The Aftermath: He Picked the Wrong House

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.

He Picked the Wrong House

Arthur Perez had about as bad a day as a burglar can have. According to Fox 26 News out of Sanger, California, at 11 in the morning, police cited Perez for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant and released him. They might not have done that had they known they’d be seeing him again. Two hours later, Perez broke into the home of a man who was a California concealed weapons permit holder. The homeowner surprised the burglar and then held him at gunpoint until the police arrived.

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What did the homeowner in this incident do right? What would you have done differently?

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The problem right this minute is - are the police going to come? Where I live, I’m not sure they would/could come in a timely manner.


If I detected an intruder in my home, ideally I’d like to get myself into a position where I’d have the tactical advantage. For example, if I see someone trying to break through the front window, I would in theory position myself where, as he comes in through the window, I can catch him there (preferably behind the cover of a corner or something else), giving me time to decide whether or not I need to take a shot.

I would hate to retreat to a safe place, for example the bedroom, where I would just be waiting for the intruder to show up already expecting to find me there.

I’d love to read what others have to say. I can’t say I’ve ever actually been in that situation before, and I realize that things might be different in a real life break-in. At least I’d be protected here in CA with my elite membership. Thanks USCCA!


I live in Polk County Florida where the sheriff supports gun ownership, I carry even at home, but given the time, I would have grabbed my shotgun. God forbid that I ever have to use it. But, I play poker and when it looks like you’ve got the hand won, usually the other guys gonna fold. Plus bird shot is not gonna travel too far through these flimsy things we live in at the retirement community.


I take in-home/middle of the night anythings Seriously. I have an alarm system, and also an escape place. But things like this can happen so quickly.

My biggest concerns? Oh, I WILL wake up. I have a revolver, with 5 rounds. If I can’t take someone down with my skill level, I deserve to die. NEXT: If I miss, I’m going to hit an enormous glass mirror (OMIG, What a MESS which also impacts my CLOSET!), and there will be some idiots blood on my red oak hardwood floor until someone finally shows up to drag this drug/alcohol/insane male–Not to be sexist, but this is the profile . Seriously.

And then there is the police/dead body to deal with. Am I going to be detained? I’m in my PJ’s. I have a farm to run at o:dark thirty. And now I’m adrenaline poisoned… gets a little difficult.

I don’t really want to run and hide because things happen too fast. I also live in an area where we don’t actually have 911 service all the time. You can leave a message after the tone. Seriously.


I can’t find fault with the homeowner.

The conditions legally allow him to presume a deadly force threat, as soon as the robber began breaking in. Tactical considerations depend on the layout of the house, can’t comment there.

If another person was present to call 911, I’d prefer having them call, so that I can focus on the robber. Otherwise, I’d minimize interactions with 911 to maintain focus. Hit my iPhone sleep button 5x to dial 911, and just say “Robber with a gun. I need police and an ambulance.” Then give my name and address, and finish with, “I’m holding him at gunpoint, I need to focus.”

In terms of long-term strategy, making sure the police pick him up would contribute to neighborhood safety, so I applaud how he held the robber at gunpoint until they arrived.

1 Like

If I have to shoot, it will be because I’m facing a deadly force threat. In that case, I wouldn’t want to take a risk with birdshot, which might not stop him, especially if I miss the core areas because of battle stress. I’d at least want #1 buckshot (edit: maybe I’d go down to #4 buckshot, but not birdshot).


I’m not clear how this actually happened so not sure how I would have acted differently.


The homeowner did everything right. I don’t know that I would do anything different.


You’re under a misconception about bird shot at close range. Besides, I like my neighbors, if I lived in a community with normal or thicker walls, I’d go with my AR platform. But, this way I won’t get charged with killing the lady next door. Your buckshot would definitely enter her trailer, especially if the door was open to my place and any of the buckshot missed. My situation is fairly unique and is why I recommend that everyone evaluate their own situation. When I lived in a cement block home, buckshot was all that I loaded. Remember the fourth rule, be aware of what’s behind your target.


Watch this


I appreciate that birdshot is possibly deadly at close range. But even Paul Harrel noted that most of shot didn’t make it to the heart, since the ribs stopped it. This is where I want buckshot, since it can break the bones and is more likely to induce clinical shock to stop the robber.

