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Some defensive gun use stories have happy endings. Others have tragic ones. Still others offer learning opportunities for potential defenders.

In Prince George’s County, Maryland, this past week, a homeowner shot an invader who broke into his home in the middle of the night. Only, he didn’t realize he’d hit anyone, so he went to sleep. However, the shot had in fact made contact. Around 8:00 a.m. that morning, the homeowner’s neighbor found the body of 55-year-old David William Taylor Sr. dead of a gunshot wound in his backyard – not a pleasant sight to wake up to.

A homicide investigation was open for a short time before the homeowner came forward and told police he’d fired a gun early in the morning, but that he hadn’t realized he shot anyone. After that, the homicide investigation became a death investigation, as evidence showed that the man was, in fact, the burglar.

No charges have been filed against the homeowner at this time, and it’s been confirmed that Taylor had an extensive criminal record. Police appear sure that this home invasion was just another crime to add to that list. However, the case is still open, and it’s still possible that the homeowner will be charged. In a state like Maryland, it would not be far-fetched.

Being the first to call the police (and to identify yourself as the victim of a crime) is always preferable to being the guy who shot someone, went to sleep, and unknowingly left a dead body lying around for the neighbors to discover.

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  1. So EVEN IN MARYLAND the guy’s probably just fine. Not really that much of a ringing endorsement for calling the police. Although I would agree that if you discharge your weapon at somebody it’s almost always a good thing to inform the police.

    • That’s what I was thinking.
      An example of why you MUST call the police would be somebody who suffered a serious adverse impact from failing to call the police.

      Here’s a thought exercise for you:
      What if somebody heard sounds of a struggle, followed by a gunshot, and police found Trayvon with a GSW to the chest and significant recent premortem damage to his knuckles? (I’m thinking GZ is doing pretty well here. We have a dead guy, no suspect, and reason to believe the dead guy is better off dead, so who’s going to waste serious effort on the investigation? GZ goes on with his boring old life, and the shitshow that is his current real life never would have happened.)

      Now imagine that a witness said he saw George following a guy in a dark hoodie minutes before the Trayvon shooting. (I’m thinking George is screwed)

      And I suspect that’s what it boils down to, averaged over time.
      It’s always better to never be involved with the police than to be the one who initiated the contact with the police, but it’s sometimes very, very worse to have the police come for you instead of calling them yourself.

      • In this case, the guy shot an intruder while the intruder was in his home, and the intruder left.

        Calling the cops under those circumstances would mean inviting them into your home to investigate you as a shooter.

        As long as there’s physical evidence of some sort to support his contention that the guy was in his home when he shot him, I don’t see where he’s in trouble. If he shot him in the back after he ran outside, he’s screwed whether or not he called the police to confess.

        Ted Wafer shot somebody who was probably trying to get into his house at 4am.
        Ted Wafer called the cops.
        Ted Wafer is serving time for a 2nd degree murder conviction after finding out the deceased was a half frozen drunk driver, not a home invasion robber.

        • “Wafer said McBride pounded violently on his front and side doors….. Wafer, armed with a shotgun, unlocked his front door, opened it and shot McBride through the locked screen door when she appeared feet away……Wafer claimed during trial he never meant to kill McBride and he and didn’t know the shotgun was loaded.” If someone breaks in to your house, then shoot them. If someone is pounding on your door, call the police. Don’t open the door and shoot them with a shot gun, then tell the police you didn’t think it was loaded.

      • GZ is a loser and his life would have been a shit show regardless. In fact he could have quite possibly done something positive with the whole Trayvon tragedy and has not. I say tragedy because even though the kid was a budding thug and GZ did what he had to do, Trayvon’s young life ended too soon. It’s too bad GZ couldn’t have simple rendered a good ass beating. It might have turned Trayvon’s life around. Unfortunately it wasn’t going to come from a guy like GZ. I can’t imagine the grief parents must feel when their boy’s life ends that way.

        • I doubt that Trayvon’s parents felt much grief. They got paid well by the state while he was growing up, with minimal if any supervision. They got paid well again after his demise. They were never held responsible for his burglaries prior to his demise. What’s to feel grief about?

        • so just to set the record straight:

          trayvon martin is dead because of trayvon martin

          not george zimmerman

          all he had to was not try to mma style beat the crap out of somebody he didnt know in a concealed carry state

          stupid is as stupid does and that cannot be fixed

          just add trayvon martins name to the long list of high name recognition individuals who would still be alive today if they hadnt put themselves on the criminal thug gangbanger spectrum pathway

          michael brown laquon mcdonald and freddie gray are just a few names on that list that come to mind

        • I do not fault George Zimmerman for being unable to fight off Trayvon Martin. Many men could not especially after Martin got in the first punch. I know I couldn’t. Even when I was Martin’s age, he would have been bigger, stronger and a better fighter than I. Zimmerman’s mistake was not having an alternative to his gun such as pepper spray. A face full of that would have stopped Martin and the police would have arrested him for his attack on Zimmerman.

          Something no one speculates about is what would have happened had Zimmerman not been able to shoot Martin. My guess is that Zimmerman would have been significantly injured, if not killed, and Martin would have been arrested, tried as an adult, and convicted of felony assault or murder.

        • Kendahl, BS. The first chance GZ had to draw a weapon was when they were already on the ground. At that point OC would probably have hurt GZ worse because TM is more likely to be high. Also, thugs in general are more likely to have developed OC tolerance from previous police interactions.

        • George Zimmerman was an average guy before the Trayvon Martin shooting. He had a real estate license and was in school studying criminal justice. He took an active role in the security and safety of his neighbors. He tutored black kids. He testified against the police in a police brutality case—-and the plaintiff was a homeless black man.

          His life was ruined because the media saw “George ZIMMERMAN kills TRAYVON Martin”….and ran with it, expecting a white guy to be the shooter. They gave it plenty of air and newsprint, and after they were committed, it turned out GZ looked like he should own a lawn service.

          The State’s Attorney made the right decision, initially. This was a self-defense case, cut and dried. But the Martin family’s attorney needed charges to be filed so they could file a wrongful death suit against the condominium/homeowner’s association’s insurance company(they won ONE MILLION DOLLARS). The family hired a PR firm—and so much pressure(and threats of riots) was placed on Rick Scott that he appointed a special prosecutor.

          George Zimmerman did absolutely nothing wrong. Nothing. The Trayvon Martin defenders say GZ “stalked” Martin, and that Martin was scared of him. Trayvon Martin, 17 year old weed-smoking sizzurp sipper from the mean streets of Miami Gardens, was scared of a fat Hispanic. That’s absurd. Trayvon Martin was casing homes, he saw GZ on the phone with the cops, then ran off. Zimmerman got out, stopped following when advised, and was ambushed on his way to a neutral location. This is verified by his conversation with dispatch, in which he said he was afraid to announce his address in case Martin was listening.

          Martin was shot while committing felony battery. At point blank range. Killed with a 115gr Sellier and Bellot JHP. That’s the worst part. The most famous CCW shooting of all time was done with a Kel-Tec loaded with S&B. Makes all those guys carrying $2000 Gucci Glocks look kinda financially irresponsible. It also makes me want to carry a revolver I buy privately at a gun show. I’d rather shoot that guy, leave, strip the gun, and throw parts in random dumpsters than go through what Zimmerman did.

          But he did get a tour of the Kel-Tec plant and a free shotgun. So he’s got that going for him.

          But, seriously, the George Zimmerman case is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen as someone who carries a handgun. If you are a white person and you shoot a black teenager justifiably in self defense, you life can be over. If it happens during a politically beneficial time, the media can turn you into the worst person in the world. Zimmerman was in the early days of social media. Now? In a DAY you can become a pariah. You can have to leave your home. Your family’s lives can be ruined. All of them. You will have death threats. You will have angry mobs on your doorstep.

          You will lose your job. You will have to spend money on a defense attorney. Makes me thinks USCCA is a really good idea.

          I feel so badly for that man. Anyone of us could be him. Ever post anything slightly controversial on Facebook? Ever visit gun-related websites? Ever post in a comment section, or a forum? Twitter? Ever Instagram a pic of your gun or a target? YOU’RE A RIGHT WING RADICAL PROUD BOY IDENTITY EUROPA.

