“These people aren’t worth any more to me than a groundhog. They have our country in havoc. We got so many damned crooked people walking around today.” Well, thanks to Earl Jones of Verona, Kentucky, we now have one fewer than we used to. And two of his buddies will have their walking around privileges severely curtailed for a while. As kny.cincinnati.com reports, it seems the trio picked the wrong basement to break into last week. When Earl heard the commotion, he grabbed his trusty .22 and waited for them to come upstairs . . .

Some 15 minutes later, when he heard footsteps moving closer up the stairs, he raised the rifle to his eye. The intruder kicked open the door. Jones fixed his aim on the center of the man’s chest and fired a single shot. The Boone County Sheriff later announced the death of the intruder, Lloyd (Adam) Maxwell, 24, of Richmond, Ky.

Earl may have gone a little farther than recommended under the tried and true STFU post-DGU doctrine, but when you’re a 92-year-old WWII vet, you tend to get a little more slack in that department.

“I was hoping another one would come up – I aimed right for his heart,” Jones, who served in the U.S. Army Air Forces from 1941 through ’46, told the Enquirer Monday afternoon. “I didn’t go to war for nothing. I have the right to carry a gun. That’s what I told the police this morning.”

This being the third break-in he’s had to deal with this year, he’s none too happy about the police taking his rifle as evidence.

“How am I going to protect myself if they come back looking for revenge?” he said.

Perhaps a neighbor or local Armed Intelligentsia member can help him out with that.

[h/t Tom D.]

83 Responses to Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Exercising His Right Edition

    • Use what you got. Hit a heart or head. They are down.
      Over the last two decades the .22 caliber LR (long rifle) round has become a favorite among snipers. Professional assassins (usually thugs working for organized crime) have long favored using .22 caliber (5.56mm) pistols for their work. While not a powerful round, if you shoot someone up close with a .22 caliber pistol several things should be noted.

      1- The victim is dead if you shoot him in the head, which is what pros usually aim for (as these guys like to say, “two in the head and you know he’s dead.”)

      2- There is hardly any sound if you use a silencer and not much even if you don’t.

      3-A 22 caliber pistol is small, even with a silencer. That makes it easier to conceal and easier to dispose of.

      Then in the 1990s the Russians noted that Chechen snipers were effectively using .22 LR weapons. Inside towns and cities, the .22 LR sniper was very effective, especially since the Chechens would improvise a very workable silencer by putting a plastic bottle on the end of the rifle’s barrel, with a hole in the bottom of the bottle for the bullet to exit. Using a cheap scope, Chechen snipers were very deadly at ranges of less than a hundred meters. Such ranges were pretty common in built up areas. And since you usually did not hear the shot (to the head or face, of course), you had a hard time finding the shooter.

      Having suffered from these low tech .22 caliber Chechen snipers for ten years, the Russians have come out with their own professional .22 LR sniper rifle, the SV-99. This is a little heavier (at 3.8 kg/8.3 pounds) than your usual .22 LR rifle but is built for professionals. It has a heavier barrel, a bipod, silencer, and scope. It’s a meter (39 inches) long and can accept five, eight, or ten round magazines. There is a compartment in the butt stock for two five round magazines. With the SV-99, at a hundred meters, a skilled shooter can consistently put all rounds in a 12mm (half inch) circle. This is a specialist weapon, most likely used by commandos. But any trained sniper can quickly adapt to using it. And snipers like not being heard.
      I can’t belive anybody would think a .22lr wouldn’t kill, or even comment on it?
      Guy22

      • What you say is true, however, the third point should be well thought out as a 22lr handgun is really not in the same league as the rifle for defense. There really are better choices than a 22 handgun. I have a Buckmark and EVERYONE should have a 22 pistol for fun and practice (500 rounds of ammo for WAY under $20 bucks…Yeehaw!

    • Yes.

      This is why I don’t carry a tricked-up CCW piece. I use a Glock, which I can replace ASAP with another stupid commodity Glock for six bills at most any gun peddler.

      In places like California, you should expect in many counties that you will not ever get your gun back unless you invest a fair chunk of change in legal fees to force the donut-nibblers to produce your piece after you’ve been cleared. This is what is known as “back door gun control” in California – they reckon that the more guns they seize as “evidence” and not give back without the investment of legal fees, the more guns they “get off the street.”

    • There was no need to take the Mans weapon He admitted it so no more proof was required other than his word.
      Used to be you took a mans weapon and there was another death.
      Time to bring it back.

