Suspect Jaime Lewis

When you are an elderly woman, you are likely to have more leeway in how you interact with criminals. It’s partly a matter of being more vulnerable and partly a matter of the statistics reinforcing the stereotype that women are less aggressive than men. In Georgia, 73-year-old Hilda Douglas shot an intruder through her bedroom door, after he had broken into the house. She heard the doorbell ring a little before 10pm, but didn’t answer. Douglas saw a truck parked in the middle of an intersection, and called 911 . . .

From ajc.com:

Moments later, however, she heard glass shattering and then the pottery she placed in front of her backdoor breaking so she grabbed her gun.

According to the report, Douglas stayed in the bedroom but she “could see light from a flashlight getting closer from under the door. When she heard the doorknob turn, she fired one shot through the door.

“She then heard a scream on the other side of the door and the subject fled downstairs. Douglas went downstairs and saw the subject in the kitchen looking for the back door. She fired several more shots in the general direction of the subject as he ran outside.”

Georgia has a castle doctrine law that allows for a person to use force, including deadly force:

A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s unlawful entry into or attack upon a habitation; however, such person is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:

   (1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner and he or she reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person dwelling or being therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence;

   (2) That force is used against another person who is not a member of the family or household and who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using such force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred; or

   (3) The person using such force reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.

It appears to me that the necessary conditions are met for paragraph (3).

Suspect Jaime Lewis eventually turned up at a local medical center with a bullet wound to the chest.

I also believe that Ms. Douglas enjoys good relations with the local police department, which never hurts. She was at the police department parking lot, handing out snacks, when reporters approached, and she left.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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58 Responses to Defensive Gun Use of the Day: GA Woman Shoots Burglar, Serves Snacks to Police

  1. We enjoy the Castle Doctrine in our state as well. A neighbor, about the same age as Hilda put buckshot in a home invader last Christmas season. She telephoned my wife and I and we called the sheriff’s department and stayed with her until they came. She made the deputies coffee and gave them some snacks. All our neighbors are either retired professionals or semi-retired. We all own guns and take regular practices with them.

    Kudos to Hilda and all those who have taken that important step to defend themselves and their families.

    • Hilda was prepared to be her own 1st responder. It paid off. Calling 911 and waiting minutes for the cops to arrive would have been a major disaster. I doubt that Mr. Lewis will be paying Hilda another visit anytime soon.

  2. Damn straight. We’ve got a good castle law doctrine here, and a good stand your ground. Glad this situation turned out this way. May the perp expire from sepsis so we have no repeat offenses.

        • Hopefully getting shot in the chest will make him at least think twice about breaking into people’s homes though…

      • Sadly his lesson will probably be that he should make sure one is home next time. Though he probably thought that was the case here since she didn’t answer the door. Major kudos to her. Next time she should wait until he opens the door and Mozambique him.

  3. Poor guy… he was probably just at the wrong house, couldn’t find the light switch, and just needed to go to the bathroom. He had probably just been accepted to medical school too.

    #obvioussarcisobivous

    • Mr Lewis and I were leaving bible study at the church when we heard that there was a late-night benefit for blind orphans being held at a local residence (to keep down expenses). Well, apparently the directions we were given missed a turn or two. I remember Jaime joking about “missing a right turn in Albequerque” in his best Bugs Bunny voice. Well, we got to where we thought the benefit was going to be but the lights were off. We flipped a coin to see who would go to the door. Jaime called heads but it was tails. I swear he called out from the porch that a sign was on the front door that read “Blind Orphan Benefit around back”. I heard some swearing and a gunshot then a few more gunshots. Jaime ran out the backdoor and jumped in the truck. This older lady came around the the side of the house yelling “I hate America, Jesus, blind orphans, do-gooders, freedom, minorities, Obama, women’s rights, Democrats, Liberals….”. She may have said something about us probably being mixed race also. I don’t know. Have I said enough for the media to turn against her and belive our bullshit story?

  4. This is an interesting case to consider whether to issue verbal warnings before firing on home invaders.

    The up side to a verbal warning: the home invader may immediately retreat and you avoid any additional unpleasantries.

    The down side to a verbal warning: the home invader flees and then harms/kills someone else and/or comes back another time to try again.

    The bigger question in my mind: why does anyone claim that we owe an intruder any consideration during a home invasion?

  5. Everytime an elderly person shoots a home invader, an angel gets its halo.

    This alone should be enough argument as to why people should have guns. An old lady swinging a baseball bat would’ve just pissed him off.

    • leave the hole and the bloodstains on the floor, and just put a big glow in the dark note about what happens to home invaders….

    • Part that pisses me off is joe biden was right at least once in his lousy life. She didn’t use a shotgun but she did fire thru the door.

      • Twice actually.

        Some guy used the threat of using the “Biden Defense” recently to get (I can’t remember what bullshit) charges against him dropped for firing a warning shot.

        • Bullshit, he’s Slow Joe on foreign policy too. Don’t bother bringing up splitting Iraq 3 ways because that may only be the end result because he helped hand Iraq to ISIS.

