Las Vegas Sun

July 28, 2014

Currently: 82° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

law enforcement:

Backyard intruder shot, killed in Summerlin, Metro reports

Image

Jackie Valley

Metro Police said a resident fatally shot an intruder in his backyard Tuesday, March 20, 2012. The incident happened at 9:25 a.m. in the 2100 block of Spurs Court, a residential neighborhood near Hualapai Way and Sahara Avenue.

Updated Tuesday, March 20, 2012 | 2:56 p.m.

Intruder Shot in Summerlin

Police investigate the scene of a shooting where a Summerlin resident shot and killed an intruder in his backyard, Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Backyard intruder killed

Gunfire erupted Tuesday morning in a normally quiet Summerlin neighborhood as a homeowner fatally shot an intruder in his backyard, Metro Police said.

Metro spokesman Bill Cassell said the male homeowner called 911 at 9:25 a.m. to report the incident in the 2100 block of Spurs Court, near Hualapai Way and Sahara Avenue.

The homeowner told detectives he fired shots at the male, who he believed was trying to break into his home through the backyard, Cassell said.

Gunfire struck the intruder in the backyard, where he died, Cassell said. Police have not determined how many shots were fired from the homeowner's handgun.

Detectives were interviewing the homeowner about the circumstances and the perceived threat, Cassell said. It's unclear whether the intruder was armed.

At this point, police believe the intruder had no right to be in the yard and did not know the homeowner, Cassell said. The homeowner, whom police did not identify, was not injured.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office will release the intruder’s identity pending notification of his family.

Homicide detectives are investigating and will forward their report to the District Attorney’s Office to decide whether to pursue charges against the homeowner, Cassell said. The homeowner has not been arrested.

Metro spokesman Jay Rivera said use of force is considered reasonable — both for citizens and police — when a person feels an action must be taken to protect his life or others’ from serious injury or death.

"We're still in the very early stages of what is obviously going to be an active investigation for a while," Cassell said.

Officers who patrol the neighborhood said there have not been noticeable crime increases in the area, he said.

The commotion caught neighbor Stacy Hawkins off guard as she arrived home from dropping her son off at school.

"It sounded like Harleys, but it was gunshots," she said. "By the time I got over there to talk to a neighbor, there was crime scene tape."

Hawkins, who lives on a street parallel to Spurs Court, said she had not heard about any burglaries in the neighborhood, which she described as having a normally safe atmosphere.

"We never have any issues," said Stacey Boreta, another neighbor. "It makes me more aware. You can't get too comfortable."

Boreta, a single mother, said the incident was eye-opening.

"It makes me want to have a gun in the house because I would do the same thing," she said. "When I have my son in the house, I'm not playing games."

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 37 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. It's the American way.

  2. Comment removed by moderator. Inappropriate

  3. Without more details it's all speculation at this point.

    But enter my backyard and you also will be staring down the barrel of a gun.

  4. Nevada is one of the states that adopted a Castle Doctrine. This homeowner should be alright. he had No duty to retreat, regardless of where attack takes place.

    Copy of the law. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/74th/Bills/AB...

  5. I agree, we don't know all of the details yet but if it's as simple as it's stated good for the home owner. I too protect my property with a firearm.

  6. Yes, if they are dumb enough to come on your property anywhere but up the sidewalk to your front door they are trying to steal,and should be shot on sight. Yes, sounds tough punishment for the crime, but it won't stop until the thieves are very afraid of getting shot at.

  7. @vegaslee - I'm pretty sure your link points to a proposed bill, not one that was actually enacted... The reason I think that is, at this time, I don't see your link's wording in the current state maintained database for NRS 200.120.

    Being an open carry kind of guy (and having a CCW also), I seem to recall our hand-gun instructor pointing out this law... and it would seem that you can't just shoot someone in your yard... that's just trespassing -not an offense to be shot over. Someone has to actually be trying to break your door down or trying to hurt you at the very moment you pull the trigger.

    Even if you caught someone in your house, knocked you over the head with a bat, and then they ran out the door into your yard, you can't chase them down and shoot them. If they are running away, you can't claim you are in a position to be hurt. Gotta be careful when/if you pull that trigger.

    I'm not an attorney, but I'm pretty sure that's the way the law reads.

    Here's the link to the current law:
    http://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/NRS-200.h...

  8. There is a new service in Henderson called Alert ID which sends you an email or a text of crime happening in your neighborhood. http://alertid.com/

    I am SHOCKED at the amount of crime near my home in a very nice, quiet area of Green Valley. The number of crimes is amazing and unless you are a signed up to receive these alerts, you would never know what you might wander into out there.

    AlertID shows you your house and then pinpoints the place of the crime on a street map...most lately have been within 3/10s of a mile from my home! I certainly would not be afraid to shoot to kill if I felt myself or family was in danger.

    If this homeowner is prosecuted for using the "Metro Method" then something is seriously wrong with the laws.

  9. Let's hear all of the story, however if the Homeowner was under imminent threat he had every right to protect himself. No one has any right to enter a private fenced back yard without permission - but let's just not go wild and shoot first, most of us live feet from our neighbors and I don't know of any bullet proof walls in these paper and glue houses.

  10. "It sounded like Harleys, but it was gunshots," she said. "By the time I got over there to talk to a neighbor, there was crime scene tape."

    I don't understand the above statement.

    It seems to me the homeowner had time to get his firearm so why didn't he call 911 first and retrieve his gun from it's location locking the door behind himself while waiting for the police.

    The reason I say this is because most people carry their phones on there person and there guns are put up somewhere else. Just saying

    I can see that a person may not have had their phone on them but still close the door where your gun is being stowed and then if he enters then sure open fire.

  11. casinokid,

    If I might paraphrase: don't bring a phone to a gunfight.

    If the homeowner heard something that gave him pause it is perfectly reasonable for him to have gotten his gun *first* before checking it out (if he doesn't carry it when at home.)

    In any event, we still need more details, but I hope this was righteous.

  12. "It seems to me the homeowner had time to get his firearm so why didn't he call 911 first and retrieve his gun from it's location locking the door behind himself while waiting for the police."

    casinokid -- I can tell you from personal experience your concern is reasonable, but a home intruder is not a situation for reason. Everything primal rushes to the surface of youR mind, particularly the need to defend your home and family from the intruder. Nothing else matters. I didn't have a weapon at the time and thankfully the cops were fast responding. If I had been armed he would have been dead for beating in the door with a sledge hammer and coming in with obvious intent to do harm. Which he did. Going on 14 years later a loaded shotgun still sits next to my front door.

    "If I might paraphrase: don't bring a phone to a gunfight."

    boftx -- excellent point

    "Section. 1. Inalienable rights. All men are by Nature free and equal and have certain inalienable rights among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; Acquiring, Possessing and PROTECTING property and pursuing and OBTAINING SAFETY and happiness[.]" -- Nevada Constitution, 1. - Declaration of Rights

  13. @boftx... There is nothing righteous about having to shoot and/or kill someone. Justifed or not. Ever.

    It may have been necessary, but surely it can never be righteous.

    BTW .. how is it that so many posters here can hide their real names behind a screen name? I mean the so-called registered users. I see no setting what-so-ever to hide a real identity and show only a screen name.

  14. Test_Guy,

    Sorry for the slang term "righteous." I'll rephrase and say I hope the homeowner's actions were within the law.

  15. Get something straight people - You cannot! shoot someone b/c they are trespassing on your property alone. Don't fight this - this is the law.

    Now, if you try to say "what if he was in my House - Good Lord you liberals would allow invaders in my home!"

    Typical Right-wing idea. Not well thought out. What do you think a reasonable person would say if you told them an intruder was INSIDE your home? Any reasonable person would easily deduce that such a circumstance would undoubtedly create fear of imminent harm/danger to yourself and your family - deadly force would very likely be justified.

    Remember - you can't go around shooting people (don't think this is a good idea either - you'll get shot one day or another if you follow that foolish idea) for any made up reason.

    If you shoot someone without proper self-defense - then you become nothing more than the typical criminal/law breaking person on which you premise your gun advocacy.

    Here, the circumstances seem very sketchy. Without more to the story - the shooting does not appear justified.

    In fact - you have people saying - this is actually a quiet neighborhood - so this person's subjective belief was probably unreasonable - ceteris paribus.

  16. If someone is in the process of breaking into your home you don't have a lot of time. We have had a number of home invasions. The guy could have had a partner waiting. Who knows at this point. From the account the homeowner says the guy was breaking in. You have to take that for what it is. The homeowner felt threatened. You have to figure in what the age and physical status of the intruder and homeowner are.

    Also as an adult how many times do you wander into someone elses backyard unbidden? Zero is the answer for squares. Squares don't go into peoples backyards. I seriously doubt that the homeowner will be charged unless something counter indicates the story.

  17. @boftx, no problem. And I really hope the homeowner was within the law too.

  18. Gee, I wonder why it's wrong to illegal enter private property? Where do these people who have no respect for privacy come from? I mean really, come on folks, if you think it's o.k. to jump over a private wall, or enter any private residene without permission - well, take your chances!

    I feel, first and foremost, for the majority of citizens that can not even fully relax peacefully in their homes because of the out-of-control gangs in Las Vegas - and the citizenry has every right to use appropriate force to protect themselves!

