Defensive Gun Use Of The Day: Unidentified North Bend, WA Homeowner

The situation in a suburban Washington State home on March 30th could have been scene from The Shining: a terrified couple barricaded in their bedroom while a psychopath taunts them from the other side of their bedroom door, shouting “Where you at? I’m gonna kill you!” and “I’m gonna come mess you up!” And then the psychopath kicks down the bedroom door…

And dies in a hail of gunfire from the homeowner’s pistol.

From King5.com:

The police dispatcher told the deputies that she just received another 911 call from a nearby house in the 400 block of SE Orchard Dr. A couple had been sleeping when they woke up to the sound of glass breaking.  The suspect had broken the rear sliding glass door, entered the house, and then started “trashing the house.”The couple, a 46-year-old man and his girlfriend,  hid in a bedroom as they  talked to  the 911 operator.

The couple told police that they could hear the suspect ransack the house.  The suspect was yelling, “Where are you?  I’m going to kill you!”

The man living at the home retrieved a handgun from his nightstand and yelled numerous times, “I have a pistol. Get out of my house!”

The couple in the bedroom continued to hear the suspect ransack the house and yell that he was coming after them.

[King County Sheriff's Sergeant Cindy] West said within a short time the suspect kicked the door down and at that point the homeowner fired several shots, killing the suspect.

Washington State does not formally follow the Castle Doctrine, but the Stand Your Ground law is encoded in Washington’s criminal statutes. No charges are expected to be filed against the homeowners, whom police describe as the victims in this situation.

Regardless of whether he [the invader] was armed or not the homeowner did the right thing,” said West. ”This guy showed so much restraint. He could have shot him earlier, based on the situation at hand but he didn’t. He waited and waited and waited and gave this guy the opportunity to leave before he finally said I have no other choice.

West said the homeowner and his girlfriend are very shaken up and don’t want to go back to the house.

It’s horrifying to see an innocent couple terrorized by a psychopath invading their home and threatening to kill them, but it’s gratifying to see public opinion and law enforcement rally around the homeowner. Even the most morally and legally justified homicide is incredibly traumatic, and our thoughts go out to this unnamed couple. They’ve already packed many of their belongings and left their own home, now the place of such terrifying memories.

This awful scene also shines a colder, more rational light on the fabricated-by-liberals ‘controversy’ now swirling around gun control, the Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws. Home invaders like this dead psychopath would have a field day in London or Washington, DC where they know their victims will be disarmed and helpless. They thrive when foolish laws strip us of our means and right of self-defense.

But in the Northwest, where several burglars have been shot and/or killed by homeowners in recent months (with no charges filed against them), they’re increasingly likely to die on the job. And there’s no such thing as Worker’s Comp for home-invasion psychopaths.

Dave Workman’s outstanding Seattle Gun Rights Examiner looked at this encouraging trend back in February and called it spot-on: 1.) Home invaders are getting shot and killed, 2.) Said homeowners are (quite properly) not being charged with any crimes, and 3.) The public seems to be perfectly happy with both of these outcomes.

Click here for the news video.

49 Responses to Defensive Gun Use Of The Day: Unidentified North Bend, WA Homeowner

  1. avatarjkp says:

    Link: http://www.king5.com/news/Homeowner-shoots-and-kills-robber-145392095.html

    Money quote:

    It’s not known if the suspect was armed.

    (That’s right – just because the suspect was unarmed doesn’t by itself mean it’s a bad shoot, contra the noise we hear coming out of Florida lately.)

    • avatarGS650G says:

      Always nice to see the media taking the criminal’s side, isn’t it? They also like to point out the scumbag’s drug problems, unemployment, and mental issues when applicable.

  2. avatarDerek says:

    Good Guys 1 – Bloodthirsty Pyschopaths 0

  3. avatarAaron says:

    Do a Google search for “killed with one punch” and it will only further reinforce how dangerous an “unarmed” opponent can be.

    • avatarkarlb says:

      Aaron, it is true that people are killed every day with hands and feet, as you have stated before. Are you suggesting that a reasonable response to the threat of being punched is lethal force?

      How does this incident shire a more rational light on SYG? The couple had retreated, had warned, and had waited. This clearly is not a SYG situation.

      • avatarMike in NC says:

        Since there was no Castle Doctrine in place, this was exactly a SYG situation. Absent some sort of SYG protections, this scenario would have required the homeowner to attempt to flee, perhaps through a window.

        • avatarkarlb says:

          Mike, the home owners did “flee;” they went as far away from the danger as they could, and almost literally put their backs against the wall.  This is the retreat talked about in English Common Law.  They not only did that, they warned the intruder that they were armed.  And they had very credible reason to fear for their lives.  This was not a stand your ground situation since they had done all they reasonably could to get out of the dangerous situation. This couple had every right to defend themselves, but it has nothing–I think–to do with SYG.

        • avatarDubya Bee says:

          Are you suggesting that they would have had no right to shoot if they had been in the room the assailant initially broke into?

          They chose to be very restrained, but the point is, SYG/Castle doctrine would have protected them if they hadn’t chosen restraint. Not to mention that they would have been morally right too.

          We got a lot of good law from English common law, but keep in mind that Englishmen were SUBJECTS under that law.

          We are CITIZENS.

      • If you feel your life is danger then it’s justified. How much bigger is the attacker than you? You do not know how skilled of a fighter your attacker is and if you would be able to fend them off. Do they have a concealed weapon that they are prepared to use? You don’t know. If someone is coming towards me and appears threatening, and I am armed, I would either draw or threaten to draw my weapon.

      • avatarGS650G says:

        Hey Karlb, if a 6’6 275lb dude who’s lifted weights in jail for 5 throws a punch it’s going to be a problem. Maybe some people would prefer to engage and go toe to toe, but not everyone can.

        • avatarkarlb says:

          Prefer to go toe-to-toe? Who would? The point is that one must have a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm. Your case of a 6’6″ weightlifter is on the far side of the spectrum, and I think people might be able to judge if a huge threatening guy is a threat. Aaron makes no condition like that, and has even implied earlier that feet and hands are as dangerous. I think that is an unreasonable assumption, and I think many juries would feel the same way.

        • avatarRalph says:

          The point is that one must have a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm.

          Correct, but one doesn’t actually have to die to prove that his fear was correct. The way it works is that almost any woman can shoot almost any man who attacks them physically. Almost any elderly person can shoot a young person who physically attacks him. A small man can shoot a huge one. Most everything else is a case to be evaluated on its merits.

          The ultimate question that I would pose to a jury would be: what would you do if you were illegally attacked and found yourself being beaten?

        • avatarDubya Bee says:

          Duty to retreat: The farcical notion that one can outrun a bullet.

      • avatarMichael B says:

        They didn’t retreat. They could’ve gone out the window, left the house, and called the police. These two are vigilantes who just wanted to kill this guy when they didn’t have to. /prosecutor

        That’s the way it was in many jurisdictions back in the 1990s and why SYG is important.

        • avatarCarlosT says:

          I remember hearing of a case where a woman went to prison because the cellar she and her kids had retreated to had a door leading out into a field. She didn’t take it and instead defended herself. But she had an option for retreat, and failed to do so, and was prosecuted. That’s what I heard, anyway. If someone out there has the case specifics, I’d love to get some confirmation.

        • avatarBob says:

          How do you know “they could’ve gone out the window”? What if there was only one window and there was an air conditioner in it? A house like that probably has only one window in the bedroom and probably has an A/C unit in the window.

          And you say they could have “left the house”? Just how could they do that with a maniac at inside ready to kill them?

        • avatarDubya Bee says:

          Bob, please tune up your sarcasm detector.

    • avatarAaron says:

      I’m not saying pull the trigger on everyone that comes at you swinging, I’m just saying don’t underestimate a threat that doesn’t rhyme with “knife” or “gun.”

      • avatarkarlb says:

        I agree. I just don’t think that overestimating the lethality of a punch is wise, either.

        • avatarHAVE GUN says:

          Sever bodily injury works for me. I am to old for that crap.

        • avatarRalph says:

          Being “too old for that crap” is actually a valid defense for the elderly. Elderly men and women are assumed to be at risk of death or serious bodily harm from a younger attacker.

        • avatarPaul in WA says:

          You don’t even have to be hit to be in danger of severe injury.

          Last September, a woman in Florida was tased; her head smacked into the concrete sidewalk, and now she’s brain dead.

          In 2009, a King County (WA) Sheriff’s Deputy was chasing a guy, and when he caught up with him shoved him hard; his head hit a wall and he’s now all but brain dead.

          (I don’t intend to be critical of police generally, it’s just that these were fairly well covered in the media over the last few months.)

        • avatarRalph says:

          These cases illustrate the point that the human body is fragile, which is true but not sufficient by itself to justify an SD shooting.

  4. avatarSilver says:

    Brady candlelight vigil for this poor misunderstood victim of gun violence to be announced.

  5. avatartdiinva says:

    This couple did exactly the right thing even in a castle doctrine state. The best strategy is to go to a secure place and get ready. If the BG decides he wants to come in then you shoot him. There is no jurisdiction where you will prosecuted for this kind of self defense shooting.

    • avatarkarlb says:

      Exactly.

    • avatarTTACer says:

      “There is no jurisdiction where you will prosecuted for this kind of self defense shooting.”

      I wouldn’t bet everything I own and all my future earnings on that. Without SYG your economic life is dependent on the whim of a prosecutor and/or 6/11 jurors being stupid enough to say that Bubba was a misunderstood snowflake whose heirs deserve a couple million in compensatory damages for the wages lost by your (not his) actions.

      • avatarRalph says:

        I wouldn’t bet everything I own and all my future earnings on that.

        True, but if you’re dead your future earnings and everything you own won’t mean much. I know when to shoot and when not to. I’d take my chances with the law before I take my chances with a murderer.

        • avatarTTACer says:

          My point was that you could still be prosecuted or sued in some jurisdictions, not that I would rather be carried by six than tried by twelve.

        • avatarDubya Bee says:

          If this is the case for you, I suggest you move.

        • avatarAccur81 says:

          “I’d take my chances with the law before I take my chances with a murder.”

          Well said, sir.

    • avatarMichael C says:

      What about Chicago, or NYC? While an Illinois state Senator, Obama voted AGAINST a proposed bill to protect homeowners who used a firearm to defend themselves against burglars.

  6. avatarCarlosT says:

    One nitpick: North Bend is out in the middle of nowhere and could not in any way be considered a suburb.

    Anyway, sounds like a good shoot and I hope the couple is able to come to terms with what they had to do. If it were me, it would help to remember that it was a choice that was forced upon them by the invaders actions and not something I sought out.

  7. avatarRalph says:

    Of course it’s a “good shoot.”

    Look, its great for us to dissect shootings and analyze the law. That’s what responsible people do. We should also keep in mind that reasonable self defense shootings are reported in local media outlets and are buried by the national media, while sketchy cases become national news. It’s also important to keep in mind that there are many thousands of legitimate SD gun uses every year, and so few prosecutions of defenders for wrongful shootings that they fall into the category of “man bites dog.”

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      I very much like the perspective your comment brings to this. The constant review of ambiguous cases and digging into the psychological and political fine points really can lead to defender ambivalence at the wrong time. “If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” The same goes for gazing into complicated politically or racial-charged stories and comments. Even the complex analyses of fragmented laws (see e.g. Minute of Law), though beneficial, usually yield the same result one would naïvely obtain if one truly acted only from unavoidable necessity, reluctantly, and given no safe alternative…but with skill. Or so it often seems to me.

  8. avatarCharlie says:

    Couple of observations: 1)Sliding glass doors are a pretty big weakness in your perimeter. 2) Why on Earth did that woman admit to being unarmed?

  9. avatarRightYouAreKen says:

    It’s being reported now that the intruder was drunk and high on cocaine.

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Investigators-North-Bend-intruder-was-drunk-high-on-drugs-145789635.html

    • avatarTom says:

      That would explain many things.

    • avatarAccur81 says:

      But if we just legalized all drugs, than these problems would go away!

      (Oops. Today is April 2nd).

      • avatarCharlie says:

        +1000, Accur81

      • avatarCarlosT says:

        No, but gang shootings and the massive violence around the trafficking would diminish greatly, just like it did when alcohol prohibition ended.

        But the fact that cocaine is illegal was so helpful in this case (oh hey, April 3rd!)

  10. avatarTom says:

    1.) Home invaders are getting shot and killed, 2.) Said homeowners are (quite properly) not being charged with any crimes, and 3.) The public seems to be perfectly happy with both of these outcomes.

    I am thrilled.

  11. avatarSanchanim says:

    I call this a good shoot. Well not good someone died but justified.
    Reasons:
    1. They retreated within the residence to a secure location (Locked Bedroom)
    2. The intruder threatened to mess them up or kill them.
    We don’t know if he was armed, this doesn’t matter, he verbally threatened to kill them or cause bodily harm.
    3. “I probably wouldn’t have done this, but” He announced while I 911 to the intruder he was armed, giving the intruder time to exit the residence unharmed.
    4. Only after the intruder knocked the door down did he fire his weapon.

    In my opinion the locked bedroom door was the line of last defense. Once the intruder knocked it down, lethal force was then applicable. Although I feel even if they had not retreated to the bedroom use of force was applicable. The minute he announced he was going to hurt them it pretty much puts any use of force on the table as it were.

  12. avatarFrank says:

    We have a stand your ground law here in Washington State. This is a perfect case for the stand your ground law. In fact once the bad guy entered into the house he could have been shot dead. Not to mention he could have been shot outside for yelling I am going to kill you. This is a complete justifiable shooting. 1 more psycho off the street, good job for the home owner. He followed the letter of the law.

  13. avatarpercynjpn says:

    A perfect ending to a horrible incident – thank God (and guns).

    Todd

  14. If this one happened just like described in the post, it’s clean as a whistle.

    • avatarDoctorHog says:

      Aren’t you the one who just posted this a couple days ago?

      “You do all that, AND carry a gun at home? Doesn’t that seem a bit excessive to you, really?

      I know your rationale, if something did happen, however unlikely, the consequences could be so devastating that you must be prepared. It’s the responsible thing to do.

      Why stop at the unlikely event of a home invasion that gets past your locked door, the alarm system and the dog? Why not worry about lightning strikes and meteorite hits? Are you prepared for them too?”

      http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/04/robert-farago/self-defense-tip-home-carry-again-still

      Do you even understand your own opinion?

      • My opinion is that some people do need guns, but not most. I object to the fear-generating intent of much of what’s writtin about guns. Too many people actually buy that crap.

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