HAWTHORNE, CALIFORNIA — A 90-year-old man had the first reason in his life to use his .38 spc revolver when an unknown intruder entered his home and attempted to sleep in a vacant bedroom in his house. As the Daily Breeze describes it, the home owner awoke to find the man in the vacant bedroom.
via the Daily Breeze
“I went directly into my wife’s bedroom to see if she was all right,” Chadwick said. “She was OK, asleep. I walked into another back bedroom that we have that’s vacant, and there was an individual lying on a twin bed in there.”
The man had left what was described as soggy sneakers by the door and police suspect the culprit may have been drinking. Both the homeowner and police speculate that the man may have been homeless and drunk and stumbled into the house in an attempt to find shelter for the evening. The manner in which he attempted to do this, though, illegally entering a person’s home, is something that jeopardizes the lives of everyone under that roof. Once discovered, the homeowner had to employ his handgun to defend himself and his wife. The gun owner held the suspect at gun point until police arrived — though, apparently the home invader needed some motivating to stay civil.
via the Daily Breeze
“He sat up on the end of the bed and he moved toward me,” Chadwick said. “I said, ‘Don’t move, I’m going to fire.’ So I fired into the wall just to let him know the gun was loaded. He sat back.”
Normally, we boo-hoo the practice of firing warning shots. It’s a practice concealed carriers are taught in training and is generally carried over — only point a firearm at something you intend to shoot and, specifically at a human only if you feel that human is a threat. The person in that home at 3 am obviously poised some manner of perceived threat to warrant a gun (there’s a person in your house, what else do you do?). However, I’m not going to be the one to tell a 90-year-old man using his .38 spc revolver for the first time in his life that his actions are wrong. What’s the point? The situation was resolved without the loss of life and that, in of itself, is something to be admired.
“A human life is worth too much to just go shooting someone,” Chadwick said. “That’s what went through my mind. He might be one of the homeless near Costco. He left a pair of shoes in my bedroom and they were all wet. So it could be very possible he was homeless and came in to sleep. The police officer said he could have been drinking.”
The reason we generally don’t advocate firing warning shots, though, is one based in cold reality. It’s impossible to know specifically the intentions and capabilities of a stranger entering your home without your permission. As such, it only makes sense to treat him with caution and ensure he cannot pose a threat. If he’s too drunk or stupid to realize the situation, that is ultimately more his problem than yours.
All in all, this is a situation that worked out. We should never assume that. And according to the police report, the intruder got in through an unsecured patio door — meaning there’s more than just an uneasy night’s rest that was at stake. Secure your home and keep your handgun nearby — you never know who’s trying to come in the door.