Early one morning, an intruder tried breaking in to this Detroit couple’s home in a community called Southgate. The wife was awakened by the commotion, and she woke her husband, who instinctively grabbed his gun and got up to investigate.
The intruder had gotten in through a window in the back of the house. While the 74-year-old man was on his way back to his bedroom to call the police, the intruder pointed a gun at him. The homeowner drew his own weapon and shot the guy once, killing him. Then the police showed up to clean up the mess. The Detroit Free Press reported:
A 74-year-old Southgate man fatally shot an armed intruder who entered his home through a back window early this morning.
“The suspect came out of a room and pointed a gun at him,” Southgate Director of Public Safety Thomas Coombs told the Free Press.
The homeowner also had a handgun and fired a shot, police said. The suspect died at the scene and has not been identified by authorities.
Police said the couple who lives in the home — in the 15000 block of Flanders Street — was asleep in their bed when they heard noise.
The 74-year-old man was walking back to his bedroom and planned to call police when he had a gun pointed at him, Coombs said.
“That was the confrontation that caused everything to happen,” he said. “I don’t believe there were any words exchanged.”
Police responded at 4:47 a.m. and said the homeowner, whose name has not been released, legally owned the gun used in the shooting.
“It’s still an open investigation,” Southgate Chief of Police Jeff Smith said.
The Michigan State Police is assisting.
Fingerprints were taken at the home, and police said they plan to use those to positively identify the suspect in the home invasion. His name is expected to be released on Friday.
“Nobody is in custody,” Smith said.
He said it’s still early in the investigation, but it doesn’t sound as if charges will be sought in the case.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office plans to conduct an autopsy on Friday, a spokesman said.
Smith called what happened very rare for the Southgate community.
“It’s a very quiet neighborhood,” he said. “This isn’t something that we normally have happen.”
It might be rare in Southgate, but that’s a neighborhood in Detroit, which has been in the past several years a violent crime-prone city. It still is, but the rate has been going down ever since their new Sheriff came on the scene and started encouraging citizens to buy guns for their own protection, advise that you won’t hear from most members of the law enforcement community.
But it’s the wisest and most common-sense advice there is. The police can help in some matters, but for most situations like this case of home invasion, the police can’t be there immediately. Residents have no choice but to have a self-defense weapon and use it.