Armed Homeowner Killed


July 15, 2003, 01:56 PM
Here's the opening of the story as it appears in the Fort Smith, AR, daily newspaper

And here is the link to the actual story.

Sounds like homeowner was well armed, but didn't have much of a plan other than walking through his own house at night with a rifle. Assailant had a .22 revolver.

Just a harsh reminder that merely having a loaded gun does not make you actually armed.


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Nathaniel Firethorn
July 15, 2003, 02:05 PM
Clearing a house alone and untrained. Most untactical.Just a harsh reminder that merely having a loaded gun does not make you actually armed.Well said.

- pdmoderator

July 15, 2003, 03:09 PM
Should have had a good guard dog. If nothing else, it's something for the goblin to shoot at while you take aim.

July 15, 2003, 03:13 PM
I cleared my house one night. My spouse blocking at the stairs to the sleeping quarters. I was alone. Turned out that the cat set off the alarm.
No I'm not trained, but I do play IDPA.
A very sad situation. It also sounds like the home owner lacked the resolve to use the gun in his hands.

El Tejon
July 15, 2003, 03:15 PM

Lesson learned: it does not matter if you "hate crime." Having a gun does not make you Batman or a one man SWAT team. Do not break cover unless you must. If you go looking for trouble, you just may find it!

This is very sad. What hillbilly said.

July 15, 2003, 03:38 PM

We don't know if he was trained or not. All we know is

1) that he was armed, and

2) that he lost. :(

That said, one of the first things I learned about tactics is that searching your own house when you think there may be a bad guy in it is known technically, in law enforcement circles, as "Looking for someone to kill you." :uhoh:

Training is good. Training is necessary. But it is not the cure-all and having good training does not make you bullet proof. The smart thing to do is to get the training, and then get more training. And if you have a situation like this, call the cops and let them do the scary stuff unless you truly have no choice but to deal with it yourself.

Be smart and play it safe.


I use not only all the brains I have, but all I can borrow. -- Woodrow Wilson

Nathaniel Firethorn
July 15, 2003, 03:42 PM
We don't know if he was trained or not. It's a good bet that anyone who was trained to do what he was trying to do wouldn't have done what he did.

- pdmoderator

July 15, 2003, 03:46 PM
We don't know what happened, or either party's level of training/awareness. What sticks in my mind is the axiom I picked up somewhere--Not every scenario is survivable.

July 15, 2003, 03:53 PM

Sure, but the problem is that human beings do stuff we know better than to do, all the time. It is part of the human condition to think "I shouldn't do that ..." -- and then go ahead and do it anyway. :uhoh:

You're probably right that he wasn't trained. But we don't have complete data, and probably never will.


I dood it. I shouldn't ha' dood it. I dood it again! -- Red Skelton

July 15, 2003, 03:56 PM
my theory on this is renters insurance covers most of the stuff in the house everthing really important is in my room an down the hall. My wife an child . take what you want but dont come through this door or there will be hell to pay. yes im calling the cops an letting the dogs loose but the last thing im doing is "clearing the house" for potential trouble

July 15, 2003, 04:42 PM
Just a harsh reminder that merely having a loaded gun does not make you actually armed.

And stupid laws and DA's that prosecute citizens defending themselves go a long way toward making people hesitant to use deadly force... which means they are more likely to get killed by criminals who don't care about laws.

4v50 Gary
July 15, 2003, 04:45 PM
Restore the common law where you can kill a man to recover your chattel. No liability but kinda messy cleaning up.

July 15, 2003, 05:10 PM
This story really makes you think. And Im sorry to hear it. :(

July 15, 2003, 05:30 PM
This story really makes you think.

Yeah, it make me think ...

It makes me think: "Shoot first and ask questions later"

July 15, 2003, 06:00 PM
I am not trained to search a house.

But I do have a ready-made, rehearsed plan for this type of situation.

1) I awake to hear goblin breaking into my house.

2) I grab shotgun with flashlight near bed and wake up my wife next to me.

3) I rack a shell into the shotgun's chamber while shouting "I Have A Shotgun! Go Away!" as wife calls 911 and grabs her own .357 magnum.

