Masked home invaders pick wrong apartment in Erie, PA

Two armed and masked home invaders in Eric, PA kicked in the home of the wrong person.

One of two masked men shot while attempting a home invasion on Erie’s west side Monday night was pronounced dead at UPMC Hamot not long after the shooting, Erie Police Chief Randy Bowers said this afternoon.

The man, 18, was shot in the abdomen and twice in the legs by a resident of an apartment at 119 W. 21st St., Bowers said.

Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook identified the man as Devonte Duck, 18, of Erie.

Cook said the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the abdomen and ruled the shooting a homicide after Dr. Eric Vey, Erie County’s forensic pathologist, completed a five-hour autopsy of Duck this afternoon.

An accomplice, 26, was shot in the head and hip and is in stable condition at UPMC Hamot, Bowers said.

At least one of the men was armed, he said.

It’s believed that the two men kicked in the front door of the apartment and attempted to gain entry. Duck was found in a nearby yard. The 26-year-old man was found inside the apartment, Bowers said.


You’ll note that a long of the shots were low, in the abdomen, hips, and legs of the invaders. That is tied directly to human factors generally neglected in the design of most handguns (I’ve been doing a lot of reading on human factors research since I read the “lost” FLETC report).

While it is easy to train people to look at the front sight and press the trigger in a shooting class, 99% of classes don’t come close to replicating the stress of a real-life defensive scenario. Debriefings after real world shootings inform us that the majority of professionally-trained shooters revert to primal, instinctive point shooting, and never use their sights.

Try this little experiment: look at something across the room with both eyes open, and extend your shooting hand at your target. Now look down your arm.

If you’re like me, your wrist flexes so that the top of your hand  is almost flat and inline with your forearm. This is a natural physiological tendency. If you combine this natural tendency with high levels of stress and the grip angle of most handguns with the natural human tendency to crouch when threatened, you wind up with a situation where most shots end up firing at a downward angle from an already low position, hence lots of hits to the lower abdomen, hips, and legs.


Isn’t science cool?

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