MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD — A man may well be charged after he decided to open fire on three young men — two juveniles and one adult — who broke into his car in the middle of the night.
Only one of the thieves was wounded, but the vehicle owner was made to surrender his handgun to police. Although that’s not an uncommon occurance with any defensive shooting, whether this shooting was justified is very much in doubt.
As NBC 4 reports:
Officers investigating a report of a theft from a vehicle in the 14000 block of Twig Road in Silver Spring about 3:20 a.m. were flagged down by a man who lives on Rossiter Court. He told police he confronted three people breaking into his car and fired several shots at them… An 18-year-old man with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his lower body was taken to a hospital, police said.
Officers determined he was one of the suspects shot at by the Rossiter Court resident. Officers also arrested two male juveniles who are charged, police said.
“Those two juveniles have been charged with theft-related offenses,” Montgomery County Police Officer Rick Goodale said. “The adult has not been charged. Those are still pending.”
The 18-year-old man hasn’t been charged because he is still hospitalized. The man who fired at the suspects surrendered his handgun to police.
“He fired multiple rounds at these suspects for breaking into cars, and you have to be accountable for all of those rounds,” Goodale said. “One of those rounds could have gone through a house and hit an innocent party.”
He has not been charged with a crime. That remains under investigation.
It borders upon ridiculous how often it needs to be clarified — very, very rarely will authorities back you if you shoot someone for breaking into your car if that’s all they do.
If your car is occupied or after confronting the thieves they escalate the situation, it’s another story. Think of it this way — having your car broken into is at the very least a massive inconvenience, and at the very most a costly theft.
It’s an outrage that such a thing could happen to you — I’ve certainly had my car broken into before — but their doing so doesn’t constitute a threat to your life or the loves of others in and of itself.
Be smart and play it safe, folks. The last thing on God’s earth I want to do is write a story about how you wound up in jail because someone decided to charge you for pulling the trigger under murky circumstances.
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