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Homeowner who fatally shot intruder won't be charged; DA calls it justifiable homicide under Colorado's 'Make My Day' law

Police chief said homeowner still 'is faced with the long-term impact of taking a life in the course of protecting his family'

Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A Colorado homeowner who fatally shot an intruder late last year won't be charged in the incident, as the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office determined it was a justifiable homicide under the state's "Make My Day" law, Wheat Ridge Police said.

What does the 'Make My Day' law say?

The Denver Post explained that the 1985 law gives homeowners or any occupant of any dwelling the right to shoot and kill intruders who they believe will cause serious bodily injury or death. The paper indicated that fists can be deemed deadly weapons that justify shooting under the law — but that the right to shoot in self-defense doesn't apply on front porches or in backyards.

"Make my day" is, of course, part of the famous one-liner from Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" Callahan character in "Sudden Impact."

What's are the details of this fatal shooting?

During the initial 10:57 p.m. call to dispatch Nov. 6, the caller said an unknown man entered the home, police said.

The homeowner said he fired one shot at the intruder because he feared for his life and the lives of his family members after the intruder became aggressive, police said.

Responding police found 24-year-old Takwon Wilson unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the chest, police said, adding that Wilson was pronounced dead at the scene despite lifesaving measures by officers and the fire department.

"This was a difficult case for our detectives as well as both families who were devastated by the death of the intruder," Wheat Ridge Police Chief Chris Murtha said. “Regardless of the crime that was committed, one family lost a loved one and another is faced with the long-term impact of taking a life in the course of protecting his family."

One last thing…
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