A man in Hammond, Louisiana allegedly told police he’d taken drugs before getting the not-so-bright idea to invade a home this week; an action that ended with a trip to the hospital and a stay in the local jail.
According to authorities, 23-year-old Samael Raynaldo Maldonado-Lael forced his way inside the home by crawling through a window, only to be confronted by the homeowner after an altercation in the residence.
Once inside, Maldonado-Lael allegedly assaulted a guest in the residence and threatened to kill the victim and her family. During the fight, the homeowner shot Maldonado-Lael in the leg.
After being wounded, deputies say Maldonado-Lael removed all of his clothing, fled the residence, shattered the window of a nearby vehicle, and attempted to barricade himself inside.
Deputies reportedly removed Maldonado-Lael from the vehicle and took him to a nearby hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. He was later booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.
Maldonado-Lael is now facing a variety of charges, including home invasion, second-degree battery, vehicle burglary and resisting arrest. Ironically, the man doesn’t appear to be facing drug charges despite his alleged confession to detectives that he’d consumed some variety of illegal narcotics before committing the home invasion.
The armed citizen, meanwhile, isn’t facing any charges at the moment, and given the circumstances it’s doubtful that any are forthcoming. She was in her home, a place where she (but not Maldonado-Lael) had every right to be, and once the intruder began attacking someone in her home she had a reasonable belief that her life and the lives of everyone else in the residence were jeopardized by the intruder’s actions.
In fact, under Louisiana self-defense statutes the armed citizen was entitled to defend her home with deadly force as soon as the suspect tried to break in.
A. A homicide is justifiable:
… (4)(a) When committed by a person lawfully inside a dwelling, a place of business, or a motor vehicle as defined in R.S. 32:1(40) when the conflict began, against a person who is attempting to make an unlawful entry into the dwelling, place of business, or motor vehicle, or who has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, place of business, or motor vehicle, and the person committing the homicide reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the entry or to compel the intruder to leave the dwelling, place of business, or motor vehicle.
… For the purposes of this Section, there shall be a presumption that a person lawfully inside a dwelling, place of business, or motor vehicle held a reasonable belief that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent unlawful entry thereto, or to compel an unlawful intruder to leave the dwelling, place of business, or motor vehicle when the conflict began, if both of the following occur:
(1) The person against whom deadly force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering or had unlawfully and forcibly entered the dwelling, place of business, or motor vehicle.
(2) The person who used deadly force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry was occurring or had occurred.
C. A person who is not engaged in unlawful activity and who is in a place where he or she has a right to be shall have no duty to retreat before using deadly force as provided for in this Section, and may stand his or her ground and meet force with force.
If the incident unfolded as police have reported, the armed citizen was well within her rights to use deadly force to stop the violent incursion into her home and Maldonado-Lael is lucky to still be alive and able to answer the charges laid against him. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for any updates, but for now this appears t be a justified shooting and another example of why our right to keep and bear arms is of life-saving importance.