Full length of burglar with flashlight and crowbar in office corridor
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At a recent Guns Save Life meeting, a retired Illinois State Trooper talked about a couple of home invasion cases with very different outcomes. He shared publicly-available information, offering important lessons gun owners can take from the facts of the cases.

First, he talked about a shots-fired home invasion in the town of Streator on the day after Christmas last year.

In that case, Austin Adamchak, 23, forced entry on the home of his ex-girlfriend intent on beating her new boyfriend. What isn’t as well-known is that Mr. Adamchak had pulled the same stunt about 30 days earlier. In that instance, he seriously beat the new boyfriend.  For whatever reason, Livingston County didn’t take Adamchak into custody after the first home invasion.

Meanwhile, the new boyfriend learned an important lesson after the first beat-down. When Mr. Adamchak returned the second time and forced entry, the now slightly older and definitely wiser boyfriend used a gun to punch Adamchak’s ticket. Permanently.

Contrast that situation with what happened about 15 years ago at the Rick and Ruth Gee home about an hour south.

In that case, a Christopher Harris went to his ex-wife’s parents’ house where she was living. He wanted to re-kindle their relationship. The ex-wife wasn’t at home, but her parents and her younger siblings were.

Drunk and high, Harris climbed into the 16-year-old special needs daughter’s bedroom through the window. He was about to sexually assault the girl when the couple’s 14-year-old son confronted him.  The son put up a courageous fight against a man well over twice his age and size.

Harris, who brought along a tire iron, beat the 14-year-old to death. Then, in a tremendously chaotic scene, he proceeded to kill the rest of the family, one at at time, with the tire iron.

Rick Gee, reportedly a man of slight stature, didn’t believe in guns or violence.  The trooper noted that it seemed as though the 14-year-old son put up the greatest resistance to the intruder’s homicidal attack upon the family.

In the end, Rick and Ruth Gee were killed, along with their 11- and 14-year-old sons and 16-year-old daughter. Their three-year-old daughter survived, but barely.  Meanwhile, Harris spends his days in nearby Pontiac maximum security prison.

“If they had a gun, it might have turned out very differently,” Vagasky noted.

The retired trooper urged folks to embrace firearm ownership to defend themselves both in public and at home. In the case of burglars, he advised that you shouldn’t shoot unless you’re threatened with death or great bodily injury. Obviously someone trying to molest a child fits the “great bodily injury” category.

On the other hand, if they’re stealing your TV, he advised to let them go.

The other bit of advice he offered: make sure you have self-defense insurance. That kid who shot the ex-boyfriend repeat intruder in Streator may very well be sued for killing his attacker.  Obviously the suit would likely be tossed, but lawyers aren’t cheap and getting to that point could take time and thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

The takeaway was that sometimes those who eschew the proven benefits of firearm ownership sometimes have to live (or die) with the consequences of their beliefs.

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  1. Standing over home invader lying dead on my living room floor:

    “So sue me.”

    • Unfortunately most miscreants have relatives and the relatives can often get a “no win no fee” lawyer.

      “He was a little angel just turning his life around.”

      • Yup!!
        Lying, stealing, cheating, grifting….for some folk it is a way of life.

        I’m talking about the relatives of the defunct intruders, not their lawyers.


      • “A little angel”

        So if Mommy’s little angel gets his ticket punched during a crime and we apply the phrase “fallen and can’t get up”, does that make him a (more appropriately named) fallen angel now?

      • So true. It reminds me of the story of a relatives of a dead perp. This one had made headlines I had read. This relative lady survivor whined and complained about their “loved one” being shot dead. That, after the man broke into, and entered a home to steal stuff. What you do know, the perp got shot and killed by the home owner. The lady whined, and said, “they (the home owner) did not have to shoot him. He was just trying to get the things he needed”. Apparently, getting a job was not a part of “getting what he needed”.

  2. I’m not waiting to find out if the home invader is just after my tv. Just saying.

      • This is why I always say the locks on my doors and windows aren’t there for MY safety and well being.

    • jwm,

      The horrible and tragic case of the Petit family in Connecticut illustrates that point exactly.

      For those of you who do not know about that case, two thugs broke into the Petit family home with the sole intention of robbing the Petit family of their money and/or jewelry. The Petit family did not resist and robbers decided that raping the daughter and wife was a bonus–only to decide to murder them afterwards (burning them alive no less) to ensure that there were no witnesses.

