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Around 9:00am on Friday morning, August 31, police received a call about an attempted robbery at a home near a monastery in Pittsburgh. By the time they arrived, they found the body of Daniel Ling, 18, of Baldwin, Pennsylvania, lying on the porch. Ling had been shot with his own gun after the homeowner caught him breaking in and wrestled the gun away from him to defend himself.

After being taken to the hospital and treated for a non-critical gash on his head, the resident was taken to police headquarters for questioning. Meanwhile, police spent five hours gathering evidence at the crime scene.

No arrests have been made at this time, and from our perspective, this appears to be a clear-cut self-defense case.

“I’m glad I wasn’t (home) because my bedroom’s right next to that house. A stray bullet could have come right through the wall,” neighbor William Tyhurst said in an interview. “That house, it looks like there’s some windows knocked out in the back. The air conditioner is ripped out of the window.”

“It’s unusual because I haven’t heard of any break-ins around here or anything. But I don’t know. You have to be careful anymore and defend yourself, I guess,” he added.

You guess right, Mr. Tyhurst.

Here’s a brief news segment about this story:

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    • They can charge the homeowner with manslaughter, and the homeowner will win in a jury trial — if a judge doesn’t dismiss the case outright.

      And why will the homeowner prevail? Because a violent criminal who just broke into a home and presented a firearm is a credible, imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm. Even after the homeowner pulled the firearm away, it would be reasonable to assume that the home invader could be carrying another firearm and/or a knife. It would also be reasonable to assume that the home invader would promptly employ an improvised weapon-of-opportunity in the home.

      A home invader who just employed deadly force loses the benefit-of-the-doubt if they lose control of their handgun.

      • Eyes brimming with tears. “We were wrestling for the gun and it went off. I thought I was the one shot til he collapsed.’

      • Charging him would be silly. Not like such things haven’t been done before, but probably won’t happen in that jurisdiction unless there’s something we don’t know.

      • In Washington state, both the robber and the homeowner would be charged with transferring a firearm without a background check…

    • That depends on if the perp continued to fight the homeowner once the gun was out of his hands. If the perp started to run after being disarmed, then the homeowner might be subject to an aggravated assault or manslaughter charge.

  1. Sigh. Yet another case proving the anti’s point:

    1. Don’t use a handgun to commit a crime – it will just be taken away and used against you.
    2. Another youth just turning his life around cut down by gun violence.

    /sarc (for those too vacuous to figure that out by themselves….)

  2. …let’s see how this story will be twisted:
    – Mr. Ling was just trying to get money to buy new clothes for a job interview after turning his life around.
    – Mr. Tyhurst wrestled the gun from Mr. Ling and is thereby guilty of theft
    – Mr. Tyhurst obtained a fire arm without the proper paperwork and FFL transfer and is guilty of a felony.
    – Mr. Tyhurst shot & killed Mr. Ling when he should have caused a disabling wound, or, held him until the police arrived.
    – Mr. Tyhurst killed Mr. Ling while illegally in possession of a firearm and is thereby really guilty of really bad things and destined for life imprisonment.

    • Tyhurst was the next door neighbor. He sounded like david hogg. He was a survivor cause he lived on the same block.

      • …you’re right – missed that entirely. Just three days retired and I’ve lost the ability to proof read!

        Well, replace “Mr. Tyhurst” with the actual victim’s name for the same effect.


  3. If he’ had a rhubarb pie instead of a gun this would not have happened

    • I hate loaded questions like that. The flippant answer would simply be “yes, why do you ask?”

      The philosophical answer is that anyone who uses force or threatens it is setting a very specific price on his own life. In that situation, the price of life — his or mine — is lower than whatever it is he wants to steal.

      If he values whatever I have in my wallet more than he values human life, I don’t need to feel bad (although I probably would anyway, because I’m soft like that) if he happens to lose his life in the transaction.

  4. Is it wrong that I love to hear stories like this?
    When the criminal is shot and killed with his own gun.
    I would advise the homeowner to now buy his own gun as the next criminal may not be so obliging.
    A .38 caliber revolver takes no training and can be left loaded at the bedside for years and will still be point and click at bad guy.

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