Detroit Woman Leaving For Church Fatally Shoots Burglar During Home Invasion

Police lights flash outside a crime scene.
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A 55-year-old Detroit woman was leaving her home for church on Sunday morning when a stranger tried to grab her, then forced his way into the home. She responded by retrieving a gun and shooting him in the chest, killing the man.

As WXYZ reported, the incident happened at around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday as the woman, her daughter, and her mother left their home on Mark Twain Street. Police said the pair retreated back into the house after the man accosted them, and the mother pulled a gun.

The man was struck at least once in the chest and was declared dead at the scene. Police said they would not charge the woman who fired the fatal shot, saying she acted in self-defense.

Detroit police added that the home invasion suspect was in his 30s. They did not release his name, nor did they release the names of the three women in the home at the time.

Legal expert David Balash explained that it was the right decision, as the woman or one of the other women in the home could have been killed by a stranger who invaded their home.

“If it’s an unknown person and they follow you inside, I suspect they would be legitimately in fear for their well being and safety,” said Balash.

“They have every right to defend themselves.”

The home invasion was not an unfamiliar story in Detroit this year. As the Detroit News noted, the city was the nation’s second most violent big city last year, even though the murder rate fell. The drop was offset by a rise in crime in other areas of the city and suburbs, FBI data showed.

“Murders in Detroit were down to 267 in 2017 from 303 the previous year, according to the FBI’s 2017 Uniform Crime Report. But the overall number of violent crimes increased slightly,” the report noted.

“In 2017, 13,796 violent crimes were reported — murder, rape, assault, and robbery — in the city compared with 13,705 in 2016.”

Detroit’s violent crime rate was behind only St. Louis for cities with more than 100,000 residents, putting it just ahead of Baltimore, Memphis, and Kansas City.

Local leaders said they are working on bringing that rate down.

“We’re making progress, but our work continues,” Detroit police chief James Craig said.

The home invasion shooting is still being reviewed by the Wayne County prosecutor, WXYZ reported, but the woman is not expected to face any charges for her role in the incident.