What would you do: Your apartment door is open when you get home

It’s the middle of the night and you are finally getting home from a double shift at work. You’re exhausted and are thinking that you have to be back at work in less than 8 hours to get that project finished. Thankfully your family is staying at your spouse’s sister’s for the night so you don’t have to worry about waking anyone up.

You get off the elevator and walk down the dark hallway to your apartment mentally making a note to tell your landlord about the light out in the hall. Your apartment door is open and you can hear someone moving around inside. You enter your dark apartment thinking it’s your family, but you see a silhouette of a large individual in your livingroom.

What do you do?


Back out quickly and leave (while drawing my weapon to low ready), call 911 from the safety of the apt lobby (or some other place hopefully with people).


I would retreat to the hallway ASAP and move away from my door to a nearby hallway that would give me cover. Draw my gun to the ready position with my dominant hand while I dialed 911 (one touch dial) with my other hand asking for immediate LEO assistance. I would describe myself, as to relay that info to the police in route, and stay on the phone with the dispatcher until the police arrive. In the meantime, if the person tries to leave I would identify myself as being armed. If they were armed then I would defend myself if needed. If they were not armed I would not shoot in any circumstances. I can always buy more crap. No sense in killing someone that possess no threat to my safety. I would simply be a witness at that point.
I wrote this without much thought as soon as I read it. So as to make it a more realistic response to an unexpected threat. How did I do? :flushed:


Double check that it is my apartment first. Then, call 911, while retreating to the safety of the hallway all while watching the door. If someone emerges, take a video/photo to give the authorities. I would be in the hall, with my pistol easily accessible, just in case the intruder, emerges armed, and in range to put me in danger. I would only enter, if, my wife and son were supposed to be at home. If they are asleep, and a stranger is in the home, the possibility of imminent danger exists.


Sad lesson learned from Houston.


You know where I got this what would you do idea, @JamesR.

It’s a sad situation all around. :frowning:

I would retreat out of the apartment as quickly as I could and call the police. If the person follows me into the hall and starts attacking me, then I would defend myself. Probably…

As with all of these, there isn’t just one right answer. Every situation is going to be different - from your level of training to your home layout. So I don’t think any of us would have the exact same answer (retreat is a great answer for your safety).

I do not advise clearing a home unless you are specially trained for that. There are too many things that could go wrong.


Simple, as stated above. Not much more to add

1 Like

I have cleared houses like this before and, as everyone else has said, make a tactical retreat and contact the authorities. Even the police do not go in alone unless there is a known threat to life.


The whole story is tragic. It’s a blazing reminder of
1.Situational awareness
2.Self defense not stuff defense
3.Knowing when to shoot or when to retreat
4.Officers are people that make mistakes too
Unfortunately for this woman, and the man that died, it is a very costly mistake.

That said, the media, prosecutors, and jury, made it a racial issue, which I don’t believe it is/was. An officer, finished a long shift, was preoccupied by something “more enjoyable” and made a very fatal, figuratively and literally, mistake.


I wonder if what she did was the result of being exhausted resulting in a fog, so to speak. This story is truly tragic.


I have cameras in my apartment that will alert me if anyone enters.


This morning they convicted Amber Guyger of murder. They sited her texts and social media posts throughout the trial. Some of them sound like they may be said in sarcasm, but the prosecutor used them to paint a picture of her as a racist.

I don’t know all of the details about what was said, but this case makes me want to watch what I say in text even more as my friends understand my snark and sarcasm, but taken out of context it could make me look really bad.

From the article:

I’ve seen memes like that and thought they were funny - but not because I want to go out and kill someone. To me, it appears her comments were deliberate exaggerations for the sake of humor. Yes, there is some grain of truth that people annoy her - but do you know anyone who isn’t annoyed by some people? And maybe she was being snarky about it. You’ve all seen me be snarky here. Sometimes it falls flat, but you know my intention isn’t to hurt anyone.

The preponderance of evidence was not in her favor. No matter how or why it happened, it is a tragedy that an innocent life was lost.

Please be careful with the use of sarcasm and smarty-pants comments in text. ALWAYS call them out in the conversation for your own protection. :frowning:


Like everyone else, check first to make sure it’s my apartment. With door ajar and hearing voices and movement, back off (knowing my wife isn’t home) move to cover or the closest thing to it if that’s all there is, with weapon at low ready in one hand, and dialing 911 with the other.
During that call, give the critical info to the dispatcher, and inform that I have a carry permit and that I have my weapon at the ready: a description of my self and clothing; and my location.
On the other hand, if my wife is at home, I’m going in, move to cover, with weapon at the ready, give my commands and hope the subject inside complies. The down side of entering the residence is making sure I have clear view of the subject before I fire. An immediate attack results in immediate action.


Would have never went in. Would have called 911 from hall, told them I was armed what I was wearing, pulled pistol to low ready after checking surroundings, took off shoes and tried to see if I could see anything through the cracked door and relayed that info to 911.

All would change though if my wife was home.

Neither of us like our relatives much.

1 Like

I would leave and get outside as I was calling 911. I wouldn’t wait in the hallway to see if he comes out. The best fight to be in, is the one you don’t have to be in in the first place. You have to remember that you are in a apartment building…If he came out and saw you and had a weapon and advanced on you, you have to defend yourself. But if you shoot at him and miss, where is that Bullet going? A 9MM, 380, 40 or a 45 will easily pass through any wall or walls in a apartment building. You are responsible for every round that comes out of your gun. Most people in the “Heat Of Battle” probably are not using their sights, just pointing the gun at him. Now what happens if you miss him but hit little Bobby in Apt. 3B…

Well, I used frangibles when I lived in an apt, I live in a brick house now so I am pretty sure lil Bobby is just fine.

1 Like

That is good. But how many people out there really use that type of ammo? I was talking in general. I was just watching a video where the frangible ammo was fired at a car door and some decent sized pieces actually made it into the opposite door. Although you are correct it is a much “safer” ammo to use in a building.

Get out and call the police

@Dawn, you’ve made this scenario easy :slight_smile: , so the obvious answer is “get out, call 911”
I’m wondering what I would do if I knew that this silhouette could be my Family member or roommate :thinking:
And now it’s hard to answer… :unamused:

1 Like

But have I really? I don’t know about you, but when some people are extremely tired and distracted, they don’t make the best decisions.

Amber Guyer is a police officer who was extremely tired and distracted and you see what happened there. :confused: