By Mike Sherman
RVer Safety: Chilling 911 call depicts deadly encounter between homeowner and intruder
Includes information from KOMOnews.com
A dramatic 911 recording was released Tuesday that depicts a home invasion that turned deadly.
Last week, a Seattle-area man shot and killed a burglar after he awoke to find the intruder inside his home. The homeowner called 911 to report a burglary at about 2:45 a.m. Monday, April 22, after hearing glass breaking downstairs. Audio obtained by KOMO News details the terrifying ordeal.
Operator: “911, what are you reporting?”
Homeowner: “My house is getting robbed right now.”
Operator: “Hey is that crashing I hear behind you? Is that them?”
Homeowner: “Yeah they broke the window out.”
Operator: “Are you armed?
Homeowner: “Yeah, I have a gun.”
Police said the 35-year-old homeowner was hiding in his bedroom closet while on the phone with the operator.
Operator: “Okay, your door locked?”
Then, gunshots are heard on the recording. According to KOMO, after about 75 seconds of muffled noise, the homeowner responds to the dispatcher.
Operator: “I heard shots — what happened?”
Homeowner: “I had to shoot him. He came after me… please hurry. He’s here on the ground. He’s hurt.”
Operator: “Where did you shoot him?”
Homeowner: “I don’t know, I just tried to shoot, I just tried to shoot for the guy, that was it.”
Officers and medics arrive moments later, but the 29-year-old unarmed burglar died.
Police say the homeowner will not face any charges.
“You have every right to protect your life and family if you are in fear of your life and safety,” said Ryan Abbott with the King County Sheriff’s Office.
Link to audio recording of this event, from KOMOnews.com.
Here’s a link to an interview with the 911 call taker, who was fairly new to the job.
Campers are truly blessed that something like this is extremely rare. It goes to the heart of prior discussions regarding events that can possibly take place, and the discussion concerning the decision to be armed.
I review articles that pop up often highlighting the results of citizen-involved shootings. Unfortunately, news reporters often fail to expand on the facts. Questions such as the distance to the nearest law enforcement officer when the call came in, the prior criminal history of the bad guy, did the victim alert the intruder that he was armed, was a warning shot fired.
One has to question the intelligence of anyone who would just break into a home in the middle of the night, breaking glass that announces their intrusion, not knowing if anyone is home. All too often the suspect is on parole or probation. When the media delves into the history of the suspect we are oftentimes shocked at the number of prior offenses he has been jailed for. The first question is always, “Why in the world was he out?”
Our safety and security relies on a judicial system to protect us. Unfortunately, the system is overloaded in many cases, and the next line of defense is what the private citizen decides to plan for, before tragedy strikes.
Note: We know what we discuss in this column may be controversial. While we invite your polite, constructive comments, inflammatory remarks will be immediately deleted.
Mike Sherman is a retired street cop and investigator with 30+ years of RV experience as a traveler, camp host and all-around advocate for the joys of living on the road. His articles are for general discussion purposes only – you should always consult your local authorities or legal counsel for specific answers if necessary. Write him at [email protected] if you have questions, or leave a comment below.