A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Shot in the Foot

"We get robbed here all the time, we're used to it living in this neighborhood," said a Houston homeowner who shot a burglar through his bedroom window on October 16, 2009.

"I shot him, but I shot him on his foot. I didn't want to shoot him in the chest or head or anything, he was five feet away from me, I could have shot him between the eyes but I didn't want to kill him," said the homeowner.

I'm not one for armchair quarterbacking a man who has been forced to defend himself, and I understand that in Texas, you can shoot to defend property, but there is so much to think about concerning this story...........

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OpenID reflectoscope said...

I reckon if you're going to shoot at someone, shoot to kill. If you want something that isn't meant to be lethal, hit him on the head with a baseball bat/taser/pepper spray/etc.


2:50 AM  
Blogger bdickens said...

"Well, that's good. I'm glad somebody took care of him," says the neighbor. Not even any hand wringing by the reporters. Gotta love Texas!

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is an akward thing. The homeowner appers not to have been in mortal fear, but by god, there has to be a penalty for theft. I think I would have gone with my dad's advice that property can be replaced, lives can't and just been a really good witness.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Phillip said...

Actually, if you think about it, he did follow the motto a lot of us use: "Shoot to stop." Massad Ayoob recommends aiming for the pelvic girdle, because the bad guy can't come get you if he can't walk.

A lot of us train to hit the chest because it's the most certain target. This guy felt he could hit the foot, and did. Stopped the guy, so he did what he wanted.

Anonymous, I live by a little different thinking. See, my stuff costs me time to attain. I have to trade my time to someone in the form of work in exchange for pay. I take that pay and buy my stuff. If someone goes to take my stuff, then they're trying to take away the piece of my life I gave up to get that stuff. If I let one person take my stuff, it sets a precedent, and other people will try to do it too. Then, I work so other people can steal my time and my life? I don't think so. Any attempts to take my property is to be met with as much return force as is necessary to repel the attack.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phillip, point taken. It is a valid position.

5:47 AM  
Blogger Spatchcock said...

One could make the argument that a tresspasser in the dead of night gave the homeowner a reason to fear for his own safety, and he took immediate action to eliminate the threat.

I don't see the use of force intended to be non-lethal diminishes the legitimacy of his fear. I also don't see that his statements have belittled those fears by saying as much.

Those are my thoughts. Well done on the homeowner's part.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Kristopher said...

Shoot at the center of what you can actually hit.

I would only shoot at a foot if that was the only thing I could see.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Feelgood said...

Perhaps not in Texas, but the next homeowner who defends himself or his property with a firearm may face the question, "Why didn't you shoot him in the foot?" And once that starts, "Why not just fire a warning shot into the ground?" or, "You should have just called the police." The line between shoot and don't shoot needs to be absolutely clear, for our own protection.

I'll armchair quarterback and say the guy did us all a disservice. Shoot center mass or don't shoot at all. Your handgun is deadly force, not scare-him-away-so-the-police-can-catch-him-later force. Use a paintball gun for the latter, if you must.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Greg Tag said...

A quick comment:

The felon was a burglar, in the process of committing burglary. In Texas, deadly force may be used to prevent the imminent commission of certain felony crimes, including aggravated burglary.

I disagree with the homeowners tactics, but cannot fault his morality. Mr. Burglar is blessedly fortunate to have encountered a merciful victim. He may have an opportunity to rethink his interest in stealing other folks stuff ( pieces of their lives, as Phillip, above, noted). In other circumstances and other households, he would more likely have been center-mass shot several times and that would be it. No opportunity for introspection or self-reform, no three year visit to TDCJ Cross-Bar Hotel.

I guess, as a final thought the truth of the the matter is this- each of us must decide for him or herself what they will endure. A citizen will either let the slugs dominate society, namely, they get to take our stuff, invade our space, ignore the civic social contract and take advantage of the law-abiding and hard working, OR - the citizen may fight back and refuse to be dominated, refuse to go along.

This isnt really about property, its about human dignity, and whether you , or I, or any citizen will allow a miscreant to unlawfully dictate to us what THEY will do with our persons or our property.

Greg Tag

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Shwiggie said...

The rationale of property not being worth killing over is fallacious from the perspective that home security isn't solely about preventing the spoiling of one's property. Far more valuable than the worth of my goods is being safe in and around my home. Otherwise, the argument can be made that, if I feel unthreatened enough to shoot the guy in the foot, was there really cause to shoot him in the first place?

Going by this principle, I'm not aiming to wound if I'm forced to shoot someone.

9:26 PM  
Anonymous 3Dogs said...

Now the home owner has to worry about retaliation from the suspect. Hope he gets a CHP soon, for he will have to be looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life.

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Orygunmike said...

While I don't have much sympathy for the fellow with the new hole in his foot, this was a "bad" shoot and a poor decision by the homeowner, and one that could land him in a ton of legal trouble.

He used lethal force without cause - the homeowner was not in immediate danger of grave bodily harm or death, nor was he protecting another person from same. He used lethal force (shooting someone is by default lethal force regardless of where you shoot the person) on a person trespasing on his front yard. The homeowner shot the man from WITHIN his home. Again, no danger to himself.

While in some states shooting a "burglar" inside your dwelling is justified, this man was NOT in the act of or comitting a burglary. He was trespassing and intending to comit a theft.

If I were the prosecutor in that town, I'd bring up some sort of charges on the homeowner.

2:25 PM  

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