Car Owner Fatally Shoots 15-Year-Old

Bob Irwin highlights the latest self defense and other shootings of the week. Read them and see what went wrong, what went right and what we can learn from self defense with a gun.

Mental Health Hooded Robber
Car Owner Fatally Shoots 15-Year-Old
Bob Irwin
Bob Irwin

USA –-( WYFF-TV 4 reports in Wellford, South Carolina, 10-13-2016 a shooting happened just before 11 p.m. on James Raymond Court.

A car owner shot at two teenagers after they tried to steal his vehicle Tuesday night, Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said.

The homeowner called 911 to report the shooting. The sheriff said one suspect was hit and killed, and deputies searched for the other young man who ran from the scene. They later captured that second suspect, a 13-year-old boy.

Coroner Rusty Clevenger identified the teen who died as local 15-year-old. The Sherriff said someone had stolen another car from the owner earlier in the day. Investigators think they came back and tried to get the other car.

A neighbor reported that the spare keys to the second vehicle were kept in the first car that was stolen.

The sheriff wasn’t sure how the owner knew the young people were outside or if there was a confrontation or a threat. He said a handgun was recovered that is believed to have been brought to the scene by one of the suspects.

The Sherriff told the media “I’m sorry that the homeowner had to do this. We will seek the advice of the solicitor’s office, put all the evidence together and find out exactly what has to be done. I’ve always been a big proponent of carrying a weapon with you if you want, but it’s a big responsibility to carry one.”

The homes along the James Raymond Court are rental properties. Neighbors are waiting on the property managers to fix the only street light in the cul de sac. The area is completely dark at night.


Defense of property always raises a question as to legally using deadly force. In this case, the darkness probably precludes the resident clearly seeing if the thieves’ are armed.

Turns out at least one apparently was armed. What does one do against an armed 15 year old? The first rule is always don’t get killed. So, of course, your rational decision is to shoot in order to protect your own life.

Finding out later it was a 15 year old is really tough! If it’s possible, call 911 and let the cops handle the problem.

Bob Irwin, The Gun Store, Las Vegas

About Bob Irwin

The writer is the owner of The Gun Store in Las Vegas and has a gun talk radio show “Fired Up with Bob Irwin” Firedup is now on KSHP 1400 am radio from 5 to 6 pm on Thursdays and at the same time also on YouTube “Fired Up with Bob Irwin.

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Big Bill

@Eric: I work hard for my stuff too. I don’t want it stolen any more than you do, or than the owner of the car in this story did. But I take steps to minimize my theft losses. I don’t keep the keys to my car in my car when it’s parked. (I only have one car, so I can’t keep spare keys in other cars.) I insure my car for theft. Yes, if it is stolen, it’s a right royal PITA, but at least I will have it’s dollar value in hand. I installed a theft alarm. It’s not… Read more »

Jim Macklin

I’m not a big person, but as a 13 year old I was about 150 pounds and at least 5’9″. At 15 I was nearly as big as I was at 22. But I never stole a car, bought drugs, or joined a gang. I was never shot by home-owners, police or even had many traffic tickets.
Maybe if I live another 70 years I might live a more risky life?

Maybe parents can get their criminal teens and preteens a luminous Tshirt with their age and DOB front and rear?


This is no doubt the worst possible self defense scenario anyone could find themselves in. There are to many questions left to be answered,as the investigation proceeds, for me to accurately comment here. One fact, this is a tragedy for all parties involved, is an understatement. Every person ,when confronted with a “life and death “situation, will have to act/react accordingly. Personally, I have and regularly try to “run through” possible confrontations and rationally determine my own responses. Fortunately, my life or that of my loved ones have , thank God,never been in jeopardy because of the actions of another… Read more »

Big Bill

From this article, it would seem that the owner of the car went out, in the dark, for some reason. (Was there a car alarm? Why was he outside – what made him go outside?) In the dark, he had no way to see if tyhe youth was armed. Was the shooting warranted? Maybe, but there are problems I have. Where I am, I can’t shoot unless I perceive at least some sort of threat to myself or mine, and even then I would expect a heck of a grilling by the police. In this situation, personally I wouldn’t have… Read more »


The violent predator CHOSE to commit the crime; the punishment assures no repeat from the predator.


i cannot understand why a piece of machinery is “worth” a life, especially when 911 is as close as the phone, mobile or land line. no indication homeowner was threatened with a firearm, call the police and let them deal with auto theft… oh, and keep second cars’ keys out of first car !


