Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Gainesville, Missouri

From the December 30, 2003 Jefferson City News Tribune:
A coroner's jury decided that a man was justified in shooting and killing a couple who threatened him at his home near Thornfield last month, and the Ozark County prosecutor said he will not file charges.

Merl Cantwell, 40, and his wife, Tammy, 32, of Isabella, were killed on Nov. 9 by Boyd Merriman. Investigators said the Cantwells had accused Merriman of shooting their dog.

The six jurors agreed unanimously that Merriman acted in self-defense.

Dr. Keith Norton, the pathologist who performed the autopsies, said Merl Cantwell's blood-alcohol concentration was almost twice the legal limit on the night that he died. Norton also said that the Cantwells had "lethal quantities" of the antidepressant Prozac in their bodies.

Jurors also listened to threatening messages that Merl Cantwell left on Merriman's answering machine. They deliberated a little more than an hour before returning their verdict.
High Point, North Carolina

From the Greensboro News-Record of December 30, 2003

Property owner shoots burglar

After a struggle, a man shot an intruder who broke into a High Point business he was watching early Monday, sending the burglar to the hospital, police said.

Police identified the injured man as Terry Wayne Combs, 42, of 109 E. Peachtree Drive. He was charged with two counts of felony breaking and entering and one count of felony larceny after receiving treatment at High Point Regional Hospital, police said.

The shooter, Ernest Galloway, 77, suffered scrapes and soreness but was not hospitalized.

According to police, someone broke into Oak View Auto Service at 312 Old Winston Road about 11:20 p.m. Sunday, stole snacks and cash and left before police arrived.

Galloway, who owns the property, decided to watch the business overnight for its owner because several broken doors and windows left the shop open to passersby, he said Monday.

When a man entered about 4 a.m., Galloway confronted him with a .32-caliber rifle, and the two struggled before Galloway regained control of the weapon. At some point, Galloway shot the man in the midsection when the burglar moved toward him again. Police responded shortly after and found both men across the street from the business.

High Point police Detective Ron Meinecke said the District Attorney’s office will decide whether any charges should be filed against Galloway.

Wilmette, Illinois

From the Chicago Tribune of December 31, 2003

(Requires Registration)

Wilmette man shoots intruder in his home

Hours after an intruder used the dog door of a Wilmette home to steal a set of keys and a BMW sports-utility vehicle, the homeowner shot a man he confronted inside the house, authorities said Tuesday.

After being hit twice Monday, the suspect plunged through a front window of the home and escaped, but he was caught a short time later when he drove the stolen SUV to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston seeking treatment for his wounds, police said.

Morio Billings, 31, of the 2100 block of South Trumbull Avenue in Chicago, was charged Tuesday night with two counts of felony residential burglary and one count of felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle, said John Gorman, spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney's office.

Billings, who was shot in the left shoulder and left calf, remained hospitalized after surgery, Gorman said. His condition was described as non-life-threatening.

Billings was shot by Hale DeMar, 54, who was home in the 0-99 block of Linden Avenue with his wife and two children when Billings used a key to enter the house, authorities said.

Police would not say whether Billings is suspected in the first burglary when the keys were stolen from DeMar's house. That incident occurred between 11 p.m. Sunday and 3 a.m. Monday.

"At this point our hearts go out to the residents that suffered this trauma," said Wilmette police spokesman Roger Ockrim.


DeMar is barred from owning a handgun by village ordinance. Ockrim did not know whether DeMar would be charged with any violations.

But he said, "The primary issue is someone has been burglarized and someone has been shot." Ockrim described DeMar as "understandably upset."

Police said they will investigate whether the shooting was in self-defense. The state statute dealing with such shootings is open to interpretation, said police and officials with the state's attorney's office.

"There's the letter of the law and the flavor of the law," Ockrim said. "You can't make a blanket statement until you've conducted an investigation."


Wilmette Village Trustee Beth Lambrecht predicted the firearms ban will be discussed at a future Village Board meeting, either to reconsider the ban or to remind the public of it.

She said using a gun to chase off a burglar is "very risky."

Another trustee said he didn't think the incident would lead to a change in the handgun ban.

"It wouldn't from my viewpoint," said Trustee James Griffith. "But I'm glad the guy had a gun."

UPDATE ( "Wilmette police say a homeowner who shot an intruder during a break-in will not be charged with violating the affluent Chicago suburb's handgun ban."

The authorities' collective positions on their handgun ban, and this homeowner's actions is the quintessence of incoherence.

FURTHER UPDATE (Chicago Tribune): "A Wilmette homeowner who shot and wounded an intruder was charged today with violating the north suburb's ordinance banning handgun ownership."

"If convicted, Hale DeMar, 54, faces a fine of up to $750."


"DeMar also is accused of failing to renew his Illinois Firearm Ownership Identification card when it expired in 1988, a Class A misdemeanor."

"Violation of the firearm registration law carries penalties of up to one year in jail, a $2,500 fine or court supervision or probation."

Perhaps someday Chicago will join the rest of the country.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Columbia, South Carolina

From the Columbia The State of December 30, 2003

Man shot by store manager, official says

A man found dead on the side of Bluff Road was shot after a confrontation with a store manager who accused him of shoplifting, officials said.

Wyman Lee Williams, 44, of 1123 Abbott Road, was shot in the chest at Rickenbacker’s Party Shop on Bluff Road early Sunday, said Richland County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Joseph Pellicci. He gave this account of the incident:

Williams went to the store and tried to steal a pack of beer when the 66-year-old clerk confronted him. Williams threw the beer cans at the clerk and beat him while customers looked on. Williams started to leave but then slammed the man to the ground. When he attempted to beat the clerk again, the clerk fired a round, hitting Williams, who then left. The clerk then called the sheriff’s department.

Williams’ body was found about a half mile from the store, but no one knows whether he walked there or someone gave him a ride and dropped him off, Pellicci said.

No charges have been filed against the clerk, whose name has not been released.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Tulsa, Oklahoma

From Tulsa's of December 29, 2003

Tulsa man shot during carjacking incident

An investigation is underway into a carjacking that's left a Tulsa man hospitalized.

Tulsa Police found Dave Torres lying in the driveway of a Tulsa residence Sunday. He was shot once in the lower abdomen, when he caught someone stealing his truck.

Torres told police he managed to fire several shots at the suspect, but doesn't know if he hit him.

Torres wounds are not life threatening.
Brooklyn, New York

From the New York Daily News of December 29, 2003

B'klyn man kills intruder

A Brooklyn man shot dead a would-be robber who had burst into his first-floor Flatbush apartment last night, police said.

"I just shot somebody," the man said in a call to 911, police said.

The 29-year-old intruder, identified by his girlfriend as Fisher Canton, was gunned down about 6:45 p.m. inside the rear bedroom of the apartment on E. 18th St., near Newkirk Ave., police said.

Police were questioning the apartment resident, who was not identified, and trying to determine if his weapon was registered.

They also were sorting out whether Canton, who was shot in the face, was armed or just pretending to carry a weapon.


Third-floor tenant David Colling, 54, defended his neighbor's actions.

"It could have happened to me," Colling said. "I guess he did the right thing."

Building resident Harry Bell, 30, a maintenance worker, said his apartment was broken into about a year ago and thieves stole about $2,000 worth of jewelry.

"I guess you got to do what you got to do to protect yourself," he said.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Kansas City, Missouri

Brief but clear news report from KCTV, Channel 5 in Kansas City, December 25, 2003:
At about 6 a.m. Thursday, armed robbers hit the Grand Slam Liquors on Sixth Street in Kansas City.

The clerk fired some shots at the robbers, but police officers didn't think anyone was hit.
However, this Kansas City Star articles the following days (here and here) don't seem to mention the shots fired.

Thanks to Wince and Nod for the links.
New Orleans, Louisiana

From Baton Rouge's of December 28, 2003

Man Killed During Attempted Robbery

(New Orleans-AP) -- New Orleans police say a man washing his clothes at a coin-operated laundry on Saturday was killed when two masked armed robbers held up the business and the owner shot back.

The two gunmen, both wearing ski masks, entered the "Washateria 7" at about 8:00 a.m. and demanded money from the 58-year-old laundry owner and a 70-year-old woman cashier. Police say the owner got his pistol and shot several shots at the armed robbers.

Police say Garry Hayes, who was 42, was at the laundry washing his clothes and was shot and collapsed on the sidewalk. Police say no charges have been filed against the owner. Police say the two suspects remain at large and face murder and robbery charges.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Leesville, Louisiana

From Lake Charles' of December 26, 2003

Botched Robbery Leaves Suspect Dead

Police are investigating an attempted armed robbery of a business that left one suspect dead and the business owner wounded.

Leesville police say four men entered a business on Third Street at about 6 p.m. on Tuesday to rob the owner.

One of the suspects was killed in the ensuing gun battle and the business owner was injured and taken to Byrd Hospital where he was treated and released.

The names of the people involved were not released pending notification of the family of the fatally shot suspect.

Police Chief Bobby Hickman says one of the suspects was arrested and booked on a charge of armed robbery.

The two other suspects remained on the loose.

Muskegon, Michigan

From Grand Rapids' of December 26, 2003

Muskegon man who shot intruder won't be charged

A Muskegon man who shot someone as he broke through his front door early Saturday will not be charged. That's according to a member of the Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office.

The man who was shot, 20-year-old Demario Leroy Brown, is listed in fair condition at the hospital.

The shooters' home had been broken into three times before the latest incident and the shooting. Three other people have been charged in the break-in.

The man who was shot has not yet been charged.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Bradenton, Florida

Just about every incident we've listed was an upstanding citizen. Here's one that at first glance is apparently not--but he was still in the right to use deadly force. From the December 21, 2003 Bradenton, Florida Herald:
About 11 p.m., police said, Richard Bing Jr., 35, forced his way into the house at 519 21st Ave. W.

Inside the home, Bing put a gun to a female resident's head, the woman told police.

Instead of robbing her, police said, Bing was shot to death.

Ronald Cote, who owns the house according to the Manatee County Property Appraisers database, came into the room and shot Bing, killing him instantly, police said. Cote lives at the house with his mother, police said.

Lt. Keith Davis, head of the Bradenton Police Department's Detective Division, said no charges were filed Saturday and that the shooting appeared justified because it was a home invasion.

"It appears the homeowner was protecting his property and his house, and he was in fear," Davis said. "It'll have to be ruled on by the State Attorney's Office."
Okay so far. But the news report goes on to explain that Cote isn't quite the person we would hope for:
Cars are constantly coming and going to Ronald Cote's house, neighbors say. But there was a deadly difference late Friday night.


But neighbors scoffed at the term "home invasion," saying they are convinced the traffic at the house is drug dealers.

Detective Michael Skoumal said more than one gun was found in the home, but he would not elaborate on whether Bing held a gun. None of the occupants in the house was injured.

No other information was available on the dead man. Skoumal said detectives are investigating whether more people were involved in the attempted robbery.

Neighbors said they heard three gunshots Friday night, then saw a person run from Cote's home.

"It sounded like someone took a shovel and hit the side of a metal shed," neighbor Frank Van Horn said. He said he then watched as a man ran from the house yelling, "Get in the truck, get in the truck, he's dead!"

A woman, who would not identify herself but said she was Cote's mother, answered the door at the house Saturday. The woman, who said Bing was holding a gun to her head, said Cote saved her life.

"A 23-year-old shouldn't have to kill somebody," the woman said.

Police said they interviewed Cote's mother and that her account of the home invasion appeared to check out.

Bing has a criminal history dating to 1988, according to the Manatee County Circuit Court database. He has been convicted of selling cocaine, domestic battery and aggravated battery.
Cote also has a criminal conviction as a juvenile, and you get the distinct impression that Bing tried to rip off a drug dealer--and lost.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Mobile, Alabama

From the Mobile Register of December 20, 2003

Bystanders assist police in two arrests

Bystanders helped Mobile police make arrests in the recent armed robbery of one restaurant and the attempted theft of a cash register at another restaurant where a person armed with a semiautomatic pistol stopped the would-be thief.

Roy Pope, a soft-spoken computer programmer and restaurant owner, whipped out his .22-caliber pistol Dec. 11 and made a "citizen's arrest" when a man tried to steal a cash register at a Subway restaurant on Dauphin Street downtown.

"Personally, I feel like I did what needed to be done," the 37-year-old man said Thursday. "We need more people out there to protect the neighborhood. If we had more people who do that, downtown Mobile would be a much better place."


