Friday, June 30, 2006

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From Philadelphia’s CBS3,com of June 30, 2006
Police: Retired Philadelphia Cop Shoots Intruder

A retired Philadelphia Police Officer opened fire on an intruder late Thursday afternoon in Northeast Philadelphia.

Police say the retired cop was checking on a friend’s house in the 10000 block of Bustleton Avenue when he encountered an intruder.

After an escape attempt failed, police say Joseph Malone, 24, allegedly lunged at the officer who shot him once in the shoulder.

Malone, the stepson of the homeowner, was taken to Frankford-Torresdale Hospital where he was treated and released into police custody.

Police say Malone was inside the house illegally and faces charges.

The officer was not injured.
Columbus, Ohio

From June 30, 2006 channel 4 in Columbus:
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Police said a store clerk shot and killed a man who tried to rob him early Friday.

The shooting occurred at about 4:30 a.m. at the Express Market Drive-Thru, located at 900 East Fifth Ave., NBC 4’s Ana Jackson reported.
More detail from the June 30, 2006 Columbus Dispatch:
An 18-year-old carryout employee fatally shot one of two intruders who broke into the store on E. 5th Avenue early today, police said.

Eric M. Ford, 28, was pronounced dead inside the Express Market, 900 E. 5th Ave., at 4:37 a.m. It appeared he was shot once in the upper body, homicide Det. Jay Fulton said.

Police identified the other suspected burglar as Lawrence A. Ford, 38. He was arrested about two blocks from the store after fleeing on foot and was charged with aggravated burglary and murder.

“Because the person in custody was participating in a felony in which someone was killed, he can be charged with murder,'' Fulton said.


A release from police said the man fired in self defense, but Fulton said the Franklin County prosecutor's office would review the case to determine whether to pursue charges against the employee.

He said the employee spent the night in the business, which closed at 1 a.m., to clean and restock shelves, and had a bed in the store's office where he slept.

The burglars broke the lock off a security gate, then smashed the front door glass to enter the store.

Fulton said it appears the employee came out of the office and fired a handgun when he was confronted by a masked man with a crow bar behind the store's counter.
San Antonio, Texas

From of June 30, 2006
Teen freed after father shot

A 16-year-old boy who authorities said shot his father in defense of his mother has been released from custody because officials said it appears he was trying to protect her.

A judge authorized Roy Ponce's release from the Juvenile Detention Center on June 23, pending further investigation of the case.

"So far all the evidence is pointing to the fact that this man (Roy's father) was assaulting his wife and this boy stepped in to protect his mother," said Jill Mata, Bexar County assistant district attorney and chief of the office's juvenile section.

The boy was detained June 20 after officials said he shot his father once in the head with a .380-caliber handgun. Roy's mother told officials her son was trying to save her life and that she had suffered a history of abuse at the hands of her husband.

The San Antonio Express-News generally does not identify juveniles accused of crimes, but his family previously authorized the release of his name.

Sheriff's deputies may later file some type of assault charges against the teen's father, Encarnacion Jacob Ponce, if he survives, according to First Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg. His wife has also been granted a protective order.

Encarnacion Ponce, 47, remains in serious condition at University Hospital.

Officials initially didn't recommend detention for Roy because there was strong evidence the shooting was justified, Herberg said.

In 2003, a judge gave Encarnacion Ponce eight months of deferred probation based on a misdemeanor charge of assault with bodily injury on his wife.

The district attorney's office is awaiting a final report from the Bexar County Sheriff's Department to determine the outcome of the case, Herberg said.
Mountain View, Alaska

From the Anchorage Daily News of June 30, 2006
Teen killed in driveway confrontation

Two teenagers were shot and one of them died after they approached a man in his Mountain View driveway Wednesday night in what may have been an attempted robbery, city and police officials said Thursday.

James Ifopo, 17, died after a single bullet hit him in the chest, authorities and witnesses said. A 16-year-old boy was also shot after the three youths -- all of them on bicycles, according to witnesses -- rode up to the man.

The wounded teenager was treated at a local hospital and released, police said.

The name of the injured 16-year-old and the third juvenile were not released because of their ages, police said.

The name of the man who fired the gun on the juveniles was also not released. A witness said Thursday that police took the man away in handcuffs.

Police Sgt. Slawomir Markiewicz said the shooter was cooperating with police and was released from custody Thursday morning.

The Police Department and district attorney's office were evaluating the circumstances late Thursday for possible charges, they said.

"We have to go through and take our time," said District Attorney Bob Linton on Thursday afternoon. "I've (not) had a chance to know enough detail to make an intelligent decision on my own and in consultation with police. That's what I need to do."

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Clarksburg, West Virginia

From Wheeling‘s of June 29, 2006
Robbery Victim Shoots at Suspect

The owner of a Clarksburg antique store tells 12 News how a man entered his store and robbed him. The owner says he chased the suspect outside, firing two shots.

A manhunt was launched for the man who tried to rob the West End Antique Store on the 900 block of Pike Street in Clarksburg.

The store's owner, Roger Hardy, says he chased the suspect and fired two shots at him as he ran.

Everything started just around 2 o'clock Thursday afternoon. Hardy says a man with his head and face covered came inside and showed his gun. Three other customers were in the store at the time.

"He told me to get on the floor and give him the money and I thought it was a joke and it took me a couple of seconds," Hardy says. "He kept repeating that, using vulgarity. Then he come behind the counter and hit me with the gun as I was getting down on the floor

Afterwards, he called 9-1-1 and then followed the suspect with a gun of his own, firing two shots at the getaway truck.

"I picked up my gun too, I don't want to shoot nobody, but I walked up beside their truck and I couldn't stop the truck. So, I just shot the window out of the truck then as they passed my store, I shot again."

Police then fanned out across the the west end of Clarksburg. Eventually, the alleged getaway truck was located at the old Anchor Hoching plant. There they took a woman into custody. She's belived to have been in the getaway truck.
Tucson, Arizona

From the Tucson Citizen of June 29, 2006
Homeowner fights off intruders with gun

Home invasion suspects this morning exchanged shots with a Southwest Side homeowner awakened by the sound of someone trying to break into his home, the Sheriff's Department said.

The home owner was not wounded and it could not be determined if either of two suspects were hit, said Tony Portrey, a sheriff's dispatch supervisor.

It could not be learned early this morning if the home invasion is thought related to six others committed during an eight hour period from Sunday to Monday morning in the metro area.

One man was killed at his home on South Beardslee Drive in those home invastions, three men were arrested and law officers said they still were searching for two other young men in the cases.

In today's home invasion, on South Sparrow Avenue, near West Los Reales Road and South Camino de Oeste, the homeowner, whose name was not released this morning, was awakened about 3:20 a.m. by the sound of someone trying to break in through a wrought iron security door with a crow bar, Portrey quoted deputies as saying in an initial report.

The homeowner yelled, "freeze," and got a pistol.

Looking out of his house he spotted two vehicles, a car and a pickup, on a dirt road near his property. One was described only as a white sedan, possibly a Nissan or Honda Accord, and a dark-colored Chevrolet pickup.

Both vehicles started to leave, then stopped and the homeowner heard gunshots coming from the vehicles, Portrey said.

The home owner fired three shots and the suspects, described only as two men ages 18 to 20.
Collinsville, Illinois

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch of June 29, 2006
Suspect dies during attempted robbery

Officials are [sic] captured suspects of an attempted armed robbery this morning of an Alorton resident.

The shooting occurred about 1:15 a.m. in the 4900 block of Jeannie Place, Alorton. Monte Golliday, age 16, of Cahokia was killed. Golliday and two others may have been attempting to rob an Alorton resident.

During the robbery, the victim, Golliday and another robber wrestled over a gun. The gun discharged striking Golliday. Golliday was taken to Kenneth Hall hospital in East St. Louis, Illinois. He died in surgery. The two other suspects in the attempted robbery were arrested a short time later and remain in custody.
Salem, Massachusetts

From of June 29, 2006
Jury Acquits Iraq War Veteran Of Shooting Into Crowd

Two Injured In Shooting

A jury deliberated just two hours Thursday before finding an Iraq war veteran acted in self-defense when he fired a shotgun into a group of club-goers outside his Lawrence home, injuring two people.

The Salem Superior Court jury acquitted Marine Sgt. Daniel Cotnoir, a 34-year-old reservist named last year's "Marine of the Year," of two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in the shooting last August.

Cotnoir, a married father with two young daughters, had rejected an earlier plea deal. He could have faced up to 20 years in prison. He stood stoically and showed no emotions as the verdicts were read.

Prosecutor John Dawley had urged jurors not to "give him extra points because he was in Iraq."

"He is basically a good guy," Dawley said. "But this is not a case about making someone a bad guy. Good people do bad things. Good people occasionally have monumental lapses of judgment."

Defense attorney Robert Lewin asked jurors to put themselves in Cotnoir's shoes, noting a bottle was thrown through Cotnoir's bedroom window at about 3 a.m. while his children slept upstairs.

"You really have to try to put yourself in his room that night," Lewin said. "How do you think you'd feel?"

Lewin also pointed to a prior incident during which someone fired a gun at Cotnoir's house.

"Consider not only what happened that morning, but also the history of violence in that parking lot," he said.

Cotnoir, who served eight months in Iraq in 2004, helped create a mortician's unit for the Marine Corps, for which he was credited in winning the Marine of the Year award. He and his wife, Mary Kate, accepted the award in Washington, D.C., one month before the shooting.

Cotnoir's house, which is also his family's funeral parlor, overlooks a parking lot that sits across from two nightclubs. After the clubs let out at 2 a.m. on Aug. 13, 2005, revelers cranked their music and were singing and dancing.

Cotnoir testified he felt "under attack" after a bottle was thrown through his window minutes after he called police to complain. He said he was in fear of his family's safety when he grabbed a rifle and fired a shot into what he said was a clear area.

The shell struck a curb and shattered into fragments, striking Kevin Castillo, 21, and Lissette Cumba, 15, both of Lowell.
Chicago, Illinois

From the Chicago Tribune of June 29, 2006
Burglar slain with his own shotgun

A burglar was shot and killed with his own weapon on the Southwest Side after a homeowner confronted him Wednesday evening, police said.

The homeowner was returning to his home in the 1600 block of West 38th Place about 5 p.m. when he saw a man trying to break into his garage, Officer John Mirabelli said. Although the burglar was armed with a shotgun, the homeowner confronted him, Mirabelli said.

"A struggle ensued, and the shotgun discharged, striking the offender in the head," Mirabelli said.

The burglar was pronounced dead at the scene. There are no plans to charge the homeowner, Mirabelli said, because he was "acting in fear for his life."

No one else was hurt, Mirabelli said. Police declined to identify the 44-year-old burglar.
Hazelwood, Pennsylvania

From the Pittsburg Post-Gazette of June 29, 2006
Hazelwood man found not guilty in death

Gwen Dunn said her son Dyar stopped by her workplace hours after he fatally shot a man near the Original Hot Dog Shop in Oakland Oct. 20.

"I looked at my son's face and I knew he was going to say something that was going to change the course of my life," she said. They agreed he would turn himself in to the police, which he did later that day.

His non-jury homicide trial ended yesterday in a "not guilty" verdict, based on the determination that he shot Phenice Buckley, 24, of Hazelwood, in self defense.

Common Pleas Judge John A. Zottola did find the 22-year-old guilty of carrying an unlicensed firearm. Mr. Dunn, also of Hazelwood, remains free on $50,000 bond and will be removed from court monitoring.

The most incriminating evidence detectives had against him at trial was his taped confession, since no forensic evidence that tied him to the crime was presented.

But that confession and a very similar statement Mr. Dunn's friend Juan Moyer made to police shortly after the shooting supported the claim of self-defense: Both men said that the victim shot Mr. Moyer in the elbow during a struggle over his gun and he then turned and aimed at Mr. Dunn, who pulled out a gun and shot Mr. Buckley once in the chest. Mr. Buckley died shortly afterward at UPMC Presbyterian.

The judge said the forensics evidence matched these statements. A University of Pittsburgh groundskeeper found Mr. Dunn's gun in a flower bed where both men said it would be. The DNA on the other gun's grip matched the victim's and had Mr. Moyer's blood on the barrel.

"In my 23 years, this was probably the best self defense case I've ever had," said William H. Difenderfer. "His buddy's shot, the guy turns on him with a weapon in his hand and [Mr. Dunn] shoots."

Ms. Dunn said "her heart goes out to the victim's family.

"Anytime you lose a child that's something that cannot be mended or repaired. I'm happy my son is still here with me.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Macon, Georgia

From the June 28, 2006 Macon Telegraph:
Walter Gunnell told police he was in bed at his home on Greenwood Terrace on Monday about 11:35 a.m. when he heard a noise, a report said.

He discovered a man in his home and fired at him three times, the report said.

Two men fled the home, a witness told police, according to the report.

Lt. Carl Fletcher said it's not clear if Gunnell hit one of the men, and police haven't discovered anyone seeking treatment for a gunshot wound at a local hospital.
Oak Park, Michigan

From the June 26, 2006 Detroit News:
Shots were traded this morning when a man returning to his home in Oak Park surprised an intruder in his home.

According to police, the incident occurred at about 4 a.m. in a home on Moritz and Northfield streets. The unidentified home owner -- who was wounded in the shoulder, but is expected to recover -- drove himself to the police station after the shootout. The intruder escaped. Tracking dogs were brought in to try and locate the suspect, but at this time he remains at large.
Beech Island, South Carolina

From Columbia’s of June 27, 2006
Caught on Tape: Store Owner Shoots at Robbers

Mary Todd is the first to tell you - she takes safety into her own hands.

"I don't keep a gun on me, but there's one always with hand's reach," she says, nodding towards a silver pistol.

Just a week and a half ago, the owner of Todd's Food Store in Beech Island was forced to put it to use. On the afternoon of June 16th, three masked gunmen walked into the store, while a fourth waited in the car.

"They started grabbing customers, putting them on the ground, sticking guns to their heads and so forth," says Investigator Chuck Cain with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

Investigator Cain says the crooks would have succeeded if it weren't for Mary. As one of the men tried to kick in her office door, she fought back.

"I shot my gun through my little office window," she says.

Adds Cain, "Right then the boys were like, 'We're getting shot at, we're outta here.'"

In the end, the only thing the men got was out without getting shot. Now, investigators hope one of them slips up and talks about it.

"There were four suspects involved in this," says Investigator Cain. "There is absolutely no way these four are gonna keep their mouths shut."

Cain believes the four have ties to Aiken and Augusta.
Saginaw, Michigan

From Flint’s of June 27, 2006
Woman kills man in self defense

Couple's fight ends in violence

A couple's fight turned deadly in the city of Saginaw overnight. It happened on the 2300 Block of Hanchett on Saginaw's west side around 1 a.m.

This is not the first time police have visited the home. This is the city's 13th murder of 2006. But this one is not like any of the previous 12.

One reason is that the prosecutor will not file charges against the woman who pulled the trigger. That woman turned herself into police after she admitted to shooting 27-year-old Damion West once in the chest, killing him.

Prosecutor Mike Thomas says the woman acted in self defense and a source close to the investigation says West had a history of assaulting the woman.

That fact also weighed into the prosecutor's decision. The victim in this case was actually wanted by Saginaw police as well.

He was facing three counts of attempted murder in connection with a shooting on Porter Street in Saginaw just two weeks ago.

West also had numerous closed cases in the Saginaw County court system dating all the way back to 1996.
San Francisco, California

From of June 28, 2006
3 suspects shot in robbery attempt

Police are looking for a man who turned the tables on three would-be robbers and shot them early Tuesday in the Tenderloin.

Police say the three first tried to rob a man at 3:30 a.m. at Turk and Leavenworth streets, but he was able to escape. The man then watched as the suspects confronted a couple and tried to grab a backpack from them, police said.

The man with the backpack pulled a gun and shot the three, police said. One man was wounded in the leg and was quickly arrested, and a second man wounded in the arm and buttocks was found around the corner.

The third man, wounded in the buttocks and groin, went to the Tenderloin Task Force police station for help.

"You've got to go somewhere," Inspector John Peterson said. "Where he was shot, he needed the help.''

The three men each were charged with two counts of attempted robbery. Their names were not immediately released.

"It's rare to have a victim be armed and use the weapon successfully on all three perpetrators,'' Peterson said. "We would like to talk to that victim to hear the rest of the story.''

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Birmingham, Alabama

From Birmingham’s of June 27, 2006
Homeowner Shoots Burglar

A Birmingham homeowner shot a burglary suspect after finding the man hiding inside her home.

It happened just after 1:30 a.m. Monday Police said Jason Kennedy broke into the house in the 300 block of 61st Street North. Kennedy hid when the woman and her companion returned home.

When the homeowner discovered Kennedy, she shot him and held him at bay until authorities arrived, police said.

Kennedy was taken to UAB Hospital and will face burglary and drug charges once he’s released.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Vicksburg, Mississippi

From Jackson’s of June 26, 2006
Would-Be Burglar Shot

A would-be burglar was busted by a homeowner in Vicksburg in the early morning hours Monday. According to police, 50 year-old Mary Miller was shot in the neck as she tried to break into a house in the 700 block of 1st North. She underent surgery at UMC, and then went back to Vicksburg with a relative.

No charges will be filed against the homeowner... No word yet if Miller will face any charges.
Cambridge, Ohio

From Pittsburgh’s of June 26, 2006
Driver Kills Man Hiding In Back Seat

A motorist wrestled a gun from a suspected carjacker and fired three shots, killing the man who had sneaked into the back seat of the car while it was parked at a gas pump, authorities said.

John Toubell, 44, of Antrim, had arranged to meet a detective at the gas station to turn himself in for robbing a restaurant, but he instead climbed in the car when the driver was inside early Sunday paying for gasoline and beef jerky, Guernsey County Sheriff Mike McCauley said.

The shooting appeared to be self-defense because driver Brian Starr was shot in the thigh by the suspect before he took the gun away, McCauley said.

Starr, 29, of Cambridge, said he saw a head in his rearview mirror as he drove away. "Then I saw the gun coming around," he said. The car was moving while the men fought, then it crashed into a ditch.

Starr and passing motorists called 911, McCauley said. Toubell was shot in the head, neck and chest, Coroner Janet Brockwell said.

Investigators believe the gun used in the attempted carjacking was stolen from the owner of the restaurant that Toubell was accused of robbing, McCauley said.

A steel rod was placed in Starr's thigh because the bullet broke his leg bone in half, he told The Columbus Dispatch from Grant Medical Center in Columbus.
East St. Louis, Illinois

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch of June 25, 2006
In East St. Louis, golden years are lit by flashes of gunfire

After her 87-year-old next-door neighbor fatally shot a burglar trying to come through the front door, Eleanor Anderson - herself an older adult living alone - began sleeping with two items under her pillow: a cell phone and a gun.

The grandmother was intent on defending herself in a neighborhood that has changed drastically since she was a young girl. Anderson's small, light-green childhood home is protected by security bars and an alarm system. She also has her gun. And when Anderson, 61, heard gunshots one recent night, she was ready. She called police and waited with her snubnose .38.

"Us being seniors, criminals don't think we'd do anything," Anderson said, looking over her gold reading glasses and standing in a room filled with pictures of her four granddaughters. "We don't play anymore. We won't take this lying down."

There is something jarring about the image of a gray-haired grandma (or grandpa) packing a pistol. And there is something laudable in the image of an old-timer turning the tables on a criminal.

(Much more--an article very sympathetic to personal self-defense)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Huntington Station, New York

From the New York Daily News of June 25, 2006
L.I. woman slays armed ex

A Long Island woman shot her armed ex-boyfriend to death when he barged into her bedroom early yesterday morning, police said.

Carol Lama, 50, of Evert St. in Huntington Station, told cops that she had kept a loaded shotgun beside her bed since breaking up with Robert Travers, who lived about 5 miles away.

Lama shot Travers, 50, once in the chest after she was awakened by him entering her room about 1:20 a.m. and saw a pistol in his waistband, she told police.

A handgun was recovered, cops said. "She tells us that previously he had entered her home when he had been told not to, so she kept the shotgun for protection against him," said Suffolk County Homicide Squad Detective Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick.

It was unclear how Travers gained access to the home.

No charges were filed, Fitzpatrick said. "We took statements, and they will be reviewed by the district attorney," he said.

Lama told police that Travers had physically abused her in the past. She said the two had not been romantically involved for years, but Travers had been stalking her.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Tampa, Florida

From of June 24, 2006
Store owner shoots would be robbers

Friday night Rossi Henry and Alphonzo Tolbert attempted to rob the Dela Cruz Convenient Store on 16th Street in Tampa.

The clerk Khaled Elkhayyat who is also the store owner armed himself with a gun and shot the two suspects who ran from the store with no money.

Tampa Police officers arrested the suspects three blocks from the store. Henry and Tolbert were taken to Tampa General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Montgomery, Alabama

From the Montgomery Advertiser of June 23, 2006
Teen shot in self defense, police say

Police are classifying as self defense the Thursday afternoon slaying of a Montgomery teenager who was shot after a fight over a dice game.

Markiee Seawright, 19, of 141-B Windywood Drive died in his apartment shortly after the shooting, which occurred around 3 p.m. The alleged shooter, Deandre Stringer, 18, of 5619 E. Shades Valley Drive, was taken into custody about three and a half hours later.

Stringer was questioned and released without being charged with Seawright’s death.

“Basically, Mr. Stringer was firing back in self defense,” said Lt. Ronald Cook, a Montgomery Police spokesman. “And so the case will be bound over to a grand jury, who will decide whether or not charges will be brought.”

Cook said the two teenagers got into an argument over a craps game, at which time Seawright allegedly went into his home and got a shotgun. He began firing the shotgun toward Stringer, who fired back and struck him in the side. Seawright retreated into his apartment, where he died.

The pair had also gotten into a fight the night before, Cook said. It was unclear what that argument was about.
Bowling Green, Virginia

From Richmond’s of June 23, 2006
Judge OKs settlements in fence-feud slaying

A Caroline County judge has approved settlements in the case of a lawyer and cattle farmer who killed his neighbor.

Under the settlement neither Evelyn Brooks nor John Ames admits fault or pays money. Ames was acquitted in September of shooting Brooks' husband, Perry Brooks.

The two sides had filed competing claims.

Sixty-one-year-old Ames contends he shot Brooks in self-defense in April 2004 as the 74-year-old man came at him with a 3-foot stick. Brooks was on Ames' property to retrieve his bull, which often wandered onto Ames' property and mingled with his prized Black Angus beef cattle.

The two men had been embroiled in a 15-year feud that began over a fence Ames built between their properties.

The settlement agreed to Friday included a 10 (m) million dollar wrongful death claim filed by Brooks and her two daughters against Ames.

Ames had filed a one-point-three (M) million dollar suit against the widow, claiming she conspired with her husband to retrieve the bull.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Orange County, Florida

From Orlando’s of June 22, 2006
Man Shot, Killed Over Denied Car Ride

A 25-year-old man in Orange County, Fla., was shot to death when he apparently became enraged after he was denied a car ride to a Florida city and then attacked family members with a knife, police told Local 6 News.

Investigators said Antoine Jones was fatally shot at a home located on Brook Hollow Drive just of Landstar Boulevard early Thursday when he became angry after his mother's boyfriend, Sylvester Andrews, 39, would not drive him to Lakeland, Fla.

"Apparently Jones lost his temper and the argument escalated to the point where Andrews barricaded himself and four teenage girls inside the home," Local 6 News reporter Jessica Sanchez reported. "They barricaded themselves inside a bedroom armed with a shotgun."

Witnesses told deputies that Jones, armed with a knife, kicked down the door and then Andrews opened fire, killing Jones.

"The catalyst for the argument, deputies say, was Jones wanted to be driven to Lakeland and Andrews did not want to drive him there," Sanchez said. "That is what they believe led to this fatal shooting."

"I think two families have been brought together involuntarily other than the boyfriend and girlfriend and I just think there were tensions there," Orange County Sheriff's Office Cmdr. Tom Cockriel said. "Tonight it just escalated beyond their ability to handle it."

Deputies did not arrest Andrews and no charges were filed because they believe the shooting was in self-defense, Sanchez said.
Charlotte, North Carolina

From Charlotte’s of June 22, 2006
Thief Shot By Clerk During Attempted Robbery

Two would-be robbers got away empty handed after a north Charlotte store clerk shot one of them.

Police say the two men tried to rob the Sam's Mart on Lasalle Street around 10p.m. Wednesday.

The clerk shot one of them in the buttocks.

They got away in a champagne-colored car.

So far, we do not have a description of the thieves.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Liberty, Pennsylvania

From the June 21, 2006 Evening Sun:
After he was discovered, a Carroll Valley man who allegedly entered a residence without permission Monday hopped in his vehicle, drove toward the home's owner and was greeted with two shotgun blasts, police said.

Liberty Township Police on Monday arrested Anthony Joseph Sitts, 37, for criminal trespass following the 9:23 p.m. incident in the 100 block of Gordon Road.

Police said Sitts went onto the Gordon Road property and entered the house without permission. He walked into the garage and started banging on the door to the house, said Chief James Holler of the Liberty Township Police.

The homeowner, who was not identified by police, exited the front of the residence, and when Sitts saw him, the suspect got into his 1992 Chevrolet Blazer and drove in the direction of the homeowner.

The homeowner used a shotgun to fire two shots at Sitts' vehicle, police said. The first shot hit the driver side door and the second, fired as Sitts was turning toward the homeowner, hit the rear of the car and knocked out the rear windows, Holler said.
Harris County, Texas

From the Houston Chronicle of June 21, 2006
Man posing as utility worker fatally shot in county

A man pretending to be a utility worker was fatally shot overnight during an apparent home invasion robbery attempt in northwest Harris County, authorities said.

The suspect, who has not been identified, was killed about 1 a.m. while struggling with the homeowner in the 3300 block of Breckenridge.

He was wearing what appeared to be a CenterPoint Energy uniform when he knocked on the door, warning of a gas leak, officials said.

"The homeowner thought that something was amiss because apparently nobody in the area has gas,'' Harris County Sheriff's Lt. John Martin said.

The homeowner grabbed a pistol and went through the garage door, where he encountered the phony utility worker and least two other people.

"One of the suspects jumped him and there was a brief struggle,'' Martin said.

The homeowner was shot once in the arm but was able to return fire, fatally striking the man in the uniform. The other suspects fled in what appeared to be a Chevrolet Tahoe or GMC Denali, authorities said.

Investigators don't believe the man was a legitimate CenterPoint worker. He was wearing a badge that identified himself as a restaurant employee. They also found a pair of handcuffs inside a tool kit he was carrying.

"It was clear he was intent on doing some kind of robbery or home invasion,'' Martin said.

The wounded homeowner was taken to Ben Taub General Hospital with non life-threatening injuries, officials said.

The incident remains under investigation.
Billings, Montana

From the Billings Gazette of June 21, 2006
Gunshots fired; suspect wounded

Gunshots were fired in a downtown apartment early Tuesday after a group of intruders forced their way inside and accosted a 55-year-old male occupant, police said.

A male suspect in the break-in at 45 Custer Ave. was wounded in the arm and torso when the resident, Randy Hochhalter, fired twice during the struggle, police said. Officers and emergency crews responded to reports of gunfire at about 4:20 a.m.

An intruder also fired a weapon during the confrontation but did not hit anyone.

The wounded man, who fled with others in the group, was located in northern Wyoming later in the day, Billings Police Capt. Dave Hinkel said. The man was taken by helicopter to a Billings hospital, where he was in surgery for what appeared to be nonlife-threatening wounds, Hinkel said.

Hempstead, New York

From Long Island’s of June 20, 2006
Police: Concrete thrown, shots fired

A 42-year-old man shot at two Brooklyn men early yesterday in Hempstead after they threw at least two pieces of concrete at him, Nassau police said.

Shortly after 1 a.m., the shooter, whose weapon was registered, fired several 9-mm. shots at the men, who were in a sport utility vehicle on Virginia Avenue, police said. The man, whom police did not identify, shot one of the men in the left leg.

