How I Survived A Home Invasion – Part 2, by Mr. Y.

(Continued from Part 1.)

Part 2 – Interview and aftermath

I sat around in the little interrogation room by myself for about 90 minutes before anyone came to ask questions. The two detectives informed me that The Bad Guy ‘didnt make it’. I wasn’t surprised but it added a new level of anxiety to things. If I was going to get into trouble over this, the consequences were a lot more severe for killing someone than for injuring them.

We spent about two hours or so going over what happened. Did I know this person? What did they say? Where was I standing? Where was he standing? When did you shoot? I told them that there was probably security camera footage of most of what happened and they said they would get to that. I asked how much trouble I was in. They said they couldn’t promise anything but if the video matched the story I just told them, they didn’t think there’d be any issues.

Finally, the questioning was over. I was given back my phone and I called a friend to come give me and the girlfriend a ride back to the house. The detectives told me that they would meet me at the house and we’d review the video.

Reviewing the video or downloading it requires a password and I surreptitiously entered it as the detectives watched. I rolled back the footage and caught everything….The Bad Guy walking down the block, coming to my house, coming up on the porch, ringing the bell, knocking on the door, and then trying the door, turning and leaving down the steps, and then my opening the door to ask him what he wanted. That’s when all the interesting stuff started. The detectives saw, clear as day, up close and in detail, me holding out my hand indicating for him not to come closer, him backing up to the door, punching his way through the screen, and yanking the door open as he came in. Once the video showed him punching his way through the screen door both detectives, standing there with their arms folded across their chest, started nodding their heads. Story matched. And they could see that this guy was clearly not selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door. Watching the time stamps on the video, the whole episode…starting with The Bad Guy coming up the steps and ending with him being carried out on a stretcher…was 17 minutes.

I made them a copy of the video on a USB drive, they gave me receipts for the evidence taken (one pistol, one holster, one loaded magazine, three spent brass), and I was left alone in my house with my girlfriend. Total time out of the house was about four hours. That was all the interaction that I ever had with the police over this matter. After that, I never was questioned or had to go to the department again.


I later heard from the police department that the Bad Guy’s family had indicated their son had been suffering from mental illness for quite a while. He apparently was just walking the neighborhood ringing bells and knocking on doors…I just happened to be the first person who answered. For the sake of covering all my bases, I still went through the time and expense of assembling as much of the evidence, reports, videos, photos, and interviews as possible just in case I needed them against a lawsuit at a later date. The county attorney was willing to let me have some stuff, but for other things, I had to get a court order and that cost me some lawyer fees. I wanted documentation, images, video, and transcripts that supported my actions ‘just in case’ something happened [criminal or civil suit] at a later date. The county attorney notified me about six weeks later that there were no charges against me.

I never had horrible dreams, flashbacks, or any of those other things that you seem to see in the movies when someone shoots and kills someone. This bothered me for a few weeks and I wondered if I was a sociopath or otherwise ‘broken’ for not being a mess over the whole incident. A customer of mine is a retired cop from the department in my town and he told me that my reaction (or lack of reaction) was the same as his when he had a justifiable shooting several years ago. Being able to ask questions to someone who had ‘been there’ went a long way towards making me feel better about myself and my reactions afterward.

With more time to think, I decided that the reason it didn’t mess me up as much as I would have thought was because having spent most of my life as a survivalist, I had always been open to the possibility this would happen. When it finally did happen, I wasn’t shellshocked with normalcy bias the way someone who had never contemplated an armed encounter might be. It was a terrible experience, to be sure, but it wasn’t an unthinkable experience from my perspective. I’d always known something like this could happen and, having thought about it, I was more mentally prepared for it.

Contrast this with someone who never gave any thought to such things because ‘it’ll never happen to me’…and then when it does, they’re frozen in terror because this is something that, in their world, never happens. Additionally, the whole event was so clearly justified that I had no moral ambiguity or doubt about my response. I never, ever, for a moment thought that I did anything other than what was necessary. I warned this guy, I tried to keep him out of my house, and when he finally forced his way in and was coming at me I did the only thing I knew would keep me and the GF safe in that situation. I’m sorry it happened but I don’t have any doubts it was the right course of action.

I am sure that there will be people who say that I should have called 911, asked for an ambulance and police, and then not said another word until I had a lawyer at my side. I can see a good argument for this. As some folks like Massad Ayoob have pointed out, the desire to ‘explain your side of the story’ will be strong and you’ll tell any of the responding cops who will listen about what happened. This is true. I thought about just ‘lawyering up’ but, rightly or wrongly, I didn’t. If I lived in a more metropolitan area like NY, or DC, or LA I would have absolutely kept my mouth shut. But here….well, maybe it was a mistake but if it was it didn’t bite me on the butt. You do what you think is best for you.

Whenever I talk about the experience, I always mention that I never wanted this to happen, I’m sorry it happened, and I wish it hadn’t happened. But this whole thing was out of my hands. The Bad Guy, mental illness or not, created the situation and, in my opinion, is wholly responsible for what happened. I don’t mind talking about it, but I don’t start a conversation with it either. I’ve known a lot of people, soldiers and cops mostly, who have killed people and almost all of them never talk about it on their own. You can ask about it and maybe they’ll talk, but I’ve never encountered anyone who talks about it unsolicited. It is not something to brag about or be proud of. It happened, we wish it hadn’t, and we move on as if it never did.

My experience was, of course, unique to me. If you ever have a violent encounter it probably will not go the same way mine did. However, perhaps some of my observations and ‘lessons learned’ will help you prepare against that encounter that, hopefully, will never happen. The things I learned in this experience were, to me, extremely valuable and I feel strongly that they should be shared. That’s why I submitted this article. I hope you never have to point a gun at anything other than a steel plate or a deer, but as survivalists we prepare for all sorts of unpleasant scenarios. I hope that my experience provides you with some food for thought that benefits you.

(To be concluded tomorrow, in Part 3.)