      Thus, a home invasion which truly started out with the sole intention of theft devolved to rape and ultimately horrific murders.

  3. In my state, if someone enters a house without permission, it is assumed they have violent intentions. Therefore, if this happens to me, I will respond accordingly.

    And, as stated above, home carry is the way to go.

    • I don’t know what state you live in, but that is the law in California. That presumption and the burden of proof on the prosecutor to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that you were not acting in self defense is usually (but not always) a solid deterrent to charges being pursued.

    • Jimmy, I commented not long ago that because of this site I’ve altered some of my routines. Home carry being one. Before, when I got home from work all I wanted to was shed gear. I kept/weapons stashed. Now I sit with my 442 in my pocket a P-220 at arms reach and a couple of other surprises close. More recently an article on firearms theft from vehicles. (Almost always left unlocked.) I often leave weapons in a locked vehicle. Today I saw a local news story. A couple of misguided young men had been burglarizing vehicles and several weapons stolen. While trying to decipher the intricacies of said weapons operations one discharged depriving the world of a future Nobel Prize winner. I know. He got the stupid prize instead. Still, I just got home and brought my guns inside. That 19X I could give a shit less about, but my favorite turkey gun…

        • Jimmy Beam,

          I keep a 20 gauge shotgun (loaded with slugs) leaning in the corner.

      • Gadsden Flag,

        While trying to decipher the intricacies of said weapons operations one discharged depriving the world of a future Nobel Prize winner.

        That there was funny!

        I tip my hat to you fine sir.

      • Gadsden Flag,

        I imagine that the hot and humid weather from April through the end of October seriously impacts your choice of handgun and carry method for “home carry”. A light revolver in a pocket holster is probably about as practical and comfortable as any solution.

        During the months with cooler weather when you would typically wear a jacket when out and about, consider a shoulder holster and semi-auto handgun for everyday carry. I recently transitioned to that arrangement and really like it–especially when I am landscaping or doing similar activities. A nice shoulder holster is very comfortable to wear even with full-size semi-auto handguns. (I carry a Smith and Wesson M&P40 polymer body striker-fired handgun with 4-inch barrel and 15-round magazine which weighs something like 30 ounces with a full magazine–it is very comfortable to wear.)

        • I carry an SD9. Comfort was never a consideration. But it’s no bother, anyway, with the Phlster. Greetings from FL.

    • Jim Beam,
      I agree with your sentiment.
      If they enter your home, Castle doctrine allows you to start blasting away.
      However if they are wounded, you are not allowed to finish them off.
      Also, you have to stop shooting when they turn and flee.
      And please please do not chase them outside the house.
      You are fully within your rights to shoot them inside the house.
      When they are fleeing, especially if they’ve exited the house you are now committing a crime
      People are not aware that your can lose your innocence literally within one second.
      When you lose your innocence for now the guilty party

      • If they are wounded and keep shooting at me, I will keep shooting back. As described in self-defense training, you shoot until the threat is neutralized.

  4. “On the other hand, if they’re stealing your TV, he advised to let them go.”

    Huh? If an uninvited intruder is in our home, stealing our stuff, that person is a real threat to our safety, our health, our lives. He does not get the TV because I value the TV over his life, he does not get the TV because he is a real, immediate threat to us.

    Instead, he get a shot….or two.
    And that ain’t bourbon I’m talking about.

  5. I ALWAYS have a fire with me when at home. Always. Even in the middle of the night when I get up to go potty.

      • Gersh durn audtoe-correkt!!!

        Proof-reading more better wouldn’t hurt none, eether.


        • I have real problem with our new computer. The old one was ancient. With the new one came a new key board. It is tiny and very sensitive. I start ape pawing it and I hit 3 keys at a time or hit caps lock. Really slowed my roll down.

        • I bought a Cougar Vantec mechanical keyboard. Not cheap but so much better than those cheap keyboards. Keys are illuminated too. I set the lighting to blue and left it there.

          Note, get the red caps. Good key feel without the clickyness of ye olde IBM keyboards

        • “With the new one came a new key board. It is tiny and very sensitive. I start ape pawing it and I hit 3 keys at a time or hit caps lock.”

          USB keyboards are fairly inexpensive to replace. Anywhere from 20 bucks to several hundred dollars for a very good one with tactile feedback (‘clicky’ keys), like the old IBM PC keyboards…

        • @Southern Cross

          Good afternoon!

