May 20th, 2014
09:00 PM ET

Exchange student fatally shot in Montana garage; shooter justifies killing under 'Castle Doctrine'

There are new concerns about self-defense laws in America after a German exchange student was shot dead by a Montana homeowner after he illegally entered the man's garage.

The teen was unarmed. His family in Germany is slamming the United States's gun culture, saying "America cannot continue to play cowboy."

But the homeowner, Markus Karma, says the killing was justified.

And because of updated "castle" laws in Montana - which state your home can legally be protected by using force - Karma may have a case.

CNN's Kyung Lah has the story.

Filed under: Justice • News
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Powder99

    I am not saying anything about the shooting. It is your law and there is no dispute of that. Hopefully the exchange program informs the students of how things are in the US. What can get you killed in the US would likely just get you yelled at where I live.

    June 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  2. Don KC

    Everyone who thinks the shooter was unjustified should post a sign outside their house to let the world know you may be upset with an intruder but your house is a safe place for them to commit their crimes.

    It is truly horrible when an honest criminal commits an honest crime and the victims don't cooperate.

    June 15, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • Shorn

      Prosecutors say that Kaarma and his girlfriend, Janelle Pflager, set up sensors and a video monitor — and intentionally left the door open to bait a criminal — the night of the shooting.

      Oh, and he was high. But sure, it was a "home invasion."

      June 18, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  3. Hal9000

    I read about this when it happened. Apparently the kid was stealing pot from a jar in the garage and the homeowner didn't like it. He lay in wait for the kid to do it again and pumped four shotgun blasts into him. That's murder.

    June 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  4. Burt Ward

    The German parents should have raised a skin head nazi.

    June 14, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  5. Arguenot

    This is simple. This young man chose to enter another person's home/garage in order to commit a crime.
    Some here believe the home owner, with a wife and baby inside, should question the hoodlum. Determine his motives.... Oh really?
    Do you not read the same news articles I do, with people being attacked, raped and murdered in their own homes?
    You play 20 questions with a potential psychopath.
    I will protect my family at all costs, up to and including a criminal's life.

    June 12, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  6. June

    In my conceal and carry class, the instructor said that "Shoot to kill" sounds good in the case of burglary, except somebody dies. Instead, as time allows, he encouraged announcing that I have a gun and will use it to protect my family. Additionally, announce that the police have been notified. Then, and only then, should I think it "justified" to use deadly force. In a case like this when the assailant is IN THE GARAGE, a warning seems the more prudent choice.

    June 10, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • Jack_k1

      A friend of mine announced that he had a gun. The burglar announced he had one, too – and he got off the first shot.

      June 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  7. bigalbak

    Kid don't go in garage, kid ain't dead. Tired of burglaries and thefts with no punishment. Don't go in my garage or house.

    June 10, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  8. jamvee1941

    Enter someone's property, uninvited, in the middle of the night, and you are running the risk of death or great bodily harm. It's simple!

    This German kid's luck ran out when he tried that very thing, and that's just life! It could have happened in Germany also, it's just far less likely there. Many Germans citizens own guns and keep them in their homes. It is just a lot more difficult to do and involves a lot more paperwork, etc.

    June 6, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  9. Emmi

    I am wondering what caused the exchange student to enter this person garage in the first place? This is strange, and I am wondering if the homeowner has an racist undertone. Why didn't the homewowner call the police, instead of taking a life?

    June 4, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  10. freeradikal

    It's now clear that illegal entry is a crime punishable by execution. That my friends is ridiculous. He was out for blood.

    June 3, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Reply
    • Morgan

      Fact of the matter is, the kid entered the house illegally. Period. What's a homeowner to do – as kpolitely if the guy intends to rob him? Kill him and rape his wife? Convene a quick quorum of other neighbors and debate it? The only way this would have ended differently is if EVERYONE didn't have a gun, and then the kid would have been bludgeoned with a golf club instead of being shot. Sucks he died – justice was served.

      June 6, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Reply
    • nickgaulin

      In a world where people can run into your home in shoot you, illegal entry is absolutely justifiable by force. Too many home invasions end up tragically when homeowners are unable to defend themselves. Its not about blood, its about self preservation.

      June 8, 2014 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  11. Anastacia

    I never consider death the appropriate penalty for being a stupid teenager. If that were the case, we'd all be dead and the human race would be extinct.

    June 3, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • Pat

      I agree..... If i was shot each time i did something stupid as a teenager... I would have been dead fifty times over..... Would have been shot for skinny dipping in a neighbors pool, picking avocados from an orchard, chasing a lizard through a barb wire fence, and getting my ball that bounced into soleones yard.

      June 6, 2014 at 10:37 am | Reply
    • Tired Buddah

      No, just your gene pool would be snuffed out. All teenagers don't break in to the homes of others.

      June 16, 2014 at 7:13 am | Reply
  12. Sharon

    Its a shame that the exchange student lost his life, but we have rules/laws in this country that we carry out quickly. If you enter my home/garage illegally, you will be shot. Will wound you if possible but death is a great possibility. Since the homeowner had been burglarized twice before and police couldn't stop the problems in the neighborhood, you protect your family at all costs. If the subject had gone upstairs to where the baby and its mother were, would that make everybody feel better. My sympathies to the victim's family, but you and your son knew the rules before he came here.

    June 3, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • PRD

      This was not protection, it was execution and I am a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. What comes with that right is the responsibility to act responsibly with a firearm. That is not what happened here.

      June 9, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  13. barbara

    This is a very incomplete story. This "student" entered the garage with the intention of robbing them. However, bias media claims it was a "prank." Since when is stealing considered a prank? What this story also leaves out is that this family had been robbed (their home broken into) twice before and I believe they have young children. So were they supposed to just guess that this guy meant them no harm? I'm sorry this young man was killed, but he had no business doing this. If his parents are horrified by gun violence and how easy it is to own guns in the US they should be equally horrified that as an exchange student, this is what their son chose to engage in.

    June 3, 2014 at 8:34 am | Reply
  14. TexResi

    Mr. Karma left his garage door open... even though he had been a burglary victim twice recently? And then shot the intruder from the outside? Does anyone else smell something akin to entrapment here? Sure, the kid shouldn't have entered the garage, but why the heck was it left open – except perhaps as a trap for a would be burglar? I have a feeling Karma isn't going to get off so easily.

    June 3, 2014 at 8:12 am | Reply
  15. jeff

    So many people overjoyed and justifying the death of a 17 year old kid. And, they'll remain so until it's one of their kids that dies as a result of the needless violence.

    June 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  16. Charley

    It would be interesting to know whether the door(s) to the garage were locked or not, and if the overhead door was open. If an intruder came through a locked door I could see handling the case a little differently than if it was a case of walking in through an open overhead door, especially given the history of previous problems.

    June 2, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • Burt Ward

      Under most state's definitions of "breaking and entering" you don't actually break open an entrance. You break the opening of the house and enter. It could be an open door or even an opening created by a tree falling. You can't plead not guilty to it just because you didn't actually open something.

      June 14, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  17. fbauer

    since when was the sentence for theft = DEATH ???
    are we talking about Saudi Arabia or Sudan or the good ole US of A ?!
    Mr frustrated Karma will be in court trying to prove a 17 yr old in his garage was threat to his family locked in the house...

    June 2, 2014 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • John

      If the homeowner catches you in the act of illegal trespass, the penalty has always been death. If the homeowner calls the cops, a different set of rules come into play. Every criminal in the USA knows this. American homeowners will kill you if they catch you.

