San Antonio, TX—San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) officers were called to a report of a burglary in progress at a home located on the 7300 block of Westville Dr. early Monday morning.
According to SAPD, this was not the first time they had been notified of burglaries at that home:
“The homeowner for that particular residence has made burglary reports with the Police Department,” said Officer Doug Greene.
A neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, told KENS5 that the home hadn’t been previously occupied and was being renovated, making it the target of multiple break-ins.
“They broke into the house like a week ago,” that neighbor said. “They came back Friday, broke the window and got in and stole a radio.”
The neighbor went on to say that the homeowners decided to stay at the home for the night in an attempt to catch the vandals.
The homeowner’s fiancée told officers she heard several people with flashlights attempting to break in through a window in the back bedroom.
While she dialed 911 to report the break in, her future spouse grabbed a gun and confronted the first suspect he encountered.
He fired at the intruder, shooting him in the abdomen and causing his target and all others outside the home to immediately flee the scene.
SAPD says the intruder shot by the homeowner is a 14-year-old boy, who ran home and woke up his father. Seeing his wound, the father quickly drove his critically wounded son to a nearby fire station on Culebra Rd.
From there, the boy was taken to the University Hospital and is listed in stable condition.
“We are happy the father was able to transport his son to the closest location where he can receive medical attention because it’s possible he saved his son’s life,” Officer Greene said.
No charges were filed against the homeowner, however the young teen will be charged for the break-in.
“There are consequences to choices that people make,” Officer Greene said. “So, we’re going to be pursuing those charges on that individual and any other individual that was involved.”
This is a difficult situation to plan for. It makes a self-defense shooting that much worse when it becomes clear that the threat you were terrified of was only a 14-year-old boy. It’s hard to know that in the moment, however, as it could just as plausibly be a hardened and armed criminal.
One home defense theory, is to loudly and aggressively declare that you are in the home and armed, and any further advances will be met with gunfire. This may be enough to scare away potential child delinquents and less determined adults.
Then if the threat continues to advance, you can be relatively certain they have dangerous intentions.
This has it’s potential problems as well of course, in that you could be giving away your position to an armed criminal. A way to counteract this might be to announce your warning, then move to an advantageous position of cover within your home. This way, if there is gunfire, it will be more likely directed at your old position.
This situation is also a good example of why it is important to have a flashlight either on or nearby your home defense weapon. While it is not this writer’s opinion that the homeowner was wrong in firing at an intruder, he might not have done so had he known his target was a young teen.
Brush up on the latest tactics in home defense with the Complete Home Defense – Tactics For Defending Your Castle.