September 25, 2016

"The woman, a business owner in the restaurant industry, told police that about 4 a.m. she and a male housemate heard a possible intruder..."

"... so she pulled a handgun and went to search the home, police said in a statement. Police said she saw three men — who were armed — walking through the front door during what police think was an attempted robbery. She fired multiple rounds, police said, striking 28-year-old Antonio Leeks, who died of his injuries."

1. I've long been fascinated by names that can read as sentences — ever since I met a man with the last name Peed. It's terrible when you've got a name like that and you suffer a misfortune that makes that sentence sound especially meaningful.

2. How many heterosexual couples sleep in bed together with the plan that if they wake up to the sound of intruders, it's the woman who's going to jump up and go looking for a confrontation?

3. I hope lots of would-be intruders encounter this viral video and factor that into their calculation whether it's worth it to break into somebody's house at night.

4. But from the looks of that video, I kind of doubt whether that was a run-of-the-mill burglary.

88 comments:

Maguro said...

And what exactly would a run of the mill home invasion look like?

poker1one said...

I'd give that girl the gun every time.

Ann Althouse said...

@Maguro Did you watch the video? The 3 men are moving quickly from room to room with their guns out and pointed. I think a normal burglar would be more stealthy and focus on finding valuables, not looking for a person to confront.

coupe said...

A classmate in high school was named Randy Hoar (sounds like whore). Can you imagine the story on the 11pm news:

"Prostitution house raided downtown, Randy Hoar arrested."

P.S. "Nice shot!" to the little lady.

Skookum John said...

A run of the mill home invasion would not show boxes of (possibly stolen?) consumer goods stacked to the ceiling.

Maguro said...

I think you're a little naive as to what a "normal" home invasion is all about. If someone breaks into your house in the middle of the night, you can assume they mean to do you serious harm. They don't go to all that trouble to grab a few things and run away.

EDH said...

I suspect the invaders got word her restaurant business deals in cash, and they planned to hold her until she took them to the cash.

As for why she and not her male "housemate" responded: they may sleep in different rooms, but in any event the gun was hers and any cash that was at risk was hers.

That video would be a persuasive NRA ad, demonstrating why, among other things, your gun needs to have a large clip of ammo for self defense.

coupe said...
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coupe said...

Having looked at the video, these guys were there to do a robbery. Not a burglary. They weren't interested in going to a pawn shop later, they wanted all her money, or they were going to kill her. They look like they are looking for a safe.

I got the idea she lives behind her restaurant. Thus the supplies.

The written story is terrible. Amateur stuff.

The hyphenated-Americans didn't seem to have cased the joint very well previously.

Bob said...

"A run of the mill home invasion would not show boxes of (possibly stolen?) consumer goods stacked to the ceiling."

Wow, way to blame the victim.

Todd Galle said...

Well, my wife has the .38 in her nightstand, I have a 9mm in mine. I am a fairly heavy sleeper, so there's that.

mesquito said...

Jugglers don't come in with guns drawn. They hoped to find and terrorize the occupants. Its a run-of-the-mill home invasion and robbery.

mesquito said...

Burglars, I mean.

Paco Wové said...

Jugglers don't come in with guns drawn.

Entertainers must be a tough bunch in your town.

traditionalguy said...
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Curious George said...

Antonio Leeks. Perfect name for the guy who got shot.

traditionalguy said...

Chinese Restaurant owners will often house illegals from China working for a dollar an hour and the Boxes of food in the extra rooms. And they will consider the house to be their restaurant's office. That means keeping a bag of cash receipts from closing last night until deposit the next morning. BINGO.

The special thing here is seeing a 90 pound, 5 foot tall woman running into the fight with three armed men like she is a Marine assaulting a beach. Her loaded gun was the great equalizer here because it was coupled with will to fight for her own money.

Trumpian Tribal Aphorism: When faced with a situation in which one wins and one loses, why not win it.

EDH said...

Pack Wove, You don't know tough until you've been pistol-whipped by a mime.

William said...

Small business owners are rumored to have large amounts of cash at home. I don't know if that's necessarily true, but that's what the employees think, and word gets around. This was more likely a robbery than a burglary...... Bravo for her. Not every woman looks that good when they get up in the middle of the night. But no curlers, and the blazing gun makes an emphatic fashion statement.