Bucause I worked hard to BUY my stuff , Years of work , then some punk wants to take it/ Hell no I lost about $50k of uninsured losses.


djhuggett let me help you: It was worth the teen being ARMED to STEAL IT, it should be worth the same response from the owner.
The question should be: Was a piece of machinery “worth” DYING for?
The violent predator believed it was!


Nope, i have ZERO problem with killing ANYONE stealing. NO ONE (except an infant) is unarmed–there is only a disparity of arms. A 15-year-old is quite capable of killing an adult all by himself with fists, elbows, palms, knees, legs, the pavement, and other assorted available weapons. FURTHERMORE I am of the opinion that if you murder someone EVEN if the killer is a PRETEEN, their life is forfeit. We all forget that most people who grow up, reproduce. If you are murdered before that happens–EVERY child that was to be is wiped–every following generation. You can’t fix that–but you… Read more »

James Bailey

If someone is old enough to carry a gun to do harm to someone else while they commit a crime, they are old enough to be shot and yes killed.

I don’t care that the kid was 15, because he was acting like any other thug of any other age: attempting to steal that which did not lawfully belong to him.

You don’t want to get shot and die?

Don’t take things that are not yours!

James Bailey

If someone is old enough to carry a gun to do harm to someone else while they commit a crime, they are old enough to be shot and yes killed.

I don’t care that the kid was 15, because he was acting like any other think of any other age: attempting to steal that which did not lawfully belong to him.

You don’t want to get shot and die?

Don’t take things that are not yours!


actually you shoot too stop because you want too live


you don’t shoot to kill you shoot to ljve




Bad parenting , but in the end parents can only show a child a path , the child / young adults, must also choose. The owner protected his property from a thief . The owner should feel no remorse as the stupid kid , did one last stupid thing.
Some will say a car isn’t worth killing for .
Well how about it wasn’t worth getting killed for a joyride .


You zeroed in on it in the first 2 words. People, if they took their head out of the sand, would be shocked at how savage some of these “kids” are. Ultimately, the parents are to blame for bad parenting and their actions should be scrutinized, in that did the “kids” go to school and get good grades? If not, we need to stop excusing parents from their responsibility and hold them accountable. Having and raising children are two different things.


this punk is dead for precisely the same reason Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown are dead… their pappies failed to teach them to respect other people and their property. Perhaps the three of them are having a good long whinge slouching about the big fires where they are using their hoodies to try and keep some of the heat off their delicate faces……

Yes, indeed.. bad parenting. TEACH your children, fathers……


Big Mike Brown was not complying with officer lawful requests and attacked officer. Putting TM in same class as Big Mike is not correct. TM was not committing a crime. Now don’t get me wrong, if GZ observed TM climbing out a window with a computer or monitor, then that is a crime. Walking with convenience store items is not a crime. TM was killed by G Zimmerman because he SWWATTED that teenager, ‘up to no good… on drugs or something’… and George or Travon ever met eachother until that sad night. TM was being followed, would you also be… Read more »

The Very Deplorable VonZorch

James one little point, when Zimmerman shot “little Travon” he was getting his head pounded into a cement sidewalk.


james let’s look at the facts just a minute: Only about 200 feet to the door of Green’s apartment and Martin had a good head-start on Zimmerman, Zimmerman stopped following and was out of breath and had totally lost sight of Martin after covering a distance I could have back-peddled faster. How could fat out of shape Zimmerman, catch the physically and fit athletic Martin that had a BIG head-start and had disappeared? He couldn’t have. Martin had to of “helped”, by RETURNING to Zimmerman and committing his violent attack, instead of seeking the safety of Green’s apartment. Zimmerman may… Read more »