      June 5, 2014 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • dontbefooled

      The teen would be alive if he would have NOT broke into an occupied home. The homeowner should have the right to use any and ALL means to protect himself, wife, and CHILDREN from an intruder IN THIER HOME. Its ludicrous to expect a homeowner to play "20 questions" with an intruder before deciding he needs to defend himself and his family. Especially since the intruder might be armed and only need a few seconds to kill the homeowner and his family.Since the supreme court has already ruled that is NOT the police's responsibly to protect anyone its up to anyone to protect themselves.

      June 5, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  18. Ruby Rott

    One has the right to defend himself and family regardless of the law. But a gun is an instrument of deadly force. Castle Doctrine and stand your ground laws are blatantly clear that you have to be confronted by a deadly threat before you can justify use of deadly force. A person standing in your garage uninvited, does not justify a killing. How do you know that the person wasn't ill or seeking help? I am a gun owner, with a concealed carry permit, living on remote rural property. My job takes me to places that are potentially dangerous. But I will do everything in my power to avoid killing. Like leave, ask the other party what he is doing, look for obvious signs of him having a weapon, fire a warning shot. Will I hesitate before killing? Yep. But I will defend myself and my family from harm and my gun is a great tool for doing that. The homeowner is wrong.

    June 2, 2014 at 9:01 am | Reply
    • Goddog

      I agree with you 100%. Possessing a weapon gives you a greater responsibility to avoid confrontation whenever possible. Of course, one never knows how one will react under threat or fear until that time comes.

      June 10, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • Mick

      One correction, the Castle Doctrine and stand your ground laws are not blatantly clear that you have to be confronted by a deadly threat. They are clear that the shooter must have a "reasonable" fear that they could be in physical danger. There is no requirement to confirm the existence of a deadly threat. Otherwise I agree though.

      June 13, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • f415

      Uhhh...You might want to spend a few minutes doing some research into the implications of firing "warning shots". If your gun comes out of the holster, it had darn well better be because you feel utterly convinced that you need to shoot for center mass to end an obvious threat to your safety or the safety of others. Otherwise, it isn't self defense. It's improper discharge of a firearm, attempted felonious assault, or any number of other things that will land you in prison. Using a firearm in self defense does not mean brandishing it, firing warning shots, (where's the bullet from that warning shot going, by the way? Are you SURE?) or shooting to wound. You also don't shoot to kill. You shoot for center mass until the threat is STOPPED. No one carrying concealed should be talking about firing "warning shots".

      June 18, 2014 at 8:44 am | Reply
  19. Ellen in CA

    Just a little reminder here about why people are arming themselves. We have seen many more home invasions with the goal of doing violence to the homeowners. They are usually bound with something and or beaten while the intruders turn the place upside down searching for money, drugs, or valuables that can be sold for drug money. Things are becoming much more violent overall, with the way the prisoners are being allowed back on the streets through prison realignment. Do not be too quick to judge the homeowner, because he may also be aware of the dangers posed by home intruders.

    June 2, 2014 at 12:48 am | Reply
  20. jeff

    This can be a problem when kids are raised with no consequenses to their actions. Lets make a deal is not a way to raise children.

    June 1, 2014 at 10:00 am | Reply
  21. William Bellah

    Looking back, I'm sure there was at least a dozen times that someone could have shot me for trespassing, I'm sure glad things were different back when I was a stupid kid. People used to put themselves in others places and the last thing in the world they would think of is to kill someone who was in their garage or even their house. I remember one time a neighbor kid was curled up on my garage floor sleeping, I gave him a nudge and he told me he had been out drinking the night before and was afraid his dad would be mad. Should I have shot him,? that's murder, plain and simple.

    May 31, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • f415

      Yeah, standing over an unconscious person and blowing their brains out would definitely be murder no matter where they were. Just out of curiosity, where did you grow up that people just wandered into any old random house unannounced?

