A 69-year old woman in the Cleveland suburb of North Olmstead, Ohio defended herself and her husband after an intruder broke into their home and began assaulting the 72-year old man on Sunday evening. According to authorities, the suspect who was shot and killed wasn’t known to the couple, and it’s unclear why 21-year old Keyarra Tomkins targeted the home and the residents inside.
The thought of this being a random act sent chills down the spine of neighbor Tatyana Wargo.
“I had goosebumps all over my body,” Wargo told 19 News.
The terrifying ordeal happened just feet from Wargo’s home, prompting her to take new precautions.
She has a Ring doorbell at her front door, but says it wasn’t active when the intruder struck her neighbor’s home.
Wargo told 19 News on Monday she planned to reactivate her subscription with Ring right away.
“I was going to do it last night, but we didn’t because we were decorating and I’m doing it today,” she said.
No offense to Wargo, but a Ring doorbell isn’t going to save your life if an intruder gains entry to your home. Security cameras serve their purpose, but they’re not self-defense tools.
This case is a little odd because of the fact that it was a young woman who targeted the couple’s home and assaulted one of the occupants. So far police say they haven’t determined why Tomkins was in the neighborhood or what led her to target the couple’s home, but they do say that they don’t expect to file any charges against the 69-year old who protected her husband.
“They don’t know who this girl is, where she came from,” Detective Sgt. Dan Barrett said. “We’re checking with neighbors, nobody knows her.”
This marks one of the first cases in Northeast Ohio after the legislature’s new “Stand Your Ground” law went into effect this past April.
The law expands where the castle doctrine applies, and how it’s handled in the courts. In the past, the defense had to prove self-defense. Now, it’s up to the state to prove it was not self-defense.
“[This case is] more of castle law,” Barrett added. “Being in your own house and forcing your way in. They protected themselves, and they believed they were being threatened and they took action.”
The incident is just one of several break-ins and home invasions around the country that were thwarted by armed citizens in a 24-hour period. A homeowner in Hollis, Oklahoma allegedly shot and killed a man who was trying to break in through a window on Sunday morning, and that same evening an Atlanta man was forced to defend himself after an attempted home invasion.
The man who was shot was transported to a hospital for treatment. The man who shot him was at the home and told police that the man who he shot had kicked in his door and confronted him.
He said that he was unsure of the intruder’s intent and shot him.
Investigators contact the Fulton County District Attorney’s office and presented elements of the case. At this time, no charges are pending.
We’ll keep our eyes open for any new developments in these cases, none of which have received much attention beyond local news reports. Despite the national media’s disinterest in defensive gun uses, stories like these take place every day around the United States, and they’re often big news locally. In fact, with violent crime on the rise in many cities, I expect that the armed citizens highlighted above may have prompted friends and neighbors to go beyond a Ring doorbell subscription and purchase a firearm for their own protection and peace of mind.