Detroit homeowner fatally shoots 2 suspected home invaders
Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody said the homeowner heard commotion near his side window at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at his house on the 14800 block of Dexter and decided to go out the back door and swing around to see what was happening in his driveway.
When the resident spotted the two alleged perpetrators, men in their 20s, a fight ensued. The homeowner reached for his handgun and opened fire.
“He struck both men, killing them instantly,” Woody said.
The homeowner has a concealed pistol license, Woody said.
There have been several home invaders shot or fired upon in recent weeks, and the city has had 8 justifiable homicides in 2014, not counting the latest two, which have not yet been deemed justified.
Detroit has traditionally had a large percentage of the nation’s justifiable homicides by citizens. In 2012, for instance, the last year for which national figures are available, there were 25 justifiable homicides in Detroit, which made up 8 percent of the 310 seen nationwide. Last year, there were 15 justifiable homicides in the city.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig said at a press conference last week that in his 37-year career, he’s never seen as many homeowners defending themselves by shooting intruders. Craig told The News in January he felt the crime rate could be lowered if more “good Americans” were armed, because he said criminals would think twice about attacking them.
“It does appear more and more Detroiters are becoming empowered,” Craig said. “More and more Detroiters are getting sick of the violence. I know of no other place where I’ve seen this number of justifiable homicides.”
Craig referenced recent incidents where women shot home invaders. “It’s interesting that these incidents go across gender lines,” he said.
Among the recent shootings:
■On March 7, a woman in her 50s shot and killed a man trying to break into her home in the 22000 block of Grove Street. She heard noises at her rear window and shot the intruder in the chest.
■On Feb. 22, two home invaders were killed: At 2 a.m., two men broke into a house on the city's southwest side; the homeowner shot both men. A 21-year-old man died and the other man escaped.
■Earlier on Feb. 22, at 12:30 a.m., a woman who was surprised by a gunman when she pulled her car into the garage was able to reach for her own gun and fatally shoot the man.
■A woman on Feb. 17 opened fire on three teens who kicked in her door. The alleged intruders, ages 14, 14 and 15, were caught by police, and charged with home invasion.
“People who are faced with a dangerous situation are taking matters into their own hands,” Craig said. “We’re not advocating violence; we’re advocates of not being victims. We’re advocates of self-protection. We want people to be safe.
“This should be a message to those who continue to perpetuate violence on Detroiters that enough is enough. You’ve got to be concerned about good Detroiters who aren’t going to stand for it,” Craig said.
“Detroiters are fed up and they are taking action.”