      June 18, 2014 at 8:49 am | Reply
  22. divid

    Someone walked into a garage I was working in while I had stepped inside for not 30 seconds and stole my bag with everything I had in it. Money, wallet, medication, the works. They went on a shopping spree. Consider this: This meant they were hiding in the yard watching and waiting. The sense of violation was overwhelming. Some stranger with my ID out there in the world having fun.

    Ia local store got surveillance footage of them using one of my cards. They were never caught by law enforcement.

    I spotted them a year later and followed him.

    The matter was "settled". The individual will never steal again. Robbery from a private residence is, for me, not something that can be recovered from. You can get "stuff" back sometimes, but that sense of privacy and security never ever returns. As far as I'm concerned, countries that practice amputation as punishment for thievery have the right idea. The only potential "cure" is pure terror.

    In other countries limbs are removed for theft. They have the right idea.

    May 30, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  23. An armed society

    The exchange student should also have been armed, too bad he wasnt from switzerland.

    May 30, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  24. IndyMike

    The soccer coach and his like-minded compatriots should just stay home if they don't like our laws. He entered illegally with the intent to violate the homeowners' rights. He got what was coming to him.

    May 30, 2014 at 8:06 am | Reply
  25. IndyMike

    He would have gotten shot if he had entered my garage. If people don't want to get shot, maybe they shouldn't be where they aren't suposed to be or do what they aren't supposed to do. It's not rockrt science or brain surgery.

    May 30, 2014 at 8:01 am | Reply
  26. bonnie

    Would I enter someone's garage uninvited? No. Why did this guy? He wanted to steal. He should have gotten shot and he did.

    May 28, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Reply
    • Skull Smasher

      I agree 100%. Don't trespass, enjoy a longer life.

      June 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  27. Mickey

    Karma? Seriously?

    He was killed by Karma?

    May 28, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Reply
    • Michael

      You beat me to it. Well, played.

      May 30, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  28. revolting peasant

    we should kill all criminals for any crime. Just kill them. People will quickly stop breaking laws. Then we should make more laws to further define how we want people to live and we should kill people who break those laws too. Even better, instead of paying police, we should let private citizens decide who broke what laws and then let them exact justice all in one fell swoop. Then we should say it is Allah's will, or God's will or whatever. Then we should fly planes into buildings.

    May 27, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  29. bob_in_ny

    The facts of this are: The house was recently burglarized TWICE, and the homeowner was frustrated about the lack of police action. The homeowner set up cameras and motion detectors to attempt to thwart another invasion of his home and family, A highschool student (or students) entered this man's hous eillegally, with the intent to rob it. The man used those cameras, got his gun, confronted the burglar and shot him while he was comitting a crime upon the homeowner. Malice or vengeance aside, this was a response to a crime committed upon his house and family, for which he had received little help in the past from poolice. He took matters into his own hands, and regarded the criminal as a criminal, not an international transfer student, trying to have fun as children do – which is total BS, and just a note for sympathy of the CRMINAL act. Take this as a lesson learned in the community .... Nobody is likely to play that garage hopping game for awhile on that block. This was unfortunately a pass/fail lesson, with no grading on a curve or partial credit. The child broke the law and committed a big boy crime; The boy got vigilante justice from a man who took his right to protect his family and possessions to heart. Any action against this homeowner is liberal baloney about "That Poor Boy"

    May 27, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Reply
    • nachokingp

      It's not about "liberal" anything, it's about meeting action with equal reaction. He murdered someone who was robbing him without a weapon. That wasn't necessary. He could have just as easily held the person until the police arrived, or if he was so intent on shooting them, done so in a non-fatal way. There was a time (and still is in some countries) where a person's hands get chopped off if they are caught stealing, do you think that's appropriate as well?

      May 31, 2014 at 6:20 am | Reply
      • Steve CA

        yeah hold them in your house illegaly, false inpriosonment much, he got what was coming to him. dont try stealing from a home weapon or not, am i supposed to wait till he drews out one that puts me at further risk, so it doesnt matter.

        dont be dumb dont break into houses and you wont get shot

        June 6, 2014 at 11:31 am | Reply
      • Mark

        I can tell you've had exactly zero criminal confrontations in your life.

        June 6, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Reply
      • f415

        Your other arguments may or may not be without merit, but for god's sake will people PLEASE stop talking about shooting to WOUND??!! That's not the way firearm self defense works, either legally or practically!!! I would lay out the reasons why this is such a stupid concept, but there are plenty of well-written websites that do a perfectly good job. Do your research if you're not familiar with what you're commenting on.

        June 18, 2014 at 8:59 am | Reply
  30. Defting

    Eminent domain, right to bear arms, castle law, right to self-defense…legal way to get rid of someone.

    One should always read the invitation to parties, lol!

    May 26, 2014 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • dontbefooled

      All of which are irrelevant ways if you DONT break into someone else's home. I haven't been shot by a home owner ever. Why? Because I don't break into other peoples homes.

      You can be sure if my children are in my home and there's an intruder, I'll empty the gun into him just be sure he can hurt anyone. You don't want me to shoot you? Don't break into my home.

      June 5, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Reply
      • Defting

        Dah, makes sense as it is quick, and painless. But what those should wonder is all those who break into homes that are not at all reported....

        March 23, 2015 at 12:28 am | Reply
  31. dgrijalva2013

    Student placement agencies stand in the shoes of the parents of its participants who are living in a stranger's home far from his/her homeland and could reasonably be expected to exercise the kind of care that the parents themselves would exercise if they could in an effort to protect their son or daughter who is a minor foreign exchange student. The Council on International Educational Exchanges, Inc. (CIEE) is the name of this student's placement agency. Why was this student allowed to roam freely at this time of night?

    May 22, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  32. lauren

    The boy made a fatal mistake. You can not enter a persons home and expect things to go well. The man has a family to protect and he did. A person who is being robbed does not have time to ask questions because he may gt shot by the intruder. He is justified and will be acquitted. People, open your eyes and see that we live in a dangerous world and things like this will happen, stay out of peoples home!!!!!

    May 22, 2014 at 1:34 am | Reply
    • TexasPete76

      I agree with you, a man being robbed doesn't have time to ask questions. But if you read more about this (not on CNN for some reason) this man had time to leave his family behind in the house, leave out of the front door, block the robber's exit, then fire into the garage.. That doesn't sound like someone protecting his family or property.

      May 22, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Reply
      • Jay Randle

        The fact that he shot from outside the garage doesn't indicate he was not protecting his family. An intruder would have been looking for him to come from inside the house and may have been ready to shoot him as he came out the door. I would have gone around to the outside of the garage too before I shot him.

        May 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Reply
        • TexResi

          If he was seriously interested in protectiing his family, he probably shouldn't have left the garage door up... don't you think?

          June 3, 2014 at 8:14 am | Reply
        • Ryan

          The kind of scary home invaders you think people need to protect themselves from do not exist outside of several horrifying movies.

          June 3, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Reply
          • John

            Actually, I live in McAllen , Tx. and we have cartel soldiers doing home invasions down here at an alarming rate. They torture families and immigrants, and it could be in horror films. Just google 'mcallen home invasions'... So, you're actually wrong. It happens all the time.

            June 5, 2014 at 10:23 am | Reply
          • dontbefooled

            17k homes were robbed in 2011-12. Rape occurred in 4% of those robberies and murder in 2%. So if you're being robbed you have a 1:50 chance of being murdered and if your wife or daughter are home they have a 1:25 change of being raped. 1 in 25. Mind you, in the article this was the third break in, so statistically speaking this guy is now down to ~1:8 chance of someone being raped or ~1:17 of some one living in the home being murdered.

            Monsters DO exist outside of movies, wake up....

