(courtesy fox2detroit.com)

“Police get a call that a 23-year-old was trying to break in through a bedroom window,” fox2detroit.com reports. “But the resident, a 23-year-old living inside the house, shoots and kills him. ‘Somebody tried to get in the house after we had all went to bed,’ said David, the homeowner who allowed the gun owner to live in his house. ‘And evidently, and I don’t know what his purpose was.’ The intruder was wearing dark colors and didn’t know anybody in the house. There’s some controversy . . .

The shooter shot through the window and the intruder was found by police lying dead on the front lawn.

“Preliminarily it looks like he was defending himself,” Bouchard said. “The hitch is, the person wasn’t in the house.”

“Home invasion, was it something else –  it is hard to say,” said David.

A homeowner has a right to use deadly force, but if that intruder is inside the house. If the intruder is outside of the house, it could be a problem.

The general rule of thumb in these matters (regardless of what state you live in): you can use deadly force if you are in imminent danger of death or grievous bodily harm. The totality of circumstances apply. In other words, would a reasonable person believe they were in deadly danger in the same circumstances? Here’s something relevant:

“That individual has a criminal history, a number of crimes,” said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. “I believe he had some outstanding warrants.” . . .

“Preliminarily it looks like he was defending himself,” Bouchard said. “The hitch is, the person wasn’t in the house.” . . .

“The totality of the circumstances is being investigated and then we’ll present the whole totality to the prosecutor’s office,” Bouchard said.

Well OK, but why put the gun owner in jail pending a full investigation? The report doesn’t mention any prior criminal record for the shooter so we can only conclude . . . because guns!

As for the outside the house vs. the inside the house conundrum, I’m not saying I agree, but this incident gives credibility to gun guys who [half-jokingly] recommend pulling an aerated bad guy into the house post mortem.

Your thoughts?

86 Responses to Pontiac Police Jail MI Home Owner for Shooting and Killing Burglar

  1. Peacefully surrender your home and possessions to the understandably pillaging historically oppressed rightfully angry Sons of Obama. Or enjoy your trip through criminal justice land. That is the lesson.

    • Pontiac MI is practically a suburb of detroit- where the chief of police is openly advocating citizens be armed and prepared to defend themselves. The inside/outside of the house detailbis one thing. But there is no way this kid should be in jail when area police are advocating DGU in the newspaper and TV. I guess its a crapshoot if your local PD assumes guilty until proven innocent. Better have carry insurance

        • Second Call Defense. Insurance, by law cannot pay you if you committed a crime. If you are on trial/arrested/etc, they will not pay you until you are cleared of charges. Getting cleared of charges costs money. Insurance can only reimburse you for money out of pocket.

          Second Call Defense pulls funds from a foundation, which is then reimbursed by their own insurance. This means that you call 911, then call Second Call Defense. They tell you how to handle the cops and hook you up with a local attorney and give you bail money, and this all happens immediately.

      • Pontiac doesn’t have its own police service anymore and has been under the authority of the Wayne County Sherif’s department. While Detroit and Chief Craig are decidedly pro gun, Sheriff Napoleon and the department are not.

        • Pontiac is in Oakland County, not Wayne. Which is why Sheriff Bouchard is the CLEO and quoted in the story. He is generally friendly to the 2A.

    • Generally a bad idea to approach bad guy in any case as he might not be out of the fight and could injure or end you, even if he is bleeding out. If you believe someone is trying to break into your home, arm yourself and take up defensive position, and then call the cops. They might even arrive quickly enough to arrest the perp outside your home. That leaves you infinitely better off since you didn’t end up having to shoot he guy.

      • A fearsome problem of shooting is something I rarely see discussed in circles like this. Don’t shoot the wrong/innocent person. Shooting in crowded places is a wickedly difficult. VIZ, UK CO19/airport police a couple of years ago made the change from HK MP5’s to HK G36’s. Purely for finance because the .223 round is NATO compatible and cheaper than the 9mm.