          I kept my old IBM 84-key “clicky” keyboard until it fell apart. I used an IBM Selectric II at work for all my reports and correspondence until the department forced us to go to computers…the original IBM keyboards kept that wonderful Selectric feel / sound (I guess that I subconsciously listened to the click and used it to set a typing cadence for myself). I now use a gamer’s mechanical keyboard that has tactile and clicky keys…never got used to the squishy, silent keys.

        • Good God Old Guy, you really are an Old Guy. That sounds like it was way back in ancient times. Like the 20th century 😉

  6. “On the other hand, if they’re stealing your TV, he advised to let them go.”

    I simply cannot imagine a home invader who does NOT threaten me with bodily harm. “Sheriff, the man said he was going to whip my arse, and take whatever he wanted! I believed him, when he drew his fist back to punch me in the face! I shot him in self defense!”

  7. I don’t buy the tv thing. Anyone uninvited into your home or comes in with force entry has to be treated as a threat to your life. Here is a true story. I had communicated with a Federal Firearms Dealer that I wanted to purchase a particular firearm. He told me to come in through the front door when I arrived. The only address I had for him was his home address. So, I drove to his home, knocked on the door which no one answered and went in because the door was unlocked and he had told me to do so on the phone. So I go in the house and call out and no one answers, I walk around looking for him and he is not there. Now I start to get nervous and figure I better leave because something is wrong here. So I leave and close the front door, go to my car and call him and explain I am here at your house and went in but no one was around. He then proceeds to tell me he sells out of his place of business which was an insurance agency a couple of miles away. So I explain to him the door was unlocked and did he know if anyone was home. He says yes my wife should be home. So now I am thinking if this guy sells firearms and his wife has a gun I could have gotten myself killed because of his failure to confirm where he sold the guns from. If she had shot me it probably would not have been her fault. Thinking about it or being arrested for breaking and entering (even though I did not really do that) made me shiver. Of course the other thought I had was that she may have been home preoccupied with something else and that is why the door was open while he was at work. LOL

    • Dprato,

      Holy Smoking Bulldogs! Under slightly different circumstances, that could have been the end of you.

      Thankfully, it only turned into a good story.

    • dprato,

      Your story illustrates a significant dimension which should inform our thoughts: there are multiple scenarios where a person, who has no malicious intentions and would never harm us, could enter our home without prior invitation. Think of them as honest mistakes if that makes you feel better.

      I have two personal examples:

      Example 1
      I was in elementary school. My neighbor took his son and me to a very small amateur astronomical observatory that was holding an “open house” event. We arrived in the dark and unintentionally parked in a neighbor’s driveway which seemed to be the driveway for the observatory. (Signage and lighting were non-existent.) Not knowing that we were at the wrong driveway, we proceeded to walk into the building that we thought was the observatory. It turned out to be a neighbor’s home. We immediately apologized for our mistake as we turned to leave the homeowners in peace.

      Example 2
      I asked my friend if I could borrow one of his tools. He told me that no one was home, his door was not locked, and just walk inside to get it. So I went to his home and, as I always do, loudly announced myself as I walked in through the door–feeling silly since no one was home. Well, his wife had returned home unexpectedly. She was incredibly relieved to hear me announce myself and then know who had just come into her home without her invitation.

      And there have been other examples where friends or relatives from out of town come to visit someone and go to the wrong home.

      In the event that someone enters my home without invitation, I will challenge them before escalating to deadly force. Their movements, body language, facial expressions, and verbal response should instantly reveal whether they are dangerous. That will dictate my next course of action.

    • And not everybody who gives off a creepy vibe is up to no good.(at the moment) I had an unknown vehicle pull into my driveway and obstruct it just before I got home the other month. I continued to my next door neighbors drive and then the sketchy vehicle proceeds to vacate my driveway pull into my other neighbors driveway. Drive exited the vehicle and starts sweeping front yard with flashlight.

      I called neighbor and it turns out she had ordered food from Uber Eats. So it was just a wrong turn by a delivery guy but it looked bad, although the dude could well use the gig as cover to check out houses for later robberies.

