Answered the Door with Gun in Hand

How many of us have answered the door with a gun in our hand, not knowing who/what is on the other side? How many times have the police gone to the wrong location? How many times do they both happen at the same time?


That’s why I have a security door and cameras. If for some reason I do open the door I still keep a locked barrier between myself and whoever. We don’t get delivery food of any type. I have a box at the gate for any deliveries. I do not like risk. Period.


I would hope that answer is 0. Or at least going forward, it’s 0.

If you don’t feel safe enough opening the door to an unknown, to the point you want a gun in your hand, don’t open the door

Heck, let’s just make it super simple…if you don’t know who is on the other side of the door, don’t open it.

And I guess to add, if you don’t feel secure opening the door to who is there…don’t open it


I certainly don’t open the door at 11:30pm for anyone I don’t recognize through the peephole. Possibly for LE, but I’d holster my gun first or at least keep it out of view if I wasn’t wearing a holster.

The article was a little confusing though. Not sure if the police fired first when they saw the husband had a gun or did the wife shoot first and the police returned fire.


Unfortunately a lot of people think that gun in their hand makes them safer and there is nothing to be scared of even they have no idea what to expect.

I agree with every single word from your post. :metal:




What I find amazing is how often LE ends up at the wrong address.
With the modern gizmos they have in their vehicles it is just crazy to me they would end up at the wrong house.

Myself, I would be waiting to verify that is was really police on the other side of the door before opening it. Plus I would not open it with an exposed gun in my hand. I would at least have it not visible to the person’s on the other side.


The gizmos aren’t always right. Addresses aren’t always in them. Sometimes the address in them is wrong (our address showed at our neighbors in Google maps for years until just recently).

Add darkness and a sense of urgency and it’s really easy to get wrong.

How many homes have the number right by the front door these days anyway?

Also sometimes people report the wrong address, for the same reasons, or just a simple error.

(I used to work delivery, it’s not as easy as you might think)


The problem is when people don’t want to put numbers on the building…

A 2023-04-07 19-48-38

It’s hard to rely on technology. Every GPS has some % of incorrect numbers.
In my case even the Village is not correct… thx God the zipcode makes it easy to find my house… :person_facepalming:


Well, keep in mind that these are HIGHLY trained men and women and will be cleared of ALL wrong doing-- of course-- you and would go to prison.


NO EXCUSE!!! They are supposed to be highly trained…bottom line----cowardice.

I’m confused. Cowardice when sometimes people wind up at the wrong address?

There are a lot of things we expect cops to be highly trained in…a lot. Never going to the wrong address, ever, even in the middle of the night (11:30 PM) is just one of many things.

My post is in response to the ‘how often’ they go to the wrong address. I suspect the answer is actually not very often, as a % of calls for service. But, it’s harder than one might think to never go to the wrong address in an emergency in the dark

Think about how often a drunk person literally can’t even find their own home and end up at a neighbor’s instead? Their own literal home


I guess some of it may depend on where you are. In my area, all of the houses have the numbers pretty clear on the garage.

With that in mind, yes LE definitely need to be on alert, but if there is a possibility they are at the wrong location, that needs to be kept in mind as well. An innocent person answering their door wrong should not result in them being killed. It will be interesting to hear how the police presented themselves and if they announced “Police” in a clear manner that someone in the house could hear legibly.

Whatever the case, this instance was definitely an avoidable tragedy.
I would hope extra time could be spent to verify you are at the correct location before aggressively pounding on someone’s door.


Interesting video:


Well, this is very unfortunate. Perhaps training and educations would have saved his life. Education would have taught him not to open a locked door with a gun in his hand, it defeats the purpose for having the gun. Training would have caused him to properly disposition himself under situation.


Did they aggressively pound on the door?

To get specific, what SOP would you suggest be followed to guarantee correct address has been reached? This would seem to require both a guarantee that the reported address is correct and that they are at said reported address BTW


Answering the door with a brandished gun is ridiculous. Having one concealed on your person, okay. Having a shotgun or rifle behind the door, probably. Why open the door if you weren’t expecting anybody and you don’t know who’s there? Get at least one camera. Worst case you can probably talk through the door. LOL.


I found this on this site.

After Dotson was shot, his wife emerged in the doorway and opened fire with a handgun, the public safety agency said, prompting return fire from the officers.

“Once she realized that the individuals outside the residence were officers, she put the gun down and complied with the officer’s commands,” according to the statement.

Dotson was pronounced dead at the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator. His wife, who was uninjured, has not been charged with a crime.


Makes me wonder if they Really did identify themselves as cops before the door was opened.


Regardless, the deceased should never have done what he did. If they were not police, and were armed criminals, the result would likely still have resulted in his death, and the wife’s actions likely would have also resulted in her death.

As others stated, don’t open the door if you do not know what is on the other side. If you do know, you might still not want to open the door, even if it is police. If you have a firearm on your person or close at hand, you still likely do not want the person at the door to see it. We have read too many stories where the home owner is killed by police because they are seen in their home with a firearm in hand.

Maybe that should be a PSA, don’t open the door to police with a firearm visible. Or just do not open the door to anyone with a handgun visible - just do not open the door, unless it is a known good guy, such as @Johnnyq60. :sunglasses: