What you did was completely the right thing to do. I am so glad your family was safe. I hope you don't feel any guilt for protecting your family.
I'm 31 years old, I have a wife and an 11 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. For the past 7 years we've lived in a cabin home on about two acres of land a decent distance from the city. My father gave us the home as our wedding gift. He's not rich by any means, he's just a great man who wanted to set his son up as best he could and I love him for it. I'm at a great point in my life with my family, my wife and I are great together, my children are blossoming and developing as they should, and both of our families have been incredibly kind and good to us. My life has been so good to me.
Four and a half months ago on a Friday night someone attempted to rob our home while we were sleeping at around 1am. What they didn't know was that I've had along history of insomnia, and spend quite a few nights in the living room watching movies or tinkering with my hunting stuff late into the night. I also always have a gun on or near me.
He came in through our garage. He used a long knife (what turned out to be a bread knife) to jimmy the side door in there, and opened the door leading from the garage into the laundry room (which has another door that leads into the house through the kitchen).
This night I happened to be in the downstairs den halfheartedly fiddling with some hunting cams.
I hadn't heard the noise in the garage, but I definitely heard him in the laundry room. I got up quickly, grabbed my ruger, and had just made it to the entrance of the kitchen when he popped out of the laundry room door on the other side. He was about 15 feet from me, he was wearing a heavy hoodie with the hood up and heavy jeans with a back pack. With the lights out I couldn't make anything out really, but I saw the long knife in his hand and my stomach dropped. These situations are very odd because in planning for them the one thing you truly never know is how you will react in the moment. My biggest fear has always been having something along these lines go down, having the means to stop it, but freezing at the clutch moment and having something terrible happen to my family because of it. I didn't freeze though; In my mind I was #ting my pants but I spoke loudly and clearly before he saw me. I can't even remember what I said, later I told the police it was something like "who are you" or something along those lines, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't. Whatever I said, it spooked him bad. I thought he would make a dash back through the laundry room and down the road(which would have been fine by me), but instead he made this clumsy half-gated stumble forward. Later I recognized it as one of those half steps you make when your brain is trying to tell you to quickly change directions while your halfway through a stride or something. At the time though, and in the dark, it looked like he was coming towards me with the knife. So I shot him. I only fired once, but the gun I'd grabbed was a ruger alaskan, which was chambered in 454 casull. Anyone familiar with guns, will recognize how stupidly powerful that round is. Like I said we live in the woods, and I hunt where there are bears, and bears don't # around. its not at all a home defense gun , but it was what I happened to have near me at the moment. In any case, the one round was enough. I ended up hitting him in the upper chest under his clavicle. He side stepped and crashed into the fridge, then hit the floor and didn't get up. After the shot I was temporarily deaf and almost completely blinded. I was lucky that I'd hit him the first time, as the shock and pain from the blast had totally disoriented me. I could feel that my eardrums were ruptured. I moved backwards and fell back on the bottom of the stairs. I figured I would stay there since I couldn't see, so I could block the path to my family. I screamed at the top of my lungs for my wife to call 911 and to keep my son upstairs. It took the police almost 25 minutes to arrive, and by that time I was able to see just fine. I'd yelled for my wife to lock her and the kids in the bedroom, which she thankfully did. When my eyes had come around enough for me to see I'd turned on the lights and kicked the knife away. I don't know if he was alive or not at that point, but he wasn't moving and by the amount of blood around him I can't imagine he was. The police got there, evacuated my family through the side of the house, and took them away from the scene. I went first to the hospital, where they questioned me and such for what seemed like all night. They weren't getting much though, as my ears were very #ed, and I was in an adrenaline overload. Later they got the full statements, and went through the whole legality stuff. They did the CSI stuff in the house, collected the body, confiscated my gun etc. etc.
My family and I stayed at my parents house while they investigated. They took the body out, but they don't clean up the scene very well, so our kitchen was just totally wrecked. After they wrapped up the crime scene stuff my dad and I hired someone to come in and professionally clean and sanitize the whole thing. My family stayed at my parents house for almost a month after that.
The part that's got to me though, is that the person that I shot was actually our closest neighbors 16 year old son. I knew this kid, and he was actually a nice kid. I'd had him come over many times to help me with stuff on the property before, hell I'd known him since he was around 9 years old. When all this went down the investigator suggested that I go see a counselor about it, but I'd convinced him and my family that I was just fine. Hell I thought I was fine. As time goes by though, I think more and more about it, and its really starting to eat at me in a bad way. I've been going through these totally uncontrollable days of depression, I start thinking about the kid and what he could have been and all sorts of # that I don't want to delve into right at this moment. He was only a few years older than my boy. I'd always liked him because he kinda reminded me of myself when I was younger. He had this old skylark that he'd wanted to rebuild, I think thats all he talked about any time I'd seen him. His parents were just really #ty people, and you could see where that #tyness had rubbed off on him. I felt bad for him that he'd had such a tough break with his #ty family...but I still always thought he would work it out as he grew up. But he can't work it out now because I shot him, and he died and I can't get over that. I don't know what the # he wanted from my house, but if he would have asked me I probably would have helped him get whatever it was for himself. He should've just asked me. And I wish I would have talked to him more when I'd seen him. he probably just needed some stability in his life. I remember being his age and not knowing what the # to do with myself, If I wouldn't have had my dad there to talk me through those years I probably would have done some really #ed #. he didn't have that, and now every day I can't shake the guilt of it all. # he was just a kid, and granted he made a bad choice but # don't we all at some point? and for that one bad choice it cost him his life and I just can't shake it. Whats worse, I haven't been able to talk to my own son about it yet. I know I have to, its so important we talk about what happened but I just don't know how. I look at my boy and I think of the kid and it makes me wilt. I can't even put it into words. It just hurts. I feel like I've robbed a child of his life, and then I'm supposed to look at my own child who looks to me for wisdom and be able to set him right in life. I just can't bear it, I'm stuck and I don't know how I should act as a man and as a father when every day I just want to cry.
Anyway, I've got too much god damned pride to talk to my own dad about it and I'm doing my best to keep it from my wife and certainly from my kids. My wife goes to counseling for it, and I encourage her for it, but I feel like as the man I've got to keep that strong upper lip and lead on. I never once in my life saw my old man even hint at a tear, and I know he's seen and done # just as traumatizing as this. I honestly don't know how the man managed though. This being anonymous as it is I won't hesitate to say that I am not as manly or stoic as my father. I put up a good front to everyone around me, but the truth is I'm as soft as they come and this # has #ing wrecked me in a way that I don't know how to recover from.
I know this thread was meant more for a good laugh or half a chubby and not some schmucks ramblings, so I'm sorry If I hijacked it a bit, it feels good to get something out though.