Self-Defense Shootings Around Federal Way, Seattle & Tacoma Areas

Last year three armed men followed a woman in her 60s into her garage when she was returning home to her home in Seattle. The robbers stole her jewelry and car keys in broad daylight.

The day before that robbery, a man was harassing other passengers on a Metro bus.He began arguing, pushing and kicking one of the passengers. The victim tried to ignore the assault. Then a woman that was with the assailant began hitting some of the victim’s family members. The victim defended himself and his family. The assailant allegedly stabbed the victim and caused him to endure a short stay in the hospital.

Earlier the same week, an armed contractor with a CPL arrived at a home on the North End of Tacoma and saw a vehicle in the driveway. The contractor arrived shortly after 11 a.m. and saw household goods, including a television and weapons, in the driveway. The contractor was armed and blocked the driveway with his truck. The burglar walked out, saw the pickup truck blocking the driveway and decided that the best way to get away was to ram the truck with his minivan.

After the contractor fired one shot that wounded the suspect, the police apprehended the alleged burglar, 32, and took him to Tacoma General Hospital for treatment and criminal charges. In Tacoma during 2011 Jamarr Johnson, 19, died when he unlawfully entered a home and the homeowner shot Jamarr dead through a door.

The following month, a homeowner shot Anthony Len McDougald, 36, when Anthony and another man broke into a home on South D Street. The homeowner confronted the two inside his garage, they charged and the homeowner shot them. The other assailant was only injured. And within about a month, a Tacoma police officer shot and injured a suspected burglar after a confrontation outside a South Tacoma home where the man had crashed his car.

Most of these armed citizens took the risk of being prosecuted or branded as vigilantes, possibly even as racist, like George Zimmerman in Florida. Contrary to the perception fostered by certain parties, full investigations have been ongoing and only reckless disregard for public safety would cause anyone to go around giving opinions as to what happened in Sanford, Florida between Mr. Martin and Mr. Zimmerman. Nevertheless, many of the so-called facts appear quite different than initial media reports caused many to believe.

When you are confronted by a serious possibility of death or grave bodily harm, the risk is worth taking. All these armed citizens are likely to have experienced some kind of intense trauma, just like the syndrome normally experienced by police officers in similar situations. Such individuals are not going to be applauded; nor will they be held in high regard by their neighbors.

And the Spring and Summer of 2012 seem to promise another year in which citizens are overcoming chaos. One intruder was shot dead during a home invasion in Puyallup involving three men and a woman .

The police determined that the homeowner, a retired police officer, was threatened with deadly force in his home. One of the attackers was brandishing a crowbar. The homeowner was justified in using deadly force, the police said, when he suddenly found himself confronting two men in his hallway after he heard pounding on his door.

Two of the suspects are in custody and the homeowner probably wounded another member of the gang, Joshua Baker, who escaped and is still at large.

It seems worth noting that, had the homeowner been subject to a duty to retreat, he might have been in some kind of legal jeopardy (and vulnerable to being brained from behind with the crowbar) for “standing his ground”. Florida used to be a state that required a victim to retreat if possible, before deploying deadly force. Stand Your Ground laws have been a hot topic in the news lately.

Another recent justified shooting occurred in North Bend. The King County Sheriff’s Office reported that a 30 year old North Bend man was shot and killed after he broke into a couple’s home:

A couple had been sleeping when they woke up to the sound of glass breaking. The suspect had broken the rear sliding glass door, entered the house and then started “trashing the house.” The couple, a 46 year old man and his girlfriend, hid in a bedroom as they talked to the 911 operator.

The suspect was yelling, “Where are you? I’m going to kill you!” The man living at the home retrieved a handgun from his nightstand and yelled numerous times, “I have a pistol. Get out of my house!” The couple locked themselves in a bedroom as they continued to hear the suspect ransack the house and yell that he was coming after them.

After the suspect kicked down the couple’s bedroom door, the homeowner shot him and deputies found the suspect, who was not known by the couple, dead outside of the bedroom.

Almost the same day, Bonney Lake and Gig Harbor saw two attempted home invasions involving armed citizens protecting themselves from home invasions. In Bonney Lake, a homeowner heard someone kicking the door, grabbed a shotgun and confronted the intruder. The suspect took off in a pickup truck.

In the other attempted home invasion in Gig Harbor, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said two teenagers tried to get in through a doggie door. The woman, at home alone, grabbed a gun and showed it to the teens. The kids took off.

Dave Workman reports that:

A check with the Department of Licensing Thursday revealed that a new record number of Concealed Pistol Licenses are now active in Washington. As of Thursday morning, 357,782 CPLs are now in circulation. March showed a stunning volume of activity, according to a DOL source, with some 12,000 renewals, first-time applications and replacements being processed.

King County saw increased activity with more county residents seeking CPLs after the mass shooting in Colorado.

Don’t forget that the attack on moviegoers was conceived as bait to attract first responders to the active shooter’s apartment that was ready to explode when the police opened the door. The number of threats against police has grown steadily and the gates of Disneyland in Anaheim, California are like an armed war zone with violent demonstrations against police imminent in many other cities. Expect to see more attacks against police officers by lone individuals that share the philosophies of Occupy Wall Street and their allies, the Black Bloc anarchists.

Each one of us has to decide how to deal with the risk of becoming a victim of violence. Many adults of all ages all around the U.S.- including many women- have decided to make a firearm part of their personal protection plan.

Remegio and Norma Fernandez apparently were not so fortunate. The couple was robbed and held at gunpoint in their home for three hours in May, 2012. The two thieves took their wedding rings, other jewelry, electronics and $4,000.00 cash their daughter had saved for a family vacation. The invaders rifled through every drawer, shattered picture frames and cabinet doors. The home was torn apart in the search for money and valuables

“They took everything they wanted,” Mr. Remegio said. “We could only watch.” The 63 year old man tried to run away and call for help but the thieves caught him. One put a gun in his mouth and told him not to try that again.

According to Remegio, the incident started with a knock at the door around 6 p.m. Thursday. A young woman said she was looking for someone named John (who did not live there) and then left and got into a car. At 7 p.m., the home invasion commenced with two robbers crashing through the sliding glass door. The two men were wearing blue bandannas over their faces and one pointed a gun at Remegio.

“They said, ‘All Filipinos keep a lot of money,’ ” Remegio said. The thieves carried radios. They talked to someone over the wire, someone on lookout duty. The voice sounded like a woman. Read more here.

Also in May, officers reported that the suspects kicked in the front door of a home in Northeast Tacoma sometime after 1:30 a.m. while the four adults and three children were sleeping. Two of the suspects had semi-automatic handguns. One wore a mask. Another had the hood of his sweatshirt cinched up tight around his face. The intruders rounded up members of the family – two men, two women, an 11-year-old girl, 8-year-old boy and 9-month-old – and brought them into the living room, according to police. Read more here.

Despite the usual calls to restrict various firearms after the slaughter in Aurora, Colorado, most Americans understand the reality of how guns, including any of the weapons used by the active shooter in Colorado, can make their homes more secure against home invasions.

That is why so many folks are becoming licensed to carry. Applications for concealed pistol permits in Colorado went up 43% in the week after the mass shooting in an Aurora theater and gun sales are soaring there. Some of the worse instances of violence are barely reported by the media but neither are many of the instances where armed homeowners have stopped invaders in their tracks. You mostly hear about innocent victims and not about home invasions that are stopped when armed homeowners chase away two-legged predators.

Many families are choosing to get trained at professional schools for armed citizens. The Armed Defense Training Association is not a school but we are working on bringing quality trainers and armed citizens together in Federal Way and at local ranges. We will soon present a class on the laws of armed self-defense and hold events that include drills using deadly force techniques that can effectively improve your chances of protecting your family and surviving a home invasion.

In order to analyze any threat of violence, you must ask what a reasonably prudent homeowner knew in a given situation- knowing what the armed homeowner knew during a critical situation where a split-second life and death decision became necessary. The question you will have to ask in such a situation is whether there is an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm. All of the home invasions described above involved imminent threats in which it was reasonable to use deadly force to stop imminent violence.

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