Armando Martinez tried twenty doors before he found one unlocked and let himself into a Springville, Utah home early yesterday morning. After he’d put on some of the homeowners’ clothes and helped himself to their food, he woke the man and woman who were sleeping in their bed. Telling them he had a gun, he demanded their wallets and told them they’d be driving him to an ATM to tap their account. So the unnamed husband went to his closet to “get his wallet.” sltrib.com picks up the story . . .

“The suspect thought he was going to get his wallet, but instead, he grabbed his handgun,” [Springville police Lt. David] Caron said.

The husband shot the intruder once in the chest. The man died at the scene.

There were also three children in the house sleeping in a nearby bedroom.

Caron called the fatal shooting at the duplex near 800 South and 475 East justified self-defense.

“Someone comes to your bedroom at 3 in the morning and says he has a gun, you believe him,” he said.

“It’s a pretty frightening experience,” said Caron, who added that the couple were traumatized. “They held together pretty well for quite a while, but I think emotionally it started to take its toll.”

The incident was similar to another break-in last week in which a man broke into a nearby home while the residents were home and stole their gun. Last night’s unnamed homeowners will likely be double checking their doors before bedtime for the rest of their lives. Thank God they owned a gun and were able to defend themselves successfully. The late Mr. Martinez wasn’t available for comment.

Recommended For You

84 Responses to Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Rude Awakening Edition

  1. This should keep burglaries down for a while, always does. I’m sure he ran right over to a phone and called for an ambulance. I also hope he has a lawyer on tap just in case.

      • No, but it’s still a good idea.

        Lock your doors, have a gun, and know how to use it. All part of a nutritious breakfast.

      • Really Adam? It is OK for a burglar to come in my home because I forgot to lock a door? Nice. Now everyone get this through their heads, according to Adam, if you do not lock your door, it is no longer burglary, you invited him in!

    • “He trudged through the snow Thursday morning, trying 20 doors before he was able to find one he could break into.”, the article didn’t say anything about unlocked doors, at least in the beginning.

    • One less perp, maybe even a visitor from below the border.
      The news article couldn’t resist the “Make my day” reference and drawing attention to the bullet hole across the street from the stray round. It’s almost like they were forced to cover a DGU.

      • @GS650G

        Question, if this person (or anyone else) was guilty of nothing more than being an illegal immigrant would someone be justified in using deadly force against them (assuming they were not posing an immediate deadly threat)?

  2. The .9 strikes again, according to the local news stories. Funny how that factual error about guns keeps popping up.

  3. Another example where a big dog is useful. I am sure that the late Mr. Martinez backed away from many a door when the canine alarm system activated.

    Anyone want to bet that the perp was an illegal?

      • Trying to shame me with PC are you? Sorry, I don’t scare especially over the internet. There is a high correlation between people with Spanish surnames who break into houses and their immigration status.

        • @tdiinva

          It’s not about being PC – I’ve known a number of people and still do that had/have foreign names, some even talked with an accent but they were/are perfectly legal citizens of the United States.

          I work with a guy with a British accent, do you think that I walk around thinking he’s an illegal immigrant? No, because to assume such a thing would make me an ass.

          You assume because the perp had a foreign sounding name that he was an illegal, that makes you not only look like an ass but a racist.

          What’s frightening is that it sounds like you feel that the guy deserved to be shot just for having a foreign sounding name… or just for being an illegal (if in fact he was).

          I’m as pro-2A as they come but the overt racism that runs through the community is maddening.

        • Here is a conceptual bet for you. For every hispanic named legal immigrant that commits a crime you get $5. For every one who is illegal I get $5. I suspect you would not take that bet.

          Oh, yeah my wife is off the boat.

        • @tdiinva

          Your right – I wouldn’t take the bet because it operates on overtly racist assumptions.


          Oh, yeah my wife is off the boat.

          Chances are very high that you too are “off the boat” unless you are of pure American Indian decent. Directly or indirectly, we are all immigrants.

          Regardless, your statement is a straw man. The fact that your are married to someone who is not a “native” does not mean that you are not racist. In fact you don’t actually deny that you are racist.

          Can you point to any real data that supports your assertion that illegal immigrants commit more crime than any other group of people?

          And again I ask – if in fact this person was an illegal, is it your position that outside of any other criminal act, this person deserved to be shot for being an illegal?

        • Where did I say we should shoot illegal immigrants? I simply made the observation that this perp was probably illegal, a statistically sound observation.

          As for you reason for not taking the conceptual bet is that you damn well know that you would lose. So stop your huffing and puffing over phony racism charges.

