There has been a tremendous amount of discussion in the news relating to gun laws, including who should be able to carry a weapon, how, and where.
We know that many homeowners (and many FrontPoint customers) keep a gun in the home. As a result, this recent news story out of Dallas, Texas resonated for me when someone sent me the link. The facts of the case are quite remarkable (and unusual), and the odds of this type of situation being repeated are – we all hope – extremely small. But I’ll let you judge for yourself.
In what could definitely be described as a bizarre event, two men are dead after an apparent attempted home burglary in Dallas Thursday night. According to a local CBS affiliate, the homeowner shot the man suspected of attempting to break into his home, but once officers arrived on the scene, they shot the homeowner as well.
Both the suspect and the homeowner were pronounced dead at the scene. It was about 7:45 pm when the homeowner, 57-year-old William Hall, caught 30-year-old Jerry Hale in the alley beside his home apparently with the intentions of breaking into his home. But Hall, armed with a 9mm handgun, confronted Hale and shot him. Several witnesses heard multiple shots and called 911, and also noted that Hale, who was already injured and lying on the ground in a pool of blood, was begging for Hall not to kill him.
David Murphrey, another witness, told Hall, “No, don’t kill him. I’ve already called the cops. Cops are on the way.” To which Hall responded, “Good, I’m going to kill him and then I’m going to shoot them, too.” At least three different witnesses confirmed that Hall had threatened them while pointing his gun at them. When police arrived a few minutes later, in the confusion they were unaware who the homeowner was and who was the suspect and the fact that Hall refused to drop his weapon certainly did not help to de-escalate the situation.
Police Did Their Best
Initially, paramedics were not even able to get into the alleyway to attend to Hale because the situation was too dangerous with Hall refusing to back down. Officers repeatedly told Hall to drop his weapon, but he wouldn’t. When Hall eventually turned his gun on the officers, that’s when they opened fire on him.
“According to three independent witnesses, the officers were giving loud verbal commands to the man to drop his weapon,” Maj. Jeff Cotner with the Dallas Police Department said following the incident. “The man pointed his weapon at the officers and the officers fired their weapons in defense.” “The cops repeated it. They said it like 20 to 25 times, put the gun down, put the gun down. And all of a sudden, he cocked it,” recalled Garcia. “They had to do what they had to do.”
Hall and Hale were both pronounced dead at the scene, and no other injuries were reported. It’s unknown why Hall reacted to the witnesses and police in the manner which he did. Neighbors say that they know very little about the man, who had lived there for several years. Areas of his home were boarded up with wood and apparently he did not have working utilities at the house.
No matter where you stand on the issue of guns in the home, this is a very sad story indeed. We also know that many burglars are taking greater risks of injury or worse, as homeowners in some jurisdictions have increasingly taken matters into their own hands. In fact, this is certainly not the only recent story you can find of a homeowner shooting a burglar: I have seen these cases on the rise over the past several years, across the U.S.
It’s a very personal decision as to whether it makes sense for you to have a gun in the home – and when to use it.
As a company dedicated to our customers’ peace of mind, and the protection of their lives and their property, we only hope that those who do keep guns at home are taking all necessary precautions in how these weapons are stored.
And that includes guns safes, and even interactive monitoring to notify the homeowner by text or email if a gun safe is opened. That’s just one great example of how advanced monitoring services can contribute to greater safety and security – for all of us.