Homeowner defends self when men invade his home; Toledo Blade describes robber as the "victim"

vic·tim   [vik-tim]
1. a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency

By Chad D. Baus

A north Toledo homeowner and concealed handgun license (CHL)-holder was the victim of an attempted home robbery last week, and yet in an article covering the homeowner's act of defending himself and shooting two intruders, the Toledo Blade refers only to the dead robber as a "victim."

From the story:

Toledo police Sunday identified the victim of Saturday night's fatal shooting on Galena Street in North Toledo as Christopher Childress, 21, of North Toledo.

Sgt. William Wauford said Mr. Childress was shot once in the chest when he was confronted by the homeowner, whom police declined to immediately identify over "concerns about his safety."

The resident had just arrived home at 811 Galena St. about 8:30 p.m. and saw signs that his home had been burglarized.

Investigators say two other people may have been inside at the time and a second person may have been wounded, Sergeant Wauford said.

Sergeant Wauford said the homeowner had a revolver and used it to shoot at the intruders. The shooting occurred toward the rear of the home on the first floor.

"He [the resident] had just come home when he saw some lights on" and noticed the house was in disarray, the sergeant said.

"He was within his rights to have the weapon," Sergeant Wauford told the Blade, also noting that homeowner has a CHL.

After he was shot, Mr. Childress ran from the home and collapsed near Galena and Michigan streets. He was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:07 p.m.

Police said the victim lived in the area where the shooting occurred but they did not release his address.

Earlier yesterday, friends and family members of the shooting victim placed candles and left written messages on a poster where he fell.

Officers went to at least two addresses on North Ontario Street as they looked for another person who may have been shot.

Sergeant Wauford said police were following up on a report that a second person went to a hospital for treatment, but police did not have an identity.

Chris Bacome, who lives two doors away, said he heard gunshots and then saw the victim run west before collapsing near the corner of Galena and Michigan Street.

"It looked like some kids tried to break into the house and then I heard gunshots," Mr. Bacome said. "He went down right over there and the police came and they were doing CPR on him. He wasn't moving when they took him away in an ambulance."

Under Ohio's Castle Doctrine law, if someone unlawfully enters an occupied home or temporary habitation, or occupied car, citizens have an initial presumption that they may act in self defense, and will not be second-guessed by the State.

The Toledo Blade, which prohibits its newspaper carriers from exercising their right to self-defense even after several instances where employees suffered rape and or aggravated robbery, has editorialized against concealed carry both before and after it became law. One editorial board member went so far as theorize on how he would disarm the entire American population. (As if on cue, the Blade's latest editorial, "Get a handle on guns," is a rant against HB203, Ohio's restaurant carry bill.) The anti-gun views of writers at the Blade have clearly crept into this news article, which refers to the perpetrator as the "victim" no less than four times.

In a follow-up article, the Blade notes that the homeowner who was victimized in this home robbery has been a guard at the Toledo Correctional Institute since 2000.

According to the updated report, police say there were three robbers in the home. Two have been identified: Childress and Michael Brown, 19, a man with a lengthy criminal record. Brown also suffered gunshot wounds, and has been arrested.

Emergency dispatchers were still on the line as the homeowner fired his gun. Deputy Chief Derrick Diggs is quoted as saying "based on the investigation, and the interview with the homeowner, the investigation determined that this individual should not be charged."

[UPDATE: No charges for Toledo homeowner who fatally shot burglar]

A complete list of known incidents involving Ohio CHL-holders defending themselves is available here.

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