    • Damn, DG, you beat me to it. Perhaps she’s never had the wisdom of caliber wars, GLOCK love, GLOCK hate, the .45 killing the soul, the .40 sucks, the .380 sucks, the 1911 is the best handgun in the world, and the 1911 being obsolete. She might have even been without a weapon light. Preposterous.

      Seriously, though, I’m glad she was able to successfully defend herself. It also looks like she had the wit to decline commenting to reporters. Well done.

    • It’s her regular Thursday night. She used to have a bridge club, but they switched to CQB after that got stale.

  6. Glad castle doctrine applies. Don’t want to see an innocent woman go to jail for defending herself against someone crazy enough to smash a window and enter the home.

  7. Bravo Ms. Douglas. These sorts of DGU of the Day are my favorite to hear about. Icing on the cake? Ms. Douglas handing out snacks. What a great lady.

  8. I love it when a plan like this comes together.
    Gotta admit though, when the picture of the perp appeared, I thought for a second, that was the victim, and I was wondering why she had a moustache!

  9. Good on her. And so much the better that she stiffed the vultures when they started showing up at the station!

    Tom

      • There’s paper law and there’s trial law. I wouldn’t trust the Castle Doctrine in California any more than I would rely on the Second Amendment there.

      • I don’t know that I’d call PC 198.5 one of the best. I have to have a “reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury”, the unlawful entry must have been “forcible”, and I have to know that “an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.”

        The bar is much lower in other states. For example, in CO, it’s “an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.”

        And, perhaps a biggie, other states’ statutes (e.g. CO) also provide immunity from civil liability.

        In Colorado, you can shoot the drunk college student who stumbles through your unlocked exterior bedroom door. No charges, no civil liability, and the drunk is hit with a trespassing charge (and a bullet to the hip). I wouldn’t anticipate the same outcome in CA.

  10. While I’ve never had occasion to call the deputies to my home, one or another will show up on occasion to ask if I’ve seen such and such a truck, heard the accident up at the corner, know which way the cows headed when the herd across the street went walkabout or whatever.

    They’ve also been known to stop in for offer or cider when it’s chilly, and to which they’re more than welcome.

    P.S. They haven’t an MRAP…

  11. Would I, as a relatively young white man, get a pass on shooting through my bedroom door without knowing what my target was? I am all for this lady in this case but how about some consistency when talking about legal and tactical DGU events.

    • She already knew from the pottery and glass breaking that this was an unlawful entry. Nobody identified himself as an officer. So, the reasonable conclusion is clear. As Nedra Volz said of Jack: Waste him!

      In Georgia or any other reasonable state, your mileage probably wouldn’t vary.

    • In Georgia? Your fine. Trust me. In NY, CA, or IL?You go straight to jail for looking at your poor minority attacker the wrong way.

      • “In NY, CA, or IL?You go straight to jail for looking at your poor minority attacker the wrong way.”

        wrongamundo at least in Illinois.

        Illinois has always had a good self-defense law including no civil liability

        Until recently, though, you had to use a bat, ax or broadsword to defend your home

  12. Pa law is pretty good also. Has been expanded to include ones vehicle. Recently a man who was being attacked in his car killed the attacker and was found innocent.

  13. “GA Woman Shoots Burglar, Serves Snacks to Police”

    I’m glad she didn’t get confused and do it the other way around.

  14. It appears to me that the necessary conditions are met for paragraph (3).

    Paragraph (2) seems more likely:
    (2) That force is used against another person who is not a member of the family or household and who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using such force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred; or

    Three conditions for that one:
    (a) unlawful and forcible entry has occurred,
    (b) occupant has reason to believe that unlawful and forcible entry has occurred, and
    (c) intruder is neither family nor a member of the household.

    Condition (a) was met by the fact of the intruder’s actions. Condition (b) was met when the occupant “heard glass shattering and then the pottery she placed in front of her backdoor breaking”. Condition (c) was met if she lives alone and didn’t shoot a relative.

    Paragraph (3) of the statute is “harder”. It requires reasonable belief of the intruder’s intent and the force necessary to thwart that intent.

  15. What the heck is up with these states (e.g. CA, GA) putting “forcible entry” in their Castle Doctrine statutes? Why should it matter if the intruder unlawfully comes in through my locked door vs. my unlocked and open door? And why do I have to know (or reasonably believe) that a forcible entry has occurred? If I typically leave a patio door unlocked, I can never have such reasonable belief and the Castle Doctrine law means nothing.

    Unknown person is in my house uninvited (i.e. unlawfully). Nothing more should be necessary.

    (I’m defining “forcible entry” as entry where a closed door or window is broken or a locking mechanism is defeated, or where physical violence upon a lawful occupant is visited or threatened. Someone coming through my unlocked or open front door at 3 AM does not count as “forcible entry”.)

    • Some laws are just incurably stupid. Shoot the perp, lock the door, break the door, call the cops. Any questions?

  16. Defensive Gun Use of the Day: GA Woman Shoots Burglar, Serves Snacks to Police

    “….and they lived happily ever after! The end.”

  17. The VP is right. There should have been a warning shot fired. We are not responsible if the bad guys are to stupid that they walk in front of the bullet and get shot.

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