‘This Is How Americans Should Act’: Resident Asserts Right to Self Defense After Shooting Burglar Dead

  • Would-be thieves find out too late they’ve broken into wrong house.
  • ‘It kind of goes back to your rights. I have the right to carry, and I have the right to protect myself, and I have the right to protect my property.’

A fast-acting Washington resident and his family are alive after he thwarted a burglary at his residence by shooting one would-be thief dead.

Spanaway resident Jerahme Smith, who’s lived with his wife and children at his leased home for three years, grabbed his firearm after he heard someone kick down his door Thursday around 4:20 a.m.

“The homeowner told police he shot at the suspects as they kicked in his back door,” according to Fox 13. “The intruders then ran into the front yard where deputies later found one of the suspects dead. The other suspect ran off.”

Speaking to reporters, Smith said he took a few moments to assess the situation and calm his nerves before he “took action,” resulting in a 24-year-old suspected thief being shot dead during the attempted break-in.

“When everything first started, the first thing I had to do was take a few breaths and calm myself down because I knew it could have gone one of two ways.”

“I didn’t know who they were, I didn’t know what they had, but the first thing I did–and it’s the honest to God truth–is I took a few breaths to myself. That way I knew I was calm enough to make a proper judgment decision,” Smith told Fox 13.

Relieved he survived the home invasion, Smith asserted his right to defend his family and his property, saying, “It kind of goes back to your rights. I have the right to carry and I have the right to protect myself and I have the right to protect my property.”

Smith acknowledged it’s unfortunate the incident led to a loss of life, but said choosing between his life or the thief’s was an easy decision.

“We practice, but you never want to put it into action because it’s still a human life,” he said. “But my life is more important to me than theirs is, and me going home to my family and kids is more important than theirs is. I don’t know what they wanted out of this house. I don’t know what they were doing, but I don’t care.”

“Protect yourself. That doesn’t mean go looking for it, that means just be ready,” he added.

Discussing the robbery attempt with King 5 News, Smith insisted he wouldn’t re-locate his family, and encouraged other Americans to stand their ground if faced with similar circumstances.

“He says that he won’t be scared away by this one situation and he hopes that it becomes known that this is how Americans should act and that they should protect themselves,” reported King 5‘s Lionel Donovan.

The Daily Mail reports police took about 10 minutes to arrive at Smith’s home, located roughly 45 miles south of Seattle.

One neighbor told Fox 13 there’s been an uptick in crime in the neighborhood in recent weeks.

Police say the second robbery suspect is still at large and that the incident is still being assessed by Pierce County sheriff’s department investigators.