          Oh, yes I continue to beat my off the boat wife.

          One more thing, technically my foreign born mother is off the Grand Trunk Western Railroad.

        • Let me assure you that if I find you wandering around my house at 3AM I will shoot you even if you can trace both sides of your family back to Mayflower. I don’t discriminate in my treatment of criminals.

  4. Impossible, I say impossible! A homeowner defending his property with a gun is an outrage! what if that bullet went through the walls of all of his neighbors’ homes and killed 7 innocent people? /sarcasm

    I wonder if the brady bunch will hold a candle for the ventilated home invader?

    @MA8934T Yep, seeing the same trend. I think that the more people see that they can legally defend themselves, the more they will. I’m sure the more this type of news gets out, it will resonate within the criminal community and would-be home invaders may start to second guess their chosen profession.

  5. Seriously though, crime scene number one is infinitely better than crime scene number two. Hats off to this homeowner for recognizing the situation and handling it appropriately.

  6. Its an ever ruder awakening when one considers that the media only reports on events with an injured or killed party, thus ignoring the multiple cases of civil DGU where rounds were not fired and nothing beyond a police report was generated.

  7. You guys really get off on the fantasy of killing someone. The fact is in many of these cases, there is no lethal threat. The guy SAYING he has a gun doesn’t cut it, unless of course you’re just lookin’ for an excuse.

    • [troll food]

      Seriously? By that logic, a woman threatened with rape must not defend herself until penetration is achieved.

      [/troll food]

      • I didn’t say anything about rape or about “not defending yourself.” I said shooting someone in the chest is the last resort and must be reserved for a more clear indication that it’s necessary.

        • I was, in fact, thinking that; but who cares!

          The last place anyone should want to be at 3:00 o’clock in the morning is inside my bedroom, uninvited. If the Pit Bulldog don’t get you then the 357 Magnum will.

          (Then again, I’ve got a very politically incorrect Pitbull. She just does what comes natural and follows her God-given instincts. Which, to be serious for a moment, is quite possibly why I’m still alive and writing this.)

    • Someone wakes me in my bedroom at 3am, and there is definitely a lethal threat. It may not be in the direction you or the dirtbag imagine, but it’s there.

      Are you seriously questioning whether a homeowner should assume lethal intent or not at 3am in their own home?

    • The guy has already demonstrated illegal and hostile intent by breaking and entering and making threats, why would you not believe he had a gun.

      Moreover, with a guy forcing his way into your home and making threats to your wife only a room away from your children, why would you not want to take every precaution?

    • Mike,

      The intruder crossed the line literally and figuratively. His claim of having a gun is an implied threat of using one. Such an intruder has already demonstrated a lack of concern of good ethics and being law abiding. Intruders, rapists, muggers, etc have a track record of having murdered and raped victims after they have gotten the victims to first hand them money, jewelry, etc. Such a home intruder has stepped out of human society and civilization. Murder of people is wrong. A defensive killing in protection of innocent people and even property is justified. I could go on and on yet you simply do not seem to get it. A human life is no longer innocent and precious when a person has chosen to behave like an animal.

    • Contrary, having to kill someone is one of my greatest fears, however ranked in order my greatest fears regarding things in this domain are:

      1. Failing to save the life of someone I love.
      2. Committing an act of violence against an innocent by failing to defend them if I am capable.
      3. Failing to save my own life.
      4. Committing an act of violence in general.

      While killing someone in defense falls under #4, the items above it are about 100x, 1000x, and 10000x scarier to me.

      -D

    • better judged by 12 than carried by 6

      i’d shoot him regardless wheter he says he has a gun/knife/banana

    • Title 76 Utah Criminal Code
      Chapter 2 Principles of Criminal Responsibility
      Section 405 Force in defense of habitation.
           76-2-405.   Force in defense of habitation.
           (1) A person is justified in using force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s unlawful entry into or attack upon his habitation; however, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if:
           (a) the entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner, surreptitiously, or by stealth, and he reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person, dwelling, or being in the habitation and he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence; or
           (b) he reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony in the habitation and that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.
           (2) The person using force or deadly force in defense of habitation is presumed for the purpose of both civil and criminal cases to have acted reasonably and had a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury if the entry or attempted entry is unlawful and is made or attempted by use of force, or in a violent and tumultuous manner, or surreptitiously or by stealth, or for the purpose of committing a felony.

      Amended by Chapter 252, 1985 General Session

      • Read the law Mike. Your opinion is irrelevant, the law is what matters. The homeowner was legally justified to use deadly force before the guy even mentioned having a gun.

    • You guys really get off on the fantasy of killing someone understand the realities of self-defense. The fact is in many of these cases, there is no a very real, very lethal threat. The guy SAYING he has a gun doesn’t cut it, unless of course you’re just lookin’ for an excuse has to be taken seriously, because it can mean the your life and the lives of those that you love. Especially when he’s standing in your bedroom in the middle of the night after he’s broken into your house.

      Fixed.

    • Mikey, your post is just lame. Are you just going through the motions? We know you can do better that this.

        • The homeowner was in a classic “Prisoner’s Dilemma” situation. (Know what that is Mikey?) The intruder claimed he had a gun so the penalty for erring on soft side was potential death for him and his family. Fast action was imperative and he shot the intruder. Your reaction to this DGU proves that you have never been in life or death situation and all your claims to the contrary are fake.

          Mr. Martinez bears the moral responbility for his own demise for invading someone’s house and threatening him with harm. While it sucks to be him, Mr Martinez provides an example to other would be felons to stay out of people’s houses at least while they are home, lest they be shot and killed. Americans, even New Yorkers, have the inherent right to self defense. That is why we have very low rate of hot burgluries and home invasions comparted to you gunless paradises like the UK.

        • How about this, tdiinva. The home owner goes into his closet and turns around with a gun. He says to the bad guy, “turn around and get the fuck out of here, NOW.”

          Whether the intruder really had a gun or not, chances are he’d obey since the tables were turned like that and no one would die. Then 911 could handle it.

          The problem with that is you guys believe in summary execution for the audacity of someone crossing those sacred lines. How dare he do that, is your refrain, and your answer is to blow his ass away.

          It’s often not because you fear for your life but because of some imaginary line the bad guys cross. Remember how funny the John Goodwin character in The Big Lebowski was? Well, the Coen Brothers were mocking guys like you.

        • @mikeb302000

          The problem is what if the intruder DID have a gun, maybe in his jacket pocket or something and could get to/fire his before the victim could?

          Why should someone who is being invaded and threatened with death have to play “who can draw faster?” with an intruder.

          You have two choices in a situation like this 1.) comply and HOPE that the intruder will leave after you give them what they want, won’t beat you up, try to rape your wire, etc. 2.) quick, swift, decisive violent defensive action.

          Mike, I think of myself as a Humanist and a pacifist… I don’t go looking for fights and though I enjoy target shooting – “plinking” – I have no desire to us my gun in a self/other-defensive situation. But I recognize that because life is sacred that individuals have an intrinsic right to defend their life from someone who is threatening their’s.

          Of course, I can understand why this bothers you – victims defending themselves – as you are an admitted criminal yourself.

        • Adam, nice last paragraph.

          It’s just not true that there are only two choices, total submission or responding with maximum force. I presented a possible one in the middle.

        • @mikeb302000

          Um, ok so the victim turns around, ppoints the gun at the intruder and says: “get the fuck out.” The intruder then open fire on both the husband and the wife… I suppose that under the hail of bullets the husband could have dialed 911 and then… what? Hoped that the intruder ran out of bullets, didn’t shoot his wife while he was ducking, talking on the phone with 911, was a really bad shot and didn’t shoot him as soo as he said “get.”

          What’s interesting mikeb302000 is that the law is on the husbands side. There are apparently enough people that think it’s ok to defend one’s life when faced with the threat of violence that the laws of every-single state in the Union have provisions for justifiable homicide.

          I tend to think that people like you would be satisfied with only one outcome – the victims dead and the intruder free to do it again.

        • If they guy had time to turn around from the closet and shoot the intruder in the chest, he could have given the verbal warning instead of pulling the trigger. If the bad guy did anything other than instructed, the homeowner would have still had a good shot.

          You’re too quick to justify killing.

        • Adam has pretty much deconstructed your post so I will leave it with just three comments.

          When someone walks into your house in the middle of the night and threatens your life the line is not imaginary. It is a real and present danger.

          If you are in that situation please feel free to negotiate with the guy in your house. If it turns out the chances aren’t I hope you survive the encounter.

          I think you believe that it is better that 100 innocent people be murdered than one bad guy die.

          Adam:

          While i compliment you on your refutation of Mikey I have to ask now that I have presented data does the cat got your tongue?

          It might be fair to call me a nativist or anti-immigrant (you would be wrong) but the last time I checked the group defined as illegal aliens does not constitute a racial group. Your charge of racism is therefore misplaced. Perhaps it is mere projection on your part.

        • Yes! The mere fact that (Mr.) Martinez was present, uninvited, in that bedroom is sufficient justification to assume a dire life-threatening situation. I mean, a stranger in your bedroom, at night, in the dark, and standing right next to you!

          Under those circumstances an intruder could make, ‘spaghetti and tomato sauce’ out of you before you even got out of bed. (Especially if he’d been in your kitchen making sandwiches, first!)

          There, simply, is no time to make a rational decision during an event like this. The only way to guarantee your personal safety is to take immediate, decisive, and lethal action.

        • I guess that depends on where you live. In FL where I live intenent to cause harm started the second the intruder crossed the threshold. He didn’t have to have a gun, didn’t have to open his mouth, didn’t have to do anything but cross the threshold and at that instant he was perforated man walking.
          His intent makes no difference to me. At 3am and in my bedroom his intent is assumed and killing him is legally and morally justified.

    • Uhm, No Mike. Announcing you have a gun in a bank, plane, or my house means you’re ready to play soccer with bullets. It’s akin to threatening to hurt others.
      You, on the other hand, can stand there and wait to see if it’s real or not.

  8. I have only been coming to TTAG for a couple months. Is there a rule that we do not feed mikebtroll? There should be.

    • For a while, feeding the troll was standard procedure. Then we gave him too much free reign and he got his own post, and in the fallout that ensued we all realized that there is no point in even acknowledging his ignorant posts exist. Now most try to let him starve, but he gets table scraps occasionally.

      His lack of connection to the real world reminds me of a psych patient I talked to once. No amount of common sense and reality will bring them out of the fantasy world they live in. Complete lost cause. We should give mikeb some trazadone and Ativan for good measure.

    • The whole idea of ‘not feeding’ trolls is another part of the leftist agenda.

      On the contrary; they should be called out, and their nonsense countered at every opportunity. To refrain from this course of action risks causing uninformed third parties to get the wrong message.

      In short, the way to deal with trolls is to act like real men, not the sissified breed the leftists try to fantasize into existence.

  9. MikeB2000,
    Why is it wrong to kill an intruder that threatens harm?
    Why is it perfectly acceptable to have an abortion and now encouraged by your President with his health coverage plans?
    Really, if it makes you feel better consider Mr.Martinez’s death a very late late term abortion.

    Have a nice weekend!

    Mark

    • Ha ha, very late term abortion, I love it. Mark that one is going in the arsenal for future discussions on this topic, thanks.

    • Or coming from the other direction so to speak: euthanasia. This topic has been in the news and allegedly overstated by some accounts. E.g. rather than 10%, according to UNIVRM concerning Dutch deaths:
      Euthanasia for terminally ill patients was 2.3% in 2010.

      Whatever the correct statistic PETA for people is on the table. Another way to consider Mr.Martinez’s situation might be as “prophylactic euthanasia.”

  10. @tdiinva

    I don’t have the time or inclination to pick this thing apart thoroughly but on the surface I can conclude two things: 1.) obviously biased source and 2.) the author invalidates their own conclusions by stating several times that the number of crimes committed by illegals is unknown because no one is tracking it.

    How then can one conclude that all, or most crimes, are committed by illegals if no one is keeping the stats to track such things?

    As to my question about shooting illegals: in your first comment you said:


    Anyone want to bet that the perp was an illegal?

    This seems to indicate that you believe that the “perp” was even more deserving of his fate because he was an “illegal.” So it begs the question: absent imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm – would you feel justified in shooting someone if you knew, for a fact, that they were an “illegal?”

  11. I love how any time a DGU situation occurs, and there’s discussion, it’s construed as having a fantasy to kill someone. I look at the comments and see nothing to recommend that. In fact, I see comments stating that while the homeowner was right, members of the AI have taken steps to prevent it from getting to that point. “Lock your doors”, “dogs could have helped”.

    I’ll go ahead and speak for myself. I fantasize about not having someone break into my house at all. Just like by busload of cheerleaders fantasy, I plan for the possibility that it won’t come true. For the former, I lock my doors, have an alarm, and yes, a firearm. For the latter, I got married.

  12. Well I know the guy & his family as we go to the same church. Living in Utah my entire life I’m surprised he ran into that many locked doors. I’m glad the threat of the invader was eliminated. I hope that this event discourages other criminals from breaking into other homes in my neighborhood.

    Also knowing the house it only has a front & back door as it typical for most modern houses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *