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Homeowner Mistakenly Shoots Deputies Coming To The Rescue — Why It’s So Important To Clear Friend From Foe

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — A man who had just been robbed was shot and killed by South Carolina deputies as they raced into his home to assist him.  According to police reports, the man responsible for the armed robbery was captured.

The South Carolina Herald reported that the armed criminal had held the occupant at gunpoint and even fired a shot at him in his apartment before escaping and promptly taken into police custody.  Unfortunately, as deputies tried to enter the apartment to save the occupant, the occupant opened fire on a deputy — critically striking him in the head.  Law enforcement quickly returned fire, striking the victim in the leg where he later died, said the coroner to the South Carolina Herald.

“What was waiting on the other side of a door was a gunshot that could have killed a deputy,” Miller said. “There was no way to anticipate who was firing the shot.”

The deputy is expected to survive but will have a portion of his skull removed to alleviate swelling.  It’s not common for people to take a shot to the brain bucket and immediately get redeployed, so this guy is probably going to be on the sidelines for good.  The victim of the initial crime is dead.  And the criminal is captured but all the real harm that could be done had been done prior to all that.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the absolute worst case scenario for a law-abiding gun owner and law enforcement.  The only person who made it out of this situation well was the criminal — because at least he’s guaranteed three squares a day and will likely keep on living to a ripe old age.

This will be an unpopular verdict.  It really will.  The homeowner was an idiot and now he’s dead and a member of law enforcement is likely permanently disabled.  Guns and dumb don’t mix.  If you’re prone to losing your crap and opening fire on the first thing that comes through a doorway — and I don’t care how legitimately scared you are — you’re not going to make it.

Let’s go over the number of ways we can hope to not repeat this mistake:

1.) Keep your finger off the trigger until you intend to fire.

2.) Always identify your target before opening fire.

3.) Know what is in front of and directly behind your target.

Lastly: If you’re in your own home, keep your gun on you.  It takes very little effort, the risks are minimal, and if someone breaks down your door with a gun-in-hand, you can at least respond in kind.

This entire story should serve as a fantastic example to every concealed carrier out there about the importance of properly identifying targets before opening fire and keeping your firearm on you while home.

Should South Carolina deputies better identified themselves before busting through the door?  Who knows?!  But here’s a dim fact about the reality of the world we’re living in — if law enforcement are stacking up outside your doorway, they’re probably not going to be understanding if you open fire on them.  In fact, the odds are pretty heavily stacked against a homeowner if he opens fire on law enforcement charging in through the front door.  Is it right?  Is it just?  Probably not.  But superior fire-power tends to get the right-of-way in just about any contest of force-on-force.

We wrote a little article here if you’re curious about ways to avoid negative interactions in an active-shooter situation with equally scared, equally cautious, and likely better-armed law enforcement.

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