Burglar home invasion door break-in
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Early Thursday morning, Jerahme Smith, who lives in suburban Seattle, woke up to the sounds of someone breaking into his home. I am sure the last thing the two home invaders expected was to be met by someone with a gun.

Once the attackers were inside, Smith yelled, “Get on the ground!” The trespasser reached for something, and Smith said “he decided it was his life or theirs.” That’s when he fired the fatal shot. Police arrived a few minutes later to find one intruder dead in the front yard and the other on the run.

In an interview with Dori Monson show, Smith said that when he heard the sound of the break-in

I sat up in bed…I always have my gun around me; it doesn’t matter where I’m at. When I heard the back door, that is when I grabbed my gun, got out of bed, … and it’s the honest-to-God truth, the first thing I did was take some breaths and collect my thoughts. Because in my mind, it was going to go one of two ways.

After that cleansing breath to collect himself, Smith confronted his attackers. As for his decision to use deadly force . . .

I’m not going to waiver on that…I protected my house. I protected my family. I protected what’s mine.

Area residents said crime has been rising, and one man told reporters. “That kind of upsets me that we have this kind of crime going on in the neighborhood. It’s not a good feeling because we don’t know—it could be something happening tomorrow, tonight, you know? Same old thing.”

As Seattle liberals continue to defund the police and as departments are stretched thin, response times will increase. With crime on the rise, people around Seattle are turning to self-defense courses and firearms for protection.

Sergeant Darren Moss from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said investigators completed the investigation and turned it over to the prosecutor’s office.

From king5.com . . .

Moss said that while you are allowed to defend yourself, a direct confrontation should be avoided if possible and only is the last resort.

Call the police right away, if possible. If it moves to self-defense, we’ll figure it out when we get there for the investigation. But we always say, call 911 right away, focus on protecting yourself and your family, don’t try to initiate a confrontation with an intruder.

Everyone has the legal right to defend themselves. When the time came, that’s exactly what Jerahme Smith did.

If possible, the best option is to always call the police and avoid a confrontation. But when you only have seconds to process a situation and act, you may be the only one in a position to protect your family. When the time came, Smith took a deep breath and did the only thing he could given the situation.

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37 COMMENTS

  1. “Call 911 and they’ll mosey on by”. And by. Sorry 5-O didn’t believe me when I told them 3 black youts were running from gunfire(my wife & son heard/ saw it too.) Ho hummmm…

  2. Good for Mr. Smith.

    But, sometimes the bad guys don’t learn. Last year we had a homeowner who shot a home invader but didn’t kill him and the second one got away, turns out they were brothers. Two weeks later the brother that got away the first time broke into the same home, the homeowner shot him and he died in the hospital about three hours later.

  3. WashingtonState Law holds, very plainly, that anyone entering an occupied dwelling (or fixed place of busines after hours, or an occupied vehicle) without the owner’s/occupant’s permission presents justification for the use of lethal force, and will not be questioined about that choice.
    Seems the dirtbags on the street are unaware of this. There is NO requirement to announce yourself, give them options, wait for polic,e etc. NONE. Not unser Washington law. The mere and simple presence of an unauthroised person wihtin MY HOUSE without my permission is grounds to apply lethal force. The elgal prseumtion wil always fall in MY favour in such cases.

    Now I personall might not shoot first and wonder who it was later… but maybe I will. The details of the situatioin will dictate when it is time. WHich I hope will never come. but IF it does…….

    I like the story above of the two brothers, both cathing rapoidlhy moving lead as they attempted to burgle the same house. First one , lying in hospital recoveinr from HIS just desserts was an insufficient warning to his brother. He did not get a second chance to reconsdier his life direction. Maybe brother will, once he recovers from his ailments and serves his time. Serves him right. And his brother, who will NEVER commit that offense again. Maybe that will be a warning to the one who “made it”?

    • Same in California. Although there is no formal statute, there is a jury instruction setting out the same principles. The only time it does not apply is when that person is a close family member, so, absent other factors (e.g. spousal abuse), you cannot use these provisions to claim self defense when you bump off your spouse.

  4. “a direct confrontation should be avoided if possible” ? What do you call home invasion in a middle of the night?

    • Exactly this. A confrontation with intruders entering my home is a certainty. The real issue is whether or not that confrontation deserves deadly force. But there is no way in Blazes I’m going to cower in my bathroom with my wife, holding the phone as I wait for 911 to pick up, while I hear strangers within my home and coming closer. Besides, the other bedrooms are on the other side of my house, so I’m expected to just let the other members of my family go at it alone?

  5. “Hohummmm”
    That’s funny 😄
    My self defense pistol has a red laser light on it.Tuned into center mass spot!
    If 1 step is advanced by person, not invited there and I have reason to believe am in imminent danger of life or death.
    Police are minutes away when seconds counts
    I have had to say “Identity yourself”when my husband would stand in the door way coming home from a business trip

    • Hahahaha, been there.
      After a road trip to Colorado in June. Drove straight thru and got home around 2am, told the wife I was going to stop when I got tired, never got tired.
      When I opened the door between the house and garage she yelled out “identify yourself”.
      She was standing at the top of the stairs holding a Baby Eagle III with a light/laser, was loaded with 17rds of Critical Defense.

      • Oh man it’s a good thing you didn’t show up a few minutes earlier else you was finna to fine yo neighbor balls deep in her 🤣.

        • Those who actually are well-hung, never seem to advertise.

          Ergo, you wish you had more than what you were born with… 🙂

      • Bird hunting trip out in West Texas ended early due to unusual torrential rains. Got home to Dallas suburb at 2:30AM. Headed directly to hall bathroom for an emergency stop. Washed up and proceeded to conduct business. Heard noise outside bathroom, cracked open door to say “Hi Honey, I’m home early” to the business end of a chromed S&W of the local police. Hadn’t realized they carried 105mm Howitzers….or so it appeared from my perspective. Wifey heard me enter, locked bedroom and master bath doors, climbed into bathtub with Mossberg pointed at door, called 911. When responding officer arrived, she let officer in through bathroom door to deck. Officer proceeded to clear out the house…..and me. Good thing I was sitting on the throne when I cracked open that bathroom door. Saved a lot of clean up. Local PD used that story for years teaching residents how to handle bump in the night…..and to call home before coming home unexpectedly. Guess they hoped to avoid officers being shot by irate husbands. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Texas Lady and James Campbell,

      For the very reason that you both described, my family has a standing rule that we always call out “Hello!” in a somewhat loud and cheery voice when we enter our home.

      If I am returning unexpectedly in the middle of the night, I send a text message to family so that they know to expect me in the middle of the night–and I still announce “Hello” although in a much quieter voice.

      I also practice that when I go to someone else’s home. That came in very handy one time when I wanted to borrow something from a friend who never locks his doors. He had just left his home 20 minutes earlier. He told me that no one was home, that no one would be home for hours, and to just walk in and the grab the thing that I wanted to borrow. So I did. And I said “Hello!” when I walked in–feeling stupid about announcing myself to no one in an empty home. Much to my surprise, my friend’s spouse had returned home unexpectedly and had no idea that I was coming over. The spouse was incredibly grateful that I announced myself and all was well.

  6. Crime would probably drop if the good guys got to keep the bad guys.
    I mean if I was peeking in somebody’s windows looking to see what I could see and saw a bunch of shoulder mounts hanging on the wall I’d probably not want to break into that guys house.
    Maybe some heads stuck on poles out front, carcasses hanging in trees and a big pot of boiling water.
    Wont happen, but a person can always dream.

    • They used to do that in Rome and England, but it did not seem to have the desired effect except on the persons whose heads (or bodies) were hanging from a post. They used to put the heads of he executed on the spikes on the fence of the Old Bailey in London, but a deterrent it was not. There were always new heads to put out there when the old ones rotted off.

    • I came to the comments section just to see if anyone was going to mention this. People need to stop talking, especially to the media. Years later after all the lawsuits have settled and criminal cases closed, then yes. You WILL be sued by the family of the deceased.

      By the way, that is an excellent presentation I recommend to all students in my CCW classes. He is spot on, and so is the retired LEO that also spoke backing up everything the attorney stated.

      • That video is not spot on. First of all, the guy is not talking about people who have legit self-defense cases. He’s talking about general interactions with police. There are a number of problems in that video for people with legit self-defense cases. I’m only going to mention one.

        You have a right to remain silent after you are arrested. Guess what? If you remain silent before, you think that cannot be used against you? Ah, yes it can be used against you and has been. See Michael Dunn, who had serious problems beyond not calling 911. Prosecutors will try to destroy you. Why do you want to help them?