            June 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Reply
            • Officer Dave

              im sorry.....not many of you have hugged someone whos family member was murdered do to a home invasion....not many of you have ever seen the destroyed face of a 16 year old raped multiple times by burglars, the bottom line is homeowners do not have to guess what an intruders intention is- enter the home .garage curtilage of a residence without a homeowners permission you may face death...cmon folks it has to be that way ....or the we have no way to deter .....im am bitterly sorry some stupid kid paid with his life....but the law is both valid and must remain intact...

              June 7, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Reply
      • WStyers8762

        I agree 100%. I'm not against the Castle Doctrine or Stand Your Ground but, what his actions tell me is that this was not a justifiable homicide. He retreated, retrieved his weapon and then deliberately placed himself in the path of the intruder's escape. Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws are in place for heat of the moment exchanges. If you have time to retrieve your weapon and take up a position behind the intruder then you have time to call the police, lock the door and observe and prepare to defend yourself if necessary.

        June 18, 2014 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  33. Joe Asham

    Shoot first. Think later. The American way.

    May 21, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Reply
    • me

      Welcome to the land of the free. you want less guns? go to Bermany. and/or stay there

      May 26, 2014 at 9:55 am | Reply
      • scott

        Where is this Bermany you speak of?

        May 29, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Reply
    • Megapril

      The thinking part is pretty simple. If a person illegally enters your house you have every right to dispense them in order to protect your family. Case closed.

      May 27, 2014 at 3:32 am | Reply
      • fascinatedspectator

        So, if you can successfully lure an unsuspecting victim into your garage as you sit in the dark with a loaded shotgun, you can murder anyone that is unlucky enough to stick their head into your BLATANTLY OPEN GARAGE regardless of their complete LACK of weapons nor intent to do harm? That is SO WRONG!

        That is legalized MURDER! There is NO EXCUSE for this, other than the irrational white hot rage that demands the murder of some innocent victim to appease one for having some unimportant item stolen from their garage!?

        Is this the INSANITY that America has become??!!!

        June 2, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Reply
        • dontbefooled

          If there is any proof he was lured there you'd have a point. Unfortunately you don't and a point, because there isn't any allegations yet alone proof. Nice straw man though.

          June 5, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Reply
      • Ryan

        Yeah, no. It's not case closed. I and everyone I know strongly disagree with that sentiment. It should NEVER be that easy to justify killing someone.

        June 3, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Reply
    • Skull Smasher

      So stay the heck out of the USA. We will both be happier for it.

      June 3, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  34. Pete

    Honestly I was on the homeowner's side when I read this. I believe if you break into my house I have the right to shoot you. Armed. Unarmed. Whatever. If it kills you, it's on the burglar. I have no idea what their intensions are, or if they are carrying a gun. But if you read the artcle on FoxNews (which is done a lot better). You will see he exited his house and then waiting between his truck and the garage door. Then fired into the garage from the OUTSIDE. Reading that I have to say that the homeowner wanted blood, not to protect himself and his property. Another example of CNN doing a poor job of reporting. Calling it a prank instead of a robbery. And not mentioning the aformentioned facts. I don't know how they can call themselves news.

    May 21, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Reply
    • Michael

      He might have wanted to make sure that he was not firing out into the street. First rule of shooting...watch your background.

      May 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  35. twist

    welcome to the U.S., where we will take your life for stealing and have no burden on our consciences because some states are still backwards.

    May 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Reply
    • Megapril

      Who says this guy won't have a burden on his conscience? I'm sure he will think about it everyday for the rest of his life. Hopefully he can be at peace knowing he protected his family against an invader...

      May 27, 2014 at 3:37 am | Reply
    • Skull Smasher

      Should the home owner wait for the thief to fire the first shot? You break in, you bought your ticket. Enjoy the ride to the next life.

