What investigators later determined began as a feud on social media turned deadly in the predawn darkness of an April night. The residents of a mobile home in rural north Florida heard their front door kicked open with a shout of “Sheriff’s office!” Only it wasn’t the sheriff’s office, but rather seven young men of the faction with whom the mobile home residents had been arguing on the internet. They were all wearing ski masks and the one in the lead was brandishing a .380 pistol, which he fired as two of the residents emerged from their bedrooms.
While the intruder’s shot was ineffective, the two intended victims were better prepared. One had a 9mm pistol and the other an AR-15-pattern rifle, and their return fire dropped the invading gunman in his tracks and wounded two of his companions as the rest beat a hasty retreat. The residents barricaded themselves in their rooms and dialed 911, and responding officers intercepted several of the home invaders when they pulled over their getaway car.
SOURCE: WJXT-TV, Jacksonville, Florida, 4/17/18
A Kitsap County, Washington man was awakened after midnight by the sounds of yelling and someone banging on his living room and dining room windows. Worried for the safety of his family, who were also home and asleep, he armed himself and went downstairs to investigate the disturbance. Repeated shouts at whoever was outside went unanswered, so the homeowner opened his front door.
At the sound of the opening door, a figure rounded the corner of the house and charged at the homeowner, demanding to be let inside. The attacker shoved the homeowner backward into the doorway, and the homeowner fired at his assailant. The intruder continued trying to shove his way past the homeowner until he weakened and collapsed on the front porch. His intended victim checked for injuries and tried to calm him down until responding officers arrived. Deputies took the intruder into custody and said he seemed to be delusional.
SOURCE: KIRO-TV, Seattle, Washington, 4/27/18
On an April evening in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, a local sitting in his parked car was approached by a trio of young men who had been loitering in the area. It was apparent the three weren’t just out for a springtime stroll when one of them produced a gun and demanded the vehicle. Instead of complying, the intended victim produced a handgun and opened fire.
The two accomplices fled, but the carjacker who had brandished the gun was fatally struck in the upper chest. The intended victim was a retired Chicago police officer, and the man who tried to carjack him had been arrested and sentenced on a firearms charge a year ago but released early. The accomplices were arrested nearby.
SOURCE: WLS-TV, Chicago, Illinois, 4/26/18
Stopped in Their Tracks
The combination of a good security-camera system and an alert clerk thwarted a robbery attempt on a Fayetteville, North Carolina convenience store on a Wednesday night in late April. A woman exiting the store noticed a pair of hoodie-wearing masked men, the lead one with a gun, creeping along the wall toward the entrance. She called 911 on her cell phone. The clerk behind the counter saw them on his monitors as well, and when they came through the door brandishing a pistol, he opened fire.
The duo immediately fled, the gunman dropping his pistol in his haste to escape. On arrival at home, the would-be holdup man called 911 himself, claiming to be the victim of a shooting, but it didn’t take long for police to realize that these were the men seen on the store’s video cameras.
SOURCE: WRAL-TV, Raleigh, North Carolina, 4/26/18