Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Just Answering the Door Can Be Dangerous

Man shot after answering door
by Leigh Zinsmeister - Sept. 2, 2009 03:47 PM
The Arizona Republic

Police are investigating the death of San Tan Valley man who was shot in the head after answering the door.

Daniel Joseph Neymeyer, 41, was shot around 9:45 p.m. Sunday, according to a media release from the Pinal County Sheriff's office.

Witnesses told authorities that Neymeyer spoke briefly with the unidentified visitor before being shot. His brother, who was also home at the time but did not witness the shooting, alerted police.

Information on the suspect was not immediately available.

I had an incident once, back in my 20s, where some strangers came to my door asking for someone neither myself nor my roommates new. They came by the first time while I was not home. When I got home after 10pm my roommate told me about the situation, asked me if I new the person, and told me he had a weird feeling about it. Not 15 minutes later there was a knock at the door. I grabbed my gun and held it out of sight while my roommate answered the door.

The two individuals, both in their early 20s, asked for their friend again. I told them that I owned the house and never heard of this guy. They said they had dropped the guy off and had seen him come to my house. My front door is actually on the side and there is a wall with a park on the other side of it.

I told them he was never in the house and there was nothing we could tell them. They said they would be back. I told them that there would be no need for that. They replied that this was about money and they would be back. I took umbrage to that statement and told them in not so polite a way that coming back would be a bad idea. They left my house and walked to their truck down the street. This was also strange.

My suspicions where this was a drug deal gone bad and I my house was some how playing a role. I should have called the cops.

Instead, I grabbed my other gun and gave it to my roommate. I then went to my car to take a look around the neighbor hood to see if the guys had left or if they had just parked somewhere else and planned some mischief.

Sure enough, the guys were just down the street and had a view of my house. I drove by and kept going. I started calling 911 but saw them speed off and watched them go down the main road. I did not call the cops.

Now, I still should have called the cops, but I had a feeling that this was realated to a friend of one of my old roommates. That roommate had some suspect friends who would know where I live and know it was a good place to run a scam. I also didn't not want to involve the cops and draw more attention to my home that was already in their sights for being a party house. I did not want it added to the possible drug house list.

I made some calls and asked if anyone by the name those two guys had given me. One of my old roommates said he new him and that they guy had disappeared and he thought he was on meth. We found out that this guy had done just what I thought. He told the other two guys that he could get them drugs if they gave him money and drove him to my house. He then had a friend waiting in a car near the park. When the friends dropped him off in front of my house, he was able to jump my wall without them seeing and get in the getaway car.

So, I had to druggies at my door who were pissed about getting ripped off. I was on high alert for awhile, until I was told that the druggies were told that they were ripped off and no one in the house was involved.

Feel free to critic this incident and tell me what you would have done differently.

Here is my Monday morning quarterbacking review:

- I felt we had to answer the door. There were three guys in the house and I was armed, gun in hand, but out of sight. Now, there is the risk of my roommate getting shot in the chest before I can react. He did check the peep hole and the window that gives a solid view of the two guys. He saw their hands were empty.

-If these guys would have drawn I believe I could have raised my gun in hand faster.

-I could have refrained from loosing my temper and not said something that could have escalated the incident.

-I should have called the cops and they may have caught them sitting in their truck watching my house. I did not know they were sitting there and felt strange telling the cops that I thought some guys came to my house believing I was a drug dealer.

-Not smart getting in my car looking for them. If something had happened and I had to fire my weapon and possibly kill one or both of them, I am sure a prosecuter could spin that into me looking for trouble.

I don't know what happened in the article posted at the beginning of this post. But gut feelings are important and if you have a bad feeling go with it. As soon as that knock came at the door I had a bad feeling and instinctively went for my gun. I did not wait a second to think about what to do. Too my roommates credit, they reacted just as I had hoped and it took only a few words to get into position.

Do you think you and your friends would react similarly? Have you ever talked about what you would do if something happened that sent everyones alarm off?

I will discuss another incident while shooting in the desert in my next post.


Mike said...

The original story is kind of sad, especially if it was a random act of violence. But I wonder if this was also a drug deal gone bad or a neighbor hood dispute.

As far as your story, Steve. I think you first thing that you could have done different is not answer the door. If you had a bad feeling about it then don't do it, if at that point they want to force their way in, then shoot away. I have no problem not answering the door for anyone (especially if I'm not expecting anyone over). I don't even care if they can see me inside my house. Other than that I think almost Evey thing you did from that point was fairly reasonable. You defiantly should have called the cops, but I understand not wanting them there and giving your house a "drug house reputation". But even if my house is a party house I wouldn't care what people thought as far as the drug house thing. Because its not. Even when you got in your car a went to check out the neighborhood I still think you are within your rights. That is your neighborhood and maybe you don't have the same rights to defend it as your home. But none the less you have every right to know who is there and if they have bad intentions. But I do see your point about the prosecutor spinning it around on you. But again, call the cops. In the end I think that you did 90% correct. The biggest thing is call the cops (even if its the non emergency line).
Just recently in our neighborhood Brandy saw what looked like someone breaking into a house. There was a bike in the front of the house and a man half way in the side window. So she called the non emergency line. The lady on the line was very nice and appreciative for her call, and they sent a car right over to the house in question. I don't know the end result but I don't think it matters. If it was the guys house then I don't think anyone should be pissed because I would want someone to do the same thing for me, if its not then hopefully that man got caught and arrested. I'm also glad that she didn't say anything to the man, I don't think that was her place to intervene with that situation. It could have been much worse if she had done that.

I think just like our homes we need to be able to defend our neighborhoods and workplaces (and many other places as well) from the evil and bad people out there. They need to know there is no place for them in this world.

Warthog said...

Thanks Mike. In my world there was nothing wrong with what I did, but I live in a world where the libs care more about the dirt bags. With this in mind, I should have hid inside and called 911.

When it came to not answering the door, I wanted the situation in my control as much as possible. If these guys new someone was home but ignoring them, who knows what might happen. I might have dirt bags coming from my back door or worse. I figured the best way to handle it was to confront the situation.

Good for Brandy. Sounds a lot like the whole Harvord Prof and the neighbor story. Was the person she saw black? Cuz if so then she is a racist, lol.

I too agree that we should be keeping our neighbors safe as well as ourselves.