When I had Nikki Goeser on Cam & Co a couple of weeks ago to talk about how people who are being stalked can protect themselves, she brought up orders of protection. While Nikki is all in favor of taking out an order of protection if necessary (in fact, she helped to spearhead Tennessee's lifetime order of protection and was the first to be granted one a few years ago), she is also well aware of the fact that these legal documents are merely pieces of paper, not a suit of armor, if someone chooses to violate them.
That's one reason why she also encourages victims of stalking to protect themselves with a firearm. As she recently wrote at our sister site Townhall:
For victims/survivors of violent crime out there, I highly recommend having a backup plan. I cannot stress this enough: “YOU are your own first responder.” Even the police know they cannot be anywhere and everywhere at any time. When seconds count, you may have to rely on yourself. It would help if you plan accordingly.
The criminal justice system is just a system. It is a flawed system that allows dangerous offenders back into society to re-offend. Recidivism is very real, and rehabilitation is not a given.
She's absolutely right, and proof of that was on display in Calhoun County, Alabama on Tuesday when a 47-year-old man was shot while trying to break into his ex-wife's home.
The caller identified her ex-husband – 47-year-old Scott Ingram of Munford – as the intruder.
Deputies arrived to find Ingram with numerous gunshot wounds. He was treated on the scene and then taken to a hospital.
His condition was not immediately known.
Wade said Ingram was shot when he tried to gain entry into the home.. The sheriff did not say who fired the shots.
The sheriff said Ingram has a substantial criminal history including four violations of protection from abuse orders, six arrests since 2022, and an active warrant issued hours before the shooting for violating a protection from abuse order.
Those past arrests and violations of previous protection orders clearly didn't dissuade Ingram from once again trying to get to his ex-wife, and I'm guessing he wasn't there to drop off cookies or bring her flowers, given that he had forcibly gained entry into her home when he was shot.
Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade hasn't said whether Ingram was armed with any type of weapon when he invaded the woman's home, but I don't think that really matters, from either a legal or practical perspective. There are countless domestic violence cases where people are injured or killed by someone using their hands as weapons, and whoever in the home shot Ingram had every reason to believe he had the intent and ability to do them harm.
I would never discourage anyone from taking out an order of protection if they have reason to believe that their life is in danger, but you simply can't rely on a piece of paper or the local police to be your only source of safety. Even when an order is violated, an arrest may not happen for hours, days, or even weeks later if authorities can't locate the suspect. And if an arrest is made, there's no guarantee that they won't quickly bond out of jail and carry out their previous threats.
In this case, it sounds like the victim did everything right. She took out the order of protection, she was in contact with police and reported violations, and she made sure that if her ex burst through her door there would at least be a chance to take him down before he could harm her or her daughter. As a result, she and her child were unharmed, while her ex was taken to the hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds. That's about as happy an ending as you can find in a terrible situation like the one that unfolded in Calhoun County on Tuesday, and a far better outcome than what would likely have been the case if she was unarmed when Ingram invaded her home.