A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Home Invasion Analysis

Now, the story......
Glenn Heights, TX-- An attempted break-in early Sunday morning led to a terrifying and unexpected wake up call for a woman in Glenn Heights. While four men failed to break into Carrie Shannon's home on Brentwood Street, their attempt was captured on surveillance video. Shannon was home alone when the men tried to kick in her door around 4:35 a.m.

"I immediately jumped up," she said of when she heard the loud kicking. After hearing the men, Shannon said she got out of bed and called police on her cell phone. "I grabbed my handgun and I proceeded right to the back, because as soon as I saw a shadow, I was going to go ahead and start shooting," she said.

After several kicks, the men gave up and took off. "I just want to be safe here in my own home," Shannon said. "That's it. That's all I want." Signs of the attempted home invasion were everywhere in the form of broken glass, damage to the door and a broken lock. Shannon's home security camera didn't miss a beat either. It even caught one of the men cutting the phone line. The video was turned over to police.

Two men were captured on video trying to kick in the home's door. "I hope you go to jail," she said of the suspects. "You need to leave people alone." Shannon said she believes the incident may be connected to a burglary that happened at her home nearly three weeks ago. In that case, four men stormed into her home through the front door. "[I'm] just a hard working woman trying to live, trying to support her son and trying to support herself and live a better life," she said.

In the first incident, the suspects stole at least $1,200. The Glenn Heights Police Department said they believe both cases may be connected.

By Monika Diaz / WFAA-TV
And finally, Xavier's Thoughts:

First, a home security system is an extremely worthwhile investment. Strong locks and doors can help keep criminals at bay. Unfortunately, windows break easily. I have to wonder what kept these door kicking imbeciles from breaking a window other than their own ignorance and Ms. Shannon's good fortune. The damage done to her home is infinitely preferable to years of civil litigation.

Next, in the video she displays an AR she purchased to supplement her handgun for home protection. I won't get into the AR vs AK vs shotgun application and suitability debate. There may be valid reasons for her choice beyond a gun counter commando selling a woman a tactical rifle. A .223 is a bad mojammy, that is true. I don't want to try to catch one fired from an AR. I still prefer a 12 gauge shotgun or two.......Or six. For what she paid for that AR, she could have purchased a home defense shotgun, a trunk load of ammunition, gotten a CCW and training. Even so, I'm happy she purchased a more effective life preserver for her home.

"I grabbed my handgun and I proceeded right to the back, because as soon as I saw a shadow, I was going to go ahead and start shooting," Shannon stated. Even though the men had been identified as criminals on video, shooting at shadows is foolhardy when armed with a weapon of limited capacity. Far better it is to identify your attacker and not waste ammunition shooting at shadows........Especially when there are four of them.

Finally, it does old Xavier's heart good to see a woman committed to her own defense. It does old Xavier proud to see a black woman committed to preserving her own life. If ever there was a segment of our population that could and should appreciate the value of armed self defense, it is black women in the United States. Good on you Ms. Shannon. Now get some training along with that rifle.

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Anonymous Joseph said...

I am very glad she is ok; but she may be luckier than she thinks. The cutting of the phone line and the timing of the attack (a time when a homeowner would certainly be home) leads me to believe that the thieves may have been after more than just money.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concerning your piece on the shotgun (good stuff by the way) is a heat shield really useful and in what conditions?


6:39 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Anon, even though I have a heat sheild on a couple of my shotguns, I consider them to be rather pointless in a self defense scenerio. They are handy if you are firing a lot and grab the barrel.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Perpster said...

I'm guessing she's never even shot that AR -- the tag is still hanging from the trigger guard and it (the tag) looks very clean. There wasn't a mag in it either, though that could go either way for being taped for TV.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen my share of crime videos before, but this one really sent chills up my spine.

I use a Ruger SP101 as my primary self defense weapon, and I've recently decided that five rounds is no longer enough to deal with this new breed of criminal.

The odds are slowly moving against bad guys, and they're trying to reverse that trend by practicing strength in numbers.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Mulliga said...

I think Ms. Shannon handled herself pretty well - she woke up, IDed the threat, called the cops, and armed herself. The 'shooting at shadows' part would normally be dangerous, but she has those night vision cameras so I think the spirit of Rule #4 isn't being violated.

As for the AR vs. shotgun debate, in this particular case, with four thugs trying to harm you, the AR can deliver follow-up shots with a lot less training required than a pump action. Hopefully, those gang members saw this news report and will think twice before threatening Ms. Shannon and her son again.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Ms. Shannon, by saying "Shooting at the shadows", she was probably just trying to express her feelings in a summarized way. I'm pretty sure she wasn't going to shoot at shadows, probably meant that she was very alert and ready to shoot.


