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Shooting in Self-Defense: The Aftermath


ABC News and other media are reporting an incident that took place in Chicago several weeks ago. The self-defense incident should serve as a reminder to concealed carriers about responsibility.

Something Suspicious

Apparently, six teenagers were cruising in a stolen black Lexus SUV. They were looking for a quick and easy target to rob or something to steal. The teens stopped at a home in Old Mill Creek, Illinois, about 47 miles north of Chicago, around 1:15 a.m. Perhaps they assumed everyone would be asleep at that hour. So they drove into the home’s driveway with the car’s lights on, exited the SUV and began peering into the windows and pulling on the handles of the homeowner’s 2011 Audi. Maybe they knew the homeowner was 75 years old and assumed they could easily intimidate him.

The homeowner told deputies he went outside after noticing a suspicious SUV in his driveway and several people on his property, whom he believed were attempting to break into and steal his car. The defender told police he was standing on his porch, armed with a revolver and yelling at the trespassers to leave, when two of the individuals “quickly approached him.”

The homeowner saw one of the teens “holding something in his hand,” so he discharged his firearm at least three times out of fear for his and his wife’s safety. The teens fled, and the homeowner called 911, asking them to send an ambulance.

Taking Responsibility for Self-Defense Acts

Turns out the SUV held six of Chicago’s finest: punks ranging in age from 14 to 18. The youngest was hit by the homeowner’s fire, whereupon the others stashed him in the SUV and sped off. They dumped the dying teen at a nearby accident scene, perhaps expecting he would be picked up by EMTs. The kid died, and the other five are being charged with first-degree murder.

There is an overt issue here for those of us who carry for self-defense. When confronted in a critical moment, you have a weapon for a reason. You have gone through training for a reason. You’re a responsibly armed American who has a right to protect yourself and loved ones.

The Chicago homeowner couldn’t have known whether the six teens in his yard in the middle of the night were there just to steal his property or to murder him and his wife. When the perps failed to heed the homeowner’s warning to retreat and the man saw a potential weapon, he chose to act.

Just remember: We are responsible for every shot we fire, even in self-defense.

About Rick Sapp

Rick Sapp earned his Ph.D. in social anthropology after his time in the U.S. Army working for the 66th Military Intelligence Group, USAREUR, during the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Following his time in Paris, France, he worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service before turning to journalism and freelance writing. Along with being published in several newspapers and magazines, Rick has authored more than 50 books for a variety of publishers.


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