Police tape

Homeowner Stays Armed In The House — Finds Knife-Wielding Man Inside And It Turns Out Great!


WILLMAR, MINNESOTA — A Willmar homeowner returned home to find a man wielding a knife in the middle of his living room.  Using his pistol, which he was licensed to carry, he held the suspect at gunpoint and called 911.  During the encounter, he allowed the suspect to leave after putting his buck knife down.  Police caught up to the suspect, 37-year-old by the name of Shane Fellers.  He was found inside a vehicle being operated by an unknown woman.  Both were taken into custody and, according to the West Central Tribune, Fellers was held on a $70,000 unconditional bail for first degree burglary and burglary with a dangerous weapon.  He also allegedly supplied the police officer with an incorrect name when he was initially apprehended — tacking on an additional misdemeanor.

All in all, coming home to find a man wielding a knife in your living room is certainly a strange way to end the day.  That said, it’s why concealed carriers can never let their guard down — even when they’re home sweet home.

While it was mighty curious why the homeowner decided to let the armed burglar leave, ultimately when you’re in your own defensive gun use situation — you have to make the rules that you can live by.  For this man, it appears ensuring the police were on their way and the suspect would be apprehended were good enough.  For others, they may have a different idea of how they want to end it.  One thing’s for certain, that homeowner won’t have to break out the seltzer water on his living room carpet — an ordeal no homeowner should have to face needlessly.


As for the suspect in custody, it’s become a weird occurrence where burglars target homes with little to no hard “reason”.  This is something that’s caught me off-guard a few times when reporting on these subjects because I’m constantly asking myself, “why did they choose here?  Why not somewhere else?”

The armed burglar, in this case, chose well in the sense that he wasn’t shot while caught red-handed holding a knife in another man’s living room.  So, in those terms, he did really well for himself.  However, his selection process for homes to burglarize may need some updating after he gets out of prison in the next decade.  Also, a 37-year-old man doing the burglaries is a bit of a surprise.  Aren’t you a bit old for this line of work?  Seeing spry 17, 18, 19-year-olds attempting this sort of behavior is perplexing enough but they’re just young enough to do something really idiotic once.  Almost hitting that 40-mark and doing that?  There’s some serious life considerations at play.

In either case, good job concealed carry homeowner and good job criminal for realizing you were dead-to-rights and not attempting to do something dumber than you had already done.

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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  • charlie baker

    Way back when I was a junior high school student, we were on mid-term exams schedules which caused me to be released a few hours early one day. I arrived home, and because of the early hour, assumed myself to be the only one there. I was wrong. I had just fixed myself a snack and settled in front of the TV, when I heard the sound of someone coming down the stairs from the bedrooms area. I looked up to see a stranger arriving at the bottom of the stairs. The guy looked at me, kind of waved, and said, “It’s okay, I’m leaving right now.” He then did exactly that. He left via the back door, walked the length of the driveway to the front sidewalk, turned left, and disappeared. Even now, after fifty some years I bet I could pick that guy out of a police line up. I was in absolute shock. To this day, wherever I happen to be residing, the first thing I do upon arriving home is search everyplace a person could possibly be concealed. Once I do that, I can relax…as long as I know the door is locked. You only need to have something like that happen to you once to know that you shouldn’t assume anything. Situational awareness applies even at home. Check the place out first before taking off the gun. You never know for sure until you look.

  • dawggg63

    I don’t know about MN, but in NC a handgun is for self-defense only. You cannot hold anybody at gunpoint and wait for the police.

    • Kevin Snyder

      I am not a lawyer, and your proposed action is probably the safest, but NC law may allow detention at gunpoint. See section C
      § 15A-404. Detention of offenders by private persons.
      (a) No Arrest; Detention Permitted. – No private person may arrest another person
      except as provided in G.S. 15A-405. A private person may detain another person as provided in
      this section.
      (b) When Detention Permitted. – A private person may detain another person when he
      has probable cause to believe that the person detained has committed in his presence:
      (1) A felony,
      (2) A breach of the peace,
      (3) A crime involving physical injury to another person, or
      (4) A crime involving theft or destruction of property.
      (c) Manner of Detention. – The detention must be in a reasonable manner considering
      the offense involved and the circumstances of the detention.
      (d) Period of Detention. – The detention may be no longer than the time required for the
      earliest of the following:
      (1) The determination that no offense has been committed.
      (2) Surrender of the person detained to a law-enforcement officer as provided in
      subsection (e).
      (e) Surrender to Officer. – A private person who detains another must immediately
      notify a law-enforcement officer and must, unless he releases the person earlier as required by
      subsection (d), surrender the person detained to the law-enforcement officer. (1973, c. 1286, s.