Mark said...

That is pretty clearly being used as a storeroom for a business. Both the toilet paper (little need to go steal TP in that quantity) and the presence of surveillance cameras are a give-a-way.

Anglelyne said...

That lady was one cool customer.

A memorial page for poor Mr. Leeks, another tragic victim of gun violence, has been set up.

Curious George said...

"2. How many heterosexual couples sleep in bed together with the plan that if they wake up to the sound of intruders, it's the woman who's going to jump up and go looking for a confrontation?"

Assumptive and sexist.


3. I hope lots of would-be intruders encounter this viral video and factor that into their calculation whether it's worth it to break into somebody's house at night.

Yeah, that likely isn't going to happen.

Michael The Magnificent said...

A run of the mill home invasion would not show boxes of (possibly stolen?) consumer goods stacked to the ceiling.

From the story: "The woman, a business owner in the restaurant industry..."

Perhaps those stacked-up boxes are supplies that she sells to restaurants.

Carol said...

Sheesh, wait 15 minutes on downloading chartbeat and moatads and beacon and Twitter and Facebook adware, only to see Video Not Available.

I'll bet it was a good one.

Michael said...

Not all housemates are couples.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

Due to paywall I went to different website to view video. In that news story they describe the couple as roommates sharing a home for business purposes. From the various video clips shown it is hard to tell if the male was even came from the same area of the house as the female. He emerges after the shooting is over and takes the gun from the women. She does appear remarkable calm under the circumstances, even has phone in hand and immediately calls 911 rather than running around freaking out as even trained people sometimes do.
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/gwinnett-county/video-shows-woman-shooting-at-invaders-during-gwinnett-home-invasion/448984282

Rob said...

Ann has such a weird and wonderful collection of things that fascinate her, it's no wonder we're addicted.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"2. How many heterosexual couples sleep in bed together with the plan that if they wake up to the sound of intruders, it's the woman who's going to jump up and go looking for a confrontation?"

Perhaps she's a better shot. A range instructor recently told me that once women overcome their nervousness about handling firearms, they often become very adept at shooting. And, as Todd Galle noted, she just might be a lighter sleeper than her husband. You could have set off a bomb in our living room and my father would have continued to snore away. My mother was always the one who caught me when I was a teen slipping into the house an hour or two after I was supposed to be home. I bribed our dog with Milk Bones so she wouldn't bark, but Mom still heard me.

Michael K said...

"Small business owners are rumored to have large amounts of cash at home."

Years ago, I operated on a guy, who was black and had a small business in the black area of Los Angeles. He slept in the back of his business and kept a shotgun loaded at the head of his bed.

One morning he got up and picked up his shotgun to put it away. It slipped and he dropped it. It fired and the shot charge went through his hand, taking off all the skin of his palm. I had to put it back together with a skin graft. One of the costs of trying to run a small business in a bad neighborhood.

Rob said...

Yes, Antonio Leeks does have a Facebook page.

Jim said...

http://gunmemorial.org/2016/09/16/antonio-leeks

Anglelyne sent me to the Gun Memorial page above. It's a hoot. If you read it light a candle so it can make the front page of the gun memorial page.

Darrell said...

She's a recent Chinese immigrant and I suspect that she dealt with thieves before in her homeland. The immigrant business owners around me all use their homes to store goods. The Mexican restaurant guy used to have a semi unload every couple of months.

Biff said...

@traditionalguy - No doubt some will accuse you of racism for your remark about Chinese immigrant restaurant workers, but I unwittingly got entangled in just such a scenario some years back. Some friends and I were looking for an apartment, and we came across an ad to share a very nice unit in a relatively new condo development at a somewhat low (but not outrageously low) rent. After we were living there for about a year, a housing inspector knocked on the door, looked very surprised to see me (a very caucasian guy), and asked to see someone with a specific Chinese name. The landlord was Chinese, but we didn't recognize the name of the person the inspector was asking for. Long story short: the landlord owned a few Chinese restaurants (she told us she was in the computer business) and made a lot of extra cash through an illegal immigration and subsidized housing scheme. Basically, she and her husband took advantage of requirements that a certain percentage of units in new condo developments be set aside as "affordable housing." They acquired these heavily subsidized units using fake documents established for the workers in their restaurants, and then rented the units out at near market rates, pocketing the difference between the subsidized rate and the rental rate. Meanwhile, the restaurant workers, who didn't speak English, knew nothing about the condos and were warehoused in Dickensian conditions in tiny apartments near the restaurants, all while being paid a pittance off the books and having "rent" money withheld to cover the cost of their transport to the US and their essentially tenement housing. The landlords got caught because they were over-confident. They previously had rented the condos only to Chinese students whom they thought would be "cooperative," but they had been running the scheme so long that they were willing to go along with me moving in as a third roommate (the other occupants were Chinese). It all unraveled when the inspector saw my blond hair (renting subsidized housing to third parties is illegal). As one of my roommates joked, "Never rent to a gweilo! Nothing but trouble!"

