What I’m about to share with you is an experience my wife and I had late last year in our home in rural Ohio. I am extremely grateful that I was home to protect and support my wife when this even took place.
For any of you that do not know, I spend about half my year deployed overseas contributing to the war our nation has been involved in for over 10 years now, a war that I feel inevitably in one way or another we will be fighting on our own soil sooner than later. For that is the main reason I am going to share this story with all of you.
It was December 2011 around 7pm, and I was sitting at my reloading bench drumming up some new rounds. My wife was studying for her med boards that she was taking early the next morning. It was a normal quiet December night in Ohio farm country.
At around 7:30 pm we both heard the sound of a good amount of gunfire in the distance. I thought it was a little unusual that someone would be shooting at that time of night but I wasn’t alarmed. Gunfire is commonly heard in my neck of the woods. I really didn’t think much of it. About 5 minutes later I received a phone call from a nearby neighbor who has a relative on the sheriff’s department.
My neighbor was informed by his relative that a deputy was shot by a man in a subdivision that was about a mile and half west of our home. He also informed me that the shooter got away and was on the run. He said that he was locking his doors and all his outbuildings and suggested that I do the same.
I have to admit that I took my neighbor’s phone call like a grain a salt initially. He is your typical small town farmer who likes to embellish and make a mountain out of a molehill.
I told my wife what was going on and thought about it for a minute and then decided I should probably take precautions, in the most unlikely event that this guy shows up on my property. I also had a glimpse of what my brothers overseas would say if some small town yokel with a gun caught me with my pants down. I would never live it down, to say the least.
I mean think about it, I go years fighting our nation’s enemies and get taken out by some local thug in my home. Certainly not the way I’d want to go out or be remembered.
So I locked up the house and turned all of the lights outside on and all of the lights inside off giving me tactical advantage of seeing out and no one being able to see in. I also grabbed my preferred precision rifle equipped with my preferred night vision device, and commenced to setting up a makeshift urban hide in my backroom that just happens to look over my 800 yard unknown distance range. This is the area the suspect would have to cross to get to my home.
I began going to work observing the objective area like I have so many times before in foreign lands. I have to admit it was kind of surreal to be doing this in my own home far from the battlefield.
So an hour goes by and there isn’t any sign of Law Enforcement presence in my general area, when a chopper comes screaming over my house with its searchlight on. The chopper begins doing racetracks over the 200 or so acres in the area of my property. This of course greatly aided my ability to see the objective area. I then spot what appears to be the figure of a man in the tree line in the far corner of my unknown distance range. Shortly after I spot the man, the chopper appears to spot him to. The chopper continued to circle the area with his spot light on the suspect.
The suspect at this point must have come to the realization that he was located. The suspect being pressured by the chopper and it’s intensely bright light I’m sure felt the need to find a new hiding spot and began walking towards my home.
He was walking deliberately in my direction.
Of course at this time I was thinking he is most likely going to try to breach my fortress and have a standoff with the cops. To me it really seemed the only logical course of action for this man to take. I of course was confident that this was not going to happen. In fact I was amazed of the extraordinarily bad luck this man had. He had to pick probably the worst home in the county to try to break in. It was apparent to me that he really had no idea what he was up against.
So the suspect began closing the distance between us. I had a good 5 minutes to study this man as he was walked towards my domain. I immediately told my wife to arm herself and go into the garage, which was the farthest room away from where this horrible event was going to take place.
I did not want my wife exposed to this event any more than what she already had been. I knew that this was going to affect her in more ways than we even realized and I did not want these images burned into her memory. I also did not want her exposed to any more danger than she already had been.
As I observed this man I saw that he was in fact carrying a handgun in his right hand. I knew this man could not see into my home therefore he could not see me. So I made the conscious decision to only engage this man when he tried to breach my safe haven.
If I was to end this man’s life it was going to be without a reasonable doubt that I was defending my home and family. I knew that if this was to happen that I was going to be subject to possibly criminal and most definitely civil action, which is complete bullshit but it is the world we live in.
The suspect approached to within 40 yards of my home, where I watched this man continuing to close the distance at a slow walking pace…and end his own life. An image I am not virgin to but an image I will never forget.
I am grateful that I did not have to be the one to deliver this man to his maker. I do wish things could have ended differently for this individual. Especially after learning what took place in the events that led up to this.
After the event took place the chopper continued to circle overhead. What surprised me was the lack of police presence around my home where the suspect laid. It surprised me because I learned shortly after that there were some 7+ supporting agencies some from major metropolitan areas involved by this time.
As a matter of fact it was at least 5 minutes after the man ended his life that the police secured the perimeter of my home. That means I was the only person between my family and the suspect. (No the chopper did not have a “sniper” in it). If I wasn’t on my game, or if my wife was home by herself, this man could have easily entered my home before any police could have interdicted.
I happen to feel this is extremely piss poor considering this wasn’t something that just popped up. This guy was on the run for 2 hours. The police completely lost track of the so-called “cop killer.” There was a chopper that had positive location on the individual, which traversed an 800 yard field at a casual walking pace only a mile and a half from the scene of the shooting. Furthermore, not one police officer even attempted to contact me or my wife in the home until 45 minutes after the suspect took his life.
The scene in front of my house was an impressive light show to say the least. There was no less than 20+ police cars and swat vehicles on the street. Plenty of manpower to mitigate a one-man threat. The biggest problem with this is they stayed on the street and made no effort to get between the suspect and my home.
The events that actually took place and led up to the grave ending in my backyard were even more disappointing. The story goes like this:
The suspect’s mother, who was in fear of her son’s mental status, contacted the Sheriffs department. They went to the suspect’s home and surrounded it. The suspect decided to evade the police and ran from his home. The officers on the perimeter shot at the suspect a number times and missed him with every shot.
Not only did they miss him, they put rounds in adjoining neighbors homes and two rounds in one of their own officers.
Not only did they shoot one of their own officers, they failed to pursue the suspect. It was a mess on a grand scale to say the least.
I have a problem with this for a number of reasons. The first being they led other departments to believe that this man was a “cop killer” until the following day. “By the grace of god the officer lived.” I have a hard time believing that the deputy that shot his partner had no idea he shot his partner.
Secondly, a wound from a pistol looks a lot different from a wound from an AR 15, which is what the officer was shot twice with.
The third problem I have is the obvious lack of initiative to mitigate a threat that appeared to be attempting to move to a hard point. My home. There was not one officer in position to stop the suspect from entering my home. They were all on the street 150 yards away trying to get into their “stack”. Way too slow if you ask me.
That pretty much completes my story.
The good thing that came out of this for me was it enforced the principles that I had been telling my wife for years. Her eyes were opened that day and she realized how under-trained she was. She was extremely grateful I was home and not deployed. But she has now taken it upon herself to learn the hard skills of defending one’s self.
I did not write this to bash our law enforcement community. I know there are many locked-on departments in our country. I also know that a lot of that depends on the type of environments these officers work in. I’m simply stating what I have experienced first hand. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be dealing with a situation like that in my small world. The thing is it happened and it can happen anywhere.
You have to ask yourself who do you want coming to your aid. You never know the level of proficiency the people who are coming to aid you are going to have. I can tell you our country is not getting any safer. We have hard times ahead of us and a good majority of our first line of defense is ill- prepared, to put it mildly.
I urge you as an individual to be your first line of home defense. I also urge you to strive to be the type of hard target you wouldn’t want to face.
(Image Credits: TMCNews)