  1. “Is it typical to have your firearm confiscated after this type of incident?”

    Sadly yes. Guilty until proven innocent.

    • GA law was just amended so that firearms seized as evidence, such as this gentleman’s, may now be returned to their lawful owner instead of being destroyed. Hopefully KY has a similar statute.

    • It’s “evidence”. That’s why everyone needs at least two firearms. Or as the democratic party would have us believe, an “arsenal”.

      • Evidence of what? No crime was committed, nor is there probable cause to believe that the gun was used in the commisssion of a crime. And if you have the shooter acknowledging that he shot the “victim,” the gun is no longer necessary as evidence to prove the commission of a crime. The only technical reason for taking the gun is to connect it to the shooter as operator and the victim as recipient of a bullet fired from that gun. If those facts are admitted, who cares about the gun?

  2. yep, rural ky. my old man is 80+ and still lives on his own there. he keeps a shotgun handy. don’t mess with the old farts, you have to be tough to get to be old. young guys think because they can talk fast and loud it makes them tough.

    also in ky i watched my uncle, a middle aged church goer, confronted by one of these young “tough” guys. uncle spit tobacco juice in his eyes and beat him like a rented mule. then quoted scripture to him when it was done.

    • “also in ky i watched my uncle, a middle aged church goer, confronted by one of these young “tough” guys. uncle spit tobacco juice in his eyes and beat him like a rented mule. then quoted scripture to him when it was done.”

      LOL, sounds like one of my uncles… though substitute “ca” for “ky”.

  3. That sounds like justice to me, I live in California probably couldn’t do that hear! You would be the wrong one. Such a messed up state.

  4. A .22? I bet it pissed off that criminal until he died. (/sarc)

    Caliber doesn’t mean scat, it’s all about shot placement. Good for him. Nice shooting sir, and thank you for your service.

    • I get what you mean about hitting the fool rather than missing but you can still make better choices for defense than say……a single shot 22 derringer, for instance.

  5. I really think the police should of given him another as a loaner till they finished with the rightful death of skum

    • +1 call me paranoid, but i keep 1 with spare ammo in a safe hidden spot in case i have an overzealous representive of the law decide to empty my safe after an incident. i will fight for my rights in court, but if a number of police in my house to investigate a dgu overstep their boundaries i will comply and let the lawyers sort it out.

  6. I would love to see some real stats on what is the most deadly caliber in the US. I am beting .22 makes it into the top three. What gets me are those saying you’re a gun nut if you own more than one firearm. Police proceedure in just about any shooting is to take the firearm. So where does that leave you?

    Cop – “So you shot the man as he came up the stairs after breaking into your house with that .22 rifle?”

    DGU – “Yes”

    Cop – “Ok, in that case we’ll need to confiscate the firearms and sieze it for evidence and testing.”

    DGU – “Um, I admit it, I shot him and with this rifle. What testing needs to be done and why are you siezing it? I told you, I did it. With this rifle, I admit it. I’ll sign a statement but don’t take my only defense for my house. I’ve had three breakins and you police have failed to stop any of them. Now you want to my only rifle and leave me defenseless?”

    Cop – “Yes, but you can call the cops. Dial 911 and we are only minutes away.”

    • the 22 is probably involved in a lot of shootings for the fact of the sheer numbers of 22’s out there. there’s been a couple of times in my life, for a number of reasons, where i was down to only a 22. i never felt undergunned.

      as for the police taking all your guns during a dgu. i don’t know if they will but i feel better knowing i have a back up just in case.

    • The police don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone’s safety but their own. They’ll take the gun knowing full well it could be the cause of the man’s death. Again, they couldn’t care less.

      • The firearm used in DGU is evidence. I don’t think anyone here disputes it. It’s not evidence in a vacuum. It’s evidence in a case, that of a homicide that has yet to be adjudicated.

        The police has no discretion, and the prosecutor may still have to bring the question to a grand jury. If a grand jury finds that the homicide was justified and charges are therefore not (justified) then the firearm remains evidence!

        Why? A decision not to indict is not necessarily the end of the road; new/other evidence could come in later. The prosecutor/DA must make a decision at some point as to the likelihood that new/other evidence could possibly come up to change the picture. If she feels it’s not likely, then the order of release will got through, but guess what? That gun is and will remain evidence.