        Say little, don’t say nothing.

        Read the following below as a starting point instead of that video, which doesn’t apply to good people who need every advantage they can get after, God forbid, killing someone lawfully.
        https://www.ammoland.com/2014/03/losd-should-i-really-say-nothing-to-police-without-my-lawyer/#axzz2v6SRsY3l

        • And when the fact comes up in a trial that you chose to remain silent until you spoke with an attorney, guess what ? Grounds for mistrial and charges for prosecutorial misconduct.

        • Everything you say,- Can and Will Be Used Against You.
          Every cop used to tell you this.
          Then they go on with asking questions anyway.

    • doesky2 and Jeff in CO,

      I have watched that video and I agree with the concept by and large.

      It is interesting to note that George Zimmerman, without an attorney, blabbed in great detail about his encounter: many legal experts believe the jury would have found him guilty if he had not shared copious details with police immediately following the incident.

      I think a lot of it boils down to the prevailing mindset of the prosecutor in your jurisdiction as well as the setting. If you have a pro-self-defense prosecutor and apply deadly force in your living room to a home invader who is a stranger and just broke down your door, I am confident that you can blab all you want without any legal jeopardy. If your prosecutor is anti-self-defense and/or you apply deadly force to an attack some place in public without video and witnesses, you are probably best served to invoke your right to an attorney before sharing details with police.

      • (The Zimmerman-Martin encounter)

        “I think a lot of it boils down to the prevailing mindset of the prosecutor in your jurisdiction as well as the setting.”

        That’s why Zimmerman wasn’t arrested that night. He made his statement, they talked to the few eyewitnesses who saw different pieces of the encounter, and the stories matched. It was clear there was no crime.

        It wasn’t until Obama’s A.G. Eric Holder got involved that charges were brought…

  7. Somewhat off topic but….
    The ohio senate passed the constitutional carry bill today. The house passed a somewhat different bill last month. Now they gota condense that mess then hopefully weasel face signs it.

  8. As … liberals continue to defund the police and as departments are stretched thin, response times will increase.

    It is a darn good thing that my response time is not a function of liberal policies or police staffing.

    Okay, let’s all say it together now, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!”

  9. Hopefully readers will never have to use lethal force on another human being. I have never had to, but I understand from talking to a number of friends who have, both in combat situations, duty situations, and in self-defense situations, that killing changes most people. (I suspect it changes “all” rather than “most”, but I have been told by at least three that they just did what was necessary and “took care of business”, and thereafter felt no particular angst about it after the adrenalin effect subsided.) Wherever you live, you could be forced to deal with an intruder or “home invader”; hopefully you live in a state that recognizes, in black letter law or in common law, some iteration of “castle doctrine”. But before you are in the situation to perhaps have to pull the trigger on another human being, for the sake of your own sanity afterwards, you should be sure of the answer to four questions:
    (1) may I shoot – i.e., is it legal, where I am and under the circumstances present, to use lethal force?
    (2) can I shoot (and hit) – are you in a situation that allows you, with your current skill level, to place a stop-shot with 99% confidence?
    (3) should I shoot – is there really an intruder or is the “intruder” an unexpected family member? The actual intruder you find in your kitchen may be a drunk or high, and benign, confused neighborhood teenager making a peanut butter sandwich. You don’t want that kind of shooting (killing or crippling) on your conscience even if you may and if you can shoot under those circumstances!
    (4) am I willing to shoot – are you reconciled to taking another person’s life if you find yourself in a situation where you may, you can, and you should shoot? If you haven’t reconciled this in your mind, an encounter with a firearm is not something that you should ever consider for a number of reasons too long to list here.

    It is incumbent on him who owns an instrument of lethal force to know the laws surrounding the use of that instrument. Sufficient time on the range with realistic practice should reveal whether you should attempt to use a firearm in a life-or-death situation. If you can’t use it quickly it may be taken away from you (and then used on you). If you can’t use it well it’s a marvelous little noisemaker, but not much more than that. The question of whether you should shoot will have to be made, under stress, and on the spur of the moment, but if you are not significantly in fear for yourself or someone entitled to your protection you probably should not fire your weapon at that moment.

    In peace, fellow readers. Si pacem vis, para bellum.

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