      • dawggg63

        I am also not a lawyer, but I was taught in my NC conceal carry class that use of a firearm is restricted to those instances where you perceive an imminent threat. Pointing a firearm at someone absent of that could be considered an assault by pointing firearm. The law on detention does not specify the method of detention.

        § 14-34. Assaulting by pointing gun.
        If any person shall point any gun or pistol at any person, either in fun or otherwise, whether such gun or pistol be loaded or not loaded, he shall be guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor.
        (1889, c. 527; Rev., s. 3622; C.S., s. 4216; 1969, c. 618, s. 2 1/2; 1993, c. 539, s. 17; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995, c. 507, s. 19.5(d).)

        • zealot

          Yes, you are definitely not a lawyer.

          A knife-wielding home intruder in your living room in most surely an ‘imminent threat’. Stop disseminating legal advice.

          • dawggg63

            Perhaps before you start with the passive-aggressive nonsense you should attempt to follow the conversation. Of course a knife-wielding intruder in your living room is an ‘imminent threat’. What is being discussed here is whether or not you can hold him at gunpoint after he has put down the knife; there appears to be conflicting laws in NC, and laws will differ by state. In some states you have a duty to retreat from that knife-wielding intruder even if he is presenting an imminent threat. I would hate to see someone wind up in trouble because they overstepped what is permissible in their state.

          • zealot

            NC has castle doctrine. You have no obligation to ‘retreat’. A knife-wielding intrude does not cease to be an imminent threat just because you’ve coerced him to put down his deadly weapon. No LEO, jury, grand-jury is going to indict a homeowner for detaining a home intruder – thats utterly ridiculous. Its obvious the law you quoted does not pertain to self-defense situations.

          • dawggg63

            I know that NC has a castle doctrine and I have no obligation to retreat… other states are different. If you are comfortable with your interpretation of the laws of your state, knock yourself out. The NC laws are ambiguous enough that my conceal carry instructor advises against it. The NC gun owners forum that I am a member of has addressed the issue with many different opinions The political winds in NC are such that in one county you may get a commendation and in another a court date, not to mention having to defend yourself from potential civil liability.

          • zealot

            Did you even read that thread with the law quoted in the second post?

            (b) When Detention Permitted. – A private person may detain another person when he has probable cause to believe that the person detained has committed in his presence:
            (1) A felony,
            (2) A breach of the peace,
            (3) A crime involving physical injury to another person, or
            (4) A crime involving theft or destruction of property.

          • zealot
          • Sig_Sauer

            If the knife holding intruder is dead, because you “feared for your life”, he can not contradict your statement. When the police arrive, your first statement should be “I was afraid for my life”.

            Here in Ohio, we have “castle doctrine” which applies to our homes and cars. There are no requirements to retreat, you are presumed innocent and most importantly, you can not be sued by the surviving family members.

    • Don Kenner

      That creates a perverse incentive. If I find a knife-wielding thug in my house, and I’m forbidden to hold him at gunpoint, my natural inclination is to put three bullets in the chest cavity. I can shoot him, but I can’t detain him? Interesting.

      • dawggg63

        As I understand the law, that is correct. The firearm is to defend yourself from a threat. Once the threat is gone, so is the legal use for the firearm.

        • Stan Robertson

          Not so. If he’s inside my home, and I can disarm him, so be it. But the keyword is INSIDE my home. He was NOT invited, and while he was disarmed, he still presented a threat.

  • Russ Hibbs

    he would remain a threat while in the home until the police came and took him away.he could possibly have a weapon hidden on his person…still a threat, i would say… glad i live in Texas.

  • Stanton Lore

    “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should” held true this time, and got me thinking. Would I have allowed the perpetrator to leave after disarming himself? You have to know this sort of thing ahead of time. You know, the law MAY allow me to shoot a man confronting me in my home with a knife, but the consequences of doing so are always traumatic to some extent. I think this man chose the best course of action. No doubt the perp thinks so.

  • Billca

    If I find a man in my home with a knife in hand I’m going to be awfully nervous if he fails to heed my commands. But for the sake of argument, let’s suppose said individual drops the knife, raises his hands to show they’re empty, then slowly walks to the door to leave. As long as he’s not coming closer to you his threat level is diminishing. If he elects to walk out the door there is no longer any threat to you. Likewise, if he drops the knife, sits on your sofa, puts his feet on the coffee table and flicks on the TV there is no immediate threat to you — as long as his hands stay away from his body.

    In any event, I recommend being alert, watching for an accomplice and once (or if) the subject turns his back on you, shift your position to avoid a sudden turn & attack.

    • Sig_Sauer

      Where we live, if someone is in your home, he has given up his right to life and liberty. You are correct, if he is leaving with your TV you can not use deadly force to stop him. My question, do I have the right to shoot my own TV?