          If you ever see George Zimmerman, buy that dude a beer. He’s earned it.

      • Remember George Zimmerman was cleared before the media got a hold of it and ran with the ‘gunned down in cold blood’ angle and O’Bama lamented he didn’t have a son that looked like Treyvon, etc. It was political pressure that forced the DA’s hand with predictable results when it went to trial. Also in his c ase he’d already contacted police before his physical run in with Treyvon, so he definitely would have almost certainly been identified as the prime suspect.

        Biggest reason I can see for not calling the police is if you’re in a jurisdiction that has contempt for your Second Amendment rights. In that c ase you need to do your own analysis of the odds and legal risks of either calling or not calling.

        • This is correct. Also do not forget, Trayvon’s “parents” hired a very effective professional PR firm to push specific narratives that are irrelevant to the question of self defense- the “Muh Skittles and Iced Tea”, “unarmed teen”, “million hoodie march”, etc.

          That so many people still parrot these dumb talking points, even AFTER the prosecution got its ass handed to it in court, is a testament to the power of PR firms and dishonest race-baiting “journalists”.

        • You bet your ass those twits didn;t hire ANYONE. They couldn’t organize a marshmallow roast at a house fire. The entire BS was a progtard political exercise.

        • The best part of the whole episode was when his thick necked Haitian girlfriend, who at the time was the hot ticket in the media, went on Piers Morgan’s show and gave it up that Treyvon was giving George some ‘whoopass’ because he thought George was watching him because he (George) was gay. For some reason she disappeared from TV screens everywhere and the gay bashing Treyvon theme went right down the media wormhole.

    • How about, “depends on the situation”? If I’m out in the woods hiking and somebody attacks me and I ventilate him enough that he leaves the area, *I* am also going to leave the area, gun ready and on the alert, not calling the police. Once I get to my home with the door locked, reload my gun and relax a minute, I’m likely to decide I actually don’t need the police, it’s all good, and forget the whole thing.

      • And if the guy you shot survives? He’s going to be telling the cops at the ER that he was minding his own business and you shot him for no reason. And if the cops don’t hear from you it makes his story plausible.

        What if he dies? A dead guy and no explanation leads to a murder investigation. If you have to be tracked down they will likely discount your story of self defense.

        • This is why you should always carry a Saturday night special and a bag of blow on you. Just make sure you wipe your fingerprints off before planting them. Just a drug deal gone bad.

  2. Damn. You can’t make this stuff up.

    Use 911 like a dem uses the ballot box. Call first. Call often. Speaking of dems. The dead guy will now be registered and vote democrat for at least another hundred years.

  3. Something is off to me. Maybe because I live in rural SC.

    If I shoot at a home invasion ‘person’, I’m not going back to sleep. I’m calling the deputy’s to come find the ‘person’.

    • same here, if I thought someone had invaded my house I would call the police. if, as a result of said home invasion, I fired my gun at someone (real or imagined) in my house I would have called the police. Something smells kinda stanky here and it isn’t the former home invader.

      • You always have a few idiots in the world. Sounds like the home owner falls in to that category.

        I think the point is, if you discharge a firearm, unless it is target shooting or hunting, call the damned police. Because if you don’t, it might your neighbor calling them on you when they hear the gun shot. You end up hitting someone, well hopefully it was a legal shot. If it was, yeah you might have an investigation and a pain in the butt on your hand, but probably going to go a lot better than when they are starting a homicide investigation and likely grilling the crap out of you. Possibly holding you in jail for a day or two, etc.

        And maybe the DA decides you don’t seem that credible. I mean, you didn’t bother calling the cops after you shot a guy you claimed was trying to break in to your house. Maybe they were really just knocking on the door spreading the faith at 2am. Or were lost and hoping someone could give them directions.

        I want as few police interactions as possible, but if you think you were in the good, possibly shooting or killing someone is one of those things you want to get out ahead of. Otherwise the police/DA get to make up whatever narrative they want and the longer the time lag, the less evidence there probably is to support your story.

