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Irresponsible Gun Owner: Resident Shoots Through Back Door, Striking Suspected Burglar

ATLANTA, GEORGIA — An attempted robbery was taking place at an Atlanta home shortly before 9pm. The resident in the house heard noises coming from the back door. He took his gun with him to the check out the noise, and his suspicion was confirmed; someone was trying to break in.

According to a Gwinnett police report, the resident was in the bedroom of his home on Peachtree Street when he heard loud banging at his back door shortly before 9 p.m.

The man told officers he grabbed his gun and ran to the door before firing two or three shots. He heard a man screaming and opened the door to find the suspect, 38-year-old Ronald Reuben Hayes of Doraville, with a gunshot wound to the leg, authorities said.

The resident then locked his door, grabbed his cellphone and called 911, according to police.

Hayes was taken to the hospital but is expected to survive, Gwinnett police spokeswoman Cpl. Michele Pihera said. After he is released, he will be taken to the Gwinnett jail on a charge of first-degree burglary. 


The Breakdown:

The resident was hanging out in his bedroom just before 9pm. A sudden, loud banging noise could be heard coming from the back door. The resident acts quickly and retrieves his firearm. He checks out the noise and sees someone is trying to get inside.

The resident aims the gun at the door and fires two or three shots. Suddenly he hears screaming on the other side of the door. Concerned about the screaming, the resident opens the door to find a stranger on the ground with a gunshot wound.

The resident then slams the door shut and locks it. He runs to get his phone to call the police. He waits anxiously inside with his gun, listening to the man outside the door moaning in pain. Finally the police arrive and arrest the burglar. They send him to the hospital to have his wounds treated.

The Bad:

The fourth rule of gun safety is pretty clear. Identify your target, and know what is behind it. The armed resident absolutely ignored this rule. He could not see his target behind the door, nor did he have any idea what was behind the door. Shooting blindly through a door is usually a pretty terrible idea.

Firing your gun at a target you can’t see, or know what is nearby is never a good idea. Despite what some politicians might tell you, shooting blindly through a door is a terrible idea. Perhaps it might be OK as last resort home defensive situation when defending against a known home invader.

However, in this instance, the resident fired his weapon blindly through a closed door. Fortunately for him, only the attempted burglar was struck.

The Good:

We still have to give credit to the resident for owning a firearm to protect his home. Despite his poor decision to shoot through the door, had he not been armed, this story could have ended much differently.

Furthermore, after discharging the firearm and realizing he shot someone, the resident did the right thing by locking the door and calling the police. He had no idea how injured the burglar was, or if the burglar was also armed. Keeping the locked door between the two was the safest bet for both resident and burglar.

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