Pennsylvania armed citizen shoots, wounds two home invaders

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Authorities in Northampton County, Pennsylvania say an armed resident was able to fight back when four intruders broke into his home early Thursday morning, wounding two of the men and sending the other two scampering away in the pre-dawn darkness.

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It was just yesterday that a U.S. District Judge in Washington, D.C. upheld that city’s ban on “large capacity” magazines, claiming that it’s virtually unheard of for gun owners to need more than ten rounds in a self-defense situation and ignoring incidents like this where a single gun owner must defend themselves against multiple attackers.

Suspect Michael Matas, 29, suffered seven gunshot wounds to the back and was initially taken to St. Luke’s Hospital-Warren Campus in Phillipsburg, N.J., before being taken to a hospital in Pennsylvania, officials said. He was listed in critical but stable condition and was awaiting arraignment as of Thursday afternoon, according to Houck’s office.

Matas is expected to survive, the DA’s office said.

Additional suspects Millito Delgado, 45, and 23-year-old Francis Ferrando were each arraigned and sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $500,000 bail each, according to Houck’s office.

Ferrando was shot once in a leg in the incident, the DA’s office said. Houck said his office is investigating how both wounded suspects made it to hospitals.

A fourth suspect, 29-year-old Anthony Santiago, remained at large, the news release states. There was no danger seen to the general public, Houck said.

“Don’t approach this guy, leave it to the police,” Houck told lehighvalleylive.com.

Each suspect faces three counts of robbery-attempt serious bodily injury, two counts of possession of an instrument of crime, simple assault and related charges. Houck said the investigation is continuing and charges may be changed or added.

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Houck didn’t say anything about the resident of the home facing any charges so presumably authorities are viewing this as a case of self-defense, though they haven’t said if the home invaders knew the victim or if they were targeting that particular residence.

This incident is a direct refutation of U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras opinion that a “large capacity” magazine is most suited for military use and are rarely if ever used in self-defense, which the judge maintains means LCMs fall outside the scope of the Second Amendment’s protection. We don’t know for sure if the homeowner was using an LCM on Thursday, but if four guys are breaking into my home in the middle of the night, I want to protect my family with overwhelming force and ten rounds isn’t gonna cut it.

Thankfully none of the three individuals who were lawfully inside the home when the intruders broke in were injured in their encounter with the four home invaders, and it looks like the wounded suspects will recover and face a judge in the future. Whether or not the criminal justice system will deliver any additional consequences for their home invasion remains to be seen, but if nothing else their run-in with an armed citizen should be a transformational moment for the four men.

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