Melbourne, Florida — A Melbourne man said he feared for his safety after seeing two men approaching his house. The man said at least one of the men was armed with a firearm as they approached.
The incident happened one day last week, just before 6 in the morning on White Cap Way.
The residents informed the responding police that they noticed a suspicious looking car parked outside, and then watched two men exit the vehicle and walk toward the house. The resident said at least one of the men had a gun on him.
A male resident grabbed his own firearm, opened the front door, and fired several rounds into the general area of the vehicle and into the ground causing the two men to flee the scene.
It is not believed that either of the two men were struck by the un-aimed bullets, and there are no reports of how many rounds were fired by the resident.
That's the news, now let's dissect this to see what the resident could have done a bit better.
All is well that ends well, but the resident did some things here that are questionable at best. At worst, the man could have been charged for discharging a firearm the way he did, or even struck an innocent. Thankfully none of the other houses on the street were damaged, and no innocents were struck.
But things could have gone much better, and this is an example of what not to do.
If you see men walking toward your house and one of them has a gun, it's not a good idea to open your front door because this does at least one bad thing for you.
It shows the bad guys, who possess their own gun, the exact position where you are giving them the opportunity to SHOOT YOU BACK. You give away your position and give them a target to shoot at. Thankfully it worked out well for the residents in this situation but it won't work out in every incident.
An alternative here, would be to turn on lights to show that you are home, but maybe not give away your tactical position. Turn on some inside lights as well as any outside lights that may be off. Show that you are home because a home with a resident present is a harder target and they don't know if you have a gun or similar.
This will deter some criminals, but not all of them. Therefore, the moment you see bad intent, like two men walking toward your house in the early morning hours armed with a visible gun, you should call the cops.
Now, this isn't as effective as it once was because many police departments around the country are spread thin with delayed response times but you should still call.
And one of the strategies we teach in our Complete Home Defense Course is to isolate yourself in a room with the rest of your family where you can retain your tactical advantage and defend it appropriately. This does a few different things:
- It allows you time to contact police.
- Keeps you in a room where you can properly defend yourself through the funnel of a doorway.
- Ensures you a proper defense in court (because at that point the bad guys are in your house and you have a reason to defend yourself, instead of opening the front door and spraying bullets everywhere).
Jacob wrote more about this strategy and the pros and cons here, but it may have been a good plan in this case especially if it is one that is pre-planned for. I think it would have worked well here because the residents had time to react appropriately because they saw the threat coming. Because they did, they could have gotten everyone in the house to that room.
That room is usually stocked with extra things, but is just a regular room in your house that is more easily defendable than others are due to its location and the like.
It's also important to discuss warning shots. It's generally a bad idea to fire warning shots for several different reasons, but the one I'll discuss here is this: It wastes your ammo.
In this specific case, the resident already knew that the bad guy was armed and he wasted precious ammo on shooting into the ground and at the vehicle. He didn't know for sure that the bad guy would flee, and not all bad guys will. This is a serious gamble to make when you don't know the outcome or what is on the criminal's mind.
You just don't know how desperate he is, nor what he is capable of doing. It is therefore better to have all the ammo you can in your gun, ready to be used. Plus, just because you saw one guy was armed does NOT mean that the other guy wasn't also armed.
If he was and they decided to fight and shoot back, you may find yourself up that creek.
What would you have done differently if you were the resident? Let us know in the comments below.