West Virginia Woman Shoots, Kills Attacker In Self-Defense

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Deputies in Lewis County, West Virginia say a woman who was being choked to death was able to get her hands on her pistol and shot her attacker; saving her life but ending his.

The incident was first reported on Sunday evening, but actually took place on June 19th, when both deputies and troopers with the West Virginia State Police were called out to a home for a report of a shooting.

On arrival, they found a man lying on the ground outside the residence with a single gunshot wound.

The man found dead has been identified as 47-year-old John Frame.

Deputies said Frame attacked the victim by striking her in the back of the head and then kicking her while on the ground.

The press release reads, “Mr. Frame then began choking the female while stating to her that he was going to kill her.”

It goes on to state, “The female was able to draw a small handgun from her pocket shooting Frame one time in the chest.”

According to the release, Frame released his hands from her neck and fell to the ground. The victim then called 911 and attempted to render aid deputies said.

Sheriff’s officials say the investigation is still underway, but unless physical evidence portrays a far different story than what the victim told police, this is going to end up being ruled a justifiable homicide. Deadly force is reasonable, after all, when someone has their hands around your neck and his promising to kill you.

Meanwhile, police in Yakima, Washington say that a homeowner who shot and killed an intruder last Thursday will not be facing any charges.

According to police, the 34-year-old arrived home about 7:45 p.m. at the Almost Sunshine RV Park on East N Street with his girlfriend and their six children — all between 7 and 14 years old — and found a stranger inside.

“The daughter went into her bedroom and found that there was a man in her bedroom,” Capt. Jay Seely said.

The mother grabbed her children, took them outside and called 911. She reportedly told dispatchers her boyfriend had grabbed a pistol and went to confront the burglar

Seely said while on the call, dispatchers could hear yelling in the background, followed by gunshots. Arriving officers found the family outside and uninjured; inside, they found a man dead with multiple gunshot wounds to the chest.

“We do know that he forced his way into their house,” Seely said. “He pushed an air conditioning unit out of the bedroom window and climbed into the bedroom.”

According to authorities, the man inside the home was actually a neighbor of the family. Seely says the homeowners had spoken with 38-year old Joe Mendoza, but had no reason to believe that he would target their home.

“The neighbors are saying, ‘Yeah, he’s kinda odd, he’s looking in people’s windows and we don’t let our kids go out when he’s out,’” Seely said. “But there was never any indication he was going to go burglarize somebody’s home.”

So, neighbors didn’t let their kids play outside when Mendoza was around, and he was found inside a young girl’s bedroom closet after illegally making entry into the home? Yeah, I’m not convinced that this was going to end with a simple burglary had Mendoza not been confronted by the armed homeowner.

These armed citizen stories are a reminder that sometimes the threats we face don’t come from strangers, but from individuals we’ve interacted with in the past. I’m glad that both the woman in West Virginia and the dad in Yakima, Washington were able to protect themselves and (and in the Yakima case, his family as well), and I hope that if nothing else their stories will serve as a reminder that crime can happen to any of us, and we should be prepared and ready to defend ourselves if, God forbid, we ever find ourselves in similar situations.