Shooting at Burglar leads to charges (Memphis)


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Seminole
July 16, 2003, 08:47 PM
From the

Memphis Commercial-Appeal (http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/local_news/article/0,1426,MCA_437_2112306,00.html)

Firing at burglar brings charges

By Bill Dries
dries@gomemphis.com
July 16, 2003

A South Memphis man was charged Tuesday with two counts of reckless endangerment after firing six shotgun blasts at a burglar who broke into his shed Monday evening.

Joseph Jones Jr., 22, of 1427 Leflore Place was charged by police because one of the shotgun blasts shattered the bedroom window of the house next door, narrowly missing two young boys who were asleep in the room.

Besides shotgun shell casings, police found three shell casings from a .45-caliber handgun in the driveway of his house, and two holes police believed were made by .45-caliber bullets just below the shattered bedroom window.

Jones told police that he did not fire that gun and gave it to his brother, who left before police arrived.

The burglar, who Jones said was also armed, escaped apparently unharmed.

The incident happened hours after Dist. Atty. Gen. Bill Gibbons warned that his office would review such cases carefully in the wake of several recent fatal shootings of intruders by homeowners, all of which have been ruled as justified. His comments came after a determination that no charges would be filed against Jason Filippelli in the fatal shooting of a man who attempted to rob him in his East Memphis home Friday night.

"These decisions should not be taken as a sign that it is legal to use deadly force solely to protect or recover property," Gibbons said Monday. "In such cases, those individuals may be prosecuted."

According to police reports, this is what happened Monday night:

Jones was in his garage studio just before midnight when he heard a noise coming from the carport. He went outside and saw a man removing items from the carport shed.

"The (burglar) told (Jones) to get back in the studio while pointing a chrome revolver at (Jones)," the report on the burglary reads. "(Jones) went back inside the studio, got his shotgun and fired six shots at the suspect, missing him."

Jones also claimed the burglar shot at him as he fled.

Jones's next-door neighbor, Reginald Kendrick, told police he heard the shots and saw the burglar run away with Jones behind him holding a chrome handgun. Kendrick said he did not see the burglar carrying a gun as he fled.

Meanwhile, Kendrick's girlfriend, Robbie Yvette Eldridge, checked the bedroom where two boys, Radario and Reginald Kendrick, had been sleeping. She found that the shotgun blast had shattered the window just above Radario's bed, showering him and the bed with broken glass.

She also found several small pieces of metal near and in Reginald's bed.

Neither boy was injured by the debris. Their ages were not available.

The lesson here appears to be "hit what you shoot at."

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Standing Wolf
July 16, 2003, 09:32 PM
...(Jones) went back inside the studio, got his shotgun and fired six shots at the suspect, missing him...

Range time.

Mark Tyson
July 16, 2003, 09:36 PM
Hmmm . . .

Tough call. On the one hand I think you should be able to use deadly force to defend property. On the other hand, you need to know your target and what is beyond it.

Dorian
July 16, 2003, 10:40 PM
everyone has a chrome handgun!

seeker_two
July 16, 2003, 10:51 PM
Range time.

LOTS of range time...:scrutiny:

El Tejon
July 16, 2003, 11:34 PM
Impossible. Never happened.

But, but I read on the Errornet that your property is a free fire zone and you can do whatever the boys at the gun shoppe say you can do.:rolleyes:

JDSlack
July 16, 2003, 11:54 PM
Sorry, I gotta disagree. If the BG had come after him in the studio, I'd see no problem. But Jones retreated to the "studio" got the shotgun and came back out. I don't know the law in Tennessee, but in Florida that would remove the protection of the "Castle Doctrine". I think Jones would have had justification if he had the shotgun when he first went out, was confronted with an armed subject and shot him. But in any case, using a neighbor's bedroom window as a backstop wasn't real smart either.

Of course, the witness saying he didn't see the BG with a weapon didn't help.

