The Aftermath: Don't Mess With Texas

Welcome to Aftermath, a portion of our First Line email newsletter where Attorney Anthony L. DeWitt walks you through a real-life self-defense incident and shares his key takeaways.

Don’t Mess With Texas

According to the KVUE Texas ABC station, when a 73-year-old Texas homeowner went to his door to investigate a loud banging sound, a 19-year-old apparent drug user pushed through it. The attacker began to assault the homeowner with a club, eventually choking the man unconscious. The homeowner’s 65-year-old fiancée retrieved a handgun from the bedroom and pleaded with the attacker to stop. He did not. She fired a warning shot. He continued. Her second shot caught him in the head, killing him.

Have you trained others in your home on firearm mechanics and self-defense tactics? Do they know where your guns are and how to access them?


Yes. And we all know that we do NOT fire warning shots. We are responsible for that round.


This story sounds like movie script… warning shot, then headshot. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Answering the question: yes.
It’s better to not mess with my Family.
First shot won’t warn anyone…it goes straight to center mass. :point_left:


We have a 73 year old man being attacked with a club by a 19 year old who forced his way into his home. Can that be considered deadly force? Absolutely. The warning shot shouldn’t have happened but the second shot was justifiable.


All of my household knows where the guns are, and how to access them.
My wife is partial to a .357 mag revolver, and my son hits clay targets moving 30 mph for sport. I coach rifles. Yes, entering my house, with bad intentions, would be a tremendous mistake.


No warning shots, only hits count, disparity of force. Justified.


Have you practiced with your family what they should do should the unthinkable happen? Any keywords to say/yell out or points of cover vs concealment?


Yes, both my wife and I are trained. We each have access to our firearms in case of an emergency at home. In addition we both have permits to carry.


Well, there’s no accounting for compassion or hesitation in the moment. Fortunately for the homeowner, a more effective followup arrived in time.

Unfortunately for the younger man, his next-to-last lesson was no better received than those preceding. Final lessons may resolve, but they don’t teach.


Due to the price of ammunition there will not be a warning shot


Have you seen my sign?

A 2021-09-28 18-50-40


This is a scenario that we recreate in the Defensive Shooting Fundamentals course. We yell commands, we dial 911 or have another house member dial, we retreat and close doors to create concealment, we NEVER open the door unless we know who is at it.

This person in the story is in my relative training area, they should have, or should, take our USCCA Defensive Shooting Fundamentals Course.

As for the story, don’t open the door, don’t fire a warning shot.


I would only fire a warning shot if there were 2 or more bad guys … the 2 or more would be warned when the first one fell down.


Absolutely! Mental exercises make for excellent planning for all family members to prepare for a home invasion.

Stay safe out there.


R knows where they are and how to use them. She’s a bit more kind than I so I suspect she’d tell the guy to stop before, doing what we’ve talked and trained about, firing and continuing to fire until there is no more known threats.


Oh Lord yes, and my wife doesn’t do “warning shots”.


Everyone who “lives” here knows where things are and how to use them. That is a very small circle though.

I’m more interested in the story of the 73 yr old having a 65 yr old FIANCE. Good for them :wink:


This appears to be an excerpt from an excellent and concise USCCA article by Anthony DeWitt. Left out above from the full article are these further excerpts:

“The warning shot was unnecessary and unjustified but also uncharged. The second shot was justified.”

“A person is either a deadly threat or not. If you exhibit squeamishness about shooting, a hardcore felon will take the gun away from you and use it on you. Never fire a warning shot. If there isn’t time to call 911, then there isn’t time for a warning shot.”

“Texas law, similar to the laws in many other states, allows a person to defend the life of a loved one from a deadly threat.”

To that, I would add this…

As to never fire a warning shot, an ambitious prosecutor in a criminal case, or counsel for the plaintiff in a civil suit likely would offer that a warning shot is evidence that one was not in fear for one’s life or for that of another.

As to “…a deadly threat or not.”, ambiguity is quite possible. There are a small number of training facilities that offer lethal threat scenario simulator videos. Threat Dynamics in Tualatin, Oregon, and C2 Tactical in Tempe and Scottsdale, Arizona, are two excellent facilities at which I have taken threat scenario simulator training.

As to “…defend the life of a loved one…”, it is my belief that a legally armed citizen has statutory and case law support under appropriate circumstances for defending any others against lethal threat. Take a look at Clackamas Town Center shooting - Wikipedia in which a CCW holder drew down on an assailant who had killed 3 with an AR. The CCW holder did not fire for the reason that others were closely behind the assailant (NRA rule number 3). Having been challenged by the CCW holder, the assailant fled to a utility stairway and took it upon himself to end the problem with prejudice.


If this happened to me I’d be dead , my wife is afraid of guns , machinery , power tools , snow blowers , lawn mower’s etc. Tried to get her to take a safety course just in case I’m not home or something but she refuses , she throws a fit when I grab my carry pistol out of the safe. I tell her what’s the point of having it , if you’re not gonna carry it.

1 Like

Warning shots are not allowed in a life or death situation. Set it in your mind, that’s it’s either me or him. Don’t capitulate, do the job you are trained to do. PERIOD !!!