Man shoots himself after dreaming he was shooting burglar

Police Line / Police Tape" by Tony Webster is marked with CC BY 2.0 DEED.

We all dream.

Many of us don’t remember those dreams, but we have them. They’re often bizarre, though some are mundane and others are downright terrifying. Some even bring solace, like having dreams where my dearly departed parents appear.


But we also sometimes have dreams about things we’re concerned about happening. In a case like that, it’s probably a good idea not to shoot yourself like one Illinois man did.

A 62-year-old man is facing firearms charges in Illinois after authorities say he accidentally shot himself in the leg in his sleep —while dreaming that he was defending himself against an “intruder” in his home.

The man, identified as Mark Dicara of Lake Barrington, used a .357 Magnum revolver that he owned to fire the shot at around 9:50 p.m. on April 10, the Lake County government said in a news release issued on Tuesday. According to Lake County sheriff’s deputies, on the night of the incident Dicara dreamed someone was breaking into his home, and retrieved the gun to shoot at whomever he believed was the “intruder.”

But, when he fired the revolver, Dicara shot himself in the leg instead and woke from the dream, a subsequent investigation found. Authorities also confirmed during the probe that an attempted burglary did not happen at Dicara’s residence, and there was no intruder on his property.


The man didn’t have a valid FOID card, which is why he was charged.

However, that’s the only part of this that makes even the least bit of sense. I don’t like FOID card requirements, particularly for guns you already own, but I get that it’s the law there.

Everything else just sounds bizarre.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had vivid dreams before, including a few where I wake up and don’t realize it was a dream for a few seconds.

But I don’t really see how this happened.

Either the gun was actually in easy reach and there were no steps required to obtain it, thus making it easy to grab while still asleep, or this is something even stranger.

It doesn’t sound like the man was just confused and didn’t know the break-in was a dream. If so, he’d have shot the wall or something. Shooting himself in the leg with a revolver–presumably a double-action since those are more common, and thus less touchy on the trigger–sounds like he was, in fact, still well asleep. That’s what the above report says.


Look, folks, I’m not telling you to put your gun somewhere you can’t get to it if needed, but there needs to be at least enough action require to get it that you’re unlikely to do it while still asleep.

This guy is lucky he only shot himself. What amounts to a negligent discharge like that could well have injured or killed someone else. Don’t allow yourself to be in such a position.

That’s especially true if you’re not lawfully owning that firearm according to the current rules where you life. No, you shouldn’t have to have permission from the state to own a firearm, but if you don’t want to face charges, don’t be an idiot.

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