    When I retired from the military I really dreamed of never owning a gun again - but, sadly, common sense tells me to keep my gun loaded and nearby at all times in Las Vegas! While we really don't have a true peace here, we can, at least, have some peace of mind being well trained and armed as Americans!

  19. BTW: In my house I reach for my gun first, make sure a round is chambered and it's ready to fire in self-defense THEN I reach for the telephone second - that's just common sense folks!

  20. "There is nothing righteous about having to shoot and/or kill someone. Justifed or not. Ever."

    Test_guy -- your experience is too limited to be credible with that statement. Most of us never experience real violence, only the vicarious kind. When the real thing confronts you it changes everything.

    "I'll rephrase and say I hope the homeowner's actions were within the law."

    boftx -- you should not back off. Self-defense is a near-absolute natural right.

    "If you shoot someone without proper self-defense - then you become nothing more than the typical criminal/law breaking person on which you premise your gun advocacy."

    unlv702 -- see the above.

    "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac H Tiffany (1819)

  21. I'm sure the detectives will figure out if there was a sufficient threat level to warrant killing someone, but I'm not sure I would have been in such a hurry to get outside and confront an unknown number of people with unknown weaponry. Better to insure doors are locked and 911 called with my weapon drawn and held securely in my firing hand. Always best to determine their intentions first. Is is someone fetching a childs ball or is it an intruder? I don't believe in shoot first and ask questions later.

  22. With the information available at this time...

    This guy better have a VERY good lawyer.

    Even Grannie would take a moment to ascertain that the individual was indeed a bad guy before plugging him full of buckshot.

    This is similar (yet different) to another guy who needs a VERY good lawyer right about now; the 'vigilante guy' in Florida....

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/1...

  23. I don't believe in shoot first and ask questions later EITHER! Of course, one must only fire in self-defense as an absolute last resort!

    I had 3 young men come to my home, mistakenly thinking it was someone else's - and they were beating on the door and demanding entry! I was immediately alarmed that anyone would be banging so innappropriately - and my first thought was "There must be a FIRE?"

    Then, when I realized it was just a group of young idiots, their stupidity alone scared me nearly to death! Life is hard enough, it's harder if you're stupid - and stupid can get an idiot killed, sadly!

    Rightfully, I took the opportunity to explain to these idiots just how close they came to stupidly meeting their maker - a firm teaching moment! Only to be stunned to learn they were born and raised in Nevada, and were all three young Marines home on leave! INCREDIBLY STUPID!

  24. Hey KillerB ... I see, as always it is with your ilk, you assume first, then try to justify yourself later by quoting people who would be simply appalled to read your drivel ...

    You said "your experience is too limited to be credible with that statement. Most of us never experience real violence, only the vicarious kind. When the real thing confronts you it changes everything."

    Listen up a moment fella.... I have been in the unfortunate position to having to remove an 12" chef knife from the hands of an insane man who, at the time, was trying to take my future wife away at knife-point. The only thing that saved me (and her) was the fact that I'm an instructor in Tae Kwon Do. Still, I ended up within literally an inch of my life, because that guy still got in some good stabs (it's not like the movies ya know), one lunge which missed my jugular by less than an inch.. and I have the scar on my head to prove it. Actually, i have five on my head, two on my arm, one on each leg...

    And, after I rendered that guy unconscious, I removed the knife from his possession. Let me tell you, I wanted nothing more than to bury that knife in that guy's stomach, but, I can think clearly in the heat of battle and still know what is right and what is wrong... it is never righteous to take a life, sometimes as necessary as it might be.

    You sir, are wrong in all of your assumptions about me. On that day violence did change me.

    So.. and I say this with all sincerity kindly STUFF your opinions about me where the sun don't shine until you have facts, ok?

  25. Let me clarify my problem with what Mr. KillerB had to say :

    First, Mr. KillerB: rather than defend your position with civil and intelligent statements, you chose to attack me personally and to plainly state that my personal background was a bit too "namby-pamby" for you. How could you know anything of my background concerning the subject matter at hand? You don't and you can't. And that is the ignorance you would have folks believe is genius; that and lots of quotes from cross-dressing, slave-owning men who pooped in holes.

    Second, Mr. KillerB: I did not attack Mr. Boftx and Mr. Boftx (nor UNLV702) was not in need of your divine wisdom. I didn't see eye-to-eye with Mr. Boftx's choice of words. I don't always agree with Mr. Boftx, but I have about a million times more respect for him and his responses to me than I can ever have for you.

    Third, Mr. KillerB: I don't see this forum as a place to attack people with whom you don't agree with. Expressing a difference of opinion is welcome. Presenting facts is welcome. But lay off the personal attacks on me and others and don't make up facts about my personal life and personal background.

    I'd wait up for the apology, but I know you'll never find a hole-pooper quote that can convey one.

  26. The 'Stand Your Ground' law in Florida becomes "Stop or I'll reload" in practice. I wonder if this applies to the front yards or parking strips as well?

    'Stand Your Ground' is also the Title of a book by Dean Hardy (see Amazon) as an 'Introductory Text for Apologetics (Christian) Students'. The book tells how to confront 'intellectual attacks on Christian college students face on university campuses'. Poor babies!! Remember the Inquisitions?

    'Stand Your Ground' has mutated from religious connotation to laws supported by the NRA to provide a free shot to those who are too busy multitasking with their broker or banker to say 'stop or I'll shoot'. That is a bygone phrase that religious organizations has been successfully trying to eliminate.

  27. << The homeowner told detectives he fired shots at the male, who he believed was trying to break into his home through the backyard>>

    Other than this sentence, not much else is said on HOW the homeowner figured out this man was breaking into his home. Was he trying to get in at the patio door? The garage door? A window? For the homeowner's sake, this man he shot better had been actually trying to break in and not checking the gas meter or electric meter.

  28. <<Being an open carry kind of guy (and having a CCW also), I seem to recall our hand-gun instructor pointing out this law... and it would seem that you can't just shoot someone in your yard... that's just trespassing -not an offense to be shot over. Someone has to actually be trying to break your door down or trying to hurt you at the very moment you pull the trigger>>

    THis is how it is in most States (except maybe Texas!!) If the alleged perpetrator puts even a hand inside your house, you have the right to shoot them or at least at them.

    There is more to this story but we'll never hear anything else.

  29. <<Reading the article, the homeowner said he "believed" the intruder was trying to break into his home thru the backyard.

    Notice he didn't say the intruder "was" breaking in??>>

    That sums it up. He "believed" - was the trespasser actually messing with the patio door? A window? The owner says nothing like that because if he was smart, he would have told the cops the guy was actually trying to break in, not that just he "believed" he was going to break in. Big difference. Not to mention, if you were going to break in to someone's home - you going to scale those brick walls? Burglars want simplicity - hit and run, not try to attempt to deal with those brick walls if you are in a hurry.

  30. As a final note: this is why police are not crazy about people who have weapons. They are not against it, but become educated before you pull out that gun. Police are taught that you do not draw your weapon unless you intend to use it. Know the law, know your rights. Call 911 first. In areas where there are no brick walls and yards are open, God forbid the 15 year old kid living down the block is trying to sneak home at 10:00 and cuts thru your yard. You see someone, are you going to grab your gun and shoot him? Without provocation? No threat? Owning weapons is a huge responsibility. I believe most people are smart gun owners like many here, but others are not.

    Illinois is going for the "conceal carry" law. I remember hearing some woman in Walmart bragging very loudly on how she can't wait to carry her gun now to the store (our area is low crime). And believe me, she looked like someone who shouldn't be near a gun!! When this law goes into effect (if it hasn't already), I will now think twice before turning into someone's driveway to turn around because I am lost.

  31. The article has very vague facts that can be loosely interpreted in different ways, so it is difficult to judge the incident. If I recall correctly, there was NO mention of the intruder being armed.

    We have no clue if there was any kind of dialog between the homeowner and the intruder. Certainly, with any believed or perceived danger, the warning, "Stop, or I'll shoot," gives the intruder the opportunity to retreat without any further aggressive moves and flee the scene. We don't know if the subject homeowner did in fact dial 911 while in the process of confronting the intruder. There are too many questions here.

    We all have a stand about what we would do in such a scenerio. The law attempts to curtail innocent citizens from taking the law into their own hands, but at times, while in crisis, the lines get pretty blurred, and people do what they feel/judge at the time is the best response.

    That is where INTENT comes into play, and we have the laws, and court system to determine was the intention was leading into the event(s).

    One thing is clear here: the intruder made a very poor choice that cost him his life.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  32. Respect your right to own and carry firearms. I feel much safer knowing I've got one handy at all times. I took my training at American Shooters and was taught well. I practice there too. I'm a 46 yr old mom & grandma, and I know how to protect myself. All women should do the same.

  33. For "JustME" You have to make the judgement that if someone is in your backyard uninvited that they are not there to do you good.

  34. mtngirl65 trains sporadically to use her weapon. How much ongoing training do police typically get to handle tragic situations and still get it wrong?

  35. The crime rate hasn't risen in that area and because of this homeowner it won't go up. Other criminals now know that this neighborhood is armed.

  36. Brian Dees, Perhaps you could point to any specific neighborhood in Las Vegas where there are no guns.