Things went less than well for an intruder in Lake Park, Washington, who tried breaking into a home by kicking in the door. Though he made it through the door, he didn’t make it into the house, as the resident shot him dead.
News on that comes from Fox 13, which reported that the police responded to a residential burglary call from the Lake Park home at around 1:30 in the afternoon. Once there, they found the shot burglar and frightened resident. They attempted to perform life-saving care for the wounded, alleged burglar, but that was unsuccessful and the alleged burglar perished at the scene.
According to the resident, he heard a loud noise and saw the alleged intruder kicking through the door. He then tried retreating to his bedroom, but ended up having to shoot the burglar. Breitbart added that “The renter and the 37-year-old intrusion suspect knew each other, ‘and the suspect had previously trespassed a few years ago.‘” Further, KIRO noted the home renter “shot the suspect multiple times” during the altercation.
A neighbor of the renter said that she arrived at her come as the police were investigating the incident and saw the alleged intruder’s body in the doorway. She added that she wants to see the renter and give him a hug while also saying “We’re looking out for him as well and…hope that he’s all right.”
The renter is likely safe from being prosecuted under Washington law, which, though Washington is a blue state, is very permissible in allowing residents to defend themselves. It provides that “No person in the state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting by any reasonable means necessary, himself or herself, his or her family, or his or her real or personal property, or for coming to the aid of another who is in imminent danger of or the victim of assault, robbery, kidnapping, arson, burglary, rape, murder, or any other violent crime.”
Washington Gun Law adds that “Washington Law allows a person to use reasonable force to defend themselves when they are being attacked or have a reasonable belief that they are about to be attacked. A person may not use more force than is necessary given the situation. The law does not impose a duty to retreat. This means that if you are in your home, you do not have to try to escape the situation before defending yourself. This is otherwise called, the “Stand Your Ground Rule” in Washington. On the other hand, you cannot raise self-defense if you are not allowed to be in the place you are being attacked in the first place. You do not have to actually be attacked or injured in order to defend yourself. Washington law allows you to defend yourself if you reasonably believe you are about to be injured.”
So, though the renter claims to have retreated before firing on the alleged intruder, he didn’t need to do so under Washington law, which imposes no duty to retreat from a violent attacker.
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