        Thing is, a weapon like a sub-machine gun in an airport is purely a threat. Using it, even the MP5 is an horrendous thought. MP5 maybe lethal at say 400 feet, not so much chance of over-penetration. G36 is a far different option, much greater length of fatal range.

        Let me assure you, from the (retired) cop POV, shooting people is an ugly thing. It ALWAYS goes wrong and if you make a mistake, it WILL be the disabled kid/someone’s grandmother that will suffer the consequences of your hasty decision.

        Practice, practice practice at the range and if you get the chance, leave. Don’t have that fight.

        At home, I’m constantly nagging her madamness to lock doors, which are all sturdy. Few windows are on the ground floor. There is 1400 yards between the house and the street and there are several night vision cameras trained all around which are computer connected.

        No, I’m not paranoid. I love living in KY, although I did prefer Atlanta. Both places are nicer and more peaceable than London. If I have to defend my home, I’d just like a little warning.

        brendan

    • “Peacefully surrender your home and possessions to the understandably pillaging historically oppressed rightfully angry Sons of Obama. Or enjoy your trip through criminal justice land. That is the lesson.”

      Only to idiots. The lesson is wait until the guy is at least halfway through the window — that settles the inside v outside issue.

      In this case, if the window was plainly forced and/or broken, and if the invader had a weapon that was visible, the shooter should walk.

  2. Half in/half out of the forced window is always good… preferably with the crowbar or screwdriver in his hand or conveniently close by where he dropped it?

    • While a percentage of the tech on the CSI shows was hyperbole to intimidate would-be criminals, they are very good at their jobs and as such the basic rule should be: Don’t tamper with the crime scene or the evidence, especially the dead body. Do so and you may find yourself in a whole lot deeper hole than just being aggressively investigated for the shooting itself.

      At a minimum. tampering with evidence or moving the body raises probable cause that you were not convinced what you did was right or legal at the time you did it.

      • Agree 100%. I have an acquaintance who did time for moving the body of a man after she shot him in what otherwise might have been considered self defense. Tampering with evidence throws suspicion all other evidence that might have proven a person’s innocence.

      • Said it much better and less confrontationally than I did.

        Folks, if you go moving bodies and planting evidence, just remember that there’s about seventy trillion cell phone cameras watching you. Still think it’s a good idea?

  3. And I suppose there’s no way the injured criminal – ah, excuse me, wayward choir boy and aspiring pillar of the community – could have run from the window and expired in the front yard…

    • That’s what I’m wondering.

      Was he shot *inside* the dwelling and then leave?

      And do football rules apply, meaning, if the guy ‘broke the plane of the endzone’ as in the windowsill does that count as inside?

      • Geoff PR,

        As far as I know, home invasion laws in many (if not most) states also allow use of force when a criminal is in the process of breaking into your home. So the question is, was the criminal actively trying to force his way through the window? Or was the criminal still walking around outside considering the best way to gain entry? If the criminal was actively trying to force his way through the window, then the home occupant would have been justified to use force. If the criminal was still walking around in the yard and had not yet tried to force his way through the window, then the home occupant would not have been justified to use force.

    • Story says, “The shooter shot through the window…”

      Don’t know if that was the shooter’s testimony, police determination, or journalistic assumption.

    • He was just trying to buy some tea and skittles, and would never hurt a fly, he just thought the house was a store and the door was randomly small but not a problem.

  4. Can’t wait for the class discussion about this in my current issues in policing class. My professor is the chief of police in a neighboring city.

  5. Mas Ayoob has covered the myth that pulling a dead bad guy into your house will work in your favor. Robert you are not giving quality legal advice, that act will most likely end up with the innocent party looking very unfavorable in front of a jury of their peers…….not to mention it will give ammo (pun intended) to the prosecutor if they choose to prosecute you.

    • Agreed.

      “this incident gives credibility to gun guys who [half-jokingly] recommend pulling an aerated bad guy into the house post mortem.”

