OPINION | This article contains commentary that reflects the author's opinion.
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31-year-old Jeremy Smith of Washington state called police at 4:20am after two men kicked down his back door.
However, by the time officers arrived to stop the attempted burglary, police found one man dead.
Jeremy told the police dispatcher that the two men had kicked down his door and he had armed himself to defend himself and his family. He fired his gun at the two suspects.
Jeremy admitted the tragic incident was “unfortunate,” but he also shared a message to other potential home intruders.
“I have the right to carry, and I have the right to protect myself, and I have the right to protect my property,” Jeremy explained.
“I don’t know what they wanted out of this house, I don’t know what they were doing, but I don’t care,” he added.
“I took action upon that, which was, unfortunately taking one life, and the other one ran.”
Homicide Investigation in Spanaway. This morning a homeowner shot at 2 suspects breaking into his house near A St E and 165th St E. One of the suspects died from his injuries, the other suspect is not in custody. Detectives and Forensic Investigators are on scene. pic.twitter.com/BBeX1wnbp6
— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) December 9, 2021
No arrests were immediately made.
Police are currently investigating the incident as a homicide. However, authorities have indicated that they may find that the homeowner was acting in self-defense.
When the police arrived at the home near A Street E and 165th Street E., they found a 24-year-old man in the homeowner’s front yard. He was deceased, having died from a gunshot wound after the homeowner fired at the two intruders, killing one of them. Authorities checked the surrounding area for the second suspect but were unable to locate them.
While most gun owners agree and say they would do the same, Jeremy was quick to admit that you never know what you will actually do until you are in such a situation. “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,’ or, ‘this is what you would do,’ but it’s way different when it actually happens,” he said.
No arrests were immediately made, but officials said the incident would be investigated as a homicide. However, authorities added that, through the investigation, they may find that the homeowner was acting in self-defense. Meanwhile, they were also seeking the second suspect in the incident after he fled the scene and was still at large. It was unclear whether the second suspect was injured.
Jeremy Smith, who was not injured, says he was justified in defending himself and his family, and if his recollection of events is true, I’d have to agree. People who are willing to kick down doors at 4 in the morning probably don’t have good intentions — and an innocent homeowner shouldn’t have to wait to find out just how far the intruder is willing to go.