One of the few things that defensive shotgun expert Steve Fisher of Sentinel Concepts considers as a “must have” on a defensive shotgun is a white light. The vast majority of the time the “bump in the night” that sets your heart racing and makes you reach for a firearm turns out to be someone who is supposed to be in the home. You must be able to clearly identify your target and distinguish friend from foe, and occasionally determine if someone else may be wandering into your field of fire.

Police say a resident accidentally shot his roommate during a home invasion at an apartment building near downtown early Thursday.

According to the Houston Police Department, it happened just before 5 a.m. Thursday at the Home Wood Apartment Homes, located in the 2500 block of Webster near St. Charles.

At that time, two unknown males kicked in the door to an apartment unit and entered the unit. There were two males asleep inside the apartment were woken up by the intrusion.

One of the two residents grabbed his shot gun and went to the living room, at the same time his roommate was heading to the living room from his bedroom.

When the resident with the shot gun saw the suspects in the dark, he shot at them. However, his roommate was crossing at the same time, and he ended up shooting his roommate in the side.

I’m going to guess that if the man with shotgun brought up with weapon and flashed a weapon light it would have accomplished three things in a fraction of a second.

  1. It would have surprised, disoriented, and probably frozen the criminals in their tracks as they were temporarily blinded.
  2. The light’s flash would have had the same effect on the roommate, causing him to immediate arrest his forward movement and perhaps keep him from stepping into the room.
  3.  The shooter would have been able to hopefully react in time to discern “friend from foe” and either re-aim his weapon towards the right people before shooting, or if he had no safe shot, held his fire entirely.

You have a responsibility as a gun owner to discern your targets and what is beyond them. Unfortunately, the shooter’s roommate is now in the local hospital because of a combination of unfortunate factors.

Let’s hope that he fully recovered from his injuries, and that the two criminals who broke into the apartment are apprehended.