A Kansas City man, who police identified as 31-year-old Carvonn R. Williams, was shot and killed last week in an attempt to break down a woman’s front door, KSHB 41 reports.
The female homeowner—a 49-year-old grandmother caring for her one-year-old granddaughter—says she had asked Williams to leave several hours before the incident because he had drugs with him. Later that evening, she heard loud banging at the front door and, fearing for her safety, retrieved her firearm. When Williams kicked down the door, she fired several rounds and Williams died at the scene.
According to the KSHB report, police have yet to confirm whether the incident is a clear case of self-defense. KansasCity.com reports that investigators released the woman after questioning her and are continuing to gather details.
KCTV 5 interviewed a friend of the homeowner, who said the woman is disabled and walks with a cane. She believes her friend was forced to fire. “From what I understand, she did the right thing. You are supposed to protect your home and whoever is in it. If that was me I wouldn’t have blinked an eye. If I felt I was being threatened, yeah, I would have.”
“Are you facing imminent death or serious physical injury? If you’re in that situation, then sure, you can defend yourself using deadly force,” explained Missouri defense attorney Greg Watt, according to the KCTV 5 report. “But you also have a duty to retreat. You can’t rely upon that just to unload a firearm when you have an opportunity to preserve yourself and retreat from that situation.”
KCTV 5 also reports that, in a possible contradiction of the woman’s statement, police found no sign of forced entry, and it isn’t clear if Williams actually made it inside. Police found him on the front porch when they arrived at the scene.
Home invasion statistics are spotty, but the FBI reports that in 2014 burglaries (“the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft”) were down 20.2% from 2010 . Over the same period of time, the FBI conducted 45.5% more background checks to allow private citizens to purchase firearms. The causal relationship here is obviously difficult to determine, but it is an interesting correlation nonetheless.
In 2014, there were an estimated 1,729,806 burglaries in the United States. That’s 4,739 a day, 197 an hour, and three every minute. Hopefully, that number will continue to decline as more and more Americans make the responsible decision to protect their home and their loved ones.