Home Defense Lessons Learned

wncdeerhunter

Old Mossy Horns
There have been several posts/threads in the past about confronting folks who are trying to break in/steal, etc.

A couple nights ago, we had our own middle of the night incident.

Fast asleep at about 12:30am when my dog starting going nuts. Almost at the same time, our security camera alert went off. Flipped on the front porch light to find a 30 something year old male on my porch demanding entry to use the phone - my observations told me he was tweaking on something and I informed him this was the wrong house. Kept telling me to open the door and let him use the phone.

Against what I wanted to do, I kept the door locked and kept eyes on him, armed of course, while I contacted the sheriff's office non-emergency line. He became increasingly hostile and at one point appeared to be talking to someone out of sight in the dark (turns out he was just hallucinating - no one else there). Became increasingly agitated while waiting and disappeared off the porch into the dark.

I related this to the dispatcher and a moment later, my wife, who had been watching our driveway security camera live, told me that he was on my mom's front porch beating on her door (she lives next door). This changed things drastically.

I told my wife to call mom and tell her to stay out of sight and keep the door locked, then went out and challenged him at gunpoint, giving him repeated loud and verbal commands to get on the ground while closing distance. The louder the better, as I was intentionally trying to gain the attention of any neighbors that may hear me in order to convert them to witnesses should it go south.

He refused to get on the ground, instead raising his hands telling me he wasn't armed and slowly walking toward the road - I believe he got the message that this was as serious as it gets and once he hit the state road, I watched until he disappeared into the dark. No need to follow - I wanted him gone and accomplished that. I then checked the outside of both our homes for any others knuckleheads that may have been with him, just in case.

A couple things that had prepared me for this type incident that really helped and I thought I'd pass along - having a bright weapon mounted light that I've trained with literally hundreds of hours over the years. Frees up both hands. Speaking of which, I kept the dispatcher on the phone with me and once I made it to my mom's driveway when I confronted him, I hit the speakerphone option and set it down, so she could hear everything happening and I could have my hands free while still having a line of communication.

I also gave her a very clear description of the subject and clothing, as well as my description and made sure she knew I was armed. It turns out I know the dispatcher and she recognized who I was, and related that to the responding deputies, whom I also knew.

Having the security cameras/lights that we have were a great early warning - going from a dead sleep to 100mph can be eye opening. Also, the entire confrontation is preserved on video and we got great pictures of the subject, just in case.

I never got any type of adrenaline dump or excited, and never actually contemplated not going out after him once I knew he was at mom's house - training took over, almost like a muscle memory on auto pilot. I credit this to having hundreds and hundreds of hours of various training due to my LE background and having sought outside training on top of that.

If you haven't had any training or experience in dealing with high stress deadly force situations, I highly recommend getting some - it is invaluable and helps knowing how you will react in a given high stress situation.

I only regret not having a holster - Should I have needed for some reason to go hands on with him, I couldn't. Had he chosen to fight, with no holster, I would have had very limited choices.

Luckily, all turned out well and deputies located him. Since he had not yet committed any crimes at that point, there wasn't much to charge him with and they carried him out of the area.

Something I've been meaning to do is reinforce my door locks with 3" screws versus the cheap crap they put in them - Makes it a little harder to boot the door in one shot, which may buy the extra few seconds you need. I'm putting those in this afternoon.

Be ready, harden your homes, and get some training. You just never know when something bad will happen. If you're prepared for it, it can make a world of difference.
 

UpATree

Six Pointer
Contributor
A year ago, I was awakened from a dead sleep by the alarm and I didn't handle it nearly as well as you just did. In my case, the cat sitter misunderstood and arrived a day early. (Of course, being a teenager, her idea of "dinner time" for the cat was nearly midnight). You are right, it's difficult to go from a hard sleep to completely alert in a flash. No harm done except for the trauma of seeing me in my underwear.

This is what I have on my doors. Very solid, and easy to install.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GWF2R70/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And this on the windows.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008VHKEA0/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
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Mr.Gadget

Old Mossy Horns
Got to ask.
911 is your friend and recorded.
Why would you not call 911 if someone is beating on your door in the middle of the night and you feel you need a gun and may be forced to use it?

Just my thoughts if it played out in court, they ask you why you called the NE number and not 911, Who knows, they may come up that just before you shot someone your thinking was it was not a emergency and high threat.

I walked in your shoes, it turned very fast from WHF drunk In the middle of the night to this guy is hear to do harm and break in... He was loaded on drugs.
BTW they never questioned a thing, it was all recorded on 911 as time, where and what and changes minute by minute.
 

took

Ten Pointer
Contributor
Great info! It's also a good idea to learn to navigate your house in the dark.

