Armed Couple Stops the Murderer Who Lived Next-Door

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Armed Couple Stops the Murderer Who Lived Next-Door

U.S.A.-( We start with this news story out of Safford, Arizona as reported by the NBC affiliate 12KPNX in Phoenix.

You and your roommate are asleep. It is a few hours after midnight when you’re suddenly woken up by the sound of someone breaking into your home. You go see what is happening. Your neighbor is standing in your house with a knife and is threatening you. You and your roommate retreat to your bedroom. Your attacker follows you. You grab your handgun and shout for him to stop. Now you and your roommate retreat to the bathroom. Your attacker pursues you and you shoot him. He stops and steps back.

The news reports don’t say if you stayed in the bathroom or if you ran to safety before you called 911. You put your gun away when the police arrive. You give the responding officers a brief statement. EMS declares your attacker dead at the scene.

Police go to your neighbor’s house to contact your attackers next of kin. Your attacker killed his father next door before he attacked you and your roommate. You are not charged with a crime.


Let’s start by looking at the obvious things that our defenders did right. Their doors and windows were locked. That forced their attacker to make a lot of noise as he smashed his way through their door. That woke the couple and alerted them that they had a problem. Fortunately, they didn’t ignore the noise. They got out of bed to address it. They owned a firearm. They had their gun nearby and had it in a condition where it could quickly be put to use. When the couple saw their attacker, they recognized that a knife was a lethal threat. Our defenders retreated to their bedroom, and then to their bathroom before they used lethal force to stop their advancing attacker. They stayed at the scene and called for help. They also gave a brief statement to the officers who responded.

There are a number of things we’d like to know, but these reports are always incomplete. With the perfection of hindsight, we want to be prepared before we leave our bedroom to search our house. We think someone is inside our home, but we don’t know what is happening. We don’t know how many intruders might be inside. We don’t know what they want, or how they are armed. Is it worth our life or the life of someone we love to find out?

If you have children down the hall then you have to protect them. In contrast, I don’t see a good reason to go clear your house in the dark if you and your spouse are living alone. Decisions like that are important and we want to make a plan during the day so we make good choices in the middle of the night.

In this case the defenders were facing a single person intent on murder. The attacker said that the defenders would have to kill him to stop him. The attacker killed his father a few minutes ago, but the defenders didn’t know that when they confronted the intruder.

Think about what best practice looks like for your situation. If you can, then it is best if both of you are armed and stay in your bedroom. I understand that plan changes if you have to protect your children or visitors in your home, but “gun, light, feet, phone” is a good place to start your plans.

Let’s imagine and compare two possible situations. In the first example, both of us are armed before we leave our bedroom. We walk into the dark central room of our home. A stranger moves between us. Now it is extremely hard for either of us to use our firearms because we are shooting toward our partner. It is hard for us to tell if the intruder is armed in the dim light. If the intruder is armed with either a gun or a knife then one of us could be shot or stabbed before we can stop the attacker. We might prevail in the end but it is a hard problem to solve.

Next, let’s consider a second situation. We hear glass break. Again, we roll out of bed and grab our firearms. We turn on the light in the bedroom. We lock the bedroom door. We retreat behind the bed and have our firearms pointed at the bedroom door. We call 911 and ask for help. We shout that we’re armed and that the police are on their way. If the attacker advances then he has made his intentions known by breaking down not only one, but two doors to get to us. We can see the attacker so we can easily bring him under fire. Our firearms are already pointed at the doorway so the attacker is essentially a stationary target as he comes through the door. If the attacker makes it through the doorway, then he has to see the obstacles in his path and form a plan to get to us. He then has to either try to crawl over the bed or move around it. That gives us more time and distance to stop him.

Having a partner makes it easier to manage the phone sitting on the bed in front of us. Both of us have our attention on the door, but only one of us has to divide our attention and listen to the phone. Just because the dispatcher asks a question does not mean we have to answer it. We want to defend first and communicate second. Priorities change once the police are on scene and the dispatcher is coordinating between arriving officers and us. We want to have empty hands when we meet the officers.

In the second situation, the defenders’ actions made it harder for the attacker and easier for the defenders. Having a plan lets us avoid bad choices in the middle of the night when we’re short of both time and brainpower.

Home defense comes up in almost every firearms training class because most instructors take questions. Unfortunately, the answers might not apply to us because our living situations are so different. One person renting a room has a different safety plan than a couple living with infants or later living with adult children in their home.

Most training organizations have a class that focuses on home defense. If your whole family takes the class then you are all on the same page and working in the same direction. Now that is a plan.

-Rob Morse highlights the latest self-defense and other shootings of the week. See what went wrong, what went right, and what we can learn from real-life self-defense with a gun. Even the most justified self-defense shooting can go wrong, especially after the shot. Get the education, the training, and the liability coverage you and your family deserve.

About Rob Morse

Rob writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, at Second Call Defense, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.Rob Morse

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Good info: I wholeheartedly agree NOT to go ‘clear your house’ after someone has broken in…..WHY would you? To protect your $500 TV? To ‘get that SOB!’ ?? To ‘teach them they can’t do this to me’???? Stoopid! How many are there? Are they kids? Are they druggies? Are they pro’s?? Are they killers? You’re betting your life…. Nothing, NOTHING in my house is worth getting beat to hell for, or dying for. NOTHING. Stay in your room/safe place, Be armed, alert, awaiting the cops you’ve already called, and hunker down. With your weapon, charged cellphone, eyeglasses, and flashlight at… Read more »


Just for the sake of discussion, in the intro pic, and not that it matters one bit, it appears the lady is an L-hand shooter shooting with her R hand. The pistol is cocked to the R, and it ‘appears’ she is aiming with her L eye.


Interesting article but the descriptors for the victims is confusing. Are they a “couple”, “roommates”, “spouses”, “partners”?


Does it matter?


another add for better windows and doors


Just another happy ending with the scum dead and the good guys winning again.


Saved the TAXPAYERS LOTS OF MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!