Lauderdale Vet said...

Same here, Todd. 9mm on my side, .38/.357 on hers.

My family has discussed plans for what to do in case of a fire, what to do in case of violence.

For middle of the night home intruders, our plan involves locking the bedroom door, calling the police and perforating anything that forces its way into the room. Venturing out into the house is not part of the plan. Those three burglars in the video did not shoot back. If they were prepared to, the story might have had a different ending.

dreams said...

The way I see it, a Trump voter self-identifies by eliminating one of crooked Hillary's crooked voters. Though I can't say for sure that the dead crook won't still vote for crooked Hillary in the upcoming election.

Darrell said...

By the way, the Chinese woman called 911 first and there was no answer. She had her own answer in her nightstand.

FullMoon said...

Pretty common for invaders to terrorize occupants in order to get cash and jewelry.

Darrell said...

Pretty common for invaders to terrorize occupants in order to get cash and jewelry.

And to kill them afterward, so that they can't provide descriptions to police o testify against them.

Maguro said...

Also remember that in a hypothetical post-Second Amendment liberal utopia where no one has guns (except evil, racist cops...hmmm), this scene plays out very differently. The three aspiring rappers are able to beat the crap out of the guy, gang-rape the woman and get away with the cash.

Though I suppose that's a feature and not a bug for some.

mockturtle said...

http://gunmemorial.org/2016/09/16/antonio-leeks

Hilarous!

Bob Boyd said...

Surprise
Speed
Violence of action

Bruce Hayden said...
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Bruce Hayden said...

I got in trouble last year for this. One of the stupid smoke alarms went off upstairs (I think that we have 6 or 7 of them). The battery was dead, duh. She wanted me to go investigate. I made a mistake of suggesting that if she thought it was that dire, that she should go check. Big mistake. A year and a half later, she is still riding me for that. So, last week, she heard something somewhere. Since it might be outside, and we had time, I got out the 12 gauge, racked a round, and turned on the light. If you are going to be using it for home defense, don't you need a light on it? That was apparently considered overkill. She started freaking about me waiving it around. Which is, of course, BS - I always had good muzzle discipline. I think that it was mostly the light flashing around. So, I am caught between a rock and a hard place, of either unerreacting or overreacting. Still, I now have some ammunition, no matter how weak, the next time she brings up the smoke alarm.

Is she armed? Of course. 9mm hidden on her side of the bed. But I can't expect her to give that up to me, if she hears a sound in the middle of the night, hence the shotgun under my side of the bed. What I want to do is install some of those fast open handgun safes I saw the other day at Costco for $99 (no sales tax in MT). Far better than digging through her nightstand. Discovered that was where she hid her handgun last week, and I wasn't amused. So much for her threatening to shoot me if I didn't identify myself (using the predicate nominative "it is I") when walking in the front door. I can pretty well guarantee that I can get the shotgun operational in the middle of the night faster than she can get her 9 mm. Could she shoot someone? Something that we talk about, and I think "yes". If someone is in the house armed (and not invited), they provide a reasonable imminent threat of death or great bodily injury (general self-defense standard). That is even when not in CO, which has its "Make my Day" law that effectively presupposes self defense justification if you encounter someone you shouldn't in your home.

coupe said...
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Mary Beth said...

A memorial page for poor Mr. Leeks, another tragic victim of gun violence, has been set up.
He's got a surprised look in the photo there. Very appropriate.

kookum John said...

A run of the mill home invasion would not show boxes of (possibly stolen?) consumer goods stacked to the ceiling.

9/25/16, 9:10 AM


Wow. Racist much?

coupe said...
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Big Mike said...

