Shooting thru a barricade at a home intruder

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Onward Allusion, Sep 29, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,401
    Location:
    Illinois
    What would be the legalities? Someone breaks into your home. You have surveillance cameras and some with thermal imaging. You can see that the home invader is ARMED and hiding behind a piece of furniture/wall/door IN YOUR HOME.

    Can you shoot them through the wall, say with a slug?

    I AM BEING 100% SERIOUS.
     
  2. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,322
    Location:
    Morgan County, Alabama
    If you can describe a direct threat he posed to you I don't see how this would be a problem --

    For example, say he's hiding behind a wall next to a doorway. He pops his arm out, and he's holding a firearm and he's aiming it toward your position. You are now obviously in fear of your life and you realize where he has to be behind the wall and that your weapon is of a caliber that will easily penetrate the wall(s) in between, so you shoot through the wall and hit the intruder, thus ending the threat.
    I see no problem with this, especially so if you are basically trapped.
    You will still be held liable for any local laws. Is there a "duty to retreat" where you live?
    You still have to be sure your defense shooting is in compliance with the law.
    But I don't see it being a problem in itself.
    The above is not legal advice; IANAL.
    Just a guy with an opinion.
     
  3. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,694
    Location:
    virginia
    As a jury member (not a lawyer):

    1. Absolute Knowledge: Intruder has already entered into the home
    2. Absolute Knowledge: Intruder has [what appears to be] a weapon
    3. Absolute Knowledge: Intruder's actual identity is not yet known/unknown in detail, merely existance of someone hiding
    4. Absolute Knowledge: Intruder has not yet taken offensive action beyond the above....

    My thoughts: A lot of family members and teenagers have been shot this way... by mistake.
    It isn't fair, but if a mistake does occur, Items 3 & 4 above are going to examined very carefully
    by me as a juror as what a Reasonable Man would/should have done in releasing deadly force at a
    target he cannot see and cannot positively identify.



    OTOH: If 2-4 have ocurred/are confirmed, all bets are off.....


    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  4. Schwing

    Schwing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,265
    Location:
    Layton Utah
    It depends on your state as well. Here in Utah, if an intruder enters your home through "Stealth or force" the use of deadly force is legal. You don't even have to know that they are armed.

    I know in other states you have to prove that you had no ability to flee your own home before using deadly force.

    I am grateful that I live where I do.
     
  5. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,694
    Location:
    virginia
    Can someone point out those states wherein the duty to retreat is presumed -- even unto one's home ?
    I had thought (perhaps mistakenly) that the home as last refuge from attack was reasonably uniform.
     
  6. IBEWBULL

    IBEWBULL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    320
    Location:
    Wisconsin Central State
    To lie in wait um ??????

    I would warn the person to leave first in this case.

    Maybe changing their evil ways and preventing the stress of taking a life.

    Plus meeting my maker without that in my file.

    We all make choices.
     
  7. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    4,263
    Location:
    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
    well,if it's your house,you know what the walls are made of,wood,plaster,or concrete.also,it will depend on what's behind it,or who,in case of bullet pass through.in my house,outer walls are concrete,and i'm alone,i'd pop a few to see if they would hit the target and stop the situation.the intruder may decide to surrender and save himself.remember also,2x4's in the wall might also stop bullets.tough decision to make.
     
  8. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    13,846
    For many reasons, it's a poor idea to shoot anyone if you have a viable alternative.

    If the facts (as reconstructed after the fact, or course) indicate that shooting had been lawfully justified (and that means that the evidence would support a claim that you had had reason to believe that the safety of you or your family, or in some jurisdictions, the prevention of a felony, had required the immediate use of deadly force), you would avoid likely criminal charges or at least conviction and most probably, civil judgments. "Castle Doctrine" laws make a defense of justification easier.

    BUT: there will be monetary expenses; your time will be spent in the aftermath; you and you family will likely not be treated as you might expect; and you may have to worry about the actions of the friends and family of the intruder. You may also be without a firearm for a while.

    On top of that, there is no assurance that you would survive the encounter unharmed, or that you might not kill or severely injure an innocent person or cause the intruder to do so.
     
  9. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,018
    State laws, legal precedent....