That said, birdshot is better than nothing, and the gun looks and sounds scary.


You did not watch the entire video. The part you watched was the low power 28 gauge shotgun. If you watch the rest of the video he showed how that bird shot of a decent load and power was very effective. You are guilty of watching the part you want to watch and not the whole thing. And you still have not addressed what’s gonna happen when you shoot the neighbor next-door because of the over penetration. You have clearly made up your mind but I hope you do more research, and that’s all I can offer you.


The homeowner showed tremendous discipline and fortunately for everyone involved it worked out, this time…take the same exact scenario with slightly different suspect and homeowner actions/inactions could result in a catastrophic ending. It is well known that action is quicker than reaction and there was certainly some percentage luck or Gods-will in this situation. I would hesitate to say that this result should be claimed as typical blueprint on how to handle an armed intruder but as stated the homeowner won and did a great job legally and morally. Tactically not a fan of hiding in your house but recommend establishing a point of dominance such as the top of a stair way or other choke point in your house doing the best you can to use some semblance of cover (truthfully not much in a house) that would allow you to communicate and attempt to de-escalate the subjects actions all the while prepared to deliver deadly force. You may suddenly be faced with a non-discretionary engagement or discretionary moment and will need to react accordingly and adapt as the dynamics change. Hiding generally requires you to be off of your fighting and shooting platform and more likely confined. If the intruder does find you and you are shot or injured in-place it may not be easy for police to locate you when they arrive. Additionally, there is an inherent risk, that some may not agree with, in not engaging this subject when justified based on the totality of the circumstances, he was armed, committing a felony and now knows where you live, what you look like, what your house layout looks like generally. Although you didn’t know it at the time, you are potentially now faced with a repeat offender’s retaliation. I would venture to say he has a longer criminal record than the warrant and this burglary. Keep in mind, police will not babysit you, your family or your house. We also know that similar to the warrant case a few hours before he likely wont be held long these days (9th circuit). So I say, great job to the homeowner, no guarantees it will work every time, don’t hide but establish points of dominance in your home in advance and draw a “line in the sand” and regarding the use of deadly force, its a personal decision. I will tell you that deciding to NOT shoot someone when you are justified is no easy task…it is actually easier to pull the trigger so I again give credit to the homeowner for his composure and reading the situation. ~ Dan


@Daniel157 Welcome to the community. Great post. :+1:


I tried watching again, I thought I saw the whole thing the first time, but something glitched that time and the video skipped stuff without me realizing. Now I see that #8 and #6 12ga birdshot got good marks. I consider myself corrected!


Given the scarcity of details,
it’s hard to be definite but if I got
behind him and saw a weapon,
a demand that he drop it at
once if not complied with
immediately-I gotta fire.


I do want to say that I appreciate that you and I can have a civil discussion about things we disagree with without it becoming a troll fest. So many times, I have seen discussions turned into mud slinging contests. I hope that I can change your opinion about birdshot, and maybe a few other people’s minds. But it’s still up to each of us to weigh the options, risks, and situations we each face.


I don’t think he did anything wrong from the information we have received. Good job on the homeowner for using restraint and not finishing him.

I would like to note that he was cited for a warrant and w/ in a ‘couple hours’ he had acquired a weapon. Wonder how fast he was back out on the street considering Fresno County’s ‘No Bail’ requirement?


If you can stop a deadly force situation without firing a shot, that’s great for everyone. Arthur Perez had a great day! He is still breathing.
Except when they release the same stupid perp again and again. At some point he will be fatally wounded, by someone with less restraint, and a lot of new gun owners don’t have the same restraint as us trained gun owners.
The bad guys always choose to put themselves in harms way. Can’t fix stupid.
After the June record of almost 4,000,000 NICS background checks, odds are the wrong house is going to be picked more so than any other time in our past.
So message to bad guy, 10 homes on my block, 9 of them armed to the teeth legally. Not sure about the other one.
Most certainly all doors have a surprise gift waiting for you, so, are you feeling lucky?
This is the message that needs to be at the forefront of today’s society. Your breaking and entering days are numbered. Even if you’re completely stupid, those are considered really bad odds.