Actually, a lot depends on the state where you reside. Before anybody on this thread runs out and buys a gun, you need to learn the relevant laws in the state where you reside. What the woman did is legal in states with "castle doctrine," where you are allowed to defend your home. Other states are "duty to retreat" states, and when she came out of her bedroom with a drawn gun she was in violation of her duty to retreat -- in those states she could be charged with murder for the death of Mr. Leeks.

Let's look at this situation as though it happened in Virginia, which is officially neither a castle doctrine nor a duty to retreat state, and the woman remains in her bedroom with a drawn gun while calling 911 to report a home invasion (police try to respond immediately to home invasions, may be more dilatory if you call in a burglary because of a belief that burglaries are generally reported after the burglar has departed). The three attackers then kick down her bedroom door and attempt to enter with guns in their hands. She shoots and kills Mr. Leeks and the others depart the house before the police can arrive. Under Virginia law she would be (not "could be") arrested and charged with murder, though almost certainly released on a low bail or possibly even personal recognizance. The DA may or may not choose to prosecute her, and she would plead self defense (likely successfully) in court.

As one lawyer put it (again, this is Virginia case law): "In any place you may legally be, if threatened you may defend yourself. However, The threat to you must be real, immediate, and capable of being acted upon. You may respond with like force that is reasonable to prevent your harm. You must not be an aggressor, or be involved in escalations of the conflict."

So know your state's laws. Most gun ranges near where I live conduct classes in what is legal and not legal in self defense, and one will always learn about the laws as part of the training for acquiring a concealed carry permit.

So let's take another look at the video. The woman charges out of her room with handgun blazing. Notice how many shots she fires and notice how few times she hits someone -- put me down as one of the people who believe that the only value of a handgun in a home defense situation is in case you have to fight your way to a long gun. A carbine with a stock that is adjustable for her arm reach is more accurate and probably more scary to bad guys (though that very petite woman certainly scared her big, tall intruders!). She fires out of the door at person who has fled -- in some states she'd be charged with murder or attempted murder because the person she is shooting at no longer constitutes a threat once he runs away. She relaxes after chasing away the one guy but how can she be sure everyone else has departed the house? She should retreat to a safe place and let the police come and identify themselves while they search her house and verify that it is clear. She calls 911 after the attack -- for all she knows there's a police cruiser only a block away at the start of the attack and she could stay safe in her room while they capture the intruders and clear the house. Of course it's always much easier after the fact than during a situation, which is a good reason to plan what to do during home invasion much like a wise couple plans what to do in case of a fire.

Note that every word out of Joe Biden's mouth regarding home defense is BS. A petite woman like that wielding a 12 gauge shotgun? R-i-i-i-i-ght!!! Warning shots? In some (most?) states they're illegal!

One final thought, as a man married for well over forty years to a petite woman, small women can be feisty.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

I love how she paused before taking that last shot out the door. Sometimes you just got to be sure!

Jupiter said...

Ann Althouse said...
"@Maguro Did you watch the video? The 3 men are moving quickly from room to room with their guns out and pointed. I think a normal burglar would be more stealthy and focus on finding valuables, not looking for a person to confront."

Althouse, a "normal" burglar would not dream of breaking into an occupied house. You can get killed doing that.

Bruce Hayden said...

@Big Mike - obviously, my preference is a shotgun over a carbine, though an AR-15 carbine with a 30 round magazine is a credible threat. What the shotgun, I have 9 shells, and another 30 in the case ready to go. And, I will suggest a greater intimidation factor facing the larger shotgun bore.

At least as I was taught, you need to have your story ready from the first. Best if you can get it on the 911 call. You need to essentially tell the authorities, up front, that you saw the perp(s), saw their guns, was in fear for your life, and responded by shooting in self-defense. In the relatively few Retreat Doctrine states, you may also want to add that you didn't see any avenue of retreat, etc. Still, as Mike says, it is critical that you know the law of self-defense in your state (good reference is the "Law of Self Defense" by Andrew Branca, who blogs on these matters over at Legal Insurrection, and compares all 51 jurisdictions, side by side, for each element in his book). The issue of Retreat Doctrine is critical here. It allows prosecutors to spend months finding avenues of retreat that weren't obvious in the seconds that people usually have in self-defense situations. Which is why states have moved away from the doctrine, because of the inherent unfairness of this 20/20 hindsight.

The modern trend is to essentially follow Florida, which has essentially, provided both civil and criminal attorneys' fees when someone can prove, beyond a preponderance of the evidence, that they acted in self-defense, in any subsequent civil or criminal litigation. This is because, as Mike suggested, a lot of jurisdictions try people for self-defense shootings, even knowing that the shooting was justified, knowing that the process is the penalty.

Jim said...

Jupiter,
Occupied home burglary is less frequent in the USA than in the U.K. This is probably due to different laws regarding gun possession and home defense. Remember this every time a lawmaker speaks approvingly of the U.K. Gun laws or says Australia.

Jupiter said...

Big Mike said...

"Notice how many shots she fires and notice how few times she hits someone -- put me down as one of the people who believe that the only value of a handgun in a home defense situation is in case you have to fight your way to a long gun."

While I understand your logic, allow me to point out that all three of her assailants fled as soon as they discovered she was armed. She could have got the same effect firing blanks, and her legal liability would be nonexistent.

If your job requires you to confront armed criminals, you need to think tactically and realistically; How do I kill this miscreant? But most crime victims are targets of opportunity. The criminal knows nothing about them except that they appear to be vulnerable. Loud bangs are a good way to change that perception.

The Drill SGT said...

At least as I was taught, you need to have your story ready from the first. Best if you can get it on the 911 call. You need to essentially tell the authorities, up front, that you saw the perp(s), saw their guns, was in fear for your life, and responded by shooting in self-defense.

LOL,

"Officer, He had a gun, he said he was gonna kill me. I was in fear for my life. I shot to protect myself and family. I'm too upset now to talk, Let's wait till I calm down and my lawyer gets here" :)

mockturtle said...

Someone breaks into my house [or my RV] while I'm in it, they are going to get shot. And shot dead. I don't want to deal with any personal injury lawsuits.

Jupiter said...

Jim said...
"Occupied home burglary is less frequent in the USA than in the U.K. This is probably due to different laws regarding gun possession and home defense."

In the UK, a homeowner can be (and has been) charged with serious crimes for defending themselves with a knife against a person who broke into their home. This is what the Left wants to do to us. What I want to do to them ...

openidname said...

Ann: You're mistaken. Ordinary "robbers" (actually burglars) try to strike when nobody is home. Then they focus on grabbing as much property as possible in the shortest amount of time.

Home invasion robbers know somebody is or may be home. They focus on finding, controlling, and immobilizing the residents before they start taking stuff.

MaxedOutMama said...

Ann - this is a Georgian woman. They generally know how to shoot. It was probably her gun, and she had practiced with it.

Not only are you sexually stereotyping here, you are just not grokking Georgian women. It is not that uncommon for female presidents or vice presidents of companies to show up in their hunting clothes at work, having put in a dawn hour or two to get their buck.

You REALLY don't know anything about Georgian women. If the Cologne attacks had begun somewhere in GA, the results would have been dramatically different.

Note: We also cook pies and biscuits. Often in flowered aprons. It is not that we do not believe in gender roles - it is that they are perhaps somewhat different than the ones you apparently have ingrained. For example, it is considered appropriate for hubby to go get the buck and dress it once killed. So in this case, the man should scrub up the blood, because that is icky and not dainty.

PS: Going to church is proven to improve marksmanship. Really.

mikee said...

Here in Texas, it is assumed in law that a miscreant entering someone else's house after dark must recognize that the residence is very likely occupied, and that therefore the intent of the miscreant is to do harm to the occupants.

Self defense is an inherent, individual, inalienable human right. Anyone arguing otherwise should be counseled, heavily, on the subject.

n.n said...

Another robbery claims the life of the robber.

Jupiter said...

Skookum John said...
"A run of the mill home invasion would not show boxes of (possibly stolen?) consumer goods stacked to the ceiling."

Liberal much, Skook? I guess it is true, anyone who owns property deserves to be preyed upon. How dare the Kulak fight back? But what's with the "(possibly stolen?)"? Every good little Commie knows that Property Is Theft.

Mac McConnell said...

Small business owners, especially restaurants and bars, always have a large amount of cash on hand because their suppliers are cash and carry. Suppliers don't carry the businesses as accounts receivables. Robbers and burglars know this.

The amount of goods stored doesn't surprise me, most small restaurants and bars buy bulk from Costco, Sam's or places like Restaurant Depot.

I've been involved with a lot of Indians, Chinese and V Namese that legally come to America and start a business, usually father and son. They live at the business, as the business improves they legally bring in other children and finally the mother. They will move to a very crowded small apartment till they can afford a house. We forget this is how immigrants have always done this, lest we forget old man Koch lived and slept on a cot in his Wichita office for years after he started out.

This woman is a hero. I only wish she had snuffed all three.

Char Char Binks said...

I believe the Chinese people were business partners, not a romantic couple.

Anyway, good shooting! Crouching Tiger Mother, Hidden Dindu! Tony leaks and bleeds out!

mockturtle said...

Another 'African-American' criminal the 'victim' of gun violence.

Michael said...

Big Mike

The video shows quite clearly that people don't like to be shot (at). The burglars scurry like rats when she opens fire and the guns in their own hands are useless to them. Don''t mess with Korean women's stuff, especially their money.

Yancey Ward said...

These were not burglars, Ann. This is a run-of-the-mill home invasion, really, up to the point one of the invaders started leaking.

Big Mike said...

@Michael, but the intruders scurrying isn't something you can't count on, is it? There's a legend that says all you have to do is rack the slide on your shotgun and they'll scatter. Possibly, but nothing I'd like to bet my life on. If a group of armed people kicks down your door in the wee hours of the morning, isn't the only safe assumption that they mean to use those guns?

Yancey Ward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yancey Ward said...

Got to get that g key unstuck sometimes- old drop of soda strikes again:

Coupe wrote:

"Having looked at the video, these guys were there to do a robbery. Not a burglary."

Exactly. I guess all burglaries are home invasions, but not all home invasions are burglaries.

Char Char Binks said...

Yancey Ward said...
These were not burglars, Ann. This is a run-of-the-mill home invasion, really, up to the point one of the invaders started leaking.

They committed several crimes.

Oso Negro said...

Maxxed Out Mama said
"Not only are you sexually stereotyping here, you are just not grokking Georgian women. It is not that uncommon for female presidents or vice presidents of companies to show up in their hunting clothes at work, having put in a dawn hour or two to get their buck.
"

She got her buck, alright.

cubanbob said...

Great that she got one of them, too bad about the other two. Bagging all three would have made for a very happy ending.

Michael said...

Big Mike

Racking the shell on a pump is not nearly as scary as the sound of a 12 gauge going off in the dark!!

RigelDog said...

Are there actually any states with duty to retreat that still require you to retreat from your own home? If there are, I don't think that it would apply in this situation, because there were so many guys, all armed, roaming all over her house. How could she possibly have plotted a path to retreat in this situation?

Mom2Es said...

How do we know they were a heterosexual couple sleeping in the same bed? The article at the link identifies the male as her "roommate," not her "partner" or "boyfriend."

mockturtle said...

I believe the designation was 'housemate' which did not imply they even shared a room.

JCC said...

@ Big Mike -

With all due respect, you are incorect about "Duty to retreat" states. As of a couple of years ago, there were 19 duty to retreat states, and every one waived this duty when a person was inside their domicile. Several had minor qualifications, such as Virginia, which required some additional element of a overt threat before using deadly force, but again, no duty to retreat.

The "castle doctrine" and the "duty to retreat" often exist simultaneously within many states' laws, depending on the place where an encounter occurs.

Yopur point that one needs to know exactly what the applicable statutes say (and mean) is certainly true, but generally, if you are inside your home and an intruder enters, the assumption of threat exists in most jurisdictions within the U. S.

The bad guys in the video had their guns out, and were walking around with their faces exposed, turning lights on and off, making no obvious attempt to remain unnoticed, so I think one can assume they both suspected they would encounter victims within, and they fully intended to confront them.

By the way, in the video, you can see the third suspect who ran in a different direction, charge right through a glass door. Watch the left hand corner of the 2nd portion of the video.

And by the way, anyone - civilian or cop - has an affirmative obligation to justify the use of deadly force. So, you would need to articulate specific details about why one used force. When someone asks "Why?", you cannot just say "Eh, why not?" or "I was in my home." You must specify a preceived threat which caused one to fear for the safety of yourself or others, and the fear must be reasonable. But when confronting an intruder, at night, in your own home, that's pretty easy.

mockturtle said...

