A Hamilton Township, Ohio couple didn’t exactly rise to the occasion Saturday night as they attempted to deal with an attempted home invasion.
Witnesses said a naked male was acting irrationally and attempted to break into two homes around the 10000 block of Murdock-Goshen Road, according to police.
Witnesses said he was beating on doors, yelling and screaming, according to Hamilton Township Police Chief Jon Wheeler.
911 was called after he approached a house, but wasn’t able to enter, Wheeler said.
Wheeler said evidence suggests that the man was able to enter the second home he approached.
Witnesses reported to police that the man threatened a woman living in the home, and the man was then shot outside by the homeowner with a shotgun.
The male suspect was hit in the abdomen. The female living at the home was also “seriously injured by the gunfire,” police said.
The account provided above dispassionately describes the turn of events, and in so doing, undermines the urgency of events.
You can hear the audio of the 911 call (we were unable to find a way to embed it), where the terrified woman at the second home describes a naked 17-year old neighbor boy running back and forth between two homes screaming that he was not gay. At the second home, the teen screamed that he was going to sexually assault the female resident, and may have breached the door. The woman’s husband then brought up his shotgun and fired, hitting the teen in the body and his wife in the face.
As is typical of breaking news stories the story is incomplete, but we do know several things.
- The breaching of the perimeter (for example a broken door and an attempt to gain entry) is justification for the use of deadly force, and the home invader does not necessarily need to complete entry to justify the use of deadly force (laws in your state may very).
- A home invader does not need to be visibly armed to justify the use of deadly force in most jurisdictions.
- Shooting your wife in the face may cause trust issues.
The various accounts of the story don’t tell use precisely where the teen was in relation to the front door when he was shot, but we do know he was “outside” when struck by the blast. The wife appears to have been inside, but we don’t have 100% confirmation.
We’re going to give the homeowner the benefit of the doubt and assume the naked attempted home invader was within a few feet of the door, and that the door had been compromised by the actions of the attacker. If the homeowner or the wife opened the door, or if the teen was more than a few feet from the door when the shot was fired, or evidence suggests the teen was retreating before the presence of the firearm when the shot was fired the armed homeowner could be a world of legal trouble.
What we simply can’t understand is why the wife on the phone was between the armed husband and the door and the attempted home invader.
Folks, we hope that you are never in a position of having to defend yourselves against a home invader (fully-clothed or “otherwise”), but if you are, please make sure that the person with the firearm is between the threat and those he or she is trying to defend.
It seems like a “duh-huh” statement to make, but the wife was seriously injured by her husband in this incident as she somehow got in front of the muzzle as her husband discharged the shotgun.
We can probably logically assume that the wife was near the door in an attempt to see everything that was going on to give the 911 dispatcher the best available information on what she could see, but that isn’t necessary. What is necessary is that you establish as much of a cushion of space as you can from a potential threat, especially since police were already away of the generalities of the situation and were on the way.
Move everyone well behind the family member with the gun.
It seems so obvious, but the failure to do so clearly happened here, and a man shot his wife as well as the attempted home invader as a result.