Firearms Owners Against Crime

Institute for Legal, Legislative and Educational Action

Kentucky Self-Defense: Armed Kentucky Homeowner Stops an Armed Intruder :: 02/14/2023

Crime can happen anywhere and at any time. It was early on a weekend morning when a homeowner in Estill County, Kentucky faced an unwelcome intruder. Most of the area is rural roads or small towns. Of all the places and times, we would think we should be safe then and there.

This homeowner was inside his house early Sunday morning. It seems a stranger broke in. I say “seems” because we’re uncertain. Some news reports said the stranger entered the home while other reports called it a break in. A break in implies forced entry.

Those details matter since breaking down our door takes work. Breaking glass and splintering wood make noise and alert us to a problem. This homeowner knew he had an intruder in his home. The defender armed himself. He saw that the intruder was armed and he shot the armed intruder. Then, the defender retreated.

The homeowner called 911 for help. The local police, the state police, the county coroner, and Emergency Medical Services arrived at the scene. The police secured the attacker’s firearm. EMS examined the attacker. The coroner pronounced the armed attacker dead at the scene. The body was removed for an autopsy.

There is so much more we want to know that isn’t explicitly described in this news story. Was the home secure and did the defender follow best practice?

We want a motion alarm to turn on the outside light and sound a chime when someone walks up to our door. That costs us a few dollars at a big-box hardware store but it buys us time. Hopefully, the intruder leaves when the outside lights come on. We want our doors and windows locked so that we slow down an intruder and can hear him enter our home. Usually an intruder moves to the next house where the doors might be unlocked.

It takes time to kick down a locked door. That buys us more time. There is a lot to do.

If we live alone, we want to grab our gun and lock our bedroom door. We grab a gun because we don’t know when we’ll have to defend ourselves. Once we’re armed, then we retreat and grab our flashlight and phone. We grab a light because we want to identify our intruder before we shoot. We retreat and get behind a bed or other furniture so we are harder to see and to harder to shoot.

Yes, Kentucky has a castle doctrine law so we can defend ourselves from an intruder who enters our home. That said, we don’t want to shoot a drunk neighbor or relative who isn’t an immediate threat.

Yes, Kentucky also has so called “stand your ground” laws so there is no legal duty to retreat. We don’t want to run into the center of our home when we don’t know how many attackers are in our home, where they are, or how they are armed. That is why it is best practice to retreat and grab a flashlight or turn on our bedroom lights.

Now we are ready to call 911 and ask for help. Finally, we shout that we’re armed and that we’ve called the police. Hopefully the police arrive before the intruder reaches us. Sometimes that doesn’t happen and we have to defend ourselves after the intruder breaks our bedroom door and runs onto our gun. It doesn’t take great marksmanship skills to hit a man-sized target that fills our bedroom door. A doorway is called “the fatal funnel” for a reason.

Maybe the homeowner did everything perfectly and still had to shoot his attacker. We don’t know because the police don’t include those details in their reports. Most news reporters don’t know to ask those important questions.

We know that this should have been the safest place at the safest time. In fact, there are more dangerous places and less dangerous places, but crime happens everywhere.

Firearms Owners Against Crime ILLEA © 2023

P.O. Box 308 Morgan, PA 15064

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