RIDGEVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA — A lot to this story seems weird but we’re going to report it how the news decided to go: a 16-year-old teenager charged into a retired police officer’s house and the retiree shot him. He survived and made it to a nearby medical facility for treatment but now the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is involved because the event involved a retired officer.
A nearby neighbor explained to Live 5 News that he saw a mother urgently call to a teenager to come back to her home.
“She be like, come back, come back,” he said. “She just kept calling his name. I didn’t know what was going on, I thought it was just couples arguing, but when he got right here in this yard, something wasn’t right.”
The teenager persisted and still entered the other man’s home at approximately 7 a.m. After a little while, gunshots erupted from inside the home.
“About a minute, thirty seconds after he went in the yard, POW!” said the neighbor. “[The woman] starts screaming, why you shoot, why you shoot? He [was] like, he’s in my yard, he’s in my house.”
The retired police officer was clearly in the right. The teenager had no legal reason to be inside that man’s home and he interpreted it as a threat — either of burglary or life — and used deadly force to protect himself.
Boom. Open. Closed. Done.
The weird part about this case is that the woman made such a visible show to try to bring this teenager back to safety. She knew he was going to commit a crime or do something exceptionally irrational and tried to do the right thing to save his life.
According to the neighbor cited in the interview, everyone in the area knew the homeowner was a retired police officer and that’s almost a guarantee he both has a gun and knows how to use it.
So, for this woman, there seemed to be little doubt in her mind that if that teenager barged into that retiree’s home at 7 a.m., he was going to get shot.
Her abilities at prediction are so good, I’d place them right up there with a fortune teller’s. However, who knows what the heck the teenage thought. Maybe he thought he could punk a police officer. Maybe he thought that he could jump in real quick, steal something, and be gone. It doesn’t matter. Police knew he was in the wrong. Neighbors knew he was in the wrong. And the homeowner certainly knew he was in the wrong.
He was shot but not killed. I’m not going to speak for the officer or pretend he had any control over the level of force he exercised in defending his household but I wouldn’t be surprised if the man knew the teenager was an idiot and decided to save his life. Certainly, I’m sure his local ombudsman probably advised him to tell officers that he felt his life was in grave danger and exercised an appropriate level of force in response to the threat.
Whatever fits in the headlines.
In any case, the teenager lived and the officer lived. I couldn’t ask for a better conclusion given the events leading up to it. Homeowners, carry a gun nearby. You never know when the neighborhood idiot decides this morning is the morning he feels lucky.