Store Owner Opens Fire On Teen Burglars

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.

Robber Revolver Gun Barrel Robbery Man
Store Owner Opens Fire On Teen Burglars
Bob Irwin
Bob Irwin

USA –-( WMC TV Action News 5 and FOX News 13 report 07-05-2017 in Batesville, Mississippi, a local store owner opened fire on two teenagers that police say were trying to break in.

The proprietor said his store was broken into through the roof earlier that week, and several items were stolen including ice pops and beer. He said he spent the night in his shop after multiple break-ins.

Referring to these perps the owner said “They’ve been coming to this store for a minute. You know, in and out–in and out. So last night I thought I’d spend the night in the store”.

He said the suspects returned, but this time he was ready.

“They come across the top of the building; they come in, and when they come in, I sat there waiting on them,” he said. “And when they did, I said ‘I’ve been waiting on y’all for a long time.’”

He shot one suspect early Wednesday morning, claiming self-defense.

“They walked around there and I put it on them and made them lay in the floor,” the owner said. “And while they were laying in the floor, he (one intruder) was trying to get a hold of his gun to shoot me, and I shot him in the ear. I thought I had killed him because I turned him over, he was hollering you know, you shot me in the ear. So about that time, the police got here.”

Investigators with Batesville Police Department said the suspects were both 17 years old and had managed to climb up the electrical meter, onto the roof, and through an air duct in the ceiling.

Police said the wounded suspect, who police confirm was armed with a gun, was taken to the Panola Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries, and the other was taken to the Desoto County Juvenile Facility.

Both teenage burglars are being charged with burglary and petit larceny. As of this report, the owner does not face any criminal charges.

WMC Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee


With the one perp being armed and apparently trying to draw his gun, this appears to be a good shoot.

That being said, the lying in wait by the owner could present a serious problem for the store owner should there be a civil lawsuit. A better strategy would have been to wait outside and call the cops from there?

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.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

My store/shop got broke into one night and we discovered it the next morning and called the police. While they were investigating I got into a conversation with the lead inspector.We talked about replenishing my stock and tools and taking a chance they would come back for new stuff. His comment was that if he was me he would spend a night or two there on occasion, of course with a shot gun. That seems to be a reasonable thing to do as long as you don’t blabber too much and say the wrong things.


Lying in wait.??? He was in his own store, not hiding in a dark alley. Once the kids were on the ground, he was not lying in wait. His comment was stupid but he did not shoot until after the kids knew of his presence and were ‘in custody.’
His ‘I’ve been waiting for you.’ comment could easily have been to say. “I’ve been waiting for you so I can catch you, arrest you and turn you in to the cops.” If it was Lying in wait to kill, they would have been shot, not detained alive on the floor.


He should have killed the one who reached for his gun, he was fully justified under rules of self-defense. Now, these two turds will simply be let out of jail in a few months/years and are likely to return to this store for revenge. People like this store owner need to learn to keep their mouth shut! All he needed to say was that he as in his store , working late, when these two dirtbags broke in! The right to remain silent and to not incriminate yourself is for store owners too! Nothing should be said until you have… Read more »

Barry Hirsh

Where are the underage gun charges, and the conspicuously absent charge of carrying a firearm in the commission of a felony?


I wondered the same thing!


In the good old USA what you earned and bought and paid for. I yours and take personally yours. When owning a place of retail, giving up 1 dollar might take 10 dollars to replace 1dollar lost. So if a person steals 1000.00 from your store . You might have to do 5000.00 in sales to make up for the 1000.00. And when these slimy asshole think OK! Fuckem get rid of shit! People if you have a 800.00 bicycle stolen from you. What does it really cost. 15% in fed and state income taxes. 0 to 12% in sales… Read more »


You need to learn the numbers better. A retailer does not pay tax on inventory, whether it is sold or stolen. The buyer pays the sales tax to the retailer and the retailer sends it to the state. Income tax is paid on profits. That $800 loss means a savings in income taxes. Only the wholesale cost of the bike is lost unless there is a limited supply of that model. Better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt. You could have said nothing and nobody would have thought the lesser… Read more »

Jim Macklin

In some states a business DOES pay taxes on inventory since it is an asset. When an item is sold the accounting system determines profit and loss.
Income tax is paid on profits and losses and expenses are written off.


in WA a retailer may not pay tax ultimately on the sale of the bike…. unless you count his B and O taxation… and the retailer must pay the sales tax on the sale of the bike at the end of the quarter EVEN IF THE BIKE HASN’T YET SOLD; which is, in effect, a loan to the State. This is why many WA retailers use warehousing in different states and maintain only a limited stock-on-hand and/or bring in merchandise only once it has been sold.

Jacob M. Opperman

And while he waited for the police to get there they would have come and gone with them not being arrested. It is not the polices fault cause like most cities they are most prob under staffed and over worked.


and who can prove whether the armed perp might not have preferred to not leave anyone behind who could identify him?

This store owner did right. There is nothing wrong with taking such action to protect yuor business. Had the two lovely sons of the kinyun been the good boys their mama will holler they are, they’d NOT have been busting into this store, or any other, to steal stuff. Here is a citizen taking care to assure “the security of a free state”.

The Revelator

Put the bottle down, Jacob was not arguing that the owner was in the wrong in this case. Re read what he wrote, he stated to the comment on “Waiting outside” that most likely they would not have been caught. He was in agreement with you.


Sorry did I miss in the list of charges felony possession of a firearm and also committing armed robbery? Breaking and entering? 5-10 I’d say is less than fair with the family of the punks paying for the jail stay and not tax payers. Let the families eat the full ride.


The two “gentlemen teens” got off lucky that night and may get lucky with the court. The store owner and anyone involved in a similar situation needs to say only that they feared for their life and don’t say any more than is necessary. I don’t know about Batesville, MS but in my parish in LA it would be hard to get a jury of his peers to convict him. It does seem tha criminals have more rights than victims, look at OJ.


Bob Irwin is way out in left field on this one. The store owner has every RIGHT in the world to stay INSIDE his store to protect it from crooks. Don’t want to get shot? Then DO NOT break in to steal stuff!!


Why were they not charged with armed robbery?

Sam Adams

Am I lying in wait when I’m at home and somebody comes the Virgo my home and I shoot and kill them? We really need to dispense with the idea that all human life is sacred. Only well-behaved life should be considered sacred. If you commit a criminal act and if you come onto my property as far as I’m concerned I should own You Lock Stock & Barrel and be able to dispose of you how I care too. I’m pleased to say I know a man who emptied his entire magazine into the body of someone who invaded… Read more »

Wild Bill

For that particular store owner, I would suggest some of that 12 ga. rubber buckshot ammunition. Only because his mouth is going to get him in trouble. Oh, and he should have a criminal defense attorney on speed dial, too!

The Revelator

@Sambo Adams Ok, but then we get into the argument of who gets to say what the definition of “Well Behaved” is. Do you want to leave that up to our government? I sure as heck don’t. Sorry, but if you are going to live under the American system, if you are going to champion individual rights, then the inalienable right to life is part of that deal whether you like it or not. The only measure we are given is that our rights exist as long as they do not eliminate the rights of another. It is when you… Read more »

Sam Adams

No, you coming to my home uninvited and I own you. I kill you I don’t give you any chances whatsoever and then I feed you to the Hogs.

These ridiculous rules that give perpetrators any protection at all when they are on somebody else’s property is utter nonsense. And to me it doesn’t matter what they have or do not have on them for weapons. You come in to my home Uninvited and you become food for my Hogs.

The Revelator

@ Sam Adams and JD If you catch them climbing in through your window, breaking in your door, or refusing to follow a command of “Halt”, “Stop”, or even “On the ground dirtbag” then you have the justification to pull that trigger. However….. If the individual is on the ground, complying, and no longer a threat(The reaching was the active threat in the above story) then no, you do not have a legal justification or express right to pull the trigger. The right to bring the gun into play in defense of your home has been exercised, but use of… Read more »


If someone invades a home, they deserve to die

Jim Macklin

The store owner is lucky that the two burglars did not over-power him. At least one was armed and instead of laying down they might have attacked.
Police want two or three officers involved when searching and disarming. It is dangerous. Did the owner know he had a gun or was he just “supposing?”
At least the owner did not set a loaded trap with a shotgun on a trip-wire.

William Taylor

I agree with Bob. Setting up a planned ambush could really pose civil problems. In fact, unless the perps were proven to be a danger, the store owner may face charges.

Wild Bill

@WT, You don’t have to prove that the perps were a danger. You have to prove that you had fear, that fear was reasonable under your circumstances, and what your feared was imminent. But that store owner has a mouth that could guarantee prosecution.


the perps broke into a closed building. Proof they are a danger number one

They had been casing the joint off and on throughout the day, Number two”

They were armed,,, numbers three and four (who says the gun could ONLY be used by the one who had it when shot?)

what MORE proof that they are a danger do you want?

The owner was not “laying in wait”. He was lawfully occupying his fixed place of business.

Get OFF this nonsense that perps can control our lives and property. WE do.

The Revelator

@ Tionico Wild Bill is right on this one. Breaking and entering is not enough to satisfy threat level unless they are climbing in while ignoring your commands to stay out. The owner waited until they were inside. The owner did not know those two were the ones doing it, he only suspected it. Suspicions aren’t enough to form a threat level. The perpetrators initially complied with the owner and laid down. Still not enough to shoot. One of the perpetrators was reaching for “Something.” The owner had no way of knowing if it was a gun or knife at… Read more »

David Canfield

Since when dors a property owner not have the right to sleep in or on his property..??? The police cannot be everywhere. So as a property owner i am NOT supposed to protect my property ?? What if he was doing inventory ?? There late so he didnt have to deal with customers ? In my humble opinion, caught as they were, there shouldnt be allowed any civil action unless it is brought by the property owner.


AGREED, emphatically.


I totally agree with you . Any property owner should be able to defend there property .

Wild Bill

C. I have to agree with you, but the store owner and his big stupid mouth testified against himself by describing an entirely different scenario.

Greg Torchia

American Southern Justice Department




Store owner needs to practice a bit…. They will be back an a few months, guaranteed.

VE Veteran - Old Man's Club

Perhaps these two miscreants will consider another line of employment when they get out. But more than likely one of them will either end up dead, or back in the joint.


ANOTHER line of employment??? These two recreations of Billy the Kid would not recognize the work ethic if it hit then on the forehead. They will be slapped on the wrist, explained away, perhaps with the race card, and eventually be put down permanently by someone with a higher caliber firearm loaded with defense ammo.

VE Veteran - Old Man's Club

That’s what I said in my 2nd line. One of them will end up dead or back in the joint. The other might learn – I’m giving it one a 50% chance of living to a ripe old age, but if this is their second attempt at robbery, then you are correct – neither one will learn. Too many variables and unknowns.
Of course the victim could’ve shot them both in the head and then stated both attacked him. But lying them on the floor previously might’ve been a dead give away to the false statement.