80 Year Old Man Defends Himself Against Three Home Invaders


80 Year Old Man Defends Himself Against Three Home Invaders

I don’t write about every defensive gun use anywhere because there are other sites that cover those incidents extensively and because that’s not really the focus of this site. However, a recent self defense shooting by an 80 year old man facing three home intruders in Fairmont West Virginia deserves a look for the lessons that can be learned.

According to a post on the Fairmont Police Department, W. Va. Facebook page:

“The 80 year old robbery victim stated that he had heard someone come to his door late at night and concealed a pistol on his person before going to see who it was. A young female was there telling him that she needed to use his phone for an emergency. He allowed her to come in and she was immediately followed in by two white males dressed in dark clothes who threatened the resident with what appeared to be a handgun. As the two men were demanding items from the victim, he produced his firearm and discharged it at his alleged assailants. At least three of his fired projectiles found their marks. ”

A few interesting points:

The old “Can I use your phone?” trick to gain entry to the house is still being used. In this day where everyone has a phone there’s no reason to fall for that. If you really believe they don’t have a phone, offer to make the call for them, but there is no reason to open the door.

Note they used a young woman to gain sympathy and get access to the house followed by the two young male attackers. Just because it’s a woman at your door doesn’t mean she’s not alone or capable of violence herself.

This case is another example of how there are often multiple attackers in home invasions. This shows the usefulness of high capacity magazines for home defense. Since size and weight are not as much of a concern for a home defense gun as they are for a concealed pistol there are advantages to larger guns that hold more ammunition. A five or six-shot revolver or a small pocket pistol may not be enough.

Answer the door with a gun, especially after dark. The article says the homeowner “concealed a pistol on his person” before answering the door. Whether it was holstered or just stuck in a waistband under his shirt doesn’t matter here. If he hadn’t answered the door with a firearm he likely would have been overcome by the two younger and stronger male attackers before he could access any other guns in the home.

In the end, one of the attacking men was killed with wounds to the “head/neck,” the second was wounded in the “lower torso,” and the female fled unharmed before the shooting and was later caught. Note that both of the men shot ran away after being hit. One died in the roadway and the other was captured across the street. This appears to be a common reaction, although not one you can count one. In this case the attackers were armed with a BB gun, but if they had a real gun they may have attempted to shoot back instead of just running.

The police also reported that both male attackers were on probation for “prior felonies” and that they are now being suspected of committing other recent crimes in the area.

From the Facebook post: “Thus far, from the facts and statements obtained, it appears the homeowner had reason to believe that his use of force was necessary to defend himself against a perceived imminent use of unlawful deadly force. He came out of this incident uninjured.”

Kudos to the unnamed 80 year old for defending himself. Without a firearm, a plan, and his willingness to use it, his odds against three younger, stronger, opponents would not have been good.

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Rob Reed is a firearms instructor, collector and all around "projectile launcher enthusiast" in the Metro Detroit area. He also writes as the Michigan Firearms Examiner.

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