Store Clerk Shoots Armed Robber
assailants. The
came the recipient of t hree bul l ets: one each Port Ar t hur , Texas: On June 22, 2007,
men then fled.
to the face, leg, and pelvis. Stroger Hospital in Brandon Ol i ver entered the Stop and Dr i ve
Chicago treated the woul d-be thi ef' s inj uri es. and held an employee at gunpoint, demand
Police did not i mmedi ately release the thief' s ing money. Another employee, Tajamal Shah,
name, but said that charges against the rob witnessed the inci dent f rom hi s t r uck i n t he
ber would probably result if the intended vic parking l ot, and recognized Oliver as the
tim coul d be found. At the time of the shoot same man who had previously robbed the
ing, Chicago maintained a handgun ban so store at gunpoi nt and t hreatened empl oyees.
t hat law mi ght have deterred the woul d-be Seeing that Oliver had a weapon, Shah drew
victim from comi ng forward. his .38 and shot several ti mes at Ol i ver, who
died at a hospi tal two days later. No charges
Homeowner Shoots Burglar in the Leg against Shah were expected.
Gary, Indiana: On February 2, 2007, Mi
chael Harmon br oke i nt o t he home of Way Hiker Shoots Grizzly Bear in Denali
mond Pearson. Pearson was not at h o me National Park
initially. A neighbor saw the break-in and Fairbanks, Alaska: On May 28, 2010, a
contacted Pearson, who returned to his home backpacker in Denali National Park became
and shot Har mon i n t he l eg when the t hi ef one of the fi rst known armed ci t i zens to ex
approached him. No charges were brought ercise his right t o self'-defense since a federal
against Pearson. Harmon was charged wi t h l aw started all owi ng guns i n nat i onal parks.
burglary. A bear charged the unidentified hiker and
his femal e compani on, f or ci ng t he man t o
Husband Chases off Masked I nt ruders fire his .45 pistol. The bear fled and died later
Orange City, Florida: On December 18, of its wounds. The pair then had to hike over
2008, a couple heard a crash in anot her part a mil e t o r eport t he i nci dent t o par k r ang
of their house while they were watching tele ers.
vision. When t hey went t o i nvesti gate, they
f ound two ar med bur gl ars i n t hei r ki t chen. Armed Ci ti zen Shoots Attacker in Self
They ran back t o t hei r bedroom where t he Defense
husband ret ri eved a gun. He was t hen abl e Elkins, West Virginia: On February 16,
t o chase the armed men out of t he house. 2007, Leslie Woodf ord t hr eat ened one per
Police did not i dent i f y the homeowners. son too many af t er a domesti c di sput e i n
volving a di f f i cul t di vor ce. When vi si t i ng
Woman Defends Herself from Knife his ex-wife and her father, he pulled a gun.
Wielding Assailants The fat her was abl e t o r et r i eve a shot gun.
Fort Smi t h, Ar kansas: On December 14, Woodford l ef t t hat al t er cati on bef or e t he
2008, two men pulled up next to a woman police arrived. Not done, he then broke i nt o
on the i nt er st ate bet ween Kel l ey Hi ghway the home of St even Sni der, hi s ex- wi fe' s
and the Arkansas River Bridge and indi cated boyfriend, and was promptly shot to death.
t hat one of her vehi cle's tires was going fl at . Snider was ini tially charged with second
When she pul led over to check her ti res, one degree mur der but wa s s ubsequentl y r e
27
l eased once authori t i es determi ned i t was a plice were not satisfied with t he money they
case of self'-defense. took from the cash register, the clerk forced
to lie on the fl oor managed to get the gun
Man Hol ds I nt ruder at Gunpoi nt Unt i l f rom his waistband and shot both men t wi ce
Police Arrive before they were able to shoot hi m and hi s
Malvern, Ar kansas: On th e mor n i n g girlfriend. Burns died but the second sus
of December 11, 2008, homeowner Lester pect's wounds were reported to the pol ice by
Newborn and hi s daughter were surprised a hospital.
when 30-year-old Jennifer Draper entered
the home through an unlocked bedroom Woman Shoots Home I nvader
window. Hearing a scream of alarm f rom hi s Lynn Haven, Florida: On December 5,
daughter, Newborn grabbed a.357 Magnum 2 008, two men f or ced t hei r way i nt o t h e
and held the i nt r uder at gunpoi nt unt i l t he home of Melissa Galarza. They punched her
police arrived. No shots were fired. i n the face and knocked her to the fl oor, de
manding " t he money." The cr i mi nal s al so
Victim Hol ds Car Prowl Suspect at covered her mouth to muffle her screams.
Gunpoi nt Galarza was able to draw a gun from the bot
Hearing a scream
Olympia, Washington: On hi s way t o t om shel f of her cof f ee t abl e and t he men
of alarm from work at 4 a.m. on August 9, 2005, Chuck Es backed off, only to charge at her again. When
his daughter,
tes found hi s wi fe's car burgl arized and then Galarza fired at the men, they fl ed. Twenty
saw two young men nearby i n a car f ul l of six-year-old Mat t hew Andr ews went t o a l o
Newborn
electronics. With gun and fl ashl i ght dr awn, cal hospital a short ti me l ater with a gunshot
grabbed a .357
he detained one suspect, 16, unti l the pol i ce wound t o hi s abdomen. A Panama Ci t y de
Magnum and
arrived. Police l ater arrested anot her young tective interviewed Andrews, who clai med to
man as a suspected accompl i ce. Police cred have been the vi cti m of a r obbery. Andrews
held the intruder i ted Estes with "solving a string of car prowl s checked out of the hospi tal before Lynn Ha
at gunpoint until
and helping t o recover more than $4,000 i n ven police could not i f y Panama City of f i cers
stolen property" f rom a dozen other robber of the Gal arza home i nvasion. Gal arza later
the police arrived.
ies. i denti fi ed Andr ews as one of t he men who
No shots were
broke into her house. Offi ci als secured a war
fired.
87-Year-Ol d Woman Fat al ly Shoots Man r ant for Andrews' arrest and t racked hi m t o
i n Her Home his girlfriend's home. Police took him i nt o
St. Louis, Illinois: On February 7, 2006, custody after a two-hour standoff that ended
Jacksie Mae King used a revolver to kill Larry with SWAT of f i cers forcing Andrews out of
Til l man af t er Ti l l man cut her phone l i nes his girlfriend's home with tear gas.
and pried the iron bars off her windows to
gain entry. The 87-year-old woman was giv Homeowner Shoots Intruder
en a .32 Colt revolver for self'-defense by her Broken Ar r ow, Okl ahoma: On Novem
daughter, a pol i ce of f i cer, after she became ber 1, 2008, 19-year-old Stephen Richardson
the victi m of a home i nvasi on, beati ng, and " threw a rock t hr ough t he gl ass port i on of
robbery. Even though the woman di dn' t have t he door, then reached through the wi ndow,
proper Il l i noi s credenti als to own a gun, po unlocked t he door , and ent ered t he r esi
lice declined to charge her with any crime. dence" of Curti s and Catherine Freeman. As
Richardson l ef t t he mast er bedr oom and
Clerk Shoots Two Robbers, Killing One entered the hal l way, Cur t i s Fr eeman shot
Riverside, Cal i f orni a: On De cember 5, the int r uder several ti mes wit h a .40-caliber
2 005, t he Al essandro L i quor s t or e wa s handgun. Aut hor i t i es ai rl i f t ed Ri chardson
robbed for t he second t i me i n t hr ee weeks. t o a hospi t al and pl anned on f i l i ng f i r st
When Marshawn Burns, 29, and hi s accom degree burglary charges.
28
Would-Be Robber Shot by Liquor Store t he burgl ars' wri st s wi t h zi p- t i es and hel d
Owner them unti l pol i ce offi cers arrived.
Columbi a, Sout h Car ol i na: On Decem
ber 10, 2008, 28-year-old Oxvaria Ingram Fatal Ending for Accused Stalker
entered a li quor st ore owned by Sam Banks Hammond, I ndi ana: On November 12,
and asked how much a bot tl e of l i quor cost . 2007, an Indi ana woman' s worst ni ght mares
After getting an answer, Ingram crossed the were realized when a man she had previously
"employees-only" chain, grabbed two bottles dated showed up at her residence uni nvi t ed
and headed t owar d Banks' s wi f e. Banks' s and began pounding on her door. "We only
wife shot I ngram t wi ce wi t h a .38 revol ver. went out on t hat one dat e. . . I got a l ook at
Authori t i es pl anned t o charge Ingram wi t h his temper, and real i zed I di dn' t want any
strong-arm robbery. t hing to do wi t h hi m. But he woul dn' t t ake
no for an answer." The woman, not named
Man Shot in Struggle for Shotgun i n news r eports, had f i l ed si x compl ai nt s
La Plata County, Col orado: On December against the man, Ryan Lee Bergner, after he
16, 2005, Andrew Wi l l i amson was awakened slashed her t i res and br oke i nt o her home.
shortly after mi dni ght by a knock on hi s Emergency 911 tapes captured audi o as the
door. Williamson grabbed his shotgun and woman hi d i n a closet with a 9mm handgun
went t o i nvesti gate. As Wi l l i amson opened given to her by a friend for prot ecti on. When
his front door, Jason Egger forced his way Bergner found her hiding in a closet and be
i n and t r i ed t o t ake Wi l l i amson' s shot gun gan choking her, she was able to fire three
away from him. An accomplice, Jesse Hand shots and killed him. The county prosecu
ley, joined the struggle and the gun went off, tor determi ned that the woman acted in self'
shooting Egger point-blank. Authorities did defense and declined to file charges.
not fil e any charges against Wi l l i amson.
Armed Woman Stops Burglary
Homeowner Thwarts, Handcuffs Burglar Mobile, Alabama: On March 28, 2007,
Dupo, Il l i nois: On December 3, 2008, Lelia Richardson dropped her kids of f at
Eric L. Kirk, 35, knocked on the door of a school i n t he mor ni ng and r et ur ned home.
residence on Stolle Road. As the homeowner When she ar r i ved, she saw an unf ami l i ar
went t o answer t he door , he not i ced Ki r k t ruck beneath her car por t and a man she
prying open the garage door with a crow did not recognize exiting her home, carrying
bar. The homeowner called 911, then fired her belongings. Lelia readied her pistol and
t wo war ni ng shot s i nt o t h e gr ound, and exited her vehi cle, asking the man what he
t hen wrestled Kirk t o the ground and hand was doing. The man, Jedadhai Powell, told
The woman hid
cuffed hi m. The homeowner, not i dent i f i ed Richardson that he lived there in her home!
in a closet with
in the initial reports, held Kirk unti l poli ce When Ri chardson made i t cl ear she lived in
arrived. the home, he asked her not t o shoot and of '
a 9mm handgun
fered to put everything back. She kept her
Shotgun-Wi el ding Man Comes to weapon trai ned on the burgl ar unt i l l aw en
given to her
Neighbor's Rescue forcement of f i cers arrived. by a friend for
Daytona Beach, Florida: On January 5,
protection. When
2007, Kyle Wi nkl er came home t o di scover Home I nvasion Thwart ed
t wo i nt r uders i n hi s apart ment . A f i ght en Granby, New Yor k: On De cember 20,
Bergner found
sued and the i nt r uders t ri ed t o t hr ow Wi n 2005, two robbers, Kyle Hunter and Donal d her, she was
kler over a s econd-fl oor b ani st er. When Brown, armed with a shotgun and a machete
able to fire three
Winkler cried out for help, neighbor Mil es broke i nt o a Gr anby home and t i ed up t he
Delavecchia answered the call , armed wi t h home's five occupants. Two of the i nt ended shots and killed
a shotgun. Winkler and Delavecchia bound v ictims managed t o get f r ee and t ur n t h e
him.
29
A woman was at shotgun on t hei r capt ors. One r obber r e able to hold Ni chol son at gunpoi nt unt i l po
home with her
ceived a bi rdshot wound; bot h were caught lice arrived.
by local and st ate law enf orcement of f i cers
three children
after fleeing. The victi ms' names were not re Woman Fatally Shoots Armed Home
when a man leased by police. Invader
entered the
N ew Or l eans, Loui si ana: On Apr i l 5,
Texas Homeowner Grabs Robber' s Gun, 2011, a woman was at home wi t h her t hr ee
residence with a
Kills Him children when a man ent ered the residence
gun. The mother
Dallas, Texas: On November 1, 2008, a with a gun. The mother produced and fired
homeowner answered his door to fi nd a man
produced and
a pistol of her own, hi t t i ng t he man i n t he
pointing a handgun at him. He grabbed it t orso several t i mes. The man was r ushed
fired a pistol of and shot the woul d-be robber. A second man to the hospi tal but coul d not be saved. The
her own, hitting
was able to escape on foot. The homeowner woman had a concealed weapons permit.
wasn't i nj ur ed, but t he man he shot l at er Detectives seized the gun t hat t he woman
the man in the
died at an ar ea hospi t al . A pol i ceman ac used to shoot the i nt r uder and anot her that
torso several
knowl edged that the resident was onl y pro she kept i n her home, but ar e t r eati ng t he
times.
tecting hi mself. Pol ice di d not i mmedi at el y shooting as a justifiable homicide.
release the names of any of t he i ndi vi dual s
involved. Tech Students Use Their Guns to Stop
Burglars
Wounded Clerks' Boss Armed, "Ready" Lubbock, Texas: Wi thi n t wo days i n mi d
Jackson, Mississippi: On February 10, January 2007, two Texas Tech students each
2007, one armed robber shot two of Ahmed had to defend themselves and their proper
Alomari' s empl oyees at hi s W. No r t hsi de t y from t hi eves. On January 22, 2007, Mat t
Drive Chevron st at i on, whi l e anot her sus Hoski nson di d so by shoot i ng t wi ce into t he
pect grabbed cash from the register. Alo ground t o scare of f i nt r uders. On January
mari' s son, Bassam Al omari , despi t e f our
23, 2007, student Ron Har mon l ay i n wai t
gunshot wounds, was able to get a.44 hand for two bur gl ars to enter before scaring one
gun and wal k out si de t o shoot at t he t wo away and holding the other, Thomas Jeremy
criminals. He and Alhoussine Arhgoummi, Mart i nez, for the pol i ce. Both st udents had
wounded twi ce, were taken to a hospi tal and concealed handgun l i censes.
l isted i n f ai r condi t i on. St ore manager Mo
hammed Shawsh, armed wi t h t hr ee guns, Tables Turned in Armed Robbery
stated, "We' re ready. If they come back here, Baltimore, Mar yl and: On December 12,
they' re not going to l eave back out."