You know the old saying: 'I'd rather be tried by twelve than carried by six.'

Rusty said...

Nice shootin' young lady.

Big Mike said...

@JCC, thank you for the clarification, however it's my understanding that on a duty to retreat state the woman would have been liable for prosecution because she left a place of relative safety to actively engage the intruders. Even in Virginia a prosecutor imbued with the notion that only evil people have guns might very well put her on trial on the grounds that she herself escalated the situation.

Rule #2 is not to talk to police beyond telling them how you were afraid for your very life. In one case I read about the first officer on the scene of a shooting at an isolated farm asked the farmer how a devout Christian like him could justify taking a human life. The farmer answered that he was sure God would be okay with his defending his wife and kids. In the courtroom the cop testified that the farmer had said that "God told him it was okay to shoot the intruder "

Kirk Parker said...

Big Mike:

WTF??? I had no idea Virginia was such a messed-up place when it came to self-defense.

Big Mike said...

@Kirk, my job was in the Washington Metropolitan area, and Virginia is quite sane when compared to Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Or it was, back before McAuliffe.

Bruce Hayden said...

In any case, you need to, up front, make sure that the cops know that this is a self-defense shooting. One thing that that will often do is bias them in that direction. A lot of detective work is following the path of least resistance. This is part of why, when they get a suspect, many of them quit looking for other suspects, no matter what the problems there are with the one suspect's case. If you bias them up front that this was self defense, there is a decent chance they will take this explanation as the path of least resistance. Now,if contrary evidence turns up fairly quickly, this may not prove successful.

There are a number of advantages of getting your story on the 911 recording. One is that you look like the victim that way. Secondly, it prevents the cops or prosecution of twisting what you said. And thirdly, you may be able to use the 911 recording to set your story, without having to testify on your own behalf, which means that the prosecution cannot cross examine you.

I should note that part of why George Zimmerman survived a political prosecution was that his reenactment the next day was video recorded, and was consistent with his call to the police non-emergency number. The prosecution would have had to break that to win, and couldn't. Didn't come close. Narrative was set by his testimony, yet he never had to personally testify.

In a lot of jurisdictions, there is a difference between the first responders and the investigators. If there are, you may want to talk to the first responders in order that they properly address the remaining danger, and do what needs to be done in securing the crime scene. If you see or know of excalpatory evidence, you need to bring it to their attention, so that it isn't lost. The gun that they dropped? Blood on the concrete? Point it out. But when the investigators, the detectives, show up, shut up. Tell them that you want to cooperate, but your attorney told you not to talk to them until he is present. They want to close the case as quickly as they can, and the shooter is there and available for arrest. They routinely lie in order to make cases, and so twisting whatever you say is routine in some places.

JCC said...

@ Big Mike -

Well, this isn't legal advice, but I believe that every single "duty to retreat" state exempts those within their own house. There is no law in the U S that would require you to, say, wait within your bedroom for the bad guys to come to you, rather than leave the room with your gun and confront them somewhere else in the house, which might be a lot safer to others in the house with you.

In Virginia, which BTW, is not a duty to retreat state, there is a weird (old) court case which says you can't use deadly force, even within your own home, for a minor crime. It's a separate issue from duty to retreat, meant to prevent using deadly force for a non-violent crime which does not threaten the legal residents. It's very ambiguous, and dates back to the 1920's I believe, but it seems to say that even the interior of a residence is not a free-fire zone. So one's articulation of fact would have to be a little more specific in Virginia, while in many states, it would seem the presence of unlawful intruders intrinsically represents a threat.

@ Bruce Hayden -

Cops do not "routinely lie in order to make cases." And trying to game a police investigation is a fool's game, so I'd recommend not to try this: "If you bias them up front that this was self defense..." Just tell the truth and don't try to outsmart anyone.

Rusty said...

There is a mitzvah in the Torah that goes something like this; "Should a person enter your house at night to murder you arise and kill him first."
Fuckin rabbis know what's going on.

Big Mike said...

@JCC, I appreciate your remarks. I'm not a lawyer though I have worked on DOJ computer systems so I have a little of the lingo. What I have been taught in my self defense classes and discussed with knowledgeable friends is that Virginia is sort of a castle doctrine state but only because of case law, it is not de jure a castle doctrine state. In fact, a couple years ago an attempt by the legislature to make this formally a castle doctrine state was actually voted down. However the information I stated yesterday is absolutely true per my training and as confirmed by my friends -- if I kill someone in my home, even though it is obviously in self defense, I will be brought before a magistrate.

I have been before a judge on a traffic offense that was only partially my fault -- the signage at the intersection was ambiguous -- and run into a female millennial lawyer for the state who wanted to get even with the patriarchy by having the book thrown at me, so there is always a risk of a runaway prosecution ("the process is the punishment").

Back when the kids were little I gamed out where I would take up a position that would let me defend my wife and children, and in the event of an intruder I would have left my bedroom to take up that position. These days staying in my bedroom with an open line to 911 is safer, and the police will have the sounds of the bedroom door being broken open and my verbal warnings that I'm armed and the police are on their way recorded in the 911 tape. If someone wants to steal something from the rest of the house, that's why I pay insurance.

Bruce Hayden said...

@JCC - we will have to agree to disagree. A lot of cops are straight arrows. But some are not. Maybe more honest than not, but not above shading the truth when on the stand. Mostly by omission, than commission. They are also professional witnesses, able to testify authoritatively even when shading the truth. And, judges, used to dealing with the dregs of society, tend to believe them over defendants. My personal scorecard is maybe 1/3 of the police I have dealt with in court lied on the stand, at least a little. But it was a small sample. And that doesn't get into the fact that detectives very often lie to suspects to get them to confess. If they don't work for an attorney, they don't have a legal obligation to just tell the truth until they are sworn in as witnesses. Every undercover operation pretty much depends on the cops involved lying, at least a little bit. Maybe a lot. (Which is why undercover operations under control of prosecutors or other attys are problematic - atty ethics don't accept lying even if done for noble causes, and the expected actions of subordinates are attributed to their bosses).

Yes, investigators should come into any crime scene with an open mind. But they are human, so they don't. They see gang tattoos, and initially assume drugs or gangs were involved. Keep in mind that they are civil servants who are often very overworked. Imagine being a homicide detective in Chicago these days, esp as the city struggles against attrition at least partially a result of the Ferguson Effect and BLM. If it was, indeed, self-defense, you want them first to look at it from that point of view, than for them to get it into their head that it was, instead, say, murder. Besides, even if cops weren't overworked unionized govt employees, and even if they didn't on occasion fudge the truth on the witness stand, it is still good to get a recorded version of your story on the record at a time when it can't really be challenged. Not that your story shouldn't be challenged, but rather, if the police are going to do so, you need an attorney present.

Am I paranoid of cops? Yes. I wore a belt and suspenders when I wore suits. Paranoia is an occupational hazard of practicing law. If you aren't paranoid, you are in the wrong business. And, with cops, my cynicism really started really got started when I faced two of them in court in Denver at maybe 18 years of age, and they lied through their teeth on the stand to teach the young punk (me) a lesson. Worse, to me, was that the judge believed them even when I poked holes in their story. And that was a disappointment, since I had grown up dealing with judges socially (my father was a lawyer, knew them socially before they went on the bench, and continued the relationships after that). And, yes, I probably trust prosecutors even less than cops. Head prosecutor is inevitably political, which means that some of their prosecutions are likely to be political. Foolish not to believe that this happens, with, for example, Marilyn Mosby In Baltimore trying to send the six cops to prison who were doing her bidding at the time, at the behest of her city council member husband, and one of their prisoners died. She never had probable cause for charging the officers, and never had a chance at convictions, but she was black, and the black community was rioting in the name of BLM.

James Graham said...

"She fired multiple rounds, police said, striking 28-year-old Antonio Leeks, who died of his injuries."

Arrgh!

He died of wounds.

Not "injuries."

In WW II next of kin received notice of KIA, WIA or MIA.

A sprained wrist is an injury.

A hole in you body is a wound.

Goju said...

The woman is lucky to be alive. Notice the thief who comes running from behind her. Had he remained calm, he would have clearly recognized his vastly superior tactical position. Shooting out the door at he one running away is not self defense since he is clearly no longer posing a threat.

WeaponsMan.com has a very detailed breakdown on the video.