BUFFALO, NEW YORK — Rocks were thrown through a window of a man’s home, and he grabbed his shotgun and didn’t waste any time. Was it the right move?
Local media reports;
“I sent a warning shot out the hole they already put in the window,” said [Edward] Bald, 61. “I hit one of them; I didn’t know I actually hit him until I saw the blood in my backyard.”
Bald’s shot late Friday morning hit a 12-year-old boy who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to Buffalo Police.
The area is said to have been declining in recent years, and Bald had some issues with attempted break-ins in the past at the same residence.
After finding out that the person shot was a 12-year-old, Bald was surprised.
“If he is 12, he must have been born in a leap year or something,” said Bald, adding that he didn’t get a good look at the 12-year-old, who he said was wearing a dark hoodie. “I just got a glimpse of him.”
No charges have been filed as of Friday.
The incident brings up two very good points of discussion, the first of which is shooting at a target that you “didn’t get a good look at”. Knowing –actually knowing– your target is a pretty essential part of firing your gun in self-defense. The fact that Bald wasn’t sure of his target can be a bad sign.
The second point is the use of deadly force on someone who is not inside your home. While it’s not always practical to wait for the person to already breach your home, it’s important to show restraint if there isn’t an imminent threat perceived. Some may disagree, but here’s how I see myself handling a similar situation;
If I am home and a window is broken, I would position myself in a safe location while maintaining view of the broken window area. I would then call police to tell them what is happening, and I would wait –armed– until police arrived. I would not shoot out of the window and hope to hit the person responsible. If the person responsible came back and tried to enter the home, well, then all bets are off.
What about you? Do you agree with how I would have handled this, or do you side with the homeowner? Share your thoughts in the comments below.