Last Oct my Lab went crazy in the middle of the night, I jumped up at mach 100 and immediately kicked the dresser leg beside my bed and broke my 4th and 5th toes on my right foot. Of course, I did not realize it until things calmed down and the adrenaline wore off.

Never did find out what the dog was barking at. My toes have finally stopped hurting 4 months later!

I like the idea of having a light mounted on your pistol, I need to do that as I had both hands occupied with gun and light. Good suggestion!
 

wncdeerhunter

Old Mossy Horns
Got to ask.
911 is your friend and recorded.
Why would you not call 911 if someone is beating on your door in the middle of the night and you feel you need a gun and may be forced to use it?

Just my thoughts if it played out in court, they ask you why you called the NE number and not 911, Who knows, they may come up that just before you shot someone your thinking was it was not a emergency and high threat.

I walked in your shoes, it turned very fast from WHF drunk In the middle of the night to this guy is hear to do harm and break in... He was loaded on drugs.
BTW they never questioned a thing, it was all recorded on 911 as time, where and what and changes minute by minute.
All the lines there are recorded, not just 911. I’ve dialed that number multiple times every day when I was at work - honestly was just second nature and know it by memory. Also, at the time I called, I was inside and secure and it was just a guy on the porch acting a fool - situation changed rapidly.

FWIW, we live in a “good” area. Bad things can happen anywhere.
 

JoeH

Spike
A year ago, I was awakened from a dead sleep by the alarm and I didn't handle it nearly as well as you just did. In my case, the cat sitter misunderstood and arrived a day early. (Of course, being a teenager, her idea of "dinner time" for the cat was nearly midnight). You are right, it's difficult to go from a hard sleep to completely alert in a flash. No harm done except for the trauma of seeing me in my underwear.

This is what I have on my doors. Very solid, and easy to install.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GWF2R70/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And this on the windows.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008VHKEA0/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Thanks for sharing these products! I didn’t even know the window film existed.
 

Mr.Gadget

Old Mossy Horns
All the lines there are recorded, not just 911. I’ve dialed that number multiple times every day when I was at work - honestly was just second nature and know it by memory. Also, at the time I called, I was inside and secure and it was just a guy on the porch acting a fool - situation changed rapidly.

FWIW, we live in a “good” area. Bad things can happen anywhere.
10-4
RPD lines for NE or info are not recorded per last time I talked to them before christmas.
The said I should have called 911.
 

lasttombstone

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Well I guess the call volume has increased since 1969. My first "real job" was a dispatcher for RPD. Two of us per shift answered all calls in Raleigh, including animal control and out of service stop lights. There was a 24 hr. tape that recorded all telephone and radio calls and we changed the tape at midnight each night.
 

longrifle

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Nice to have training to fall back on in a tense situation. I agree with your comments on both the holster and the light. I live a pretty good distance off the highway and keep two dogs right outside that sound off if a bug farts too loudly. I tend to shove a 45 in my waistband and sling my AR when things go bump in the night around here. The vertical foregrip mounted on the AR has both light and strobe functions and an easily accessible thumb switch. The Romeo5 is also motion activated so there's no fumbling, it's lit before I can even get it to my shoulder.
 

Ambush

Twelve Pointer
There have been several posts/threads in the past about confronting folks who are trying to break in/steal, etc.

A couple nights ago, we had our own middle of the night incident.

Fast asleep at about 12:30am when my dog starting going nuts. Almost at the same time, our security camera alert went off. Flipped on the front porch light to find a 30 something year old male on my porch demanding entry to use the phone - my observations told me he was tweaking on something and I informed him this was the wrong house. Kept telling me to open the door and let him use the phone.

Against what I wanted to do, I kept the door locked and kept eyes on him, armed of course, while I contacted the sheriff's office non-emergency line. He became increasingly hostile and at one point appeared to be talking to someone out of sight in the dark (turns out he was just hallucinating - no one else there). Became increasingly agitated while waiting and disappeared off the porch into the dark.

I related this to the dispatcher and a moment later, my wife, who had been watching our driveway security camera live, told me that he was on my mom's front porch beating on her door (she lives next door). This changed things drastically.

I told my wife to call mom and tell her to stay out of sight and keep the door locked, then went out and challenged him at gunpoint, giving him repeated loud and verbal commands to get on the ground while closing distance. The louder the better, as I was intentionally trying to gain the attention of any neighbors that may hear me in order to convert them to witnesses should it go south.

He refused to get on the ground, instead raising his hands telling me he wasn't armed and slowly walking toward the road - I believe he got the message that this was as serious as it gets and once he hit the state road, I watched until he disappeared into the dark. No need to follow - I wanted him gone and accomplished that. I then checked the outside of both our homes for any others knuckleheads that may have been with him, just in case.

A couple things that had prepared me for this type incident that really helped and I thought I'd pass along - having a bright weapon mounted light that I've trained with literally hundreds of hours over the years. Frees up both hands. Speaking of which, I kept the dispatcher on the phone with me and once I made it to my mom's driveway when I confronted him, I hit the speakerphone option and set it down, so she could hear everything happening and I could have my hands free while still having a line of communication.

I also gave her a very clear description of the subject and clothing, as well as my description and made sure she knew I was armed. It turns out I know the dispatcher and she recognized who I was, and related that to the responding deputies, whom I also knew.

Having the security cameras/lights that we have were a great early warning - going from a dead sleep to 100mph can be eye opening. Also, the entire confrontation is preserved on video and we got great pictures of the subject, just in case.

I never got any type of adrenaline dump or excited, and never actually contemplated not going out after him once I knew he was at mom's house - training took over, almost like a muscle memory on auto pilot. I credit this to having hundreds and hundreds of hours of various training due to my LE background and having sought outside training on top of that.

If you haven't had any training or experience in dealing with high stress deadly force situations, I highly recommend getting some - it is invaluable and helps knowing how you will react in a given high stress situation.

I only regret not having a holster - Should I have needed for some reason to go hands on with him, I couldn't. Had he chosen to fight, with no holster, I would have had very limited choices.

Luckily, all turned out well and deputies located him. Since he had not yet committed any crimes at that point, there wasn't much to charge him with and they carried him out of the area.

Something I've been meaning to do is reinforce my door locks with 3" screws versus the cheap crap they put in them - Makes it a little harder to boot the door in one shot, which may buy the extra few seconds you need. I'm putting those in this afternoon.

Be ready, harden your homes, and get some training. You just never know when something bad will happen. If you're prepared for it, it can make a world of difference.
Good job. What about a warning shot in the floor or ground to really wake them up, that you are armed and mean business? I've never been in that situation before, except some guy did ring the door bell one night 1AM and wanted to use the phone. He never got aggressive, but kept saying there was a wreck and needed a phone. I spoke thru the door, telling him to give me the number and I'll call. He never would. When he finally left walking back to the highway, I followed behind seventy five yards(armed of course) and watched him walk out of sight down the highway. Took a couple of hours to go back to sleep, but never heard anything else about him, except he stopped at my brother's house before and gave him a different story.
 

ncscrubmaster

Eight Pointer
Contributor
It wasn’t even disturbing the peace at 12:30 am? I been in your shoes with a drunk in the middle of the night. He was hitting to door so hard you could see the porch light in the crack when he would ram it. I would have shot him if the door would have opened no doubt about it. They come picked him up and took him home to. I was like you on the phone recorded the whole time. Glad it worked out for you. This day and time there is no such thing as a good neighborhood.
 

Rescue44

Twelve Pointer
Well I guess the call volume has increased since 1969. My first "real job" was a dispatcher for RPD. Two of us per shift answered all calls in Raleigh, including animal control and out of service stop lights. There was a 24 hr. tape that recorded all telephone and radio calls and we changed the tape at midnight each night.
Hard to believe!! Dang. 2 of you.
 

FireDuck401

Eight Pointer
Contributor
Good job. What about a warning shot in the floor or ground to really wake them up, that you are armed and mean business? I've never been in that situation before, except some guy did ring the door bell one night 1AM and wanted to use the phone. He never got aggressive, but kept saying there was a wreck and needed a phone. I spoke thru the door, telling him to give me the number and I'll call. He never would. When he finally left walking back to the highway, I followed behind seventy five yards(armed of course) and watched him walk out of sight down the highway. Took a couple of hours to go back to sleep, but never heard anything else about him, except he stopped at my brother's house before and gave him a different story.
I wouldn’t recommend discharging your gun unless you intended to shoot the individual.
You telling the individual you’re armed is enough, if they choose to cause you to fear for your life, shoot them.
 

Tipmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
Good job. What about a warning shot in the floor or ground to really wake them up, that you are armed and mean business? I've never been in that situation before, except some guy did ring the door bell one night 1AM and wanted to use the phone. He never got aggressive, but kept saying there was a wreck and needed a phone. I spoke thru the door, telling him to give me the number and I'll call. He never would. When he finally left walking back to the highway, I followed behind seventy five yards(armed of course) and watched him walk out of sight down the highway. Took a couple of hours to go back to sleep, but never heard anything else about him, except he stopped at my brother's house before and gave him a different story.
The first warning shot goes into the center of mass.
 