  8. Don’t forget, folks, there is value in security doors and windows. The doors available today don’t look so prison like, and can actually add value to your home. Any perp wanting to force his way into my house has to contend with such, after getting through one of two locked iron gates with leaf head spikes on the top. Also, check your garage door opener and make sure the top track is blocked. Home invaders are known to poke a rod over your garage door to unhook it from the track. I always check to make sure the door between the garage and the kitchen is locked before I retire.

    Plus, having a dog always helps. The doggo doesn’t need to be big; it just needs to bark.

    These precautions may save you from having to aerate some poor idiot and deal with the consequences. Plus, if you do need to punch someone’s ticket, it may look good to the jury that you put such defenses in place and the perp was still willing to chance entering your home uninvited. Such defense may also give you some time to prepare for your defense.

    • Had some meth-heads around here a couple of years ago breaking into vehicles and using the remote garage door openers to open the garage and to steal tools and whatever wasn’t nailed down. We don’t leave our openers in the cars anymore…that and camera systems have gotten so cheap and offer such high-resolution that our outside is well covered on all sides.

      • Old Guy in Montana,

        While I am confident that you know the lay of the land, others may not.

        Pro-tip: security cameras are virtually useless before or during a crime.

        Cameras may help identify a prowler, burglar, or home invader several days after the fact. Most of the time, however, they will not. Some camera systems may alert you to the presence of a prowler. Many systems are so prone to false alerts, however, that homeowners end up turning off alerts. Finally, if you have cameras recording inside your home, they may help exonerate you if you end up deploying deadly force against a home invader.

        • @u_s

          Agree with your synopsis of cameras.

          Our upgrades and implementations were designed to make our home less attractive to common thieves…without resorting to the ubiquitous “burglar bars” prevalent in the area of Texas we moved from.

          We have decorative steel doors that are in steel-reinforced frames (not that hard to do as a weekend re-model / replacement). Commercial grade locks and deadbolts (not the $10 H.D. or Lowe’s locksets). Landscaping designed to not provide cover for illegal activity. Motion-detect exterior lights to enhance the “cockroach effect” (light seems to drive the cockroaches of society back into the darkness). The exterior cameras provide a visible deterrent and serve to document any property incursions.

          None of our precautions in and of themselves will positively, absolutely deter or apprehend a burglar or thief…the idea is to make our home less desirable than the “easy pickin’s” down the road.

        • Wow!

          My response to uncommon_sense is awaiting moderation. I would give a brand new $2 bill to know exactly what word or phrase triggered the Net Nanny this time. There is nothing political, controversial or vulgar in my response.

  9. If only the x wife would have been at home that tragedy wouldn’t have happened.
    It’s time to put a stop to this endless gun violence.
    I support President Biden and any restrictions he decrees on firearms.

    • fer a lowly possum y’all air dummer’n a whole BOX o rox.
      The “gun violence” will cease when those perpetrating it against innocents are properly dealt with in EVERY case. When the punks ALWAYS end up filling out some dingy old orange onesies, eating off stamped stainless trays, and staring for hours through the long grey bars that comprise their “now home” the gun violance will cease.

      And your HEEROE Dopey Joey has no plans to make these changes any time soon. Nope. His string-pullers won’t let him.
      SO pass the word to all your criminal pals that WHEN (not “if”) they decide to try their luck at a housebreaking , carjacking, “fun evening at home with a stranger in THEIR house”, their likelihood of being yet able to breathe on the following morning will be severely diminished.

  10. I read in my Bible that God declares this:

    IF you are in bed asleep with yuor family at home, and a stranger enters uninvited in the night, “you may strike him that he die” and there shall be NO bloodguilt upon you.

    This is precisely what happened in Incident Number One above.

    the laws in MY state also confirm this. If a stranger has entered MY home or occupied vehicle uninvited, the presumption that he is a lethal threat is valid, and I may deal with the itnruder as I feel best suits the occasion. I WILL NOT be assumed to have killed for unjust cause.

    Now that all written down and all, I have little doubt that our crooked and worse-than-useless legislators would change that quickly if anyone suggested they do so.

  11. Agree about defending the home.

    I disagree with the idea that if they are “there only to steal” that you shouldn’t shoot. How in hell would you know if they might kill attack in addition to taking your stuff.

    If someone has broken into my house, I have every reason to believe the well being of myself and my family are in jeopardy.

    Stop giving these shit-asses the upper hand in the aftermath by questioning whether a home “really” had the right to defend themselves in their own home.

  12. When you enter someone else’s home without being invited you are asking to be ventilated.

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