Learn From This Guy’s Tragic Mistake, Man Sentenced in Death Of Neighbor

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.

Bullet Hole
Learn From This Guy's Tragic Mistake, Man Sentenced in Death Of Neighbor
Bob Irwin
Bob Irwin

USA –-(Ammoland.com)- Thenewstribune.com reports 09-08-2017 in Bonney Lake, Washington, a local resident, age 41, was sentenced Friday for the November 3rd death of a female neighbor.The resident shot at a fleeing car thief but hit a 61 year old woman as she was getting ready for bed in her nearby home instead.

According to his defense attorney, the tools of the shooter’s deceased father were in the vehicle. That’s the reason the resident got his .40-caliber Glock and fired at the fleeing thief. He said he fired between 10 and 15 shots.

The defense attorney said his client was trying to shoot at the tires of the fleeing car. He also pointed out that his client has no criminal history, and that he’s his mother’s caregiver.

The defense attorney said “He regrets now and will forever regret the decision that he made in an attempt to salvage the vestige of his own father. He made a terrible mistake.”

The defendant himself addressed the court – “I'm very, very sorry. I can't say that enough. I didn't want to hurt anybody. I was just trying to stop a kid from being a punk.”

The Pierce County prosecutor said that 41-year-old defendant took matters into his own hands instead of calling 911 when he saw someone stealing his Jeep. An additional bullet was found in the living room of different neighbor.

At sentencing the deceased woman’s family said the victim babysat her great grandchildren, cared for a brother suffering from cancer and helped loved ones when money was tight.

The Judge settled on a high-end sentence of eight and a half years. A sentence of six months in prison is what deputy prosecutor had asked for.


An educational story that an apparently anti-gun press ran. This fool violated every firearms training rule in the book.

Using gunfire to stop a fleeing property thief only works in Texas and a few other jurisdictions that will consider the timing (as in how far away was the perp when fired upon or was he pretending to point a weapon).

No consideration at all was given of a background that may contain innocent people and in fact did! Way too many shots fired as there is no “Oh my god, my life is in danger” moment involved.

It is rare that one person can violate so many training and safety issues of firearm self-defense that all instructors harp on in every class.

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.

  • 29 thoughts on “Learn From This Guy’s Tragic Mistake, Man Sentenced in Death Of Neighbor

    1. Stupidy and being a bad shot,sentence seems excesive but then again an innocent person was killed,I guess,if your going to use a gun smarten up….

    2. I made a commitment that I will use no lethal actions, unless I am facing the same. Why take a chance of killing someone and in this instance someone innocent. No, it will never happen. I love having the right to carry in my state and I do not wish to give the libturds any of my ammo against me. I love Delaware. Best state in the union.

    3. I am sorry, but what a dumbarse. Big time! When the tool that is supposed to be used for self defense becomes a weapon of death to innocent people simply because the shooter did not have the intelligence to own a gun, much less than use one, he should suffer full criminal consequences. He was extremely negligent, extremely!

    4. He’s “sorry.” Oh, he’s full of regret. He did not mean to hurt anybody, he was “just” salvaging stuff of his father’s.Well, the idiot did not, in fact, “hurt anybody.” He killed someone. Stupid material possessions were worth using lethal force. His parent’s caregiver? Caregivers are supposedly responsible. Oh, but he is sorry. He is very, very sorry. If we don’t punish him, he promises not to do it again. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Clearly, none of you has the least idea what this actually means. Just keep on saying you’re sorry, you did not mean it, when your eight year old kills her sleepover BFF showing off mommy’s pretty pink gun. You idiots.

    5. So, even though many gun owners would know better, how do we keep guns out of the hands of people like this? Maybe the approach to regulating automobiles would work here; safety in both requires making quick decisions wisely and not “freaking out” in exceptional situations. This sort of thing happens all the time, since all sorts of people have guns.

      As a matter of basic justice, a person should not be using lethal force in the case of a pure property crime. Texas law notwithstanding, the perp was fleeing and was not posing a danger to the shooter. A call to the police would most likely have resulted in the recovery of his vehicle before very long (and without bullet holes), even if the thief ditched it and escaped justice. The state would not impose the death penalty for GTA, so why should the owner of the Jeep?

      1. If kids are speeding and flee the police should the police give chase it’s the same thing and it’s usually the police that hit innocent bystanders or motorist who is at fault? The law or should I say courts charge the people fleeing even though they weren’t in the accident (cause and affect)

    6. One of the basic rules of Firearm Safety. Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
      Basic Firearms education was part of grade school growing up a long time ago. Too bad the schools are teaching students to be victims today instead of self defense.

    7. As tempting as it would be to fire at someone who is running away is not the way the law looks at it. Steal my stuff and I will shoot you but it has to be done before the thug starts to run away with your tv under his arm and there has to be reasonable cause ,for instance, a threat from the perp.

    8. Sounds like the judge want’s to send a message and is very likely a liberal. Bad enough what happened and the judge just made it worse!

      1. Yeah..If your going to use a gun…You have to be smarter then the gun! I don’t feel sorry for him & I carry a Glock 19 every day! There is no Justification in shooting a fleeing suspect for stealing (I wish there was) but you are going to jail just about every time.

        1. Too bad he did not kill the car thief instead! Car thieves present a threat to others as they flee, often at high speed, without regard for traffic signals or laws, and not covered by insurance for any accidents they cause! Killing them puts a STOP to this hazard! (If a police officer does it, it is typically declared “Justified” in the interest of public safety!

      1. This is true, however, the shooter should have also demanded an jury trial and,defense counsel should have argued this fact. Then again in the long run, the person with the finger on the trigger is responsible for the round(s) fired, what is behind the target and whatever consequences for the actions of what those,rounds do once discharged from any weapon.

    9. I think this guy didn’t think this through, but don’t agree with the sentence. I wish the folks who abuse the 1st Amendment were held to the same level of accountability that those who abuse (or who are charged with abusing) the 2nd Amendment are held to. It would probably make this a much better country.

      1. People seem to fail highly in the differences of KEEP AND BEAR, and NEGLIGENCE. There is absolutly no wiggle-room to allow any such “abuse” of a RIGHT. The RIGHT to keep and bear arms is inherant and totally separate from ANY negligence in the USE those arms!

    10. The last time I looked, Washington state law allowed use of lethal force “to prevent the commission of a felony in your presence.”

      Car theft (or as Washington state law has it, “taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission”), is a felony.

      This does not mean that shooting at a fleeing thief is a good idea, or justifiable, especially in the Democratic People’s Republic of Puget Sound.

      1. The Supreme Court has severely restricted the instances of when lethal force is allowable. Most of the time, property crime such as auto theft is prohibited unless there is a “clear and present danger to life.”

        Personally, I think this type of crime would go down if property owners were allowed to employ deadly force, but that’s just me. Is stealing a car worth someone’s life? The courts seem to say no.

    11. Too bad he wasn’t a cop. If he was, he would have never been charged. One example are the police who injured numerous civilians when shooting at a suspect at the Empire State building. Another are the innocent home owners killed by SWAT teams, often because they have the incorrect address. There are many more examples and the police are never charged with a crime. Yes, municipalities make huge payments due to civil law suits. But the police officers are never held personally responsible. Souldn’t law enforcement officers be held to the same standard as the rest of us?

      1. This has nothing to do with law enforcement. To add to that, SWAT hardly busts through the wrong door. There was a rash of problems of basement gamers calling SWAT on other players because they are losing the game. If you’re trying to say cops shoot majority thugs for no reason, WRONG again. Often and in many cases stupid thugs/ have fake guns and point them at cops. But let’s do something stupid and keep focused on the point of the artical. An officer would not run down the street discharging a firearm at a car theif. The man in the artical needs an extremely stiff punishment and is still open to civil prosecution. Emotional use of a firearm on a fleeing theif is NOT legal anywhere! They have to pose a threat or be in the process of stealing. This jackass was on it’s way down the street. Also I’d like to see the charges shared and the theif also procecuted for enciting a shooting. Let’s not forget the the criminal in this matter.

        1. Aug 26, 2012, CNN: “All Empire State shooting victims were wounded by [police] officers”.
          In reply to “Brick”:
          2012, ABC News: “Man Dies in Police Raid on Wrong House”.
          July 25, 2013, Channel 5 Local News, Ft Worth, TX: “Police shoot dead grandfather. 72, while searching the wrong home for burglar, blame lightning.”
          Denver Post, Colorado News, Sept 29th, 2000: ” tenant Ismael Mena, a friend of Mendivil and her husband, had been shot eight times and killed after 14 SWAT officers burst into the wrong house.”
          Cato Institute: ” Each year hundreds of raids are conducted on the wrong addresses, bringing unnecessary terror and frightening confrontation to people never suspected of a crime.”

          Maybe you should do a little “fact checking” before you post your opinion.

          1. add the SWAT raid on Jose Guereña’s home in New Mexico…. a drug raid at the wrong address. Poor guy took seventy rounds that hit, that many more that didn’t, his Wife and two kids in the house busted into at oh two hundred or so…. she was forced to watch him bleed out on the floor, denied “permission” to help him, and EMT outside denied entrance…… SWAT team members, as far as I’ve learned, never suffered any consequences for their way over the top conduct.

        2. This has every thing to do with government employees who recklessly endanger citizens with random fire because they “feel threatened”.. If it is wrong for a citizen, as this case shows it is, then it should be wrong for the government employee.

        1. With men, your life must be in danger. If you are old or small in size and he is 6′ and 200lb you have a good chance to beat it. If he has your TV in his arms and you shoot him you are wrong. The ladies have better rules. Shoot him , tear your clothing, he tried to rape me. Ladies win. You can’t shoot a looter. He is not a threat to your life. I learned all this in a class put out by the police. I have a carry permit and hope I never need to us it. I also carry pepper spray.

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