Ambush

Twelve Pointer
I wouldn’t recommend discharging your gun unless you intended to shoot the individual.
You telling the individual you’re armed is enough, if they choose to cause you to fear for your life, shoot them.
If they are outside of door and in a rage, not sure they understand what you're saying. I just think a loud gun shot might shock them out of still trying to come in. I see no harm in a warning shot if you're inside. Outside I'm sure is different. Hope I don't have to decide.
 

FireDuck401

Eight Pointer
Contributor
If they are outside of door and in a rage, not sure they understand what you're saying. I just think a loud gun shot might shock them out of still trying to come in. I see no harm in a warning shot if you're inside. Outside I'm sure is different. Hope I don't have to decide.
I see no benefit in shooting a hole in the floor of my house to potentially scare someone.
 

Ambush

Twelve Pointer
I see no benefit in shooting a hole in the floor of my house to potentially scare someone.
I see no benefit in shooting a hole in the floor of my house to potentially scare someone.
I wouldn't do it with my shotgun. But, I really don't want to kill someone. If it came down to me firing a warning shot in the floor and them not coming in or them coming in and killing them or him killing me, I think I'll fire a warning shot to see what happens next. If they still want to come in, I'll be ready to fire center mass like the rest. You never really know what you'll do when awaken from a dead sleep with seconds to take action. Here's a wild story my wife and I will never forget. I'd been setting tobacco all day and was dead tired. She was working late at the hospital. She called and said I'll be home in 15 minutes. I told her I would wait for her. Next thing I know, I'm dead asleep and hear this jingling nose in my garage like someone trying to break in. As I'm dreaming I realize someone IS coming in and I had to stop them before they did. No thought to grab a weapon. In one action, I jumped up, caught the shelving in the bathroom which sent articles flying everywhere and I made it to the door, just as it was swinging open. I was in a linebacker stance and made some crazy loud animal noise, as I was about to full tilt tackle my wife. She dropped to her knees crying. I was a raged man, that was going to go down fighting, before I let, what I thought was a man coming in. I forgot the garage light had blown and my wife was fumbling in the dark with her keys.:) Now, I don't keep one in the chamber for that very reason. I want to be awake enough to know what I'm doing when I fire.
 
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FireDuck401

Eight Pointer
Contributor
I wouldn't do it with my shotgun. But, I really don't want to kill someone. If it came down to me firing a warning shot in the floor and them not coming in or them coming in and killing them or him killing me, I think I'll fire a warning shot to see what happens next. If they still want to come in, I'll be ready to fire center mass like the rest. You never really know what you'll do when awaken from a dead sleep with seconds to take action. Here's a wild story my wife and I will never forget. I'd been setting tobacco all day and was dead tired. She was working late at the hospital. She called and said I'll be home in 15 minutes. I told her I would wait for her. Next thing I know, I'm dead asleep and hear this jingling nose in my garage like someone trying to break in. As I'm dreaming I realize someone is coming in and I had to stop them before they did. No thought to grab a weapon. In one action, I jumped up, caught the shelving in the bathroom which sent articles flying everywhere and made to the door just as it was swinging open. I was in a linebacker stance and made some crazy loud animal noise as I was about to full tackle my wife. She dropped to her knees crying. I was a raged man that was going to go down fighting before what I thought was a man coming in. I forgot the garage light had blown and my wife was fumbling in the dark with her keys.:) Now, I don't keep one in the chamber for that very reason. I want to be awake enough to know what I'm doing when I fire.
I’m certainly not telling you that I’m right and you’re wrong.

I’m just of the opinion that if someone’s has intentions of harming me or my family, I don’t owe them anything. I owe my family everything.

Not keeping a firearm loaded is a personal decision I suppose.
 

Ambush

Twelve Pointer
I’m certainly not telling you that I’m right and you’re wrong.

I’m just of the opinion that if someone’s has intentions of harming me or my family, I don’t owe them anything. I owe my family everything.

Not keeping a firearm loaded is a personal decision I suppose.
For sure it's loaded, just not in the chamber. I just want to be awake enough to know to racket one in.
 

turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
Just seen on news fella in Mooresville heard someone breaking in house ran into 4 thugs they immediately shot him. He lived described vehicle they caught them. Always be prepared and armed
 

UpATree

Six Pointer
Contributor
I don't know of any self defense instructors that speak well of warning shots. Here's two North Carolinians who wish they hadn't used warning shots:

https://northcarolina.concealedcarry.com/2017/03/20/judge-revokes-mans-concealed-carry-permit-following-warning-shot/

This guy used a shotgun to fire a warning shot and killed a man. He will never breathe free air again. I'm guessing he aimed above the guy's head and didn't think or know about the scatter. You send lead flying, especially in town, and you are accountable for where ever it lands. If it lands in an occupied dwelling, even if it doesn't hit anyone, you're looking at a felony charge.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/crime/article201634984.html
 
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