Monday, February 28, 2005

Harris County, Texas

From the Houston Chronicle of February 28, 2005
Bar owner guns down suspected burglar

A man was shot to death early today in a confrontation with the owner of a north Harris County bar responding to a burglar alarm, sheriff's detectives said.

Kevin Anthony Miller, 22, was shot one time in the abdomen and was taken to Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center, where he died, homicide detectives said.

He was shot by the 58-year-old man who owns the bar, sheriff's reports show. That businessman is cooperating with homicide detectives, and the case will be referred to a grand jury for review.

The incident occurred at 5 a.m. when an alarm sounded at the Circle M Bar and Grill in the 15900 block of Telge near Louetta. Deputies arrived to find Miller shot in the parking lot and the bar owner armed with a pistol.

The bar owner told detectives he had responded to the alarm at his business, which is located just west of his home. He grabbed a handgun and encountered Miller coming out of the bar after it was burglarized. The two men had a confrontation in the parking lot, and the bar owner shot at Miller several times, hitting him once, detectives said.
Macclenny, Florida

From Jacksonville’s of February 25, 2005
Pawn Shop Shoot-Out

The small town of Macclenny in Baker County is usually a quiet place, not much crime here; but that wasn't the case this week.

There was a shootout at a local pawn shop, but the armed robber didn't do the shooting, it was the pawn shop owner.

Bruce Sales owns Duval Gun and Pawn in downtown Macclenny. He says on Wednesday just after 1-pm everything happened so quickly. He says a man came into his pawn shop and asked to look at a knife, but before he knew it the man had a gun pointed right at him. Sales says, "Had a gun in his hands and started yelling at me to get on my knees and put a pillow case over my head."

Sales thought the man was going to kill him so he started wrestling with him over the gun. Sales says, "We fought for ten or fifteen seconds, then he put the gun in my face closer and cocked it and I knew then, if I didn't get him then I'd be a dead man." Sales grabbed the suspect's hand and the gun went off, luckily into the ceiling. Sales then quickly grabbed for a loaded gun on his desk. Sales says, "He had already told me he was going to kill me so I shot him, or I shot at him."

The bullets didn't hit the suspect, they hit a glass case in the store instead. The gun shots however, were enough to scare the suspect out of the store. About 8 hours later, a block away, police caught up with the suspect and took him down with a taser.

Baker County Sheriff's Office Chief Chuck Brannan says, "Mr. Sale being a gunshot (sic) owner gave an excellent description of the pistol and matched it perfectly to the pistol we got from the suspect later that night."

Glenn Schofield is in the Baker County jail for the pawn shop robbery. He is facing numerous charges including armed robbery. Police say he has a lengthy criminal history, including two homicide arrests.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Two incidents remind us that the brave don't always win.

Lawrenceville, Georgia

From Atlanta’s of February 25, 2005
Arrests in Elderly Home Invasion Murder

Lawrenceville police arrested and charged two men Friday in the killing of an 85-year-old man shot during an alleged home invasion.

Lawrenceville police identified the pair as Alan Smith, 29, and David Botto, 35. Smith is charged with burglary and murder and Botto is charged with burglary, murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Hubert Massey was killed Saturday after the intruders forced open the back door of his home.

The World War II veteran exchanged gunfire with the intruders. There was no word Friday if either suspect arrested had been wounded.

Massey's 84-year-old wife, Geneva, was sleeping when the shots were fired. A neighbor called police after Geneva Massey opened her front door and yelled for help as the suspects escaped.

Massey was shot twice in the chest and once in the arm, family spokesman Craig Helf said previously.
Tyler, Texas

From Dallas’ of February 25, 2005
Bystander who died dedicated to self-defense

A bystander who was killed in a town square shooting in Tyler was a gun enthusiast dedicated to the idea of self-defense.

That's what a business associated (sic) tells The Associated Press.

Fifty-two-year-old Mark Alan Wilson was shot-to-death while trying to take down a man spraying bullets outside the Smith County Courthouse yesterday.

The gunman, David Hernandez Arroyo Senior, was also shot-to-death after killing his ex-wife and injuring his son and three law officers.

Doctor Scott Lieberman is a cardiologist who was an investor in a shooting range once owned by Wilson.

He says he believes Wilson's whole life was geared toward the kind of defensive battle that took place yesterday.

Smith County Sheriff J-B Smith said deputies on the scene credited Wilson with saving the life of 23-year-old David Hernandez Arroyo Junior.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Oakland, California

From the February 26, 2005 San Francisco Chronicle:
Patrick McCullough has been complaining to Oakland police about drug dealers for the past 10 years -- and telling the young men who congregate in front of his house at 59th Street and Shattuck Avenue to beat it.

For his efforts, the 49-year-old has endured harassment, threats, vandalism and an assault in 2003.

Then, during an evening rainstorm on Feb. 18, about 15 young men surrounded McCullough and shouted "snitch" and other taunts as he walked from his front door to his driveway.

Someone hit him with a branch, and others threw punches. McCullough told police he had seen a 17-year-old reach for a gun, so he drew his own gun and shot his would-be assailant in the arm.

"I'm a man, not a mouse nor a vigilante. I'm not looking for medals, just a safe neighborhood and peaceful existence," said McCullough, who grew up in a housing project on the south side of Chicago. "I don't believe in vigilantism under any circumstances. What I did and will continue to do is take my safety in my own hands."

McCullough was arrested on suspicion of felony assault and is free on $15, 000 bail. Prosecutors are deciding whether to file charges against him or any of his assailants. McCullough has no criminal record and does not need a permit to keep the gun, which he purchased legally, on his property.

"I expect we'll be making a decision next week," said Deputy District Attorney Jim Lee.
Yeah, that's a hard decision.

From of February 18, 2006

A year after Patrick McCullough shot teen, Oakland's 59th Street has safer rec center, reduced loitering and fewer drug deals

Patrick McCullough still looks each way whenever he steps out his front door and walks down 59th Street in North Oakland. But it's no longer out of fear.

These days, he feels safe enough to take those walks more often with his wife and son. Instead of the cold stares of angry young men, McCullough is greeted by strangers who thank him for taking a stand against the drug dealers who used to rule Bushrod Park and the surrounding streets.

