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deb7566
06-20-2009, 11:01 AM
I am a single mom and I live in Los Angeles. I have 2 guns and I have trained extensively in how to use them. I had a situation where a guy was trying to break into my house in the middle of the night, even after I turned on the lights and told him to go away he continued trying to get in. I put my kids and myself in the bedroom and got my gun while calling the police. I was prepared to shoot him if he entered my bedroom. Fortunately, the police showed up before he got into my home and took him into custody. I found out later that he was only charged with tresspassing because it was determined that he had a mental illness. A few more minutes, he would have been in my home. What would have happened if I shot him? I am scared that he may come back and I am now not sure of my judgement.

Patrick Aherne
06-20-2009, 11:03 AM
Sounds like you did everything correctly. Waiting in you room with your kids is a sound plan.

tyrist
06-20-2009, 11:05 AM
If he had forcefully entered your home and you shot him you should be alright legally. You handled the situation appropriately.

J-cat
06-20-2009, 11:20 AM
PC 198.5

198.5. Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or
great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to
have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great
bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the household when that
force is used against another person, not a member of the family or
household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and
forcibly entered the residence and the person using the force knew or
had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.

deb7566
06-20-2009, 11:52 AM
So I would have been legally ok to shoot him even if after the fact they found out that he was mentally ill and incompetent?

J-cat
06-20-2009, 12:01 PM
Whether or not he is mentally challenged is not relevant to the issue whether or not you can shoot. What is relevant is that he is not a resident of your home and that he was breaking in. The above statute allows you to shoot, if you want.

J-cat
06-20-2009, 12:06 PM
I once conversed with a person who intimidated a homeowner while at his doorstep. The homeowner shot him twice for fear he was about to overpower him to gain entry into his residence. The future home invader was charged with attempted residential burglary and convicted. The home owner was not charged.

nick
06-20-2009, 12:29 PM
Just make sure you don't shoot him while he's still outside of your house. I believe, in this state he has to break in first. You handled it well.

luckystrike
06-25-2009, 1:43 PM
right. this isnt texas. a friend of mine whos a sheriff said to me I would have to pretty much barracade myself in a room before any shots were fired.

AJAX22
06-25-2009, 1:46 PM
right. this isnt texas. a friend of mine whos a sheriff said to me I would have to pretty much barracade myself in a room before any shots were fired.

NOT true, in CA there is no 'duty to retreat'

(please correct me if I am wrong)

mecam
06-25-2009, 2:48 PM
I thought you can only shoot if he showed imminent threat. What if he was just standing in your hallway staring at you and unarmed?

retired
06-25-2009, 2:50 PM
There is no duty to retreat in Ca. The following is taken from the Office of the Atty. Gen. and concerns firearm laws in this state. This is from page 27 of the booklet.

Protecting Oneís Home
A person may defend his or her home against anyone who attempts to enter in a violent manner intending violence to any person in the home. The amount of force that may be used in resisting such entry is limited to that which would appear necessary to a reasonable person in the same or similar
circumstances to resist the violent entry. One is not bound to retreat, even though a retreat might safely be made. One may resist force with force, increasing it in proportion to the intruderís persistence and violence, if the circumstances apparent to the occupant would cause a reasonable
person in the same or similar situation to fear for his or her safety.

The occupant may use a firearm when resisting the intruderís attempt to commit a forcible and life-threatening crime against anyone in the home provided that a reasonable person in the same or similar situation would believe that (a) the intruder intends to commit a forcible and life-threatening
crime; (b) there is imminent danger of such crime being accomplished; and(c) the occupant acts under the belief that use of a firearm is necessary to save himself or herself or another from death or great bodily injury. Murder, mayhem, rape, and robbery are examples of forcible and life-

oddjob
06-25-2009, 3:24 PM
ya did good...........better than most...........

fresnohunter
06-27-2009, 4:57 PM
I would have dialed the cops a little slower.

paladin4415
06-27-2009, 5:27 PM
I would have dialed the cops a little slower.

If you think shooting someone inside your home, and in front of your children is a good thing, then you haven't done it yet.

fresnohunter
06-27-2009, 8:57 PM
If you think shooting someone inside your home, and in front of your children is a good thing, then you haven't done it yet.

Well Paladin if you READ her post again she stated she was worried if he might come back again. I would not have that worry.

