Defensive Gun Use

At 5:42am Sunday morning in a Salt Lake City suburb, a stranger started pounding vigorously on a homeowner’s front door. The family was startled, but chose to simply not answer the door. At that point, walking away would’ve been a lifesaving move for 24-year-old Christian Chichia. But criminals rarely do the smart thing.

Instead of moving on, Chichia decided to climb onto the second story balcony to harass the family some more. Woken by his wife, the homeowner got his gun and went to investigate. See if you can see the mistake the homeowner made.

He went to the door, he unlocked the door and was intending on opening the door just a small crack so he could engage in conversation with the individual and find out why he was there and find out what he was doing,” said Smith.

Police say Chiciha then forced his way into the house. The homeowner was able to fire off one shot, which struck Chichia in the chest.

Chichia eventually assumed ambient temperature, despite efforts to save his life.

Pleasant Grove Police say Chichia lived very close to where the crime occurred but say the two did not know each other.

“Based on witness reports we suspect alcohol was a factor, certainly we’re going to wait for toxicology to come back,” said Smith.

Seems like a good bet. From the look of the building, Chichia may have even believed that he was pounding on his own front door, although we’ll never know that now.

46 COMMENTS

  1. Would it have been legally viable to shoot him through the window on the balcony of the second floor of he was trying to break in?

      • A threshold is a part of a door frame forming the bottom of the doorway. If a person enters through a window, they never do “cross the threshold.”

        I don’t know if Mark (above) is an attorney licensed to practice in Utah (doubtful), but I will fire to stop an imminent, credible threat of death or grave bodily harm to me or other innocents. The location of some “threshold” at the time will be irrelevant.

        • Watch the video by Marc Victor I posted. It has nothing to do with where an attorney is licensed or what the actual law is! It is about the decision making process.

          After all, the decision is about saving a life by potentially taking a life. You certainly would be willing to go to jail to save your own or a loved one’s life. However, are you willing to go to jail for shooting a random person on your second floor balcony? That entirely depends on the situation. I could come up with numerous situations either way, such as the random person appears to be armed or doesn’t, is a child or an adult, is well illuminated or is not, you are well illuminated or not, etc.

          As I pointed out, Jeffrey Lovell was found innocent, but at what cost? Was it worth it to shoot that kid through the door? Would you do it, knowing the costs?

      • No. He must cross the threshold for the shot to be viable.

        That is absolutely wrong. He must present a credible threat of death or serious bodily harm. If the attacker stands just outside the threshold with a weapon, he’s as threat. If the attacker starts trying to break the glass and there’s a disparity of force (e.g. bodybuilder breaking into a small, elderly woman’s house) that could be enough of a threat to shoot.
        Once the attacker gains entry, the bar for justifiable use of force drops, but gaining entry is not the bar.

    • Learn the difference between can I shoot somebody and do I have to shoot somebody. It may help you stay out of jail. It also may help you not to go bankrupt even when found not guilty.

      Check out the case of Jeffrey Lovell:

      https://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/07/chicopee_court_records_offer_n.html
      https://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/01/jeffrey_lovell_found_in_chicop.html

      Do you want to pause your entire life for 19 months, spend a shit ton of money on your defense, and risk going to jail, because you thought you could shoot somebody? After all, a judge or a jury will actually decide if you were right.

      Is your life in imminent danger when someone is standing on the balcony of your second floor?

      Watch Marc Victor’s video on the Top 5 Things Every Gun Owner Needs To Know: https://youtu.be/QaBu2aH_fB0

      • “Learn the difference between can I shoot somebody and do I have to shoot somebody. It may help you stay out of jail. It also may help you not to go bankrupt even when found not guilty.”

        And then, MAYBE?, trip a few of the MFrs (that want to FUCK with the rest of your life you just saved) down the muthafuckin’ stairs (and punt their kids down on top of them).

  2. See if you can see the mistake the homeowner made.

    He didn’t fire through the door with a shotgun like Joe Biden said to do?

  3. Google the guys name, this story goes back to 2015 apparently.

    Not knowing the man’s history I couldn’t say definitively or not he intended to rob them since other sources say he had moved into an apartment further down and he was drunk. I will say it was conceivable that he was drunk and confused.

    And if this is the case theres no way the owner could have known this. Very unfortunate for all parties involved.

