[Video] Burglar Held At Gunpoint By Homeowner

January 29 2015
by Sam Cadle
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Incident at a Glance
Gun(s) Used: Location:
# of Suspects: Shots Fired:
Suspect Killed: State:
Source: wlos.com Archive: WebCite.org

Thanks to the watchful eye on a neighbor, a North Carolina homeowner was able to come home and catch a burglar in his home.  The neighbor noticed a suspicious vehicle in the driveway and called the homeowner, John Painter, to let him know.  When her arrived home he found his door forced open and when he went inside he found a man inside.  He retrieved his handgun, held the burglar face down and called 911.  All to often neighbors don’t help each other and make the calls, or investigate things that might be suspicious.

I do applaud the local Sheriff’s office for letting the public know that if you are able to safely, detaining someone is your right.  Many times we hear law enforcement tell people to just leave the situation and go to a safe place, allowing a burglar to continue to ransack your home or even get away.  The Sheriff’s PIO did, to the media, say that concealed carry permits where on the rise, so home invaders should think twice.

More from the local news station:

MCDOWELL COUNTY, N.C. — A McDowell County man literally took matters into his own hands when he discovered an intruder in his home. 

On Monday afternoon, John Painter called the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office to say he had the suspect detained at gun point. Deputies say they don’t get this kind of call very often, but Painter said he’d do it again if he had to even though it’s not something he ever wanted to do.

A neighbor called Painter to say there was a suspicious car in his driveway. Painter says he came home, saw the door pried open, stepped in, and saw a man in his house.

Painter says he grabbed a pistol, and soon the suspect was face down. Then Painter says he called 911.

Painter’s sister-in-law Susie said she’s not sure she would have reacted the same given the situation. 

“I don’t know, if something like that was to happen to me I would totally freak out.  I would not know what to do,” Susie said.

Deputies charged Joel McMinn, 35, with felony breaking and entering plus a misdemeanor. Law enforcement officials say McMinn lives in Swannanoa, but grew up in McDowell County.

If this happens to you, the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office says your top priority should be safety. If you are able to safely detain a suspect, deputies say that’s your right.

“If not they should always just go away, go back to their car, go to a neighbor’s house, whatever, call 911, and let us deal with it,” Richelle Bailey said, McDowell County Sheriff’s Public Information Officer.

Bailey said the number of concealed carry permits are on the rise, so home invaders should think twice.

This incident is the most common type of defensive gun use. That is, one in which no shots were fired and no one was hurt. Despite this being the most common type of defensive gun use, these incidents are often not included in statistics about defensive gun uses. Many of these statistics and studies focus solely on justifiable homicides, which represent only a fraction of total defensive gun uses.

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