She kept her family safe, she did a great job.

deb7566
06-28-2009, 7:37 AM
What bothers me about this whole thing is that LAPD only charged him with a misdemeanor trespass then put him on a 72 hour hold. They said he had no intention to harm me. How do they know that? How would I be able to make that determination in a split second when I am scared? It seems to me that I would be in a whole lot of trouble if I shot him and LAPD only saw his actions as a misdemeanor.

tyrist
06-28-2009, 10:00 AM
What bothers me about this whole thing is that LAPD only charged him with a misdemeanor trespass then put him on a 72 hour hold. They said he had no intention to harm me. How do they know that? How would I be able to make that determination in a split second when I am scared? It seems to me that I would be in a whole lot of trouble if I shot him and LAPD only saw his actions as a misdemeanor.

You are only judged by what you reasonably knew at the time of the shooting. The investigation conducted after the fact which revealed other circumstances wouldn't be an issue. The fact he was mentally ill would be completely unknown to you as would his true intentions.

paladin4415
06-28-2009, 12:58 PM
Well Paladin if you READ her post again she stated she was worried if he might come back again. I would not have that worry.

She kept her family safe, she did a great job.

I did READ her post, and yes SHE did a great job.
Somehow, you have it in your head that shooting and killing someone in your own home, and in front of your own children, would be okay.
Shooting and killing someone when you have to, to protect yourself and your family, is just what it is, nesessary.
Hoping that the Police don't get there in time so you can shoot and kill someone because you can get away with it, I don't have words for that.
If you had ever been around children that have seen someone shot to death in front of them, you would feel different.

fresnohunter
06-28-2009, 1:08 PM
Well Paladin we just have different views. Rather than TRY and make me out for being wrong for my views just leave it as it is. You do what YOU THINK is right with your family.

retired
06-28-2009, 8:22 PM
Chill guys and just agree to disagree before this gets out of hand. No need for it to go further. Thanks.

GhillieGuy
06-29-2009, 3:17 AM
you handled it well, and taking another life should always be the last on the list. iv'e been thinking about loading my shotty with bags, however, sadly enough they cannot always stop a threat as quick as bird shot or a slug. you just have to do what you think is right. whenever i think someone has tried to enter my home (happened a few times), i'm very aggressive in my actions as far as grabbing the gun and walking out my house and invetigating. just for peace of mind. would i have shot someone fleeing from my house? no. would i have shot a mentally ill person standing there like one of the fellas in one flew over the cucoos nest? no if he was in my house? probably not. being a fairly big guy and working srcurity at bars as my college job might possess me with question as to weather or not i was truley scared for my life when an unarmed, mentally ill person entered my home. use common sense. stay away from the gun unless you really have to use it. if he entered your room and your children were there you could have justifiably shot.

rkt88edmo
06-29-2009, 6:21 AM
What bothers me about this whole thing is that LAPD only charged him with a misdemeanor trespass then put him on a 72 hour hold. They said he had no intention to harm me. How do they know that? How would I be able to make that determination in a split second when I am scared? It seems to me that I would be in a whole lot of trouble if I shot him and LAPD only saw his actions as a misdemeanor.

It is their professional opinion, which counts for exactly jack if he actually had managed to breach your door.

Don't doubt yourself, you did great.

glockman19
06-29-2009, 6:26 AM
I am a single mom and I live in Los Angeles. I have 2 guns and I have trained extensively in how to use them. I had a situation where a guy was trying to break into my house in the middle of the night, even after I turned on the lights and told him to go away he continued trying to get in. I put my kids and myself in the bedroom and got my gun while calling the police. I was prepared to shoot him if he entered my bedroom. Fortunately, the police showed up before he got into my home and took him into custody. I found out later that he was only charged with tresspassing because it was determined that he had a mental illness. A few more minutes, he would have been in my home. What would have happened if I shot him? I am scared that he may come back and I am now not sure of my judgement.

You would be justified in defending your home, family and person as your life and the life of your family was/is in eminent danger.

Fire in the Hole
06-29-2009, 8:37 AM
What bothers me about this whole thing is that LAPD only charged him with a misdemeanor trespass then put him on a 72 hour hold. They said he had no intention to harm me. How do they know that? How would I be able to make that determination in a split second when I am scared? It seems to me that I would be in a whole lot of trouble if I shot him and LAPD only saw his actions as a misdemeanor.

Bear in mind though after receiving and reviewing a case, the DA can always bump up or bump down any case from felony/misdemeanor. So the original case determination is not the final say on the matter.

M47_Dragon
07-23-2009, 6:16 PM
Bear in mind though after receiving and reviewing a case, the DA can always bump up or bump down any case from felony/misdemeanor. So the original case determination is not the final say on the matter.

I don't think it's for any case, certain cases can be wobblers, though.


