Why You Were Told To Drag The Body Back In The House

Dragging the Body Inside

Let's roleplay a scenario. You're sitting at home, getting ready for bed, when suddenly you hear a commotion downstairs. This is something that you have prepared yourself for, so you go downstairs with your handgun at the ready. Sure enough, you see it. Someone is breaking into your home. You can tell from a quick scan that the person is armed and your next thought is that you need to stop the intruder. You fire your gun at him, striking true and he attempts to make his escape. However, due to your precise aim, he does not make it far. The home invader has only taken a few steps and collapsed outside of your front door. What do you do next?

A lot of people have said that in a situation like this, you should drag the body back into your home until the authorities arrive, but is that truly the case?

Castle Doctrine

In castle doctrine laws which exist in many states, your homestead permits you certain rights in order to defend yourself while in the dwelling. In most states, legally you are allowed to use deadly force when someone is present in your dwelling without your consent, and when you have reasonable ground to believe they intend to cause harm to occupants of the dwelling.

Perhaps you shot the individual within the dwelling but they fell and hit the ground outside the home.

Perhaps you shot the individual as they were crossing, or had crossed the threshold of the dwelling.

It is true that in many states the law may not be in your favor if the court can prove that you fired the gun after the threat had left the home. Perhaps this is because the law may show you no longer had reasonable grounds to fear or because your actions were only legal within the dwelling. These ugly details become very important in the courtroom when your attorney has to show your actions are justified.

In some states, the difference between inside the home and on the front door step may be minor or significant in the castle doctrine law. Regardless, you moving the body won't change the facts or hide them from investigators. What happened happened, and now it is up to an investigation to see how things will end up. In fact, moving the body back into your house would get you into more trouble than leaving it outside.

The Problems With Moving The Body

There are really two major issues with moving a body back into the house. One is practical, the other legal.

The practical reason that moving the body back into the house is a less than stellar idea is you are moving a BODY back into a house. That could be anywhere from 150-250 pounds of dead weight. As someone who has enough trouble moving the couch to vacuum underneath it, I'm not sure I'd have the easiest time moving that weight around while my mind was still focused on the fact that I just stopped a home invader and killed a person. Not to mention the absolute carnage that the scene will become after the gore of a bleeding human body is now spread across several feet of whatever path you decided to drag the body.

drag the body into the house

That very viscera plays into the second reason why moving the body is a bad idea. Imagine what the police will think when they see that not only is there a pool of blood leading into your house from outside, but it will be obvious that evidence has been tampered with. Law enforcement's job is to investigate the shooting, even though you were one hundred percent in the right to defend your home. You don't want to do anything that will make things appear suspicious. You may not have broken the law, so don't start by tampering with evidence.

Common Sense

So what to do? Well, the simple answer is the exact opposite of what a lot of people are saying. If the situation were to ever arise that would require you to take down a home invader, you should first and foremost call the police. They will know exactly what to do in this situation and are prepared to handle it. Other than that, you wait. You leave the scene exactly how it is and you don't do anything … and I mean anything. Your part in this is all over, and it is now up to the police to investigate any further.

Now, I know there may be some further questions about this and we encourage that dialogue. Concealed Carry Inc. is dedicated to the training and education of the American Gun Owner. That’s why we prepared an online course called “American Gun Law.” This is a course that offers 8 hours of time with criminal defense attorney Doug Richards. Where he and I sit down and go over dozens of questions. The idea of the “dragging the body into the house” is one of many myths and confusing points of law that are clarified in American Gun Law. Here is a sample from the course about this topic:

If you found this conversation valuable I have no doubt you would find additional value in our American Gun Law Course. Click the button below to learn more:

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If you have any questions, leave a comment below.

Until next time, stay safe out there.

About Jacob Paulsen

Jacob S. Paulsen is the President of ConcealedCarry.com. ConcealedCarry.com provides in-person and online firearm training for American gun owners. The Company is currently teaching in-person classes in 25+ states with a team of more than 55 instructors. Jacob is a NRA certified instructor & Range Safety Officer, USCCA certified instructor and training counselor, Utah BCI instructor, Affiliate instructor for Next Level Training, Graduate and certified instructor for The Law of Self Defense, and a Glock and Sig Sauer Certified Armorer. He resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with his wife and children.


  1. Matthew on September 17, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Great article. Have heard this so many times and it’s great you addressed it in this article. Thank you!

    • Little T on September 16, 2023 at 10:29 pm

      Do u just go ahead and not do anything if you and your family is in danger. I think you would try to stop the intruder any way u can.

  2. Yvonne Gerdts on September 20, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    This is great information, thank you.

  3. Bill on July 13, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    I’ve never taken the advice of dragging the body back into the house seriously. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows better.

  4. james on July 14, 2017 at 4:11 am

    By this scenario it would seem to me that common sense says that you have the advantage because the intruder doesn’t know or reasonably would think that you are not there, so you have the time to find cover and wait till they actually get far enough in so they won’t fall back out when you open fire. Now of course there are a whole shit load of variables here as with any situation of this nature that could go wrong. Some of you will read this as “lying in wait”, which in some cases could be the case and you would be in a world of hurts as a result. But then again they have to prove that you had the time to do and that it was your intent. They (police) don’t know what you were doing or where in your house you were at that moment just prior to shooting, unless you are dumb enough to tell them. The bottom line of course is know your local laws and don’t push the limits of the castle doctrine if your state has one.

  5. BC on September 27, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    In real life, investigation will uncover the fact that there will always be evidence revealing exactly where the intruder was located when shot even if the body is outside the hose, . . . blood spatter, etc. Tampering with a crime scene is against the law and seriously hinders one’s case of self-defense. Attempting administering First Aid to the intruder is permissible and actually helps one’s self-defense case. However, tampering with the crime scene in an effort to help one’s case is a no-no and will actually create doubt to self-defense testimony of the defendant. One should first, take a deep breath and collect one’s thoughts, . . . get your story straight and what your going to tell police when they arrive. Call 911 for help. Re-secure your weapon – do not have gun in hand when police arrive. Then, call your lawyer!

    • DocJ on August 8, 2019 at 2:17 pm

      Collect one’s thoughts, yes. Talk to the police….no. As harsh as that sounds, in a scenario where you have just shot someone, call 911 tell them you were a victim of a crime, give your location, then hang up, even if they say stay on the line(which they will). That conversation is recorded and the adrenaline dump will have you chatty and saying things that may not be accurate or help your case. Hang up, call your lawyer and when the cops get there tell them you wish to invoke your rights to an attorney.

  6. Jason on May 18, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    My lawyer from American law sheild told me to call them first then the police and not to say anything till they got there just to hand them my membership card.

  7. Jason on May 18, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    My lawyer from American law sheild told me to call them first then the police and not to say anything till they got there just to hand them my membership card.

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