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Armed Homeowner Stops Burglar Right In His Tracks


via Tribune Star

Sheriff Greg Ewing told the Tribune-Star that the break-ins all occurred in the early morning hours, the time when most people are asleep in bed and vulnerable to attack.

“He is the most dangerous type of burglar,” Ewing said of Smith. “He was one foot, but stashing all the stuff he took, at a time when most people are home.”

While many stories here on Concealed Nation end with a citizen acting valiantly or putting an end to a criminal pursuit, this one turns weird as we encounter the story of Devon Smith.  This 21 year old was living with his mother when he began to peddle the wares of his early morning burglaries.

It wasn’t until he reached his third home where he encountered an armed homeowner.  The homeowner apparently directed the pistol at him and discharged but did not strike the target.  Devon waited for police.

What the homeowner was able to do was identify Smith for authorities to apprehend and Smith then confessed to both that attempted burglary and countless other things.

In this story, it’s an open and shut case about a string of burglaries involving a young man and lots of open garage doors.  However, the bigger of the issues is the man who finally apprehended Smith.  One round discharged during an altercation?  Firearm safety.  What’s up with that?

Firearm Safety Always Applies

via Tribune Star

The story also involves an armed homeowner holding an intruder while police were called  — before a tussle led to the homeowner’s gun discharging, without injury. 

Who’s to critique the actions that occurred during the purported altercation that took place between Smith and that final homeowner?  He’s obviously defending himself and effectively enough to survive.  The discharge of a round that didn’t go into target isn’t something abnormal but – unless it’s a mansion – distance to target is next to nothing.


There is no such animal as a warning shot.

The principles of firearm safety outline some very basic rules that all ought adhere to – because they make sense and keep the right people alive.

  1. Every weapon is loaded until you prove it isn’t.
  2. Do not point your weapon at anything you’re not willing to shoot.
  3. Finger clear and off the trigger until you’re ready to fire.
  4. Know what is in front of and behind your target.

If Smith is in the world of the living, it’s because he tried to burglarize the right armed homeowner.  That householder may have had reservations about shooting Smith.  And that’s perfectly reasonable.  However, if you’re not willing to use a gun and apply those four basic safety rules – you’re putting your life in your hands.

Would Smith have been so generous if the shoe was on the other foot?

More importantly, is this a great time to learn about why we don’t do warning shots?

Apparently, the story gets more complex as the homeowner attempted to hold Smith until police arrived.

Detective John Newman of the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department arrested 21-year-old Devon L. Smith, who told police that he got into an altercation with the armed homeowner, resulting in the handgun being fired without anyone being injured.

This news story runs two pages long precisely because Smith admitted to a whole bunch all at once.  He admitted to the burglaries, the altercation with the homeowner, and countless other smaller charges.

Perhaps it was the homeowner showing some degree of mercy and perhaps it was just simple human behavior when dealing with a boy that you don’t want to shoot.  In either case, it appears Smith is in the process of going through an expedited court case and that homeowner hopefully learned a bit more about securing his home.

Would you spare a burglar if he broke into your home in the early morning?  Tell us about it in the comments section below.

About James England | View all posts by James England

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry…

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 36 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his CZ-75D PCR in an Alien Gear MOD holster.

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