A 62-year-old Marine veteran fought off three home intruders with a handgun last Thursday, injuring all three.
Michael Irving of Theodore, Alabama, was shot in the shoulder when a male suspect fired a shotgun through his front door, but the veteran gave back more than he took. All three of the suspects were injured when Irving returned fire. Two fled the scene to a nearby Dollar General, where they surrendered to police. One is still hospitalized.
Irving told local news that “when someone just shot and is trying to kill you it just wakes up the dragon.” He credited his quick response to his experience in the military. “Always react and do it before you get time to get scared,” he said.
This wasn’t Irving’s first time to be a victim of a home invasion. The three suspects had allegedly visited his house two weeks before, stealing his medication and threatening to return if he told the police. After the first invasion, Irving ignored the threat and called the police. Authorities have not confirmed whether the second home invasion was a response to Irving contacting the police.
The suspects have been identified publicly by police as Casey Gann, 29, Chasatie Dulabhan, 24, and Joseph Heathcock, 19. Dulabhan and Heathcock have prior robbery convictions, while Gann was previously arrested on several drug-related charges.
Police are also working to determine whether a fourth suspect was involved.
This home invasion occurred days after the Violence Policy Center (VPC) released its yearly study on gun use in the United States. Despite VPC’s radical anti-gun stance, and its history of questionable data gathering, the study admits that incidents of defensive gun use have increased over the last two years with an average of 94,900 incidences of self-protective gun use every year from 2013 and 2015.
Irving’s use of a handgun to save his life represents only one of the at least 260 defensive uses of a firearm that take place per day around the country. Given the VPC’s agenda, the actual number is likely much higher. Still, 94,900 defensive firearm uses per year dwarfs the number of gun homicides committed in 2014 (7,670).
The Bureau of Justice Statistics, a federal organization, reports that 3.5 million home invasions took place every year between 2003 and 2007. In one million of these incidents, at least one household member was present at the time of the invasion.
The suspects involved in the Alabama incident, at least one of whom was armed with a shotgun, likely possessed their firearm illegally.