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Posted: 12/23/2005 2:23:01 PM EDT
Indiana Trooper Fatally Shot Intruder
Story by theindychannel.com



An off-duty Indiana State Police trooper fatally shot a man who was trying to break into the trooper's east-side Indianapolis home Monday morning, police said.

Police said Trooper Joel D. Wilson, 39, was alone inside the home in the 2100 block of Autumn Creek Drive when Theodore E. Hixenbaugh knocked on the front door at about 11:40 a.m. Wilson saw Hixenbaugh from a place Hixenbaugh couldn't see, and Wilson didn't know who Hixenbaugh was, police said.

Authorities said Wilson, whose home had been burglarized last month, picked up his duty pistol and approached the door. Hixenbaugh began to kick the door in an apparent attempt to break in, and Wilson fired two shots through the door, hitting Hixenbaugh at least once, police said.

Hixenbaugh, 22, was taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:11 p.m.


Wilson has been with the state police for more than six years.

State police are investigating the incident.

Authorities said Hixenbaugh had been living in the Noblesville area with his girlfriend. Police said Hixenbaugh's family didn't know the girlfriend's name or how to contact her.

State police said they were interested in speaking with the girlfriend. They said she could call state police at (800) 582-8440 and ask to speak with Detective Dan Hearon.

Personally, i think he should have waited until the suspect breached the door. He wasnt taking fire, and with the door closed it was impossible to know what was in the background behind the suspect.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:28:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:29:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Personally, i think he should have waited until the suspect breached the door. He wasnt taking fire, and with the door closed it was impossible to know what was in the background behind the suspect.



Agreed.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:29:29 PM EDT

Personally, i think he should have waited until the suspect breached the door. He wasnt taking fire, and with the door closed it was impossible to know what was in the background behind the suspect.


He was in his own house, wtf do you think someone would try to break down the door for?

By then it might be too late to shooot.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:36:00 PM EDT
be sure of your target and beyond
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:42:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Indiana Trooper Fatally Shot Intruder
Story by theindychannel.com



An off-duty Indiana State Police trooper fatally shot a man who was trying to break into the trooper's east-side Indianapolis home Monday morning, police said.

Police said Trooper Joel D. Wilson, 39, was alone inside the home in the 2100 block of Autumn Creek Drive when Theodore E. Hixenbaugh knocked on the front door at about 11:40 a.m. Wilson saw Hixenbaugh from a place Hixenbaugh couldn't see, and Wilson didn't know who Hixenbaugh was, police said.

Authorities said Wilson, whose home had been burglarized last month, picked up his duty pistol and approached the door. Hixenbaugh began to kick the door in an apparent attempt to break in, and Wilson fired two shots through the door, hitting Hixenbaugh at least once, police said.

Hixenbaugh, 22, was taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:11 p.m.


Wilson has been with the state police for more than six years.

State police are investigating the incident.

Authorities said Hixenbaugh had been living in the Noblesville area with his girlfriend. Police said Hixenbaugh's family didn't know the girlfriend's name or how to contact her.

State police said they were interested in speaking with the girlfriend. They said she could call state police at (800) 582-8440 and ask to speak with Detective Dan Hearon.

Personally, i think he should have waited until the suspect breached the door. He wasnt taking fire, and with the door closed it was impossible to know what was in the background behind the suspect.



Now now , Monday morning quarterbacking is always easier right?
The attempted home invasion might have been so violent in nature that he used the right force at the right time.
I don't think he should have waited, what if the perp was armed and as the door came open he fires too?
Fuck that, the last man standing is the winner!
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:45:41 PM EDT
Good shooting.

Altho being sure of your target and the background might be seen as "rules", they are not the law. His defense was legally sound. No one got hurt, so the "what ifs" are just speculation.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:50:21 PM EDT
In Georgia if a maggot tries (attempts) to enter a house in a "violent and tumultuous manner" (kicking in the door) and you reasonably believe the attempt is made for the purpose of assaulting or offering to do presonal violence..........then deadly force is justified, FIRE AWAY!

I would maybe yell one warning "stop or I will shoot", if the kicking continued then I shoot until it stops. There is no other house opposite my front door. I bet that trooper knew what opposed his door and also knew it was clear to shoot.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:51:49 PM EDT
Let a civilian shoot someone dead through a door and see what happens to them. I think it would be almost impossible to make a jury believe that any reasonable person would consider their life in immiment danger when the door hasn't even been breached.

The asshat was wrong to shoot someone that he couldn't even see, through a door. Take up a position with good cover and the moment the door fails and pops open and you have the chance to positively identify the target (what if it had been a cop executing a no-knock warrant on the wrong house, for example?) then let 'em have it....
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:56:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2005 2:57:47 PM EDT by CQB27]
Cops dont excute no knock warrants by themselves, and while alone....

Edit: And you dont knock on the door while executing a no knock warrant
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:56:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Forest:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Personally, i think he should have waited until the suspect breached the door. He wasnt taking fire, and with the door closed it was impossible to know what was in the background behind the suspect.



Agreed.



I definately do not agree. If you are in fear for your life you have a right to use deadly force to protect yourself (or someone else)
If you wait until he breaches the door,
1) You may not immediately stop him
2) He may shoot you
3) He may have 5 or 6 friends with him

There is no need to wait if it is clear he intends to enter and do you harm. That is not smart or "tactical"
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:57:24 PM EDT
I'd hope I'd have the wherewithall to wait until the door was breached.

I'm pretty certain many defense attorneys would say-

"So can you be sure he was kicking the door? Maybe he was just strikeing the
door more loudly because you didn't answer, so you decided to execute him?"
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 2:57:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Emoto:
Let a civilian shoot someone dead through a door and see what happens to them. I think it would be almost impossible to make a jury believe that any reasonable person would consider their life in immiment danger when the door hasn't even been breached.

The asshat was wrong to shoot someone that he couldn't even see, through a door. Take up a position with good cover and the moment the door fails and pops open and you have the chance to positively identify the target (what if it had been a cop executing a no-knock warrant on the wrong house, for example?) then let 'em have it....



Bullshit, I am convinced he was in imminant danger and I am sitting in my office at home.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:00:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:01:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DeadSled:
be sure of your target and beyond



+1000 Guys is lucky
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:04:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Emoto:
Let a civilian shoot someone dead through a door and see what happens to them. .



Yep. There'd be high-fiving in the prosecutors office when the grand jury was convened to indict a civilian shooter.

Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:08:25 PM EDT
kind of sticky, I think the officer is going to have a difficult tme justifying this shoot. If the door wasn't breached at all, I thin he is in bucket of shit.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:15:23 PM EDT
There was this old hillbilly that owned a gas station up here in Tennessee that wanted to try out his anti-robbery plan. He had bolted a piece of 3/8" steel to the inside of the door of his bathroom in the gas station that he owned to protect him from the robbers that plagued him. His idea was that robbers always carry bullshit weapons like .32s and .25s and his .357 magnum would shoot through the door while their shit would bounce off so he locked himself in his concrete block walled bathroom with his steel reinforced door and fired his .357 magnum at the door. His suddenly deaf ass was spattered with .357 shrapnell, shettering his illusion of glorious triumph over evil with the single pull of a trigger. Billy Joe Fucktard learned a valuable lesson that day.

FuckitI'mdrunk. Spailin might need some work.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:19:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:
There was this old hillbilly that owned a gas station up here in Tennessee that wanted to try out his anti-robbery plan. He had bolted a piece of 3/8" steel to the inside of the door of his bathroom in the gas station that he owned to protect him from the robbers that plagued him. His idea was that robbers always carry bullshit weapons like .32s and .25s and his .357 magnum would shoot through the door while their shit would bounce off so he locked himself in his concrete block walled bathroom with his steel reinforced door and fired his .357 magnum at the door. His suddenly deaf ass was spattered with .357 shrapnell, shettering his illusion of glorious triumph over evil with the single pull of a trigger. Billy Joe Fucktard learned a valuable lesson that day.

FuckitI'mdrunk. Spailin might need some work.



Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:23:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CQB27:
Cops dont excute no knock warrants by themselves, and while alone....

Edit: And you dont knock on the door while executing a no knock warrant



Well, you use a 32 pound anti static insulated knocker, but still.....it's different.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:23:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Goonboss:

Originally Posted By Pangea:
There was this old hillbilly that owned a gas station up here in Tennessee that wanted to try out his anti-robbery plan. He had bolted a piece of 3/8" steel to the inside of the door of his bathroom in the gas station that he owned to protect him from the robbers that plagued him. His idea was that robbers always carry bullshit weapons like .32s and .25s and his .357 magnum would shoot through the door while their shit would bounce off so he locked himself in his concrete block walled bathroom with his steel reinforced door and fired his .357 magnum at the door. His suddenly deaf ass was spattered with .357 shrapnell, shettering his illusion of glorious triumph over evil with the single pull of a trigger. Billy Joe Fucktard learned a valuable lesson that day.

FuckitI'mdrunk. Spailin might need some work.






Freakin JBT! Why don't you drag your sorry ass up here and arrest me! Or have a drink with me!
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:24:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jrzy:
I don't think he should have waited, what if the perp was armed and as the door came open he fires too?



The defender has the advantage of cover, surprise and the attacker has to come through a known choke point.

Train your weapon on the threashold from behind cover, when the door is breached tale 1/100th of a second to make sure there is not a troop of girl scouts behind the supect, then dump him.

Otherwise you're shooting someone for attempted burglary and doing so in a reckless manner by not knowing whats behind the target.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:24:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Emoto:
Let a civilian shoot someone dead through a door and see what happens to them. I think it would be almost impossible to make a jury believe that any reasonable person would consider their life in immiment danger when the door hasn't even been breached.



Agreed, if a citizen executed this form of self defense, they probably would get manslaughter at the least. But of course, citizens don't get to hide behind a shield or a door as an excuse.

And for every LEO that says it was ok, I bet you would be taking a citizen to jail for the exact situation.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:26:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:

Originally Posted By Goonboss:

Originally Posted By Pangea:
There was this old hillbilly that owned a gas station up here in Tennessee that wanted to try out his anti-robbery plan. He had bolted a piece of 3/8" steel to the inside of the door of his bathroom in the gas station that he owned to protect him from the robbers that plagued him. His idea was that robbers always carry bullshit weapons like .32s and .25s and his .357 magnum would shoot through the door while their shit would bounce off so he locked himself in his concrete block walled bathroom with his steel reinforced door and fired his .357 magnum at the door. His suddenly deaf ass was spattered with .357 shrapnell, shettering his illusion of glorious triumph over evil with the single pull of a trigger. Billy Joe Fucktard learned a valuable lesson that day.

FuckitI'mdrunk. Spailin might need some work.






Freakin JBT! Why don't you drag your sorry ass up here and arrest me! Or have a drink with me!



I punch outta here in90 minutes....drink a few for me before I get there!
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:27:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
so i guess letting him in first where a struggle could occur would be sound tactical advise?



Nope. Dump him the minute the door fails. Once it is an actual burglary rather than attempted burglary. Once you have made sure there is not a school bus in the background. Doing so from behind cover so that you have shot the suspect several times before he even sees you.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:28:30 PM EDT
GREAT SHOOT, why wait for the badguy to breech the door, kill him dead before he can get in.

My Families safety is number one, I would have sent a 3" magnum buck load through my door if someone comes kicking.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:29:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Originally Posted By CQB27:
Cops dont excute no knock warrants by themselves, and while alone....

Edit: And you dont knock on the door while executing a no knock warrant



Well, you use a 32 pound anti static insulated knocker, but still.....it's different.



OK, one good knock!!

Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:30:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By jrzy:
I don't think he should have waited, what if the perp was armed and as the door came open he fires too?



The defender has the advantage of cover, surprise and the attacker has to come through a known choke point.

Train your weapon on the threashold from behind cover, when the door is breached tale 1/100th of a second to make sure there is not a troop of girl scouts behind the supect, then dump him.

Otherwise you're shooting someone for attempted burglary and doing so in a reckless manner by not knowing whats behind the target.



He has the advantage of concealment, not cover.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:32:12 PM EDT
Now is a good time to mention everyone should have some peice of bullet proof cover, not bullet resistant but bullet proof up to 50BMG, positioned in their house so that you can cover the front door from behind that cover.

Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:32:17 PM EDT
In Ohio it is if you are in fear for your life not the location of the bad guy that matters. Bad guy can be in your home and not threatening you or your family you may not shoot. If he is in the street in front of the house and is acting in a manner that would lead a reasonable man to be in fear for his life he may shoot.

No Shoot = Inside your empty house is the bad guy doing a robbery and you come home and catch him in the act.

Shoot = Breaking a window or door and armed even though he has not entered.

"Just before he attempted to break down the door" Said the Trooper" He reached into his pocket to check on something. I though he was checking to make shure he had his gun." That would be my story anyway
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:33:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1911greg:
GREAT SHOOT, why wait for the badguy to breech the door...



Is attempted burglary a capital offense in your state?
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:33:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Emoto:
Let a civilian shoot someone dead through a door and see what happens to them. I think it would be almost impossible to make a jury believe that any reasonable person would consider their life in immiment danger when the door hasn't even been breached.

The asshat was wrong to shoot someone that he couldn't even see, through a door. Take up a position with good cover and the moment the door fails and pops open and you have the chance to positively identify the target (what if it had been a cop executing a no-knock warrant on the wrong house, for example?) then let 'em have it....



There was an instance of this with a non-cop doing the shooting through a closed door reported here on ARFCOM about 2 weeks ago.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:35:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CQB27:
In Georgia if a maggot tries (attempts) to enter a house in a "violent and tumultuous manner" (kicking in the door) and you reasonably believe the attempt is made for the purpose of assaulting or offering to do presonal violence..........then deadly force is justified, FIRE AWAY!

I would maybe yell one warning "stop or I will shoot", if the kicking continued then I shoot until it stops. There is no other house opposite my front door. I bet that trooper knew what opposed his door and also knew it was clear to shoot.



Big +1

Sucks to be the rest of you guys. Our state law deals with this exact situation.

When I was a LEO, a district attorney once told me that this was the first thing he looked at in any self-defense situation involving a citizen vs. intruder. He would refuse to bring an indictment against the shooter if entry was attempted in said manner and the intruder was shot or killed.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:36:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zakk_Wylde_470:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By jrzy:
I don't think he should have waited, what if the perp was armed and as the door came open he fires too?



The defender has the advantage of cover, surprise and the attacker has to come through a known choke point.

Train your weapon on the threashold from behind cover, when the door is breached tale 1/100th of a second to make sure there is not a troop of girl scouts behind the supect, then dump him.

Otherwise you're shooting someone for attempted burglary and doing so in a reckless manner by not knowing whats behind the target.



He has the advantage of concealment, not cover.



Not if he has properly set up his home. I can cover my front door from behind a 14' long x 3' high x 2.5' wide wood cabinet filled with books. It will stop any man portible small arms fire.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:39:18 PM EDT

Let a civilian shoot someone dead through a door and see what happens to them. I think it would be almost impossible to make a jury believe that any reasonable person would consider their life in immiment danger when the door hasn't even been breached.

- Has happened here in NC with no arrest nor criminal charges.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:40:47 PM EDT
+1

Happens here with no arrest or indictments
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:44:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Personally, i think he should have waited until the suspect breached the door. He wasnt taking fire, and with the door closed it was impossible to know what was in the background behind the suspect.



That would be my approach AR15fan

GM
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:44:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sabretooth:

Personally, i think he should have waited until the suspect breached the door. He wasnt taking fire, and with the door closed it was impossible to know what was in the background behind the suspect.


He was in his own house, wtf do you think someone would try to break down the door for?

By then it might be too late to shooot.



Tell you what, when I lived in Dallas, a crazed guy tried to kick in the door of my apartment at 3am. My first reaction was to grab a bat and go out and beat him. Luckily my uncle stopped me before i got to the door. Turns out it was some guy that was drunk and he thought my apt was his girlfriend's opposite mine (confirmed the next day). You never know man, I would have at least given a verbal warning first.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:46:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By 1911greg:
GREAT SHOOT, why wait for the badguy to breech the door...



Is attempted burglary a capital offense in your state?



It should be, kill off the crap as soon as possible. Prison is a fucking joke and jail is even worse, they need mandatory death!
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:47:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Forest:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Personally, i think he should have waited until the suspect breached the door. He wasnt taking fire, and with the door closed it was impossible to know what was in the background behind the suspect.



Agreed.



+1, although I don't think the shoot was a bad shoot.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:52:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 6731HBAR:
kind of sticky, I think the officer is going to have a difficult tme justifying this shoot. If the door wasn't breached at all, I thin he is in bucket of shit.



You are wrong, but you have the right to be wrong.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:55:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GilaMonster:

Originally Posted By Emoto:
Let a civilian shoot someone dead through a door and see what happens to them. I think it would be almost impossible to make a jury believe that any reasonable person would consider their life in immiment danger when the door hasn't even been breached.



Agreed, if a citizen executed this form of self defense, they probably would get manslaughter at the least. But of course, citizens don't get to hide behind a shield or a door as an excuse.

And for every LEO that says it was ok, I bet you would be taking a citizen to jail for the exact situation.



You would lose that bet. If you are in fear for your life, you can use deadly force and I support that very reasonable law.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:55:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DukeSnookems:

Originally Posted By Sabretooth:

Personally, i think he should have waited until the suspect breached the door. He wasnt taking fire, and with the door closed it was impossible to know what was in the background behind the suspect.


He was in his own house, wtf do you think someone would try to break down the door for?

By then it might be too late to shooot.



Tell you what, when I lived in Dallas, a crazed guy tried to kick in the door of my apartment at 3am. My first reaction was to grab a bat and go out and beat him. Luckily my uncle stopped me before i got to the door. Turns out it was some guy that was drunk and he thought my apt was his girlfriend's opposite mine (confirmed the next day). You never know man, I would have at least given a verbal warning first.



when i was in college at the U of GA in the 70s a guy from my hometown that i knew offhand was killed by a guy with a deer rifle. hometown guy had been drinkin, met a girl at a bar, girl told him to drop buy later, come in back door (apartment in back). so guy goes around to back of wrong house around 1 or 2am and is trying to open the screen door, prolly to knock and civilian puts him down with a 3030. sad tiddings all around.

personally i dont know what i would do. i would like to wait to the door comes crashing open and them blast the perp with a 12 guage but someone wakes you up in the middle of the night banging away on your front door trying to bust in who knows what you're gonna do...
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:57:21 PM EDT
State statutes greatly come into play. In some states attempting to breach the door authorizes lethal force, but a complete breach of the door doesn't always equate to a lethal response being justified.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 3:59:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By st0newall:
personally i dont know what i would do. i would like to wait to the door comes crashing open and them blast the perp with a 12 guage but someone wakes you up in the middle of the night banging away on your front door trying to bust in who knows what you're gonna do...



What you are going to do is defaut to your training. Which is why you should wargame this scenario in your head and rehearse it at the range.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:02:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By 1911greg:
GREAT SHOOT, why wait for the badguy to breech the door...



Is attempted burglary a capital offense in your state?



AR15fan, you are from CA so I hope you know this would be a good shoot even in CA. You may use that degree of force up to and including deadly force. "Bare fear is not enough. The fear must be reasonable"
In other words if a guy is sitting on the sidewalk in front of your house doing nothing unusual and you are afraid for your life thinking he is going to kill you you MAY NOT shoot him. You have no reason to be afraid. If someone is trying to breakdown your door and you are afraid he will rape or kill you if he enters, your fear is reasonable and you may use deadly force to protect yourself. (Even if he has not yet broken down your door)
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:10:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2005 4:12:31 PM EDT by Taffy223]

I agree with you but when you are in your own home and a guy is trying to break in...self preservation has got to be the game. I'd hope he had shouted warnings before firing...if so...good call.

Scumbag dead
Homeowner safe

Ideal ending

Taffy

As I'm in the UK if I was in this situation I'd not be allowed to use my AR/rifles in self defence. (extreme situations and circumstances I could. I'll explain the complexity if anyone is interested)

I'd make sure the wife and little one were safe, call the cops if I had time...then my late Grandads Kukri gets to see some action again. The BG is not getting past me....period.

I envy you guys who can legaly use lethal force for protection of the family in the home.


ETA Armed burglars in the UK almost never have firearms (very rare)....only knives/screwdrivers etc
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:14:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sum-rifle:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By 1911greg:
GREAT SHOOT, why wait for the badguy to breech the door...



Is attempted burglary a capital offense in your state?



AR15fan, you are from CA so I hope you know this would be a good shoot even in CA. You may use that degree of force up to and including deadly force. "Bare fear is not enough. The fear must be reasonable"
In other words if a guy is sitting on the sidewalk in front of your house doing nothing unusual and you are afraid for your life thinking he is going to kill you you MAY NOT shoot him. You have no reason to be afraid. If someone is trying to breakdown your door and you are afraid he will rape or kill you if he enters, your fear is reasonable and you may use deadly force to protect yourself. (Even if he has not yet broken down your door)



Once he is inside the house, or even steps over the threashold, then Cali law presumes you had a reasonable fear.

However standing outside kicking the door, no presumption is made. You will have to explain your actions to the grand jury including what information you had that would lead a reasonable person to believe they were at risk of death or GBI. "I thought he was going to kills me" or "I thought he was going to rape me" is not enought, there must be specific information that would make a reasonable person have that same fear.

Personally, I dont think simply kicking the door, which has not opened, creates a reasonable fear of anything except burglary or tresspass. It would be a different story if he is hoding a weapon, have greater numbers, disparity of force, masks, threatening statements, ect.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:31:54 PM EDT
www.theindychannel.com/news/5591346/detail.html#

Trooper's Shooting Of Burglary Suspect Spotlights Self-Defense Law
Professor: Unarmed Burglars Can Be Lawfully Shot

POSTED: 7:34 pm EST December 20, 2005

INDIANAPOLIS -- Laws allowing people to use deadly force to stop someone from unlawfully entering their dwellings are being highlighted by this week's fatal shooting of a burglary suspect by an off-duty state police trooper.

Police said Trooper Joel D. Wilson, 39, was alone inside his east-side Indianapolis home Monday when he fired two shots through the front door, striking Theodore E. Hixenbaugh at least once. Wilson told authorities that Hixenbaugh had first knocked on the door and, when Wilson didn't answer, Hixenbaugh tried to kick the door down.

Wilson told police that after Hixenbaugh knocked, Wilson watched Hixenbaugh from a concealed position and determined that he didn't know who Hixenbaugh was.

Information on whether Hixenbaugh was armed wasn't available. Indiana University law professor Henry Karlson said state law says citizens can use deadly force to stop even an unarmed person's unlawful entry into their dwellings.

"If there are people in the residence, (burglars) are putting them at risk, and that's why Indiana law allows a reasonable person to use deadly force to prevent that," Karlson said.

Karlson said the law allows people to defend themselves from burglars without first exposing themselves.

"You don't have to put yourself at risk. You don't have to say, 'Oh, by the way, I'm here,' and give (the burglar) the first shot. You don't have to give the burglar the first shot," Karlson said.

Police said Wilson's home also was burglarized about three weeks before Monday's shooting.

State police are investigating the shooting. The findings will be forwarded to the Marion County prosecutor's office, which will determine whether any charges will be filed.

State police said they will seek a court order to search the car of Hixenbaugh, who was a 22-year-old Noblesville resident. Police found the car about a half-block away from Wilson's house.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:33:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2005 4:33:58 PM EDT by st0newall]

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By st0newall:
personally i dont know what i would do. i would like to wait to the door comes crashing open and them blast the perp with a 12 guage but someone wakes you up in the middle of the night banging away on your front door trying to bust in who knows what you're gonna do...



What you are going to do is defaut to your training. Which is why you should wargame this scenario in your head and rehearse it at the range.



you can 'wargame' this out. here's what i know i would do. i would be at the door, with a 12 guage, round in chamber. i could take a partial cover around through an interior door. i know enough about myself, and i have been woken in the night by a audible alarm going off, to know that i would be scared, and nervous. i am not a ninja. standing there with the loaded weapon, someone pounding the door down, i honestly don't know if i would wait. i would want to though. that is the only unknown.. would i hold my fire..

like i said i am not a ninja. (are their ninjas on this board?).
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:42:14 PM EDT
If you watch the video in the above link the suspected burglar had a lengthy criminal history record including a charge for burglarizing his own mother's house. The Trooper may face some departmental disciplinary action but I doubt he will be indicted by a GJ for the shooting.
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