Image source: KDVR-TV
Military veteran Corey Thompson of Medford, Ore. had his AR-15 seized and is facing criminal charges after he fired a warning shot in an attempt to stop a wanted felon he said was trying to break into his home.
Here's what some of you had to say:
I think his big mistake was when he said that he was “defending his property” when he shot the warning shot. I think the more accurate statement here would be that he was “defending himself” – that one small change probably would have saved him a lot of grief.
Lets be clear here…his rights are being violated BECAUSE he is a Vet or else a single mother should be treated in the same way…”there was nothing that the suspect was doing that was aggressive enough to justify the shooting.”
So this Police Chief’s position is that a single mother should allow anyone (in this case only a “wanted” felon for burglary and assault) into your home with children and only defend yourself if being assaulted?
There is no such thing as a warning shot.
When you pull that trigger on the AR, you are sending a 55+ grain projectile at over 2000 feet per second out the front of that barrel. That bullet can go through walls; concrete blocks, and can ricochet.
You do not pull the trigger; unless you know 100% that you can stand in front of a court, and show that you had reason to fear for your life, or the life of those you are protecting.
Warning shots are stupid, and only get you in trouble.
You do not have to let the person get all the way into your house, and they do not even have to be on your property. You just have to be able to show that you were not the aggressor, and that you have reason to fear for your life.
It is not that hard to figure out.
Something is Wrong
First of all, you never point a firearm at anyone you are not willing to kill and you never pull the trigger unless you are willing to fully commit and kill your target. In other words, no warning shots, no “winging”, always shoot to kill. Secondly, wait until the person has actually broken in and poses a clear threat to you and then shoot (again, to kill). The old pirate saying is especially applicable here: dead men tell no tales. If they have actually physically forced entry into your home and are lying dead then the only side of the story that matters is yours. If you only wound them or “warn” them then be ready to face a lawsuit or criminal charges yourself. Feel free to give a verbal warning if you really want to before you kill but just keep in mind that if they are armed as well, you’ve given away your position, status, and intention and they might just use that to their advantage.
I work for the State of OR, there is no "Stand Your Ground Law". By OR law I am surprised they didnt charge the home owner for a "Measure 11″ crime for shooting with intent to scare the suspect. That would put the home owner in prison for 72 months for a mandatory minimum sentence. That means 72 months, no good time, no early parole, nada, day for day. I dont know where they are at with the law but OR was trying to pass very restrictive weapons law. Basically it would limit legal guns to bolt action rifles, shotguns, and handguns with seven round capacity. Oregonians would become felons if in possession of any band weapons. The proposed law gave Oregonians a short time to sell their pre-band weapons to a FFL holder or sell them out of state. You would become a felon for possessing one, not shooting someone, not using the weapon in a robbery, or any other crime. I am glad I live in a neighboring state, where America is still America. Where guns are a part of life and where the State has made it a crime to disarm a lawful citizen. We are even tough enough to play on the famous blue turf. Go Big Blue!
I’m an Oregonian with a CHL. OR is a “Stand Your Ground” state BUT we do not have a “Castle Doctrine.” Ergo, this guy should have either shot to kill OR shouted “Stop or you’ll be shot!!!” and reassessed the situation with his weapon drawn but not yet aimed. Defense in fear of bodily harm = okay. Defense of property = not okay. Once he fired, THEN he should have said to the police, “I will be at the police station within 24 hours to make a statement,” and then nothing else. After that he should have called his lawyer.
Warning shots should never come into play.
Remember what State and County this happened in. The USA isn’t all conformed into one law. It’s 50 different laws and regulations, as it should be. And even then the County and City regs may be different from the State It all comes down to who we elect as Sheriffs and Prosecutors. In one County, Corey Thompson would be justified. In the next, a criminal. My State has conformity laws, but the local Prosecutor has the final say. Make sure the right person is in charge. Election day matters.
I’ve had several police officers tell me not to fire a gun in warning. They tell me that once the intruder is in your house then shoot him or her in the head or chest. That increases the odds of death. I actually had a police officer tell me when I lived in Dallas that, “dead men tell no tells” and that it was easier to deal with the family of a dead criminal in a wrongful death law suit than dealing with a live injured man, albeit criminal, in an excessive force or personal injury law suit.
You have got to be kidding me. The home owner ended up being the “bad guy”? This is insane on the part of the police department. Having been a cop for over twenty years I am ashamed to even say it after reading this. He should have let the guy break down the door, come in, then took him out. He defended his home from a friggin felon and this is the result? I’m just glad I was on a Sheriff’s Department. Something like this ever happened here he would have gotten pat onthe back.
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT fire a warning shot. Tell the idiot you have a gun if you want, but save your shot for center mass. Even if you are out and have a carry permit and you fire a warning shot you will go to jail. You must be in fear for your life and a warning shot does not meet that description. The same at home, there are laws against firing a gun (many places) and a warning shot is not considered protecting your life.
Im not agreeing with the laws, just saying. I left CA in the early 90′s and even in the 80′s a cop told me never fire the gun unless you are shooting at the person breaking in and then make sure you kill him. Then drag him in the kitchen and put a knife in his hand.
I know not everywhere is like CA, but NO WARNING SHOTS. Period. Wait till he’s in and triple tap military style center mass.
Hate to say it the vet was wrong and did violate the law, warning shots are not to be fired. This was not a deadly force incident, he did violate the law but that doesn’t mean that the County Attorney has to file charges. If the case did go to trial, chances are at least one member of the jury would find him not guilty so why waste taxpayers money.