      This line is the stupidest of stupid-ass things that some gun owners say. Intelligent people wouldn’t advise someone to tamper with a (potential) crime scene. And if the investigators do discover any evidence or any hint of tampering, then what do you think happens to your self-defense case?

      Note I’m not saying gun owners are stupid. I’m saying there’s some gun owners who say some really stupid-ass things. And anyone advising you to “make sure they’re dead so they can’t testify”, or who says “drag ’em inside”, is saying something that is profoundly, epicly stupid-ass.

      • I’ll say this one last time. I’m a retired UK LE, (now living in KY-having luckily escaped the UK. I was adopted by one of your lovely ladies.) I was a member of the UK Tactical Firearms Unit. In the UK, the pols like to say that 5% of the “establishment,” is armed. That’s not accurate, stats and all that. It may be closer to 15% these days.

        I was routinely armed with a HK MP5, a P7…and a couple of shotguns. These were all encased in a locked case held in the back seats of..usually a Volvo. UK armed officers can expect to engage with armed issues at least twice a week, while USA officers routinely get to the end of their careers never having presented a weapon. Not a macho stance, just stating the facts.

        Before we started EVERY shift, we were given the, Yellow Card lecture. This involves how and when you can use deadly force. Every single day, in a separate office, in front of the senior officer who might authorize our armed use.

        Let me tell you, finding an officer who could authorize use of just taking those weapons out of the box could be difficult at 0200hrs.

        Nevertheless, in my time, I presented 182 times…and mostly frightened the opposition into dropping handbags. Shooting someone, however justified, is horrible.

        Try to avoid it and for heavens sakes…KNOW THE LAW!

        brendan

        • Interesting perspective. Oh, and you picked a great state to live in by the way. I live in OH but my heart is in KY, just waiting in the right opportunity to get back there.

          Back on track, I think your observation of how often UK officers have tp use guns vs US officers speaks volumes. Very interesting that the UK has what Obama calls model gun control, yet their officers are orders of magnitude more likely to have to use firearms to address a violent situation. Further evidence that gun control does not reduce violence.

  6. ““The hitch is, the person wasn’t in the house.” . . .

    It all hinges on that, IMO.

    If the fellow was shot half-way across the garden and running away…then the defendant is looking down both barrels.

    If the bullet wound is in the front and the body drops right by the window, I’d say the case is a bit easier to deal with.

    The almost universal legal position internationally is that if you are there and then in real fear of violence from another person, (who has the apparent ability to carry it out-thus, not some four year old with a water pistol) then you are entitled to use deadly force.

    If they are running away, then it’s murder.

    brendan

  7. If someone bangs on your window, wait until they break something or force their way inside to shoot.
    If they’re holding a weapon and making threats I think you should be worrying about your own safety more than where the guy happens to be standing.

    • Sound advice if you can see they don’t have a firearm in their hands.

      However, reaction times being what they are http://www.forcescience.org/demos.html

      if a stranger is banging on my window at night with a firearm in their hand, and doesn’t immediately turn and leave when they see my firearm- they are going to get shot.

  8. I’m hesitant to call foul on this one yet. Knowing Pontiac, the shooter may have a criminal history as well. Bouchard and the OCPD have consistently supported gun rights out here, so everybody just keep yer pants on for a sec. There’s probably more to the story.

  9. You may beat the rap, but you won’t beat the ride. Have a good attorney on speed dial or better yet subscribe to legal defense program that specializes in self defense shootings. Tell cops you will be willing to talk to them after your attorney arrives and remember LEO lying to you is standard procedure, lying to them is called perjury.

  10. He was in the window and fell out onto the lawn?

    Eyewitness testimony?

    It’s got to at least be curtilage.

    How did this person get arrested?

    • Yeah I’m wondering if he was shot getting in the window or shot THROUGH the window while he was just on the lawn.

  11. I imagine that after the Dearborn fiasco with the drunk girl on the porch, shot through the glass door, the local police are being more careful/paranoid/PC in a similar situation. Indeed everything may change when all the facts are known e.g. criminal history of the victim, exact status of the window, exact position of the body and the entry wound, etc. In this I am making the assumption that the facts will be the actual facts, not facts managed for political value. Yes, that is an assumption.