2008, at t he i nt ersection of Hammer shi r e
and Reisterstown roads, an armed man and
Burson Homeowner Foils a Robbery woman emerged from a Toyot a Camry, ap
Attempt proached t hree men, and demanded t hei r
Burson, Cal i f or ni a: On No v ember 10, money. One of t he t hree men qui ckl y t ook
2008, Mike Nicholson, III, knocked on the hold of one of the would-be robbers' weap
door of Wi l l iam Six's home. Six answered ons. The assailants then fl ed. The i ni t i al re
t he door to f i nd Ni chol son wi t h a 10" kni f e ports di d not name any of t he i ndi vi dual s
in hand, demanding the keys to one of Six's involved.
trucks. Six refused, was able to retrieve a fire
arm, and pursued Ni chol son i nt o hi s dri ve Homeowner Shoots and Cri ti cally
way. Six ordered Ni chol son to the ground t o Wounds Int ruder
await pol i ce, but an i nt oxi cated Ni chol son Tulsa, Okl ahoma: On D ec ember 1 3 ,
became belligerent, t hreatening Si x and hi s 2011, Fred Willis kicked open the back door
wife. After a warning shot was fi red, Six was of a Tulsa family's home and forced his way
30
i nto the coupl e's bedroom. The homeowner, several rounds from a 9 mm pi st ol , cri t i cal l y
Ronald Dobbs, fired a pi stol, striking the injuring Peake and wounding Elkins. Police
i ntruder several ti mes. Police say a child was charged bot h of t he i nt r uders, as well as a
present i n t he home, but was not i nj ur ed. third student, Jason Douglas Reynolds, de
The suspect was taken to the hospi tal in cri t scribed as the getaway dri ver, wi t h second
i cal condi t i on. degree burglary.
Business Owner Stops Trai ler Thi ef and Teen Fires Shotgun to Stop Attack on
Holds for Police Mother
Longtown, Okl ahoma: On January 11, Dover, Del aware: On Oct ober 27, 2009,
2004, l ocal busi ness owner Br uce Combs Jeremy S. Stanislow was arguing with hi s
pulled over t o l et a t r uck pul l i ng a t r ai l er ex-wife outside her home when he pushed
pass hi m on a st at e hi ghway bef ore not i c her off t he st eps and began assaulting her.
i ng the trai ler being towed was his very own. Their 16-year-old son t ri ed to i nt ervene, but
Combs pursued the trailer and, after a call to Stanislow attacked him, and then cont i nued
911 failed to go through, displayed a hand punching his ex-wife. When his mother lost
gun to the t r uck dr i ver, forcing hi m t o pul l consciousness, the 14-year-old son f i r ed a
"If I di dn' t have
over into a parki ng l ot. Combs then phoned shotgun i nt o the air. Stanislow fl ed after the
authori t i es again and held the dri ver at gun shot was fired, but l ater turned hi mself i n t o that gun on me,
point whi l e wai t i ng for t hei r arri val . t he pol i ce. The vi ct i ms' names were not r e
I wouldn't be
leased i6s
Victim Surprises Would-Be Robbers
talking to you
Orlando, Florida: On December 14, 2005, Man Fends off Armed Muggers
right now,"
i n a Marri ot t Fai rf i el d Inn parki ng l ot , Den Palmetto Bay, Flori da: Early in the morn
Lee told
nis Pugh, 18, and Mi guel Arias, 17, both i ng on November 23, 2010, t hr ee ar med
armed, apparentl y t hought a man exi t i ng robbers ambushed John Lee as he exited reporters from
his car woul d not be a chal l enge; i nstead, his car, shout i ng t o " gi ve i t up" and open
his hospital bed.
the 37-year-old concealed carry l i censee was i ng f i re. Lee, a father of f our and manager
able to pull his gun and fire after being con of a Sam' s Cl ub st ore, who had obt ai ned
f ronted. The two teens were soon caught un a concealed carry permi t years before, now
harmed by police and charged with armed drew his Glock handgun. After being struck
robbery once, Lee returned f i re. The suspects fl ed.
L ee r emai ns " c onvi nced t hat t he t hr e e
Two Wounded I nt ruders and Getaway armed r obbers, who made no at t empt t o
Driver Charged cover their faces, would have killed him had
Ni trate Ci ty, Al abama: On December 3, he not been armed. 'If I di dn' t have that gun
2008, t hree Uni versity of No r t h Al abama on me, I woul dn' t be t al ki ng t o you r i ght
students attempted to burgl arize a residence. now,'" he t ol d r epor t ers f rom hi s hospi t al
The homeowner received multiple hang-up bed 166
phone calls from unf ami l i ar numbers on the
t wo evenings before the break-in and not ed Armed Homeowner Ki l l s Suspected
t hat someone had t r i ed t o br eak t hr ough Burglar
his back door ar ound t he same t i me t hat Sacramento, Cal i f orni a: On November 8,
the calls began. The homeowner grew suspi 2008, two suspects entered a home on 51st
cious and turned out t he l i ght s i n hi s home Street and conf r ont ed the homeowner. The
but was fully prepared for another break-in homeowner was abl e t o r et r i eve a f i r earm
attempt. As Justin Peake and Hol l and Noah and fatall y shot one of t he suspects in sel f
Elkins, two of t he woul d-be bur gl ars, were defense. The second suspect, a white male in
kicking in the door, the homeowner fired his late 20s, fled the scene.
31
Armed Homeowner Foils Invasion The other thi ef fl ed. The clerk who f i red t he
Carlisle, Pennsylvania: At 2: 30 a. m. on shots was licensed to possess and carry a fire
Friday, May 30, 2008, Eugene Johnson, a arm and was not charged.
20-year Army veteran and former POW, and
his wife Bernadi ne, awoke to the sounds of a NJ Man Defends Home from Burglars
man breaking i nt o t hei r house on the 1200 West Paterson, New Jersey: On February
block of Nort h West Street. After ki cki ng i n 2, 2006, Eucledes Moya's wife called home
t he back door, the i nt r uder announced that to tell hi m t hat she was being fol l owed, and
he had a gun. Johnson replied that he had t hat the men had par ked i n f r ont of t hei r
a gun as well, and the intruder quickly fled house. Moya r et r i eved hi s gun, and c on
the scene. f ronted the three men who were now rushi ng
t o his home. One of the men f i red at Moya.
Homeowner Ki ll s Teen Burgl ary Suspect Moya shot back several ti mes. The men di d
Forth Wor t h, Texas: On May 25, 2011, a not gain entry to the home and fl ed.
Texas homeowner i n the 1100 bl ock of East
Jefferson Avenue discovered 17-year-old Er Man Defends Self and Friend during
nest Mor ri s t r yi ng t o pr y open a back wi n Stabbing Attack
dow of hi s home with a crowbar. The home Bryan, Texas: On August 25, 2005, Phyl
owner, who asked not to be identi fi ed, loaded l is Scott was having di nner wi t h Andy Fi t t s
his gun and hoped the sound would scare and hi s mot her when Amos Ybarra, an ex
t he i nt r uder away. When t hat di dn' t wor k, boyfriend, came to t he house and asked t o
he fired a single shot, stri ki ng Mor ri s i n t he speak t o Scot t out si de. Once out si de, t he
chest. Morri s fled the scene, but died nearby. man began shouti ng at Scott before stabbing
The homeowner has not been charged. her in the chest. Fi tts responded to screams
and retrieved a handgun when Ybarra start
Homeowner Kills Burglar with Single ed to attack hi m. Fi t t s f i red two shots, ki l l
Shot ing Ybarra. Fortunately, both Fi tt s and Scott
Toledo, Washi ngt on: On Oct ober 2 7, survived their i nj uri es.
2009, a 62-year-old man killed an unidenti
fied male burglar as the intruder approached Deputy DA Nabs Suspect in Home
him on t he st ai rs of hi s home i n t he 100 Portland, Oregon: On December 25, 2005,
block of Mulford Road. The homeowner 18-year-old Ryan James Dot t a at t empt ed
heard the break-in, armed himself, and took t o rob the home of deput y di st ri ct at t orney
a defensive position at the top of a stai rway. Mark Costello. Wearing paj amas, but armed
When the i nt r uder ascended the st ai rs, the with a handgun, Costell o was abl e t o hol d
homeowner gave two verbal war ni ngs and Dotta for pol i ce. ~
After kicking in
f ired a shot when t he i nt r uder r ef used t o
the back door,
comply. The intruder was killed. Police did Parking Attendant Fights Off
the intruder
not release the name of the homeowner. 5 Attackers
Orlando, Florida: On December 27, 2007,
announced that Store Clerk Kills One of Two Robbers prior to an Orlando Magic basketball game,
he had a gun.
Worcester, Massachusetts: On December a 65-year-old man was collecting parking
10, 2008, Evan Louis Rivera and an unknown
Johnson replied
fees in a church lot when he was accosted by
accomplice, bot h wear i ng masks, ent ered f ive armed robbers. Whil e under at t ack, the
that he had a gun Big Bob's Liquors and held one of the two man fei gned reaching for cash, but i nst ead
as well, and the
clerks on duty at gunpoi nt . One of the clerks, pulled hi s permi tted concealed handgun,
whose name was not released by police, drew firing several ti mes and f orci ng the robbers
intruder quickly
his own gun and fi red several shots at Rivera, t o fl ee. The man di d not wi sh t o be i dent i
fled the scene.
who di ed of hi s wounds shortl y t hereafter. fied.'"
32
Would-Be Robber Shot and Killed Roland Jones, 19, on Cent ral Avenue, and John Silva, was
Paramount, Cal i f orni a: On December 19, his accomplice, Cory Jay Smith, 21, hiding
able to turn the
2005, an armed man i n hi s t hi r t i es t ri ed t o in a nearby lake.
tables on two
rob a Somerset Boul evard mi ni - mart . When
he became di stracted as a second empl oyee Homeowner Hal ts Burgl ary robbers when
suddenly appeared i n t he rear of t he st ore, Ogden, Utah: On December 16, 2008, two
he a produced
t he cashier was abl e t o get a weapon and burglars engaged in a gun fight with a home
shoot the gunman. The t hi ef l at er di ed at owner when t hey were unabl e t o gai n en
a .380 pistol
a hospital. Police did not i mmediately re trance into the home. As the cri mi nal s were
and confronted
l ease the names of t hose i nvol ved i n the i n kicking in the door, they realized the home
his would-be
cident. was not vacant. Whi l e leaving the scene, one
of the burgl ars fi red a shot at the homeown assailants.
Dead Robbery Suspect Linked to er, who returned fire as the burglars fled. The
Another Cri me homeowner, not named in the ini t i al reports,
Delray Beach, Florida: On July 3, 2010, gave a description of the burglars' vehicle.
Tyrone Pinkney entered a convenience store Police recognized the vehi cl e f rom anot her
intent on armed robbery. A clerk hid behind attempted bur gl ary case and ar r ested t he
t he counter and ar med hi msel f , ret ur ni ng suspect at his home. Police did not i mmedi
f ire wi t h hi s own h andgun af t er Pi nkney ately release the names of anyone involved in
b egan shoot i ng. Of f i cers ar r i ved t o f i n d the incident.
the robber still clutching his handgun, face
down on t he gr ound. Pi nkney l ater di ed at Store Clerk Fi red for Using Gun to
t he hospi t al . Aut hor i t i es det ermi ned t hat Defend Store
Pinkney shot and ki lled a clerk and a cus Portsmouth, New Ha mpshi re: On De
tomer at anot her conveni ence store onl y 30 cember 7, 2005, Cumberl and Farms st or e
minutes prior, and said he had been a person clerk Br uce Soi ett pur sued an ar med r ob
of interest in another fatal convenience store ber out of the building. Soiett yelled for the
shooting the year before. t hief to st op, and the robber t ur ned t oward
Soiett with a gun. Soiett f i red two rounds at
Homeowner Hel d Thi eves at Gunpoi nt the robber. No one was hurt in the exchange,
Until Officers Arrived and pol i ce never caught t he t hi ef . Cumber
Athens, Alabama: On July 27, 2007, an l and Farms f i r ed Soi et t over t he i nci dent ,
unidenti f i ed Athens resident returned home but he qui ckl y f ound wor k at t h e Exi t 3
to find Timothy Maynor and Shaun Holley Travel St op. " We f eel mor e c omf or t abl e
stealing hi s col l ect i on of al umi num c ans. having people who can stand up for them
The homeowner confronted the thi eves with selves," his new empl oyer stated.
his gun drawn, and held them for authori
t ies. Police l ater det ermi ned t hat t he men Aggressive Pit Bull Killed by Homeowner
were responsible for ot her area robberies. Temecula, California: On July 30, 2007,
retired pol i ce detective Frank Canson went
Storeowner Shoots at Armed Robbers to retrieve his Sunday morning paper. A pit
St. Petersburg, Fl ori da: On December 7, bull known for menacing area neighbors
2008, a variety store owner, John Si l va, was confronted Canson, j umpi ng up agai nst the
able to turn t he t ables on two robbers when gate at the end of Canson's driveway. Canson
he a produced a .380 pistol and confronted retrieved a 9 mm handgun and r et ur ned t o
his woul d-be assailants. A former merchant pick up his newspaper, finding it shredded
Marine enli stee, the man fi red three shots at outside the gate. As Canson knel t to pi ck up
the robbers as they fled. The police picked t he paper st rewn across the di r t r oad, t he
up both robbers quickly, finding Benjamin pit bul l and t wo mor e dogs ret urned. Can
33
son fired at the pit bul l as it charged him, raculously, neither party was injured. Offi
woundi ng i t and t hen del i vering a fatal shot cers had prot ective equi pment and none of
as it wri thed on the ground i n pai n. Aut hor i the 22 shots fired by police struck the family.
ties declined t o pr ess any charges against Authori t i es admi t t ed t hey acted on i naccu
Canson. Local residents poi nted t o a st ri ng r ate informat i on pr ovi ded by an i nf or mant ,
of disturbances caused by the loose dogs. but t ook some t i me bef ore deci ding not t o
charge Khang wi t h a cri me. A year later, the
Robbery Foiled after Shots Exchanged city paid the Khang family a $600,000 settle
Center Poi nt , Al abama: On t he ni ght of ment.
October 20, 2009, two empl oyees were leav
i ng thei r j ob at a phone st ore when a man Store Clerk Fi res Shot at Woul d- Be
t hreatened the femal e empl oyee with a gun Robber
and asked for money. When the male em Sandy Springs, South Carolina: Just be
ployee moved for cover, the attacker started fore 10 p.m. on November 12, 2008, a man
shooti ng. The male was armed and returned pointed a gun at an unnamed Sunoco em
f ire, chasing the gunman away. The woul d ployee and demanded money. The clerk told
The robber shot
be robber was last seen fleeing on f oot . Nei t he man to wai t whi l e he got the money t o
t her of the empl oyees was harmed i n the i n gether, then pul led out a gun and fi red a shot
Braun in the cident. at the robber. The robber quickly fled the
lower abdomen
scene. Deputies searched with t racki ng dogs,
Owner Defends Liquor Store but they did not t hi nk t he cul pri t was hi t .
but fled as Braun
Largo, Maryl and: At about 7:30 a.m. on
drew his own December 12, 2008, Bill Robertson shot and Neighbor's Son Apprehends Burglar
firearm to defend
killed a would-be robber. The robber entered, Blue Lake, California: On March 26, 2008,
drew a gun, and a struggle began. Robert Steven Wilson's mother observed Ryan Bush
himself.
son, a co-owner of the store, was able to pul l break into her neighbor's home, and tol d
out a shot gun. The robber was ki l l ed at t he her son. Steven Wi l son ar med hi msel f and
scene. fired a "warning shot" at Bush, who was van
dalizing and st eal ing f rom t he home. Af t er
Home I nvader Gets 10 Years, Blames the shot, Bush fl ed. Wi l son pursued and was
Victims eventually able to hol d hi m at gunpoi nt f or
Upper Deerfield Township, New Jersey: authori t i es.
On July 4, 2003, William Burden and How
ard Dunns ki cked in the door of Robert and Man Dr aws Weapon to Ward off Armed
Wanda DuBoi s' s home. Robert DuBoi s r e Robber
t rieved hi s handgun and st ar t ed shoot i ng. Coral Springs, Florida: At about 6:45 a.m.
The int r uders fled and st ate pol i ce later ap on November 17, 2008, an uni dent i f i ed man
prehended them. The incident ended their confronted Mar k Br aun i n t he hal l way of
crime spree that i ncluded burglaries, rob his apartment building. The man produced
beries, shoot i ng t wo el derl y vi ct i ms, and a gun and demanded that Braun give him
supplying the weapon used in a murder. cash. The robber shot Braun i n the l ower ab
domen and fl ed as Braun drew hi s own f i r e
Wrong-Door SWAT Raid Mistaken for arm to defend himself.
Home I nvasion
Mi nneapol is, Mi nnesota: On December Burglary Suspect Shot, Hospitalized
17, 2007, a SWAT t eam ki cked down t h e Savannah, Georgia: On August 26,
door of immigrant Vang Khang, who fired a 2005, a woman di scovered a man cl i mbi ng
shotgun at what he presumed to be i nt r ud t hrough her apart ment' s bathroom wi ndow
ers to defend his wife and six children. Mi and was able to get her gun i n t i me and f i r e
34
several shots. The unnamed woman had a Man Thwarts Robbery by Shooting at
handgun because she had been burglarized Suspect
before. The man was hi t several t i mes but Las Vegas, Nevada: On January 18, 2011,
managed to cl imb back out , asking a nearby a 57-year-old man i n a Wal -Mart parki ng
driver to take hi m t o t he hospi t al . Police de l ot may have appeared an easy target to one
clined to charge the woman, but di d charge robber. He was quickly proven wrong when,
the man. upon being attacked, the man pulled his le
gal firearm and fired mul ti ple shots at his
Homeowner Shoots Intruder attacker. The foiled robber quickly fled. Au
Omaha, Nebraska: On January 25, 2007, t hori t i es are not sure if he was struck by the
Jon Cowdi n conf r ont ed f our men as t hey gunfi re. The ci ti zen then put down hi s gun
tried to enter his home. As the men struggled and waited for police.
t o push i n t he door , one assailant pushed
a shotgun t hrough the opening. Cowdin Knife-Wielding Assailant Shot
grabbed the burglar's shotgun and f i red, Kansas City, Mi ssouri : On the evening of
hitting one and scaring them all off. Depu December 29, 2005, a knife-wielding man
ties picked up the burglars soon after. The forced his way into a residence, even though
wounded burgl ar, an unnamed j uveni le, was one of the residents had a restrai ni ng order
t reated and r el eased f rom t h e Cr ei ght on against him. While struggling with one resi
University Medi cal Center, joi ni ng the ot her dent, and swinging his knife threateningly,
three under arrest: Jacobee Knave, 21, and t he second resident shot hi m. The i nt r uder
Jerrett Jackson, 18, and anot her unnamed died at a hospital, which proved once again
juvenile. t hat a gun is a more effective protector than
a court document . Pol ice did not rel ease the
Father Shoots Son in Self-Defense names of the persons involved.
Meadowvi ew, Vi rgi ni a: On December 3,
2005, 22-year-old John Tuggle, apparently Suspect Killed during Attempted
drunk, threatened to kill his 44-year-old fa Robbery
ther, Jefferson Tuggle. John retrieved an axe Indianapolis, Indiana: On September 27,
and a kni fe, and the father retri eved his .357 2006, two br ot hers ent ered a j ewelry st or e
Magnum. John lunged at his father with the i ntent on ar med r obbery. The st ore owner,
knife. Jefferson Tuggle shot his son in the Roscoe Parmley, pulled a handgun and fired
wrist to f orce hi m t o dr op t he kni f e, whi ch a fatal shot at Corey Art ry, 18. Parmley and
Jefferson t hen r e t r i eved. Pol i ce ar r est ed two of his employees held Corey's brother,
John on an at t empt ed f i r st -degree mur der Nicholas, 20, for police. Local residents did
charge; Jefferson was neither i nj ured nor not seem sur pr i sed; Parml ey had been i n
While
charged. 9 business for decades and made no secret
about being armed and wi l l i ng to use force to struggling with
Gilbert Homeowner Shoots Int ruder repel would-be robbers. Police Chief Michael
one resident,
Gilbert, Ari zona: At about 10:15 a.m. on Spears said the incident was self'-defense.
December 9, 2008, Richard Lopez knocked
and swinging
on the front door of an uni dent i f i ed home Homeowner Shoots Burglar his knife
owner. When t he homeowner di d not an Walhalla, South Carol i na: On December
threateningly, the
swer, Lopez ki cked the door t o t he gr ound. 21, 2008, Donnie Murphy was in the bath
As Lopez entered the home, the owner shot room when he heard a noise. After retrieving
second resident
him in the face and torso. Lopez retreated to his pistol, he found another man, Kirby Alan
shot him. The
a car where hi s brot her, Mark Vega, wai ted Ridley, near his fireplace. Murphy told Rid
intruder died at a
nearby. Vega took Lopez to a hospi tal, where l ey to stop, but when Ri dley reached into hi s
police arrested both men. pocket as if to draw a weapon, Mur phy shot hospital.
35
Calhoun County him. Sheriff's deputies arrived shortly there 2005, a man who seemed to be under the
SherifF Larry
after and escorted the t hi ef ' s ambul ance to i nfl uence of drugs was seen beating two pi t
Oconee Medical Center. bulls in a backyard on 0 St reet. When he was
Amerson did not
asked to l eave by the residents, he knocked
release the gas Liquor Store Owner Shoots and Ki ll s a down an elderly man, and, after two warni ng
station owner' s
Robber shots, was wounded i n t he l eg by a woman.
West Gables, Florida: On January 9, 2007, The intruder was taken to Kern Medi cal Cen
name, but said Dusviel Hernandez entered LeJeune Liquors. ter for t r eat ment of a non- l i f e-t hreateni ng
the shooting was
When he approached the count er wi t h hi s i njury. The Bakersfi el d Pol i ce Depart ment
determined that i t was a case of self'-defense
in self-defense.
gun drawn, the owner, Pedro Agudelo, drew
his own weapon and shot and ki l led Her and di d not i mmedi at el y release the names
nandez. This was the second time since 2001 of those involved.
t hat Agudelo had to pr ot ect hi mself and hi s
business with his firearm. The police did not Store Owner Shot One of Two Assailants
f ile charges after ei t her event. The " st and Chandl er, Ar i zona: At about 6: 45 p. m.
your-ground" law i n Fl orida supports the on December 20, 2 0 08, Kevi n Wi l l i am
r ight t o shoot when t hr eat ened, even i f a Murray and Kenneth Wayne Simpson, Jr.,
weapon is not vi si bl e. entered Rusty Upt ai n' s j ewelry st ore, shot
pepper spray into his face, and then chased
Mother Ki ll s Son in Self-Defense him i nt o t he back of t he st ore. Rusty' s wi fe
Charleston, Arkansas: In the early morn Debbie, and t hei r son, Chr i s, were also i n
i ng hours of December 14, 2008, Cameron t he store. Mur ray r ai sed a gun and began
Utsler ki cked i n t h e door of hi s par ent s' to shoot at Rust y and Chr i s. Rusty t ackl ed
home. He stood over 6 feet and weighed him and then grabbed his own gun. A gun
about 300 lbs., and began pistol-whipping f ight er upt ed. Rusty shot Mur r ay, and t he
both of hi s parents. Ut sler had a hi st ory of two robbers then fled. The injured Murray
violence wit h hi s par ents, and hi s mot her , drove away in a truck and Si mpson escaped
described by police as "frail" by comparison, on foot. Police quickly caught Murray, who
believed she had no choi ce but t o shoot her died after being rushed to a nearby hospital.
son. The lone shot proved fatal. The parents Police were also able to catch Si mpson i n a
were treated for i nj uri es at a hospi tal and re matter of hours. Si mpson was charged wi th
leased. No charges were filed. felony murder for Murray's death.
Robbery Suspect Shot Dead, Accomplice Pizza Delivery Man Shoots at Attackers
Wounded Titusvi l le, Flori da: On December 6, 2008,
Anni ston, Al abama: On December 24, pizza delivery man Jerry Johnson pulled up
2008, a gas st at i on owner ki l l ed one r ob t o make a del i very and i nst i nct i vel y knew
ber and wounded an accomplice. The early something was wrong when he saw no li ght s
evening shoot out t ook pl ace at Ful l er' s Oi l on at t he house. Johnson ar med hi msel f
Company on U.S. 431. Twenty-one-year-old with a handgun t hat he kept i n hi s car. As
Takeem Pope of Anni st on r eceived mor t al Johnson l eft the car, assailants threw a bri ck
wounds, while his accomplice, Blake Jack that hi t hi m i n t he f ace. Johnson f i red back
son, received a gunshot wound t o t he ar m. with hi s handgun, whi ch sent hi s at t ackers
Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson did f leeing. Police searched the area wit h dogs,
not release the gas station owner's name, but but t hey coul d not f i nd Johnson' s assail
said the shooting was in self'-defense. ants.
Woman Shoots Intruder in Leg Clerk Stops Robber
Bakersfield, Cal i f or ni a: On Au gust 17, Pine Bluff, Arkansas: On April 16, 2007,
36
an armed robber demanded cash from a clerk fatal blast from her shotgun. Riley died in
at the Uni t ed f i l l i ng st at i on on Hu t chi n stantly.
son and Dollarway road. The clerk said he
would comply with the demand if the robber Robbery Attempt Backfires
waited a moment so t hat a cust omer coul d M erri mack, New H a mpshi re: On D e
exit the store. When the robber went t o t he cember 5, 2005, Mare Di xon ent ered Ladd' s
back room, the employee armed himself. As Convenience Store, armed. When Di xon set
the customer l eft and the robber came back his gun down to pick up the cash register,
out, a gunf i ght er upt ed. The cl erk was abl e Dianne Duval , the st ore cl erk, grabbed t he
t o wound the robber, who then fl ed on f oot . weapon and st r uck Di xon i n t he f ace wi t h
Police did not i mmedi ately release the names it. Dixon dropped the register, and drove off
of either the clerk or the robber. in his silver Oldsmobile. Police were able to
apprehend him two days later.
Pizza Delivery Driver Defends Himself
Greenville, Nort h Car ol i na: On June 16, Woman Kills Burglar
2008, a group of young men attacked a pizza Miffl in, Ohio: In December 2005, Kahlief
delivery driver. The delivery man, not identi Tye and an unnamed accomplice entered
fied in the i ni t i al reports, pul led a concealed an woman's home on Perdue Avenue after
Temple had
handgun and fired, injuring one of his as breaking a wi ndow. The woman was home, burglarized
sailants, El vi s Deans Jr., 17. Pol ice also ar confronted the i nt r uders, and shot Tye. Tye
Adams on
rested Thomas James, 18, Sunil Persaud, 18, and his accomplice then fled. Tye died after
and Kevin Haynie, 17, charging them with being taken t o a l ocal hospi t al . Tye was on
three previous
common law robbery. Police also arrested an bond, awaiting trial for charges in an ag occasions, but
unnamed 14-year-old who they say planned gravated robbery t hat occurred onl y a f ew
this time Adams
the attack. blocks away f rom t he Perdue Avenue resi
dence
was ready.
Homeowner Cuffs I nt r uder at Front
Adams readied
Door Man Di es after Wi f e Shoots Hi m i n Sel f
his .40 caliber
Mesa, Ari zona: On January 29, 2004, at Defense
about 1:00 p. m. , Bryan V. Templ e ent ered Federal Way, Washingt on: On December handgun and
Dan Adams's home for the fourt h t i me, ask 13, 2008, pol ice responded to a shoot i ng at
confronted
ing if anyone was home. Temple had bur the Mari posa Apart ment Compl ex. Of f i cers
glarized Adams on three previous occasions, f ound a woman al i ve but suf f er i ng f r om
Temple,
but thi s ti me Adams was ready. Adams read head injuries and her husband dead from
who quickly
ied his .40 caliber handgun and confronted mul t i pl e gunshot wounds. The unnamed
surrendered.
Temple, who qui ckly surrendered. Adams woman cl ai med t hat t hey had s eparat ed
handcuffed Templ e and hel d hi m unt i l weeks earlier, but that her husband had vi o
t he aut hor i t i es arri ved. Pol ice f ound many l ated a restrai ni ng or der and at t acked her.
of Adams's stolen belongings in Temple's The i ni t i al pol i ce i nvesti gation i ndi cat ed
home 206 that the woman had acted in self'-defense.
Woman Def ends Home with Shotgun Homeowner Ki l l s Armed I nt r uder
Cushing, Okl ahoma: On December 4, Hillsborough, North Carolina: Around 2
2009, Bill Dean Ri l ey, apparently drunk, a.m. on February 21, 2005,Jerome Carl Mur
banged on Donna Jackson' s door. He was phy knocked on Durante Davis's door and
looking for his pickup truck Riley did not said he needed "help." When Davis opened
know t hat hi s si ster had cr ashed i t i nt o a the door, Murphy brandished his gun. Mur
ditch. He t hrew a pat i o t abl e t hr ough her phy pushed Davis, and then pointed his gun
window to gai n ent ry. Jackson fi red a singl e at the homeowner's head. Murphy's gun fell
37
to the fl oor i n the ensuing struggle, and then eral gunshot wounds to hi s own back. Lewis
Murphy drew his knife, but Davis had a .38 briefly l ost consci ousness, but was abl e t o
r evolver i n hi s pocket and was abl e t o f i r e drive himself to a friend's house and then get
t hree ti mes. Two bul l et s st ruck Mur phy i n to an emergency room. He recovered from hi s
the chest, killing him. i njuries and later recovered his equipment .
Utility Worker Robbery Thwarted 91-Year-Old Man Repels Home
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: On Decem Invaders, Saves Wife
ber 23, 2005, two teens held a Philadelphia Ocoee, Florida: On December 23, 2008,
Gas Works employee at gunpoint and de two ar med i nvaders di d not expect r esi s
manded his wallet. The employee handed t ance as they at t empt ed t o r ob an el derl y
his wallet and cash to t he t eens. After t hat , couple. One held a gun to the head of Ber
one of the t eens cocked hi s pi st ol , but t he lie Mae Johnson, 90, as she sat in her wheel
employee was abl e t o dr aw hi s own weap chair. As the other i nt r uder was entering the
on qui ckl y and f i red t hree shots. One shot home through a sliding-glass door, 91-year
struck a t een i n t he l eg. The t eens then re old Charles "Johnny" Johnson was able to
t reated, but the pol i ce caught t hem shor t l y draw hi s .38 r evol ver. The i nt r uder at t he
thereafter. Police di d not r el ease the names door fled at the sight of the gun and Charl es
of those involved. fired a shot at the criminal by his wife's side.
The police response was delayed because the
Grandfather Saves His Granddaughter home i nvaders had cut t he phone l i nes t o
from Vi ol ent Estranged Husband t he Johnsons' home.
Conroe, Texas: On December 20, 2008,
Brice Wade Boudreaux went to his estranged Armed Citizen Fends off Knife-Wielding
wife's home and t ri ed to t ake thei r chi l dren. Man
She had been living wit h t he chi l dren at Maryvi l le, Tennessee: On Febr uar y 12,
her grandparents' home f or t he past f i ve 2010, Mathew Dressier picked a fight and
months. When her grandfather ordered Bou pulled a kni f e on an uni dent i f i ed cust omer
dreaux to leave the home, Boudreaux shoved at the l ocal Wal -Mart . Concealed carry per
the octogenari an. The grandf at her was able mit holder Billy Dunkelberger saw what was
t o retri eve his revolver, and again t ol d Bou happening and went t o i nt er vene. Dressier
dreaux t o l eave. Boudreaux r esponded by then turned the kni f e on Dunkel berger. The
once again shovi ng hi m, and t hen hi t hi m confront at i on ended wi t hout any shot s be
near his pacemaker. The grandfather killed ing f i r ed. Event ual ly, t he p ol i ce ar r ested
Boudreaux with a si ngle shot. Dressier. No charges were filed against Dun
kelberger.
DJ Fights off Armed Robbers
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: In January, Armed Ci ti zen Shoots Burglar
2005, three uni denti f i ed men surpri sed di sc Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: At about
jockey Brian Lewis, as he was going to a gig 10:30 p.m. on November 20, 2008, a resident
One of the teens with equi pment wort h over $1,000. Two of awoke to a noise downstai rs. He qui ckl y di s
cocked his pistol,
the men had pistols. Lewis said he was pull covered an open wi ndow on t he f i rst fl oor .
i ng out hi s key t o l et t he r obbers i nt o hi s The resident armed hi mself, and f ound t he
but the employee
apartment, but quickly drew his pistol i n i ntruder i n a spare bedroom. The i nt r uder
was able to draw stead. Although hi s pi stol was l oaded, there wrestled with the resident, and i n the strug
his own weapon
was no bullet in the chamber. When the rob gle the i nt r uder was shot. The bur gl ar was
bers heard the initial "dry-fire," a gunfight t aken to the hospi tal and l ater di ed. Fort u
quickly and fired
erupted. Lewi s shot t wo of t he t hr ee men, nately, the homeowner was uni nj ur ed. Po
three shots.
kill ing one of them, but he also sustained sev lice did not name anyone invol ved.
38
Store Owner Stops Thi ef t hrough the f ront wi ndow and the two men The man got his
Sharpsburg, Kentucky: On February 8, kicked i n t he f r ont door . The man got hi s
12-gauge shotgun
2007, an uni dent i f i ed man st ol e the change 12-gauge shotgun and fi red once, injuring
drawer from Wayne Karczewski's Super Mar no one. Al l t he cul pr i t s ran away. Aut hor i
and fired once,
ket. Karczewski wat ched the security vi deo ties did not rel ease the names of anyone i n injuring no one.
closely, and studied the man's face. When the volved
All the culprits
same man ret urned the f ol l owi ng mor ni ng,
Karczewski drew hi s gun f r om i t s hol st er. One of Two I nt r uders Ki l led wi th
ran away.
He confronted the man and called 911 whi l e Gunshot
keeping his weapon trained on the would-be Lexington, Kent ucky: On December 17,
thief. Karczewski opened the store less than 2008, two men knocked on the door of an
six months before the i nci dent and bought apartment at 3500 Beaver Pl ace. When a
his gun at t hat t i me. He never owned a gun r esident answered t he door , t he t wo men
before, but said he was grateful t hat he had t ried t o r ob hi m. The r esi dent i nfl i ct ed a
one when he most needed it. fatal gunshot wound t o one of t he robbers,
but suf f ered non- l i f e-t hreatening gunshot
Homeowner Protects Family wi th wounds duri ng the ensuing fi ght . Wi t nesses
Shotgun saw the second man fl eei ng t he scene i n a
Phoenix, Ari zona: At about 1:30 a.m. on dark gray, hooded jacket. The coroner's of
J une 5, 2008, a homeowner awoke t o t he fice identi f i ed the deceased int ruder as An
sound of t hree individuals kicking i n t he thony Bell, 27, and police did not disclose
door of his house. The homeowner grabbed t he resident' s name. No charges were f i l ed
his shotgun and wai t ed near t he bedroom against the resident.
door. When the bedroom door swung open,
the homeowner saw a man with a gun and One Dead, Four Charged in Burglary
so opened fire. The armed intruder died on Newberry, Sout h Car ol i na: On Decem
t he scene. The two ot her i nt r uders fl ed t o ber 14, 2008, a mass burglary attempt at t he
their truck, which they had parked a block Palmetto Point Apar t ment s ended wit h one
away. Police did not release the names of the dead and four charged as an apartment dwell
i ndivi duals involved and said that the home er fired his gun in self'-defense. A 13-year-old
owner acted in self defense. child knocked on the door of the apartment
and, when the resident opened the door, sev
71-Year-Old Kills Intruder with a eral assailants rushed the resident. When the
Shotgun resident shot one of t he f i ve i nt r uders, Wi l
Peel, Arkansas: On February 2, 2007, 71 lie Hi l l er, the others fl ed. Later, the resident
year-old Joe Kelly was awakened by sounds went to t he pol i ce station t o r eport t he i n
at his front door, so he grabbed his shotgun. cident. Police officers found Hi l ler dead in
He then f ound 27-year-old Travi s Mor r i son a driveway on Fi rst Street, and charged four
in the hallway. "Scared to death," Kelly shot others,, including Jessica Sligh, 18, with at
the intruder in self defense. Kelly had been t empted armed robbery and att empted bur
recovering from a recent operati on. A second glary. Police did not rel ease the name of t he
i ntruder attempted to perform CPR on Mor r esident and i ndi cated t hat he woul d pr ob
rison, but then fl ed the scene. ably not be charged with any crime.
Home I nvasion Hal ted with Shotgun Grocer Repels Armed Robbers
Tulsa, Okl ahoma: At about 10: 40 p. m. York, Pennsylvania: On Sept ember 26,
on November 12, 2008, a man' s estranged 2005, Kevin Wi nt er, owner of Kendal' s Gro
wife, ex-girlfriend, and t wo uni denti fi ed cery and Jamaican Cui si ne, was shot i n t he
men broke i nt o hi s home. Hi s wi fe broke i n hip by an armed robber when he would not
39
cooperate. Wi nt er' s empl oyee, Steven Gray, fled. When the police arrived, they searched
returned the favor and shot one of t he rob f or hi m unsuccessfully. Thi s st ore had j ust
bers four t i mes. The t hi eves were abl e t o been robbed the previ ous ni ght , but t he po
escape the scene, but were f ol l owed by t he l ice found no connect i on bet ween the rob
police to the l ocal hospi t al . Onl y the t hi eves beries. The police did not release the clerk' s
were charged, as Gray had a gun permit and name.
fired in self'-defense.
Victim Turns Tables on Burgl ar
Restaurant Manager Fatally Shoots Clarksville, Tennessee: At 1 a.m. on June
Armed Robber 28, 2007, a burgl ary turned i nt o a gun-wres
Virginia Beach, Virginia: On June 28, tling, ki ck-down-t he-stairs f i ght bet ween a
2008, an ar med r obber snuck i n t he back man and an ar med r obber i n a Ri ver Hi l l s
door of Do mi ni ck' s Pi zza and Past a and Drive home. The vi ct i m' s wi f e awoke and
demanded cash. Manager Ferdinando Ab helped by knocking the suspect, Craig Ma
b ondante asked the gunman t o go t o t h e j ors, on the head. The husband got cont r ol
r egister, but t he gunman i nsi sted t hat Ab of Maj or' s gun f or a second t i me, but t he
The gunman
bondante open the safe. Abbondante com gun di d not work, so he swung i t at t he i n
plied, knowi ng that the robber mi ght see the truder, who t hen f l ed. Law enf or cement
fired at gun Abbondant e kept i n t he safe for t r ans f ound t h e g et away vehi cl e t hat t h e v i c
Abbondante
porting cash deposits. The gunman f i red at t ims had described, but no Maj ors. Maj or s
Abbondant e af ter seeing the gun, and Ab crashed the vehicle into a tree and then fl ed
after seeing
bondante ret urned f i re, hi t t i ng t he r obber on f oot . Sheri f f ' s I nvesti gator Jul i e Webb
the gun, and several ti mes. The suspect, l ater i dent i f i ed did not r el ease the coupl e' s name, but ap
Abbondante
as Johnny Marocco Williams, 41, died of his proved of thei r response to the burgl ary. "It
wounds on the scene. worked out awesome>" she said.
returned fire,
hitting the
Jewelry Store Owner Shoots Burglar Business Owner Ki ll s One Suspected
Robber, Wounds Another
robber several
Corinth, Mississippi: On November 25,
2008, James Thomas Parson, 25, entered The Newton, North Carol i na: On December 6,
times. Jewelry Box store through a wi ndow. The 2008, an altercation at Wi l l i s Packaging end
owner of the store heard a noise, and checked ed with the death of one robber and a gun
i t out af t er r et r i eving hi s h andgun. Th e shot wound for anot her. Store owner Randy
owner ordered Parson t o st op, but Par son Wil li s approached the store as an alarm was
did not. I nstead, Parson entered and ri pped going off. He saw one robber emerge with
down the video surveill ance equipment. The a shotgun and at t empted t o i nt ervene. Wi l
owner warned Parson again, but the burgl ar lis drew hi s pi st ol and shot one assailant
charged. The owner shot Parson once in t he and t hen wounded a second i nt r uder. Po
abdomen. Parson was rushed to a hospi t al , l ice identi f i ed the wounded man as Ar nol d
but he died from the gunshot wound. Ray, Jr., 52, but di d not r el ease the name of
the deceased intruder. Police also charged a
Gas Station Cl erk Shoots Armed Robber woman, Jean Holman, as an accomplice in
Gainesville, Georgi a: On N o v ember 9, the crime.
2008, a man approached a gas station cl erk
who was speaking on the phone and de Woman Shoots Parolee during Break-In
manded cash. When the cl erk asked hi m t o Sacramento, Cal i f orni a: On December 3,
repeat what he said, he did and also fired his 2008, a parol ee-at-large tried t o st eal prop
gun. The clerk was not hit. The clerk pulled erty from a home on the 4500 bl ock of 13t h
a gun from under the counter and shot t he Avenue. The 34-year-old female homeowner
gunman i n t he chest. The wounded robber discovered the thief and shot him. The po
40
l ice arrested the cul pr i t , but t he unnamed t o rob a conveni ence store wearing a mask
woman was not charged. and carrying a BB pi stol t hat cl osely resem
bled a fi rearm. Spot t i ng uni f or med securi ty
Dog Walker Kills Armed Teen Robber guard Er i c Go r don, Sul l i van c onf r ont ed
Terrell, Texas: At about 10:20 p.m. on De him. Gordon drew his own weapon and fa
cember 17, 2008, Mar kee Lamar Johnson, tally shot Sullivan, who had a police record
Ryan Scott Pat t erson, and t wo ot her t eens of 146 crimes since June of 1989. Police de
surrounded a 47-year-old man that was walk t ermi ned that the shoot i ng was justi f i ed.
ing his dog in the park. When Johnson pulled
out a gun, the dog owner drew his own weap
on and shot Johnson i n t he head. The three Notes
other teens fled the scene in a nearby vehicle.
1. Gar y Kl eck and Mare Gertz, "Armed Resis
Police later arrested Patterson. Pol ice Cap tance to Cri me: The Prevalence and Nature of
tain A.D. Sanson said t hat t hi s was "a clear Self-Defense with a Gun," Journal of Criminal Latv
example of someone exercising t hei r r i ght s
and Criminology 86 (1995): 173.
to protect themselves under the l aw." Pol i ce
2. Phi l i p J. Cook and Jens Ludwig, Guns in
did not di scl ose the dog-walker's name, and America: National Survey on Private Ou nership and
later determi ned that Johnson was carrying a Use of Firearms (Washington: National Institute
stolen gun.
of Justice, 1997), http: //www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/
165476.pdf.
Armed Homeowner Thwarts Home
3. I bi d., pp. 8-9.
Invasion
Columbus, Ohio: On December 11, 2008,
4. I bi d., p. 9.
homeowner Ken Fi elds fi red shots after two
5. Gar y Kl eck, Point Blank: Guns and Violence in
home i nvaders br oke i nt o hi s h ome. The America (New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1991), pp.
armed int ruders poi nted guns at Fields' chil
175-76.
dren, Josh and Cassey, when Fields confront
6. See Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime
ed them with a gun of hi s own. Fields fired a
in the United States 1992 (Washington, October 21,
shot and both i nt r uders fl ed. Police searched
1993), p. 22.
unsuccessfully f or t he i nt r uders. Thi s had
been the second time in two weeks that some
7. See California Penal Code $195 (2010); Flor
ida Stats. Ch. 782 (2009).
one had tried to break into the same home.
8. Cal i f ornia Penal Code $195 (2010).
Cab Dri ver Shoots Man i n Sel f-Def ense
Clearwater, Florida: On May 1, 2011, a late
9. Kl eck, Point Blank, p. 114.
night cab ride turned deadly after a 19-year
10. "Seven Deadly Days," Time, July 17, 1989,
old passenger became argument ative wi t h pp. 30-60.
his cab driver. The unidentified driver pulled
over and asked the man, Travonte Myl es, to
11. "Death by Gun: One Year Later," Time, May
14, 1990, pp. 30-31.
exit, at which point Myles brandished a gun.
The driver, a licensed concealed carry permi t 12. The data set for t hi s study ori ginally ap
holder, exited the cab and exchanged shots
peared on a bl og cal led The Armed Ci t i zen.
with Myl es. The wounded passenger was
Three different people have participated as edi
tors for The Armed Citizen over the years, Clay
taken to a l ocal hospi tal. The dri ver was not
ton E. Cramer, Pete Drum, and David Burnett of
injured. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.
Uniformed Security Guard Shoots Robber
13. People v. Piorkowski, 41 Cal. App. 3d 324
(1974). Note also Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S.
Nashville, Tennessee: On November 30,
1 (1985) (discussing the law on deadly force by
2008, repeat offender Jamie L. Sullivan tried peace officers).
41
14. In a f ew cases, the authors have received Crying,'" WYFF4.corn (Greenville, SC), June 28,
e-mails that begged for the removal of news ac 2010, http: //www.wyff4.corn/r/24068226/detail.
counts of a defensive gun use, usually by t he html.
next-of-kin of deceased perpetrator, sometimes
accompanied by pleas of "he didn't do it" or "he 21. David Allen, "Resident Pulls Gun on Intrud
didn't deserve to die." Although those pleas were er: Suspect Flees Home after Being Caught in the
not ignored, objectivity required that the story Act," Shelby (NC) Star, April 15, 2010, http: //www.
remain on the website unless or until new action shelbystar.corn/articles/resident-46165-gun-act.
able evidence emerged and was reported. With html.
only one or two exceptions, every account comes
from public sources.
22. "Modesto Woman Fi res Shot at Suspected
Burglar, Who Flees," Modesto (CA) Bee, February 9,
15. See generally Clayton E. Cramer, Concealed 2010, http: //www.modbee.corn/2010/02/08/104
Weapon Mws of the Early Republic: Dueling, Southern 0249/modesto-woman-f i r es-shot-at-suspect
Violence, and Moral Reform (Westport, CT: Praeger ed.html.
Press, 1999).
23. Jordan Johnson, "Armed Homeowner Holds
16. See Clayton E. Cramer and Davi d B. Ko Youth Suspected of Burglary Try," Arizona Repub
pel, "'Shall Issue': The New Wave of Concealed lic (Phoenix), September 2, 2010, http: //www.az
Handgun Permit Laws," Tennessee Law Review 62 central.corn/community/chandler/articles/2009
(1995): 679-757. /09/02/20090902abrk-chandlerburglary.html.
17. Alaska Stats. $ 18.65.700 (1994); Clayton E. 24. "Teen Intruder Shot Dead in Dallas," Fox 4
Cramer, "Alaska Adopts Vermont Carry," Shotgun Dallas, January 21, 2009, http: //www.myfoxdfw.
News, August 1, 2003, pp. 18-19; Senate Bill 1108, corn/dpp/news/Teen Int ruder Shot Dead i n
Arizona 49th legislature, 2nd sess. (2010), http: // Da.
www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/
legtext/49leg/Zr/bills/sb1108s.htm; Ti m Steller, 25. Thomas Cl ouse, "Burglars Get Sur pri se
"Dealers Cite Pros, Cons of Concealed Weapon from Homeowner," Spokane Spokesman-Review,
Law," Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), April 17, 2010, April 6, 2004, http: //www.spokesmanreview.corn
http: //azstarnet.corn/ news/ l ocal / govt -and /spokane-news-story.asp? date=0406048cID=s15
politics/arti cl e 20db5fcc-8c25-50d9-beaf-dbe 065628ccat=section.spokane.
131fe0e3f html.
26. "Man Whose Family Hi t by Cr i me Ki l l ed
18. In re Brickey, 70 P. 609 (1902); City of Las Ve by Gunfire," Houston Chronicle, October 8, 2005,
gas v. Moberg, 485 P.2d 737 (1971); Dano v. Collins, http: //www.chron.corn/di sp/story.mpl / met ro
802 P.2d 1021 (1990); City of Princeton v. Buckner, politan/3388103.html.
377 S.E.2d 139 (W.Va. 1988).
27. "Bri efing, January 2," Rocky Mountain News
19. Mai ntaining l i st s of c oncealed weapons (Denver), January 2, 2006, http: //www.rockymo
permit holders has occasionally led to such lists untainnews.corn/news/2006/j an/ 02/ bri ef i ng
being obtained by reporters under open records ] anuary-2/.
requests and published for the general public.
Not onl y does this demean armed citizens by 28. John Thompson, "Police Say Man Shot ,
cataloging their existence in a manner si mi l ar Killed Stepfather after Threats with Ax," Johnson
to sex offenders, but it also advertises the names City (TN) Press, May 22, 2010, http: //www.john
and addresses of armed citizens to citizens and
soncitypress.corn/News/article.php?ID=76912.
criminals alike. There are two possible results, op
posite, but both are destructive to public safety. It 29. Matt Lakin, "Woman Dead, Pair Sought in
may diminish the deterrent effect (the decrease in
Home Invasion Attempt," Knoxville (TN) News
crime resulting from criminals fearing being cap
Sentinel, May8,2010,http://www.knoxnews.corn/
tured or shot) because criminals can map which news/2010/may/08/woman-dead-pair-sought
houses or individuals to avoid. It can also increase
in-home-invasion-attempt/? partner=popular.
the likelihood of an armed citizen's home being
targeted while they are out of the house, since
30. "College Student Shoots, Kills Home Invad
firearms are sometimes attractive commodi ti es
er," WSB-TV (Atlanta), May 4, 2010, http: //www.
for burglars. If it seems as though these are con wsbtv.corn/news/19365762/detail. html.
trary claims, consider that burglars are often not
the same category of criminals as those who force
31. Ri chard Maxwell Brown, No Duty to Retreat:
entry to dwellings known to be occupied.
Violence and Values in American History and Society
(Norman, OK: Uni versity of Okl ahoma Press,
20. "Gun-Toting Homeowner: ' Shut Up No 1994), preface (unnumbered).
42
32. R v. Bird, I1985] 81 Crim. App. 110 quoted 44. Richard Davis owned a smal l pi zzeria in
and summarized i n Mi chael T. Mol an, Cases Detroit and he kept a pistol for self-defense. In
and Materials on Criminal Law, 4th ed. (Abindon, the summer of 1969, Davis was on hi s way to
Oxon: Routledge-Cavendish, 2008), pp. 747-48. make a pizza delivery when he was confronted
by three armed robbers. A gunfight erupted and
33. Beard v. United States, 158 U.S. 550, 564 (1895) Davis's plastic glasses frame deflected a bullet.
(emphasis added). That experience started Davis thi nki ng about
soft body armor, leading to the development of
34. Brown v. United States, 256 U.S. 335, 343 (1921). Second Chance Body Armor the first light and
flexible method of giving police officers a chance
35. The authors are unable to find a compre
to survive handgun wounds and return fire. See
hensive list of the number of concealed carry William A. Cohen, The Art of the Strategist: Ten Es
permits issued by the various states. Some of
sential Principles for Leading Your Company (New
the states have the data readily available on-line, York: Amacom, 2004), pp. 153-54. The popular
others do not. For the 26 states for which data
Discovery Channel show "Mythbusters" engaged
was available, the authors found over 5.5 million in a test to see how many pizzas stacked together
licenses. Since most of the other 23 states have
would be required to stop a shotgun blast. "Cof
"shall issue" concealed carry laws on their books,
fin Bl ast," Mythbusters, episode 112, originally
t he authors conclude that 10 mi l l i on permi t
aired March 5, 2008, synopsis at ht tp: //myth
holders is a conservative estimate. (In Vermont, bustersresults.corn/coffin-punch.
people may carry weapons without permits.) For
additional background, see Clayton E. Cramer, 45. Renee Dials, "Man At t empts to Rob Pizza
"How Many Carry Permits?" Shotgun News, No Delivery Man," WALA (Mobile, AL, and Pensaco
vember 1, 2011, pp. 20-21. la, FL), May 12, 2010, http: //www.fox10tv.corn/dp
p/news/man-attempts-to-rob-pizza-delivery-man.
36. Adam Li ptak, "15 States Expand Right to
Shoot in Self-Defense," New York Times, August 7, 46. "Police and Courts," Buffalo (NY) News, July
2006, http: //www.nytimes.corn/2006/08/07/us/ 13, 2006, B3.
07shoot.html.
47. "Man Fi ght s Woul d-Be Robbers i n Am
37. Gus Garcia-Roberts, "South Fl orida Store bush," NBC4 ( Col umbus, OH) , August 13,
Clerks Go Vigilante," Miami New Times, August 2008, http: //www.nbc4i.corn/midwest/cmh/cri
6, 2010, http: //www.miaminewtimes.corn/2009 me watch.apx.-content-arti cles-CMH-2008-08
08-06/news/south-fl or i da-s-store-clerks-dole -13-0036.html, original link removed.
out-vigilante-justice/.
48. Dana DiFilippo, "Bulldog Shot after Maul
38. Ibi d. ing Port Richmond Boy," Philadelphia Daily News,
May 12, 2010, http: //www.philly.corn/philly/ne
39. "Shooting Could Be Self-Defense," Pensacola
ws/homepage/20100512 Bul l dog shot af t er
(FL) NewsJournal, November 30, 2006. mauling Port Ri chmond boy.html.
40. Denise Holl inshed, "Robbery Victim Ki l l s 49. Jim Patten, "Dog Bi tes Man, Man Shoots
His Assailant," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 6,
Dog," North Andover (MA) Eagle-Tribune, October
2010.
17, 2009, ht t p: //www.eagletribune.corn/local/
x546145887/Dog-bites-man-man-shoots-dog.
41. Associated Press, "Texas Gov. Perry Fatally
Shoots Coyote," Washington Post, April 28, 2010, 50. Phi l li p Yates, "Man Wal ki ng wi t h Wi f e
http: //www.washingtonpost.corn/wp-dyn/con Shoots Mountain Lion Near New Castle," Rocky
tent/article/2010/04/27/AR2010042705323.html. Mountain News (Denver), August 7, 2008, http: //
www.rockymount ai nnews.corn/news/ 2008/
42. Scott Sunde, "Woman Who Shot Man at
aug/07/man-wal ki ng-wi fe-shoots-mount ai n
Bus Stop Won't Be Charged," Seattle Press-Intelli lion-near-new-cas/. See also David Baron, "The
gencer, December 2, 2010, http: //www.seattlepi. Cougar behind Your Tr ash Can," New York
corn/local/412796 bus01.html? source=rss.
Times, July 29, 2011.
43. Thomas Hendrick, "Security Guard: ' God 51. Scott McMi l l i on, "Bow Hunters Attacked by
Guided Me and Protected Me,"' KMGH (Denver),
Bears in Separate Incidents," Bozeman (MT) Daily
December 10, 2007, http: //www.thedenverChan Chronicle, October 8, 2007, http: //www.bozeman
nel.corn/news/14817480/detail. html; Judy Keen
dailychroni cl e.corn/news/ art i cl e a10b2336
and Andrea Stone, "This Month's Mass Killings 7428-5b92-b045-3e577386f623.html.
a Reminder of Vulnerability," USA Today, Decem
ber 21, 2007. 52. Perry Bacon Jr., "House Approves Measure
43
to Allow Guns i nt o Nat i onal Parks," Washing port from KIVI Channel 6, Boise, Idaho, involves
ton Post, May 21, 2009, http: //www.washington a situation r i f e wi t h oppor t uni t y t o t ur n out
post.corn/wp-dyn/content/arti cle/2009/05/20/ badly because of mi scommunication and yet
AR2009052003613.html. it did not. Boise police officers responded to a
"man with a gun" report at 1:18 p.m. Instead,
53. "Hi ker Shoots, Kill Grizzly in Alaska Park," they found ttvo men with handguns. A man later
WTVY (Dothan, AL), May 31, 2010, http: //www. identified as John Di ckey was alleged to have
wtvy.corn/home/headlines/95261219.html. See stolen something f rom t he vi cti m at a home
also Victoria Colliver, "Richmond Teen Survives less shelter. Dickey fled on foot with the victim
Bear Attack in Alaska," San Francisco Chronicle, July chasing him, armed with a handgun. A t hi r d
26, 2011. person in the area saw the victim holding a gun
on Dickey and drew his handgun, ordering the
54. "Men At t empt Robbery, Woman Shoot s
victim to drop his gun. Boise police took a while
One Dead, Deputies Say," WXII (Winston-Salem, to figure out who was in the right but without
NC), May 23, 2008, ht t p: //www.wxii12.corn/ any shots being fired. See "Armed Citizen Helps
news/16376139/detail. html. Boise Police Capture Suspect," KIVI (Boise, ID),
July 18, 2009, http: //www.kivitv.corn/global/sto
55. "Fort Pi erce Police: Woman Forced to Per
ry.asp? s=10746780.
f orm Sex Act Shoots Suspect with Own Gun,"
Palm Beach (FL) Post, May 18, 2010, http: //www. 63. Crystal Gut i errez, " Homeowner Shoot s
tcoasttalk.corn/2010/05/18/f ort -pi erce-police Suspected Burglar," KRQE.corn (Albuquerque,
woman-forced-to-perf orm-sex-act-shoots-sus NM), February 12, 2010, http: //www.krqe.corn/
pect-with-own-gun/.
dpp/news/crime/homeowner-shoots-suspected
burglar.
56. "Romul us Pol i ce: Party St or e Cust omer
Swipes Masked Man's Gun, Kills Hi m," Associ 64. Dana Jay, "SherifF. Burglar Shot during Home
ated Press, March 15, 2010, http: //www.mlive. Invasion," WSIL (Carteville, IL), June 10, 2009,
corn/news/detroit/i ndex.ssf/2010/03/romul us http: //www.wsi l tv.corn/ p/ news det ai l s.php?
police customer swipes. html. newsID=7635& type=top.
57. Ralph Ellis, "Two Crime Victims Kill Their 65. Donna Swicegood, "Woman Turns Tables on
Attackers in Metro Atl anta," Atlanta Journal-Con Rape Suspect," Mooresville (NC) Tribune, January
stitution, February 8, 2009, http: //www.ajc.corn/
7, 2010, ht tp: //www2.mooresvilletribune.corn/
travel/cont ent / met r o/ at l ant a/ st ori es/2009/ news/2010/j an/ 07/ woman-t urns-tables-rape
02/08/atlanta victims ki l l at ackers.html. suspect-ar-79627/.
58. "Beaver Man Shoots Would-Be Robber dur
66. Bri dget Di Cosmo, "Woman Shoots Rap
ing Home Invasion," WTAE (Pittsburgh, PA),Jan ist in Her Home," Southeast Missourian (Cape Gi
uary 18, 2008, http: //www.thepittsburghChannel rardeau), November 1, 2008, http: //www.semis
.corn/news/15085036/detail. html. sourian.corn/story/1554 240.html.
59. Valerie Hurst, "Shooting Was i n Self'-De 67. "If You Are Confronted," Illinois State Police
fense," KIMA (Yakima, WA), February 18, 2008, (2010), http: //www.isp.state.il.us/crime/saconfro
http: //www.kimatv.corn/news/local/15752462. nted.cfm.
html.
68. "Rape Prevention," City of Davis, California,
60. However, a few of these are stories where a Police (2010), http: //cityofdavis.org/police/inves
female was the criminal. tigations/rapeprev.cfm.
61. Scott Condon, "Basalt Police: Pistol-Packing 69. "Son Shoot s Ex-Stepdad t o Pr ot ect Her,
Neighbors Nab Willits Intruder," Glentvood Springs Mom Says," KCTV (Kansas City, MO), Novem
(Co) Post-Independent, A pri 1 29, 2010, http: //www. ber 21, 2008, http: //www.kctv5.corn/news/1803
postindependent.corn/article/20100429/VALLE 6943/detail.html@-.
YNEWS/100429843/1083& ParentProfile=1074.
70. David Spunt, "Child Shoots Intruder during
62. Stri ctly speaking, any time a victim hol ds Home Break-in," WAFB (Baton Rouge, LA), July
a criminal whil e awaiting the arrival of pol ice, 16, 2009, http: //www.wafb.corn/global/story. as
he has arrested that cri mi nal. The data set re p?s=10741492.
cords incidents where a ci tizen uses a gun t o
t ake someone into custody for a crime commi t 71. Mi nor offenders usually range in age from
ted against another. This is not common; there 14 to 17, while minor defenders have been shown
were only four examples. This July 18, 2009, re to be as young as 9 or 10.
44
72. Beth Brelje, "Elderly Stroudsburg Couple Intruder in Cri ti cal Conditi on," KWTX (Waco,
Holds Burglar at Gunpoi nt," Pocono (PA) Re TX), August 20, 2007, ht tp: //www.kwtx.corn/
cord, May 18, 2010, http: //www.poconorecord. home/headlines/9266561.html.
corn/apps/ pbcs.dl l / ar t i cl e? AID=/20100518/
NEWS/100519817. 84. Mi ke Glenn, "Suspect Killed in Home Inva
sion Gun Battle," Houston Chronicle, February 20,
73. Greg Di ngrando, "82-Year-Old Fi ghts of f 2010, http: //www.chron.corn/disp/story.mpl/me
Attacker," KVOA (Tucson, AZ), March 16, 2010,
trop olitan/6875461.html.
http: //www.kvoa.corn/news/82-year-old-fights
off-attacker/. 85. Mark Zaretsky, "Shop Owner, Gunman
Shot in East Haven Holdup Attempt," New Haven
74. University of Arkansas Criminal Justice In (CT) Register, April 2, 2004, http: //www.nhregis
stitute, "Crime Rates on the College Campus," ter.corn/articles/2004/04/02/i mport/ 11228577.
February 24, 2003, ht t p: //www.arsafeschools. txt.
corn/Files/CrimeRateonCollegeCampus.pdf.
86. Isabelle Duerme, "SWAT Team Barges into
75. Federal Bureau of Investigation, "Targeted Wrong Home; Scared Home Owner Shoot s
Violence Affecting Instituti ons of Hi gher Edu Cops," A11HeadlineNews.corn, December 17, 2007,
cation," April 2010, http: //www.fbi.gov/publica http: //www.allheadlinenews. corn/articles/70094
tions/campus/campus.pdf. 80519@ixzzllVPjjkNE. For more on wrong-door
raids, see Radley Balko, "Overkill: The Rise of
76. Davi d Burnett, "Students Resist Colleges, Paramilitary Police Raids in America," Cato Insti
Strap on Empty Holsters," PR Newswire, April 2, tute White Paper, July 17, 2006.
2009, http: //www.prnewswire.corn/news-releases
/students-resist-colleges-strap-on-empty-hoist 87. Ramon Ant oni o Vargas, "Carjack Vi cti m
ers-89762397.html. Shoots Suspect to Death in 9th Ward," New Or
leans Times-Picayune, March 25, 2010, http: //www.
77. "Mercer Student Shoots, Ki ll s Man Who nola.corn/crime/i ndex.ssf/2010/03/carjack vi c
Broke into Home," Macon (GA) Telegraph, Sep tim shoots suspect. html.
tember 19, 2005, http: //www.macon.corn/mid/
macon/12685301.htm. Original link removed. 88. Mi chael O' Malley, "Gun Advocates: Statis
tics Are Inadequate," Cleveland Plain Dealer, April
78. Jeremy Duda, "Orem Man Shoots Attack 29, 2007.
ing Pit Bull," Provo (UT) Daily Herald, September
18, 2007, http: //www.heraldextra.corn/content/ 89. "Police: Armed Men Stop Carjacking," WJXT
view/237778/3. (Jacksonville, FL), September 30, 2009, http: //
www.news4jax.corn/news/21156773/detail. html.
79. "Pistol Trumps Baseball Bat in Island Driv
ing Confrontation," The Island Packet (Bluffton, 90. Jeremy Meyer and Manny Gonzales, "Grand
SC), August 9, 2008, ht tp: //www.islandpacket. Jury Clears White Restaurateur in Fatal Shoot
corn/2008/08/09/572097/pistol-trumps-baseball ing of Black Man i n Aurora," Denver Post, June
-bat-in. html. 10, 2005.
80. UniversityofColoradoCrimeReports(2008), 91. Arapahoe County Grand Jury, People v. Glenn
http: //www.col orado.edu/ pol i ce/ st at i st i cs/ Eichstedt, 05CR0189, May 12, 2005, http: //extras.
crime-reports. html; Col orado St ate Uni versity mnginteractive.corn/live/media/site36/2005/06
Safety Update (2009), http: //police.colostate.edu 09/20050609 015724 grandjury0609.pdf.
/pdfs/2009-Safety-Report.pdf.
92. President Barack Obama, "We Must Seek
81. Centers for Di sease Control and Preven Agreement on Gun Reforms," Arizona Star (Tus
tion, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC con, AZ), March 13, 2011, http: //azstarnet.corn/
WONDER On-l ine Dat abase, compiled f rom news/opinion/mai l bag/article 01 le7118-8951
Compressed Mortality File 1999-2006 Series 20 5206-a878-39bfbc9dc89d.html.
No. 2L, 2009, http: //wonder.cdc.gov/cmf-icd10.
html. 93. Ty Young, "Break-in Suspect Is Shot," TheAr
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82. "Attempted Carjacking Victim Accidentally http: //www.azcentral.corn/communi t y/ chand
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tail. html. 94. Jennifer Brevorka, "Robbery Victim Shoots
Suspect," Raleigh (NC) News and Observer, Decem
83. "Resident Dies in Home Invasion Robbery; ber 30, 2005, http: //www.newsobserver.corn/20
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107. Emily Nipps and Marissa Lang, "Armed Din
95. "Morgan Man Shot by Father-in-law, Sheriff er Shoots Robbery Suspect outside St. Petersburg
Says," Huntsville (AL) Times, December 22, 2005. Applebee's," Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg,
FL), August 8, 2011, http: //www.tampabay.corn/
96. "Restaurant Owner Shoots, Ki ll s Robber,"
news/publicsafety/crime/armed-diner-shoots
WTNH.corn (New Haven, CT), September 27,2010, robbery-suspect-outsi de-st-petersburg-appl e
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ly-shooting-during-bridgeport-robbery-attempt.
Initial reports did not disclose the name of the 108. Carol Robinson, "Birmingham Teen Murder
restaurant owner. Suspect in Wrong Place, Mother Says," Birming
ham (AL) News, December 5, 2008, http: //www.
97. Ned Marcel, "Iowa Congressman and Hi s al.corn/bi r mi nghamnews/stori es/i ndex.ssf?/
Family Retell How They Fought off a Gun-Wield base/news/1228468552129940.xml8cco11=2.
ing Robber," Washington Post, August 28, 2011,
http: //www.washingtonpost.corn/politics/iowa 109. "Employee Kills Would-be Robber in Forest
congressman-and-his-fami l y-retell-how-they Park," Columbus (GA) Ledger-Enquirer, December
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gIQAdb2klJ story. html.
110. "Burglars Get into Gunfi ght with Business
98. "A Woman Home Alone With Her Two Chil Owner," WSOCTV.corn (Charlotte, NC), No
dren in Morgan County's Coalfield Communi ty vember 17, 2008, http: //www.wsoctv.corn/news/
Fired a Gun Three Times Friday Morning to Pro 17997950/detail. html.
tect Herself and Her Family," WBIR.corn (Knox
ville, TN), February 16, 2007. 111. Richard Walker, "'Ain' t Nobody Going t o
Run Me Over,'" Orangeburg (SC) Times and Dem
99. "Man i n Cr i t i cal Condi t i on af t er Wi f e ocrat, February 20, 2007, http: //thetandd.corn/
Shoots Him," Muskogee (OK) Phoenix, December news/article da216dbb-2569-555c-863c-a20a
19, 2008, http: //muskogeephoenix.corn/local/x 0734c6fO.html.
2129016275/Man-i n-cri t i cal -condi t i on-after
wife-shoots-him. 112.Kate Til l otson, "Teen Breaks into Nei gh
bor's House, Ends Up Shot," WRDW.corn (Au
100. Alan Morrell, "Homeowner Foils Break-in; 3 gusta, GA), Apri l 26, 2007, ht tp: //www.wrdw.
Arrested," Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, corn/crimeteam12/headlines/7209111.html.
May 26, 2004.
113. "Bystander Shoots Robber in Mall Parking
101."Fla. Man Wrestles Gun from ATM Rob Lot," WESH.corn (Orlando, FL), December 24,
ber," Miami Herald, August 6, 2011, http: //www. 2008, http: //www.wesh.corn/r/18353084/detail.
miamiherald.corn/2011/08/06/2347983/fla hcml.
man-wrestles-gun-from-atm.html .
114. "Store Owner Shoots at Would-Be Robber,"
102."Victim Shoots Suspect in Groi n," WFTV. KOCO.corn (Okl ahoma Ci ty, OK), November
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103. "Port Charlotte Man Shoots Would-be Rob 115. Kelly Hines and David Schultz, "Int ruder
ber," Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, October 26, 2009, Killed in Burglary Attempt," Tulsa (OK) World,
http://www.heraldtribune.corn/article/20091026/ December 24, 2008, http: //www.tulsaworld.corn/
BREAKING/910269962?p=l8ctc=pg. news/article.aspx? subjectid=118carticleid=2008
1224 11 Al ATul sa289074.
104. "Store Owner Shoots, Kills Would-be Rob
ber," WSFA.corn (Knoxville, TN), December 29, 116.Jim Doyle, "Homeowner Shoots 'Ninja' Who
2005, http: //www.wsfacom/Global/story.asp? S=4 Attacked Wife," San Francisco Chronicle, February
298319. 27, 2006, http://arti cles.sfgate.corn/2006-02-27/
news/17282915 1 masked-attacker-man.
105. "Crook Caught after Losing Gun dur i ng
Robbery," CBS4 (Tampa, FL), November 30, 2008. 117. "Store Owner, Customer, Fi ght Back i n
Store Shootout,"Florence (SC) MorningNeusJan
106. "There She Is Miss Intruder's Nightmare,"
uary 24, 2007.
MSNBC.corn, April 20, 2007, http: //www.ms nbc.
msn.corn/ i d/ 18237342/ ns/ us news-wei rd 118. Dan Morse, "Montgomery Jeweler Dies be
46
fore Being Able to Confront Robber at Sentenc Today, January 21, 2004, http: //www.usatoday.
ing," Washington Post, October 7, 2011, http: // corn/sports/ f oot bal l / nf l / r avens/2004-01-21
www.washingtonpost.corn/todays paper/Metro fuller-robbery x.htm.
/2011-10-10/B/1/28.1.2029983095 epaper.html.
129. Cheryl Lasseter, "2007 Stabbing Victim Still
119. "Victim Fights Back in Hamett Home Inva Recovering," WLBT.corn Jackson, MS), March 5,
sion," WRAL.corn (Raleigh, NC), December 19, 2008, http: //www.wlbt.corn/story/7971847/2007-st
2008, ht t ps://www.wral.corn/news/local/story/ abbing-victim-still-recovering?clienttype=printable.
4169523/.
130. "Shootout Leaves 1 Dead, 1 Cri tically In
120.Erik Loney, "Dogs At t ack Spokane Val jured," DelawareOnline.corn (Wilmington, DE),
ley Residents," KXLY (Spokane, WA), April 10, November 10, 2005.
2007.
131. David Kenney, "Teen Shot duri ng Home
121. Kay Quinn, "Rally's Shooting i n St. Loui s Invasion," WLBT.corn (Jackson, MS), December
Leaves Three Wounded," KSDK (St. Louis, MO), 20, 2005, http: //www.wlbt.corn/story/4269593/
June 28, 2010, ht tp: //www.ksdk.corn/news/loc teen-shot-during-home-invasion? nav=2CSf& red
al/story.aspx?storyid=205201; Ann Rubin, "Ral irected=true.
l y's Shooting: Robbery Vi cti m Speaks Out ,"
KSDK (St. Louis, MO), June 29, 2010, http: // 132."Clerk Shoots Would-be Robber," AL.corn
www.ksdk.corn/news/l ocal/story.aspx? storyid (Birmingham, AL), September 30, 2006.
=205281&cati d=3.
133. Aisha Khan, "Suspect Shot to Death during
122. Cristina Corbin, "Armed Beauty Queen Fa Apparent Home Burglary in Myrtle Beach," South
tally Shoots Intruder in Florida Home Invasion," Carolina Notv, December 12, 2008, http: //www2.
FoxNews.corn, March 22, 2011, ht t p: //www. scnow.corn/news/2008/dec/12/suspect shot
foxnews.corn/us/2011/03/22/armed-beauty t o deat h dur i ng appar ent home bur gl ar
queen-fatally-shoots-intruder-fl ori da-home-in ar-443217/.
vasion/.
1 34. "Deputies Arrest Cambri a Man f or At
123. "Armed Home Invasion, Shooting Reported tempted Burglary, Carjacking in Creston," San
in Bayshore Gardens Section of Manatee Coun Luis Obispo (CA) Tribune, December 14, 2005.
ty," NewsManatee.corn (Bradenton, FL), Decem
ber 20, 2008, http: //www.newsmanateearchive. 135.Jim Ki mberly, " Cops: Woul d-be Vi ct i m
corn/2008-12-20-local.asp. Shoots Armed Robber," Chicago Tribune, Decem
ber 22, 2008, http: //archive.chicagobreakingne
124. "Wal-Mart Shooting Was First under Con ws.corn/2008/12/cops-would-be-victim-shoots
cealed Carry Permit," Associated Press, August armed-robber. html.
30, 2005, http://web.archive.org/web/200510290
11813/http: //www.freenewmexican.corn/news/ 136. Lori Caldwell, "Homeowner Shoots Bur
31883.html. glar," Merrillville (IN) Post-Tribune, February 13,
2007.
125.Jeff Tang, "McDonald's Worker Fi red af
ter Shooting at Robber Says He Was Protect 137. "Armed Homeowner Runs Of f Burgl ars,"
ing Friend," WAVE3.corn (Louisville, KY), De Florida Neu s Journal, December 13, 2008.
cember 30, 2005, http: //www.wave3.corn/story/
4303038/mcdonalds-worker-fired-after-shoot
138."Concealed Carry Permit Comes in Handy
i ng-at-robber-says-he-was-protecti ng-f ri end? for Woman i n For t Smi t h, " 5newsonline.corn
redirected=true. (Fort Smi th, AL), December 17, 2008, http: //
www.5newsonline.corn/kfsm-concealedcarryper
126. "Sheriff: Baker County Homeowner Shoots mitcomes-9541680,0,6821620.story.
Intruder Several Ti mes," News4Jax.corn (Jack
sonville, FL), December 29, 2005, http: //www.
139."Robbery Gone Wrong; Suspect Shot Re
news4jax.corn/news/ 5710378/detail. html. peatedly by Store Employee," Beaumont (7X) Ex
ami ner, June 25, 2007.
127. "Man Fatally Shot during Robbery Identi
fied," Indianapolis (IN) Star, December 23, 2008, 140. Christopher Eshleman, "Hiker Shoots, Kills
http: //gg4g.indy.corn/articles/crime-courts/thr
Grizzly Bear in Denali National Park," Fairbanks
ead/police-identi fy-man-shot-duri ng-grocery (AK) Daily News-Miner, May 30, 2010, htt p: //
robbery. www.newsminer.corn/view/ful l st ory/7750458/
article-Hiker-shoots--kills-grizzly-bear-in-Dena
128."Fuller's Tallahassee Home Invaded," USA li-National-Park.
47
141. "Randolph County Man Charged with Mur bor's Rescue," WFTV.corn (Orlando, FL), Jan
der Has Bond Hearing," WBOY.corn (Clarksburg, uary 5, 2007, http: //www.wftv.corn/news/1068
WV), February 19, 2007; J. Turchetta, "Case Dis 1671/detail. html? rss=orlc&psp=news.
missed against Randolph County Man Charged
in Fatal Shooting," State Journal, February 22, 152. Steve Zabroski, "Fatal Ending for Accused
2007, ht tp: //www.statejournal.corn/story.cfm?f Stalker," Northwest Indiana Times (Munster, IN),
unc=viewstory&storyi d=20441. November 14, 2007, http: //www.nwitimes.corn/
news/local/arti cle bdc4952d-15bd-5da8-834d
142. "Malvern Man Hol ds I nt r uder at Gun a0de2bld145c.html; Steve Zabroski, "No Charg
point unti l Pol ice Arrive," todaysthv.corn (Lit es in Shooting of Accused Stalker," Northwest
tle Rock, AR), December 17, 2008, http: //www. Indiana Times (Munster, IN), January 10, 2008,
todaysthv.corn/news/ l ocal / st ory.aspx? story http: //www.nwi ti mes.corn/news/local/arti cl e
id=77382&catid=2. fe593494-d93a-5d57-9d2c-a61a5fff53e6.html.
143."Victim Hol ds Car Prowl Suspect at Gun 153. "Turning the Tables on a Burglar," WKRG.
point," KIROTV.corn (Seattle, WA), August 10, corn (Mobile, AL), March 29, 2007, http: //www.
2005, http: //www.kirotv.corn/news/4831564/de wkrg.corn/l ocal / art i cl e/ t ur ni ng t he t abl es
tail. html. on a burglar/3184/Nov-30-1999 1-00-am/.
144. William Lamb, "Police Will Check Story in 154.Joleene Des Rosiers, "Neighbors React to
Shooting," St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, February Granby Home Invasion," News 10Now.corn (Syr
9, 2006; Leah Thorsen, "No Fi rearms Charges acuse, NY), December 21, 2005.
against Woman, 87," St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch,
May 23, 2006. 155. "Texas Homeowner Grabs Robber's Gun,
Kills Him," KWTX.corn (Waco, TX), November
145. Nathan Max and Sarah Burge, "Clerk Dis 3, 2008, http: //www.kwtx.corn/home/headlines/
mayed at Killing Robber," Riverside (CA) Press-En 33756764.html.
terprise, December 7, 2005, http: //www.pe.corn/
localnews/riverside/stories/PE News Local C 156."Wounded Clerks' Boss Armed, ' Ready',"
rdead07.134fcf01.html. Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger, February 15, 2007.
146.S. Brady Calhoun, "Woman Shoots Home 157. "Burson Homeowner, Arnol d St ore Cl erk
Invader through Abdomen," Northwest Florida Foil Separate Robbery Attempts," Amador Ledger
Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, FL), December Dispatch Jackson, MS), December 1, 2008.
5, 2008, ht t p: //www.nwfdailynews.corn/news/
andrews-13313-haven-lynn. html; Jon Milti more, 158. Robert Morris, "Carrollton Woman Fatally
"Gulf Deputies Nab Suspect i n Lynn Haven Shoots Armed Home Invader," Uptown Messenger
Home Invasion," Panama City (FL) News-Herald, (New Orleans), April 6, 2011, http: //uptownmes
December 7, 2008, http: //www.newsherald.corn/ senger.corn/2011/04/nopd-carroll ton-woman
news/lynn-70190-deputies-nab.html.
fatally-shoots-armed-home-invader/.
147. Susan Hylton, "Burglary Charge Due i n
159. "Tech Students Get Their Guns Up to Stop
Shooting," Tulsa (OK) World, November 4, 2008, Burglars," KLBK13.tv (Lubbock, TX), January
http: //www.tulsaworld.corn/news/arti cle.aspx 25, 2007.
?articleID=20081104 78 Al l h Theho347984.
160."Baltimore Police Bl otter," Bal timore Sun,
148. Brandi Cummings, "RCSD: Would-be Rob December 15, 2008, http: //articles.baltimoresun.
ber Shot by Li quor Store Owner," WISTV.corn corn/2008-12-15/news/0812140192 1 robbery
(Columbia, SC), December 15, 2008, ht t p: // block-baltimore/2.
www.wistv.corn/ Gl obal / st ory.asp? S=949916
2&nav=ORapdBst.
161. "South Tulsa Homeowner Shoots, Critical
ly Wounds Intruder," Newson6.corn (Tulsa, OK),
149."Man Shot i n St ruggle for Shotgun," Du January 17, 2011, ht t p: //www.newson6.corn/
rango (CO) Herald, December 17, 2005. story/13843029/pol i ce-investigate-shooti ng
outside-home-in-south-tul sa? redirected=true.
150. "Dupo Homeowner Thwarts, Handcuffs
Burglar," Belleciew (IL) News Democrat, Decem
162. "Combs Gets His M an," McAlester (OK) News
ber 13, 2008, http: //www.newsroom-sheriff.us/ Capital, January 16, 2004.
2008/12/dupo-homeowner-thwarts-handcuffs
burglar. html. 163. Henry Pierson Curtis, "Police: Victim Sur
prised Would-be Robbers," Orlando (FL) Sentinel,
151."Shotgun-Wielding Man Comes to Neigh December 15, 2005, ht tp: //articles.orlandosen
48
tinel.corn/2005-12-15/news/ARMEDCITIZEN 175. "Feisty Floridian Fights off 5 Others," Flori
15 1 pistol-pugh-rob. da Today (Melbourne, FL), December 27, 2007.
164. Tom Smith, "Men Shot in Break-in Attempt," 176. "Would-be Robber Shot and Killed in Para
Florence (AL) Times Daily, December 4, 2008, http: mount," CBS2.corn (Los Angeles, CA), December
//www.timesdaily.corn/arti cle/20081204/ARTI 20, 2005.
CLES/812040335.
177. "Robbery Suspect Ki l led by St ore Cl erk
165. Kye Parsons, "Police: Teen Fired Shotgun to Identified," WPBF (Palm Beach Gardens, FL),
Stop Attack on Mot her," WBOC News (Dover, July 4, 2010, http: //www.wpbf corn/news/24141
DE), October 28, 2009, http: //www.wboc.corn/ 350/detail. html; "Dead Robbery Suspect Linked
story/11405492/pol i ce-teen-fired-shotgun-to to Another Cri me," WPBF (Palm Beach Gar
stop-attack-on-mother? redirected=true. dens, FL), July 6, 2010, http: //www.wpbf.corn/
news/24160638/detail. html.
166. Gary Nelson, "Palmetto Bay Shooting," CBS
Miami, November 25, 2010, ht tp: //www.tacti 178. Sonny Turner, "Homeowner Held Thi eves
cal-life.corn/onl i ne/ news/ambushed-palmet at Gunpoint unti l Of fi cers Arrived," Athens (AL)
t o-bay-fl ori da-man-tel l s-survival-story-wi t h News Courier, July 27, 2007, http: //enewscourier
ccw/? right=related. .corn/l ocal / x1037408474/ Homeowner-hel d
thieves-at-gunpoi nt-unt i l -of f i cers-arrived?key
167. The homeowner was not identified in t he word=topstory.
i nitial reports of the i ncident. "Armed Home
owner Kills Suspected Burglar," CBS13 (Sacra 179. Howard Altman, "St. Pete Storeowner Chas
mento, CA), November 8, 2008. es, Shoots at Armed Robbers," Tampa Bay (FL)
Online, December 7, 2008, http: //beta2.tbo.corn/
168.Matt Mi l l er, "Armed Homeowner Foils In news/news/2008/dec/07/ st -pete-storeowner
vasion," Harri sburg (PA) Patriot-News (Harrisburg, chases-shoots-armed-robbers-ar-118724/.
Pennsylvania), May 31, 2008, http: //www.penn
l ive.corn/mi dstate/i ndex.ssf/2008/05/ armed 180. Ben Winslow, "Burglary Goes Bad When
homeowner foil s burglary. html. Would-be Thief, Homeowner Trade Shots i n
Ogden," Desert News (Salt Lake City, UT), Decem
169. Brandon Todd, "Homeowner Kills Teen Bur ber 16, 2008, http: //www.deseretnews.corn/arti
glary Suspect," MyFoxDFW.corn (Dallas, TX), cle/705270955/Burglary-goes-bad-when-would
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news/052611-homeowner-kill s-teen-burglary
suspect. 181."Store Clerk Says He' ll Continue to Carry
Gun," TheWMURchannel.corn ( Manchester,
170."Toledo Man Shoots, Kills Burglar," Toledo NH), December 29, 2005, ht t p: //www.wmur.
(OH) Daily News Online, October 28, 2009, http: // corn/r/5715645/detail. html.
tdn.corn/news/art i cl e 186c00d2-017d-57e7
9180-1cc078dba08c.html. 182. Brian Eckhouse, "Pit Bul l Ki l l ed by Wi ne
Country Resident," North County Times (Teme
171.Andrew Ryan, "Clerk Shoots, Kills Masked cula,CA),July 31, 2007, http: //www.nctimes.corn/
Man during Worcester Holdup," Boston Globe, De news/local/arti cl e 94054b8f-41c6-5eal-a02b
cember 11, 2008, http: //www.boston.corn/news/ 52b88aac69e l.html.
l ocal/breaking news/ 2008/ 12/ cl erk shoot s
ki.html. 183. Carol Robinson, "Center Point-Area Rob
bery Foiled after Shot s Exchanged," AL.corn
172.Jay Dow, "NJ Man Defends Home from Bur (Birmingham, CA), October 21, 2009, ht tp: //
glars," WCBStv.corn (New York, NY), February 2, blog.al.corn/spotnews/2009/10/center poi nt
2006. area robbery foil. html.
173. Arena Welch, " ' My Fi r st Reaction Was, 184. "Owner Defends Liquor Store, Kills Would
Boom! Wi t h The Pi stol' Bryan Man Recalls Be Robber," NBC Washington, December 12,
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lege Station Eagle (Bryan, TX), August 27, 2005,
http: //209.189.226.235/stories/082705/l ocal 185. State v. Dunns, No. A-1076-05T41076-05T4
20050827017.php. (N J. Super. Ct. App. Div., May 18, 2007), http: //
law.justia.corn/cases/new-jersey/appell ate-di
174."Packing a Pistol, Deputy D.A. Nabs Sus vision-unpubl i shed/2007/a1076-05-opn.html ;
pect in Home," The Oregonian (Portland, OR), State v. Burden, No. A-1300-05T4 (N.J. Super. Ct.
December 27, 2005. App. Div., May 18, 2007) http: //law justia.corn/
49
cases/new-jersey/appellate-division-unpubl i sh 197. Andrew Moore, "Burglar Shot after Break
ed/2007/a1300-05-opn.html. ing i nt o Wal hall a home," Upst atetoday.corn
(Seneca, SC), December 23, 2008.
186. Gregg Aamot a nd Steve Ka r nowski,
"Botched Raid Terrorizes Minn. Family," USA 198. "Liquor Store Owner Kills Man in Self De
Today, December 18, 2007, http: //www.usatoday. fense," Loca110.corn (Miami, FL),January 9, 2007,
corn/news/nation/2007-12-18-2186963868 x. http://www.loca110.corn/news/10712476/detail.
htm; Norman Draper and Steve Brandt, "Botched html.
Raid Costs Minneapolis $600,000," Minneapolis
Star-Tribune, December 13, 2008, http: //www.star 199."Domestic Dispute Turns Deadly: Man At
tribune.corn/local/minneapolis/36059839.html. tacked Parents, Police Say," 4029TV.corn (Fort
Smith, AZ), December 15, 2008, http: //www.40
187. "Store Clerk Fires Shot at Woul d-be Rob 29tv.corn/r/182 84111/detail. html.
ber," WYFF (Greenville, SC), November 12, 2008,
http://www.wyff4.corn/r/17968751/detail. html. 200."Robbery Suspect Shot Dead, Alleged Ac
complice Wounded," Huntsville (AL) Times, De
188. "Blue Lake Man Chases, Catches Suspected cember 25, 2008, http: //blog.al.corn/breaking/
Burglar," Times-Standard (Eureka, CA), March 28, 2008/12/robbery suspect shot dead alle.html.
2008, http: //www.times-standard.corn/localnews
/ci 8726024. 201."Woman Shoots Int ruder i n Leg," KGET.
corn (Bakersfield, CA), August 17, 2005.
189. "Man Shot after Fighting Would-be Robber,"
Loca110.corn, November 17, 2008, http: //www.lo 202. Megan Boehnke, "Jewelry St ore Owner
ca110.corn/news/17998187/detail. html; Joe Mc Thwarts Robbery, Shot in Face," Arizona Republic
Hugh, "November 17,2008: Man Shotin Attempt (Phoenix), December 23, 2008, http: //www.azcent
ed Robbery," Coral Springs Police Department, ral.corn/community/chandler/articles/2008/12/
November 17, 2008, http: //www.coralsprings.org 23/20081223cr-robbery1223.html.
/police/fullstory.cfm? articleid=14493.
203. "Pizza Man Attacked, Shoots at Attempted
190. "BurglarySuspect Shot, Hospitalized,"Savan Robbers," WFTV (Orl ando, FL), December 8,
nah (GA) Morning News, August 27, 2005, http: // 2008, ht tp: //www.wftv.corn/news/18226648/de
savannahnow.corn/stori es/082705/ 3251134. cail.hcml.
shtml.
204."Store Clerk Shoots Suspect during Rob
191."Homeowner Says Adrenaline Made Hi m bery," KATV (Little Rock, AR), April 16, 2007.
Shoot Intruder," KETV (Omaha, NE), January
26, 2007, http: //www.ketv.corn/r/10842357/de
205.Dave Jordan, "Pizza Delivery Dri ver De
cail.hcml. fends Himself," WITN (Greenville, NC),June 17,
2008, http: //www.witn.corn/home/headlines/20
192."Virginia: Police Say Family Feud Leads to 142424.html.
Arrest," Bristol (VA) Herald Courier, December 5,
2005. 206."Mesa Resident Cuff s I nt r uder at Fr ont
Door," East Valley Tribune (Tempe, AZ), January
193. "Gilbert Homeowner Shoots Intruder," East 30, 2004, http: //www.eastvalleytribune.corn/art
Valley Tribune (Tempe, AZ), December 9, 2008, icle 597700bd-bbcd-5d20-84b8-2dd85f01de08.
http: //www.eastvalleytribune.corn/article 6ee55 html.
fb0-346b-57dd-b614-d141526b73e3.html.
207. Matt Bl i ckenstaff, " Okl ahoma Woman
194. Aaron Drawhorn, "Man Thwarts Robbery by Shoots Int ruder ' Graveyard Dead,'" Ri verPont
Shooting at Suspect," 8newsnow.corn (Las Vegas, Times (St. Louis, MO), December 10, 2009, http:
NV), January 18, 2011, http: //www.8newsnow. //bl ogs.riverfrontt i mes.corn/dailyrft/ 2009/12/
corn/story/13865042/man-thwarts-robbery-by oklahoma woman shoots i nt r uder graveyard
shooting-at-suspect. dead. php.
195. Greg Reeves, "KC homicide 4127: Self-de 208. "Brookline Man Charged after Failed Rob
fense?" Kansas (Mo) City Star, December 30, 2005. bery Attempt," Associated Press, December 10,
2005, http: //web.archive.org/web/200609141830
196. Rich Van Wyk, "Suspect Shot, Killed during 30/http: //www.wcax.corn/Global/story.asp? S=42
Attempted Robbery," WTHR.corn (Indi anapo 274748cnav=4QcS.
lis, IN), October 2, 2006, http: //www.wthr.corn/
story/5465061/suspect-shot-ki l l ed-duri ng-at 209. Penny Moore, "I nt ruder Shot t o Deat h,"
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50
http: //web.archive.org/web/20060118223602/ 2 22. Shawntaye Hopki ns, " Lexi ngton Ma n
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Leader, December 18, 2008, http: //www.kentucky.
210. "Federal Way Man Dies after Wife Shoots in
corn/2008/12/19/630911/lexington-man-shoots
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14, 2008, http: //www.pnwlocalnews.corn/south
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212.Simone Weichselbaum and Dave Davies, 224.Michele Canty, "Two Men Shot i n York,"
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225.Alicia P. Q. Wittmeyer, "Beach Pizza Shop
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berlie. news/811101001.
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ries/phoenix l ocal news 060508 homeowner cember 11, 2008, http: //www.10tv.corn/live/con
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51
234."Would-be Robber's Death Justified, Po- 83 woul d-be-robbers-death-justified-police-say?cl
lice Say," WKRN.corn (Nashville, TN), Decem- ie nt t ype=generic&mobilecgbypass.
ber 1, 2008, http: //www.wkrn.corn/story/94380
52
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