(BrightPress.org) – A resident of the constitutional carry state of Tennessee was charged with reckless endangerment after defending himself from gun-toting car thieves. His surveillance system alerted him to the fact that multiple people were outside his home around 2 am, attempting to break into a van parked at the end of his driveway.
When confronting the group, they opened fire. The unidentified homeowner then returned fire while retreating into the house, the engagement enough to scare off the thieves.
When police arrived, the man’s wife immediately suspected something was wrong with the way they were questioning him. “It was like they were trying to find ways to charge him,” she said while relaying to Fox 13 Memphis reporters that the discussion didn’t sound right to her. She said their efforts should be focused on finding the thieves, not interrogating the victim.
The homeowner admitted to authorities he couldn’t clearly see his targets due to the darkness; the street is poorly lit with only the occasional garage light illuminating the neighborhood streets. He also said that he had fired shots with his eyes closed due to extreme fear and having to return fire while retreating.
He was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and was later released. His family is hopeful that the charge will be dropped entirely once the DA has a look at the case.
A senior fellow with the Heritage Foundation laid out a good thread on Twitter where she contested the police’s willingness to charge the homeowner with reckless endangerment (a felony in Tennessee). Amy Swearer said that the only persons endangered here were the car thieves who were actively shooting at the homeowner throughout the encounter. Video clearly showed the thieves firing first, and continuing to fire while retreating, even firing a final shot at the house while driving away and after the homeowner had retreated inside.
She also explained that “firing with his eyes closed” can be reasonably explained by the flashes and loud bang of the gun causing the man to flinch, a common involuntary response. She encouraged gun owners to get legal liability insurance for situations just like this one and said that this case highlights why some attempted break-ins go unreported: citizens who defend themselves and their property don’t trust the police and fear they’ll be charged.
The case highlights the need to have a good relationship with your local law enforcement and to be well aware of your rights and liabilities should you choose to carry or use a firearm for self-defense or home defense.
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