Police later arrested Cieron Coley and Matthew Woods, both 22 of Ralph Avenue in Brooklyn. An unidentified 12-year-old boy was in the SUV with them, though he did not appear to be hurt, police said.

It was unclear why the men were in the neighborhood or what set off the confrontation, but police said Coley and Woods stepped out of the SUV on Virginia Avenue and threw concrete at the man. The pieces of concrete smashed through the man's front house window and the rear window of his 2004 BMW, police said.

That's when the man, who police said has a valid Nassau pistol permit, shot at them, striking Coley in the leg. Coley and Woods drove off but were arrested in the area a short time later, police said.

Coley was taken to Mercy Hospital Medical Center for his gunshot wound. After treatment, he was released to Hempstead police, authorities said.

Both men were charged with two counts of third-degree criminal mischief; Woods, apparently responsible for the boy, also was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, police said.

They were arraigned yesterday at First District Court in Hempstead. Neither Coley nor Woods could be reached for comment.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

DeKalb County, Georgia

From Gainesville’s of June 20, 2006
Suspect shot by pawn shop employee

A man who attempted to rob a DeKalb County pawn shop was in stable condition Tuesday after being shot by an employee, a police spokesman said.

The 21-year-old man, armed with a knife, entered Evans Mill Pawn Shop and tried to hold up the store Tuesday morning, Dekalb County police Officer Herschel Grangent said. The man attacked one of the store's employees, who pulled out a gun and shot the man several times, Grangent said.

The employee incurred only minor injuries. Grangent did not immediately release the name of the would-be robber.

Grangent said police are investigating the incident, but it likely was self-defense. Police are using footage from security cameras in the store to help with the investigation.
Freedom Township, Pennsylvania

From Lancaster’s of June 20, 2006
Police: Homeowner Opens Fire On Trespasser

In Adams County, trespassing charges have been filed against Anthony Sitts, 37.

Police said Sitts was trespassing on a property along Gordon Road in Freedom Township shortly after 9 p.m. Monday and entered the house without permission.

Police said he left the home and went back to his vehicle, but the homeowner followed him and blew out the rear windows of the vehicle with a shotgun.

Sitts was not hurt.
Bradenton, Florida

From the June 18, 2006 Southwest Florida Herald Tribune:
BRADENTON — A man wrestled a shotgun from an intruder early Sunday before chasing the man and firing two shots at his truck, sheriff’s officials said.

There were no injuries in the shooting, which happened outside an apartment building in the 6700 block of Second Avenue Circle West about 4:30 a.m.

A 43 year-old woman and her friend, a 28-year-old man, were sleeping when they heard someone breaking into their apartment.

The burglar, a 48-year-old Bradenton man identified in reports as the woman’s ex-boyfriend, confronted the victims in a bedroom. The intruder, armed with a shotgun and a hunting knife, threatened to kill the two residents, deputies said.

The intruder reportedly struck both victims with the butt of the shotgun, cutting the man’s head and face.

But the resident fought back, and wrested away the intruder’s gun.

The resident then chased the man to his truck, and fired two blasts into the front grill to disable the truck. But the effort failed and the intruder got away.
Hardeeville, South Carolina

From the Bluffton Island Packet of June 19, 2006
Store heist erupts into shootout

A Hardeeville liquor store manager decided he'd have his own shot -- or two -- at exacting justice on the man who robbed his store at gunpoint Monday morning.

After the robber took about $1,500 to $2,000 in cash from the counter of Greene's Package Shop, manager Herbert Tolar snubbed the man's demand that he stay in the store for 10 minutes, instead chasing the robber out with his .38-caliber revolver in hand.

"He threatened my life, and I was going to kill the (SOB)," Tolar said Monday afternoon.

Tolar said he shot at the robber twice as he ran away, and the robber shot back. No one was hit.

He said the man came in the store on U.S. 17 at 10:19 a.m. and asked about some whisky behind the counter, but by the time Tolar turned around, there was an automatic handgun in his face. Tolar told police he had cash on the counter because he had just opened the store.

The robber ran from the store along U.S. 17 North, and though a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office dog team was called in, his scent couldn't be picked up, police said.

The robber is described as a black male, 25 to 35 years old, 5-feet-8 inches to 5-feet-10 inches tall and weighing 160 to 170 pounds, according to Hardeeville police.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Longview, Texas

From the Marshall News Messenger of June 19, 2006
Police: Homeowner shoots teen during burglary

A Longview homeowner early Monday shot and killed a 15-year-old boy who police say was one of three teenagers attempting to burglarize the man's home in the 1100 block of Camille Drive.

Longview Police responded to the residence on Camille Drive at approximately 3:30 a.m.

The homeowner told police he was sleeping and heard noises, including glass breaking, according to a media release from the Longview Police Department. The man armed himself with a firearm and entered his living room, where he saw several people standing in the room — one person holding what appeared to be a weapon. The man shot toward the person he believed was holding a weapon.

When police arrived, they arrested Gregory Allison, 17, of Longview, who was being detained at the scene by the homeowner.

A 15-year-old boy was found in the woods behind the residence with a gunshot wound, and was taken to Longview Regional Medical Center, where he later was pronounced dead.

Police also found a 14-year-old boy at a residence on Woodway Lane after they received calls the boy also was suffering from a gunshot wound. The 14-year-old boy was taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center, and his condition is unknown.

Allison is being held at the Gregg County Jail on a charge of burglary of a habitation.

The case remains under investigation.
From the Longview News-Journal of August 11, 2006
Homeowner in Parade shooting not indicted

Seventeen-year-old linked to break-in is indicted

The homeowner who fired the shot that killed a 15-year-old boy during the burglary of a Parade of Homes residence in June was not indicted; however, a burglary indictment was returned Wednesday against a 17-year-old man in connection with the break-in.

Gregory Lynn Allison II was one of four young men who police say broke into the home in the 1100 block of Camille Drive about 3:30 a.m. June 19.

Although police have not named the homeowner, James Pitre was listed as the victim in the case, and property records show that his wife, Lorrie, and a construction company own the home.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Lumberton, North Carolina

From the Lumberton Robesonian of June 18, 2006
Murder charge dismissed

The state has dismissed a murder charge against a Pembroke man.

The District Attorney's Office said there is insufficient evidence to prosecute Twyman McKinney in the shooting death of 31-year-old Jay Mario Lowry of Pembroke. Lowry lived at 406 Gough St.

McKinney, 54, shot Lowry once in the chest with a small-caliber handgun at McKinney's 201 E. Second St. home. The shooting occurred in March, but McKinney was not cleared of the second-degree murder charge until May 23.

Assistant District Attorney Martha Duvall said McKinney was justified in his use of deadly force, according to court records. McKinney's defense lawyer, Gayla Biggs, declined to elaborate.

“The dismissal speaks for itself,” said Biggs, an assistant public defender.
Another article indicated that Lowry was believed to be breaking in to the house.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Fair Bluff, North Carolina

From the June 13, 2006 Fayetteville Online:
FAIR BLUFF — Allen Jerome Tyler died late Sunday in a gunfight, Fair Bluff Police Chief Marty Lewis said.

Lewis said Monday that it appears that the man who shot Tyler did so in self-defense. He would not identify the shooter pending a decision by the district attorney on charges.

The events that led to Tyler’s death started when he went looking for the shooter, Lewis said. The two had an argument earlier.

Lewis said the man told police he saw Tyler walking toward him and thought he saw a gun in Tyler’s hand. When Tyler started shooting, someone handed the man a gun and he shot back.

Multiple shots fired

At least one of the man’s .38-caliber bullets hit Tyler, apparently passing through his right arm and into his chest, Lewis said. There was a lot of gunfire, Lewis said.

“Witnesses said they shot until both guns were empty,” Lewis said.

Tyler apparently hit the other man’s truck with several bullets from his 9 mm handgun, but none of the rounds hit the man.
Tulsa, Oklahoma

From Tulsa’s of June 16, 2006
Suspect Shot And Killed During Apparent Home Invasion

A man is dead after police say he attempted to break into an apartment and was shot by a man inside.

It happened at about 5:15 a.m. at the Sandy Park Apartments in the 6100 block of West 11th Street. We're told a man was staying at his brother's apartment when a man attempted to break into the apartment.

When the suspect made his way in, the man inside opened fire, striking the suspect several times. The suspect was taken to St. John Medical Center, but was later pronounced dead.

The man who fired the shots was taken in for questioning, but police believe he acted in self defense.

The man's wife and one child were also in the apartment at the time. No one else was hurt.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

East St. Louis, Illinois

From St. Louis’ of June 15, 2006
Homeowner shoots intruder in E. St. Louis

A homeowner shot an intruder this morning in the 3900 block of Caseyville Ave. in East St. Louis.

Willie Brown woke up when the intruder smashed his window.

The intruder told Willie he had a knife.

Willie shot the suspect at least two times.

The intruder was able get in a car and flee the scene.

Washington Park police later pulled over the suspect for erratic driving.

The suspect is currently at the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Willie is a former Green Barrett [sic] who sleeps with gun under his pillow. He says his home has been broken into before.
Blacksburg, South Carolina

From the Gaffney Ledger of May 19, 2006
Man says he fired shots in self-defense

Police are investigating an incident in which a Blacksburg resident told police he fired shots at a man to scare him off.

According to a report on file at the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, Henry Edward Stansel, 32, of 405 Upper Deal St., said Terry Ray Hall, 28, of 524 Misty Lane, Gaffney, came to Stansel's home and began beating on the side of his house and also broke out a window.

Police said Stansel told them he protected himself by firing shots at Hall to scare him away. Hall was struck once in the abdomen.

Cherokee County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Leigh Caldwell said Hall is in stable condition in intensive care at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.

Sheriff's Deputy Detective Tim Clark is investigating.
No subsequent stories about this incident were found.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Harris County, Texas

From Houston’s of April 11, 2006
Babysitter tries to come to defense of parents who were shot at

A father is killed and a mother hurt after a gunman started shooting at them as they returned home early Tuesday morning.

The couple's babysitter even got involved and came out shooting, trying to defend the family. This all happened on Rosbrook in northwest Harris County. Investigators say the couple was greeted by gunfire as they returned from a friend's house. By the time deputies got there the scene had become even more complicated.

Brandon Lettries, 29, and his wife Michelle, 24, were headed into their home when a man started shooting at them.

Relative Valencia Hart said, "They just called screaming on the phone saying they were getting out of the car and someone passed by shooting."

The couple's five children were inside the house. Lettries' brother had been watching the kids. When he heard the shots he ran outside and returned fire, striking the car of an innocent passerby. The couple inside wasn't injured.

Brandon Lettries died at LBJ Hospital. His wife was treated at Ben Taub Hospital.

When investigators arrived, there were so many shell casings it took a while to sort out the scene.

"There was multiple weapons and we're still trying to sort that out, as to who did what, but there was multiple rounds fired at this location," explained Sgt. James Parker with the Harris County Sheriff's office.

Authorities know some bullets came from the return fire from the brother's gun. But they also found casings from two additional guns which leads them to believe they are searching for two suspects.

Sgt. Parker said, "The suspect has fled the area and at this point the case is under investigation and the motive is unknown."

Michelle Lettries has been treated and released from Ben Taub Hospital. Prosecutors will determine if the brother who returned fire will face any charges or if he was acting in self-defense.
Nashville, Tennessee

From Nashville’s of June 13, 2006
Man Shoots in Self-Defense, Police Say

Tuesday, an ex-con was in a hospital bed, and the citizen who put him there said it was self-defense.

Police don’t want people to go looking for trouble, but they say people have a right to defend themselves and their family. East Nashville residents tired of being targets said they're not going to let criminals control their streets.

“We work hard every day, and we come home and stuff's torn up or stolen,” victim Teddy Frazier said.

Frazier watched Monday as a stranger started casing his 1991 Chevy Silverado

"He's looking in the window, pulling up on it," he said.

The 46-year-old electrician grabbed his gun and confronted the thief.

“The marks are here where he was trying to pry open the window,” Frazier said.

“I told him: ‘You need to get off my truck.’ I warned him twice before I actually pointed the gun at him,” Frazier said.

Frazier said the man lunged at him. The pool of blood in the grass tells what happened next.

“I had no choice. I went ahead and shot him,” Frazier said.

Floyd Cleveland took one bullet to the leg. As soon as he's out of the hospital, he'll be charged with aggravated assault and attempted burglary.

He's no stranger to the system. Cleveland has been arrested for burglary and assault. In fact, he had just been paroled May 22 of this year.

Police said it appears Frazier acted in self-defense, and he agrees crime fighting is best left to the cops

“My advice is … to call police and report it,” Frazier said. “This stuff needs to stop. There ain't nothing else I can say. People need to quit being scared.”

Detectives are running Floyd Cleveland's fingerprints to see if he's responsible for any other crimes in east Nashville.

Police are investigating what may be a similar case nearby. Saturday night, two robbers mugged a man on Bethwood Drive. Less than 20 minutes later, someone shot the robbery suspects near the Casey homes. Detectives continued looking for the shooter.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Miami, Florida

From Miami’s of June 13, 2006
Store Owner, Employee, Boy Shot During Holdup

Robbery Turned Into Shootout

A robbery that turned into a shootout at a market left three people hospitalized Tuesday.

According to robbery detectives, two armed men wearing skullcaps went into Carmen's Market at 1186 NW 103 St. and demanded money.

Police said that an employee immediately handed over money as the owner of the business armed himself with a handgun.

It was not clear who fired the first shot, but the robbers fired, striking the owner and the employee and grazing a juvenile customer that was in the market at the time, according to investigators.

Police said that the robbers fled the scene in a black Nissan Maxima with tinted windows and chrome rims. Two other black males were in the vehicle with the subjects.

The owner and the employee were transported to Ryder Trauma Center in critical but stable condition. The boy is being treated in an area hospital and is expected to be OK.

There was no word as to whether either of the robbery suspects was wounded in the shootout.
Jackson, Mississippi

From Jackson’s of June 13, 2006
Intruder Shot As He Allegedly Steals Two Days In A Row

Around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, Al Brown shot a man who was allegedly attempting to steal from his home for the second day in a row.

Now the alleged intruder is at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the upper-chest.

Police are not releasing the name of the man who allegedly broke into Brown's home twice, but he is being charged with burglary.

The question is will he be charged with one count or two?

Police believe he went Monday and returned Tuesday to finish the job.

Brown is being questioned by police, but is not expected to be charged.

Sharlott Hewitt, the homeowner's mother-in-law, said after Brown's television, computer and other electronics were taken in broad daylight, police told him the thief may return. She said this time he was waiting with a gun.

"They don't like what happened but it couldn't be helped. The first time he did this and took the stuff from his house, he should have stayed away. He came back for what little he left," said Hewitt.

Hardy said Brown's two small children were in the home when everything was unfolding. After Brown shot the intruder, he immediatly called the police.

Neighbors in the area claim they didn't see what happened Monday but they heard the shots Tuesday. All this did happen in broad daylight.
Richmond, Virginia

From Richmond‘s of June 13, 2006
No Charges

Richmond Police say no charges are being filed in Sunday's shooting at an independent living facility. Investigators say the shooting was self-defense.

According to police the incident began when two people living at the Fairmont House got into an argument over money. According to authorities, the victim was shot after he pulled out a knife. He is recovering at an area hospital.
Claxton, Georgia

From June 12, 2006 WTOC channel 11:
Investigators are now calling a weekend shooting near Claxton self-defense. It happened on Church Street just outside the Claxton city limits Saturday morning around 8am. Sheriff's deputies say Danny Jones, Jr., shot and killed Ray Smith, Sr.

They arrested Jones in minutes, but now believe Smith fired his weapon first.

"They'd gotten in an argument earlier and the victim went and got a gun and came back and they fired at each other across the street," said Chief Deputy Randall Tippins.

Jones remains in jail, charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The case is still under investigation.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Fort Smith, Arkansas

From Memphis’ of June 12, 2006
Sheriff says Logan County shooting likely justified

The Logan County sheriff says homeowner who shot an alleged intruder was most likely justified in the shooting.

Sheriff Mark Limbird says 22-year-old Casey Steele Weber went to the home early Saturday and demanded to see a person who did not live there. The homeowner told Weber that no one by that name lived at the home but Weber insisted.

Two girls between ages 9 and 12 -- the homeowner's daughter and her cousin -- were awakened and the homeowner hid them in a bathroom.

Limbird says that when Weber broke a window the homeowner fired a shotgun, inflicting a fatal wound.

The sheriff says his office is still investigating and that it will turn over the case file to a prosecutor for review.
Richmond, Virginia

From Richmond’s of June 12, 2006
Richmond Shooting

Richmond Police are trying to determine if a weekend shooting at an independent living facility was an act of self defense. It happened Sunday afternoon at the Fairmont House on North 21st Street.

Richmond investigators tell us two residents got into an altercation over money when one pulled out a knife. Then, the other shot him. Several other people were at the home at the time.

"I head no arguing, nothing. All I heard was a gun," said one resident.

The victim is recovering in the hospital though his exact condition is not known. Police say charges may not be filed in the case.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Lexington, Kentucky

From the Lexington Herald-Leader of June 11, 2006
Lexington store clerk shoots, kills robber

A Lexington store clerk shot and killed a man who attempted to rob a downtown market this morning, Lexington police said.

Charles F. Harmon, 26, of Lexington entered SubCity Market, at the corner of East Seventh Street and Shropshire Avenue, just before 9:30 a.m. and demanded money from the clerk behind the counter, Lexington police Lt. James Curless said. The clerk pulled out a handgun and shot Harmon, who stumbled outside the store and collapsed.

The clerk then called 911, Curless said. When firefighters arrived they performed CPR on Harmon and transported him to the University of Kentucky Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:58 a.m., according to Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn.

Police do not plan to file charges against the female store clerk, whom police did not identify.

Curless said Harmon implied to the store clerk that he had a weapon.

Police reviewed the store's surveillance video and found that the clerk's description of the robbery was accurate, a key factor in the decision not to file charges, Curless said.

"The law allows you to use force, up to deadly force, to defend yourself if you are in fear of your life," Curless said.

No customers were in the store at the time of the robbery attempt, he said.

The SubCity Market, located at 500 East Seventh Street, has been robbed several times in the past year and was burglarized a week ago, according to Lexington police. In past attempts, the clerks have complied with the requests of the robbers.

"This clearly paints a picture of the dangerous environment of armed robberies, whether you are the robber or whether you are the clerk," Curless said.
Sierra Vista, California

From the Sierra Vista Herald of June 11, 2006
County attorney's office: Deadly SV shooting justified

A Cochise County Attorney’s Office investigation of the July 23, 2005, shooting that left a local man dead and his wife injured has determined the shooting is legally justifiable as self-defense.

The office made its findings public in a letter Wednesday addressed to the Sierra Vista Police Department, which was the investigative agency. The case will not be sent to a grand jury or a preliminary court hearing after the office’s review, Cochise County Attorney Ed Rheinheimer said.

Sierra Vista police and family members of the man killed expressed disappointment Friday that the case won’t be reviewed by a grand jury.

Office says shooting was justified

The justification decision occurred because of the intensity of the confrontation between Frank Pence, 35, and the boy who was 16 years old at the time. Another factor in the decision was consideration of evidence and the “totality of the circumstances” during the incident, the county attorney’s office stated in the letter.

Because of the boy’s age at the time of the shooting, and the fact he was not charged with any crime, the Herald/Review decided not to publish his name.

“(The boy who shot Pence) was legally entitled to use deadly force in defending himself, his younger brother and their residence from Frank Pence,” the letter from the county attorney’s office stated. “Under Arizona law, he had no duty to retreat before resorting to the use of deadly force.”

Physical evidence in the case, including Pence’s blood and cigarette butt on the inside of the boy’s residence noted by Sierra Vista police investigators, combined with witness statements, indicate justification, “i.e., Frank Pence entering the residence with the intent to assault” the boy’s younger brother. “Keep in mind that Mr. Pence had already assaulted (the 16-year-old boy) outside the residence,” and the younger brother had physically pushed Mr. Pence off of the older brother and then ran inside, the county attorney’s letter stated.

In the incident last summer, a car with several teenage boys evidently exchanged verbal barbs, middle fingers and threats with Pence in front of the Pence residence on Avenida Escuela.

Pence then followed the boys in his own vehicle, and both parties eventually ended up in the yard of one of the boys in the car, specifically the boy who later shot Pence and his wife by firing a single round, according to police, witness and victim reports.

The boy’s younger brother and several other teenage witnesses were at the scene of the shooting. Pence’s wife, Kathy, and the Pences’ 6-year-old son arrived and were at the scene before the deadly shot was fired at the residence located in the 2700 block of Quail Run Drive.

During the altercation, the 16-year-old boy called 9-1-1 to report Pence’s trespassing at his residence, at which time Pence is said to have temporarily backed off.

As the altercation grew more heated, the boy apparently shot Pence with a semi-automatic 9 mm handgun, according to witnesses in the police reports. The bullet went through Pence’s torso and then hit his wife in her left arm, according to city police investigation reports.

Pence’s young son was interviewed by police and indicated he saw his father being shot.

The handgun belonged to the shooter’s father.

(Much More)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Houston, Texas

From Houston’s of June 10, 2006
Store owner fights back against burglars

A suspect is in custody after a store owner walked in on him in the middle of a burglary.

It happened on the North Freeway near Little York in northwest Houston. Police say the owner raced back to his store Friday night after an alarm went off. The owner and the suspect shot at each other. No one was hit.

A police K-9 unit found the suspect hiding nearby.
Victoria, Texas

From the Victoria Advocate of June 9, 2006
Victoria man thwarts former employee's attack

A 58-year-old Victoria man was able to thwart an intruder early Friday morning by slapping him across the face with a pistol he had grabbed for protection.

Ultimately, a 36-year-old man, listed as a transient, was arrested by police on suspicion of burglary of a habitation, according to an arrest report.

Officers were called to the home in the 4600 block of Lilac Lane after the resident called 911 reporting someone had kicked in the door to his home.

It was about 3 a.m. when the man told police that he heard a loud noise and grabbed his .22-caliber pistol.

Walking toward the front door he saw the shadow of a person in the doorway, the man told officers.

When the intruder spoke, the resident recognized his voice as a former employee.

The man came at the resident, hitting him in the chest. The resident then hit the man across the face with his pistol and the attacker fled.

Only a couple of blocks away, a clerk called 911, reporting that someone had walked into a convenience store with blood on his face but had left.

The officer eventually found the man after seeing his shadow ducking behind a building in the 600 block of Mockingbird Lane.

The man would later tell police that he had gone to his former employer's home to beat him up over a personal matter.
Rochester, New York

From the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle of June 10, 2006
Foiled robber claims he's the victim

Suit says workers who took gun away whacked him unnecessarily

Dana Buckman got more than he bargained for when he held up a Rochester auto-parts store on July 5, 2005.

Moments after Buckman brandished a 9mm semiautomatic pistol to steal cash from AutoZone at 569 Lyell Ave., employees Eli Crespo and Jerry Vega beat him with a metal pipe and held him at bay with his own gun.

Although a battered Buckman escaped when Crespo and Vega recovered the money and retreated into the store to call 911, he was arrested a week later, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and was sentenced to 18 years in prison as a repeat violent felon.

Now, however, Buckman is suing AutoZone and the two employees who walloped him, claiming they pursued him from the store, committed assault and battery and intentionally inflicted emotional distress.

"In some respects, you wonder if a case like this even needs a defense. It speaks for itself," said lawyer Patrick B. Naylon of the firm of Goldberg Segalla LLP, which represents AutoZone and the employees in the case.

But lawyer Phillip R. Hurwitz, who represented Buckman in the criminal case and also filed the civil suit in April in state Supreme Court, said Crespo and Vega crossed the line by pursuing Buckman and attacking him.

"The danger was past," Hurwitz said. "These two employees took it upon themselves to go after Mr. Buckman after he left the store."

The lawsuit isn't frivolous, Hurwitz said.

"Absolutely not," he said. "If it had happened in the store and they were defending themselves, it would be a whole different dynamic. These employees weren't defending themselves."

Naylon said he intends to vigorously defend the store and its employees.

"First, there were no charges brought against these individuals, which demonstrated that the police and the district attorney believed there was nothing wrong with catching the criminal who robbed the store," he said.

"Second, they did not pursue him. He had forced them to the back door, and he went out the front door and came around the corner to where they were. How ironic it is that this individual has the audacity to commence an action against the people who used his gun after he pointed the same gun at them. Please!"


Thursday, June 8, 2006

Albany, New York

From Long Island’s Newsday of June 8, 2006
Court says insurance company must pay for wrongful death defense

An insurance company is being ordered to pay for the legal defense of a man who shot a business associate in self defense, but was then sued by the dead man's estate, the state's highest court ruled Thursday.

In February 2002, Alfred Cook, then 57, shot and killed 52-year-old Richard Barber inside Cook's Clarksville home, 10 miles southwest of Albany.

During his trial, Cook testified that Barber, who weighed more than 360 pounds, barged into his home uninvited with two other men, began slamming his fists on tables and demanded money. Cook, who weighed 120 pounds, pulled out a .25-caliber handgun and ordered the men to leave. Barber laughed at the small size of the pistol, prompting Cook to run to his bedroom and retrieve his 12-gauge shotgun.

When Barber moved toward Cook and ignored a warning, Cook shot him in the stomach.

Cook was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges, but the administrator of Barber's estate filed a wrongful death suit against Cook, accusing him of negligence and with intentionally killing Barber. Cook said he only fired to protect himself.

Cook's insurer, the Automobile Insurance Co. of Hartford, now a part of The St. Paul Travelers Cos., based in St. Paul, Minn., refused to pay for Cook's civil defense. It argued that the shooting was not covered by Cook's policy because it was "expected or intended" by Cook, not an accident.

The Court of Appeals, in a 7-0 decision, reversed a lower court ruling and said the insurer would have to pay for Cook's defense, saying that insurance companies have a broad duty to defend in such cases, even if the suits are without merit.

"Suffice it to say that a reasonable insured (person) under these circumstances would have expected coverage under the policy," Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick wrote for the court.

She noted that the insurance company may not be required to pay if Cook loses in court. The case is awaiting trial.

Baltimore, Maryland

From the Baltimore Sun of June 8, 2006
A rare twist in killing

Grand jury chooses not to indict after abused woman testifies

After hearing from the admitted shooter herself, a Baltimore County grand jury declined yesterday to indict a Randallstown woman who killed her estranged husband in April after, she said, he showed up unexpectedly at her home and threatened her with an ax handle.

The 23 jurors deliberated for less than a half-hour before deciding not to charge Karen L. Foxx, 35, with a crime in the death of her husband, Herman E. Bullock, 45.

In an extremely unusual turn of events, the grand jurors heard about 90 minutes of closed-door testimony from Foxx, and were given the chance to question her about the shooting and her husband's history of abusing her before making their decision.

"It's a very rare thing," said Margaret A. Mead, the criminal defense attorney who sought permission from prosecutors to allow Foxx to testify yesterday. "I always believed that this shooting was very justified - tragic, but justified - and I thought the best way to get that across was to get her in front of a grand jury."

Mead - who was not permitted in the windowless grand jury room on the first floor of the Baltimore County Circuit Courthouse in Towson while her client testified - declined to discuss what Foxx told her of prosecutors' and jurors' questions. She also said that Foxx was not feeling up to being interviewed yesterday.

"She's relieved, but it's still very sad," said Mead, who added that her client wept when informed of the grand jury's decision. "She did love this man, no matter how horrible he was to her. ... She feels responsible, but relieved, that she won't have to compound any of this with having to face a criminal proceeding."

Foxx, an office secretary, had sought court orders to keep her estranged husband away, filed criminal assault charges against him, changed her phone number and bought a gun to protect herself.

