Friday, September 30, 2005

Corpus Christi, Texas

From Corpus Christi‘s of September 30, 2005
Homeowner shoots burglary suspect

A homeowner, who was stabbed during an early morning burglary, shoots the suspect.

"He came at me again, and I shot him...I shot him three times," said Danny Dunn. The attempted burglary and shooting happened in the 2200 block of Gershwin Lane, just before 6:00 a.m. Thursday morning. 6 News talked to the injured homeowner, who said he wasn't going down without a fight.

Dunn said he was on his way to work and walked out into his garage area, when he saw the burglar going through some of his belongings. He said he shouted out and asked him what he was doing and that's when the burglar attacked.

"He came at me with a knife, he cut me on the hand, and on the face, I took 49 stitches total," Dunn said. Danny said the burglar then tried to get out the same way he came in by crawling underneath his garage door, which was cracked open but couldn't get out. Scared, Danny ran inside his home and grabbed his 22 caliber rifle and came back.

"He had pushed the garage door opener and it went down, trapping him, he come at me again, and I shot him...I shot him three times," Dunn said. He said he left behind this trail of blood before falling to the ground just outside the garage.

"He flopped around out here for a while, and he wouldn't stay down, like I told him, I told him I was going to kill him, and I should have." Danny said the burglar was able to make a getaway by opening the garage door, but it wasn't a clean one, the suspect apparently left his prints behind.

Police said it didn't take long for them to catch up with suspect, 22-year-old Daniel Holcomb was arrested at the hospital where were told he was being treated for gun shot wounds to his arm, leg and pelvis.

"This is one home owner that you ain't going to mess with; I'll take the next one down too."

Thursday, September 29, 2005

East Moline, Illinois

From the Quad Cities’ of September 29, 2005
Teen Shooter Will Not Face Murder Charges

James Teague died in the early morning hours of September 11th. Police say he was trying to rob someone at gunpoint when he was killed. The shooter was acting in self-defense.

East Moline Police and Roc [sic] Island County State's Attorney Jeff Terronez made this announcement Thursday afternoon. They say Teague robbed 18 year-old Donte Ellis at gunpoint near 15th Street and 10th Avenue.

Police say after he was robbed Ellis walked down the street to tell his friend, 16 year-old Mitchell Laabs. Minutes later, police say Teague approached the two teens and pointed his gun at Laabs. According to police, that's when Laabs reached for his 45-caliber handgun and shot Teague to death.

State's Attorney Jeff Terronez says the shooting falls under an Illinois statuette [sic] of justifiable use of force and self defense.

So that means neither teens will face murder charges in this case. However, Laabs, the juvenile is facing charges on aggravated unlawful use of a firearm and improper identification of a firearm
Albuquerque, New Mexico

From Albuquerque‘s of September 29, 2005
Police investigate alleged invasion, shooting

Police say a West Side homeowner shot and critically injured an alleged intruder early Thursday afternoon.

Albuquerque police said the homeowner was at his home in the 10,000 block of Del Rey SW during the noon hour and discovered the other man in his house, possibly burgling the home.

APD officers say an altercation occurred and the homeowner shot the other man in the abdomen in the backyard.

The alleged intruder was brought to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where he is listed in critical condition.

The shooting prompted officials to lock down nearby Carlos Rey Elementary School.

Police have not released the names of the homeowner or the alleged intruder.

Police are talking with witnesses and have detained two men who they say are “associates” of the intruder. Nobody has been arrested.
Laurel, Maryland

From the Laurel Leader of September 29, 2005
Armed carjacking

Sept. 22: 14800 block of Baltimore Ave. - A retired county police officer, who lives in Beltsville, told police he was approached by a man who asked him for change for a $20 bill.When the victim said he did not have the change, the man said he had run out of gas and asked if he could use the victim's cell phone. The victim told police that when he went to get his cell phone from his truck, the robber pulled out a handgun and demanded the keys to the victim's truck and his cell phone. According to the police report, as the robber got in the truck to drive away, the retired officer fired his handgun at the carjacker. The armed robber fled, with another truck following him, which police suspect may have been an accomplice. No one was injured.
Tacoma, Washington

From Seattle’s of September 29, 2005
Two shot during Tacoma robbery attempt

Two people were taken to a Tacoma hospital Thursday morning after a shooting during a robbery attempt an auto supply store.

Tacoma Police say a man walked into the Schucks Auto Supply store at 72nd and Portland and began putting gasoline into a mini motorcycle on display in the store.

A clerk confronted the man, who pulled a gun and attempted to rob the store. A customer then pulled his own gun and told the suspect to drop his gun. Shots were fired and the suspect was hit.

A store clerk was struck by an errant round.

Police were investigating.

The condition of the two people taken to the hospital was not immediately known.
From the Tacoma News-Tribune of September 30, 2005
Two injured in gunfight that interrupts robbery

A Tacoma man who went to an auto parts store to help a friend fix her car Thursday found himself trading gunfire with a would-be robber, shooting the gunman several times, police said. A clerk at the store was hit in the crossfire.

Both the 21-year-old man who witnesses said tried to rob the store and the clerk – a woman in her 30s – are expected to live.

The man who pulled out his gun to stop the robbery – Joe Phillips – was not hurt. Phillips, the father of a 12-year-old daughter, was interviewed by detectives Thursday morning and released. There are no plans to arrest him, police spokesman Mark Fulghum said.

“When someone points a gun at you, you have a right to defend yourself,” Fulghum said. “From what we hear, he told the guy to put down his gun. He gave him warnings.”

(More--mostly previously reported detail)
Fort Wayne, Indiana

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette of September 29, 2005
Homeowner shoots out tire on van linked to theft spree

Sheriff’s officers were investigating a series of home burglaries Wednesday in southwest Allen County that they say are connected.

A homeowner called the Allen County Sheriff’s Department about 10:34 a.m. Wednesday after he arrived at his home in the 16000 block of Aboite Road and discovered a dark-colored van parked in his driveway and a stack of electronic equipment, said Steve Stone, sheriff’s department spokesman.

The homeowner grabbed a shotgun from his home and shot out one of the tires on the van, then went to a neighbor’s home and called police, Stone said.

Sheriff’s officers and troopers with the Indiana State Police closed in on the residence and found no one, a sheriff’s department report said.

A state police plane patrolled the area looking for suspects.

During a four-hour search, police found two other burglarized homes.

One was in the 11000 block of Yoder Road and the other was in the 8100 block of Lafayette Center Road.

The Aboite Road homeowner didn’t see any burglars and did not know whether there was more than one person, Stone said.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Seminole, Florida

From the Tampa Tribune of August 1, 2005
Neighbor Shot Dead In Fight Over Woman

A fight between two neighbors over a woman resulted in one of the men being shot dead at the Green Meadows Mobile Home Park, 1799 Seminole Blvd., at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Marianne Pasha said.

The victim apparently accused John Shockley, 56, of Lot 8, of sleeping with his girlfriend. Both lived at Green Meadows, Pasha said.

Pasha said the victim would not be publicly identified until his family was informed of his death.

Deputies arrested Shockley, who was taken to the hospital for treatment for injuries sustained in a fistfight. He had not been charged late Sunday, Pasha said.
No subsequent stories about this incident were found.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

York, Pennsylvania

From the York Daily Record of September 27, 2005
Two men shot in York

Police said the men were shot during a robbery attempt at a store.

A store owner and one of three men who tried to rob his shop were shot Monday afternoon, according to York City Police.

Both the store owner and the suspect were treated at York Hospital Monday night. The business owner, Kevin Patrick Winter, was doing well, police said. The other man was in the intensive care unit late Monday night.

The shootings occurred at Kendal's Grocery and Jamaican Cuisine in the 600 block of East Market Street.

Shortly after 4 p.m., three men went into the store and tried to rob Winter. When he wouldn't comply, one of the men shot him once in the hip, said York County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bill Graff.

A part-time store clerk, Steven Gray, fired several shots from a .45-caliber handgun, hitting one of the men, police said. The robbers ran out of the store.

Witnesses said they heard the shots and saw Winter lying in the store's doorway, bleeding. A man they described as his friend tried to keep Winter from passing out as they waited for help to arrive.

Within minutes, an ambulance came and took Winter to the hospital.

The uninjured robbers helped their hurt accomplice into a car and left, witnesses said. They sped past two city officers, Travis Sowers and Matthew Leitzel, who followed them to the hospital. The officers arrested the uninjured men while the third was treated in the emergency room, police said.

That man was shot four times — twice in the stomach and twice in the arm — the prosecutor said.

At the store, police blocked off the area out front, spreading yellow police tape from one side of the street to the other. A fire policeman diverted East Market Street's heavy, rush-hour traffic to an alternate way out of the city.

People who live on the street stood along the police tape watching officers work.

"It's a shame that people are out here shooting in broad daylight," one woman said. She shook her head as she walked up the street toward her apartment.

