DANVILLE, VA — A 71-year-old man was shot in the arm following an exchange of gunfire with an intruder who barged into his home. According to the victim, he said he heard a knock at his door at 10:15 p.m. When he opened the door, the intruder pushed his way through, pointed a gun at him, and demanded he hand over money. The homeowner opted to open fire instead.
According to GoDanRiver.com, the elderly man was hit but the intruder fled after the fight. The homeowner was released following treatment for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.
It’s a good thing he was armed but a big mistake was made when he opened the door to a stranger. It’s an easy mistake that any of us could make. A lot of burglars tend to knock on a door first before barging in because it can let them know who’s home and their general disposition.
In this case, it also saves them the hassle of having to break down a door or crack open a window.
That’s not to say if you don’t answer the door, a burglar won’t proceed with a home invasion. After covering countless stories relating to intruders breaking and entering, it seems the knock on the door is just a perfunctory step in the process.
As a gun owner inside the home, this is an opportunity to take cover, barricade, and get your gun ready. If possible, get on the phone with 911 and get that ball rolling. Police, even in rural areas, can begin moving in your direction and that starts the stopwatch for the would-be intruders.
If the intruders decide to go ahead with the burglary despite no answer on your part, it’s to their own risk.
It’s a habit of a lot of people to assume the best about others. A knock on the door may be a relative or someone in need. To be perfectly honest, if someone intends to come over at a late hour, it would be preferable if he or she called first.
Calling out or inquiring who’s at the door only lets the bad guys know that someone is inside and that means they can prepare for a fight. It’s a delicate situation either way. That’s why I recommend getting at least one surveillance system set up over the doorways of the home. It may not cover every sector but it can at least let you know who’s at your door.
And, the second part is always true. Evade, barricade, communicate with police, and ready yourself for a fight if it comes to that.
Opening the door to a stranger is removing one layer of security you have that keeps bad guys out.
A lot of elderly folks live home alone or are taking care of their spouses. It’s a difficult position to be stuck in because help can be 5 to 30 minutes out and it’s anyone’s guess if the bad guys are willing to push for violence.
When you make that first call to police, you’re starting the countdown until they arrive. When they arrive — and they will eventually — make sure to identify yourself, identify that you’re armed, and definitely let them know if bad guys are in the home or believed to be around the property. This gives the police the best chance of figuring out the situation.
Glad to see this homeowner made it out of the situation alright and it’s a tragic thing that he had to take a hit while fighting for his life. It’s a sober reality for gun owners and everyday carriers alike.