COLUMBUS, OH — An elderly retiree who lives alone was forced to defend himself against a man who police say kicked in his front door and tried to enter his home. The intruder, identified as 31-year-old Michael Rinehart, didn’t make it any further.
When police arrived, they found the suspect dead on the porch. They say the door had visible evidence of someone forcing their way in. They say the homeowner stopped him with a single shot.
“Somebody kicks in your door and they’re coming in your house, you don’t have to wait for them to come in your house,” said Columbus Police Sergeant Rich Weiner. “There’s a big difference if somebody’s outside and they’re 20, 30, 40 feet away and they’re not inside your residence- different story. But somebody is kicking in your door and they’re coming in, most people might consider that to be a threat and they can take action.”
A transcript of the 911 call is below, and you can listen to the call in the above video.
Homeowner: Some guy broke into my house, and I shot him.
911 Operator: Did it just happen?
911 Operator: Is he still there laying down or is he….
Homeowner: Yes, laying down.
911 Operator: Where is the gun now?
Homeowner: It’s in my hand.
The tone of the homeowner’s voice breaks my heart as he answers the 911 operator’s questions, but he was forced into a self-defense situation and acted accordingly.
As soon as someone enters your home uninvited, all bets are off. The homeowner is understandably shaken up after the incident and has asked not to be identified.