Unfortunately, since the guy did not make entry, it's not burglary. It is hard to prove intent, and they would need to be able to do that to charge with attempted burglary. If he was mentally unstable, perhaps he thought he was checking the oil on his alien spaceship. Doesn't make it right, but it certainly begs the question as to whether the guy needs to be charged as a felon or not.


Oh, as far as someone breaking in to my home, and just standing in my hallway and staring at me? That is more creepy than somebody showing bad intentions. I would consider this zombie-esque behavior and might feel the need to shoot.

:43:

Fire in the Hole
07-23-2009, 6:26 PM
It's impossible to make absolute statements as to what you would do if....

You need to be able to articulate that the person who came into your home was in fact an uninvited intruder, intent on doing you harm in your mind's eye.

Gosh we have an elderly man 3 houses down to my east and an elderly woman 2 houses down from the west. Both have severe Altzheimers. Although their families do their best to keep a close eye on them, they do wonder off. About once a month I can count on one of them opening the back door of my house and walking inside. I just stop what I'm doing and walk them back home again. Each case must be individually and independantly evaluated on its on merits.

cedew
07-24-2009, 4:51 PM
A couple stories along those lines FITH:

My father in-law was just about asleep on the couch watching TV when a guy comes in the front door and sits in the chair next to the couch. This is around midnight btw, and it's dark in the house, except for the light from the TV. Well he thinks it's his son, and they chit-chat for a few minutes. Turns out, the guy was hammered, and simply walked into the wrong house. He apologized, and left. My father in-law kept a .38 within reach, they were both lucky!

My friends dad shot and killed a guy who was trying to get in his house in the middle of the night. He yelled at him to GTFO, but the guy kept coming. Police hadn't arrived, the guy was almost inside, so he shot him. Turned out the guy was mentally ill, with no history of violence. The dead guy's family actually came over and apologized, everyone felt like crap, no winners there.


I agree with the others, you did everything spot on, and good for you for acquiring the tools/skill to keep your family safe in such a situation. The odds are the mentally ill guy has no beef with you. Still, be smart, be aware.

Connor P Price
07-26-2009, 10:32 PM
Comment edited, thank you retired, you've captured my point in a much more sensible way of stating it.

professorhard
07-26-2009, 10:37 PM
If you feel that your life is in danger. Shoot the intruder until the threat stops.

retired
07-26-2009, 11:15 PM
Your welcome Connor. Just trying to help.:)

DLaw
07-28-2009, 8:00 AM
So I would have been legally ok to shoot him even if after the fact they found out that he was mentally ill and incompetent?

Yes, and who cares? Someone of limited mental capacity can kill you just as easy as a normal person..If he'd have gotten in you'd be within your rights to defend yourself/kids/home...

soldier07110
07-29-2009, 11:17 PM
Seems like everyone's handled it well. Do what you have to do to keep your family safe. The law will work in your favor if you do what's right to defend yourself and loved ones. No one should have the conscience to put a good person away for keeping their children safe.

sacsalvage
08-05-2009, 3:07 PM
"presumption of reasonable beliefs" You are presumed to have a reasonable fear of imminent danger or death or great bodily injury if... Someone has forcibly entered your house, that person is not a family member or a member of the household. Basically if someone has entered your house that doesn't belong there, it would be reasonable to believe that they are a threat to you or your family.

Rob454
08-05-2009, 8:31 PM
I thought you can only shoot if he showed imminent threat. What if he was just standing in your hallway staring at you and unarmed?


Who gives a beep. If he/she is in my house uninvited and that alone would put me in fear for my life and my family that person would be dead. he had a bat in his hand or a knife and was swinging it at me.

The Greek Myth
08-08-2009, 2:01 PM
I just discovered this thread and I am curious if any of you folks, LEO or otherwise, could help me out or at least evaluate my situation in order to help me better handle a similar situation in the future.

I have been a firearms owner for two years, I am not LEO.

On Tuesday night this week, I was out playing a show with my jazz ensemble in Riverside. I arrived home in San Diego at the same time as my girlfriend, around 2:30am Wednesday morning. She had been at the movies with her two female friends. I relax for a moment and head off to bed with my girlfriend, and I am so worn out that I just know I'll be unconscious the second I hit the pillow.

She receives a phonecall as we're pulling back the blankets, it's a male friend of hers she has known since high school. I tell her not to answer it because Christ Hell it's 3 in the morning. Her phone beeps indicated he left a voicemail. Curious, we listen to the message. The message is obscene, vulgar, yet nearly unintelligible. The guy said at one point, "I love you so much, I just want to take you away, you've had such a hard life. I love you and I want to be with you and I'll do whatever it takes to be with you." and then goes into a sexually-charged diatribe against my girlfriend, almost in the same breath. The best way I could describe it is like hearing someone talking in their sleep, making little sense.

