My wife and I finished tucking the kids in for the night when someone started pounding on our front door. Not knocking – no, this was a manic beating on the door with a closed fist.

I stepped over the toys still strewn across the living room and made my way to the metal door I had installed less than a week ago. “Who is it?”

“Open the damn door, I want my money.” He had a husky voice, and he was slurring some of his words. He resumed pounding on the door. “Gimme my money, Mike.”

I stood there for a minute while the man outside tried to force the door open with his shoulder. “We just bought this house, and there’s nobody named Mike here, dude.”

Our new house was not in the best neighborhood in San Diego, so I had reinforced the doors and doorframes just to keep the family safe. I was pleased that the door was keeping the intruder at bay.

“If you don’t gimme my money, I’m going to come in there and kill you.” The drunk teenager left the front door and started throwing rocks at the windows. I peeked out and saw he had parked on my lawn.

My wife was in the hallway with our children clustered around her like little ducklings. She had a panicked look on her face, but she did her best to appear calm.

“Take the kids and lock yourself in the bathroom,” I said. “Stay in the bathtub in case this idiot is armed.”

My wife herded the little ones while I went to my bedroom to retrieve my Ceska Zbrojovka model 75B 9-millimeter semi-automatic handgun and the cordless phone. I went back to the living room and looked out of the window.

The intruder was a kid, and he was having a tough time walking because he was quite drunk. He began pounding on the front door again while I dialed 911.

“911 Emergency. Please state what the emergency is.”

I started loading the clip for my pistol with special Glaser rounds, designed to cause lethal damage to a person but not penetrate two layers of sheetrock. If I had to fire my gun, I didn’t want it to go through a wall and injure my family. I held the cordless phone with my shoulder, pressing the mouthpiece against my cheek. “There’s a man trying to break into my house.”

I heard the dispatcher’s keyboard clicking as she typed in the information. “We don’t have any available officers near your location, sir. Please stay on the line.”

The banging stopped and I crept towards one of the living room windows. I stepped on one of my son’s Lego blocks and stifled a stream of cussing. I distracted myself from the pain by sliding the clip, now filled with six rounds of Glasers and ten rounds of hollow-points, into the handgun.

Just as I reached the window, a chunk of a concrete statue from my neighbor’s yard crashed through, spraying glass everywhere. I slid my feet backwards while simultaneously racking the slide on the semi-automatic, chambering the first Glaser.

“I heard breaking glass, sir.” The dispatcher was typing furiously. “I also heard what sounded like a gun.”

“Yes, you heard a gun,” I said while she typed even faster. “It’s mine, and if this jerk comes into my house, I’m going to protect my family and take him out.”

I stopped when I was about eight feet from the broken window and went into a Weaver stance, just like I was trained to do by my friend who worked on my Navy base as a firearms instructor.

I saw the drunken teenager’s hands on the windowsill, and readied myself to shoot. Suddenly, his hands pulled back as several spotlights shined on the house. The police had arrived just in time to prevent a teenager from getting killed.

The drunk ran to his car and tried to take off, but there were six patrol cars boxing him in. He finally gave up and surrendered.

An officer knocked politely on my door, and after verifying his badge through the peephole, I let him in.

“If you wouldn’t mind, would you please put your pistol on that table over there?” he asked. I complied, of course, and removed the clip and the chambered round. I called to my wife that it was now safe to come out of the bathroom, and she brought the kids directly into their bedrooms.

The officer jerked his thumb towards the front door. “He’s a drunk gangbanger. I’ll understand if you don’t want to go out there and identify him.”

I smiled. “Hell yes, I will. He needs to know how close he came to getting shot tonight.”

We walked over to the patrol car with the handcuffed teen leaning against the hood. He looked at me while I explained what would have happened, and then he simply said, “Hey, you ain’t Mike.”

It didn’t really sink in until after the police left and I was tucking my kids back into their beds that the teenager I almost shot was someone else’s child. Perhaps this all could have been prevented if his parents had taken the time to watch over their son and tuck him into bed every night. 

Iron Noder 2017

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.