Homeowners rights, Defense in a burglary situation

SAVANNAH, Ga. – One homeowner’s fate remains to be seen after he shot a 13-year-old boy attempting to rob their home.

It happened last Tuesday on Mosley Street when that boy, and another suspect, attempted to burglarize that home.

One law expert said that isn’t always the right route to take.

“The law is such that you’re not allowed to use deadly force to protect property,” Gerry Long, who has 30 years of police experience, said.

The investigation is still on-going and not all of the details have been released, but Long said there has to be some ‘perception of threat’ for a weapon to be involved.

“The homeowner’s age, ability, what they heard, what they saw and, what you and I don’t know, is whether the individuals were or were not armed because that certainly would lead to it,” Long said.

There are other steps you should take to avoid this type of situation. Step one is to call the police.

“Should be the professionals,” Long said. “The people who are trained to deal with this type of circumstance. That should be able to help you. You hope. You hope they can get THERE in time and typically in an active burglary that becomes a priority call.”

And if you can’t reach the phone you should find a different route to get you out of harm’s way.

“Get out a window, get out a door and if you can’t do any of that you want to do your best to hide, and then if you have to, you have to take action to protect yourself,” Long said.

But make sure you know the consequences for taking those strong measures.

“Circumstances become much more significant and at this point you’re talking about aggravated assault, aggravated battery, simple battery, battery,” Long said. “If somebody wants to be a responsible firearm owner they need to know what the law specifically is.”

The boy who was shot is expected to recover.

Again, this investigation is ongoing and police are still searching for a second suspect.

If you have any information you’re asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 912-234-2020.

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