Scottsdale az apt shooting

No Matter How Scared You Are, Don’t Shoot Through Your Front Door


SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA — A man who was staying with residents in an apartment complex drunkenly tried to open the door of the wrong apartment.  According to news sources at ABC 15, a woman was the resident of that apartment and thought he was trying to break in.  He continued to attempt to enter and she took out her handgun and shot through the door — hitting the man in the leg.  He was transported to a nearby hospital and treated for non-life threatening wounds and released.  No charges have been formally filed.

On the surface, this woman had all the reason in the world to suspect the worst.  Home alone, night time, apartment complex.  These are all things that drive a bolt of anxiety through nearly anyone.  However, this guy didn’t appear to fit the profile of a home invader — namely he was drunk as a skunk and confused about which apartment he was trying to enter.

Should he have maybe had enough discretion to realize he should stop when informed to do so?  Yes.

Should he have potentially faced deadly force if he continued to persist and force his way into the apartment?  That’s up to the occupant but yes.

Should the woman have shot through the doorway to hit him?  No.

And we’ve covered somewhat similar stories where the woman does the opposite — she goes outside to investigate or confront a stranger and ends up in a life-or-death struggle for survival.  We covered this.  When faced with a potential break-in, it’s always best to not go directly confront the home invader.  That said, when’s the proper time where the warning ends and deadly force begins?


In general, wait for the guy to clear the doorway first.  Why?  Because the basic tenets of firearm safety.

Specifically, don’t pull the trigger until you’re ready to fireKnow what is in front and directly behind your target.

It’s the right thing to do.  You need to clear your target prior to engaging.  This isn’t just best practices — it’s how you stay out of hot water.

It’s also how you avoid mistakenly shooting your significant other.

That said, we covered a story where the home invaders didn’t even wait to clear the doorway before opening fire and the homeowner returned fire through the door, hitting all three attackers.  That’s one of those rare one-in-a-million scenarios that we don’t normally weigh-in on because real-life conflicts rarely obey rules.

As law-abiding, responsible concealed carriers — we try.  It’s called being the good guys.  And while this woman had every right in the world to protect herself (and we’ll never say otherwise), it would have been prudent to at least ensure she knew who or what she was shooting at first.

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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  • Raptor Keeper

    Shooting through the door is like trying to guess a person’s weight over the phone.

  • Kyle Guthrie

    No doubt. She may have been terrified, but if that guy had died…he terror would have only just begun.

  • Greg George

    I go to that complex regularly. There is a guard at the entrance that has to let you in, and every building is access controlled. I understand the woman’s reaction, but given all of the conditions that had to be met for him to get to her door, I think she jumped the gun.

  • Just1Saddletramp

    This article is real good advice for the uninformed or novice. A real tragedy occurred in the same state a number of years ago. A member of a United States military force who had been deployed to another country for some time and had returned to the States thought he would surprise his father by showing up unannounced. His father shot through the door, killing the soldier.