        I can see how, to get the weapon back faster, you could agree to a sworn stipulation of fact about the firearm (lest the gun does in fact end up lost in a boating accident) but any defense lawyer would advise you not to go there. (Remebmber, STFU).

        So, catch 22, you want the gun back, but to do so you have to give up some 5thA rights.

        Another cath 22: don’t carry a nice pistol you would cry if you never got back (full disclosure, my personal carry is a SIG P225), but do you trust your life with a “cheap” firearm?

    • no, he’ll not go to jail. but what of the estate he was hoping to leave to others? stfu and let the lawyers sort it out. don’t give ammo for the lawyers that will represent the dead guys family in their attempt to legally rob the old guy.

        • Kentucky has a civil immunity clause so as long as the use of force is otherwise justified there can’t be a civil suit.
          It would still be theoretically possible to sue but there isn’t a single contingency lawyer in the state that would take that case so it would have to be 100% out of pocket for the goblin’s family.

      • Not in KY.
        There are laws to protect the homeowner from lawsuits.

        Castle Doctrine was created just to put a stop to that type of nonsense.

  7. Will the cops actually give the man his rifle back or do they generally keep it forever/destroy it?

    Kind of made me wonder if I should complete my AR build for home defense if they may just take it if I have to use it.

    Sucks living in Illinois.

    • Depends on where you live-and that may be a county by county thing. Two counties in California (Oakland and San Francisco) have been sued by CalGuns for failing to return firearms after an investigation is complete, as their police departments using the lame excuse that the owner has to provide “proof of ownership” before the firearm is returne, and that a release from the DOJ (who presumably knows who owns a handgun) does not suffice.

      • san francisco is a seperate county unto itself. oakland isn’t. it’s part of alameda county which i live in. for self defense i prefer plain but reliable weapons that don’t cost large amounts for this reason. i can afford much more expensive guns than i have but the ones i have are perfectly serviceable and they won’t break my heart if the cops get them.

  8. “How am I going to protect myself if they come back looking for revenge?” he said.

    That is another good reason to have more than one self-defense gun in the same category.

  9. This is exactly the kind of mentality we need more of. Good luck getting it out of this generation as a whole, though.

  10. My respect for this man is great. If I was his neighbor, I would have another rifle in his hands by the end of the day. Loaded. With the good stuff.

  11. Is there some way to donate a few bucks to this man? I’m betting we could probably scrape together enough for a cheap (or, actually, not so cheap) rifle for the guy.

    • Yes, on another website, I made a comment that a few of us need to get together to but this hero a new gun, with a bit more power though. Since he served in WWII, I think a .30 cal. M-1 carbine would be great. It has a lot more power than a .22 but still doesn’t kick very hard. Also he may already have used one before and it uses a 20 rd. magazine in case a follow up shot is needed. I’d be very happy to donate $10 if we could get another 80 or so people to kick in a few bucks, too. Is anyone with me? Let’s get this WWII hero a better replacement weapon! Tbe only problem is I don’t know how to get it to him. Anybody with me?

  12. Some trustworthy person (like the owner or editors of TTAG, perhaps?) could set up a Paypal account for donations. Cap the total amount at something under $1k, then that trustworthy person could find out what kind of rifle the old man lost, buy the nearest available equivalent, and either have it transferred to a nearby FFL or maybe even deliver it personally as a gift.

    • An excellent idea, Ing! I have a PayPal account so I could/would donate instantly if TTAG would handle it. So how do we let TTAG know they need to set up an account for Mr. Jones? Do they monitor this blog? If so, I’d love to know they have responded and will handle the purchase! I want this hero honored and not felt as if he is unprotected. Remember, this is his 3rd or 4th butglary in the last few months! And his phone and other guns were stolen so he needs a replacement phone and a bigger gun. Also, did you see where he worked in the Enola Gay? That’s the bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan that ended the war, saving 1,000’s of American lives! He’s a HERO! Come on, people, let’s honor this guy!

  13. The guy had 15 minutes from the time he heard them in the basement until they showed their faces? He should have spent that time retreating to a safe place, not setting up for the kill. It doesn’t sound like he tried calling the police until after the shooting either. I have a hard time accepting the idea that killing someone to prevent them from stealing your TV is moral.

    • Surely you jest Jim? I don’t have a problem firing at anyone that breaks into my home. I dunno what they’re there for. I dunno if they’re going to beat me into a coma. I dunno if they would just kill me because I saw their face.

