Early this week there was a violent home invasion that took place in a nearby community. The local news has been releasing details about this event almost daily. The links to the articles are at the end of this post if you’d like to read them and watch the videos.
Four male intruders abruptly entered the home of a young family. They entered through the front door at around midnight and at least one of them displayed a handgun. The home is located in a densely populated area of town and the houses are very close together. Apparently some of the victims were awake at the time since the report states one of the victims was sitting on the couch.
The intruders began demanding money and threatened to kill everyone in the house if their demand wasn’t met. At least one of the intruders was pointing a handgun at a young child sitting on the couch.
The father had the instinct to grab a frying pan and rush at one of the intruders. Two shots were fired and the father was hit in the stomach. The intruders fled with cell phones and cash. They’re still at large and are still unidentified.
One of the rounds penetrated through the walls of the victims home and then passed through a fence and exterior wall of the neighboring home. There was a mention that this particular bullet was also the bullet that injured the father.
I’ve been researching home invasions for probably a decade and can count on one hand the number of reports I’ve seen that ended positively for the victim.
I know, without a doubt, that home invasions occur in our area almost daily but they are not reported in the news. Publicly available details are rare and most often only available via a scanner radio when the police and medics respond. For some reason, two of the local news stations covered this invasion and between the 2 of them there are several facts reported and/or not reported that we can learn from.
This family was caught totally off guard. The news doesn’t mention if this family had a dog. It’s also not mentioned that this family had any warning whatsoever that a group of thugs was on their front porch. Unsuspecting victims are exactly what a home invader looks for. A simple motion light or motion detecting “chime” could have given this family a few minutes to react. An alert dog may have prevented this attack altogether.
The door on this house was not reinforced. One of the news reports had a clear video from the scene showing that the front door jam had been broken away. There is little anyone can do to prevent someone from attempting to enter your home but you sure can make it hard for them to get in. You can make it much tougher for an intruder to get inside your home simply by strengthening your door jams and using a locking storm door. This can buy some time for you to prepare a defense. It may also frustrate an intruder enough to make them give up the attack. There are several good products available to physically block the door from opening. You could also install a simple siren that can sound if the door is opened. Some of these sirens are so loud they can disorient anyone that isn’t expecting it. Disorientation and surprise are favorite tactics of home invaders so you might as well use these tactics on them.
The family was virtually defenseless. My hat’s off to this Dad, he did what the rest of us would have done….. he took a bullet in the process of protecting his family… This story could have ended much worse if he had not attempted to stop them at all. Now think how differently this could have ended if he had just a few moments of advanced warning and something other than a frying pan to use as a weapon. Home invaders almost always choose targets that appear vulnerable. They expect very little resistance. Homeowners that have dealt with them quickly and decisively have not only been successful at stopping the attack but sometimes have even apprehended the intruder.
The stray bullet. We’ve all read the debates about bullet energy and performance in confined quarters. Here is proof that unintentional injuries or death are a real possibility and should be seriously considered. Imagine if the homeowner fired a shot causing in accidental injury or death. The outcome could be psychologically and/or financially disastrous. Choose your self-defense weapon carefully. If you do plan on using a firearm make sure you know the capability of your self-defense ammunition.
Due to some recent events, I am preparing as though we WILL have an attempted break-in or home invasion and, in my opinion, that’s the only mindset to have when deciding how to secure and protect your home.