  4. @Manse Jolly – you’re right it doesn’t pass the smell test. I live in Austin, Texas, which is a liberal bastion of good will and cum bi ya. However even here the real world rears is ugly head and we are forced to deal with crime. If I was awakened , in the middle of the night by the sounds of my front (or back) door being kicked in I would respond with appropriate force. When I turn on the lights and find no body, I would assess the damage to the door and then call 311. 911 is not needed because the threat has gone. 311 is the “non-emergency” number for the police. I would tell them what happened and ask if they could come out. If they’re not too busy they come over can follow the blood trail and look for the “burgler”.

  5. Any time you need to use force against a bad guy, even if it’s just the threat of force, you need to call the police ASAP. The first one to call gets treated as the innocent party, at least at the beginning of the investigation, and you don’t want that to be the bad guy.

    It’s surprising how many people don’t understand this. I participate in Quora and often comment on self defense questions. Two recent ones involved road rage. In one, the victim rolled down his window to reply to the bad guy. That enabled the bad guy to start beating him. He was able to drive off with bad guy finally dropping away from the car at a significant speed. In the other, the victim rolled down his window and aimed his gun at the bad guy before he got within reach. I explained to both victims how the bad guy could have used 911 to cause them a great amount of trouble and cited a local example. Both still insisted that they had handled the situation properly.

  6. Cool, Gut shootem then hopefully they run off and die somewheres else. Saves digging a hole and a person can go back to bed

  7. If you say you have a gun. Call the police.
    If you pull your gun and don’t shoot. Call the police.
    If you shoot your gun, hit or miss your target. Call the police.
    And have your favorite “gun fighter insurance” card ready to present to the investigators. Call your lawyer.

  8. “…shot an invader who broke into his home in the middle of the night. Only, he didn’t realize he’d hit anyone, so he went to sleep.”

    He just fired? Ata a noise/shadow? Where’s the immediate danger? And, after a “break in”, he didn’t even check and shut/lock the door/window/means of egress?

    I’m puzzled.

  9. Not a problem in Yamhill County Oregon where a marijunna bootlegger can get a free pass for firing a 12 gauge shotgun at his neighbor’s children. The judges and jurors of Yamhill County will even believe the Elmer J Fudd defense that he could not have been firing lethal buckshot or slugs rather than “harmless birsdshot” because he had a full choke barrell that would have exploded just as happens when Buggs Bunny shoves a carrot into the muzzle of Fudd’s shotgun.

  10. wrong.

    The first thing you do is call the police. The only thing you say to them is that you need a lawyer to present your self defense case based on the initial evidence they find. Say nothing else.

    the phone call should only admit there was an intrusion and you fired shots because you felt threatened. Remain silent otherwise. Do not answer any other questions aside from your location and describe to them how you will be waiting the officers peacefully and unarmed.

    Anything beyond that gives the opposing side an edge to prove manslaughter. Doesn’t matter the state or their laws. Bunch of cases where people get lucky or prove their self defense, but why try your luck?

  11. You know, I think of myself as pretty chill, but if I’d just opened fire on someone at night who was trying to break in my house I’m not sure how easy it would be for me to go to sleep.

    Oh wait, it’s PG County. Nevermind, probably not that weird of a thing to do.

    • Now look at WHAT? You do realize that the only reason this is a death investigation and not a homicide investigation is that he talked to the cops?

  12. Wear your body armor before you call the police. The police shot and killed the home owner in Colorado, who was shot the naked criminal that was trying to kill a boy in the house.
    Hell, get your life insurance and will in order, too.

    • Sadly, I have to agree. In many states, and cities, it’s almost better to have a strong friend, two sturdy shovels, and a planned place to dump a body, than it is to notify the police.

  13. Recognize you identify with GZ or TM.

    Consider that the people who defended TM are doing so because of hundreds of years of bad treatment. Doesn’t make this a racial case.

    Consider we tend to defend almost every gun use because defensive gun use is under attack.

    Consider that two stupid people in stupid places at stupid times doing stupid things doesn’t require us to identify with them by gun, race, employment history, criminal record, public displays of aggression, clothing etc.

    That just muddies the scene.


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