Indy Homeowner Shoots, Kills Intruder

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.

Indy Homeowner Shoots, Kills Intruder
Indy Homeowner Shoots, Kills Intruder
Bob Irwin
Bob Irwin

USA –-( FOX News TV 59 reports 06-06-2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana, a Castleton-area homeowner shot an intruder who tried to break into his home at just after 2 in the morning. It happened in the 7600 block of Wickfield Dr., according to Indianapolis Metropolitan police.

Investigators say 3 people, including a child, were in the home at the time of the shooting. The intruder entered the home through a side window.

“In this particular instance, it appears the homeowner acted in complete justification in using deadly force,” said his attorney Jack Crawford.

Attorney Crawford says even though (the intruder) did not have a weapon during the break-in, Indiana law protects the homeowner’s right to defend his wife and 3-year-old child who were home at the time.

“Indiana adheres to the policy that a person’s home is their castle and you cannot unlawfully enter the home at the risk of being killed,” said Crawford.

“As far as I can tell (the intruder) did not have a weapon on him,” IMPD Major Richard Riddle said. “But I want to make this very clear, the individual forced entry into this home and our homeowner confronted him with his own gun.” He continued, “You have a right to protect yourself and your family inside of your home at all times as long as that force is reasonable and you are protecting your life, the life of a third party which in this sense is our homeowner’s family.” The Marion County Coroner's Office identified the deceased as local 18-year-old.

In April this 18-year-old suspect was arrested for possessing drugs and a stolen gun. In May police arrested him again following a hit and run while smoking marijuana. Last week he was arrested a third time for theft and drug charges.

Although criminal charges against the homeowner are not likely, that decision will be in the hands of the Marion county prosecutor’s office.


Clearly a good shoot and I expect the District Attorney will agree. That being said, the bright thing the victim did was hire an attorney and let him speak to the police & media.

With an apparently unarmed intruder, there is always a danger of a costly lawsuit. They will argue that shooting an unarmed “child” was not “reasonable” in this case. It actually was reasonable of course, but that’s where the lawsuit lawyers find their wedge issue.

Bob Irwin, Las Vegas

About Bob Irwin

Bob is retired after 30 years of ownership of The Gun Store & Indoor Range in Las Vegas. He continues his 2A issues show “Fired Up with Bob Irwin” on YouTube and on KSHP 1400 AM radio (Sunday mornings at 9 a.m.) As a firearm instructor of Concealed Firearm Applicants, Armed Security Officer and Law Enforcement Academies over his career, Bob appears frequently as an expert witness for firearm & use of force cases in Federal, State and local courts.

  • 19 thoughts on “Indy Homeowner Shoots, Kills Intruder

    1. Gil
      In response to your last comment-I have previously laid the historical and legal reasons for the use of deadly force against a burglar.
      I’ll reiterate : That shadowy figure at the end of the hall-I can see enough to know it’s not my daughter, not my wife or visiting Uncle Fud. The figure is clearly a stranger who has no right to be in my house.

      So, Gil you propose a scenario that unfolds like this:

      Mr.Stranger-are you here merely here to steal the silverware and my laptop and you have no intent to hurt anyone? Promise that you are not armed.? Promise Cross your heart you aren’t intent on raping anyone? Do you have plans for beating or murdering or cutting folks? Promise you are really harmless and merely intent on just a property crime? I can trust you, right?”

      I appreciate that you think that’s a good way to run things. It reduces potential danger to burglars, at least. On the other hand, it’s also possible that a felon in the burglary business might even lie . He might even pinky swear that he only wanted my stuff; no raping or murdering or any of that other stuff…

      On the other hand, thanks to the common sense of the common law, I don’t have to interrogate a burglar who is inside my home. I don’t have to evaluate his truthfulness or character, I don’t have to check to see if he has a “rape kit” with him; I don’t have to peer into his psyche to ascertain if he’s REALLY a threat, I get to go by his actions and make my response based on that. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, in the US Supreme Court Decision in Brown v. United States 256 US 335 (1921) said “…detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife…” and smarter scholars than you, and the tradition of the common law and the statute laws of nearly every state class the ” intruder burglar ” in the same category as the “up lifted knife”. No interview of the thug standing in my living room is required. I am allowed to reasonably presume the burglar is there to kill, rape or rob. I am legally and morally allowed to use deadly force.

    2. Memory is not what it use to be, I remember hearing of a sheriff I believe from Florida .After a shoot out in which the perp lost, he was asked by the media why the officers fired so many rounds, (something like 140 rounds) his reply was that’s all the ammunition we had .

    3. Gil
      You seem ignorant of both the common law, common law derived statute law. I’ll try to educate you, but based on previous comments you have that’s likely to be difficult, on top of which I must say you seem purposely obtuse.

      Legally, in almost every jurisdiction, the very ACT of unlawful intrusion into an occupied dwelling, allows a response of deadly force. The offense is called burglary, and in almost all American jurisdictions, the householder is allowed to assume that anyone who enters a house unlawfully is armed. The householder is allowed to assume that the burglar has entered while the home is occupied with the intent to commit sexual assault, murder, robbery or kidnapping. Each of these named offenses may be met with deadly force in most common law jurisdictions.
      The householder need not peer into the dimness to attempt to discern whether the felonious intruder is actually armed, but may assume so.

      An example of those, quite specifically, in Texas Is Texas Penal Code Sections 9.31 and 9.32, 9.41 and 9.42. Indiana statutes are quite similar.

      The common law, from whence these statutes are derived, purposely makes Burglary a dangerous undertaking for the burglar.
      Your evident concern about violence and bloodshed might be more productively directed at getting the word out to the “potential burglar community” , however you define it, not to commit burglary. Yup, Education is the key. You can at least try. Let me see, something along the lines of :

      “Don’t be a burglar. Burglars may be legally shot. This is unhealthy for the burglars- chose some other line of work. Think of the others your actions effect- Don’t burden your family with burial costs.”

      Perhaps that might help.

      1. Just be honest in calling it property defense. Shooting dead an intruder who was no harm to you but had no right to be there isn’t self-defense. Self-defense is about protecting people whereas property defense is about protecting your private property.

    4. Human history is chock full of countless examples of extremely effective teenaged soldiers. Recently I read of an 87 year old WII vet who was killed this year (2017) protecting his home. I did the math. WWII ended in 1945, 72 years ago.
      87 – 72 = 15
      He was 15 and serving in the U.S. military in the last year of that war? Yes, he was.

      Now granted, he may have died before his birthday this year (the article didn’t say), meaning he would have turned 16 on his birthday in 1945. But still, a mighty young soldier by today’s terms. History tends to overlook some hard truths – a lot of kids lied about their age to get into the military in those days, and during hard times where we had battles – battles – like the Battle of the Bulge where we suffered something upwards of 90,000 casualties in about one months time – 90,000+ casualties in about one month in only one theater of that war! – we desperately needed bodies in uniform to send against our enemies. So our military recruiters were seeing a lot of very young looking faces in those days – and letting them in.

      Few things in history were or are any more deadly then seriously determined 19 year old marines, soldiers, sailors, or airmen, whether it be WWII through Vietnam, and on up to our kids / grandkids currently serving in hostile places all around the world today. We would not exist without them.

      The idea that a _teenager_ somehow cannot be a serious threat flies in the face of all known human history. Teenage warriors were and are prevalent. – the norm – in all wars, in all militaries, in all civilizations dating back as far as there was written language in existence to record it all. Teenaged killers are and always have been typical normal business in the human race. Nothing unusual at all. Previous generations didn’t live as long as we do today, and you were getting old by the time you were 30 or 35. 50 was _old_ and 60 and above was _ancient_. Young men and women were typically married and making babies just as soon as they were physically matured enough – barely out of puberty by today’s standards. For the bulk of human history this was entirely normal and necessary. It is how our bodies are designed. (Much like our bodies are designed to soak up every possible calorie in hard times, which can be a real problem in our modern well fed world with high obesity rates.)

      Yet we keep seeing articles written as if someone in their teens being a deadly threat is some kind of highly unusual, never heard of thing. Teenaged soldiers & sailors were a very common rule, not the exception, prior to today’s American all volunteer services. Today’s writers and commenters seem to be largely unaware of how short life used to be on average. or how normal it was for teenagers to live and act as adults – because they had to. Life was short and often prematurely ended way too easily. (Actually this is still entirely too true if you ask me.) Our science and technologies have made some great strides in the past century or two, but as a species our bodies, brains and human nature itself hasn’t changed a bit in many thousands of years. Nothing new under the sun when it comes to us.

      People being continually surprised by what has historically always been the norm is kind of odd, don’t you think? 🙂

      No News At 11.

      1. Agreed. many soldiers and sailors joined the US Armed Forces underage at the outbeak of WWII.
        My Father joined the US Navy at age 14, served,in the war, and then served in the US Navy Reserves until he retired from it.

        1. @Pa J and Michael, I was 17 when I enlisted. I spent my 18th birthday on KP 0430hrs to 9130hrs. They made me eat two breakfasts and two evening meals because I was so skinny!

    5. Puhleez, let’s not have any bleeding hearts on this. The perpetrator picked the wrong house in the wrong neighborhood. He lost his life because he was a lazy jackass, too lazy to get a legitimate job, and a jackass for trying to rob other people’s homes. Thieves are the lowest form of life on Earth, the only thing lower is a Democrat Politician.

      If someone tries to enter my house at 2 AM, I hope that they can run faster than 800 FPS. I have a family to protect and I take that job seriously. So there isn’t going to be any warning shot, and I’m going to assume the person was armed. Ergo they should be DOA. Its getting pretty bad when a man’s home has to be a place to be considerate of intruders … “Excuse me, may I get you a cold beverage while you are ransacking my house, after all I wouldn’t want you to get thirsty, oh and my sweetheart is sleeping in that room there, so please be gentle.” WHAT A CROCK! I say do a double tap on center mass – if the issue is still in doubt empty the magazine.

      1. Totally agree, double tap and get the kitty litter out to soak up the blood……maybe get a trash bag and place it under the idiot bleeding on your floor.

          1. @Sgm L, anyone that is strong enough to break through a substructure of my house to make entry is definitely imminent and a demonstrated threat. It is only a matter of elocution.

            1. @Wild Bill, I completely agree that is sufficient threat. Once I have my gun trained on them, provided the situation allows, I may give a “verbal” warning if no weapon is visible and I can see well enough to determine that, but if I can’t tell and they aren’t immediately falling back out the window (or door) then it is game on “center mass” until they fall.

        1. that’s what the burglar/housebreaker did. HE was stupid enough to think “no one in there will be armed and dangerous, so I can have my way with them and take what I want”.

          Slight miscalculation there…. perhaps his pals will take a hint from his fate: housebreaking is NOT a suitable line of work.

          Further, this thugpunk had recently been caught with a firearm… so we know he had the potential of shooting someone unjustifiably. Seems he’d been on a downward trending treadmill. And he finally reached the bottom. Buh bye……

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