Police filed charges against two men Monday night, but court documents detailing the offenses weren't available. The man in the hospital was to be charged once he was moved from the intensive care unit, authorities said.

Charges include robbery, aggravated assault and attempted homicide. Gray won't be charged, Graff said.

"He didn't commit a crime. He defended himself," Graff said. Gray had a license to carry the gun, which was properly registered, he said..
Compton, California

From Los Angeles’ of September 27, 2005
Alleged Robber Shot By Taco Stand Employee

Armed Teen Critically Wounded In Shooting

An armed teenage boy was shot and critically wounded by an employee of a Compton taco restaurant that he was apparently trying to rob, according to sheriff's deputies.

Deputies responded to a report of an attempted armed robbery at Flores Tacos at 1908 East Compton Boulevard at 11:18 p.m. Monday, Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Alba Yates said. They discovered the wounded teen when they arrived.

The wounded teen was allegedly armed and trying to rob the restaurant when an employee shot him. Detectives recovered two handguns at the scene, according to NBC4's Angela Chee.

Chee said the employee of the store who shot the alleged robber is believed to be the restaurant owner's brother.

Restaurant workers said the wounded man robbed the same taco stand last Wednesday and returned Monday night. Detectives said they could not yet confirm that and were working to determine if the shooting was justified.
Spanish Springs, Nevada

From the Reno Gazette-Journal of September 27, 2005
Deputies continue to investigate Spanish Springs shooting death

Sheriff's deputies continued Monday to investigate the death of a 44-year-old man they believe was killed trying to break into a Spanish Springs home.

Miguel Cruz, who also went by Benito Tapia, of Sparks, was shot to death about 10:20 p.m. Saturday, Deputy Darrin Rice, Washoe County Sheriff's Office spokesman, said.

Deputies are investigating the possibility that the shooter was acting in self defense because Cruz was shot after he tried to break into a house in the 6000 block of Hibiscus Court, Rice said.

At least one person was in the home when the break-in happened, Rice said. Rice didn't know whether the shooter was inside the house.

When deputies arrived, Cruz already had died of a gunshot wound, Rice said.

Authorities did not release other details. No arrests had been made as of Monday, Rice said.

The Washoe County district attorney's office determines whether homicides are justified in possible self-defense situations, Rice said.
From the Carson City Appeal of September 30, 2005
Husband wasn't breaking in when killed, says family

Miguel Cruz was not trying to break into a Spanish Springs home when he was shot and killed Saturday, according to his family.

Instead, they said, he had gone to the home to retrieve his family's belongings from the house where he and his wife had been living for nearly a year.

Marcela Fierro, Cruz's wife, said the two met Jon Reynolds through mutual friends. They moved from Carson City in November into his house in the 6000 block of Hibiscus Court, where Fierro cooked and cleaned while Cruz did odd jobs around the house.

However, Fierro said the friendship ended when Reynolds began making romantic advances.

"It became an obsession," she said "He told me he would treat me like a queen. He made a lot of promises."

But, she said, she was never tempted. Cruz "was the love of my life."

"We were poor, but we were millionaires in love," she explained. "I'll love him forever."

She said Reynolds told Cruz he had to leave, but encouraged Fierro to stay. The couple moved out in June and returned to Carson City.

Fierro said she went back to the house to collect their personal belongings Saturday, but Reynolds told her he would not return her things until Cruz payed off a debt. Reynolds couldn't be reached Thursday to tell his side of the story, and police have not made public details of the shooting.

Cruz went to the home later Saturday. He didn't return that night, nor the next morning. Fierro drove to Reynolds' home to see if his car was still there, when, she said, Reynolds' girlfriend told Fierro that Cruz was dead.

It was reported as a home invasion.


Monday, September 26, 2005

Jacksonville, Florida

From the of September 25, 2005
Woman Shoots Intruder; State Attorney Evaluating Charges

Police said a woman shot a man about 2 a.m. Sunday in her home just off San Pablo Road near Beach Boulevard.

Detectives said the same woman had called police earlier in the evening saying a man she knew had threatened her, then left.

Investigators said that when the suspect returned and forced his way into the woman's mobile home, she shot him.

The man was in critical condition at Shands-Jacksonville Medical Center.

Police have not released the names of either person. The woman was not arrested, with police saying the state attorney's office would evaluating whether the woman should be charged with a crime.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hoover, Alabama

From the Tuscaloosa News of September 25, 2005
Brothers [sic] fight back against crime

Nobody likes to be robbed, but Bill and Joshua Borklund have taken extra measures to make criminals pay for targeting a Hoover gas oline station.

Bill Borklund, who owned and ran the Alford Avenue BP for 5 years before leasing the business to someone else several months ago, once chased a man 134 miles to Troy for stealing $20 worth of gasoline.

In 2003, he followed a robber out of his store, grabbed a pellet rifle from him and started hitting him with it. He also pulled a pistol and fired five shots at the robber's fleeing car in an attempt to disable it.

His 24-year-old son, Joshua Borklund, now is following in his father's footsteps. Just two weeks ago, the younger Borklund, who works for the new owner, got into a shootout with a robber in the parking lot.

Like father, like son. These Borklund men don't like to let criminals get away.

(Much more)
Albuquerque, New Mexico

From Albuquerque‘s of September 25, 2005
Clerk at bookstore stopped robbery with gun

An Albuquerque woman faces armed robbery and child abuse charges after she allegedly tried to rob an Albuquerque bookstore – but was stopped by a clerk at the store.

A criminal complaint says Victoria Weathers pulled out a knife and tried to rob Don’s Paperbacks.

The clerk, Elizabeth Johnson, complied at first as Weathers allegedly poked her in the stomach with the knife.

But when Weathers tried to leave, the complaint says, Johnson pulled a handgun from her leg holster and ordered her to stop.

Weathers immediately dropped the $160 and lay on the ground, police say.

Meanwhile, Johnson’s 9-year-old daughter, who was at the store, called 911 from a back room.

When police arrived, they arrested Weathers, who reportedly admitted to robbing the store.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Knoxville, Tennessee

From the September 24, 2005 Knoxville News-Sentinel (free registration required):
Suspect killed in home invasion shootout One suspected robber was killed and an East Knoxville homeowner shot in the leg in an apparent home invasion robbery early Friday, police said.

Steve Cunigan, 37, was shot in the leg at his Sunset Avenue residence during the 1:50 a.m. robbery attempt by four people, said Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk. Cunigan was listed in stable condition at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Killed in the robbery attempt was Broderick Tory, 42, who was one of the alleged robbers, DeBusk said. He said it's not clear who shot Tory but that the suspect may have been killed by one of his cohorts.

Witnesses told police up to four people burst into the house in an apparent robbery attempt. Rodney Holloway, no age or address available, awoke during the incident and shot at the suspects with a handgun, DeBusk said.
Rowan County, North Carolina

From Charlotte’s of September 23, 2005
Residents take up arms against violent neighbor

A group of Rowan County residents have organized armed patrols from the rooftops of their homes overnight Friday to protect themselves from a man suspected of arson and attempted murder.

Neighbors are upset deputies aren't on constant patrols or on a manhunt in search of David Lovett, a man accused of arson and attempted murder. If authorities can't catch him, they are ready to take up arms.

"We're not going to let this thing go by," said Richard Walker. "We're protecting our property and our homes."

According to police, Lovett created a "hit list" of residents he believed stole money, cigarettes and shaving cream from him.

"I don't know who is responsible for stealing my things, so I must punish all of you," the list reads. "Give it back and I will not punish you."

In an attempt to cross names off the list, Lovett has stabbed his aunt, Rita Regis, and burned several items in the homes of residents Scott Everhart and Amber Walker.

"He jumped out of his seat, grabbed the knives, stabbed her in the face and started stabbing her in the head," said Regis' boyfriend Douglass Altman.

Neighbors say four other residents were named in addition to the three that are already victims of Lovett's attacks. Lovett frequently threatened neighbors with a machete and a hatchet, neighbors said.

"He believes he's Sasquatch. He believes he's Bigfoot," neighbor Tom Lettice said. "He says, 'I'm around when you least expect me.'"
Staunton, Virginia

From the Waynesboro News Virginian of September 24, 2005
Prosecutor: Self-defense believed in shooting

A Staunton man hospitalized with a bullet in his back early Friday had been shot when his street gang attacked an armed victim, authorities have tentatively ruled.

Police who found Joseph Antonio Coakley, 24, sprawled near downtown Staunton at the intersection of Lewis and Baldwin streets about 2 a.m. initially thought he was drunk in public. They soon realized he had been shot.

As doctors listed Coakley in critical condition hours later, investigators had 26-year-old Jeremy Kyle Bryant, of Staunton, in custody as the shooter. They charged him with carrying a concealed weapon because he lacked a permit, and released him.

Investigators didn’t charge him as the shooter, however.

That’s because Bryant, surrounded by a group of men at the intersection of Fillmore and Frederick streets, pulled out a concealed pistol after someone else brandished a knife, Staunton prosecutor Ray Robinson said.

“From what I understand, it was self-defense,” Robinson said. “It was apparently some gang members that had been harassing Bryant.”
Uhrichsville, Ohio

From the Dover Times-Reporter of September 25, 2005
Man ‘stable’ after being shot

Roy L. Kenney, 32, of 2468 Bellflower Rd. SE, Port Washington was reportedly in stable condition after he was shot Thursday night when he tried to enter his estranged wife’s residence off Edie Hill Rd. SE, Uhrichsville.

Kenney was shot by Eric Burns, 31, who lives at the residence, about 9 p.m. after Kenney broke into the house. Burns, Kenney’s estranged wife and her two children, ages 10 and 6, locked themselves inside a bedroom.

“(Kenney) took a baseball bat to the bedroom door,” said Tuscarawas County Sheriff Walt Wilson. “Burns used a .22 caliber rifle and shot through the door and struck Kenney.”

Kenney arrived at the house with the baseball bat, and the rifle was in the bedroom, the sheriff said.

Wilson was not sure where Kenney was struck and said he was reportedly in stable condition in Mercy Medical Center at Canton, but a hospital representative said his condition was unavailable.

Burns was held in the Tuscarawas County jail overnight Thursday and released. He will not be charged, said Wilson.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Las Vegas, Nevada

From the Las Vegas Sun of September 23, 2005
Charges dropped against war vet

Prosecutors this morning dropped the murder and attempted murder charges that a 20-year-old Iraq war veteran had been facing and will dismiss all remaining charges against him if he completes two therapeutic programs and stays out of trouble.

Matthew Sepi used an assault rifle to kill 47-year-old Sharon Jackson and wound 26-year-old Keven Ratcliff on July 31 in an alley behind the 200 block of New York Avenue. He said he fired in self-defense after being threatened by them, and police found a 9mm gun at the scene and evidence that it had been fired. Sepi's lawyers alleged that it had been fired at Sepi.

Under the terms of the plea bargain struck with prosecutors, Sepi will plead guilty to one count each of felony possession of a dangerous weapon and a gross misdemeanor charge of possession of a concealed weapon.

But if Sepi completes a 90-day drug and alcohol program in Prescott, Ariz., as well as a seven-week combat trauma therapy program in Topeka, Kan., and commits no violent crimes during that nearly 5-month-long span, his case will be dismissed.

If Sepi fails to complete the programs he will be sentenced for the gross misdemeanor and could be placed on probation or serve up to a year in jail.

If Sepi commits a violent crime he will face punishment for the felony possession of a dangerous weapon charge. The charge, in his case, is punishable by probation or 1 to 5 years in prison.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Chris Owens said it had been clear from the beginning of the case that Sepi acted in self-defense and the resolution of the case was an example of the balance of justice the district attorney's office always hopes to achieve.

"Prosecutors are charged with doing what is fair and just," Owens said. "Unfortunately someone was killed and another injured but the totality of the facts and evidence in the case shows the two victims were lying in wait and fired first."

While authorities determined that the shooting was justified, they also believe Sepi needs counseling not just for his own benefit but to ensure the community he will not be carrying a firearm around the streets in that manner again, Owens said. Sepi's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Nancy Lemcke, said "the ultimate dismissal of the charges is a very fair resolution."

Lee‘s Summit, Missouri

From the Kansas City Star of September 23, 2005
Apologetic man charged in bank heist attempt

A Lee’s Summit man tried to rob a Grandview bank with a BB gun but found himself surrounded and looking at the barrels of three armed security guards, prosecutors said in a criminal complaint.

Del Arnold, 45, of Lee’s Summit was charged today in federal court with one count of attempted robbery.

The attempted robbery occurred about 3:25 p.m. Thursday at a Grandview Bank Midwest, 12500 U.S. 71.

According to the affidavit:

A security guard told authorities that a masked man walked in, grabbed a female employee in the lobby and forced her to the ground. The guard pulled out his handgun and pointed it at the man. The would-be bandit then threatened to shoot the woman but realized that two additional armed guards were pointing their weapons at him.

The man gave up peacefully, lay down on the floor and started apologizing. The guards handcuffed him until authorities arrived.

If convicted of attempted robbery, Arnold could face up to 20 years in prison.
Aurora, Colorado

From the Denver Post of September 23, 2005
Aurora woman fires at intruder who cops think was serial rapist

A man police believe may be a serial rapist preying on women in Aurora and Denver narrowly escaped injury when a would-be victim fired a shot at him as he stood in her bedroom doorway, said Sgt. Rudy Herrera of the Aurora Police Department.

The incident occurred about 9 p.m. Sunday in the Colinas Pointe Apartments in the 9800 block of East Mexico Avenue in Aurora, Herrera said.

The young woman heard a noise in her apartment, and she waited in her bedroom, gun in hand. The would-be attacker fled when the shot was fired, Herrera said.

The description the woman provided differed slightly from others, Herrera said. But it is close enough that detectives are looking at the possibility it might be the same man responsible for at least nine sexual assaults and two or three break-ins in southeast Denver, Arapahoe County and Aurora since November.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Coshocton, Ohio

From the Coshocton Tribune of September 22, 2005
Jury returns 'not guilty' verdict

A jury in Coshocton County Common Pleas Court returned a not guilty verdict on Thursday in the Alan L. Bailey murder trial.

Bailey, 24, of Coshocton, faced the charge after he fatally shot Raymond D. Tomak Jr., 26, in the hallway of his Walnut Street apartment on Jan. 30.

From the Coshocton Tribune of September 21, 2005
Bailey trial: a question of intent

Down the street, a group of elementary schoolers walked in two lines past the playground at Central Elementary. At the same time, two busloads of jurors formed a single-file line to enter an apartment building where a man was shot in January.

The jurors had just been selected to hear a murder case against Alan L. Bailey, 24, who is accused of shooting a sometime neighbor in the Walnut Street apartment building.

In court on Tuesday, Prosecuting Attorney Van Blanchard said jurors would hear several versions of what happened the night of Jan. 30, when Raymond D. Tomak Jr., 26, was fatally shot in the chest.

Sheriff's deputies say Bailey opened his door during an argument between Tomak and his girlfriend, Gina Cass, who had just returned to the building together. Both men pulled weapons, and Tomak was shot. The details about those few minutes or seconds in the hallway are disputed.

Blanchard said all witnesses would agree that Bailey had shot Tomak, including Bailey. He said some witnesses would say Tomak had been abusing alcohol and cocaine and had fought with his girlfriend earlier that weekend.

County Prosecutor Bob Batchelor said earlier this year that the prosecution would show Bailey "brought about" the deadly situation by drawing his gun first and using unnecessary force.

Bailey has told sheriff's detectives he was acting in self-defense, and that's exactly what Public Defender Jeffrey Mullen told jurors in his opening statement. He said Tomak had had "an increasingly violent weekend" including an earlier attempt to enter Bailey's apartment, and he ended up dead "because he threatened to kill Alan Bailey."

Mullen painted Tomak's girlfriend as panicked and desperate to escape Tomak when she entered the building that evening, saying Tomak had kicked her windshield and ordered her to take him to the apartment. He described Cass racing into the building ahead of Tomak, and then a confrontation in the hallway.

"She was frantically trying to get her keys to fit the door," Mullen said, and that's when one witness reported hearing a woman screaming. "It's a scream of fear, and Alan thinks he has to go to her aid."

Cleveland, Ohio

From of September 22, 2005
(Scroll down)
No Headline

[An} armed robbery ended without any money changing hands but with an injury to a restaurant owner.

Police said two men walked into the propped-open rear door of Geppetto's, 5344 Pearl Road, about 10 p.m. last Thursday and announced This is a hold-up to the owner and two employee.

One of the suspects grabbed the back of an employee's neck and forced him to the floor in the kitchen.

The owner, who told police one of the suspects had a gun, told the intruders he also had a gun and refused to give them any money.

One of the suspects then sprayed him in the face with a chemical. The owner nonetheless told him if he took another step, he'd shoot.

The suspects apparently took him seriously, fleeing from the restaurant.
Shelby, Tennessee

From the Shelby Star of September 22, 2005
Casar man freed in teen’s shooting death

Rick Van Mellon handed his wife Phyllis his wallet, watch and wedding ring before he entered the courtroom Wednesday. Mrs. Mellon slid the ring on her middle finger.

Mellon faced three charges: first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon and shooting into an occupied vehicle.

With each “not guilty” the jury foreman read, Renee Beck’s eyes widened. She shook her head and stared at the jury. The man who shot and killed her 16-year-old son Jonathan was not going to jail.

It took the jury about four hours to decide Mellon was not guilty of murder for shooting Jonathan Beck nearly two years ago and was not guilty of assault when he shot Paul Dean Allen, who was 15 at the time, in the head. Allen survived and sat in the courtroom Wednesday.

The Trial

On Nov. 28, 2003, Beck was driving his cousin’s car on Mecca Drive, a long private gravel road in Casar that belongs to Mellon.

It was late at night when Beck, who had been drinking, spun the tires and raced down the drive. Mellon said when he and his 17-year-old son Shawn went out to investigate, the car charged toward his son, who jumped out of the way, and then toward Mellon who shot his 9-mm pistol at the car three times. One of the bullets went through Beck’s head and then into Allen’s head.

Mellon did not know Beck but knew Allen, who was riding in the front seat, and knew his then-11-year-old brother, Matthew, who was riding in the back seat.

During the trial, the defense attacked the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office investigation, saying it was incomplete and biased. They claimed Mellon was acting in self defense.

District Attorney Bill Young argued Beck was not driving as fast as Mellon estimated and that, because the shots struck the side of the car rather than the front, Beck was not driving toward Mellon when Mellon fired the shots.

Jurors declined to comment after the trial.
Forsyth, Georgia

From the Macon Telegraph of September 22, 2005
Gun battle erupts as armed robber flees Macon store

A Macon armed robbery ended in a shootout with the store owner and a masked armed robber near the Pleasant Hill neighborhood Wednesday night.

At about 9:30 p.m., a gunman entered the Corner Grocery at 2057 Walnut St., held up the clerk and took off with the cash drawer, Macon police detective Wilton Collins said.

The store owner saw the gunman going in the store, went for his own weapon and ordered the masked man to stop, Collins said.

The owner fired three shots at the fleeing robber, who returned fire, bullet for bullet, as he ran down Forest Avenue toward Riverside Drive, Collins said.

Officers roped off the store and a home on Forest Avenue where they were looking for bullets and other evidence.

Sgt. Joe Currens was using a flashlight to check for possible blood spots on the pavement in case the robber was hit.

"We just want to make sure," Currens said. "You never can tell."

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Arlington, Florida

From the Arlington River City News of September 21, 2005
Would-be robbers get more than they expected

A 54-year-old man told police he was attacked at gunpoint at his home in the 6400 block of Heidi Road about 8:40 p.m. Sept. 10.

He told police when he arrived home and entered through a side door, two men wearing all black clothing with white masks followed him though the door.

One man pointed a shotgun at him and ordered him to get down, according to a police report. The victim said he refused to get down, grabbed the barrel of the shotgun, jammed it into the gunman's stomach and yelled, "I'll kill you," the report said.

The victim told police he pulled the shotgun from the gunman's hands and both attackers fled his house in an unknown direction.

Police took the shotgun to check for prints. The victim was not injured. He told police he has no known enemies and doesn't know anyone who might want to harm him or his family.
Fayetteville, North Carolina

From the Fayetteville Observer of September 21, 2005
One man killed, another injured in home shootings

Leon Roosevelt Allen's yard was cordoned off with crime-scene tape Tuesday afternoon, and a deputy was posted guard outside the home on Trotwood Drive off Rim Road.

Stacks of concrete blocks were in the yard, and four of Allen's cars were parked in the driveway.

About 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, two men entered Allen's home in the Sunset Mobile Home park and began shooting, a news release from the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said.

Allen was wounded in the knee and wrist, a neighbor, Abdul Kelly, said.

The Sheriff's Office hasn't commented on a motive.

Kevin Flowers, 22, of Laurinburg, was one of the men who entered the home. He was shot and killed. The second man got away before deputies arrived, the release said.

One neighbor said he found Flowers' body outside the home behind a parked Cadillac.

Allen was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition Tuesday night.
New Orleans, Louisiana

From Netscape/CNN/Reuters of September 21, 2005
After Katrina, stories of gun battles

After the storm came the carjackers and burglars. Then came the gun battles and the chemical explosions that shook the restored Victorians in New Orleans' Algiers Point neighborhood.

"The hurricane was a breeze compared with the crime and terror that followed," said Gregg Harris, a psychotherapist who lives in the battered area.

As life returned to this close-knit neighborhood three weeks after Hurricane Katrina, residents said they hoped their experience could convince political leaders to get serious about the violence and poor services that have long been an unfortunate hallmark of their city.

"I think now it's a wake-up call," Harris said.

After the storm, the neighborhood association had to act as law enforcement and emergency response unit as city services collapsed and the police force was unable to protect them.

Citizens organized armed patrols and checked on the elderly. They slept on their porches with loaded shotguns and bolted awake when intruders stumbled on the aluminum cans they had scattered on the sidewalk.

Gunshots rang out for days, sometimes terrifyingly close.

For Harris, the first warning sign came on Tuesday, the day after the storm, when two young men hit his partner, Vinnie Pervel, over the head and drove off with his Ford van.

(Much more)
Olympia, Washington

From The Olympian of September 21, 2005
Man fires gun, stops break-in at grocery store

A man armed with a handgun stopped an attempted burglary suspect early Tuesday from breaking into Littlerock Grocery, the sheriff's office reported.

The perpetrator was equipped with a hand truck to haul out whatever he planned on stealing, authorities said. He also carried bolt cutters to cut a chain around the door.

He took the tools with him as he fled in a dark-colored pickup, Thurston County sheriff's Chief Criminal Deputy Dan Kimball said.

"It's not unusual to have a smash-and-grab. But it seems to me to be a little more elaborate, a little more 'obvious' would be the word to use," Kimball said.

The attempted burglary was reported about 3:20 a.m. by a neighbor who noticed the perpetrator's pickup in a parking lot across the street. A few minutes later, he saw the perpetrator in front of the store at 6410 128th Ave. S.W., Kimball said.

The 41-year-old neighbor fired one warning shot with a .38- caliber revolver into the ground.

"Which, at 3 in the morning, would get anybody's attention," Kimball said.

The perpetrator heard the shot and ran to his pickup. The neighbor then pointed the gun in the perpetrator's direction and ordered him to stop, Kimball said.

But the perpetrator ignored him. He tossed the hand truck into the pickup and sped off south on Littlerock Road, without turning on his headlights.

Investigators think he had the hand truck to carry out an ATM machine inside the store.
Clovis, New Mexico

From the Clovis News Journal of September 21, 2005
Bail revocation ends in shooting injuries

A Clovis bail bond employee and a suspected bail-jumper suffered non-fatal gunshot wounds Tuesday.

Crystal Snell of Hank’s Bail Bonds was shot in the leg and Javier Sanchez, 33, in the lower back about 10 a.m. in the 300 block of Gaylord, according law enforcement officials.

Both were shot by Hank Bayless, the owner of Hank’s Bail Bonds, as he tried to revoke Sanchez’ bond, according to a police press release.

Bayless was questioned by Clovis police Tuesday and released, Chandler said.

Chandler said the investigation is ongoing and he did not know if charges would be filed.

He said Bayless had a permit to carry the firearm.

According to court records, Sanchez failed to appear in court Aug. 9 for his arraignment on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges.

Sanchez had not been booked at the Curry County Detention Center as of late Tuesday night, according to a jail official.

Sheila Baker of Goodman Bail Bonds in Clovis posted $32,000 for his release on May 1.

Baker said she contracted Bayless to assist in apprehending Sanchez because she believed Sanchez had a violent streak and neither she nor any of her employees at Goodman Bail Bonds carry guns.

Tipped off by an informant, Baker, Bayless and Snell went looking for Sanchez at the 300 block of Gaylord.

A man who answered the door at the 300 block of Gaylord said Sanchez was not there. But Baker said they saw Sanchez through the door.

Baker said Sanchez tried to get away and kicked her to the ground. She said Sanchez tried to grab the weapon from Bayless. She heard two shots. She said even after Sanchez was shot he continued to try to escape and had to be physically restrained by Bayless.

Baker said Bayless called the Clovis Police Department three times asking for backup before entering the home. She said the police denied the requests. Lt. Jim Schoeffel, public relations officer for the Clovis Police Department, did not return calls seeking comment.

Baker said Bayless was acting in self-defense. Chandler said there was only one gun involved in the shooting and it belonged to Bayless.
From the Clovis News Journal of October 9, 2005
Bondsman says shooting was self-defense

Bail bondsman Hank Bayless said Saturday he acted in self-defense and he should not have to face criminal charges in connection with the shooting of two people last month while trying to serve an arrest warrant.

Bayless, 63, was indicted Friday by a grand jury for breaking and entering, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, according to a Friday press release from the district attorney’s office.

Bayless forced his way into a private residence Sept. 20 and shot Javier Sanchez, 33, in the back while trying to take him into custody for failing to appear for a court date, according to the district attorney’s office.

Christina Snell, 31, Bayless’ employee at Hank’ Bail Bonds, was also shot in the leg during the incident at a Gayland Drive apartment.

Bayless was not indicted in connection with shooting Snell, District Attorney Matt Chandler said Saturday.

Bayless was released from the Curry County Detention Center later Friday on a $10,000 bond.

“I didn’t shoot Sanchez in the back or while he was trying to flee,” Bayless said Saturday morning as he pulled weeds outside his office. “He was shot in the butt.”

Bayless said Sanchez was extremely violent and threw Snell to the ground and against walls. He said Sanchez told the bondsmen, “I’m going to kill you.”

“During the struggle to secure him (Sanchez), he tried to disarm me and the gun fired.” Bayless said.

Bayless said he did not force his way into an apartment.

“We paid a resident of the apartment to snitch on Sanchez, call us and leave the door ajar,” Bayless said. “It was not a forced entry.”

From the Clovis News Journal of October 3, 2006
Bail bondsman acquitted in shooting

Jury agrees bail bondsman was acting in self-defense.
The wife, daughter and an employee of a Clovis bondsman accused of crimes against a suspected bail jumper linked hands outside the Curry County Courthouse and huddled shoulder to shoulder, relieved.

A jury found Clovis bail bondsman Hank Bayless not guilty Monday of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and breaking and entering.

The verdict was announced after more than four hours of deliberation and five days in trial, officials said.

Bayless was indicted almost a year ago by a grand jury on battery and assault with a deadly weapon and breaking and entering. Bayless shot Javier Sanchez, 34, of Clovis in the lower back in September 2005 while attempting to revoke Sanchez’ bond. Bayless also shot his employee Snell in the leg.

Bayless said he fired his gun in self-defense. Outside the courtroom Monday night, Snell said Bayless defended her against a violent Sanchez, who is currently an inmate at the Curry County Adult Detention Center.

“He saved my life,” said Snell, with tears in her eyes.

Snell continues to work for Bayless.

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said he wanted a jury to decide Bayless’ fate because of conflicting testimony from eyewitnesses.

He said several expert witnesses called upon in the trial extended its length. Prosecuting Bayless was attorney John Nilan. Representing Bayless was attorney Michael Garrett of Clovis.

“Our job,” said Chandler, “is to seek the truth.”

“Mr. Nilan presented as many of the facts of the case as allowed under the rules of criminal procedure,” Chandler said. “The jury made a decision based on those facts, and we completely respect their decision.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Danville, Virginia

From Lynchburg’s of September 20, 2005
Homeowner Shoots Intruder

A Danville homeowner says he had to shoot a teenage intruder to save his own life. That teen was shot in the shoulder. Police say the homeowner will not face any charges. They say he pulled the trigger in self-defense.

And while that 15-year-old is in custody, police tell us he wasn't alone. They say two teenagers were in the backyard of the home at 220 Halifax Street Monday night. A neighbor took a picture after the attack of the homeowner named Jeff -- who wouldn't tell us his last name.

He did tell us he went outside to see what was happening, and that's when the teens threw bleach on him. He ran inside and locked the door and says they broke in. Jeff says he shot one of the boys in the shoulder with a hand gun. Police tell us the other one ran away. Both were apparently armed with "edged" weapons.

If you have any information please call Danville Crimestoppers at 434-793-0000. As for Jeff, he tells us he's just glad to be alive.
Montgomery, Alabama

From Montgomery‘s of September 16, 2005
Montgomery Man is shot during attempted robbery at Citgo covenience store

Police are searching for a teenager who shot a man working at a car wash late Friday. This all went down at the Citgo gas station on South Court Street. 46-year-old Curtis Waits told police he was shot twice as a young man attempted to rob him of the money he was collecting from the automated machine. Waits fired back, but the shooter got away by running into the woods across the street. Police combed the area along West South Boulevard with k-9 units for several hours but didn't track the shooter down. The victim, Curtis Waits, is in surgery at Baptist Hospital.
Jonesboro, Georgia

From Atlanta’s of September 20, 2005
Merchant Turns Tables on Gunman

Store Owner Says He Had Been Victimized in the Past

A robbery suspect was recovering Tuesday afternoon at a Clayton County hospital after he was shot by a store merchant during a botched hold-up attempt, police said.

Keston Scott, 22, was rushed to Southern Regional Medical Center for treatment after he sought help there for a gunshot wound. Tracye Bryant, a hospital spokeswoman, said the man's wounds were not believed to be life-threatening.

Police said they planned to charge him with armed robbery and aggravated assault in connection with the incident, which occurred shortly after 9 a.m.

John Butts, the owner of John's Discount Store, which is located in the 200 block of North Main Street, said he shot the man with his .357 magnum gun after the suspect walked into his store with a gun and demanded money.

"He tried to shoot me first but I pulled my gun and shot him," said Butts, adding that he fired three times at the suspect. "You have to work if you need money, just like me. I work 16 and 17 hours every day seven days."

Butts said after he shot the suspect the man ran out of the store and crawled into a white car, which sped away.

A short time later, a man suffering from gunshot wounds sought medical help at Southern Regional Medical Center.

It was not immediately clear if any customers were in the store at the time of the shooting, which was captured by surveillance cameras posted inside the building.

Police said the owner of the store has not been charged, although the assailant captured on the surveillance tape apparently matches the identity of the man who sought help at the hospital.

"I don't encourage anyone to confront a would-be robber," said police Sgt. Wayne Woods. "The safest thing normally is to comply with their wishes because we don't want anyone hurt."

Butts said his store has been robbed at least two times in the past. He said he would pull out his gun again if he has to.

"If you do it one time I don't think they will bother you again," he said.
Henderson, Nevada

From the Las Vegas Sun of September 20, 2005
Henderson man shoots alleged home invaders

A Henderson man shot and wounded two brothers who allegedly broke into his home near College Drive and East Horizon Drive on Monday night, Henderson Police said.

The homeowner, whose name was withheld by police, shot 24-year-old Joey Bolden, and 25-year-old DelMarco Bolden at the house in the 500 block of Old Highlands Street about 8 p.m., Todd Rasmussen, spokesman for Henderson Police, said.

Joey Bolden was treated and released from UMC, then was booked into jail, while DelMarco Bolden remained at the hospital this morning, Rassmussen said.

A UMC spokeswoman said DelMarco Bolden was in stable condition this morning.

The brothers are being charged with felony home invasion, Rasmussen said.

The preliminary investigation indicates that the homeowner was acting in self-defense, so he has not been charged in connection with the shooting, Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen said the Boldens and possibly one other suspect broke into the home through a back door. The homeowner heard the men inside the home and fired in their direction, striking the brothers, Rasmussen said.
Fort Bend County, Texas

From of September 20, 2005
Homeowner Fatally Shoots Intruder

2 Other Home Invaders Escape

A homeowner fought back Tuesday after three intruders broke into his Fort Bend County home, KPRC Local 2 reported.

Missouri City police were called to a home on Greencourt Drive and Poco Drive at about 1:45 a.m. after the homeowner shot one of three intruders.

Emergency workers pronounced the man dead at the scene.

No other injuries were reported.

The other two intruders escaped.
Peoria, Illinois

From the Peoria Journal-Star of September 20, 2005
Gas station worker fires at robber

A gas station attendant who was robbed early Sunday turned a gun on the robber, who was arrested hours later by police.

No one was injured in the robbery, which occurred shortly after 6:30 a.m. at the Clark gas station, 3606 N. Prospect Road.

The employee told police a man, later identified as Derek B. Horn, was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and blue bandana over his face, and carrying what appeared to be a handgun, called him to the register. The clerk then surrendered an undisclosed amount of money.

As the robber fled the store, the attendant grabbed a revolver under the counter and gave chase. While outside, the gas station employee yelled for the robber to stop before he then fired two shots in the robber's direction, but the robber kept running, reports said.

Horn, 34, of 1401 Livingston St. was arrested about 9 a.m. in the 2300 block of Malone Street and booked on a charge of aggravated robbery. Horn also was booked on a residential burglary charge and was wanted on a Peoria County burglary warrant, both from separate incidents.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Rifle, Colorado

From of September 19, 2005
Hunter Shoots Mountain Lion In Self-Defense

DOW Won't Cite Hunter Who Feared For His Life

A Denver-area hunter has quite a story to tell after killing a mountain lion that threatened to attack him.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife did not identify the hunter, but said he was hunting deer with a muzzleloader near Rifle on Friday evening.

The man was stationed in a ground blind when he heard hissing and turned around to find the lion threatening him. The man threw things at the mountain lion, but the cat continued to advance, he told the DOW.

He shot the lion and notified wildlife officials who said he wouldn't be cited because he fired in self-defense and was afraid for his life.

The mountain lion was about 2 to 3 years old, according to the DOW. They did not know why the cat charged the hunter.

The shooting took place north of Rifle in Garfield County.
Alameda County, California

From the San Leandro Times of September 19, 2005
Suspect Killed in Pot Club Robbery Owner returns fire after six armed men storm store

Six men armed with rifles and handguns robbed a medical marijuana club Friday on Foothill Boulevard and one suspect was shot and killed by the owner.

The robbers broke into the store at about 11:30 a.m. just before it opened. They jumped the fence behind the building and overpowered the owner and one employee, according to Lt. Dale Amaral of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department.

“I had just walked in the door. They came over the fence and jumped down off the roof and they were inside just like that,” said the owner whose name is being withheld.

The suspects held the owner and employee on the floor at gun point as their accomplices stuffed money and marijuana into bags. The amount taken employee was knocked to the floor, kicked and hit with the butt of a gun.

Then the robbers turned on the owner and beat him, ordering him to open the safe.

“They had me down, kicking me, and saying ‘Open the f—ing safe!’” he said. The owner, who said he’s still shaken up by the incident, pointed out the hole next to the back door made by a bullet when the suspect fired at him.

The remaining four suspects are being sought by the police. Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Detective Godlewski at the Sheriff’s Department at 667-3655.

The cannabis club was burglarized once before, and another cannabis club in Hayward was robbed earlier this month.

(More about the wisdom of locating pot clubs in unincorporated areas)
Minneapolis, Minnesota

From Minneapolis’ of September 19, 2005
Minneapolis homeowner shoots burglar

A south Minneapolis homeowner shot a man suspected of breaking into his house, according to police.

The shooting occurred on 16 th Avenue South. One witness overheard three men arguing outside the house after which one of the men broke through a large front window.

The burglary suspect is being treated at Hennepin County Medical Center, and is expected to live. The homeowner is not expected to face charges, according to one Minneapolis police officer.
Dayton, Tennessee

From the Rhea County Online of September 19, 2005
Shooting victim allegedly attacked trio first

An Ogden Road man who shot another man at his home may have done so in self-defense.

Deputy Steve Rievley responded to a report of a shooting at 2:39 a.m. Friday at a mobile home on Ogden Road. When he arrived, Rievley found two men and a woman in the home, and they turned over a Sterling .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol to him. Rievley took the three people into custody temporarily.

Rievley found the shooting victim, Terry LaFuze, 47, of Pearl Street, Dayton, in the bathroom, sitting on the floor with a bullet wound to his right foot. LaFuze was able to walk out of the home without assistance, and Rievley had him wait for the ambulance on the front porch. LaFuze appeared to be intoxicated, according to Rievley.

After the Rhea Emergency Medical Service ambulance transported LaFuze to the Rhea Medical Center Emergency Department, Rievley then interviewed the other three individuals.

David Kite, 47, whose home it was, said he had been the one to shoot LaFuze but had done it because he was afraid LaFuze was going to hurt someone.

Kite, his nephew, Christopher Kite, 32, of College Street, Dayton, and Cindy Gailor, 41, of Ogden Road, were all at the residence Thursday night when LaFuze showed up at about 11:30 p.m. LaFuze was heavily intoxicated and asked to spend the night, according to the witnesses.

He was argumentative and even combative before falling asleep at about 12:30 a.m. At about 2:30 he woke up and was again combative, according to the three. They said he didn’t recognize them or where he was.

“Terry was lost and totally out of his mind and out of control,” reads the statement they all signed.

When David Kite tried to restrain him, LaFuze began fighting him. In turn, Gailor and then Christopher Kite attempted to intervene, but LaFuze attacked them as well, according to their statement.

The semiautomatic pistol fell out of LaFuze’s pocket during the struggle, and David Kite picked it up and put it on a shelf. LaFuze had Christopher Kite on the floor and picked up a heavy glass candy dish and appeared to be about to hit him in the head with the dish when David Kite retrieved the pistol and shot LaFuze one time in the foot.

“David had to defend us and shot Terry due to necessary causes and our protection due to the shape Terry was in. There was no choice,” their statement reads.

Later that morning LaFuze told Rievley that “all I remember is waiting for the ambulance.”

Chief Deputy John Argo said that the circumstances could indicate it was a case of self-defense. The sheriff’s department will give the evidence to the District Attorney’s office for a determination on whether to file charges against Kite or LaFuze.
Roberts County, South Dakota

From the Aberdeen American News of September 19, 2005
Business owner shoots teens in Roberts County

A Saturday morning shooting in Roberts County has left two teenagers injured.

According to the Roberts County Sheriff's office, the owner of the Circle K resort at Lake Traverse awoke just before 5 a.m. Saturday to the sound of two juveniles breaking into his business.

The owner, Kenneth Holicky, lives behind the business.

Authorities said Holicky yelled something to the two boys and then went into the house and retrieved his shotgun.

Two shots were fired, and both boys were injured, said the sheriff's office.

One boy was flown to a hospital in Fargo, N.D., and the other's condition was not clear Sunday night as of press time.

The sheriff's office said the boys were aged 14 and 15. It was not clear which one was sent to Fargo.
Fort Worth, Texas

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram of September 19, 2005
Man acquitted after killing acquaintance he found with wife

A 57-year-old man has been acquitted of a murder charge after jurors found that he acted in self-defense when he shot an acquaintance he had caught with his wife.

Jurors in state district Judge Everett Young's court deliberated over two days before finding John Harley Roach not guilty of murder in the Feb. 1, 2004, death of Randy Spagnola.

Spagnola had spent the night at Roach's home. The next morning, Roach found Spagnola having sexual contact with his wife, and said the two men had an altercation.

``I'm still very sorry for what happened and for killing Mr. Spagnola,'' Roach said. ``It wasn't intentional. I did fear for my life. I'm just thankful that it is all over and it came out the way it did.''
Phoenix, Arizona

From of September 19, 2005
Man killed in gunfight outside baby shower

A 20-year-old man was killed early Sunday after a gun battle that erupted outside a just-finished baby shower.

The victim, whose identity was not released, had left the party in a pickup truck with some friends shortly after 12:30 a.m., Sgt. Mike Zeller said.

But the victim soon circled back to the home on the 2000 block of North 47th Avenue, where partygoers had gathered in the cul-de-sac.

The victim got into an argument with some of the partygoers.

At some point he brandished a shotgun, and another partygoer produced a .357-caliber Glock, Zeller said.

A gunfight broke out, and the partygoer shot the victim dead, police said.

The partygoer was interviewed at the scene and released, Zeller said. The shooting, which is being treated as self-defense, is under investigation.
Macon, Georgia

From of September 19, 2005
Mercer student shoots, kills man who broke into home

A Mercer University law student shot and killed a man who broke into his home, police said.

Frederick Taylor, 21, and his companion, Adrienne Warren, 22, were in the upstairs bedroom early Sunday morning when they heard glass break, police said.

Warren stayed upstairs and called 911, while Taylor went downstairs. He saw the intruder at the bottom of the steps, said Macon police Sgt. Cornelius Pendleton.

Taylor shot and killed the intruder about four minutes after the initial 911 call was made, police spokeswoman Melanie Hofmann said. The intruder was shot in the upper torso and pronounced dead at the scene, she said.

The burglar had no identification on him and has not been identified, officials said.

The Bibb County District Attorney's office will determine whether Taylor will face charges, Hofmann said.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Union City, Georgia

From Atlanta’s of September 18, 2005
Man Dead After Home Invasion

One man is dead following a gun battle during a home invasion at a home at 6569 Carriage Court in Union City.

Police report a woman called her fiance late Saturday night after she heard someone breaking into her home.

Sergeant George Louth with the Union City Police Department tells WSB's Jeff Dantre', "While she was awaiting her fiance to arrive one of the perpetrators has entered the bedroom where she and her infant were at and demanded money. The suspect struck her several times and she suffered minor injuries. She fell to the ground and heard gunfire from another area of the apartment."

Police later found the woman's fiance in another apartment suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at Grady Hospital. Police are looking for two or more suspects.
Good guys don’t always win.
Goffstown, New Hampshire

From Manchester’s Union-Leader of September 18, 2005
Home invaders turn heel when ‘confronted’ inside

Two men broke into a Channel Lane home Friday night but “fled immediately” when “confronted” by the homeowner, police said.

Sgt. Pat Sullivan said no further information was being released yesterday because detectives are still gathering evidence in the case. He would not comment when asked if the homeowner confronted them with a gun and would not name the homeowner.

Neighbors, however, told the Sunday News that police were at the home of Michael Boisvert of 15 Channel Lane and went door-to-door asking people if they saw anything.

In a news release, police said the men “fled immediately upon being confronted by the homeowner.”

No one answered a knock at Boisvert’s home yesterday morning. There is no telephone listing for him.

A surveillance camera is mounted above and to the right of the main entrance of his beige sided home situated along the Piscataquog River.

A “No Trespassing” sign is posted on a white picket fence in front of the residence while a decal, with a drawing of a hand holding a revolver pointed outward at a caller, warns:

If you are found here
You will be found here
Houston, Texas

From Houston’s of September 16, 2005
Guard shoots mask-wearing bank robber

Houston police are searching for several suspects after a bank robbery at the Southern National Bank on Post Oak. One of the robbers was shot twice in a gunfight with security guards.

Investigators believe two people went into the bank to try to rob it. One of those suspects was shot, but police are still looking for one other suspect.

The robbery happened at around 1:30pm Friday. Police say two people wearing masks -- at least one was a Halloween-type mask -- went in to try to rob the bank. But there was a Fort Bend County sheriff's deputy inside working a second job as a security guard.

The deputy spotted the men, and they apparently tried to get his gun. In the struggle, Deputy Johnny Cantu ended up shooting one of the suspects. Cantu -- a member of the force for about a year and a half -- was visibly shaken by the incident.

The other suspect took off out the door. The wounded suspect ran to a nearby apartment complex, where he was apprehended by police. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

"I got down, as soon as they came out of the bank after the shots were fired. I got down on the ground," recalled Eyewitness John Robertson. "Then I hear this sound over my head and that landed on the ground behind me. His gun hit the ground, a shot went into the window, he picked up his gun and ran."

"I think any time you have a suspect enter a place of business, recognize that that place of business has an officer inside and then decides to go in furtherance of their crime and try to disarm the officer -- I think you have some pretty hardened criminals," said HPD Capt. Dwayne Ready.

Police are using K9 units and a search helicopter to try to find the remaining suspect. They say he is armed and considered dangerous. Police have obtained a surveillance camera tape and are using it for additional information.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Roberts County, South Dakota

From Sioux Falls‘ of September 16, 2005
Roberts County Shooting

Two South Dakota teenagers were shot early Saturday morning after they allegedly broke into a Roberts County business, and police say the man who pulled the trigger owned the business.

It happened at the Circle K Resort on Lake Traverse in northeastern South Dakota about 5:00 am. The Roberts County Sheriff's Office says the store owner lives behind the business.

Police say he woke up and heard one of the boys trying to get into the building. Then the owner reportedly fired at least one shot from a shotgun, hitting both of the teenagers. One of the boys was treated locally, the other was flown to a Fargo hospital. His condition isn't known. No charges have been filed, but the investigation continues.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Belfast, Maine

From Bangor’s of September 16, 2005
Jury Finds Brooks Man Not Guilty Of Murder

A man from Brooks who says he was protecting his home and family when he shot his father's girlfriend is a free man.

Jerome Reynolds II was on trial for murdering Janet Bacon. Reynolds admitts he shot Bacon at his home, but insists it was self-defense.

It took the jury six and a half hours to decide Reynolds is not guilty of murdering Janet Bacon.

When the verdict was read the Bacon family stormed out visably upset over the jury's verdict. They say the defense portrayal of Janet Bacon as an animal was not true, and say Bacon was a visitor not an intruder in Reynolds home.

The Reynolds family were also emotional as they left court, but none wanted to stop and talk. They followed Reynolds as he was taken in a police car to Waldo County Jail, where he signed out and left a free man. The Bacon family says they will appeal the decision.

"She's a human being and he shot her in the face, she was my children's grandmother, and she loved her children and her family and all she was to them was a dog that needed to be put to sleep...and that's what they did," says Tammy Walker, Bacon's daughter-in-law.

Reynolds attorney, Jeff Silverstein says even though his client was aquitted, this case does not set precedent for using guns in the home to ward off tresspassers. He says the prosecution was unable to convince the jury that Reynolds was guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt.

"My client felt horrible about what happened, but truly beleived he acted appropriate at the time, I'm certain that he and his family are ecstatic that the jury found as they did and allowed him to return home to his family," says defense attorney, Jeff Silverstein.
Bowling Green, Virginia

From Richmond’s of September 16, 2005
Defendant acquitted in slaying of his neighbor

A Caroline County jury has acquitted a lawyer-cattleman charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of his neighbor. After fire hours of deliberations, the jury issued its verdict and John Ames walked away a free man Friday afternoon.

Ames, 60, was charged with fatally shooting his neighbor Perry Brooks, 74, in April 2004 after Brooks tried to retrieve a wandering bull on Ames’ property. The incident ended a 15-year-feud that began over a fence that Ames built between their properties.

The jury began deliberations at 9 AM Friday morning and it lasted for five hours. They asked the judge for transcripts of two witnesses. Later, they asked the judge to define “reasonable provocation.” He told them they had to determine what it means.

Reasonable provocation was central to the defense of the accused. Ames argued he was trying to defend himself from Brooks. Prosecutors say Ames waited for the 74-year-old man and shot him several times with a handgun.

In the end, jury sided with the defense and John Ames left the Caroline County courtroom a free man, not guilty in the eyes of the court.

Earlier, from the Richmond Times Dispatch of September 16, 2005
Ames: 'I think I saved my own life'

A jury this morning will begin deliberating the fate of John F. Ames, who testified yesterday that he had "no conscious thoughts" as he fired rapidly at his lunging, stick-wielding neighbor.

"He was coming at me with the stick up in the air. I started backing away," Ames, a 60-year-old attorney and cattleman, told jurors on the fourth day of his murder trial in Caroline County Circuit Court.

"He took a swing at me with the stick . . . I ducked, and as I ducked, I cocked the 9 mm [pistol] and I fired and kept firing."

"Everything happened so fast, there were no conscious thoughts," he said. "It was totally reaction."
San Jose, California

From San Francisco’s of September 16, 2005
Day Laborer Facing Series of Charges in Machete Attack

A day laborer accused in a machete attack is facing a series of felony charges once he recovers from his own wounds.

Twenty-three-year-old Gerardo Casillas-Rodrigues underwent surgery after he was shot by a Santa Clara County deputy responding to the attack Wednesday in Los Altos.

Authorities say Casillas-Rodrigues initially attacked a co-worker at the landscaping site where they both work in an argument over pay.

The co-worker lost part of his ear in the attack, suffered a slash to his forearm and a finger was nearly severed.
Investigators say Casillas-Rodrigues then wandered into a residential neighborhood and attacked an 80-year-old woman in her doorway.

The woman was saved from serious injury when her son chased the attacker away with a pellet gun. The elderly woman was not seriously injured.
Rochester, New Hampshire

From the New Hampshire Union Leader of September 16, 2005
Neighbors say man was shot, killed during break-in

A Fremont man was shot to death about 1:45 a.m. yesterday at a home at 80 Pine St. in a case that neighbors say may be connected to a string of break-ins.

Bryan J. Gaedtke, 21, was carried in a body bag from the single-family house a block from the Rochester Fairgrounds. State Attorney General Kelly Ayotte's office is investigating the case with Rochester police; they disclosed few details yesterday.

But neighbors said they believed a resident of the home shot Gaedtke because he broke into the house in the middle of the night. A second-story window screen in the rear of the house was damaged.

Authorities would not comment on who shot Gaedtke or what type of gun was used, but said no charges have been filed in connection with the death.

Gaedtke had brushes with the law before, including charges in Durham District Court for simple assault, criminal trespassing, criminal mischief, operating after suspension and conduct after an accident. He also had a license revocation in 2003 for driving while intoxicated.

Gaedtke also appeared in local news last year after a domestic dispute with his father, Larry Gaedtke of Lee. The younger Gaedtke told police his father had marijuana at the family's house. Police confiscated 1 pound, 9 ounces of marijuana from the Lee home and charged the elder Gaedtke with a Class B felony of possession of drugs with intent to distribute.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Sandpoint, Idaho

From Boise’s of September 15, 2005
Bonner County sheriff's officials call fatal shooting 'self defense'

Idaho Bonner County sheriff's officials say a fatal shooting was self defense.

A woman shot a 42-year-old Clark Fork man yesterday after giving him a ride to his home. She says she was physically attacked before she pulled the trigger.

Police say that the two are former co-workers.
From Boise’s of September 16, 2005
Registered sex offender shot, killed after woman says he attacked her

Idaho Police say a northern Idaho man who was shot and killed while attacking a woman was a registered sex offender.

But Bonner County Sheriff's officials say there's no indication 42-year-old Christopher Michael Schmidt's offender status was a factor in the Tuesday night shooting near Sandpoint.

Detectives believe the woman shot Schmidt in self-defense. She says he grabbed her by the throat, tried to take her car keys and force her out of her vehicle.

The Clark Fork man, who had a blood-alcohol level three times Idaho's legal driving limit, was convicted of assault to commit rape in California in 1989.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From Philadelphia‘s of September 15, 2005
Cabbie Wrestles For Gun

A taxicab driver wrestled the weapon away from a man who took his wallet, keys and $200 at gunpoint and shot the attacker, police said.

Police said William Agosto-Mendez, 25, reported in fair condition at Albert Einstein Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the shoulder, would be charged with robbery and related counts.

The cab driver, whose name wasn’t released, had picked up two men and two women about 5:20 a.m. Wednesday. Police said three people got out of the cab while one stayed behind and attempted to rob him.

Police said the driver wouldn’t be charged.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Brewton, Alabama

From the September 14, 2005 Brewton Standard:
Escambia County Sheriff's deputies are still searching for an armed assailant, who robbed the Fastlane Convenience Store located at 3493 Jack Springs Road Sunday evening.

The armed robbery occurred just after 4:15 p.m. after a black male entered the convenience store, according to the Escambia County Sheriff's Office (ECSO). The suspect went to the bathroom and came out wearing a mask over his face. He the proceeded to the counter and demanded the money from the clerks at gunpoint.

The clerks abided by his commands and gave him an undisclosed amount of money. He then fled the store to the back parking lot where the owner of the store and the suspect had an altercation, reports stated.

"When the robber ran out the back door, the owner ordered him to halt, but he didn't halt and he turned and pointed the gun and the owner fired one shot at the robber," Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said. "He got away."

During the altercation the money was dropped and the suspect fled the area.
Weld County, Colorado

From Denver’s Rocky Mountain News of September 14, 2005
Weld County shooting under investigation

Weld County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the shooting of a 19-year-old man wounded as he allegedly broke into a neighbor's home.

The shooting occurred in a home in the 2100 block of Meadowlark in the Meadow Vale subdivision near Weld County Road 5 and Highway 119 near Longmont, according to a press release issued by Weld County Sheriff John Cooke.

The sheriff's office did not identify home owner or the wounded man, Nathan Weathers.

Weathers was shot with a 9 mm handgun, according to the sheriff's office. He is being treated at Longmont United Hospital.

Cooke's press release noted that the shooting may fall under Colorado's "Make My Day Law," which allows a home owner who feels threatened by an intruder to shoot the suspect.
From the of September 15, 2005
Police: Drunken teen shot

Man enters wrong home after accident

A bleeding, drunken man stumbling home after a motorcycle accident was shot Wednesday morning by the owner of a house he mistakenly entered, according to the Weld County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the sheriff’s office, 19-year-old Nathan Weathers was in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident sometime early Wednesday morning near Weld County Roads 5 and 26.

Without notifying the authorities, the injured and intoxicated Weathers then traveled a half-mile from the scene of the accident, presumably on foot, and entered the home at 2173 Meadowlark Place through a window off the back porch, investigators said.

According to Weld County records, the home, owned by James and Cheryl Haflich, is a block away from where Weathers lives with his father at 2133 Blue Mountain Road in the Meadow Vale subdivision off Weld County Road 51/2, east of Longmont. The houses are each on the east side of their respective streets and are both one house from a corner.

Weld County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Margie Martinez said Cheryl Haflich was getting ready for work at around 4 a.m. when she heard Weathers trying to enter through the window. She alerted her husband, and they both yelled for Weathers to get out, but he entered the house, Martinez said. James Haflich then fired three shots with his 9 mm handgun, one of which hit Weathers, she said.

The Haflichs called 911, and Weathers was taken to Longmont United Hospital, where he was in serious condition in the intensive care unit Wednesday, according to the sheriff’s office. Investigators have not said whether the first two shots were fired in warning, or where the one bullet hit Weathers.

“The bullet wound was not life-threatening,” Martinez said. “He’s probably in critical condition from the motorcycle accident.”

A family spokesman, contacted at the hospital, said the family did not want to comment Wednesday.

Martinez also said she didn’t believe Weathers was armed when he entered the house.

“I don’t think ‘Make My Day’ requires that,” she said of the Colorado law that allows homeowners to shoot intruders under certain circumstances.

The Haflichs declined to comment.

The sheriff’s office said it is not recommending that the Weld County District Attorney’s office file charges against the Haflichs, but is recommending that Weathers be charged with trespassing, traffic violations and driving under the influence.

(More about Weathers)

From the of September 16, 2005
Shooting probe nearly complete

Sheriff pursuing trespassing, traffic charges against teen

The Weld County Sheriff’s Office has nearly completed its investigation of an intoxicated teen who they say was shot by the owner of a house he mistakenly entered Wednesday morning.

According to spokeswoman Margie Martinez, the sheriff’s office is still recommending that the district attorney charge the intruder, Nathan Weathers, with trespassing, in addition to traffic and driving under the influence violations related to a motorcycle accident they say he left just before entering the wrong house.

Officials from Longmont United Hospital said Weathers is in serious condition in the intensive care unit.

Martinez said the homeowner who shot Weathers, James Haflich of 2173 Meadowlark Lane, will not have charges recommended against him.

(More about Weathers)

From the of September 17, 2005
Weld DA will make call on ‘Make My Day’ shooting

The sound of a window breaking awakens Ona Boutcher, who alerts her 69-year-old husband, Francis. Francis Boutcher pulls his .38-caliber revolver out of a closet and confronts the intruder in the kitchen of his home at 1020 Collyer St.

The two struggle. In the dining room, the intruder shoves Boutcher, who fires one shot and misses. The intruder throws a chair at Boutcher and pushes him to the floor.

Boutcher fires two more times.

One bullet hits Laureano Jacobo Griego Jr. in the head, killing him.

An autopsy later revealed the 18-year-old Longmont man had been drinking and smoking marijuana before he died.

The Boulder County District Attorney’s Office did not pursue charges against Boutcher, citing Colorado’s “Make My Day” law.

The Colorado Homeowner’s Protection Act of 1985 gives the occupant of a dwelling the right to use “any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force,” if a person is there illegally and seems intent on committing another crime. The occupant must have a “reasonable belief” that the intruder has committed or will commit a crime or might use physical force against anyone inside.

The law got its colloquial nickname from a line in a Clint Eastwood movie.

While Boutcher’s killing of Griego was justified under the law, it was not easy for the couple to accept, according to police.

“They were both devastated,” said Longmont Police Cmdr. Craig Earhart, who was the first sergeant at the scene that morning. “They were both very shook up by it.”

Both Francis and Ona Boutcher have died since the incident.

Almost immediately, police knew the “Make My Day” law applied to the situation, Earhart said. He believes it was the first situation of its kind in Longmont after the law passed.

Even without the “Make My Day” law, Francis Boutcher likely would have been protected by laws allowing people to defend themselves.

The difference is, self-defense laws require someone to use a reasonable degree of force against an imminent threat. The “Make My Day” law allows a resident to use any degree of force against an intruder to protect himself, other residents or his property, Earhart said.

“You don’t have to believe they’re going to kill you or assault you,” Earhart said.

The Weld County District Attorney’s Office will have to consider if the “Make My Day” law applies to Wednesday morning’s shooting in Meadow Vale, a subdivision east of Longmont. James Haflich, 49, shot Nathan Weathers after the 2004 Skyline High School graduate crawled into his house through the back window at about 4 a.m., according to the Weld County Sheriff’s Office.

Weathers, 19, survived and is in serious condition at Longmont United Hospital.

The gunshot wound was not serious, and his injuries likely were sustained in a motorcycle crash from earlier in the night, according to a sheriff’s spokeswoman.

The sheriff’s office said Weathers was intoxicated and likely thought he was entering his father’s house, a block away and on the same side of the street and distance from the corner.

(More about Colorado‘s “Make my day“ Law)
From the Longmont Daily Times-Call of January 13, 2006
Shooting won’t lead to charges

Homeowners, invader cleared in Sept. incident

A drunk and injured man who stumbled into the wrong home east of Longmont early on the morning of Sept. 14 and was shot by the homeowner will not face charges.

Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck said Thursday that his office will not file charges against 19-year-old Nathan Weathers for entering the home of James and Cheryl Haflich.

James Haflich, who shot Weathers in the arm when he entered the home, also won’t face charges.

According to Weld County Sheriff’s Office reports, Weathers was involved in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident near Weld County roads 5 and 26 before the shooting. He walked nearly a half-mile and tried to enter the Haflich home at 2173 Meadowlark Place, believing he was going to his own house a block away, reports indicated.

Weld County investigators said Weathers entered the Haflich home at 4 a.m. through a window off the back porch because the door was locked.

Cheryl Haflich first saw Weathers and then called her husband, who shot at Weathers three times with a 9-mm handgun, hitting him once, according to investigators.

The sheriff’s office initially recommended that the district attorney charge Weathers with trespassing.

Weathers was intoxicated, according the district attorney’s office, with a blood-alcohol level of 0.185 when he was taken to the hospital after the incident.

“Evidence in the case does not, beyond a reasonable doubt, establish that Mr. Weathers knowingly and unlawfully entered the Haflichs’ home or wished to commit a crime,” Buck’s office said in a statement.

“Mr. Weathers was also disoriented due to the motorcycle accident, and evidence shows that he did not know the Haflichs or have anything against them,” the statement said. “In addition, evidence does not show that Mr. Weathers was trying to sneak into the home, but rather believed he was trying to enter his own home and seek assistance for his injuries.”

The district attorney also said James Haflich acted reasonably when he armed himself and shot Weathers as an intruder.