ST. PETERS, MISSOURI – A man used his firearm to ward off intruders who entered his apartment in the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 16th. St. Peters police received numerous 911 calls around 2:20 a.m., with the callers reporting hearing gunshots in the area of the Turnberry Apartments, located in the 100 block of Turnberry Place. The intended victim also called 911 to report that he had fired at people who had broken into his apartment.
The man, who occupied the apartment along with a woman and child, told responding officers that the intruders fled the scene in a dark-colored SUV or minivan. None of the victims were injured, and it is not known if any of the suspects were wounded or if anything was taken from the apartment during the incident.
According to Missouri law, the apartment dweller was justified in using his firearm to defend himself, others and his property from the intruders. Missouri has one of the strongest ‘castle doctrines’ in the United States, which allows citizens to utilize deadly force in many situations, with no duty to retreat.
Section 563.031 of Missouri’s Revised Statutes specifically authorizes Missouri’s citizens and homeowners to protect themselves from illegal invasions and intrusions into their homes and private property. This statute establishes three principles in Missouri law: (1) Missourians may defend themselves and others by using physical force—including the display of firearms—to deter the imminent use of unlawful force by another person; (2) Missourians may use deadly force against a person who unlawfully enters or attempts to unlawfully enter private property owned by another and threatens to use unlawful force against another; and (3) Missourians have no duty to retreat from their own residence or property when threatened by an unlawful intruder.