So now she's completely freaked out, literally traumatized from the voicemail. I'm confused, thinking there is something going on I don't know about. I inquire as to this possibility and she explains that her friend has been in and out of mental institutions most of his teenage and adult life. He's been to my house and we've hung out before in a group setting and he didn't display schizophrenic personality traits. He had just been released from an institution last week, as it turns out, and there had been revelations of him calling the other girls in their circle of friends and leaving similar 'love' messages. He had apparently shown up at a male friend's house, let himself in, and waited next to his friend who was taking a nap.

Anyhow, I tell my girlfriend to relax and we'll take care of it in the morning by going to the courthouse and seeing about a restraining order. I'm about a half-second away from being asleep, and she starts shaking me telling to wakeup because someone just rang our doorbell.

I get up, clothe myself and grab my 1911 and head to the door. The caller, her schizo friend, is standing in front of the door, moving around, breathing hard, pounding on the door, demanding to be let in to see my girlfriend. I don't say anything to him through the door, I just watch. My girlfriend is behind me in the hallway, throwing up into a bowl because she's so frightened by this guy. At this point, I tell her to dial 911 and get them over here as soon as possible. She's throwing up all over the hallway now.

I yell through the door, "Tell me your name!" and he says "My name is classy. I am classy. I WANT.... TO COME IN.... LET ME IN.... NOW." then he pounds on the door. He turns around and bends over and grabs his head and looks like he's in pain. He's mumbling and talking to himself. Then he grabs the handle to the gate on the outside of the door. I tell him, "BACK THE **** UP AND TAKE TEN STEPS AWAY FROM MY DOOR." He doesn't move. I yell for him again to do what I say. He moves away from the door and on to the walkway where I can see him. I open my door, lock the front gate, and point my 1911 at his head and turn the laser on. He doesn't move. He stares at me and says in a calm voice, "You don't like this?" and he repeats that over and over again. I tell him to get in his car and drive home before something irreversible happens. He says, "Okay." and turns around and walks away.

I slam the door shut, and tend to my girlfriend, who is shaking and sobbing on the kitchen floor surrounded by vomit. She can't even talk she's so upset. I call the police, give them his name and description. The police show up and call me to come outside. He's not there anymore, he went home. They explain to me a little more about the restraining order process and that all of our friends who he has contacted should get a restraining order against him.

My girl's parents rush over and help her calm down and I call the guy's mom. The guy's mom called someone and they came and readmitted the guy back into the psychiatric hospital. Hopefully he'll be in there for awhile. THe mother explained to us that he was absolutely hallucinating that he was my girlfriend's 'spirit protector' and I was a demon he had to defeat and conquer in order to save her.


My question: Obviously opening the wooden front door and talking to the guy was a misstep on my behalf, but I had the metal security door locked in front of me, so I felt as long as he was a distance away and I was armed we would be okay... but can I get in trouble for pointing my weapon at him, him standing outside and acting in a hostile manner, and me standing inside with a gate locked in front of me? I have NEVER had anything similar to this happen to me in my whole life, nor my girlfriend's. She wants to move out of our house now and is afraid to go to work because of this mentally defective cretin. I refuse to allow this ******* to run our lives.

Any input and corrections will be appreciated and understood.

Fire in the Hole
08-08-2009, 2:56 PM
Issuing the order to leave is good. Also to inform him that you are armed with a gun, and he his making you fear for your life. Then stop, don't threaten to shoot him. Let him connect the dots.

I would not have come out. He is now able to spray OC through the screen at you, or start swinging at the screen with a 12 lbs. sledge hammer. Furthermore, he might have an accomplice standing adjacent to the door with an ax handle.

I guess what I'm getting at is that you left a place of relative safety, and entered the food chain of a crazy person. You did right by calling 911. The police are on their way, keep him under surveilance, but let the police deal with him. Wait for them to give you the all clear.

I wouldn't worry about pointing the gun at him this time. Was he retreating, and following your commands to depart at this point? Were you still in real bare fear of your life at that point in time? Those are the questions you need to ask yourself before you draw a bead on his nose.

I'd follow up with the restraining order for your girlfriend and since you are is enemy, one for yourself as well. If he called from a phone number that goes back to his home or apt, have this number blocked. Apply for CCW's, get professional training for you and your girlfriend. Sounds like she might not be up to it. If she vomits under the stress of fight or flight, at least have her take a self defense (non-gun) class for women.