Mobile police arrested Jacques Jamal James on Nov. 22 shortly after a man armed with a pistol first robbed a Shell gasoline service station in the 3300 block of Spring Hill Avenue and then a Pizza Hut in the 4300 block of Old Shell Road five minutes later.

James, 20, of Mobile was charged with two counts of first-degree robbery and possession of a controlled substance, Gallichant said.

Workers at the Pizza Hut said a man entered the business, demanded money at gunpoint, then fired a shot inside the restaurant, Gallichant said. No one was injured.

An unidentified person trailed the robber until police arrived and made an arrest, the police spokesman said. Workers at the Pizza Hut declined comment.

Macon, Georgia

From the Macon Telegraph of December 19, 2003

Store clerk shoots, kills would-be robber

Uzair Khan looked at the end of a pistol and thought his life was over Wednesday night.

It was just like the story he'd read in the newspaper hours earlier about a fatal armed robbery - except this time it was his store.

Khan was closing up Dani's Food Mart on Williamson Road in Macon shortly before midnight when Melvin Dugger, 17, walked in waving a gun and demanding money.

Although Khan quickly handed over the cash drawer, Dugger refused to leave.

"I begged him not to shoot me," Khan said. "But he was looking around, looking around. He wouldn't leave."

Those were the last seconds of an armed robbery that seemed like an eternity to Khan. Before it was over, Dugger would be dead, and Khan would be thankful for pulling out his weapon.

"I prayed every day that I never had to kill nobody," Khan, 33, said. "I never wanted to do anything like that."

Macon Police Lt. Jimmy Barbee said Thursday that Khan will not face any charges in the shooting, and the store video appears to show that he acted in self-defense.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Naples, Florida

From the Naples Daily News of December 18, 2003

Police: Man caught in the act of robbery

One man held a gun.

The other man held a cigarette.

And this time, it was the smoker who was arrested.

Daniel Albert Neja, 22, of 571 Third Ave. N., Naples, faces burglary and grand theft charges in connection with a home burglary in Golden Gate on Tuesday afternoon, authorities say.

His captor, Michael Furlani, foiled the burglary at his home and held Neja for Collier County sheriff's deputies.

Deputies' reports give this account:

At 2:49 p.m., deputies were called to a burglary in the 3500 block of 27th Avenue Southwest.

Furlani had come home from work to find Neja leaving his garage, the automatic garage door closing behind him.

Furlani said he didn't recognize the man or the cream-colored Infiniti in the driveway. It was parked close to the house, so it couldn't easily be seen from the road.

Furlani called the Sheriff's Office and held Neja at gunpoint.

When deputies arrived, Furlani was in the driveway, pointing a gun at Neja, who was smoking a cigarette. Furlani put his gun down when the deputies arrived.

Deputies then arrested Neja and took him to a patrol car. On the way, he admitted to stealing a DVD player and a television.

Furlani told deputies that Neja pleaded with him, saying he was sorry and that he didn't want to go to jail. He said Neja first said he was a friend of the family, but he couldn't provide any names. Furlani said Neja was acting irrationally and at one point reached into his car to get a cigarette while they waited.

Deputies found a television and DVD player covered with a sweatshirt in the back of Neja's car. A drill and the garage door opener also had been stolen. The stolen items were valued at $470, deputies say.

Deputies say Neja broke in through a rear bedroom window.

The reason for the break-in, according to Neja: He had a drug problem and had just moved from Virginia to live with his father.
Clinton, Mississippi

From the Jackson Clarion Ledger of December 20, 2003

Homeowner shoots man in leg during attempted break-in

A suspected auto burglar was shot early Friday morning by a Clinton homeowner awakened when he heard the man pillaging through his truck, police said.

Clinton Police Chief Don Byington said Harold Mitchell Jr., 50, of 2606 Hillside Drive, Clinton, suffered superficial wounds to his leg about 4:45 a.m. Friday. The homeowner fired a warning shot into the air before firing at Mitchell, he said.

The resident, who Byington would not name, shot Mitchell twice with a 9 mm handgun at 235 Saddlewood Drive, Byington said.

Mitchell was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he was treated and returned to police custody, Byington said. Mitchell has an extensive criminal history dating to 1971, Byington said, with charges ranging from house burglary to strong arm robbery to cocaine possession.

"It makes you wonder why he was out of jail," Byington said.

Mitchell was charged with auto burglary and was being held by authorities without bond, Byington said.

No charges were filed against the man who shot Mitchell, Byington said. The case will be presented to a Hinds County grand jury, he said.

Friday, December 19, 2003

St. Stephen, South Carolina

From Columbia's of December 19, 2003

Coroner: wounded St. Stephen liquor store robber kills self in parking lot

The Berkeley County coroner says a masked gunman, who was wounded when he tried to rob a liquor store in St. Stephen, killed himself.

Coroner Glenn Rhoad says Claude Gunnells was opening the store Thursday morning, when a man with a mask and a gun entered the store.

Rhoad says 18-year-old Charles J. Williams, Junior, of Alvin demanded money. The coroner says the men exchanged gunfire and Williams was hit in the neck as he ran out of the store. Rhoad says while Gunnels was calling police, he heard a shot in the parking lot.

The coroner says Williams shot himself in the head with his own gun. He says Williams never lost control of his own gun and it was in his hand when police arrived.

Prosecutor Blair Jennings says he's waiting for police to finish their investigation before deciding if charges will be filed.

Shelby, North Carolina

From the Charlotte Observer of December 19, 2003 (Requires Registration)

Murder charges are dropped against daughter

Cleveland County prosecutors Thursday dropped a murder charge against Kimberly Dawkins, 22, who was accused of shooting her father to death Tuesday at their Grover home.

The decision was made after authorities were told Dawkins' father, Donald, made sexual advances toward her that night and physically assaulted her and her mentally challenged young son, said Assistant District Attorney Rick Shaffer.

Capt. Bobby Steen of the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office said the assault was corroborated by Kimberly Dawkins' mother, Francine Dawkins. He said the mother told police she overheard an altercation between her husband and daughter that night during a phone call to Kimberly Dawkins.

Shaffer said Kimberly Dawkins was pregnant and trying to protect her unborn child when she shot her father in self-defense. That also prompted the district attorney to drop the murder charge, he said.

Police said Kimberly Dawkins called 911 Tuesday night and said she had shot her father once at their home. He died from a single chest wound.

Donald Dawkins, 50, had a long criminal history, including charges for murder, possession of cocaine, driving while impaired and assaulting his wife and daughter. In 1994, he was charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon after police said he stabbed one man to death and wounded another. However, the district attorney dropped the charges because officers involved in the case "were no longer available," according to court records.

Kimberly Dawkins was released from Cleveland County Detention Center on Thursday morning.

[What a creep. Better late than never. -- Clayton]
Fort Myers, Florida

From the Fort Myers News-Press of December 19, 2003

Motel robber gets life sentence

A Fort Myers man convicted Oct. 2 of breaking into a nun’s motel room and robbing her at gunpoint will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Ernest Major — who was also involved in a motel robbery that ended in a deadly shootout — was sentenced Wednesday by Lee Circuit Judge Lynn Gerald Jr.

Major, 23, was convicted of home-invasion robbery for forcing his way into the hotel room of Sister Carol Andrew, who is an episcopal nun and priest at a convent in Augusta, Ga.

Sister Carol was staying at a Motel 6 in North Fort Myers and visiting relatives in Southwest Florida on Aug. 11, 2002, when Major knocked on her door, forced his way into the room and robbed her.

The heist was one of a string of motel robberies in the summer of 2002 that ended on Aug. 24 with a shootout at a Howard Johnson Express in North Fort Myers.

The shootout left Major’s alleged accomplice, Phillip C. “New Wave” Nelson, dead. Major fled with several bullet wounds but was arrested a few hours later.


The robbery at the Howard Johnson Express went awry when motel guest Steven D. Robey pulled a pistol from under his pillow and began shooting at Nelson and Major.

Nelson collapsed and died at the scene.

Yucca Valley, CA

From Palm Springs' of December 18, 2003

Police say Yucca Valley man killed in self-defense

One man is dead tonight and investigators are saying the man who shot him did so in self-defense.

Police say a man went into 22-year-old Andrew Gasper's apartment in Yucca Valley and took a handgun, saying he was going to go shoot someone who lived in the same complex.

The man fired off four rounds before Gasper came after him with a shotgun. Police say the suspect then pointed the handgun at Gasper. Gasper repeatedly told him to drop the gun, but he kept it pointing at him.

Police say Gasper then fired once, killing the man. Investigators say Gasper acted in self defense. The case will be reviewed by the district attorney.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From the Philadelphia Inquirer of December 18, 2003

Attempted robbery of N. Phila. jeweler leaves 2 wounded

An exchange of gunfire inside a North Philadelphia jewelry store yesterday left the 58-year-old owner and a suspected robber wounded, police said.

According to detectives, the bullets started flying shortly before 9:45 a.m. inside Rush Jewelers, in the 2700 block of Germantown Avenue.

The owner, Alex Patlakh, was alone in the store, which sits along a busy strip near Lehigh Avenue, when two men motioned from outside that they wanted to be admitted, detectives said.

Police Inspector William Colarulo said Patlakh pushed a buzzer button that unlocked the front door and the pair came in. While Patlakh was showing jewelry to them, one of the two pulled a gun, Colarulo said.

"It appears that a fierce struggle ensued and gunshots were fired by both the victim and at least one of the perpetrators," said Colarulo, the Police Department's spokesman.

Patlakh suffered a graze wound of the head and two bullet injuries around his shoulder, police said. One robber was shot in the torso and one arm. The second man escaped.

When officers arrived on the scene, they spotted the wounded robber on his hands and knees in the store doorway, trying to get rid of blood-soaked money in his pocket, Colarulo said. On the floor also was a revolver believed to be owned by Patlakh and a 9mm semiautomatic pistol that police believe one robber shot Patlakh with.

"The store was in a shambles," Colarulo said. "We don't believe anything was taken."

Both the owner and the wounded robber were taken to Temple University Hospital. Police said Patlakh was in fair condition. The suspected robber, Anthony Alston, 44, was listed in critical condition. He was under guard and faces charges including attempted murder, robbery and related offenses, police said. Investigators last night were searching for his accomplice.

Yesterday was not the first time the Patlakh family has experienced business-related violence, officials said.

On Sept. 18, 1999, Patlakh's son, Brogdan, 24, was shot to death execution style during a robbery in his jewelry store in the 1700 block of East Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia, police said.

The younger Patlakh was an expectant father who lived with his wife of two years in Northeast Philadelphia. He had owned the store for about two years. Police said four men participated in the holdup. One of those men, Quincy Burgess, 24, was killed in a shoot-out with city police in North Philadelphia less than a month later.

Montgomery, Alabama

From the Montgomery Advertiser of December 18, 2003

Suspected robber shot by store owner

Edna Reese, owner of Reese's Grocery at 3088 Gaston Ave., shot a robbery suspect in the back Tuesday after he robbed Reese's about 1:50 p.m., city police Lt. Huey Thornton said.

Courtney Curry, 17, of 403 N. Union Circle, was treated at Baptist Medical Center South, a report indicated. He will be charged with robbery.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

South Bend, Indiana

Okay, this shooting happened in May 2000--but the shooter was charged, and has now been found innocent. From the December 12, 2003 South Bend Tribune:
A St. Joseph Superior Court jury decided Thursday that a former strip club bouncer acted in self-defense in May 2000 when he fired his gun at a man he had just fought with.

The jury of six men and six women began deliberating about 1:15 p.m. and reached a verdict about six hours later.

Robert Wigginton, 38, of South Bend, was acquitted of charges of voluntary manslaughter, aggravated battery and two counts of attempted battery.

The former Kitty Kat Lounge bouncer is accused of shooting 24-year-old Shawn Beesley of Taylor, Mich., in the back, after a fight. Beesley was then run over by a truck driven by one of his companions that night.

The incident occurred early May 16, 2000, after Wigginton had been in a fight with the three men in a parking lot behind the bar at 1315 S. Michigan St.

Wigginton and his lawyer, Thomas Keller, maintained he fired his gun in self-defense after the three men had beaten him

Wigginton was also accused of attempting to harm Beesley's friends when he fired shots at their truck. The men were not wounded.
This is not going to win any awards for cleanest use of a gun in self-defense. It is a reminder that incidents that may be initially reported to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports program as a murder or non-negligent manslaughter turn into self-defense at trial.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Detroit, Michigan

From WDIV's of December 10, 2003

Homeowner Allegedly Kills Suspected Robber

A suspected robber was killed after reportedly trying to break into a home on Detroit's east side Wednesday morning.

The owner of the home located in the 3700 block of St. Clair Street allegedly shot the suspected robber, Local 4 learned.

The suspected robber ran out of the home, across neighboring lawns and tried to hide between two cars, the station reported. The homeowner went up to the man and shot him in the face, Local 4 reported. The suspected robber was taken to a hospital, but was pronounced dead. The homeowner was taken into police custody for questioning. Prosecutors will determine if charges will be filed. The homeowner said three men tried to break into his house, and two other men were seen running down the street, according to witnesses. The homeowner said someone tried to break into his house last week, too, according to neighbor Bertha Lindsey. Police continue to investigate.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Phoenix, Arizona

From the December 11, 2003 Arizona Republic:
Jorge Portillo said he didn't have a choice.

He and his father chased a man from Portillo's home, hoping to stop him for police and get back a stolen drill. But when the suspect tried to run them off the road and then pointed a gun out the window at them, Portillo said he had to do something he never thought he'd do: shoot at someone.

"My life was threatened at the time. I had to protect myself and my dad," the 24-year-old said Wednesday.

"I wasn't going to wait for him to shoot first."

Justin Russey, 22, was hit by at least one bullet and lost control of the pickup truck he was driving, rolling the vehicle onto its side and sliding into a fence. He died at the scene.

"I feel bad, especially when you see his face," Portillo said. "Over a drill. I'm sorry."

Phoenix police say the shooting was self-defense and they will not seek charges.

Russey had a string of arrests since 1999, for shoplifting, burglary, theft, forgery and drug possession.

The truck he was driving was stolen and contained loot from another burglary, police said. A gun also was found.

"People are fed up with thieves and burglars ripping them off," Detective Tony Morales said. "They happened to catch this guy in the act, and they did what they thought was right. . . . I don't fault them at all for that."

Portillo said he wanted to stop Russey because he felt police otherwise would not be able to find him.

Still, he said, if he had to do it again, he wouldn't chase Russey. Not for a drill.

"I got real mixed emotions right now," Portillo said. "I took somebody's life."
But let me emphasize--not over a drill. Because Russey was prepared to kill Portillo--over a drill.
Brooklyn, New York

From the New York Post, December 12, 2003:
The Brooklyn pet shop owner who blew away two would-be robbers said yesterday he regrets the bloody killing.

"I'm very sad that that even happened," Ivan Blume said yesterday at his Stillwell Avenue pet shop - the scene of Tuesday's mayhem.

Blume told cops he disarmed Michael Live and then shot him and his accomplice, Hector Perez, who was trying to tie up a store employee with duct tape.

Police have been unable to connect the .38-caliber revolver Blume used with either of the robbers.

Blume is legally off the hook for the shooting, the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office said.

"We will not be presenting the case to a grand jury," said Jerry Schmetterer, DA Charles Hynes' spokesman.
Blume said exactly the right thing, both morally, and pragmatically.

It is always a tragedy when a criminal forces a victim into a situation of having to kill the bad guy. Even being completely in the right can create serious psychological problems for the killer.

It is also pragmatically a good idea to say this. I think you can be sure that the next-of-kin of the criminals will be suing Mr. Blume.
Chicago, Illinois

From the Chicago Tribune of December 12, 2003 (Requires registration)

Would-be robber killed in restaurant shooting

A robbery attempt turned deadly Thursday night after a man entered a South Side restaurant and exchanged gunfire with the owner, killing the would-be robber and critically wounding the owner, police said.

The shooting in the 8200 block of South Stony Island Avenue occurred across the street from a market where a security guard was killed Wednesday night, said Capt. Richard Johnson of the South Chicago District.

The would-be robber was holding two guns as he entered the restaurant at 8:40 p.m., at which point the owner pulled out a gun and they exchanged shots, Johnson said. The would-be robber died after leaving the store, Johnson said. The owner, who was shot twice in the chest, was in critical condition at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn..
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From the Philadelphia Inquirer of December 12, 2003

Robber and victim engage in Queen Village shoot-out

A gunman who got into a shoot-out with a deliveryman yesterday during a robbery outside a Queen Village grocery might be part of a gang suspected in a series of violent night-time attacks.


Yesterday's robbery occurred about noon outside the OK Food Market at Fifth and Carpenter Streets. John Smith, 25, and Luis Perez, 24, were completing a delivery when Smith was confronted by a gunman who demanded his money, police said.

At that point, Perez, who has a permit to carry a pistol, got out of the vehicle and drew his weapon, Biello said. "There was a short standoff" that ended when Perez told the robber to take the money and leave, Biello said. "He [Perez] didn't want to be in a gunfight, basically."

The gunman took the envelope, which contained $1,500 to $4,000, from Smith, raised his weapon to Smith's head, and then fired at Perez, who responded.

Perez "fired two shots at the individual," Biello said. "It's believed the individual may have been hit in the arm, because he kind of flinched."

Police were checking area hospitals last night for anyone with a bullet wound. Neither deliveryman was wounded.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Little Rock, Arkansas

From Yahoo - News of December 10, 2003

Pastor Ends Rampage by Gunning Down Suspect

(Reuters) - A 64-year-old minister shot a man dead on church grounds after the assailant attacked him and his son-in-law with a poker amid a string of assaults in an apparent drug-induced frenzy, police said on Wednesday.

The attacks on the minister and the five other people began on Tuesday when Corey Adams, 30, was denied the use of a telephone in the office of a low-income housing project.

In quick succession, Adams is suspected of striking and robbing an acquaintance standing nearby. He then attacked the apartment manager, an exterminator and an insurance agent, Henry Vance, 54, who was critically injured and still hospitalized, police said.

The Rev. Arthur Ford, one of six people attacked, got a handgun from his living quarters at the inner-city church where he is pastor and fatally shot Adams, police said.

Adams entered Ford's residence at The House of Prayer of the Apostolic Faith, took a poker from the fireplace and began beating the minister, and then the clergyman's son-in-law. Ford escaped the melee long enough to find the handgun and fired several shots at Adams, who collapsed outside the church and later died in hospital.

A police spokesman said that it appeared to him that Ford's use of deadly force was justified, although a final decision would be made by the local prosecuting attorney.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Bellevue, Washington

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer of December 10, 2003

Man shoots, kills dog that charged at family

A man gunned down a pit bull Monday after he said is charged to within a foot of him and his family. The man's family had been repeatedly menaced by the dog, Bellevue police Officer Michael Chiu said.

The shooting occurred in the 1600 block of 171st Avenue Northeast about 6 p.m., after the man's wife and child tried to leave their house and were hemmed in by the dog in the driveway.

When the animal approached them at their vehicle, the mother told her child not to move and used her cell phone to call her husband in the house. They then got inside their van.

The husband came out and the dog charged him. The man jumped in his pickup and retrieved his handgun, Chiu said. The man left the pickup and approached his wife's van. The family had tried to return to the house when the dog charged back at them from across the street.

That's when the man shot the dog, which died in the street.

No charges have been filed in the dog's death. "It appears to be self-defense," Chiu said.

Police had warned the dog's owner hours earlier because of complaints from other neighbors.

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Corpus Christi, Texas

From the Corpus Christi Caller-Times of December 9, 2003

Man dies after he is shot by woman during break-in, police say

A woman shot her possibly estranged husband as he broke into a home in the 6700 block of O'Grady Drive at about 6 p.m. Monday, police said. The man died soon afterward.

Police at the scene said they did not know the status of the marriage of the man and the shooter, but neighbors said the man, 23, was the woman's ex-husband. A neighbor said it was his understanding that the woman, 22, had filed a restraining order against the man.

Police declined to give out the names of anyone involved in the incident. Several people were questioned at the scene.

Errick Townsend, a neighbor who was working at his home computer across the street, said he heard a total of seven shots.

"I heard a 'pop-pop.' I thought it was a firecracker," Townsend said. "Then I heard this guy say, 'What are you going to do, kill me?' "

Then, there was more gunfire, according to Townsend.

Police Cmdr. Mike Walsh said the weapon used in the shooting incident was a 9mm semi-automatic handgun. He said he did not know who owned the gun. The victim was found inside the home, Walsh said.

After the shooting, residents in the usually quiet dead-end street gathered as several police officers from 10 police vehicles milled in and around the house.

Another neighbor, Valerie Sitton, said that the neighborhood had always been a quiet and peaceful place but not lately.

Police had to go by the house where the shooting took place twice in the past week, Sitton and other neighbors said. Police at the scene could not confirm if officers had been to the house recently.
It is always heart-breaking to read of marriages that fail, but it sounds like she had some reason to fear this guy.

Sunday, December 7, 2003

Kiowa, Colorado

From AP, December 1, 2003:
Authorities began weighing charges Monday against the owners of three dogs that killed a woman over the weekend in a gruesome rampage that left two other people wounded.

Neighbors said the dogs had been a roaming menace for months in the rolling ranchland near Kiowa, southeast of Denver. A local fire official said residents had even adopted an informal warning system when the pit bulls were loose.

Elbert County Undersheriff Jim Underwood said the animals, which were gunned down by a teenager and sheriff's deputies, had been involved in previous attacks, but declined to elaborate.


The latest attacks began about dawn Sunday when the dogs killed 40-year-old Jennifer Brooke after she went to her horse barn. Ranch partner Bjorn Osmunsen, 24, was wounded by the animals after he went looking for her.

Neighbor Lynn Baker was the next victim. The dogs attacked as he stepped out of his home, jumping on him and going for his throat.

Baker thought he was going to die.

"They were monsters. And they don't run away. They come at you. Even when you are shooting at them," he said in a telephone interview.

His screams for help brought son Cody outside with a shotgun. The teenager fired bird shot at the animals, wounding two and distracting the other dog enough so his father could get inside his pickup truck.

"He knocked two of them down. He's the hero," Baker said.

Baker said he drove his truck closer to the home so he could slip inside and get his own weapon.

"They couldn't see or couldn't walk but the big one was still watching me," said Baker. "I came out and shot the big one twice but it hardly slowed him down."
Unsurprisingly, some news stories about the incident left out the dramatic ending for the pit bulls at the hands of armed civilians. (And here are some more news accounts that talked about the crisis of a shortage of police to handle this--but neglected to mention the role of armed civilians.) Can you imagine that?

Saturday, December 6, 2003

Cape Coral, Florida

Perhaps an arguable case, from the December 7, 2003 News-Press:
A Cape Coral man shot his neighbor’s pit bull Thursday morning after the dog jumped a fence and apparently chased the man’s five small terriers, police reported.

The man said he shot the dog in self-defense, but his neighbor said his dog and two other pit bulls are gentle and play well with his children.

“He wouldn’t hurt nobody,” said Ron Jiles, 35, of his 65-pound male pit bull Case. “That dog was so docile. You’d think he was a cat.”

That’s not what Gary and Diane Honas said.


“I heard a deep growling,” said Diane Honas, 40. “I turned around and there was this big dog in the yard. The dog charged at me.”

She said she screamed and ran inside. “I thought he was going to kill me or chew me.”

Husband Gary Honas, 41, said he wanted to get his beloved 15-pound terriers inside, but the dogs were running around wildly as the pit bull chased them. He was afraid the pit bull would kill the terriers before he could grab them.

So Gary Honas went inside and grabbed his 12-gauge shotgun. When the pit bull charged him, he said, he pulled the trigger twice.
Corvallis, Oregon

From the December 7, 2003, Corvallis Gazette-Times:
Two accused would-be robbers were arrested minutes after they left their intended target's store Wednesday.

Noe Angel Morales, 25, of Salem, and Saul P. Palacios, 36, of Keizer, were both arrested following the incident and face charges of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Palacios also faces charges of menacing, unauthorized use of a weapon and pointing a firearm at another person.

The attempted robbery happened at 11:05 a.m., when the two men walked into Michael's Jewelry on Third Street. The owner, Michael Chambers, was just opening up shop, according to Capt. Bob Deutsch of the Corvallis Police Department.

"He was still putting stuff in the cases," said Deutsch. "He noticed they both looked very suspicious, and one seemed to have a lump in his pocket that appeared to be a gun."

Police said Chambers, to be on the safe side, retreated to another part of the store and readied a weapon, just in case. Two other people were in the store with him.

Palacios and Morales reportedly came around the counter — Palacios with gun in hand — but when they saw all the employees waiting for them, the two men apparently decided to run for it. Chambers last saw them running at full speed toward the Willamette River.
Columbia Heights, Minnesota

Apparently this happened December 2, 2003, as reported by KTSP TV:
COLUMBIA HEIGHTS - Police are on the lookout for two men involved in a home invasion.

Investigators say it happened Tuesday night at a house on 38th Avenue Northeast. Four masked, armed men kicked in a door and ordered the family to get down.

The homeowner was able to get away and get a gun. He shot one of the attackers.

All of the men then ran away.

After a car crash, police arrested two of the men, but the two others escaped.
Charlotte, North Carolina

From WCNC TV of December 2, 2003

Bystander armed with gun helps police catch robber

Just before lunchtime Tuesday a man tried to rob two people at a west Charlotte ATM. According to police, a customer was at an ATM machine at the State Employees Credit Union on Freedom Drive and was approached by a man who said he needed money. The customer told the man to 'take a hike.'

"A guy comes up and asks me for money. I tell him I don't have any. Then I go to the ATM and the man jumps in my car,” explained Reggie Blackmon, victim. “I go back to my car and ask him to leave. He shakes his pocket like he has a gun."

Blackmon then walked into the bank and called police.

While Blackmon was inside the bank, the suspect approached customer Hazel Forman.

"I walked up to the ATM and a guy jumped out of a vehicle and said give me your money," Forman said.

She gave the suspect $60 and he also took her keys. Forman then followed the man to her car.

"By this time I saw he didn't have gun because his jacket was open and he didn't have a shirt on underneath,” Forman said. “So I grabbed him around the neck and he wrestled around."

A witness in the parking lot said he heard Forman yelling for help.

The witness, who did not want to be identified, pulled out a gun and ordered the suspect to freeze.

"That didn't even faze the man much,” the witness said. “He started to walk away. He put his hand in his pocket and turned back around. That's when I shot at him. I didn't know if he was going to shoot so I shot for his leg."

The man missed. He then followed the suspect in his own vehicle until police arrived.

Police said the witness will not be charged with firing his weapon because they say he was acting in self defense and as a Good Samaritan.

The robber appeared to be under the influence of a narcotic or alcohol at the time of his arrest, police said.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From WCAU-TV of December 6, 2003

Pharmacy Manager Shoots Would-Be Robbers

Police said they do not expect to charge a pharmacy manager who shot and killed a robbery suspect during a violent holdup on Friday, NBC 10 reported.

Two would-be robbers entered a pharmacy on West Oak Lane, police said. Witnesses said both had guns and threatened to kill workers if they didn't hand over money and drugs.

The pharmacy manager pulled out his own gun and fired off more than a dozen shots, authorities said. One suspect was killed. The other was wounded and got away.

The district attorney will review the case, authorities said.

Friday, December 5, 2003

Tulsa, Oklahoma

From of December 5, 2003

Tulsa robbery suspect shot by store clerk

Two suspected robbers are in big trouble after a Tulsa grocery clerk fought back against the two men.

Tulsa Police say the men tried to rob a Mexican grocery store at 30th and Harvard Friday afternoon. Officers say when one of the suspects assaulted the clerk; the clerk pulled a gun from under the counter, scuffled with the man and shot him in the hip.

Both suspects took off, but a witness followed them and gave directions to police, who arrested the men at 51st and Lewis.

There's no word if the clerk will face charges for shooting the man, but police say it looks like a simple case of self-defense. Tulsa Police Sgt Pat Calhoun: "We normally don't recommend this kind of action. It'll be pending as to how the district attorney looks at it, but we look at it as self defense, especially when they were pointing the gun at him."

One of the suspects is in jail; the other is in the hospital.
Jacksonville, Florida

From of December 4, 2003

Cab Driver Shoots at CarJacker

A Citicab driver was carjacked Thursday after a passenger he picked up pulled a gun on him.

It wasn't just another fare. "I heard a click. I knew it was a robbery," said Citi Cab driver Corey Sprigss.

Spriggs had just picked up a man but he was told to drive down another street. Once there, the man pulled a gun and ordered Spriggs out of the car.

"He said I don't want your money. So I got my money. Got my bag. Got my gun," said the 26-year-old.

A few seconds later Spriggs fired two shots at the suspect as he drove away in his cab. The car, with its back window shattered, was found abandoned on Oriole Street. Police were still looking for the carjacker.

"I hope they find him soon," Sprigss told First Coast News. "I don't want him to do this to another cab driver."

Thursday, December 4, 2003

Houston, TX

From the Houston Chronicle of December 2, 2003

(Scroll down)

Store owner with gun stops robbery attempt

A woman shot two of the three men who tried to rob her plumbing business north of downtown, police said.

Andrea McNabb was in a back office when the men tried to rob Rocket Services Co. in the 6300 block of Jensen at 4:15 p.m. Monday, police said. McNabb shot at the men, who then ran.

Police said Marco Shrepee, 24, was shot in the back and stole one of the owner's cars to drive himself to LBJ Hospital, where he was arrested. Perry Gene Smith, 20, shot in the leg, was arrested two blocks from the plumbing shop.

Shrepee was charged with two counts of aggravated robbery, Smith with one count. Both were in fair condition Tuesday, hospital officials said. The third man escaped.

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

St. Petersburg, Florida

From the Sun-Sentinel, December 2, 2003:
A 71-year-old man was arrested for firing a gun at three men beating up his 63-year-old friend, striking one of the men in the arm, deputies said.

Melvin B. Spaulding held up his .22-caliber pistol and told the men to stop hitting and kicking his friend George Lowe. When they didn't listen, he fired the gun, Pinellas County Sheriff's spokesman Tim Goodman said.

``I'm sure he was concerned for his friend's safety...,'' Goodman said. ``The use of a weapon to stop a confrontation is not the right way. He would have been better off calling 911.''
Oh yeah, definitely. They could have arrived in time to draw chalk lines around both bodies.
James T. Moore, 20, was treated for the gunshot wound at Bayfront Medical Center and was arrested for an unrelated battery charge earlier the same night.
I am so surprised.
Lowe said the altercation began Sunday night when he heard loud noises outside his home and discovered a group of young men pounding on cars and shouting. When he told them to stop, they attacked him, he said.

Spaulding, who had no criminal record in Florida, acknowledged firing the gun, according to sheriff's records. He was being held without bail in Pinellas County Jail.
Oh this makes loads of sense! Maybe there is some good reason why Spaulding is being held without bail, but you sure wouldn't know it from the news story.

UPDATE: Spaudling is apparently out of jail.

UPDATE 2: All charges dropped, according to the December 17, 2003 St. Petersburg Times:
Prosecutors will not file an attempted murder charge against Melvin Spaulding, the 71-year-old man who shot a 20-year-old for allegedly attacking his friend in the street.

"That's good," Spaulding said after hearing the news Tuesday, as he smoked a Dutch Masters cigar in his mobile home.

Pinellas-Pasco Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett said evidence showed Spaulding was trying to prevent his friend George Lowe, 63, from being killed or suffering "serious bodily harm" as others attacked him.

The law allows people to intervene in such cases to protect others from harm, Bartlett said.
Madison County, Mississippi

From WLBT TV, December 1, 2003:
A Madison county woman remains hospitalized after fatally shooting one of two men she says forced their way into her home.

It happened around 11 o'clock Saturday night on Lake Castle Road.

Madison county Sheriff Toby Trowbridge is not releasing the name of the woman but says she was shot in the right side during the attempted robbery.

Circumstances surrounding the shooting remain unclear because deputies have not been able to question the homeowner.

She was unable to give accurate descriptions of the men following the incident.

She is now listed in stable condition at a local hospital.

Trowbridge says the woman was home with her granddaughter, who ran to neighbors for help.


Authorities found the man lying dead on the homeowner's driveway.

His name has not been released pending notification of next of kin.

Sheriff Toby Trowbridge says, "One of the two black males pushed his way through the door. He physically assaulted her. She was able to get her hands on a pistol. Shots were fired. Fire was returned. At this time we're not sure exactly who shot first."

Jonesboro, Georgia

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution of December 3, 2003

Would-be robber slain by intended victim

A suspected armed robber was shot and killed by his intended victim in Clayton County, police said Wednesday.

The incident occurred shortly after midnight at Independence Park on Thomas Road near Jonesboro.

A man was walking with his 11-year-old daughter when the suspect "approached them and attempted to rob them," said Clayton County police Lt. Joseph Woodall.

"The victim pulled his own firearm and fired some rounds at the suspect," Woodall said.

"The suspect fled about 30 yards and fell over."

The suspect, who was in his late teens or 20s, died at the scene. "He still had in his hand a stolen Glock pistol," Woodall said.

A stolen vehicle that police believe was the suspect's getaway car was also found in the park.

Police say the father acted in self-defense and will not face charges in connection with the shooting. The names of the two men have not been released.

Tulsa Oklahoma

From Tulsa's of December 3, 2003

A Tulsa business owner fights back against crime

Juanita Buchanan says she's had it and isn't going to take it anymore. That’s why when a man tried to rob her restaurant Monday, she pulled out a gun and shot at him.


"One, two, three, four. We only had four last time and he jerked it off." Even extra locks weren't able to save Juanita Buchanan from her second robbery in three months.

Back in September, a man broke into her business, Wings Hamburgers and tried to rob her, when he realized she was wearing a gun, the fight was on. "He got my gun out of my hand and I was on my knees and put the gun between my eyes and said if you keep fighting b----, I'm going to shoot you."

Juanita was black and blue and bloody from head to toe. "I had to have surgery, my rotator cup replaced, 22 stitches here, a crack on my skull and stitches down the front of my scalp." Despite nearly dying in that attack, she came back to work, even though her right arm is still partly disabled.

She simply refused to give up, then, the unthinkable, another robber showed up on Monday. It was about 3 PM, things were slow, and the employees were cleaning up when they saw a man with a knife outside this door. He wasn't able to get it open so he kicked in the glass and came inside toward the business owner.

Juanita couldn't believe it was happening again and immediately went for the gun on her hip. "I've been practicing with my left hand, but I drew with my right hand and couldn't hold it and it being a Glock, it jumped and I shot the air conditioner and we went back out the window."

Juanita is no pushover but she has been pushed too far. Now, in addition to the gun she wears, there are others in the store as well. Her husband and her kids beg her to sell the business and get out, but she refuses to let the criminals run her off. The hamburger stand is her dream and she won't let them steal that, too.

It is perfectly legal in Oklahoma to have a gun inside your business.

Juanita is still in physical therapy from her last robbery. That attack cost her $15,000 in medical bills. She feels like she would've been killed Monday had she not fired that shot. She's had her business at Admiral and Harvard for nine years and these were her first robberies.

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Jackson, Mississippi

From the Jackson Clarion-Ledger of December 2, 2003

Suspect killed in break-in attempt

The Madison County Sheriff's Department was searching Monday for one of two suspects involved in a deadly attempted robbery at a Madison County home.

One of the suspects died after exchanging gunfire with the homeowner late Saturday, Madison County Sheriff Toby Trowbridge said. The man's name was being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The homeowner was shot in the side and was listed in stable condition Monday at a local hospital, Trowbridge said.

The homeowner's name was not released. Trowbridge said she fears for her life.

Her alleged assailant was shot in the lower abdomen.

The attempted home invasion on Lake Castle Road was reported to the sheriff's department about 11:50 p.m. Saturday.

One suspect tried to force his way into the woman's home after she answered her door, Trowbridge said.

"He physically assaulted her," Trowbridge said.

The homeowner and the man struggled at the doorway, Trowbridge said. Both pulled guns.

After being shot, the injured man "fled the house and collapsed in the driveway," Trowbridge said.

The man's accomplice drove off in a car, Trowbridge said.

There have been similar incidents in Jackson in the past several months.

In a September case and another in October, homeowners shot and killed men as they were breaking into their homes. The homeowners were not charged.

Monday, December 1, 2003

St. Paul, Minnesota

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press of November 29, 2003

4 arrested after robbery, shooting

Two adults and two juveniles were arrested Friday for allegedly shooting a clerk during an attempted robbery at a St. Paul temporary staffing employment agency.

When confronted at gunpoint by the would-be robbers, the clerk ran toward his office and was shot in the elbow, but grabbed his own gun and fired shots at the robbers, police said. The robbers fled but were apprehended by police who observed a vehicle matching the description of the one the robbers were driving.

Police recovered a semiautomatic handgun and an assault-style handgun and arrested two adults and two juvenile males. All were booked for investigation of aggravated robbery.