CZ-100
July 17, 2003, 09:40 AM
This guy need to practice a little, 6 shots with a shotgun and misses.:what:

JDSlack good point... Alwaws go out ARMED :D

Monte Harrison
July 17, 2003, 10:46 AM
Tough call. On the one hand I think you should be able to use deadly force to defend property.Ethical problem. You should by law be allowed to use deadly force to protect your stuff, but you should not exercise that option. Deadly force response only to a deadly force attack.

Jeff White
July 17, 2003, 10:53 AM
Besides shotgun shell casings, police found three shell casings from a .45-caliber handgun in the driveway of his house, and two holes police believed were made by .45-caliber bullets just below the shattered bedroom window.

Jones told police that he did not fire that gun and gave it to his brother, who left before police arrived.

Hmmm.....I guess the cases were laying on the ground from his last backyard range session. How do we know there even was a burglar? Maybe Jones and his brother got into it?

Jones's next-door neighbor, Reginald Kendrick, told police he heard the shots and saw the burglar run away with Jones behind him holding a chrome handgun. Kendrick said he did not see the burglar carrying a gun as he fled.

Was the burglar Jones' brother?

Too bad we can't add aggravated ignorance to the reckless endangerment charges. This story stinks so bad a rail car full of Fabreze couldn't make it better.

Jeff

erikm
July 17, 2003, 11:04 AM
Hmm. Maybe reckless endangerment for (as I see it) blundering about with the shotgun. 6 shotgun blasts without hitting the target is a bit much.:scrutiny:

My sentence suggestion: House repair costs, mandatory gun law lessons and range time followed by police qualification, all at the homeowner's expense.

If you've got a gun in the house, you should know how and when to use it:fire: :banghead:

Cheers,
ErikM :evil:

Pebcac
July 17, 2003, 06:54 PM
JDSlack - you're exactly right. The only thing the guy can hope for is that, once the perp pointed a pistol at him, it became an aggravated burglary. This would provide the homeowner protection from prosecution, but not civil responsibility for the property damage he caused his neighbors.

Tennessee also does not require a retreat before use of force to prevent death or serious bodily injury.

However, once the homeowner retreated to safety, he could be in trouble for going back out and engaging the perp with the shotgun. In any case, he's responsible for any damage or injury to a third party that he caused by firing on the burglar. The DA could very well look on that part as reckless endangerment.

All I can say is, IMHO, dude was not in immediate danger once he got back into the house. Call the cavalry and, if numbnuts pokes his head through the "garage studio" door, ventilate it. I'm not running back out into the yard to duke it out Wyatt Earp style with some bonehead stealing my weed eater.

And get some training, or practice, or something! :banghead:

<disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. I got all this from LexisNexis, but who knows what the DA can cook up if he thinks dude was misbehavin'.>

Nightfall
July 18, 2003, 10:46 AM
You have the right to defend yourself and your property from criminals.

You also have the responsibility of living up to the consequences when you ventilate your neighbor's home trying to hit the bad guy.

.45&TKD
July 18, 2003, 02:31 PM
I've always been concerned with stray shot gun pellets in a suburban self defense situtation. This could still happen even if he was a better shot.

I'll stick to well placed .45acp shots.

Ex-Doc
July 18, 2003, 03:01 PM
SOunds more like a domestic violence incident being blamed as a burglery. Shootout with brother, police show up, perp gone no sign of anything but holes...sounds fishy to me.

Jeff White
July 18, 2003, 03:15 PM
.45&TKD,

I've always been concerned with stray shot gun pellets in a suburban self defense situtation. This could still happen even if he was a better shot.

I'll stick to well placed .45acp shots.

If that's the case, how do you explain?

Besides shotgun shell casings, police found three shell casings from a .45-caliber handgun in the driveway of his house, and two holes police believed were made by .45-caliber bullets just below the shattered bedroom window.

I don't think that this was a suburban self defense situation. I think either the two brothers were out playing with guns, or as ex-doc suggests, a domestic dispute between the two brothers. The burglary story just doesn't match up with the physical evidence. Wouldn't be surprised to see Obstruction of Justice charges filed when the whole story comes out.

Jeff

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