4) We hunker down in the bedroom (only one doorway in or out) behind cover, with the phone on, waiting for the cops to arrive.

I don't go looking for the guy unless I smell him setting fire to the house, or hear him raping someone he's dragged into my house with him, or something equally heinous.

If he's just breaking stuff, or trying to steal property, I let him, and wait on the cavalry.

If he comes to the bedroom doorway, BOOM!


July 15, 2003, 06:30 PM
Yeah, that's all fine if it's just two of you ...

July 15, 2003, 06:58 PM
Restore the common law where you can kill a man to recover your chattel. No liability but kinda messy cleaning up.

i am not doubting you but what NRS is that? i want to know to cover my but legally. i too am a Nevadan

hillbilly im with you!

Tallpine you have a Very Valid Point! my child is down the hall an as much as i would love to i can not predict or decide where the goblin is going to B & E.

very scary situation.

July 15, 2003, 07:04 PM
“We don’t know if (Allen) knew there was anybody home or not ... (but) we really believe that when he went into Mr. Ruby’s room, he didn’t expect him to have a gun,” Limbird said.

Ruby’s gun was found near his body. There were nine cartridges in the magazine and one in the chamber, which is all the gun will hold, apparently indicating that Ruby did not fire the weapon, Limbird said.

Ruby’s wife found her husband lying wounded in his bedroom after hearing noises shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday.

Sounds like he was NOT clearing his home, but when the BG encountered him the BG was quick on the trigger. Another reason NOT to give warnings.

My home, at night, without my permission - Bang!


July 15, 2003, 07:05 PM
Could be Wernner von den Wannaer Hohen, 20 times Schutzhund III
Could be Klico von Karthago, the big guy
Could be Cohen von Adler Stein, my best bud
Could be Volan von der Daelenberghütte, though he's hyper

But I prefer Vashon von der Maineiche or Xora von der Daelenberghütt, smaller females who have tasted manflesh and will not hestitate to kill first and ask questions later.

It's not the big beefy male in front of you have to worry about, so much as the silent female leaping in behind you :D

July 15, 2003, 07:06 PM
a little yappy high strung yorky might have been enough to prevent the break-in from ever happening at all

sorry to hear one of the good guys has fallen,,,


July 15, 2003, 07:09 PM
Serveral of my Gung Ho friends have had this discussion.... They are " If I hear them In my house I'm going after them and I ah Gonna Shootem"..... My response is this. Unless you hear converstion, You never know how many guys are out there and you, don't know where they are. Tactically you are at a disadvantage. Most of my Valubles (things that cannot be replaced) are in the Room where I sleep. If they want them then they had better be prepared to get past a 72lb Blue Heeler (one that can take kicks from a 1ton Bull and keep heeling), and if they make it past him Then they better be prepared to fight it out with me and my winchester 120 and the wife with a .45. Of which we both now have the tactical advantage. My point is this: There is nothing in my house I can't replace. In Texas they'de have to be pretty stupid to break in any house at night, so they are either Very Brave or plain nuts. Confronting either in a " Just Awoke" state is not something I wanna Do. I can't defend my wife if Im dead in the Livingroom because I Had a "Brass Pair", and wanted to come out shooting. My friends ont the other hand I fear will find out differently

July 15, 2003, 07:21 PM
It is allways a sad thing to hear when a person is Killed by a Criminal.

but Like the T-Shirt says, "Gun Control is being able to Hit your Target!"

July 15, 2003, 07:39 PM
chit happens !:uhoh:

July 15, 2003, 07:49 PM
The first two things that come to my mind, are a general sense of sorrow and loss for a fellow gun owner. There is also the realization, that it takes a lot more than mere gun ownership, to enable a fellow to go in after someone. There is a diminishing of common sense, it seems, when adrenelin starts pumping. Tunnel vision, shortness of breath, and forgetting everything you ever learned just seem to happen when a fellow is confronted for the first time, with life or death.

Prudence for the untrained, and unskilled, dictates that if you life is not in IMMEDIATE danger, just get the heck out of there.

Standing Wolf
July 15, 2003, 07:50 PM
I'll chip a dollar into the rope fund.

July 16, 2003, 12:11 PM
My point is this: There is nothing in my house I can't replace.

There is in mine - my little girls, in a bedroom on the other side of the crappily-laid out floorplan that we can't wait to move out of. If somebody's in the house, I gotta go. No mall-ninja crap - just 911, my pistol, and a prayer. That's all there is to it. :(

If it wasn't for the poor layout of the house, I'd hole up and wait for the guys who're paid and trained for that crap. The next home we buy will have that taken into consideration (hopefully sooner than later).

July 16, 2003, 12:56 PM
We are all diminished by the loss of one of the Good Guys. We will never know the full story here; it is a tragic mess.

Only non-replaceable in my home is in the bed next to me (Wife of 10+ years). And sometimes Sis-in-Law visits us for the weekend. But if you want to try taking either one of those......

July 16, 2003, 01:38 PM
I agree with Doug444. It appears that the man was awakened in the bedroom and the goblin got the better of him while the man was reaching for his gun. This is one more reason why I have been using my pistol more and more for my HD weapon over my Winchester 1300. The pistol is so small and light that I can grab it in an instant and put it into play whereas the shotgun is heavier and unwealdy if the BG was already on top of me (figuratively speaking, of course... :uhoh: ).

I agree with not clearing the house if you have the option not to, but it is also hard to resist the temptation if you hear something in the house. You can't just call 911 every time the floor creaks or the windows rattle, and I have read of many, many instances where a BG was caught while trying to climb in through a window -- a very vulnerable and tactically poor position for them to be in when the muzzle of a gun is pushed into their face.

IMO, if you know that there are BG(s) in your house, retreat and wait for the cavalry to arrive in a good defensive position. However, I will say that there are times when it is necessary to check up on things. Just do it slowly, slice the pie, and have your pistol at low ready... :uhoh:

July 16, 2003, 01:41 PM
I agree with Doug444. It appears that the man was awakened in the bedroom and the goblin got the better of him while the man was reaching for his gun.
That is a pretty good argument for locking your bedroom door at night even if you live alone.


July 16, 2003, 01:53 PM
I was thinking about this story all day yesterday. How? How could this happen? We will never know really but the obvious weakness here is that the homeowner didnt have the drop on the intruder. He was in the home already. :uhoh:

This story, if anything teaches tragically that owning a dog is just as important as being armed. For home defense they should go hand-in-hand. And I think its time for me to get another. "Ruby", my last dog, died last year. She was great.

I have been putting off the idea of getting another but this story has really spooked me. My God, the horror, the horror of waking up too late, to find your home, your life being violated in this way. And to die for it. This is my worst fear being a gunowner. To be to busy sleeping a deep sleep and responding to this kind of situation, at a disadvantage. Time to get another friend.

July 16, 2003, 02:35 PM
To get at me or my wife you have to:

1. Fool my alarm system (or alert us)

2. Break into my locked home

3. Find my bedroom upstairs (not too hard, but I will hear you coming and it does take a few seconds even at a sprint)

4. Break down my locked, solid bedroom door while I am shouting loudly that I have called the police and I will shoot you

5. Survive what awaits you, barricaded behind the bed, armed with either a Remington 870 police or a Glock 17 with standard magazine. And what awaits you will not think twice, as no one who knows me would ever, in a million years break down my bedroom door as I am shouting I would shoot.

If you are willing to try and buck the odds, all I can say is "good luck." The guy who came into our old apartment with a stolen pass key and a knife at 0300 wasn't quick enough, and back then I was lacking the locking bedroom door and the alarm. I (thankfully if anything happens) do not have to leave my bedroom, as I have no children. That would scare me, as I saw often enough in the Corps how the attrition of troops works when clearing rooms. Even the best training cannot completely overcome a situation where one is forced to employ poor tactics.

July 16, 2003, 02:56 PM
One thing that doing simulated room clearing in a "shoot house" taught me is, I don't want to do that for real. No way, no how.

July 16, 2003, 03:39 PM
It's a good bet that anyone who was trained to do what he was trying to do wouldn't have done what he did.

- pdmoderator
he was found in his bedroom. What do you believe it was that he was trying to do?

I must be missing something in the story, because I can't find any indication that he was attempting to clear the house.

July 16, 2003, 03:45 PM

"ROPE FUND"!!!!!!!!

I LIKE THAT IDEA!!!!!!!:cool: :what:

July 16, 2003, 04:16 PM

July 16, 2003, 05:09 PM
Sometimes, the good guys lose, and while that's part of life, we don't have to like it.

My prayers to the victims, and I spit on the perps.

The happier side of the equation is that armed folks defending their homes generally WIN. We simply don't see too many stories of them losing, and my gut is that the ratio is on the order of hundreds of wins to 1 loss.

The unfortunate aspect of it is that the press generally spins the few losses in such a way as to support the "you're 43,000000 times more likely to die if you own a gun" fallacy.

July 16, 2003, 11:12 PM
Take that picture, paint the eyes RED, blow up and hang in doorway, with the words "hi, its dinner time" over his head.
Your first comment; full of wisdom.

You got the right idear. Don't shoot 'im till you have to. Much better self defense issue as well as safer. It ain't about killin' its really about livin'


July 17, 2003, 04:34 PM
It seems to me that if you are going to make an announcment, probably the safest one is to say "The police are on their way" or "I've already called the police".

The idea is that if they hear that, they know the clock is ticking. As long as you stay hunkered in your bunker, you have the tactical advantage. They don't know whether you are armed or not, and it gives them a chance to flee without harming you or your loved ones.

July 17, 2003, 05:09 PM
if you are going to make an announcment, probably the safest one is to say


July 17, 2003, 06:02 PM
One of the best $1 bills I have ever spent was at a dollar store near my house. I bought one of those cheesy door alarms that is powered by a watch battery. It is a 2 part unit, one that goes on the door with the speaker, and the other on the door frame. I mounted it on my master bedroom door. With a flip of the switch, it's armed, if the two seperate, it emmits a loud chirpping sound. Besides waking me up it would probably scare the chit out of a would be home invader. First time I forgot to disarm it and opened up my door one morning it scared the livin' chit out of me.

July 17, 2003, 06:05 PM
yeah my kid would use that to wake me up...:D

July 17, 2003, 06:25 PM
Lunatic yappin dog is a must. Burglars are not fond of entering a home with a dog. I have got such an alarm sysyem in my home.

My brother, a dog trainer, has 7 dogs at his house. Two Rotties and 5 Shepards can really instill religion in you very quickly. You might be able to reason with my brother but the dogs are another story.

When he hears noise on the property it is a few of the doggies that go out to investigate first. Depending on the command they get one's life might become very unpleasant. They have been trained as to where they should bite. I don't know all the technical stuff but it sounds like something most folks try to avoid.

Yup, he has a shotgun, but I gotta tell you I think getting ripped up by dogs is worse than getting shot. Sorry to hear that one of the good guys lost.

Me, I am taking up a defensive position and letting the baddie come to me. I hope I never have to be in that position though!

July 17, 2003, 11:37 PM
She is beautiful. Sorry that she died:(

This is really said. Another one of our brothers gets killed. I feel for his family and friends. Watch the dirtbag get off real easy(after all, he has emotional trama from almost being gunned down by a crazed rightwinger :rolleyes: ) I'd participate more than a dollar to that rope fund....I'd donate some scratchy dirty barn rope.

I don't know what I'd do if someone broke in. I am not old enough to own a pistol, which seems like maybe the best defensive weapon in this case, but I am a heavy sleeper so I'd be screwed anyway. The old 870 sits in it's spot, but I don't like having it loaded. I frankly don't trust my parents and older brother to know how to use it(that's what happens when I am the only gun nut in the family). I prefer a weapon with a magazine because it can be loaded much faster and the two can be hidden separately but close. I guess I need to get one of those electronic door buzzers, and take some combative handgun classes...

July 18, 2003, 12:03 AM
You could always Do Like My Brother And Get you a Brutus!!!!

137lbs of Pure " i need to get outta here" incentive

He's a Presa Carnario.... Very Loyal, Very Loving, But Very Protective. If the Burglar Got away He'd Have nightmares of Brutus from Now on !!!!

Travis McGee
July 18, 2003, 01:04 AM
That looks like quite a beast, and no doubt goblins will steer clear. But in its own way, it's like having cocked .45's lying around. A 137# dog most well known for tearing apart and killing a lady in San Francisco is like saying "sue me for every dime!" if it ever bites the mailman, kids friend, etc.

But I'm sure the owner has taken it all into consideration. I just thought I'd toss that out for anyone thinking the anser is getting a 100 pound chomping machine.

OTOH, a nervous terrior will give you all the alarm, with none of the legal liability. You provide the "teeth" with your Colt, Sig or Glock.

July 18, 2003, 02:48 AM
HOLY COW!!!! That is the beefiest dog I have ever seen! Is it related to the APBT and the Staffordshire Terrior? Is it hard to find and insurance company with an AMINAL like that? Does that breed have a fighting history? Where can I find out more about it? Are they good family dogs? Mom, can I get one?! ;)

My aunt owns 18 Stafforshire terriors, a coon hound, a wolf and rottwiler. One day one of the Staffys decided it was hungry for one of her fingers...needless to say,she can't count to ten. :eek:

July 18, 2003, 05:45 AM
All the training in the world might not save you if circumstances work against you.

Conversely, a totally untrained 80 year old woman with a 50 year old .22 has taken out the BG when in her house to do her harm.

Sometimes works out that way.

I seldom play armchair commando, because I wasn't there and might not have faired any better than the homeowner.

Sounds like a good guy lost his life in his home, which is nothing I care to criticize.

July 18, 2003, 01:06 PM
Wait a sec!

what about a kevlar vest?

I realize a newer model from Second Chance can cost near a grand,
BUT an older model can be about 500 bucks. (someone correct me)

The big question is: Does anyone know how to get police surplus and/or used armor? (used as in worn, but not shot)

July 18, 2003, 01:10 PM

They did right by me.

I ended up with a new full blown level II concealable vest, for around $400. I'm certain that there are lighter/more comfy to be had, but not on my budget.

My circumstances don't call for me to wear it all that often, I have it mainly for things that go bump/crash in the night.

On the couple of occassions where I did wear it, it felt sooooo good to take it off at the end of the day.

July 18, 2003, 07:49 PM
IIRC, the Presa Canarios are a subset of the Mastiffs, leftovers from the Conquistators who travelled from the Canary Islands. Medieval war dogs, in other words. They can be trained, but I'd be a bit worried about any dog I couldn't pick up. I don't think they're evil at all, but they are probably too large and strong for an ordinary human to keep as pets. There are some dogs that weigh as much as they do, but in those cases a lot of it is fat. PC's are mountains of pure muscle.

Besides, you don't need to have a small bear for protection. I'd be just as worried about facing a "little" Malinois. In fact, considering the relative speeds I'd be a lot more nervous about the Malinois than the big Presa if I had iron. The PC is a big target, a Malinois is a BLUR. That's why so many K-9 units are using them these days.

July 19, 2003, 02:14 AM
Besides all the good ideas presented: (lock your bedroom, let the cops search the house, have a good dog, and of course a gun) One thing I would do whether I had a dog or not, is to post at the beginning of your driveway or somewhere where it can be seen when someone drives up is a “Beware of Dog” sign. BG’s just don’t like dogs and will usually look for easier pickings. I like to psych the potential BG’s out.


July 19, 2003, 02:42 AM
I won't speculate.
Its just sad and my thoughts go to his family and friends.
We share our experience,strength and hopes here... from weapons to training. We all learn from one another--sadly we also learn when a GG time is up. NO I won't speculate or criticize.

I never expected to ever come home and find someone had broken in and waiting on clearing, yes I know the rules...I also know "one never knows the where or when of their next encounter" -CRSam.

Sometimes you gotta break the rules, improvise, adapt, overcome...pray like hell and hope for luck.

pax "looking for someone to kill is true" Another is "doorways are the framework of death -Dane Burns. I learned a truth for me "action is quicker than reaction" --actually I was damn fortunate and it wasn't my time.

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