By Jason Howerton -
The homeowner and family members were reportedly in the basement playing video games when they heard noise and footsteps coming from inside the home.
With a getaway driver waiting in the car, two men broke into the home. They were quickly confronted by the family, with at least the homeowner in question armed with a gun.
Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody said there were “shots fired in the home before the two suspects busted through the front door,” according to WDIV-TV. The suspects then fired shots at the homeowner from outside, causing the individual to return fire.
One of the shots hit the getaway driver, a wound that would prove to be fatal. Two of the suspects were able to get away, but the wounded driver crashed into a nearby home and injured a 29-year-old woman. She was later treated for minor injuries.
Police now seek to review surveillance video from a camera that is apparently aimed at the front door of the home. Officials say police and prosecutors will have to determine if the shooting of the driver was “justified.”
“You have the right to defend your home, property and your life and obviously this is another one of those instances, but there has to be that threat to your life included in the facts for it to be justified,” Woody explained.
As we’ve seen in similar cases before, gun owners have found themselves in legal trouble when engaging with suspects who are fleeing or beyond the threshold of his or her home.
In this case, it sounds like the homeowner returned fire, which could work in favor of the person. However, the surveillance video will certainly be a key piece of evidence that can clear the homeowner of any wrongdoing.
For argument’s sake, BearingArms.com lays out the “worst-case scenario”:
• criminal charges for pursuing the suspects and shooting of the getaway car driver.
• civil charges from the family of the getaway car driver.
• civil charges from the homeowner of the house that was hit by the getaway car.
• civil charges by the person inside the home hit by the getaway car for injuries that were a result of the shots that killed the getaway driver.