What happens when one armed burglar meets two armed homeowners?

Image by stevepb from Pixabay

In this case, it’s not a trick question, and the burglary attempt ended up exactly as you’d expect.

The local sheriff in McDonald County, Missouri reports that deputies were dispatched to a home near the unincorporated community of Tiff City on Wednesday on a report of a reported burglary, and learned when they arrived that the homeowners had to contend with an armed intruder.


“Arriving deputies made contact with the homeowners who had come home to find a man inside the home,” Sheriff Rob Evenson said Wednesday. “The homeowners entered the house to find a man barricaded in a room. The burglar fired a shot at the homeowners from a handgun [and] the homeowners, who were both armed with handguns, returned fire, striking the burglar with a gunshot in each thigh.”

The sheriff said the homeowners then disarmed the suspect, who was later identified as 62-year-old James F. Garrett of Seneca, and held him until deputies arrived.

In a post to the department’s Facebook page, Evenson detailed the charges that Garrett is currently facing, including burglary, assault, and armed criminal action. The sheriff says the homeowners were both uninjured in their encounter with the armed man, adding that detectives “do not anticipate any charges being filed against the homeowners.”

It’s unknown at this point whether Garrett was familiar with the homeowners and chose their residence for a specific reason or if they were just random targets for a break-in, but either way he had no business being in the house, and certainly had no right to fire a shot at them when they discovered his intrusion.


According to local media accounts, it appears the intruder may have armed himself once he’d gained entry to the home and started rooting around.

According to Sheriff Rob Evenson, a resident, along with his grandfather, came back to his house around 9:30 AM to find an unknown vehicle in his own driveway. After entering the dwelling, the homeowner discovered a man barricaded inside his bathroom.

The suspect allegedly fired one shot through the bathroom door with a revolver supposedly belonging to the homeowner. The homeowner then returned three shots with his own handgun, striking the suspect in both thighs with two of the shots.

That report indicates that just one of the homeowners fired back at the intruder, but the sheriff department’s account on social media references both homeowners returning fire. I’m not sure why there’s a discrepancy, but I’ll go with the sheriff’s semi-official account on Facebook, at least in terms of the number of armed citizens who shot back at the intruder.

We often think about armed break-ins happening late at night, but the truth is that they can happen anytime a burglar believes they have the opportunity to make a quick entry and a clean getaway. In this case it was broad daylight, but the intruder probably spotted the empty driveway and thought he’d be long gone by the time the homeowners returned. That was a big mistake on his part, and he should be thanking his lucky stars that he’s still alive after his escalating series of terrible decisions led to him being shot in self-defense by his intended victims.


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