    In general(which is like talking to someone in a gun shop parking lot or "bar talk"), I would say no.
    Use of CCTVs, FLIR, night-vision, drones-quad copters, scopes/telescopes, etc may aid you or give you warning but it can't replace having "eyes on" a threat.
    Recent legal cases that involve home owners/gun owners using lethal force on trespassers document this.
    The incident in MN with the home owner who reportedly "lied in wait" & set upon 2 young house breakers, killing both. He was later convicted. :uhoh:
    The gun owner/property owner had lights, alarms, CCTVs, etc.
    That strange case is worth reviewing. The guy seemed really creepy. He recorded his own remarks before & after the shootings which helped the jurors hammer him later in court, :uhoh: .

    The other Detroit MI area incident where a home owner fired at a girl strung out on weed who reportedly was pounding on his front door at 300am. He fired a 12ga shotgun thru the closed door, killing the girl.
    He was recently convicted too. If you can review that case & watch the court video of the MI prosecutor screaming at the guy on the stand. :eek:
    I'm surprised the court judge allowed that outburst but the guy was smoked after that.

    Some state laws & lethal force standards are different in different places.
    This why it's so important to learn or know the fundamentals of lethal force laws in your area. To have a lawyer or legal plan like www.ccwsafe.com or Second Call is smart too.
    If you have a property or business, Id check the insurance plans or speak to your business atty & see what legal or civil issues are involved with guns/lethal force.
    Waiting until you are in the after-math of a critical incident or a civil lawsuit will be to late.
     
  10. NGIB

    NGIB Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    Hinesville, GA
    Does your state have the Castle Doctrine and No Right to Retreat?

    GA does and if someone enters my house without my permission they will receive a "warm" welcome and I don't have to ask their intentions or verify they're armed...
     
  11. BSA1

    BSA1 member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Messages:
    7,492
    Location:
    West of the Big Muddy, East of the Rockies and Nor
    O.A.,

    For starters you are going to need more gun than your 32 S&W.

    Second if you know someone is waiting to ambush you why wouldn't you back away and call the Police? Remember by retreating and surviving you always win.
     
  12. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    13,846
    Let's look at the law in Georgia:

    Emphasis added.

    Just a little different from your simplistic interpretation, isn't it?

    First, it's not just a matter of your permission. There is the little matter of the entry being forcible.

    Second, the defender must have a basis for a reasonable belief that the unlawful and forcible entry had been made to harm, or to commit a felony in the residence. So, yes, you do have to have a basis for an idea about their intentions.

    And then you have to have a basis for a reasonable belief that the use of deadly force was necessary.

    Of course, the reasonableness of the actor's belief will be evaluated by others, on the basis of evidence showing what the actor knew at the time.

    Be very careful!
     
  13. NoVA Shooter

    NoVA Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    178
    I'm not a lawyer, so this has nothing to do with the law or the legality, but speaking from the viewpoint of a juror (if it went to trial), the hiding part would raise some questions. Can you convince a jury that you felt the immediate need to use deadly force if the criminal was hiding and you knew this? If the bad guy is hiding, it may not pass the immediate threat test (simply based on the information in the OP). Of course, 'immediate threat' may legally mean something different in different places which again, I'm not qualified to comment on...
     
  14. NGIB

    NGIB Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    Hinesville, GA
    Anyone entering my house uninvited will have to do it by force as I don't leave the doors or windows open.

    Anyone that's willing to enter my house by force is not there to bake me cookies.

    I'll take my chances with the DA...
     
  15. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    13,846
    Yep. Legal considerations aside, that nails it.
     
  16. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    13,846
    That assumption would not get you very far at all.

    First, you have to have to be able to provide a basis for believing that their purpose did in fact justify deadly force under the law--not an assumption that it was probably not something benign.

    Then, you would have to provide a basis of believing that you had had no other way of preventing them from succeeding in their intention.

    Even if you can do all of that, you will likely rue the day you fired your gun at someone.

    Avoidance is always the best course, if it is safely possible.

    From our Castle Doctrine sticky in ST&T:

     
  17. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    8,852
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Kleanbore nailed it I think.

    Castle doctrine and not having a duty to retreat does not automatically give you the green light to use deadly force.
     
  18. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,401
    Location:
    Illinois
    Good lord, let the 32 S&W thing go already! You are a freaking pitbull and probably look like one too! :evil: It would be 12 gauge 00, btw.

