Inherent within the Second Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms is the fundamental right to use such weapons and deadly force, if necessary, in self-defense against an imminent threat.
That appears to be what happened early Thursday morning when an armed homeowner in Spanaway, Washington shot and killed one of two would-be burglars attempting to force their way into his home, TheBlaze reported.
As of now, the incident is being investigated by the local sheriff’s office as a homicide, though police acknowledged that the homeowner may have justifiably acted in self-defense, and no charges have been filed or arrests made at this point.
Meanwhile, a search continues for the second individual who fled and left his 24-year-old deceased accomplice at the scene of the attempted break-in.
KING-5 reported that the incident occurred shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday morning when the homeowner was alerted that two men were attempting to kick in the back door of his home, at which point he grabbed his weapon, opened fire, and sent the intruders scrambling.
The 31-year-old homeowner then called the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, according to PCSD spokesman Sgt. Darren Moss, and when deputies arrived at the scene they found that one of the attempted burglars had been shot and had died in the front yard of the targeted home.
The second suspect was nowhere to be found, and nobody else was reported as having been injured in the incident. An investigation of what occurred has been launched and Moss said that once the probe concludes the case will be forwarded to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office to pursue any criminal charges if warranted.
“I have the right to carry”
A KING-5 reporter also spoke with the homeowner, identified as Jeremy Smith, following the fatal confrontation with the would-be burglars, and though he expressed sorrow that a life had been lost, he insisted that he was fully justified in using deadly force in self-defense against the men trying to intrude upon his home.
“I took action upon that, which was, unfortunately, taking one life, and the other one ran,” Smith said.
He added: “You get to talk about it a lot with your friends, or you get to talk about it with your family, and go, ‘yeah we all carry,’ but you know, or ‘this is what I would do, this is what you would do,’ but it’s way different when it actually happens.”
“I have the right to carry, and I have the right to protect myself, and I have the right to protect my property,” Smith said, going on to state that, in the heat of the moment, the safety of himself and his family was more important than the lives of the intruders. “I don’t know what they wanted out of this house, I don’t know what they were doing, but I don’t care.”