"This street is so cool right now," McCullough, 50, said on a recent sunny day. "Look around, man, all these kids playing in the park and no thugs. The immediate neighborhood is much quieter and, for the most part, free of drug dealers, craps shooters and intoxicant-using loiterers."

A year ago, 59th Street was the scene of a series of violent incidents and confrontations between McCullough and young men police believe are drug dealers. The tension culminated last Feb. 18 when McCullough shot a 15-year-old boy after 15 young men surrounded him in his front yard, shouting "Kill the snitch."

Some residents say the street is quieter in part because homeowners and police shut down several drug houses in the neighborhood. Others credit a new staff at a nearby recreation center for driving away loiterers and welcoming young children. But many agree that McCullough's stand made the biggest impact.

Milton Simpkins, a 30-year resident of the street, says McCullough "is the best thing that ever happened for this block."

Police said there has been only a modest drop in crime on 59th Street, but they said there has been a huge improvement in the quality of life. Clusters of young men no longer hang out in the street at all hours of the day. Residents are out and about. And the neighborhood has found a new sense of pride.

"The atmosphere has completely changed," said Lt. Lawrence Green, who oversaw police patrols in North Oakland for five years until he was transferred to the traffic division last month. "I'm not saying that 59th Street or the surrounding area is pristine. It's not. But you can really see an improvement on Patrick's street."

McCullough became an unlikely hero on a rainy night as he walked from his front door to his car. As usual, a group of young men hung around on the sidewalk. He told them to get off his property.

Just what happened next remains in some dispute. McCullough, who had a handgun in his pocket, said that he was surrounded by the men and that one of them hit him with a branch.

McCullough said Melvin McHenry reached for a gun in a friend's waistband. McCullough shot him.

"I didn't want to shoot him," McCullough recalled. "But at that point, I did what I had to do."

The bullet wounded Melvin in the side and arm. Neither McCullough nor Melvin was charged with a crime.

McCullough, 50, who labored nearly alone for more than 11 years to clean up 59th Street, suddenly found himself in the strange position of being hailed as a hero by many people, including Mayor Jerry Brown and activists working to clean up crime-ridden areas of Oakland.

(Read the whole thing)
San Luis, Arizona

From the Yuma Sun of January 7, 2005
Investigation continues in fatal shooting in San Luis

Police continued an investigation Thursday into a shooting in San Luis, Ariz., that left a man dead earlier in the week.

Lt. Blanca Vazquez, spokeswoman for the San Luis Police, said Genaro Morales, 26, was shot twice with a9 mm weapon on Monday in front of the home at space No. 215 in the Hacienda San Luis mobile home park, 115 County 22nd St.

Vazquez said Morales was transported to Yuma Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

No arrests have been made in the case. However, police have spoken to Arturo Medina, 28, a Mexican national who resides at the home where the shooting took place. Vazquez said Medina turned himself in Tuesday.

"He pretty much admitted to the whole thing," she said.

Vazquez said the shooting is believed to be the result of an argument over money. She said that Morales allegedly pulled out a knife, prompting Medina to pull out a gun and shoot.

Medina is currently free while the investigation continues. He has not been charged with any crime.

Vazquez said it was "a possibility" that self-defense would be an issue in the case.
No subsequent stories about this incident were found.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Charlotte, North Carolina

From Charlotte’s of February 25, 2005
Owner shoots men who attempt to rob store

Two men who attempted to rob an east Charlotte shoe store Friday afternoon were shot by the owner, police say.

The attempted robbery happened at the Shoe Warehouse at 1537 E. Sugar Creek Road around 3:50 p.m.

According to police, three or four men tried to rob the Shoe Warehouse. Police said the owner fired shots when the suspects tried to get to the cash register.

One of the suspects was shot inside the store and did not make it out. The two or three other suspects ran out of the store and carjacked a victim in a Suzuki. The suspects pushed two men out of the vehicle and took off.

One of the suspects was transported from the scene by Medic emergency traffic to Carolinas Medical Center. A second injured suspect got away, but later showed up at Presbyterian Hospital for treatment for a gunshot wound.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Eugene, Oregon

From the Eugene Register-Guard of January 13, 2005
Details of fatal shooting start to emerge

Todd Alan Hughes was shot to death Tuesday after a neighbor responded to his girlfriend's cries for help.

Eugene police say Hughes, 43, was assaulting the woman on the sidewalk in front of the ramshackle house they shared at 2020 W. 13th Ave.

The alleged shooter, James Michael Winkelman, 48, lives nearby. He was walking his dog about 6 p.m. when his daughter ran up and told him that a woman was being raped. The girl, 13, ran to call police, and Winkelman walked to the house to see if he could help the woman.

The woman was gone when he arrived, but Hughes soon showed up.

Hughes and Winkelman had some kind of encounter, police said, which ended with Hughes' death.

Winkelman yelled for neighbors to call police, and he waited there until officers arrived, police spokeswoman Pam Olshanski said. Winkelman has cooperated with the investigation, she said.

Officers confiscated two handguns at the scene - one from Winkelman and one from Hughes' body, she said. They located and interviewed the girlfriend, who said Hughes was beating her, but not raping her.

A subsequent story confirms that the shooting was ruled “justified.”.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Hillsborough, North Carolina

From the Durham Herald-Sun of February 22, 2005
Hillsborough man kills armed intruder

A 28-year-old man Hillsborough man shot and killed a gun-wielding intruder at his home early Monday morning, and the district attorney has ruled he acted in self-defense.

Jerome Carl Murphy, 39, of 320 W. Union St., Hillsborough, died at the home of Durante Davis of 1807 Piney Grove Church Road about 2 a.m. Monday after Davis shot him twice in the chest, said Orange-Chatham District Attorney Carl Fox.

The incident began when Davis, who lives in an apartment attached to his parents' home east of Hillsborough, heard a knock on his door, Fox said. When Davis asked who it was, a man answered and said he needed help, Fox said. "When [Davis] opened the door, the person produced a gun and pushed his way into the home," Fox said.

The intruder, later identified as Murphy, had a knit cap pulled down over his face and a scarf over his mouth, Fox said. Murphy pushed Davis as he entered the room and got around behind him and held him while he put a gun to Davis' head, Fox said. "He said, 'Give it up. Give me everything,' " Fox said.

"Mr. Davis said, 'Take what you want,' and then decided to grab the gun that was against his head," Fox said.

Davis and Murphy struggled over the gun, and during the struggle, the gun fell to the floor. Murphy, who was still behind Davis, then pulled a knife out of his pocket and flipped it open, Fox said. Davis, however, had a .38-caliber gun in the pocket of his sweatpants, and he pulled that out and fired over his shoulder at Murphy, Fox said.

Davis fired the gun three times, and two shots hit Murphy. Murphy fell to the floor and died, Fox said.

During their investigation, sheriff's investigators found the gun and the knife that Murphy was carrying on the floor of the room. The gun turned out to be a pellet gun, Fox said.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Springfield, Missouri

From Springfield‘s of February 21, 2005
Dispute turns into a shootout

One woman is injured; another is charged

A woman from Springfield is charged for shooting another woman on Sunday night in a dispute over some borrowed equipment. The shooting was in the 1800 block of North Rogers Avenue.

City police say Mitzy Dooms shot Carol Henderson several times, hitting her in the foot. Henderson fired back and Dooms fled. Police say Henderson’s injuries are not life threatening. Dooms turned in herself to police around midnight and was in the Greene County jail, awaiting her first court appearance.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Ponca City, Oklahoma

From the Oklahoma City’s of February 21, 2005
Ponca City Man Dies From Gunshot Wounds

Police Say Shooting Followed Confrontation With Couple

A 34-year-old man was shot after a confrontation with another man and his wife, police said.

Witnesses told investigators the man walked up to the back of a house, grabbed the wife of a man who lived there and began making threats. The woman's 26-year-old husband retrieved a gun from inside the house and fired multiple shots, hitting the victim once in the head, the spokesman said.

The victim, whose name was not released, was taken to Via Christi Oklahoma Regional Medical Center in Ponca City where he died, police said.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

From Birmingham’s of November 29, 2004
Tuscaloosa Man Drags Grandmother With Car; Is Shot By Uncle

A Thanksgiving visit turned violent Sunday in Tuscaloosa when an uncle shot his nephew after watching the young man allegedly drag his grandmother with his new car.

Jeremy Sutterfield, 28, lived along Probst Road with his grandmother Lynne and his uncle Rocky. On Thanksgiving weekend, Sutterfield's parents came to visit from Florida and bought him a red Mustang.

On Monday morning around 1 a.m., Sutterfield tried to take off in the Mustang after a family argument. Detectives suspect Sutterfield had been drinking.

Sutterfield then ran his car into a tree near the house. That's when his grandmother, who's in her 70s, tried to take his keys out of the ignition. However, Sutterfield did not stop the car, despite the fact his grandmother's arm was still inside.

"She may have been thrown down several times. Witnesses said she fell to the ground more than once," said Lt. Loyd Baker, of the Tuscaloosa Sheriff’s Department.

Detectives said that when Sutterfield's uncle Rocky saw his mother being dragged, he ran to help her. Rocky shot Sutterfield in the stomach when the young driver stepped toward him.

The rifle wound is life-threatening, but officers don't yet know if Sutterfield's uncle will face charges.

“(Rocky) saw it happening. He went to help his mom and said the 28-year-old stepped out of the vehicle toward him in a threatening way, so he shot him with a rifle," said Baker.
No subsequent stories about this incident were found.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

From Oklahoma City’s of February 15, 2005
Would-Be Purse Thief Attacks Oklahoma City Woman

Woman's Daughter Holds Suspect At Gunpoint Until Officers Arrive

A man who is accused of following an Oklahoma City woman from a grocery store and attempting to steal her purse was arrested Tuesday.

Roger Campbell, who gave the name "Roderick Starr" to detectives, was arrested on burglary and assault charges. Police said he followed Barbara Geselle to her home near Southeast 61st Street and Voorhees Road, then opened her car door and took her purse.

Eyewitness News 5's Terri Watkins spoke to Geselle about the attempted theft. Geselle said that she was puzzled when the man continued to follow her car.

"I didn't know he was here until I drove in the garage and he was following me," Geselle said. "He was alongside the car -- and the door was closed, naturally -- and the car was going ... I didn't have it in park or anything."

Geselle said Campbell opened her door, yanked her purse away from her chest and took off running.

"It was one big jerk, then the strap came loose ... and he got the purse," Geselle said.

Geselle's daughter, Teresa, happened to be at the home at the time of the attack. She and a neighbor chased Campbell down and held him at gunpoint until police arrived.

Authorities said Campbell faces several felony charges related to the attack in addition to other unrelated charges.
This incident appeared here earlier, but this subsequent account is so revealing, as is the 911 tape, that we include this newer account.
I strongly urge you to listen to the tape. The headline should read
"911 Call Reveals Woman's Struggle With Police Dispatcher."

From Oklahoma City’s of February 17, 2005
911 Call Reveals Woman's Struggle With Purse Thief

Woman Held Suspect At Gunpoint Until Police Arrived

Oklahoma City police released a 911 recording Thursday that reveals a dramatic struggle following an attempted purse-snatching in south Oklahoma City.

Barbara Gesell, 83, had just pulled into her garage when a man ran inside her garage and grabbed her purse, which has hanging across her shoulder. A suspect, Robert Campbell, was arrested shortly afterward on suspicion of attempted robbery.

Police said the story might have ended differently if Gesell's daughter, Theresa Gesell, had not taken action.
According to police, Theresa Gesell ran behind Campbell and tried to catch him when he ran from the scene. While she was chasing the suspect, she called 911.

"A man has attacked us in our house, and we are fighting him in the yard," Theresa Gesell said to the 911 dispatcher.
As the struggle moved down the street, a neighbor -- whom Theresa Gesell identified as "Hershall" -- stopped to help. Theresa then grabbed her .45-caliber pistol and continued running after Campbell -- despite the dispatcher's plea for her to drop the handgun.

"I am going to go get my .45 ... you all are too slow," she said.

As the call continues, the dispatcher asks Theresa to get rid of the weapon. However, after the suspect tried to escape along a creek bed, Theresa and Hershall used the pistol to make sure he didn't leave.

"You can go put that gun up now," the dispatcher said.

"No sir," Theresa replied. "We have the gun pointed at him ... he must have been a city fellow because he didn't know anything about the woods."

Seconds later, police arrived and arrested Campbell. With Hershall's help, the Gesells retrieved Barbara's purse.

Campbell is currently housed in the Oklahoma County Jail. He is expected to be charged with assault and attempted robbery.
Clinton, Louisiana

From the Baton Rouge Advocate of February 16, 2005
Clinton woman shoots, kills man during break-in

A Clinton woman shot and killed a man who broke into her house early Wednesday, an East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman said.

Sheriff’s detective Don McKey said Arthur Sanford, 44, 11808 Clarence St., Clinton, died from a gunshot wound suffered during a struggle with the woman, who was severely beaten during the confrontation.

The shooting occurred about 2:20 a.m. at the woman’s residence on Plank Road less than a mile south of Clinton’s corporate limits.

McKey said Sanford broke into the home by crawling through a fireplace wood box that opens inside and outside the house.

Detectives are still investigating the incident this morning.

McKey said the woman was treated at a hospital for her injuries and released.
Mishawaka, Indiana

From South Bend’s of February 16, 2005
Homicide justified according to police

An intruder was shot and killed Wednesday morning by the 84-year-old homeowner.

Over the past several years, the home of Bob Birtwhistle has been broken-into before. The intruder was never caught but on Wednesday, Birtwhistle says he took care of the problem himself.

"And I hear that dude just a raisin' hell trying to get in here, and I got this pretty dang well protected," said Birtwhistle.

Having his house on Third Street in Mishawaka broken into before and been beaten, Bob grabbed his gun when he heard the intruder.

"I fired that shot to let him know I was armed and it didn't make a bit of difference, he still kept coming in," explained Birtwhistle.

Birtwhistle fired again but 40-year-old James Rosebush kept coming, and wrestled the elderly man to the floor.

"My gun was in my hand, down in under. He grabbed that gun out of my hand and was trying to get it in position to shoot me. And, I was ready to give up. But before he could do that, he just relaxed," said Birtwhistle.

Investigators with the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit and the County Prosecutor's Office say the shooting was justified.

"He just didn't want to get hurt anymore. He'd been beaten up several times and he just got tired of it," said Daniel Keiling.

After being beaten and robbed several times before, the senior citizen, who doesn't like guns, took care of himself.

"I done what I had to do, that's all. And I don't feel guilty about it, spiritually."

Birtwhistle says what happened early Wednesday morning was, "the hardest thing he's done in his life," but the retired electrician says he doesn't feel guilty about defending himself.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Springfield Township, Ohio

From Toledo’s of February 14, 2005
Store Owner Uses Gun to Help Authorities Catch Robbery Suspect

A mini-mart owner took action when a man tried to rob his store on Sunday morning. And now, the robbery suspect is behind bars.

It all happened at Deano's Mini-Mart Too on McCord Road just north of Hill Avenue in Springfield Township. A robbery suspect entered the store at about 8:20 Sunday morning. Store owner Dean El-Joubeily was working in the store's back office. Unbeknownst to Dean, the man in the main store area had approached the female clerk. Dean told NBC 24, "(The suspect) came behind the counter and asked (the clerk) to give up the money or he was going to shoot her. She opened the cash register. She gave him all the money."

When the clerk came back to the office to tell Dean what had happened, Dean grabbed his gun, ran through the store, and confronted the suspect in the parking lot. Dean said, "This is when I drew my gun. And I asked him nicely to get out of his car. I gave him a chance to leave. And he wouldn't. He started to take off. This is when I had to do what I had to do."

Using his handgun, for which he has a concealed carry permit, Dean fired twice into the suspect's front left tire. The suspect sped away in the car. And the tire began to fray. Dean jumped into a car with one of his store customers, trailing the suspect and using his cell phone to call 9-1-1.

Lucas County sheriff's deputies joined the chase. The suspect eventually crashed into a mailbox on King Road and then fled on foot. A short time later, deputies caught 28-year-old Ronniel Lewis hiding in a barn in the woods near King Road. Lewis was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery.

When asked about Dean's actions, Lucas County Deputy Sheriff Jeff Summers stated, "I thought Deano handled the situation extremely well. Nobody got hurt. And the apprehension was made."
Houston, Texas

From Houston’s of February 15, 2005
Man Defends Home Against Attempted Robbers

Homeowner Opens Fire First, Men Return Fire Before Leaving

A gunfight broke out between two would-be robbers and a man trying to defend his Fort Bend County home Tuesday morning, officials told Local 2.

Investigators said the homeowner fired the first shot. The attempted robbers shot back but fled the scene before authorities arrived at the scene.

The homeowner was injured in the shootout. Officials said they are not sure if the robbers were injured.

K-9 units helped search for the two men, who remain on the run.
Bardonia, New York

From Burlington, Vermont’s of February 15, 2005
With Gun At His Head, Jeweler Shoots Would-Be Robber

Barry Fixler was back at work in his jewelry store Tuesday, a day after he managed to draw his own gun and shoot a robber who was aiming a revolver at his head.

The suspect was in serious condition Tuesday after surgery at Nyack Hospital but was expected to survive, police said.

Two alleged confederates who fled after the shooting were arrested within 12 hours, one in Nanuet and one in Danbury, Conn.

Fixler said that while the incident was not "memorable," he feels he did what he had to.

"I'd be dead," he said in a phone interview. "My life was going to be over. That's what I thought about."

Detective Lt. Charles Delo of the Clarkstown police force, which covers Bardonia, said a review of the shooting on a surveillance videotape showed it to be justified. Fixler had a permit for his .38-caliber handgun.

Fixler, a 57-year-old ex-Marine, had to sidle along his counter with the robber's gun in his face to get to the spot where his handgun was hidden, he said.

"What Barry did may have been very brave, but he could have been very easily killed," Delo said.

Fixler told police two of the men came into his store, Barry's Estate Jewelry on Route 304, asked about engagement rings and then pulled their guns, one of them aiming his weapon at Fixler's head.
Smyrna, Delaware

From Wilmington’s of February 15, 2005
Burglary suspect shot near Smyrna

A burglary suspect, already wanted on drug and weapons charges, was shot in the face while trying to stab a Smyrna-area resident and his neighbor, police said Monday.

The incident occurred about 11:30 p.m. Sunday outside a house on Cathleen Drive in Burtonwood Village, south of Smyrna.

A 58-year-old man saw a stranger inside the shed next door and armed himself with a .38-caliber revolver before going to alert his neighbor, said state police spokesman Cpl. Jeff Oldham.

The neighbor and the resident, who is 43, went to the shed and were confronted by the intruder, who was armed with a knife, Oldham said.

As the suspect lunged toward the men, the resident tried to close the shed door to protect himself, but caught the suspect in the doorway, Oldham said.

With his upper body outside the door, the intruder kept jabbing the knife at the men, Oldham said. They told the man repeatedly to drop the knife, but he kept trying to stab them, Oldham said.

The neighbor then fired his gun once, hitting the intruder in the face, Oldham said. The resident and neighbor both stayed with the suspect until state police and medical personnel arrived, he said. They were not injured.

The suspect - identified by police as James P. Porter, 26, of Holly Hills Estates, Smyrna - was flown to Christiana Hospital, where he was in critical but stable condition.

"No charges [have been] filed against the neighbor at this time," Oldham said.

Porter faces charges including attempted first-degree robbery, second-degree burglary and two counts of aggravated menacing. Police said Porter already was wanted on drug and weapons charges.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Johnson County, Illinois

From the Carbondale Southern Illinoisan of February 11, 2005

A stormy relationship between two Williamson County teenagers ended in bloodshed Thursday, when a member of the girl's family shot and killed the young man, whom they said had been holding them hostage at gunpoint.

Jeffrey Scott Price, 19, of Marion, died at Saint Louis University Hospital Thursday morning after being shot in the head during the alleged home invasion.

Price went to the house, located on Deer Trail Road in the Lake of Egypt area, looking for his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend, said Sherry James, the girl's mother. The occupants of the house are James' parents, the girl's grandparents, both in their 70s.

James said her parents told her Price entered their home without them knowing, wearing a ski mask and hooded sweatshirt. He awakened James' mother with a gun in her face, demanding to know where his ex-girlfriend, the woman's granddaughter, was.

Price ordered the couple into the living room, James said, and demanded they find a way to get his ex-girlfriend to come over without arousing suspicion. During the course of about an hour, James said, her mother was able to placate him to the point where he put away the gun. She excused herself to go to the bathroom, and so did her husband.

The couple went to separate bathrooms, but James said her father went to the bedroom to retrieve a .45 caliber handgun he purchased 14 months ago. He had never unwrapped it or taken off the tags, she said.

The man loaded the gun and returned to the living room. Somehow, James said, her mother was able to get Price's gun and throw it off the deck of the house. When her husband came back into the room, he pointed the gun at Price and told him he could either sit down or leave. James said Price told her parents he wouldn't leave without his ex-girlfriend.

James said her father told her mother to call the police with a cell phone, because Price had disabled the land line. As she went to do so, Price produced another gun. James said her father shot Price in the back of the head.

Cottondale, Alabama

From the Tuscaloosa News of February 12, 2005
Grand jury says act was justified

There will be no criminal trial for Betty Sullivan, the Cottondale woman who shot and killed a man last year in front of her daughter’s home.

A grand jury has decided that Sullivan, 59, was justified in killing 29-year-old Isaac Martin on Nov. 13 as Martin fought Sullivan’s husband.

“They investigated the shooting of Isaac Martin, and they found that there was insufficient evidence for anyone to be charged criminally," said Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Tommy Smith, noting that several witnesses testified before the 18-member panel.

On Wednesday, the day the grand jury’s decision was made public, Smith said he didn’t know if any of the grand jury members voted to indict Sullivan because those proceedings are conducted in secret.

Martin was killed during a fight that broke out in the front yard of a Cold Springs Road mobile home occupied by Sullivan’s daughter, who was a former girlfriend of Martin’s. The daughter called her parents and then 911.

The parents, who live just yards away from their daughter, arrived within minutes, and the fight began. During this fight, Sullivan pulled out a .38-caliber handgun and fired it.

Joe Martin, Isaac Martin’s 72-year-old father and a witness to the shooting, said the bullet killed his son instantly.

Decatur, Alabama

From Huntsville’s of February 12, 2005
Home surveillance system clears man in shooting of brother-in-law

A home surveillance tape cleared a Lacey Spring's man in the fatal shooting of his brother in law.

After watching the recording of the shooting in a home garage, a Morgan County grand jury found that Terry Lynn Davis shooting his brother-in-law was justified as self-defense.

Sheriff Greg Bartlett says Terry Lynn Davis and Jeffrey Frank Hann argued at Davis' Vansandt Road home March fifth, 2004, about a key to an automobile garage.

The video shows Hann threatening Davis with a hammer. Davis then armed himself with a .32-caliber pistol. The video shows that Hann became angry and threw the hammer at Davis. It missed and bounced off a wall. As Hann approached his brother-in-law again with the hammer, Davis shot him.

Bartlett says Davis' son, who was four at the time, witnessed the shooting.

Authorities had NOT charged Davis in the shooting, leaving the grand jury to make the decision.
Harrison, Michigan

From the Saginaw News of February 8, 2005
Elderly homeowner had enough of robber

A robber may have taken advantage of an elderly Clare County couple, but one of the victims wasn't about to just sit back and let it happen.

The robber showed up at the victims' house about 7 p.m. Friday asking to use their phone, said Sheriff's Detective Lt. Mark McClellan. The victims, who are in their 60s, allowed the man to use their cordless phone outside.

The culprit then asked to use the couple's bathroom, McClellan said. While in the bathroom, deputies said, the man took the couple's prescription medication out of a medicine cabinet.

The same man returned to the victims' home on West Rock about 12:40 p.m. Saturday, again asking to use the phone, McClellan said. When the couple refused, the robber shoved them back into the house and went in.

While the intruder searched the victims' bathroom and bedroom, the male resident got his pistol and ordered the man to leave, the lieutenant said. A scuffle ensued and the robber ran off, but not before the homeowner fired a shot at him.
Burlington, North Carolina

From the Greensboro News-Record of February 7, 2005
Police: Burlington resident shoots home invasion suspect

A man authorities allege participated in a home invasion was shot in the upper torso early this morning by one of the residents he was trying to rob, police report.

About 1:30 a.m., Burlington police responded to a reported burglary in progress at 1109 Rosenwald St.

Officers found a man later identified as Tele Richmond, 22, of 231 Kerr Chapel Road in Burlington, lying in the front yard suffering a gunshot wound to his torso.

Richmond was one of four men who entered the Rosenwald Street home and tried to rob the residents at gunpoint, police said.

One of the residents, apparently acting in self defense, fired at the suspects with a handgun, striking Richmond, police said.

The other suspects were last seen running north toward Sharpe Road.

None of the residents was injured, police said.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Rancho Cordova, California

From the Sacramento Bee of February 11, 2005
Two shoot at invaders; man killed

The gunfire sparks a lockdown of two Rancho Cordova schools.

Two would-be home-invasion robbers were shot by the homeowners of a Rancho Cordova duplex Thursday afternoon, one of them fatally, prompting a lockdown of two nearby schools and a house-to-house search for another suspect.

Witnesses told Sacramento County sheriff's investigators that three armed men came to the front door of the duplex at 10907 Gadsten Way about 1:15 p.m., apparently intending to confront the two men inside, said sheriff's Sgt. R.L. Davis.

Instead, at least one of the men inside armed himself and began shooting; one man was hit in the chest with a shotgun blast and another was wounded in the leg. When emergency fire crews arrived, they found one man in the doorway and another just outside the door. The third suspect was gone, as were both occupants of the home.

Spokane, Washington

From the Spokane Spokesman-Review of February 11, 2005
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Neighbor shoots suspected car prowler

Suspect is in critical condition; shooter's case is under investigation

A 38-year-old car prowler suffered two gunshot wounds and was fighting for his life Thursday after he swung an aluminum bat at a gun-wielding neighbor, police said.

The confrontation occurred just before 5:20 a.m. in the alley behind 3318 W. Walton Ave., Spokane Police Sgt. Gary Warren said. The neighbor told police that he heard suspicious noises, grabbed his .22-caliber pistol and went outside to investigate.

The neighbor, whom police did not name, found the car prowler straddling a mountain bike as he leaned into a black Chevy pickup. The prowler, identified by police as 38-year-old William D. Keele, had used the bat to smash the passenger-side wing window to get inside the truck, Warren said.

"He was inside the truck," Warren said of Keele. "He comes out with a bat … takes a swing and misses. The homeowner has a gun. He doesn't miss."

Warren said Keele has three active warrants for his arrest.

The neighbor, who was in his 50s, fired three shots. One hit Keele in the chest, one hit his foot and one shot apparently missed, Warren said. The neighbor had not been charged in connection with the shooting.

"The state doesn't condone you shooting people for stealing property," Cpl. Jim Muzatko said. "But if someone threatens you, you don't have to wait to become a victim. You don't have to wait until someone hits you with a bat. You do what you do to protect yourself."


Thursday, February 10, 2005

Montgomery, Alabama

From the Montgomery Advertiser of February 10, 2005
Man shoots teen burglary suspect

A Montgomery man shot a teenager after he allegedly caught him and another teen burglarizing his home Tuesday night.

Maurice Antwan Cunningham, 18, was shot in the hand about 7:40 p.m. after he and a 14-year-old boy allegedly were caught in the home of Alvin Hardy at 4431 Wimbleton Road.

Lt. Huey Thornton, a police spokesman, said Hardy told officers Cunningham had his hand in his jacket and that he thought the teenager had a gun in there.

Cunningham and the other boy are charged with second-degree burglary and theft of property, a police report said.

Thornton said Hardy was not charged in the shooting.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Harris County, Texas

From the Houston Chronicle of February 9, 2005
Police search for armed men in botched home invasion

Harris County Sheriff's deputies were searching for the armed men responsible for a botched home invasion robbery late Tuesday that sent the homeowner to the hospital, officials said.

The victim, in his late 50s, was confronted about 9:15 p.m. soon after he pulled into the garage at his home in the 11900 block of Palmetto Shores.

"The suspect entered his garage and (the homeowner) began firing to defend himself. We don't know if he hit anybody," said Detective Felipe Rivera, with the Harris County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators said two other people left the area soon after the gunshots were exchanged. "Witnesses are saying that they observed the suspects running down the street (and) firing," Rivera said.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

From the Baton Rouge Advocate of February 9, 2005
Homeowner shoots alleged burglar in self defense

A burglary suspect was shot twice on Monday by the owner of a home he was allegedly trying to break into in north Baton Rouge.

Baton Rouge Police said the teenager got away, but an off-duty officer noticed the injured suspect not long after at a Family Dollar on Airline Highway.

No charges have been filed against the homeowner, as police call the act self defense.

According to Louisiana law, a homicide is now justified when committed by a person lawfully inside a dwelling, place of business or a vehicle against a person who is attempting to make unlawful entry. The person committing the homicide must reasonably believe that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the entry or to compel the intruder to leave.

"You have a right to use force up to and including deadly force if you reasonably believe that it is what's necessary to make them stop trying to break into your structure," said Cpl. Don Kelly of the BRPD. "You don't necessarily have to state or convince police or a jury that you're in fear of your life. The threshold of proof for homeowner or business or car owner is someone was trying to break in, and I felt deadly force was the only option to get them to stop."

Kelly said the law is designed to protect those who are threatened, not the criminal.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Las Vegas, Nevada

From the Las Vegas Sun of February 8, 2005
Police probe unrelated shootings; one dead

Metro Police were investigating two separate shootings this morning that were apparently self-defense -- one left an alleged home invader dead and the other left a man suffering from a shotgun blast in a trailer park.

Officers responded to the Adobe Villas apartment complex in the 3500 block of East Lake Mead Boulevard near Pecos Road after a 34-year-old shooting victim at University Medical Center told hospital personnel he had shot a would-be robber in his apartment this morning, police said.

The incident occurred between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. after the alleged intruder entered the man's second-floor apartment, Homicide Sgt. Clint Robison said.

A violent struggle followed, in which furniture and other belongings were damamged (sic), Robison said. The apartment resident was then shot twice before he killed the intruder.

The wounded man's injuries were not life-threatening and he was recovering this morning at UMC, officials said.

Police had not released his name this morning.

Detectives are looking into whether the two men knew each other, Robison said. Evidence indicated the resident was trying to defend himself, he said, and the resident is not expected to be charged with a crime.

"It looks like self-defense," Robison said. "But usually it's the other way (with the resident as the victim)."

Police said another man may have been involved in the botched robbery attempt, but no description or information about his alleged role was available this morning.

Angel Mares, 18, said she had watched this morning from her apartment two doors away from where the shooting occurred.

She said she does not know her neighbor, but the complex was frequently the site of violence.

"I hear a lot of fights," Mares said as she held her 1-year-old son, also named Angel. "Someone is always fighting. It's crazy. That's why I'm leaving."

A second shooting this morning, also apparently a case of self-defense, occurred in a mobile home park near Craig Road and Rancho Drive, police said.

A man who lives there told police that he heard noise outside about 6:30 a.m. and saw his former roommate on a ladder, trying to get into a tall backyard shed, Officer Jose Montoya, police spokesman, said.

The resident, armed with a rifle, confronted his ex-roommate and ordered him to leave the property, but the man allegedly refused, police said.

The former roommate pulled out a knife and came toward the resident, and the resident shot him, Montoya said. The wounded man was in critical condition at UMC this morning, officials said.

Montoya said that in the last few months police had been called to investigate arguments and fights between the two men at the trailer, he said.

It was not clear this morning whether the shooter would face any charges, police said.

"Everything looks like it was self-defense," Montoya said.

Kansas City, Missouri

From Kansas City‘s of February 8, 2005
Homeowner Shoots Home Invaders

A teenager is dead after police say he and another gunman busted into a house overnight.

It happened at around 11:30 p.m. Monday in the 5200 block of Dixie Court.

Two men with guns tried to force their way into a house, but the home owner pulled his own gun and shot at both suspects. One shot hit the teenager, who later died at a hospital.

The other suspect is in custody.

Monday, February 7, 2005

Sparks, Nevada

From the Reno Gazette-Journal of December 24, 2004
Man killed in Sparks during struggle

A man was shot to death Friday after kicking down the door of his former girlfriend’s apartment and fighting with a male friend who had been asleep in a bedroom, Sparks police said.

The name of the deceased was not immediately released, pending the notification of relatives.

Charles Ketcham, 49, shot the former boyfriend several times with a handgun after the ex-boyfriend was beating his head with a metal lamp, police said. REMSA paramedics took the ex-boyfriend to Washoe Medical Center where he died.

The incident began around 2:40 a.m. when police received a call about an unwanted ex-boyfriend at an apartment on Beacon Hill Court, officers said.

When officers arrived, they found the ex-boyfriend in an upstairs bedroom with multiple gunshot wounds. The intruder reportedly attacked the woman before the shooting, according to authorities.

They said that in late November, the man had moved out of the apartment he had shared with the woman.

Ketcham was treated for head injuries and released.

He was described by authorities as a co-worker of the woman and had been asked by her Thursday to help get a restraining order against the ex-boyfriend. The former girlfriend had received a restraining order, but police said they did not believe it had been served.

Ketcham had fallen asleep at the woman’s residence and was there when the ex-boyfriend kicked down the door, police said.
No subsequent stories about this incident were found that would indicate that any charges were filed.

Sunday, February 6, 2005

New Orleans, Louisiana

From the New Orleans Times-Picayune of February 6, 2005
Armed robbery target kills gunman, cops say Teen dies, brother booked in stickup

A teenager wielding a handgun was shot and killed late Friday near Tulane University by a man he was trying to rob, New Orleans police said, marking the second time in four days that a would-be criminal was killed in the act.

Police think the teen who was shot Friday, Micah Adams, 17, and his brother Darius Adams, 19, both of the 3300 block of Behrman Highway in Algiers, were responsible for a series of recent stickups in the University section of town.

Darius Adams was arrested shortly after the shooting, and police found a car idling nearby that they think was the brothers' intended getaway vehicle, police spokesman Capt. Marlon Defillo said.

Darius Adams has been booked with attempted armed robbery, but Defillo said he likely will face additional charges, possibly including murder, since he is accused of helping to commit a felony that resulted in a death.

The robbery attempt occurred in the 7400 block of Zimpel Street on Friday just before 11 p.m. The target of the robbery, a 34-year-old man whom police declined to identify, was leaving work and walking to his car when Micah Adams approached him with a handgun drawn, Defillo said.

The man produced his own weapon and fired at Adams, who was shot multiple times in the torso. Adams tried to flee but collapsed nearby. Emergency medical technicians pronounced him dead at the scene.

Friday, February 4, 2005

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

From the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader of December 24, 2004
Man suffers back wound after altercation in Wilkes-Barre

A man was hospitalized after suffering a puncture wound during an altercation that led to gunfire at a home in the 100 block of Parrish Street early Wednesday morning, police said.

According to Wilkes-Barre police:

Charles Baldrica Sr. said that shortly after 5 a.m. he was awakened by Michael Kane, a house guest, who said he heard something outside. His son, Charles Baldrica Jr., and Kane went outside where they saw two men tampering with a motorcycle chained in their driveway.

Kane confronted the two men.

Baldrica Jr. and Kane went back into the house to tell Baldrica Sr.

Moments later the two men tried to break through the back door. Baldrica Sr. grabbed a semi-automatic pistol from his bedroom. He saw one of the suspects pointing a small handgun at him.

He shot one round and the suspects began to leave the house. He fired two more rounds and later told an officer he heard one of the men say he was hit.

Kane suffered a large puncture wound on his lower left back and was taken to Scranton Community Medical Center, according to police.

Hospital spokeswoman Jane Gaul said Thursday she had no information about Kane's condition.

Baldrica Sr. did not return a message left at his house Thursday night. When reached at his home, his son also refused to speak about the incident.

The investigation continues.
No subsequent stories about this incident were found.

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Palatka, Florida

From Jacksonville’s of December 8, 2004
Detecitves Rule Murder as Self Defense

The Putnam County Sheriff's Office is ruling the shooting death of Benjamin Jones by his father a case of self defense. The complete investigation is being forwarded to the State Attorney's Office for review.

Deputies were called to Harding Avenue in Palatka Tuesday night around 11:45 pm. Glen Jones Sr. greeted them outside and told them he had shot his son, 29-year-old Benjamin Wayne Jones. Deputies entered the home to find Benjamin Jones' lifeless body.

Putnam County Sheriff's Office Homicide Detective Dell Parker met with the State Attorney's Office on Thursday to discuss the incident.

Investigators say the incident started Tuesday night when Glenn Jones Sr. was in his bedroom with the bedroom door locked. Benjamin Jones tried to enter the bedroom, but was denied access. Detectives say he tried to force the door open which was evidenced by the door's frame being sprung. Glenn Jones Sr. opened the door armed with a handgun. According to a news release from the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, Benjamin Jones grabbed his father and placed him in a headlock. The father the hit his son in the head in an attempt to be freed from the hold. When that didn't work, Glenn Jones Sr. shot Benjamin Jones multiple times in an effort to end the struggle. After the shooting, Glenn Jones Sr. called 911 for assistance.

The decision to deem the case as self-defense is being based on the evidence found at the home and the statements provided to investigators by Glenn Jones Sr. The completed investigation will still be forwarded to the State Attorney's Office for a full review.
No subsequent stories about this incident were found.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

New Orleans, Louisiana

From New Orleans‘ of February 1, 2005

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N.O. East man shoots and kills burglar trying to enter home

A New Orleans East resident shot and killed a man who was allegedly trying to break into his home Tuesday afternoon.

The incident occurred in the 9900 block of East Wheaton Circle around 12:30 p.m.

According to investigators, the resident was at home alone when the doorbell rang. The man told officers that a short time later he heard glass breaking and saw a man who police have identified as 34-year-old Ferrial C. Johnson armed with a car jack trying to break into his kitchen.

Investigators said the man armed himself and warned the suspect, who continued to try to gain entrance before being shot once.

The suspect fled the rear yard and collapsed near the carport.

Officers said the suspect was wearing gloves and holding a car jack when he was found.

In addition, officers said the dead man is a suspect in an attempted break in that occurred about a half mile away, just minutes before the shooting.

A witness in that case described the suspect’s getaway car and license number and they matched those found on the car in front of the shooting scene.

Police said that at the present time no charges are being filed against the resident who shot the intruder.

"Certainly if a homeowner feels that his or her life is in imminent danger, then that person has a right to protect himself or the lives of other individuals who may be present inside the home," said Police spokesman Marlon Defillo.

Chatanooga, Tennessee

From Knoxville’s WVLT-tv of February 2, 2005
Man found not guilty in shooting death

A Grundy County jury has found a man innocent of fatally shooting his brother-in-law.

Twenty-three-year-old Gary Cantrell of Monteagle had been accused of second-degree murder for shooting and killing Fabian Byers.

Defense attorney Howell Clements called the incident "a classic case of self-defense."

Clements said the men met in the parking lot of a grocery store and Cantrell though Byers was reaching for a gun inside his car. His attorney said Cantrell pulled a gun from his own glove compartment and shot Byers.

Prosecutor Mike Taylor says it appears the jurors based much of their verdict on Byers' reputation. Several witnesses testified Byers had threatened his wife, who is Cantrell's sister, by holding a gun to her head.

Cantrell's attorney said Byers had also threatened his client.
Los Angeles, California

From the Los Angeles Daily News of January 29, 2005
Murder charges are dismissed in shooting at club

Capital murder charges have been dismissed against a 23-year-old North Hills man after a judge determined he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot two men during a fight outside a Northridge nightclub, officials said Friday.

Alejandro Murillo was freed Thursday following a five-day preliminary hearing on charges of first-degree murder with special circumstances. He could have faced the death penalty if he'd been tried and convicted.

He was accused of fatally shooting Michael Domaloan, 21, and Felix Quiroz, 23, on Sept. 17, 2003, outside Bub Blurs Company, a popular smoking club where a rap music contest was being held.

Witnesses testified that the victims had attacked a friend of Murillo's and were reaching for weapons when the defendant shot them.

"It's very difficult to obtain a dismissal on a murder case, especially when there are two murder counts," said Murillo's attorney, James Blatt. "But I wasn't surprised by the court's final decision. It became crystal clear that the defendant had an honest belief that his friend was in danger and, in fact, that belief was reasonable."

Los Angeles County district attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said prosecutors will not refile charges unless new evidence is found.

"The judge thought long and hard and did dismiss the case on grounds of perfect defense of others, basically that the defense is that you are basically conducting an act to protect others," Gibbons said.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Brewer, Maine

From Portland’s of November 10, 2004

Police say a man from Brewer who shot his neighbor Monday night doesn't face charges right now.

Detectives were back at 43 Maple Street in Brewer Tuesday talking with people in the neighborhood, trying to get a better idea of what went on inside that apartment building Monday night.

Police say they know the woman living in the downstairs apartment, 70-year-old Mary Coleman, went upstairs to Eric Lane's apartment and told him she was having a problem with her roommate.

Investigators say Lane called police, but before officers arrived Lane shot the man after some sort of dispute.

Police say the victim is 47-year-old Eric Loessin of Texas.

Police say Eric Lane is a security guard at UMaine Orono, and has a concealed weapons permit.

They are looking at self-defense as a possible motive for the shooting.

"We have to look at every angle. Self-defense is one of those things we look at. Some of it is clear and obvious, some aren't so clear so we have to investigate those possibilities also and we are doing that with this case," says Sgt. Steve Pickering of the Maine State Police.

It's up to the Attorney General's Office to decide whether to file charges against Eric Lane.

Assistant Attorney General Bill Stokes says the state will meet with detectives within the next week to discuss the case and review the timeline of what happened.
No subsequent stories about this incident suggest anything but self-defense.