'They didn't deserve to die': Outrage after popular students are found murdered in man's basement after 'they robbed his home on Thanksgiving'
Yep. I'm sure that they were really just nice kids that everybody loved, and she was just getting ready to get a job after getting out of rehab for a drug addiction that probably wasn't her fault, either.
Sadly, this was a case with no winners. Minnesota law allows people to use deadly force to protect themselves in their homes, but in this case, retired State Department security planner went a bit too far, arguably firing more shots than required to stop the thread then failing to promptly call 911.
In a criminal complaint, Smith said he was in the basement of his home when he heard a window breaking and footsteps. Fearful of other recent break-ins, he shot Schaeffel when he came into view.
When the teenager tumbled down the stars, Smith shot him in the face as he lay on the floor, looking up.
'I want him dead,' the complaint quoted Smith as telling an investigator.
He dragged the body into his workshop and then sat in the chair, the complaint said. When Kifer began walking down the stairs, he shot her and she fell down the stairs.
He tried to shoot her again with his rifle, but the gun jammed and Kifer laughed at him, the complaint noted.
'If you're trying to shoot somebody and they laugh at you, you go again,' Smith, 64, told investigators, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.
He then shot her several times in the chest with a .22-caliber revolver, dragged her next to her cousin, and with as she gasped for air, fired a shot under her chin 'up into the cranium'.
'Smith described it as "a good clean finishing shot",' according to the compliant, and acknowledged he had fired 'more shots than (he) needed to'.
Smith said he left the bodies in his home overnight before calling a neighbor to ask if he knew a good lawyer. He later asked the neighbour to contact police.
On the other side of the coin, these punks who chose to victimize an old man in his home were no angels, either.
According to family member Crystal Shaeffel, Haile Kifer had been in treatment more than once for abuse of controlled substances, and speculated that her cousin might have been after pills. Kifer had recently returned to school and had been trying to straighten out her life, Shaeffel said, adding that Kifer had stolen Adderall pills from Shaeffel's home.
"Yes, she had an addiction problem and stuff, but that doesn't mean she deserves to get murdered at 18 years old," Shaeffel said. "I understand they came there to rob them, or whatever, but shoot them in the shoulder and call the cops."
Well that's not how it works, Crystal. When you set out to prey on other people, you roll the dice and take your chances, gambling that they won't turn the tables on you and injure or kill you. In this case, two punk kids gambled and lost. And a man who let his emotions get the better of him now sits in ail. Like I said, no winners here. But no innocent kids, either. No tears for the punks, but a caution to those who arm and train for self-defense: you can defend yourself when threats arise, but you have to do it within the guidelines of the law. That means stopping shooting when the threat is clearly and obviously no longer a threat to you, and calling 911 immediately afterwards. Had Mr. Smith done these things, he'd likely be sitting in his house or on his porch right now instead of in jail awaiting trial.