A really tragic set of circumstances just happened in Aurora, Colorado. A gentleman who was the victim of a home invasion, and was armed and killed the intruder, was later killed by the police who came to assist him.
The victim had subdued the intruder and was well within his right to use deadly force under the Castle Doctrine. He picked up the phone, called 911, asked for an ambulance, and requested for law enforcement to arrive on-scene.
He did everything right, and when the police arrived, the homeowner was still armed. The reports aren’t exactly clear on whether or not he had the gun in his hand or if it was on his hip, but in any event, he was armed and the police felt he did something threatening to the extent that they used deadly force, and shot and killed him.
So, what can we learn from this?
We’ve talked in-depth about what to do after the bang, and you can refer back to one of our previous videos about how to call 911, and what to do. More importantly, you need to consider what you do after you call 911. When the police arrive, they don’t know who is the good person and who is the bad person. All they have is a report from their NDT inside of their patrol car that there’s a shooting and there’s potentially somebody that’s dead, and they’re left with the issue of sorting out who is the victim and who is the criminal.
Sometimes these things happen at night, and you might not be fully dressed. Don’t worry about getting dressed. If the police show up and you’re naked, guess what? They’ll be able to see that you don’t have any firearms on you.
If you have a moment or two before law enforcement arrives, find a safe location to secure your firearm. Just put it away—put it in a drawer and leave it there. That way, when the police arrive, you can tell them, “Hey listen, I’m so and so, the homeowner, the good guy, I’m the one that called you. My firearm is in ____.” You should expect to be handcuffed. They’ll probably put paper bags over your hands until they can do a gunshot residue test.
Once they do that (and they’ll do that fairly quickly), they’ll figure out that you are the good guy or girl, and you’ve done nothing wrong. Hopefully, the police will not overreact in your case as well. If you have any questions about this, or anything else, feel free to call my office. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you about this or anything else.