She dialed 911 at 4:30 p.m. April 1 to tell police that she had just shot Bullock in the townhouse the couple had shared until June 2005 - a two-story unit to which officers had been dispatched numerous times on domestic calls. Foxx told police she fired the gun after Bullock threatened her with an ax handle - a piece of wood about the length of a baseball bat without the metal ax head attached that she had been using in the tracks of a sliding glass door to secure it.

(Much more)

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Columbia, South Carolina

From Columbia’s of June 6, 2006
Farrow Rd. shooting injures suspect

Richland County deputies are searching for two robbers. They believe one of the teens should be easy to spot. He's got a gun shot to the leg.

How did the suspect end up shot? Jerome McFadden, a father and store owner, is also now a hero, "You got to do what you got to do, and because of my son I put my life on the line here today."

Deputies say two teenagers held up Jerome's Fresh Meat and Produce Market on Farrow Road in Columbia. The owner wasn't there alone, his 12-year-old son was working with him.

Mcfadden says, "They told me if we called the police they would shoot all of us come back and kill us."

Defending his store, but more importantly, his son, McFadden fired two shots, hitting one robber in the leg. "I said you can do what you want, just don't hurt my son. They didn't hurt us. They took everything in the store except nickles [sic] and pennies."

McFadden says the teenagers robbed him of Newport cigarettes and about $700.

Richland County Sheriff's Department Lt. Chris Cowan says, "This is completely inexcusable crime - horrible. A man has been victimized, his son victimized and a community victimized as well."

This isn't the first time McFadden's been robbed. It happened two years ago, but it is the first time he's fought back.

McFadden says what's worse, the latest thieves may have robbed his son of a career in dad's footsteps. "He's shook up a little bit, and said, 'Dad I'm not coming back to work here tomorrow.' I couldn't force him."

McFadden says he may not open Wednesday, but the doors won't be shut for good, "This is part of his life. This is me. This is what I love doing."
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From Philadelphia’s of June 7, 2006
Police: Would-Be Victim Pulls Gun, Shoots Robber

An alleged robber got quite a shock from his victim, who pulled a gun on him and opened fire.

It happened in Philadelphia's Logan Square Tuesday.

Police said Luther Cook, 42, pretended to have a weapon and attempted to rob the victim.

But the victim actually had a gun and shot Cook, NBC 10 reported.

Cook is listed in stable condition and faces several charges in the incident.

Police have not released the name of the shooter, but said he will not be charged since he acted in self-defense.
Cincinnati, Ohio

From the Cincinnati Enquirer of June 7, 2006
Worker's shot scares off robbers

A store employee pulled out a revolver and fired what he termed a warning shot at would-be robbers who entered a gold exchange shop Tuesday.

"You come in with a gun, you're going to run out with a bullet," owner Tony Sasson said.

Two males, ages about 18 to 20, entered New York Gold Exchange, Eighth and Main streets, about 5:45 p.m. One pulled out a gun and they threatened to rob the store, Sasson said. Employee Adam Tee fired back.

"They were in self-defense mode. In the midst of the robbery, (the employee) went in the back room and got a gun," Cincinnati Police Lt. Mike Neville said.

Tee said he fired one shot at the wall to scare the robbers off. They fled without property or money. They were seen on foot going east on Eighth Street and down an alley.

Sasson, who has owned the shop for five years, said he has been robbed once before.

"Everybody here shops with us. Whatever they need, we work with them. For someone to pull this, it's like spitting in our face," said Tee, a three-year employee.

Tee, 20, said he believes downtown is relatively safe but thinks the violence will always be there.

"People do things because they don't see anybody getting caught," Tee aid. "They need to put more cameras up."

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Louisville, Kentucky

From Louisville’s of June 6, 2006
Double Shooting May Be Self-Defense

2 Suspects Hospitalized

Metro police officers were called to the scene of a shooting around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Investigators told NewsChannel 32 that two men tried to rob another man in the 3800 block of River Park Drive.

Police said the two suspects pistol-whipped the other man who then pulled out a gun and shot the two would-be thieves.

One man was shot in the leg. The other was shot in the butt.

The two were transported to a local hospital.

The incident remains under investigation.
From the Louisville Courier-Journal of June 7, 2006
Police: Liquor store owner shoots would-be robbers

Three men — including a liquor store owner — went to hospitals after a robbery outside Wilson's Liquors in the Shawnee neighborhood just before 5 p.m. yesterday.

The store owner, who is 81 years old, shot the two men, ages 17 and 21, after they pistol-whipped him, said Officer Dwight Mitchell, a Louisville Metro Police spokesman.

None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, he said. No names were released, but relatives identified the owner as James Wilson. He was released from University Hospital last night. The owner was parking his car behind the store, at 3804 River Park Drive, when the two attackers tried to rob him, Mitchell said.

The owner pulled a gun and shot at the robbers, who ran off, Mitchell said. Police would not specify either the number or nature of their wounds.

Officers found one suspect five doors down from the liquor store. He also was taken to University Hospital. The other suspect turned up at Jewish Hospital, Mitchell said.
Clearwater, Florida

From Tampa’s of June 6, 2006
Shooting, or self-defense?

A man shot his next door neighbor Monday evening, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office reported. Under Florida law, he may never be charged.

Investigators said the two had an ongoing argument over a messy yard and loud music. It came to a head when one neighbor shot the other outside his house.

Investigators say a few minutes after he arrived home, Kenneth Allen, 58, heard a banging at his front door. It was his neighbor, Jason Rosenbloom, 30. A verbal confrontation followed.

"During the exchange, Allen told Rosenbloom to leave his property," said Mac McMullen, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.

"Allen then shut the front door. Allen told deputies he then went to a room and retrieved a 9mm semi-automatic handgun, returned to the front door and opened the door."

"Rosenbloom then came towards Allen in what Allen told deputies was a threatening manner," he said. "Allen then told deputies he fired two rounds at Rosenbloom as he began to enter his residence."

According to Allen, Rosenbloom fell to the ground after being shot, then got up and walked to his home. His wife called 911 to report the shooting.

Rosenbloom was taken to Bayfront Medical Center by air ambulance and was reported in stable condition.

Allen was not charged with the shooting, McMullen said. Investigators will file their report with the State Attorney's Office for review.

Under Florida law, a person cannot be charged with shooting another if he thought his life was in danger.
Olympia, Washington

From the Olympian of June 6, 2006
Bar brawl acquittal might cost state

Jurors find soldier not guilty in fight outside O'Blarney's

A courtroom defeat for Thurston County prosecutors could cost the state as much as $25,000, or more.

That's how much a 22-year-old soldier, Sgt. Matthew Young, could be entitled to in legal expenses after a jury acquitted him of second-degree assault with a firearm.

A Thurston County Superior Court jury ruled Friday that Young acted in self-defense when he wielded a gun to ward off a group of people who accosted him and his girlfriend on Aug. 20, outside of O'Blarney's pub on Martin Way.

In cases where a defendant claims self-defense and is acquitted, the jury is allowed to determine whether the defendant is entitled to legal costs. It happens rarely, and several South Sound lawyers and judges recall it happening once or twice in their careers.

Big load lifted

Not only is he getting his legal bill covered, he also no longer has a potential prison sentence hanging over him, or the prospect of not being allowed to serve with his Army Stryker unit, which is soon heading to Iraq.

He and his attorney say it was a case that never should have been taken to trial.
"(I felt) completely terrible. We tried to provide the prosecutor with all kinds of information that could exonerate me, but it fell on deaf ears," Young said.

Judge Gary Tabor must still decide how much Young should be awarded. The law allows reimbursement for court costs, lost wages and "other expenses."

Young's father, Bob Young, who traveled from Michigan to be at his son's side, said his son's legal fees have topped $25,000.

The state, and not the county, covers the tab. The judgment is forwarded to the state's risk management office and the money typically is appropriated during the next legislative session, attorneys said.

The incident

(Much more detail)
Flint, Michigan

From Flint’s of June 5, 2006
Man stops would-be robber

Robber held at gunpoint until police arrive

A man is behind bars after breaking into a Flint home. Monday afternoon police credited the homeowner for helping them catch the would-be burglar.

It all happened Monday morning at a home in the 5600 Block of Fleming Road north of Pierson Road on Flint's north side.

It all happened early Monday when the man living at the home pulled a gun on the guy. It started when the man living there told police he heard someone trying to break in the back of his home.

The guy got in a basement window and made his way upstairs. But not before waking up the man sleeping inside the house. He grabbed a gun and confronted the burglar face to face.

He held the would-be burglar for 10 minutes, forcing the man to lie on his belly while he called 911. Police showed up and quickly arrested the man.

Neighbors living nearby say they saw the would-be burglar but didn't think of it as suspicious until police showed up.

No one was hurt in all of this. At last check the man arrested is in jail.
Manayunk, Pennsylvania

From the of June 6, 2006
Teen, 77-Year-Old Exchange Gunfire

Police report a 77-year-old man and one of the teens that tried to rob him are both recovering from gunshot wounds this morning.

Officers tell Action News that the man was approached by 2 teens in the area of Righter Street and Dawson Street in Manayunk around 12:30 a.m.

When two juvenile suspects tried to rob the man at gunpoint, their intended target pulled out his own gun and shot one of the teens in the hand. The 77-year-old victim was also shot [sic] hand. He was taken to Roxborough Hospital. The 16-year-old suspect was treated at Jefferson Hospital.

The other juvenile fled the scene, according to police.

The teen that is in custody will be charged with robbery and other charges. Police say no charges have been filed against the elderly victim.
Baxter County, Arkansas

From the Baxter Bulletin of June 6, 2006
One dead, one hurt in shooting

Keith M. Morse was in the middle of his prayers and had just gotten to "deliver us from evil," when he heard a knock on the door. Within minutes, two men started beating Morse with sticks, and at the end of the struggle, a man Morse had never met before was dead on the front porch from several gunshot wounds, while Morse's brother-in-law was at the hospital being treated for a gunshot wound.

Robert A. Vetor, 24, was pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m. after being taken to Baxter Regional Medical Center with three gunshot wounds to the upper body, according to Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery.

Jesse M. Kepler, 24, had one gunshot wound to his upper left thigh and was taken by a private vehicle to BRMC where he was listed in good condition, according to hospital spokesperson Sharon Miller.

The shooting occurred at approximately 12:12 a.m. Monday at 47 Baxter County Road 5 off U.S. Highway 62/412 west of Mountain Home.

Morse, 23, of 47 CR 5, was taken into custody at the scene by sheriff's deputies pending investigation into the circumstances of the shooting, Montgomery said. Morse was taken to the sheriff's office to be interviewed by investigators. He later was released.

"He started thumping on me and another guy jumped out with a stick and broke it on me," Morse said in an interview with The Bulletin Monday afternoon. "I fell, grabbed my gun, fumbled with it and shot. They were going to kill me."

Morse said he was afraid for his 5-month-old daughter, who was at home with him while his wife was at work.

"After shooting, I passed out," Morse said. "When I came to, I grabbed my cell phone and called 911. The (911) operator told me to put the pistol down."

Morse said there were three men who came to his home. One fled as soon as Morse started firing.

Morse said they knocked on his door, and his brother-in-law Kepler wanted him to come out, but Morse refused. When he finally opened the door, two men who had been hiding — one behind a grill on the front porch and the other at the side of the house — came to the door and starting beating on him with some pieces of wood. Morse said he let them beat on him until he heard one say they were going to kill him.

Morse said he did not know the other two men who were with his brother-in-law.

(Much more)
Somerset County, Pennsylvania

From the Somerset County Daily American of June 6, 2006
Charges dropped in fatal shooting

Linda Mostoller sat stunned when Somerset County District Attorney Jerry Spangler announced Monday at a press conference that his office was withdrawing criminal charges against the man who shot and critically injured her son and fatally shot a second man.

Matthew Eperjesi, 27, of the village of Wills, Somerset Township, had been charged with shooting and killing Perry “P.J.” Zimmerman, 33, Central City, and critically wounding Terry Mostoller, 32, Berlin, as they attempted to enter his apartment along Wills Church Road on April 8. A third man who was present on the morning of the shooting, Keith Custer, 32, Shanksville, told police the three were invited to a party in the neighborhood and went to the wrong address

“At the present time, there are too many unanswered questions and those ‘gaps' in the evidence could be the basis of an acquittal,” Spangler said. “Further investigation is warranted. I have therefore decided to withdraw the criminal charges currently pending against Mr. Eperjesi to allow for additional investigation.”

Spangler left open the possibility of re-filing the charges. Eperjesi was charged with criminal homicide, attempted homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

Police said the incident began about 2:15 a.m. when the three men were on the street outside Eperjesi's second-floor apartment spinning the tires on their trucks and making noise. Words were exchanged and the three men approached the apartment, police said.

Eperjesi told police the men were pounding on his door, saying they wanted to party. He instructed his brother, Michael, 22, to call 911 and informed the men not to enter or he would shoot them, police said. During the telephone conversation, a trooper overheard someone saying, “I've got something for his (expletive),” police wrote in a probable-cause affidavit.

Eperjesi said one of the men forced open the door, entered the apartment and was shot, according to the affidavit. A second man went to the door and was also shot.

“I gave every warning you can give to a rational person,” Eperjesi said following Monday's press conference.

Authorities are unsure if the men ever entered the apartment.

Both men were found on the porch, according to state police Cpl. Robert Clark. No weapons were found on Mostoller, Zimmerman or Custer, he added.

Zimmerman was pronounced dead at the scene by Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller. He bled to death from a chest wound. Mostoller remains in critical condition at Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown. He was shot in the side, according to his mother, Linda, who has spent every day of the past eight weeks at her son's side.

“Perry is gone. We feel very bad for the Zimmermans. They lost their hope. We still have hope. My son is fighting for his life. He has had many operations and he is still facing more,” she said.

“We believe that God was with Terry on the porch and is with him still in ICU. We are trying to stay strong,” she added.

Spangler said he based his decision on the facts and the law in cases where self defense is an issue. In such a case, the commonwealth would have convince 12 jurors that the defendant did not actually believe he was in immediate danger at the time he used deadly force, or that his belief was unreasonable in light of the circumstances. The state police concurred with Spangler's decision.

“This decision should not be interpreted as a finding that the actions by Mr. Eperjesi were justified,” Spangler said. “The commonwealth's burden would be to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that his actions were not justified and at this time we cannot meet that burden.”

The district attorney's office is “diligently pursing and monitoring the status of the investigation,” he added. “Basically, we reset the clock.”


A previous story from the Pittsburg Tribune-Review of April 9, 2006
Two shot, one dead in Somerset incident

A Somerset County man claims he fatally shot one man and critically injured another because they stormed his apartment early Saturday morning.

Matthew Lewis Eperjesi, 27, of 132 Wills Church Road, Apt. 2, in Wills, Somerset County, was charged yesterday with criminal homicide, criminal attempted homicide, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person, police said.

Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller said Perry Zimmerman, 33, of Central City, was pronounced dead at 3:15 a.m. Saturday from excessive bleeding caused by a gunshot wound to the torso.

Terry Mostoller, 32, of Berlin, was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, in Johnstown, Cambria County, where he is listed in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

State police at Somerset said the incident began about 2:15 a.m., when Zimmerman, Mostoller and a third, unidentified man were on the street outside Eperjesi's second-floor apartment, making noise with their vehicles and spinning tires.

Eperjesi told the men to stop, but the three men approached his apartment, police said.

Eperjesi told police he closed the door and held a shotgun he loaded, but the men threatened him and broke open the door.

Eperjesi said he warned the men not to enter the home or he would shoot them, according to police.

Police said two of the men were shot after entering the doorway. The third fled.

"What are you going to do when somebody's kicking your door down? Get your (expletive) kicked by three monsters?" Eperjesi's brother and roommate, Mike, said outside the apartment building yesterday. He said his brother warned the intruders he had a gun.

Neighbors in two other apartments in the building said they didn't hear the commotion outside.

Splattered blood was visible yesterday afternoon on a first-floor wall and cement ledge beneath Eperjesi's apartment.

"I just want the facts to come out," Mike Eperjesi said. "I don't want people to think my brother's a raging lunatic."

District Judge Arthur Cook, of Somerset, arraigned Eperjesi, who is being held without bond. A copy of the criminal complaint was not immediately available yesterday.

Some of Eperjesi's friends at the scene yesterday said Eperjesi is a friend of Mostoller's.

"When he got out of the police car (at the arraignment), he said to his dad, 'I didn't want to hurt anybody,'" said Timothy Baker, who identified himself as a friend of Eperjesi. "That's a shame."
From the Pittsburg Tribune-Review of August 9, 2007
Somerset truck driver justified in fatal shooting

A Somerset County coroner's jury recommended Thursday that a 29-year-old truck driver was legally justified last year to fatally shoot a man after his apartment door was kicked in around 2 a.m.

The recommendation affirms a decision by District Attorney Jerry Spangler to dismiss a criminal homicide charge against Matthew L. Eperjesi because authorities believe they have insufficient evidence to disprove Eperjesi's self-defense claim.

Eperjesi testified yesterday that he shot two men when they barged into his Somerset Township apartment on April 8, 2006, after he yelled at them for spinning their tires while he and his brother were trying to sleep.

Perry Zimmerman, 33, of Central City, died instantly, while Terry Mostoller, 33, of Berlin, is recovering after losing his spleen, two-thirds of his intestines and a kidney.

A third man outside the apartment, Keith Custer, claimed he and the shooting victims left a bar and were invited to an after-hours party on Wills Church Road, but went to the wrong door.

Eperjesi, who worked for a Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission subcontractor, said the squealing tires annoyed him so much that he yelled profanities at the trio and stood in the doorway to show he was loading a shotgun.

He claimed he warned the men that state police were on the way, but they knocked the door in.

"I didn't really know what their purposes were, but I can tell you I didn't want to find out," Eperjesi testified.

According to state law, a resident does not have a duty to retreat his home if he's placed in danger -- or reasonably believes he is in danger -- of death or serious injury.

Mostoller declined to comment on the jury's recommendation.

An attorney representing Zimmerman's family vowed that the case isn't over and pledged to ask the state Attorney General's Office to review the evidence and indict Eperjesi for murder and his brother, Michael, for conspiracy.

Noah Geary, who was permitted to question witnesses during the inquest, criticized Spangler and state police for "sandbagging and blaming the victims, and making excuses for the shooter."

Geary's questioning revealed the family's theory that Michael Eperjesi opened the door so Matthew Eperjesi could open fire, although the shooter's younger brother defiantly denied it.

"No, I didn't intend to open the door for these people, thank you," Michael Eperjesi testified.

Geary claimed that Spangler didn't try to enter incriminating evidence against Eperjesi.

"The district attorney fought like hell just to justify his decision to drop the charges," said Geary, of Washington County.

"I'm a criminal defense attorney, and I know this is murder, first-degree murder."

Spangler responded that the jury made its recommendation after a "full, fair and complete hearing."