If you catch people in your home, what do you do?
Do you disengage or do you attack? If there are two of them and one of you? What if you walk in unaware and find yourself overpowered and terrified?
Do you shoot then?
Well, I don't know on the questions so far because there is more to it. That's the whole problem in this case. There is A LOT more to it.
Lets get to what makes this story something special and unusual, even for US defense shooting standards.
This past Tuesday, Tom Greer came home to find the situation described above and himself an unwilling part of it. Mr. Greer is a 80 year old man with
a home in Long Beach California and he'd been a victim of burglary before. In fact, the story details, he believed these two had likely been the same
ones doing it. Now so far, we have an old man and two burglars finding each other in a most unfortunate way. Anything can happen after that point...so
what DID happen here?
He returned home shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday to find the pair in his home. Both suspects attacked him, hitting him with their fists and
ultimately "body slamming" him to the floor, breaking his collar bone, McDonnell said.
Miller continued to hit him, McDonnell said, while Adams moved to a safe and begin trying to pry it open.
They proceeded to beat the man. They broke his collar bone and it's hard to say how much more may have happened. Personally, I'd take an open handed
slap across the face of a man at this age to be a vicious and direct assault...let alone what they did. The homeowner wasn't in the mood for becoming
a statistic though, and so....
The homeowner was able to get to another room where he grabbed a gun and returned to open fire on the suspects.
THERE is where I want to stop for the first question.....
At THIS point, was he justified in shooting to kill? One male, one female and both young with strength have beaten a 80yr old man to the ground with
enough force to break bones, and didn't seem inclined to care or stop any time soon. He got his gun in a free moment and turned it on them. Do you
Now lets see what the homeowner actually chose to do, and lets see if IT was justified? (This is a crazy case, and there is a reason I'm laying it out
It seems he starting firing on them from inside the home, to be fair in how I am reading this. That ought to factor in for where and how the lethal
force engagement began....but this is how it evolved.
They fled through the garage and into an alley, and Greer gave chase, firing at them again outside, McDonnell said.
Miller was hit, collapsed in the alley and died at the scene, McDonnell said.
"The lady didn't run as fast as the man, so I shot her in the back twice," Greer told the TV station. "She's dead ... but he got away."
IF he was justified in opening fire within the house, were his actions justified after that, when the suspects fled and he somehow managed to give
chase? (I am imagining this 80yr old trying to follow with broken bones and all.. Wow!) Could he have been justified in fear they were returning
criminals and would return again if he didn't pursue them out?
At least two other recent cases have looked at a situation similar to this. First was in Oklahoma with a pharmacist who responded to a robbery. He
shot one, chased the other out and then returned to calmly fire more rounds into the one on the floor. That last action cost the man a murder
conviction where he'll likely die in prison. The other was a recent case of a homeowner setting a trap within his garage for a thief, and firing on
the first idiot to step into it. That was in Montana. Neither case was viewed well by the public, nor should they have been, IMO.
How does this one figure? Factors to consider: Ages on both sides, degree of injury inflicted in an ongoing situation, terror of past and future
victimization and sense of right to defend....as well as yes, the girls claim she was pregnant. Should that have mattered? Should someone assume it's
even likely to be truth in those conditions?
This case is currently being decided for charges to be filed...so if you were the Southern California D.A. on this very general thumbnail and source
to read more ....would you throw the book at the guy, give him a medal or just agree a tragedy occurred and pursuit of a conviction on the homeowner
wouldn't be appropriate?
edit on 7/25/2014 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)