A pair of armed teens, 19 and 17-years-old forced their way into a Fayetteville, NC apartment home a bit after 5:00 PM. The resident of the home was able to get to his gun and fire on both suspects killing them. His nephew was also shot during the incident, but the resident was able to render aid to him.
During the 911 call, the resident said:
“I killed both of them,” and “I don’t want to go to jail. I was defending my house…they came through the front door.” He also said (I) “don’t know how many rounds I shot.”
Police said that “the preliminary investigation has revealed that two subjects were shot and killed after forcing entry into the residence.” They were not sure if the crime was random or not.
I once read about an attorney that thought that more people involved in self-defense incidents were convicted of a crime because of what they said during the 911 call than anything else. I don’t have any data to back that up, but I suspect there could be a good deal of truth in that statement. For sure, your 911 call can have a significant impact on your claim of self-defense.
Just from the statements above, one can easily infer that this resident was clearly shaken (as any of us would be) by the incident but stating that “I killed both of them” 22 seconds into the call might not be the best thing to say on a recorded 911 call. His statement, “I was defending my house,” could also be problematic in that it could be twisted to mean he was defending property rather than life. Of course, we all know what he meant, but is that statement ammo for an aggressive prosecutor?
We all know that 911 calls are recorded and that anything we say can be used against us, but accurate statements to 911 can also help our case if we can stick to the facts that will help responding officers know what to expect when they arrive.
The 911 call is not the place to try to justify your actions. That time will come a bit later, hopefully with a solid self-defense attorney by your side.