The Aftermath: Wounded Home Invader Charged With Felony Murder

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.

Wounded Home Invader Charged With Felony Murder

Octaviano Rodriguez learned a lesson in both ballistics and legal theory. According to the Statesman out of Austin, Texas, he and two cohorts attempted a home invasion robbery by pretending to be city employees. Rodriguez knocked on the door at 10:30 p.m. and said, “City of Austin.” When the resident admitted the trio, Rodriguez apparently put the gun to the back of the resident’s head and knocked him to the floor. It was only then that Rodriguez learned there were other residents, as bullets started coming his way. Both his cohorts were shot dead, and he suffered a leg wound. Rodriguez was found nearby screaming for help. He was charged under the felony murder rule for the deaths of his accomplices.

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

Please remember we can only use lethal force when there is imminent, unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm. While we realize our self-defense shots may kill, our intent is always to stop the threat.

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What he did right was choose great people to have over.

What he did wrong was not being situational aware. City stopping by that late at night?


Well, it was, just not employees of the city, only just a few criminal elements of the city… :sunglasses: Thankfully, the person opening the door survived the lesson and hopefully learned from it. Also on a positive note, two predators will no longer be victimizing innocent lives, and the third, hopefully, will be removed from society for a very long time.


Rule #1 Never, ever open the door!
Rule #2 Follow rule #1


“city employees” knocking at 10:30 pm? That would raise my red flag!


“RAISE A RED FLAG :triangular_flag_on_post:” screw that, if you knock on my door and you’re not expected or invited, I’m in low ready, the only thing I’m raising is my front sight. My castle is in lockdown mode, after sunset, you take big chances knocking on my door. M
They created this atmosphere. I remember days when you never locked your front door and people were welcome as long as they had a six pack in hand. Friends came and went, no worries! Brave new socialist world!

It’s obvious he’s reaching for his gun!


I always check out a window or use the cams to see who’s at the door. I don’t care if they walk away before I get there. But anytime after dark I’m meeting them at the door with my gun in high alert status. Everyone home is prepped too. I will not answer if it’s not an expected visitor either. And There will be several guns facing anyone that tries to break in.


I thought the possibly “new” administration recommends shooting 'em thru the door with a shotgun?



I love a story with a happy ending!!!


I agree and I also like a story with a happy ending. Not knowing all the details and speculating the training and proficiency the home defender has or doesn’t have. Maybe the lighting was terrible being it was 1030 at night. I would have like to read all three met there fait. Maybe more training could have saved the tax payer court fees and prison expenses upwards over a million $$ to house that criminal. He might even get out early.

I agree. Don’t let people in your home without knowing who and why they are there. Next, best thing they did was to fight and survive the event! Last, dead crooks are a good thing


Actually there are several things that they could have done better. First not opening the door, talk to the person by standing adjacent to the door or utilize your video doorbell to converse so you can be behind a baracade if the aggressor chooses to shoot through the door. Also if one must open the door, it’s late at night, have your firearm ready even if you don’t open the door. His roomate did, he did not. Lastly, know the numbers and have a phone ready. 3 people with the city? Suspicious. 3 attackers, what if there was a fourth? Cameras help with this. I suspect both people in the home where unaware of the number of attackers when the shooting began. Nothing is said about when the shooting ended, a fourth person could potentially have taken the two good guys out.


First , l would never let anyone into my home at that hour. Second, proper ID along with a notice of intentions on work being performed all done behind a closed door.
But, most of all l would have my gun within reach if they attacked. Oh, getting passed my 3 dogs barking should be their first thought of ‘ oh, shit’ lololol


“Just shoot 'em in the leg”. Ignorant Sleepy Joe Biden advice. :smirk:


Welcome @Douglas82,I think you will enjoy it here :+1:

Thank you. I am sure that I will!
Douglas Smith

Unsure of Austin, but if you can find one City worker in Chicago after 4:00-ish, they’re making time and a half getting their hands dirty and NOT knocking on doors. So from the other side of the locked door and in my highest voice, I’d say “Go awaaay, nobody’s hooome, come back to-mar-row!” Then I’d have the wife walk out on the balcony with her trusty shotgun and have her fire two shots in the neighborhood air. Just like Uncle Joe says.

the resident booted the whole thing answering and opening his door late at night. my response is to alert my dogs and grab my browning tactical from beside my bed. no one gets thru my door unless its family or close friends.

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The one that survived did only get shot in leg.

My interpretation is:

  1. that someone need more training.
  2. if someone attacks me or my loved ones and they are still breathing, they are still a threat.
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First, NEVER open the door for anyone… especially city workers after 5pm… and ask for ID.

Other than that…
Took out two and injured the third, can’t argue with success.

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