A Phoenix, Arizona man is in custody after a brief stop at a local hospital for treatment of a non-life-threatening gunshot injury he sustained on Friday night while trying to break into a stranger’s home.
According to local police, the man was stopped by an armed citizen; in this case, a teen who was able to protect both his own life and the life of his mother by firing a shot at the would-be intruder.
Officers were called to the neighborhood at around 10 p.m. on Sept. 9 for a fight call and found 35-year-old Juan Saavedra, who had been shot.
Detectives say Saavedra was trying to force his way inside the property. He reportedly did not live there and had no connection to the home.
The 35-year-old man broke a window and was hitting a door when a woman and teen boy inside confronted him.
Eventually, the teen shot the suspect, leaving him with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police say witnesses and evidence at the scene helped support the teen’s story about the self-defense shooting.
Saavedra has since been released from the hospital and booked into jail. He’s being held on a $50K bond.
Incidents like this are one big reason why I’m not on board with firearm storage mandates; especially those that impose a one-size-fits-all requirement on keeping guns out of the reach of any minors in the home. No one wants to see kids shot or killed because they were able to access an unsecured firearm, but removing parents’ ability to decide for themselves when their child is old enough to have access in case of an emergency can lead to tragedies as well.
In this case, thankfully, the only person to suffer an injury was the suspected intruder, with both mom and son emerging unscathed from their encounter with the home invader.
Neighbors who spoke to local media applauded the teen for defending his family, with one nearby resident telling Fox 10 that they’re “happy that they had something to defend themselves,” adding “We would have done the same thing, so I feel good for them.”
The truth is that there’s no predetermined age when it’s suddenly appropriate for a minor to have access to a firearm in case of emergencies. That all depends on the education and training they’ve received, as well as the trust and comfort levels of the parents involved. If you don’t think your child is mature enough to handle that responsibility then you should absolutely take steps to ensure that they’re not able to get ahold of any of your firearms, but I know plenty of parents who’ve raised their kids to be safe and responsible with guns in the home, and have allowed them access when they believe it’s appropriate.
Thankfully Arizona doesn’t have any of those one-size-fits-all laws, though the state does hold parents civilly liable if their minor child “knowingly and without the company of a proper adult,” possesses firearms in publicly accessible places. That provision won’t come into play here, so the mom doesn’t have to worry about facing charges of her own for permitting her son to use a firearm to defend himself and his family; a decision that resulted in the suspected home invader in jail and a family safe from harm.