      June 3, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • Officer Dave

      Sorry- as a cop I must side with the homeowner, if we require victims to interview their attackers , during a burglary where will that end? I am deeply sorry for both of the families- but the law should be quite clear- enter a dwelling or part thereof at night with the intent to commit a felony and you may pay with your life...in Texas this wouldn't even make the news unless it was a slow day at CNN

      June 4, 2014 at 8:34 am | Reply
  36. Mary

    The young man committed a crime, breaking and entering another person's home.....to steal. Obviously he made a bad choice. He should have know better. Why are people ignoring this fact?

    May 21, 2014 at 10:20 am | Reply
    • seattlekatie

      What we always say around my house is, you go out and break into/walk into another person's house without permission and you are caught, and shot, oh well. Shoulda stayed home and watched television. I don't own a gun, and will never own one. But I DO believe in the right to bear arms, which sometimes (unfortunately) people have to use.

      If there is a question about how it all went down, then by all means investigate it and follow the legal protocol whatever, but the kid made a bad decision, and he's paid dearly for it.

      May 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • fascinatedspectator

      Walking into a BLATANTLY OPEN GARAGE is NOT considered "breaking and entering" !
      Was there a NO Trespassing sign posted? NO, there was NOT!
      Unless he picked up something and then attempted to take it away with him, he did not break ANY LAW whatsoever!

      But he is still QUITE DEAD regardless and the murderer will likely get away with it!

      June 2, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Reply
      • dontbefooled

        You seriously think an open door is an invitation to enter a home? Especially if the homeowner know you, Seriously?

        June 5, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  37. Ned

    How is this making the news? The homeowner didn't open fire on a random person, he shot a thief who entered his home. You best bet that I would do the same if I had a wife and 10 month old baby upstairs. Anyone remember that article about the man who broke in to a single mother's home, beat her up in front of her toddler, then stole the TV – AND all of that was captured by a baby cam? Mmmm mmm mmm.

    May 20, 2014 at 11:12 pm | Reply
    • Nancy

      I am thoroughly embarrassed for you, and America as a whole. The world is horrified at your twisted sense of reality, which is more in line with a simplistic primitive tribe rather than a civilized nation. May God, if you so believe, have mercy on your souls.

      June 5, 2014 at 12:11 am | Reply
  38. Wil Pippin

    Quit calling it a prank. That is misleading. The boy was a freaking theif.

    May 20, 2014 at 11:06 pm | Reply
    • f415

      I'm not all that certain a 17-year-old still qualifies as much of a "boy", either.

      June 18, 2014 at 9:13 am | Reply
  39. Jay Randle

    This was not a harmless prank, it was a crime. He unlawfully entered a house with the intent to steal. That is burglary, not a prank. The homeowner had recently been burglarized twice and took the action he felt necessary to prevent a third robbery. It's an unfortunate death. But if the teen had not entered the garage, he would still be alive. The blame is his, not the homeowners.

    May 20, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Reply
    • seattlekatie

      Like I've said on numerous occasions....................."Shoulda stayed home and watched television". 'nuff said.

      May 29, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Reply
      • f415

        Given your previous replies, I'm kinda wondering why you DON'T own a firearm? You seem thoroughly in favor of the concept of self-defense and the right to own one.

        June 18, 2014 at 9:17 am | Reply
    • fascinatedspectator

      So if you can lure an unsuspecting victim into your OPEN GARAGE without any "no trespassing" signs, then you can legally murder ANY passerby that happens to be curious enough to stick their head in to see why it is open?

      Oh YEAH, THAT makes sense? NOT!

      June 2, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Reply
      • Young

        That was one of the dumbest comments I have ever read in my entire life. It was the homeowner's fault that this idiot kid decided to into someone else's garage? It's not a good idea but I should be able to leave my front door wipe open and not feel like I'm bound to get robbed or worse. Mentalities of people like you are the reason why stuff like this happens. Kids get coddled and told that every they do is okay. It sucks that the kid lost his life but if an intruder is in my house, the last thing I want to do is roll the dice and gamble with my family's life. Seriously, wow.

        June 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Reply

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