  4. You think there are winners and losers here? “Ambient temp” ? Please, please show respect for the dead. Deadly threat =(means, a weapon, method, bringing said weapon to a position of attack, and opportunity, closing with intent). Otherwise, don’t shoot. Survivor has to live with this, forever. Anyone here want to volunteer to live looking over their shoulder forever? If you don’t 100% know what you are doing, don’t do it. 30

    • “Presumption of peril”. When someone forces their way into an occupied home, the law presumes the occupants are in grave danger, regardless if the intruder knew the home was occupied or not.

    • In Utah, if someone gains entry through force or stealth and a legal occupant has reason to believe the intruder is there to commit a felony, the legal occupant is justified in the use of lethal force.

      • [ Defense of Special Places – Habitation ]
        U.C.A. § 76-2-405 Force in defense of habitation

        [ Presumption of Reasonableness in Special Places ]
        (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.

        This is the so-called “black letter law.” Any folks reading this who reside in UT would do well to find the jury instructions that translate the law into their real-world application.

  5. TG of ironicatbest thinks, Maybe having his door pounded on ironicatbest would have probably called the Badges, retreated to a safe place ,hid , and then observe further developments. If physically confronted, ironicatbest would have said,” what the fu€k are you doing man, you’ve got the wrong house,” ironicatbest would have assessed the situation then determined if deadly force was the only option. Ironicatbest when he was a drunk has walked into the wrong apartment and crawled into bed with a couple only to have his ass kicked and thrown down the stairs..

    • An individual I know moved into one of the “four different floor plans” subdivisions (where there are actually only two plans and the reverse of each, and they are otherwise almost identical) and was pounding on the door of a house at three a.m. while quite stupefied. Yes, he was at the wrong door (his was three doors down), and yes, he had the opportunity to sleep it off “downtown.” In this town, he was quite lucky not to have been shot, but on the other hand, since this is a relatively small town, police response in the middle of the night is quite good. (Outside of town out in the county, not so much; the average response time is 45 minutes to an hour.)

  6. I’d say the homeowner should have questioned the stranger by shouting through the door or window.

    While Michael’s heart is in the right place, his definition of a (required?) deadly threat is ludicrous. If an intruder is 20% stronger than you are, and 20% more skillful in fighting than you are, and he/she gains entrance to your house; then you are dead if the intruder so desires (assuming one on one).

    There have been thousands of cases (at least) where an intruder has grabbed an immediately handy improvised weapon to kill a resident. A power cord or curtain cord garrot, kitchen knife, lamp, book end, or plain old thumbs on the throat can all utilized in a second or two. Usually, at that stage, the resident has already been immobilized and/or disarmed.

  7. Arming himself and taking a defensive position would have been smart. Unlocking and opening the door was stupid.

    Now here comes a whole crap storm of consequences to put up with for the next year or more, even in a clean shoot scenario.

    Should’ve just called the cops amd reported the prowler.

  8. Ive never been drunk enuff to do that but i know people intimately who have and they are lucky to still be alive. I always answer an off hour door bell or door knock in condition 0.

  9. My sister once nearly shot a drunk man through her apartment door. She woke up hearing some trying keys in her door. Grabbing a revolver and a phone she went to the front door and saw a guy she didn’t know.

    She shouted through the door to see what he wanted, but his response was a curse filled yell to open the door. She called 911 to report the issue and informed the guy and the operator that she would shoot if he got through the door.

    The guy continued to try to get in until the police arrived. He was profoundly drunk and pissed off. He turned out to be a building maintenance man, and he did have a key to my sister’s door. Given enough time he would have found the correct key.

    It was later claimed that the maintenance guy was in the wrong building and was just trying to go home. This is feasible, but wouldn’t you think twice about trying to open your door and hearing a frantic woman that you don’t know yelling for you to go away or she is going to shoot you?

  10. On the Active Self Protection youtube channel it’s called, “Taking the Room Temperature Challenge.” I personally wouldn’t have opened the door or tried to talk to them unless behind good cover. And then it would be something about shooting them if they didn’t leave.

  11. “See if you can see the mistake the homeowner made.

    He opened the door. Leave the crazy man be unless he starts waving a gun at you through the door or starts trying to break it down.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here