Author Ryan Parker
I recently had the pleasure of visiting my Aunt Brenda and Uncle Maury at their home in Denver, Colorado. With the hustle of everyday life and work, I do not get to visit with them very often. However, my wife and I decided to take a family vacation this summer and drove out to spend some time with them.
My aunt and uncle recently moved into Denver from a rural area, which was located approximately one hour southeast of Denver. After living in their previous home, "in the country," for approximately twenty years, they developed some "habits" they would later find to be very dangerous.
One night, while visiting with Uncle Maury, he shared a story of an "intruder" they encountered not long after moving into their new home. Luckily, my uncle had enough foresight to attend a firearm’s shooting course, which he did with my aunt and their two children. To quote my Uncle Maury, "We were moving into the city, I know how to use a gun and have shot before, but I didn't want the first time my family held a gun to be when they NEEDED it."
Uncle Maury continued with his story, telling me the night of the "incident" he and my aunt gone to bed around 11:00PM that night. Before laying down, they set their residential burglar alarm, as they typically do each evening. At approximately 11:30PM, my cousin Garrett, their son, returned home for the evening. Uncle Maury said he heard Garrett come in and reset the alarm. Shortly after, he fell asleep.
"they developed some "habits" they would later find to be very dangerous"
At approximately 12:30AM, the audible sound of their residential burglar alarm woke up my uncle and aunt. In a disoriented state, Uncle Maury walked downstairs to the alarm's keypad to shut off the audible siren. However, when he got to the alarm panel he realized he forgot to grab his glasses and initially was unable to read the activation code. Uncle Maury said after several moments, he was able to disarm the system and went back up stairs to retrieve his glasses, which he left in his bedroom.
As Uncle Maury walked upstairs, he became more awake and alert. To be safe, Uncle Maury decided to grab his handgun before returning to the main level of their home to investigate the source of the alarm. Uncle Maury determined the alarm activation was in the garage. The garage was an attached garage with an access door to the main part of the residence. Walking toward the entry door to the garage, he began to think about the firearm’s class he recently attended. The Firearm’s Instructor in the class explained in a scenario where there might be an intruder in your home, it is best to announce you have a gun and attempt to scare the intruder away. The Instructor also emphasized because they were not Law Enforcement Officers, there may not be a way to adequately detain an intruder. They were additionally instructed to attempt to get the intruder to leave the house and immediately contact the local Law Enforcement Agency to investigate any further.
"I didn't want the first time my family held a gun to be when they NEEDED it"
While Uncle Maury was approaching the garage entry door, he began to mentally prepare himself for what he may encounter on the other side of the door. Uncle Maury explained as he stood there in nothing but his underwear, he assumed a good firing stance and took a deep breath to calm his nerves. Suddenly the door opened! Uncle Maury was confronted by the intruder, who stood only three feet away from him.
"he assumed a good firing stance and took a deep breath to calm his nerves"
Quickly assessing the intruder, Uncle Maury was able to determine the subject was not visibly armed. Uncle Maury let out a loud, "GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE!" The intruder was momentarily frozen, staring down the barrel of Uncle Maury's handgun. After just a few moments the intruder acquired his senses and ran from the residence, leaving the same way he entered. Uncle Maury contacted the local Law Enforcement Agency, who responded immediately to his residence.
Fortunately, this incident ended without a shot being fired and the family protected. Had they been more mindful of their new surroundings, and not in a complacent mindset they established living in the country for so long; the entire situation may have been avoided.
Since this incident, all the deficiencies have been remedied and they all live more vigilant in the protection of their home.
My goal in sharing this story is that you take a few moments to evaluate your own security of your residence. Identify any possible deficiencies that you may have whether living quarters, mindset, etc. and look for a solution now. It is said that hindsight is 20/20, okay, but more often than not, just taking a few extra steps may prevent future problems.
Although no one was injured, and the intruder left empty handed we could and should still learn from the incident. The lessons are specific to my Uncle Maury’s story, but I believe we can all benefit from these lessons.
- It was later discovered the privacy fence gate to the residence was left unsecured;
- The rear garage entry door, which is accessed from the backyard, was left open and unlocked;
- The keys to all the vehicles were left in the ignitions while parked in the garage;
- The entry door, which grants access from the attached garage into the main house, was left unlocked;
- Initially Uncle Maury was unable to read the alarm key pad;
- There was only one key pad, with the only location being on the main level;
- When the police arrived, they discovered the intruder loaded one of my aunt and uncle's vehicles with tools and the ignition was turned forward into the start position, but the engine was not running;
- It was also discovered the intruder was a drug addict looking for property to exchange for illicit drugs;
Lesson may only be learned if we address the lessons. So:
POST EVENT CHANGES:
- They now check all doors and the gate and ensure they are secured each evening;
- They remove the keys from the ignition and bring them into the residence upon returning home;
- A new key pad, with a larger display, was installed in the master bedroom of the residence (upstairs and near my uncle and aunt);
Always remain vigilant, seek out and address any weaknesses to better prepare yourself so you are ready for what awaits.
I strongly encourage you to take advantage of your Second Amendment Rights and exercise them as often as possible. If you know someone who is interested in shooting bring them along with you. Of course, if they are looking for quality training on how to use your firearms, contact Halo Defense Training & Tactics and take a few courses. I look forward to seeing you on the Range! - Ryan
Ryan Parker is a law enforcement officer for one of the larger local municipalities in the St. Louis Metro East area. He has also served four years in the United States Army. While in the Army he was a member of a Sniper Team in the Scout Platoon and served as a Marksmanship Instructor for the Combat Marksmanship Training Team. He is a firearms enthusiast, an avid hunter and has a great passion for shooting sports.