Man Wanted By Police, Killed In Car Theft Shooting

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.

Billy Ray Sanlin
Billy Ray Sanlin
Bob Irwin
Bob Irwin

USA –-( WMC Action News 5 reports 07-28-2017 in Memphis Tennessee, a shooting took place shortly before 5:30 p.m. on Poppen Drive near Kimball Street and Semmes Street.

Memphis Police Department has identified a man shot on Friday afternoon as a local 36-year-old. He was found inside a 2015 Nissan Frontier pickup with a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the 36 year old reportedly broke out the back window of the vehicle with an iron chair and climbed through the window. The truck was in its owner’s driveway. The owner said he warned the suspect, “I said don’t do nothing else, walk away, don’t do nothing, he looked at me then he dived into the truck.”

The owner told police that weapons were in his vehicle, and he thought the criminal was armed. Therefore he shot him with a handgun. The owner remained on the scene.

The owner said it was all in self-defense and he was in his driveway trying to protect himself, his family, and his neighbors. As a last resort, he opened fire.

He has some remorse for shooting and killing the man in his driveway, but he stands firmly behind his choice to pull the trigger.

“To protect myself, my family, my neighbors. I feared for my life,” he said.

MPD said the deceased was wanted by police after ramming into officers’ cars and fleeing traffic. He also had eight active warrants unrelated to that particular incident. He has a long criminal history, Court records show he has been a convicted sex offender since June 2000.

All evidence was presented to the District Attorney General’s office, and no charges are filed at this time.


The owner’s choice to intervene, given the weapons available in the pickup, is certainly reasonable. This is a valid defensive shooting.

However, it could also become a complicated case. The evidence that the 36 year old was at the time, a threat to the owner’s family seems a little thin. The perp’s long and violent criminal history, unknown by the owner at the time, has no bearing on the reasonableness of the shooting.

It would have been wiser for the victim to stay in the house and call 911. If you are safe, stay safe. Try to avoid the detailed statements until your attorney is present.

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.

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Roy D.

Once again the elephant in the room makes its presence known. I really can’t comprehend the mindset which allows one to live in a place like Memphis. Visit, perhaps, live, no.


Shooting at tires is probably the worst thing you can do, bullets can easily bounce off and hit innocent bystanders, or come back at you. In this case calling police is the right thing to do. In my state shooting to protect property, will get you a free trip to jail.

Lawrence Rupp

“bullets can easily bounce off and hit innocent bystanders, or come back at you” What you empirical data for this statement?

Yes, if ONLY to protect property.
As noted by others he would not have just been protecting property, but protecting his life, and retreating.


What part did U not read where the owner of the truck had firearms stored in the vehicle?

tom d.

time to move !!

Dr. Strangelove

This guy could be in for a long court battle if a liberal AG takes an interest in it.


The shooter had the knowledge that the weapons were in the car and who can say what the man might have done from that point, had he been able to retrieve one immediately. I believe he had reason to fear for his and his families safety. Had the man retrieved said weapon he could have shot him and went into the house for money, drugs, or sexual assault of the man’s family members as we now know he was a convicted sex offender. Dirt nap is the only recourse.


Very much on the line. You would be in a whole lot of trouble in the sh!tholes of California, NY, Chicago and so on…
I have taken several courses on what to say after a shooting and this guy said them all exactly as I was taught. Good job.


I believe in California is is legal to use lethal force to protect property. Or at least it was just a few years ago…… states differ. KNOW the laws of every state in which you desire to be armed. KNOWING his own arms were inside his truck, and could be accessed, there clearly WAS a lethal threat to both himself and his family. Most states also allow the use of arms to halt the in progress commission of a felony)grand theft auto qualifies) and/or detention of someone being observed in the commission of one, or just having committed one. Don;t… Read more »

Lawrence Rupp

How about advise that he should have shot out a couple of tires and retreated into his house?


that is still using lethal force…… if its allowable to shoot at your truck’s tyres, its also lawful to shoot at the perp. If its not lawful to shoot at HIM, then you can’t shoot at IT (the trucK)

Either you are allowed the use of lethal force or you’re not. If allowed, WHERE you place that is irrelevant.

Silence Dogood

One for the Good Guys…for a change…


IT appears the dead pos was just that a pos with a long history of rime
And no redeeming social,value. Except for becoming a worm buffet
He got what he deserved
The owner was in fear of his life and this of the family and neighbors
Hope the perp so roasting I hell

If I was president I d invite you to the White House for a beer and an citizen award.

Hey Jimmy

Good. One less worthless scum ball criminal roaming the streets of America.