If anyone bangs on my door at 1:30 AM, my first thought is that something is seriously, drastically wrong. That was also the initial assessment of a 29-year-old Norristown, PA man as well, so when he went to answer the knock at the door he was armed… and that decision may have saved his life.

The incident happened in the 1100 block of Willow Street shortly before 1:30 a.m. on July 28th.

According to investigators, the 29-year-old resident was inside the home when he heard a knock at the door.

The man went to the door with his registered handgun, the DA said, and opened the door.

That’s when he was confronted by Evans, police said, who pulled out a gun and started making demands.

The homeowner did not know Evans, investigators said.

When Evans pointed the gun at the resident’s chest, the DA said he fired six shots from his gun, hitting Evans in the chest, pelvis and leg.

The investigation revealed Evans fired a shot, but the DA did not report any injury to the resident.

The dead intruder was 22-year-old Daryl Marquis Evans, a convicted felon who was already wanted by police for warrants for robbery and drug charges.

Evans was (illegally) armed with a 9mm pistol when he forced the homeowner back into the home. He was apparently unaware of the fact that the homeowner had his own .40 S&W handgun on him at the time.

There are lessons to be learned from this shooting as there is from any other.

The first lesson is that you shouldn’t go to the door at 1:30 AM and answer it. While it might not assuage your curiosity as quickly,  it’s a better idea to stand away from the door and off to the side and then address the person on the other side of that door at a distance. If it is someone who you know and trust you can then approach the door and get a visual confirmation before letting them in. If it is a stranger or acquaintance, offer to call emergency services for them, but do not, under any circumstances, get close to the door or open it. Not opening a door for a stranger is obvious, but you’d likely be amazed at the number of crimes committed by acquaintances.

If the homeowner had followed this advice, it’s quite likely that Evans would have either simply gone away, or that if he did attempt to batter down the door, then the homeowner would have had a better chance of catching Evans in the so-called “fatal funnel” as he attempted entry.

Unfortunately, the homeowner let Evans in the house, and was forced by circumstances into what sounds like a quick-draw at gunpoint… not a circumstance that ever favors the homeowner. Fortunately, he scored some good hits and put down the felon before Evans was able to do more than fire a single ineffectual shot, and no one else was injured.

The best gunfight is the one that you don’t have to engage in, folks. Don’t put yourself in a situation of having to draw for your life when avoiding the situation was the simplest and better option.