This week, we are covering a story about a Toledo woman who is going to jail for shooting an attempted home burglar to death.
My first reaction to the headline was Oh HELL no. No. Uh-uh, nope. Someone breaks into my house? That’s a DEAD man. How the hell are they putting her in jail?
Then I started reading the article. The family of the burglar were asking for the maximum sentence for the home owner, saying she already got enough breaks only getting 6 years. What? Only six years? She should get no years, she’s a g-ddamn hero.
But then came the detail that changed it all. She left him dying – on the sidewalk.
The article says that she shot him once, doesn’t specifically state that it happened in the house, but let’s even assume that it happened in the house. If you are burglarizing a house, it is game on. You get shot in the act, too bad, you asked for it. You get killed in the house, too bad, you asked for it.
But somewhere between that first shot in the house and his death, the burglar and home owner were outside, with him shot and wounded on the ground, and her standing over him, continuing to shot him multiple additional times.
Life is not like monster movies, where you have to keep shooting the monster on the ground, or he will grab your ankle as you walk away and take you to hell with him. If he was shot and on the ground, he was no longer in her home and no longer a threat. Detail number one is that she kept shooting.
Detail number two is that she apparently left him on the sidewalk to die, and didn’t call for help. It can be difficult when passions run high to do the right thing, but the right thing was to call an ambulance. Call the police. Someone. But standing over him and continuing to shoot him on the ground, and then leaving him to die were the details that changed the story, changed the outcome. She went from protecting her home to homicide in those moments.
It’s so satisfying in movies and video games to just blast the bad guys to smithereens. There are no consequences, no remorse. However, these were two real people, and in real life, there are consequences for our actions.