11:21 PM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

Bless her, and may the perps be caught or put down at their next burglary attempt.

11:55 PM  
Blogger José Giganté said...

I dare say that if I owned a training facility nearby, I'd contact the local news channel to try and contact Ms Shannon to offer a free course on how to use her new AR15. I'd invite the news crew to come and tape it too.

But that's just me, I freely throw other people's money around.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Texas gun nut said...

I can only imagine the looks on the crooks' faces when they watch that video segment on t.v.
I bet they are reeeaaal glad they didn't come through that door!

As far as home defense, I agree that a pump shotgun would work well, at least against one intruder. With more than one BG to dispatch, I think the AR is well suited.

I tip my hat to Ms. Shannon. I do hope she decides to get some training with her nice EBR, though.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Perpster said...

I agree the "shoot at shadows" meant more than how it sounded. I think she meant that anything moving insider her house in the dark at the point was a known unfriendly and she'd be protecting herself from it/them.

I'm very proud of her taking responsibility for her safety. She has a pretty good setup and seems to be mentally prepared to use it legally. Good for her! Just too bad that she has to.

2:02 PM  
Blogger JR said...

I did contact the reporter and offer to spend some time going over the basics of AR operation with Ms. Shannon. The reporter, Monica Diaz, stated that she would pass on my offer.

I never heard back from Ms. Shannon.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xavier, thanks for the reply on the heat shields.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Mike Harbour said...


One thing that hasn't been addressed yet (perhaps because it's understood) is homes that have been burglarized before have a high likelihood to get hit again. As most of this audience probably knows, it's simple: the bad guys know your insurance (you hope) has given you money to buy new stuff.

While I don't think most folks could afford to relocate after being robbed at home, I do think the "replacement" funds could be used to make said home more secure. Of course, I'm not talking just dogs and alarms, but protection devices from Smith & Wesson, Mossberg, Colt, etc., plus training courses with such devices.

Mike Harbour
Helena, Montana

9:21 AM  
Blogger Weer'd Beard said...

I personally think a pistol carbine is ideal for recoil and noise sentive shooters, and of course for those "Bring a long gun" scenarios.

I wonder if these thugs knew she was home, or if they were just cutting the phonelines so the alarm wouldn't snitch on them.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Wadical said...

Other than sheer capacity, I cannot think of one good reason to have an AR as a primary, nor a secondary home defense weapon unless you live in a 6000 sq ft sprawl on a 40 acre ranch. Even then there are better choices. I agree with your assessment. In regards to home defense, 12ga is BOSS. I load #1 in my cheapo Winchester 1300 Speedpump (stored exactly the same condition as yours) and sleep soundly beside it. My .45 on my nightstand and my wife's 9mm on hers adds a little warmth to my bed.

I've not yet become suspicious enough of my neighborhood to "stash" guns but your method of concealing them would still allow the neighbors to visit without wondering if I'm going to start having Militia meetings at my house and your reasoning seems sound enough. Could I get to the bedroom fast enough if thugs kicked my door? Hmmmm... Perhaps I'll add another shotgun or two to the ole homestead.

BTW, you mentioned your spread pattern for 00. Is that your home load? If not, what do you load and why?

5:37 PM  
Blogger Wadical said...

That said, it would take a tough son of a bitch indeed to get past my 85lb Shepherd. Home security systems are expensive. So are dogs, but the expense is spread out.

Being a 9-1-1 dispatcher, I can tell you with 100% certainty that most monitoring companies are inept to say the least. Your alarm goes off, they call you first. That's stupid. If you can stop to answer the phone, you can dial 9-1-1 and at least then your address is immediately displayed. Are you really saving time or trouble by paying for a monitoring system? Valuable I guess if your not home and you're burglarized. But it probably won't help catch the crooks. Elapsed time, from activation to police arrival could easily top 6 minutes. Whatever shooting, raping, or stealing is to be done will be well underway by that time. But my dog....is always on guard and always on site. Not for everyone, I know. Just sayin'...it has its advantages.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous jed said...

That's the strangest AR I've ever seen. Not that I'm an expert on strange ARs, but I do browse the build/photo threads on arfcom. 1st, what's that wierd tube _above_ the handguard going back to the receiver rail? 2nd, at 2:13 in the video, it looks like that's a folding stock. So where's the buffer tube?

1:00 PM  
Anonymous jed said...

D'oh. It's a ZM LR-300, without a heat shield on the gas tube, looks like -- if that is in fact the gas tube.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Wadical said...

An "exposed" gas tube. Not very bright. Them little boogers get REEEAL hot!

8:00 PM  
Anonymous jed said...

My bad. According to arfcom, it's actually an Olympic Arms OA-93-CAR -- much better matchup on that pic.

7:43 PM  

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