  12. In sane, free states, your property is your property, and there is little to no distinction between someone threatening you inside or outside your dwelling, while on your property.

    • In sane courtrooms, it’s a lot easier to make a case for self-defense if there isn’t a wall between you and the guy who you claim was an eminent, credible threat to your life.

      • Of course you are right- but I think his point stands. Someone on your property intending you harm getting shot is justifiable.

    • Yep! Thank God I was born and live in GA.
      Never stage a crime scene. That’ll get you in big trouble.
      Change the laws so you can use lethal force to defend your property.
      Someone is breaking into my house? Shoot ’em.
      Remember, warning shots are illegal and stupid.

  13. I just obtained my CCW in CA. During the legal conversation, we had to memorize this statement. “I was sure, that if I did not take action, my life would end.” This served two purposes. 1st, evidence must support your claim and 2nd, judges will give jury instructions..was the defendant sure his life was in danger? The following day the instructor while on the firing line, would ask why you killed your target.

    A citizen claiming imminent death by shooting through a window, door or a fence (hacking through notwithstanding) doesn’t meet the standard of the law.

  14. My thoughts? I’m glad I live in Texas. But even at that–if he’s still outside a closed window and doesn’t have an obvious weapon and you shoot immediately–yeah, at the very least you are going to face questions, and I’m not shocked by an arrest. Surprised, maybe, but not shocked.

    • Someone trying to get into the house at night, is a threat, weapon or not. Defensive fights are not supposed to be fair.
      I have French doors in my bedroom leading to my deck. If I see shadows out there and flip the light on to see dark clad strangers, I’m opening up on them right through the glass with ten rounds of 12 gauge 3″ 00Buck 15 pellets each. When the dust settles, I’m going on patrol with my AR and Glock.
      You don’t play with that shit.
      Time to stop being pussies about this.

  15. “Well OK, but why put the gun owner in jail pending a full investigation?”
    That’s what police do to people who are suspected of committing a violent crime. There is a limit to how long he can be legally detained without being charged. Maybe we should allow some time for the criminal justice system to work?

    “The report doesn’t mention any prior criminal record for the shooter so we can only conclude . . . because guns!”
    That’s quite a conclusion. If he stabbed the thug with a spear and was found dead in the same place, he would still be in jail.

    The conventional advice from those who write books about self-defense is, if you shoot someone, expect to be cuffed and hauled downtown. Even if the shoot was 100% righteous. They aren’t going to let you skip town while they figure things out.

    • Guilty until proven innocent, wait I mean the other way around, no wait the Constitution doesn’t apply anymore, unless Barack Hussein Obama’s Constituents ask him to run for another 4 and he says “No I can’t do that because it goes against the Constitution.”…….. Very confusing

      • The U.S. Constitution specifically includes the habeas procedure in the Suspension Clause (Clause 2), located in Article One, Section 9. This states that “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it”. Section 9 is under Article 1 which states, “legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in the Congress of the United States…”

        Like I said, there’s a limit to how long a person can be held without being charged.

        If you’re concerned with our government abiding by our Constitution, maybe you should read it.

        • Yes Sir you copied and pasted correctly other than the part about the government abiding by the Constitution……..
          Must be a ChiCom thing; believe me I know, I work there and wouldn’t live there even If I was given a house as nice as Barack Hussein Obama’s or Mayor Rahm’s, even though his son got his ass kicked and phone stolen right in their front yard.

        • You been asleep in class for the last 7 years? The libtards don’t give a hoot about no stinkin rag written by a bunch of rich slave ownin dead WHITE dudes who where not conforming to the dictates of the legitimate big brother.

          Tell us about Ole Abe and the Constitution. Starting with habeas corpus.

  16. It sounds like they can bring the resident to trial for improper use of deadly force, but a jury could still decide that the resident was not guilty despite the letter of the law. If I was on the jury and it was obvious the dead guy was in the process of actively breaking in when he was shot I would probably give the resident shooter a pass. Especially if the shooter had no serious criminal record and truly thought he was defending himself and others. Throwing the shooter in jail does not bring the dead criminal to life and now we have a new criminal society has to pay for. In Texas, you are allowed to defend property from burglary at night with lethal force even if the criminal is fleeing under certain circumstances so I don’t think the resident would have been charged here.

    • Jury Nullification.
      Never forget, because they wont tell you those 2 words when you’re sitting in the jury box.

  17. “recommend pulling an aerated bad guy into the house post mortem.”

    PLEASE stop parroting this. If it’s a clean shoot and you move a dead badguy, physical evidence will show it and you will go to jail or even prison.

  18. So, if a person is trying to break into your home and is immediately outside it looking for a way in, you can’t shoot him for any reason?

    What if he was carrying a gun himself? He could shoot you through the window, but you couldn’t shoot him? This is why the legal citizen can’t win, because our rules of engagement are just as bad as the military’s in a war zone.

    Thank Progressive, Marxist trash.

    • No, if he shoot at you through the window then it meets the criteria of the threat immanent death or previous bodily harm. You can shoot back.

  19. This is so obvious it gets boring….

    Fact, anyone trying to make entry to a structure climbing through a window cannot be a threat to occupants. The intruder has both hands (and likely both feet) fully committed to clearing the glass and/or frame (might be a person too small, might be a person too big, might be a person completely out of shape..who knows). While clearing the glass/frame, the intruder is not fully in the structure, prepared to do harm with whatever weapon or object available. A person mid-entry is most vulnerable themselves, and is not presenting a threat. Half in and half out cannot be a full threat requiring deadly force. In this case, the vulnerable intruder became the victim of a unequal and unnecessary use of force. A simple command to the intruder to leave the premises would have certainly resulted in the vulnerable intruder (half in and half out of the window) to accept the disadvantage and disengage. Nobody wants to get shot, and given that the intruder had the weaker hand at this point, the intruder would have run away.

    We all know this.

    • I will politely call bull excrement. Presenting facts not in evidence. The are many instances on this blog of bad guys continuing to attempt entrance in spite of warnings and even gun shots.

      Also, I have changed my name from this point forward as I have noticed there is another Dennis commenting here.

    • You’re basing all your assumptions, and that is what they are, assumptions, on two things. 1) Logic. 2) Clearity of mind in the decision making process.

      If 1 & 2 were present, the person wouldn’t be looking to breaking someone’s home while they were still in it, let alone, at all. Stupidity and drugs are very likely involved, as they are in most home invasions.

  20. “As for the outside the house vs. the inside the house conundrum, I’m not saying I agree, but this incident gives credibility to gun guys who [half-jokingly] recommend pulling an aerated bad guy into the house post mortem”

    I know several LEO including a State LEO and they ALL have recommended the same. It is not just the gun guys.

  21. This was a questionable shooting, I’m not surprised the Defender is being detained while the incident is investigated. That’s why we have a justice system – to investigate things like this an ensure that it is what all of us here think it is, and not someone working the system. Even someone with a criminal history is entitled to an investigation if killed under questionable circumstances.

    Chill out guys. Every self-defense expert in the world will tell you – if you shoot someone, even in rightful self defense, you will almost definitely be handcuffed, you may be jailed, and your gun will likely be held as evidence for the duration of the investigation.

    Its not a perfect system, but this is not that big a deal. As long as the investigation (or trial) concludes speedily, this seems to be exactly how the system is meant to work.

  22. Why go in through a window? I thought Obama’s “income redistributionists” were being provided with “master keys” by the NAACP through an (In)Justice Dept pilot program created by Eric “Red Menace” Holder.

  23. God grant me the courage to change those things that I can change; the serenity to accept those things that I cannot change; and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those who’ve pissed me off (or tried to enter my home through a jimmied bedroom window in the middle of the night).

  24. Sounds like a good shoot to me-and I live in southern Cook co,IL. Something similar happened nearby and the old guy was exonerated. AND I wasn’t there…

  25. IN this day and age, you would never get away with moving the aerated body. What I want to do is ask the folks who wrote the general statues in my state and evidently MI, what exactly it is that you are supposed to do in this situation since the law says you can’t defend yourself with deadly force unless the situation passes all the litmus tests for justified deadly force. Do you just wait in see how the situation develops and ask the chap coming through your bedroom window what his intentions are or do you just use harsh language and hope he just goes away. Lets put the law givers in this situation and see how they react.

  26. If I catch the individual half way thru the window I’ll light up him/her with the tube mounted flashlight, if he/she keeps coming into the house I’ll light him/her up with the muzzle flash, no matter if armed or not. (got to be politically correct you know). Circumstances vary.

  27. I lived in a 2 family house on the 1st floor when i was younger. My dad bought the house from this man who kept getting burglarized. One night he camped out in a sleeping bag with a revolver. Sure enough a burglar tried creeping through the window in the middle of the night. The man shot him. The kid, who turned out to be 14, fell into the driveway. The kid lived, but the man got a 3 to 5 yr sentence. All because he didnt let the kid come all the way into the house.

  28. One of the key legal issues is whether or not Michigan has a castle doctrine and whether or not it includes the curtilage. Many many state’s use of force laws require you to retreat first, unless you are in your home. Typically it will then define the home as including the curtilage, or land directly around the residence proper.

    Key also is if the shooter could actually see the person trying to break in, if he attempted to communicate with the outside person, and if he knew him.

    For example, if I see someone trying to open my door, I can’t jus tshoot through the door. If I see the person and confirm he’s not anyone I know, then I yell, stop or I’ll shoot and he replies “fuck you”, then I’m pretty clean shooting through the door.

    Don

    • “If I see the person and confirm he’s not anyone I know, then I yell, stop or I’ll shoot and he replies “fuck you”, then I’m pretty clean shooting through the door. ”

      With the perp dead- who else is gonna tell this story? Not disagreeing, but with only one witness (the shooter) how could this NOT be the outcome? ‘I yelled STOP!, I didn’t recognize him, I feared for my life when he screamed FUCK YOU!’

  29. Some time ago I read-up on this matter with regard to California Law (the paradigm of disadvantage to the gun owner). In order for a resident gun owner to shoot an intruder in CA and be reasonably safe from prosecution, the intruder must be inside the exterior walls of the dwelling space (so garage, even if attached to the dwelling space, is excluded). Once the intruder is fully inside the dwelling space, the legal resident may reasonably “fear for his/her life” and employ deadly force against the intruder. Even so, the resident may be arrested and there will be an investigation by the Legal Authority with jurisdiction over the matter and “crime scene”. If the intruder is shot and manages to get outside the exterior walls of the dwelling space where he/she is found incapacitated or dead, there will be a criminal investigation to establish where exactly the intruder was shot.
    There are many general advisories about other factors, including. do not shoot a wounded intruder who is attempting to flee, or has left the dwelling space, do not fire warning shots, what to do with your gun when you believe the threat is neutralized before Law Enforcement arrives, what to do with your gun if you are unsure the threat is over and Law Enforcement is just arriving (you do not want a case of ‘mistaken identification’ of YOU as the possible intruder because you have a loaded gun in your hand) and, of course, advisories against tampering with the “crime scene” to any extent.
    News reportage of actual incidents usually support that following these guidelines, even in California, consistently protects the legal resident of the dwelling from prosecution should he/she be forced to employ deadly force against an unknown intruder.inside their place of residence.

  30. My only thoughts are I hope he is innocent. But it’s hard to say at this point. Maybe they are just being safe. If he’s not fully innocent you definitely don’t want him skipping town on you.

  31. I’m not condoning shooting at people through windows, but the wall of a house is not the property line. What there a fence? He had priors, was he armed, did he have tools for a break-in, etc..? Definitely needs further investigations, but yeah, why is the shooter in jail in the meantime?

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