In what authorities are calling a clear-cut case of "self-defense,” a retired Washington D.C. police officer shot and killed an intruder in the early morning hours of March 31.
According to the news reports, a Calvert County, Maryland resident heard loud bangs on his door, retrieved a handgun and opened the door to find two men standing there holding weapons. When the door opened, the men made threatening gestures toward the resident. In fear for his life, the resident fired several shots, killing one suspect and forcing the other to flee.
Now this is about as good an ending as can be expected in this type of situation; the homeowner was not injured or charged with any crime. Some might say that he acted foolishly when he opened the door in the early morning hours to loud banging, but having grown up in the South, I actually understand.
While I recommend that most people should call through their door it and check the peephole viewer, and to never open the door to suspicious characters, I don’t actually follow my own advice on that one. I’m going to open the door, and have many times, regardless of the time of day because someone might need help. Over the years, I have pulled people out of ditches, made a few “please come get me” phone calls and once even drove a couple of women in a bad situation to a shelter. I’ve also run off a few people who thought they could con someone out of money with a sob story, and even followed one guy to the neighbors, also cousins, after he didn’t take a hint.
I also understand because I’ve been the guy knocking on a door in the wee hours trying to get some help. Believe it or not, there was a time when we didn’t all carry cell phones. Also, while cell phones are great, they can lose service or become broken, forcing people to search for help. Only you can decide the best course of action in this type of situation. For myself, I’m going to answer the door, but I’ll do with a gun in hand. Tell me how you would handle this type of situation.