      I also just got this TV as a birthday present. It’s the first one I’ve ever found that doesn’t have any glare. Plus, it’s HD-1080P. You even touch it and I’ll ventilate you with 1oz. slugs from the 12 ga. until you stop moving. I love’s me my T&V.

      • Upon further research, th gent had ben burgalarized before and had been robbed of his house phone. Betcha Mr. Jones is living on a fixed income and couldn’t replace it. Or even more likely, he was cornerered in such a way that prevented him from accessing his phone but not his rifle.

      • Can you think of any other possible outcome than to kill the first guy up the stairs? Would you have given them the chance to surrender? Would you have called the police, given that you had fifteen minutes on your hands? Would you have plunked yourself down on your La-Z-Boy to wait? Hell, why would you wait around for an armed confrontation with an unknown number of assailants when you could have just walked out the the front door?

        Some of the key decisions the guy made weren’t designed to preserve his safety, they advanced his agenda of shooting someone. Maybe that’s legal in KY but that doesn’t make it right.

        • a 92 year old retreats out of his own home in the dark of night with a group of young mobile thugs in the waiting. this is a rural area, not a city street.

          how do you know he didn’t call the cops. living in the country means you’re a long way from services.

          the old timer was right. the young man made 1 more bad choice in a string of bad choices that got “the end” stamped on his medical records.

        • Easy for you to talk and slander the good man who is in no position to respond. That’s what the bill of rights is for. But since you are all for speculation, let me join you in your exercise.
          Suppose at 92, the man is less than in the prime of health. Suppose that he doesn’t own one of them newfangled “cellular phones”. Suppose that the only way to call the police is through the phone downstairs.
          Now suppose it was YOU. Would you have the guts to go down and check if there are intruders downstairs? Or better yet, since you are that old and jumping out of the 2nd floor window wouldn’t do your hips any good, let’s suppose that you go down the stairs in order to escape out the front/back door.
          And if you did, and a dgu ensued, does that mean that your action of going down constitute advancing an agenda of inflicting harm on another?
          I find your lack of imagination, disturbing.

        • The other possible outcome is to miss.

          No quarter given inside my home.

          Ever.

          No racking of the shotgun to “scare” anyone.

          Acquire target, safety off, squeeze trigger.

        • Yes, I can think of another outcome, Old Fart Without Gun is killed by home intruder(s). Not the outcome I prefer.

          It is reasonable to believe that anyone breaking into your home is there to kill you. Remember, just the fact that he was 92 was all the justification needed to pop the perp. He almost certainly has a tired heart. This could easily have resulted in his death just for getting slugged in the jaw. Plus, bones are brittle at that age. Old people die from broken hips all the time.

          The fact that he was cool, calm and collected at the time he pulled the trigger is most likely attributable to his military training. This guy’s been in the heat before.

          Without knowing all the details, like whether the perps cut the phone line outside his house. He certainly didn’t know if the perps were armed or not, but the very fact they were in his home is all the justification needed to believe his life or body was in danger.

    • You want to talk about responsibility, essentially? You (general sense) have a responsibility to yourself not to enter another’s dwelling at night, because by now you know you stand a good chance of exiting with more than the three holes you currently have to breathe with.

      Retreating to a safe place he did, his bedroom. Last line of defense. If they went that far, there is no question they meant business. Not being 92, I wouldn’t retreat that far either. Top of the stairs is my line in the sand, since beyond that lie my kids’ bedrooms. For everything else downstairs, there’s State Farm. But if you try and go up the stairs, then this SIG’s for you. Perhaps I owe burglars the courtesy of putting a sign up. Think they’d heed the warning?

      So he had 15 minutes to prepare. Is the burden back on him to protect the aggressors? Speaking of which, how much time did the aggressors here have to case the house out, figure out how far the sherriff was, how long it would take for the sherriff to arrive? Calling on the neighbours, you say. Are you saying the neighbours owed the old man some duty to defend him, perhaps? I had a few rural neighbours over the years I know for a fact would not have lifted a finger to help. But then I’m no WWII vet, only a Spaniard they resented for joining the Corps and standing up to their petty BS.

      Calling the cops? Well, we don’t have much in terms of evidence, though you assume he have a cell phone, or a phone in his bedroom. I used to know a WWII vet back in MO who had a wood burning stove as his sole source of heating, no A/C, and had a land line in the living room only. I feel pretty safe in assuming that this rural vet doesn’t have a phone in his bedroom. Will you fault him for that as well?

      I’m sorry that you find the thinking above immoral. I wish I could show you how immoral I find that you ask that others place their safety in the hands of criminals, hoping that they will somehow stop short of harming you. I respect your right to your views since no one has the final say in morality questions. Yet any judgment of this way of thinking, these morals, based upon placing a higher burden on the victim’s right to live free of aggression than on the aggressor responsibility for the consequence of his actions is, I’m not so sorry to say, messed up.

  14. The answer to your question is in the linked article. He waited until after the shooting to call his neighbor. (Why didn’t he call the neighbor *before* the shooting?)

    This quote says a lot about his state of mind: “Was I scared? Was I mad? Hell no,” Jones said. “It was simple. That man was going to take my life. He was hunting me. I was protecting myself.” So he wasn’t scared, and he chose to “defend” himself by finding a comfortable chair at the top of the steps, so he could wait patiently to plug the first guy who (eventually) came through it. Sounds more like duck hunting than self defense.

    • A man’s home is his castle. I don’t care who you are. If you force your way into my home, you will never forget it. The people I know, love, and trust know that I am armed and will NEVER enter my home uninvited. Law enforcement have no reason to enter my home, but if they found reason, they’ll have a warrant and an announcement. No knock raid at the wrong address? I hope your armored, and I’m awake enough to realize you aren’t a burglar.

    • if you’re trying to drum up outrage because a 92 yo man stood his ground in his own home against 3 bad guys intent on doing whatever they had in mind to do you’ve come to the wrong site. now if you’d like to anti up to help the old timer get a new gun i’ll give you an attaboy for that.

      • Damn right. WWII vet is entitled to defend his human dignity, his home and his possessions any way he chooses. He put his life on the line to keep this country safe from tyranny, there is no reason he should submit to the tyranny of scumbag criminals. In fact, there is no reason anyone should have to sacrifice their human dignity to a criminal. And that is what robbery represents: “You have no personal worth or personal rights, and I can take anything you worked for or own.” BS. If your dignity as a human being is not worth defending, then you have no value. One of the reasons we have so much crime in this country is that our nanny-state government has been telling us for 50 years that we should not resist evil. Thank God that idea is being rejected by the millions of people who are getting concealed carry permits and buying millions of guns every year.

    • Another interpretation: he placed himself in a position where he wasn’t exposed to danger. He didn’t make a call because he couldn’t do so in a way that wouldn’t alert the intruders that we was awake and aware of their presence, and he didn’t know what they would do if they knew that. So he waited for them to decide what they were going to do. Had they decided to exit the house the way they came, they would never have made contact with Jones, and they’d all be alive right now. Instead, they chose to go upstairs, and the one who kicked open the door got shot.

      In any case, I’m not hugely sympathetic to the plight of guys who get shot kicking in the doors of 92-year-old widowers. There was a pretty easy way to avoid that fate. I can also understand if the old guy isn’t particularly broken up about it either.

  15. After being ripped off repeatedly…and still not knowing if this was the crew that would have beat him to death trying to get him to hand over all his valuables…this 92 y/o was totally justified. I applaud him for taking that scumbag off the streets…PERMANENTLY.

    I only wish the others had come up for the same treatment. They break into elderly WWII vets homes to rip them off, they deserve to die. Break in my home and kick in my door like that, you’ll get the same treatment.

    The clueless people here saying that he shouldn’t have set up for the kill, really need to STHU.

  16. Bravo! Standing Ovation for the WW2 vet. Probably not the first time he drew a bead on a bad guy. Thanks for cleaning up the gene pool a little bit!

  17. Well, looks like these guys kicked down 2 doors. So much for locking up keeping you safe. Chalk up another one for the good team. Glad everything turned out alright for him. Crappy that they took his gun though, he’s a 92 yr old vet for petes sake!

    • In that article:

      Jones said he has talked to members of Maxwell’s family and he feels sympathy for them. “They are good people,” Jones said. “They told me I didn’t have to explain anything to them.”

      I wonder if the parents of the deceased perp may have warned their wayward son that his days were counted if he carried on down the path he chose for himself. Call me crazy or unrealistic, but if one of my kids got shot while robbing and stealing, I think I’d be angrier at my kid than at the shooter.

    • h&r 12 gauge. my old man is in his 80’s and lives in rural ky and has one just like that except the barrel is shorter. can you imagine living in a place where your neighbers pitch in to re-arm after this kind of event. i don’t even know my neighbers names in kalifornia. can’t wait to unass this place.

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