    Good point on the retreat part but what if you're already hunkered down in the bedroom? How acceptable would it be to shoot through the bedroom door before the BG attempted to kick it down?
     
  19. Bobson

    Bobson Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    4,285
    Location:
    Kendall County, TX
    Acceptable to whom?

    Would it be legal? If you could establish that he was a threat to you on the other side of the door, yes. You'd still have to defend yourself in court.

    What legitimate need would there be to shoot someone through a closed door? If they're shooting through it at you, then yeah, that's a lot easier to justify. If not, you're gonna have some problems. If I was on a jury in a case like that, I'd have some real trouble with that. You would really need to prove you believed yourself to be in grave danger without that door opening.

    My mom almost killed her own brother like this. She was home alone, he was pranking her, and she was literally squeezing the trigger to shoot through the door when he started laughing and gave up the gig. Thank God she didn't shoot.
     
  20. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,912
    Location:
    Lexington, SC
    In my case (as an FFL), in my state (SC), an armed intruder is going to be shot, period. How I go about it, what tools/tactics I use, is immaterial.

    I am operating under the legal assumption that an intruder, much less an armed one, is there to do me grievous bodily harm, and I intend to harm them first.

    Your mileage in your state may vary.
     
  21. Shovelhead

    Shovelhead Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Northern VA / Burkeville, VA
    It's all about education.
    Teaching the bad guy the difference between cover and concealment.
    <tongue in cheek> :neener: :evil:
     
  22. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,018
    Recent posts; Ave of escape.....

    I read over a few recent posts & Id want to add some new remarks....

    I do not agree with the "ave of escape" concept in general. It seems smart on the surface but from a tactical or legal perspective I could see problems with it.
    To contact 911/law enforcement or to marshal-group any family members/house guests is a good plan.
    I'm not down with the "hey just flee" or "ave of escape" concept because:
    A) You do not know who is where or what type of weapons/guns they may have. :uhoh: You might have a felon in front of you, run to the rear or backyard then have 2/3 threats with guns entering thru that access point.
    B) You and/or your family know the basic layout-doors of your property. You can run to a secured area & barricade yourself or plan to deal with any threats where your doors/windows are. Trying to escape or flee will allow the robbers-crooks to choose how or when to deal with you. Make them come to you & fight them on your terms. If you can blind them or distract them with a strobe light or white-light, so be it, if you can use alarms, OC, EDWs, etc, fine. ;)
    C) if you are armed & you run out or your family members scatter, the LE officers or SWAT who respond may shoot at or injure-kill you by mistake. :eek:
    These incidents occur often. Some gun owners or CCW license holders get what instructors & cops call a "halo effect" or what I call; "Superman Syndrome" :uhoh:
    That's when in a critical incident, a gun owner/license holder/etc assumes everyone around them knows exactly who they are or that the gun-license is valid. Cops & security guards do not have ESP or psychic powers. All they see is a "threat" with a gun. :eek:

    Rusty
     
  23. splattergun

    splattergun Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    2,096
    Location:
    Utah
    Basic gun safety rule number 4, Know what you're shooting at.
    Basic gun safety rule number 6, Don't shoot at hard surfaces (including walls, doors, furniture).

    I vote hold fire until sure of your target, and you have a clear shot.
     
  24. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    13,846
    The word is presumption, and such a presumption is rebuttable.

    Any indication, from forensic evidence, eyewitnesses, earwitnesses, or anything else that indicates that the intruder did not constitute an imminent threat at the time deadly force was used (for example, that he had decided and attempted to surrender or flee) could refer that presumption inoperable.

    Combining such evidence with the fact of an actor's having made it known that "an armed intruder is going to be shot, period" could seal one's fate.

    Be careful.

    A resident will almost always be far better off not having to deal with the aftermath of having shot someone, regardless of the apparent strength of a potential defense of justification.
     
  25. pendennis

    pendennis Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    643
    In Michigan, the occupant of the dwelling does not have to establish the intent of the person who has broken into the home, and the home owner is under no obligation to determine if the intruder is armed. And, in some cases, entry to the home doesn't have to be complete. Once the intruder has entered the dwelling proper, the intruder may have deadly force visited on them. There have been any number of cases in which the local prosecutor has declined to indict.

    I'm aware that laws vary from state to state, but the castle doctrine as practiced in Michigan doesn't require the resident to retreat from the dwelling.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice