A Washington homeowner was arrested for shooting and killing an intruder, who was in his shower, WJACTV reports.
The man returned to his second home, which is beside each other, which he runs his business out of. What he didn’t expect was to find a man in his shower.
After exchanging some words, the homeowner left, but came back with a gun, firing and killing the intruder. The intruder was later confirmed by Mason County Coroner Wes Stockwell to be 31-year-old Nathaniel Joseph Rosa.
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Lt. Travis Adams with Mason County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the actions of the homeowner.
“He returned home, retrieved a firearm, came back over to the residence and fired multiple rounds into the shower…killing the intruder.”
Further, Adams stated that following the shooting, the homeowner called the police and told them that he had just shot and killed an intruder.
It is not believed that the homeowner gave the intruder any warning signs prior to opening fire, making this a very difficult case for him.
Since it was believed that the homeowner had substantial time to contact law enforcement to report the intruder, he was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
“Certainly he had an opportunity to call law enforcement at that time. And we’ve contacted our local prosecutor, explained the circumstances to him, and he agrees that second-degree murder was an appropriate charge in this case.”
According to Huffington Post, the homeowner’s name will be released once he is formally charged on Monday. It does appear as though the homeowner is cooperating with the authorities.
In the state of Pennsylvania, one must follow the “stand your ground law.” According to NBC 10, there are 20 states that follow a “stand your ground law,” but each of those states have some different variations.
Executive director of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association Robert Long revealed that Pennsylvania has a strict rule that in order to comply with the “stand your ground law,” the intruder must be displaying a deadly weapon.
Investigators do not believe that Rosa had a weapon when he was shot and killed by the homeowner.
“The person that you use the deadly force against must be visibly displaying a deadly weapon. That’s one of the biggest restrictions in Pennsylvania.”
Considering this law in Pennsylvania, it is unlikely that the homeowner will have his charges dropped. Without the intruder having a weapon and threatening him, he had no lawful right to shoot and kill him.
There have been a few exceptions for some cases. For instance, in 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed 17-year-old. Although the 17-year-old did not have any traditional weapons, Zimmerman stated that he “weaponized” the side walk by pounding his head into it numerous times, NBC Philadelphia revealed.
Zimmerman was not charged because the law does offer some “gray area” as to what is considered a threat to someone’s life.
A man from Montgomery, Pennsylvania was not charged after he shot and killed a young man, who had approached him with a baseball bat in his driveway. Since he had a reason to believe that his life was in danger and he had a weapon, the man was not punished for shooting and killing the man.
A man from Somerset County was a victim of a house break-in. The intruder had a bow and arrow, thus making him a legal target for the homeowner. The man shot and killed the intruder and was not charged for a crime.
Although there is not currently any statistics to prove whether or not the “stand your ground law” is effective, nationwide data is not promising, but Pennsylvania does not seem to have very many cases that fall under the law.
Philadelphia City Councilman Bill Greenlee mentioned the difficulty with this law being acceptable.
“If a person is obviously breaking in your home and you feel your life and safety is threatened, you certainly can protect that, and I think that was the case before these laws started getting passed. But if somebody’s standing on your lawn, isn’t it better just to call the police than to have a confrontation?”
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