MI: Rifle in Bedroom Beats Knife at Throat

Tawas City, Michigan is a small town on the West coast of Lake Huron.  A 66-year-old man has a modest home there, where he lives alone.  He has a cleaning woman stop by to help maintain the home.
It was after dark on Sunday, 13 November, about 8:20 p.m. Crime rates are low in the area. As with many homes in the rural Midwest, the door was not locked while he was home. He was watching TV. The first sign of a threat was when a knife was put to his throat.
Two masked intruders had silently entered the house.  They demanded money and guns.  Then they tried to force him into the bathroom. That was not a good sign.  He told them that they would never find the money without him.

From wnem.com:

“I was watching TV and suddenly there was a knife at my throat,” the 66-year-old man said.

He lives alone and smiled as he described the house as a “storage unit” where he sleeps.

“They wore masks. The bigger guy demanded money and guns. I’m thinking ‘how did he know I had money and guns,” he said.

He thought of his options.He considered bolting for the back door.  The home is not large.  But, there were two of them, and they were young and fast. This is rural Michigan, the heart of deer country. He had a loaded rifle near his bed, a 30-06.

As they passed near the bedroom door, he made his move.  He pushed one assailant, 21-year-old Jesse Allen Odell, aside, and sprang into the bedroom to the rifle.  He turned and fired, killing Odell, and wounding the other attacker in the upper thigh.  Then he exited the house to seek help.

“They tried to get me into the bathroom, but I wasn’t having it. I thought they’d kill me for sure if I went in there,” he said. “I thought about running for the back door, but they were younger and would have caught me and stabbed me to death by the time I hit the stairs.”

When they came close to his bedroom, the homeowner said he decided to “go for it.” His 30.06 hunting rifle was near the bed, loaded.

“I shoved the guy and went for the rifle. I just grabbed it and fired,” he said.

Police are looking for the cleaning woman.

It is not uncommon for criminals to develop a ring of sources who keep an eye open for likely places to rob.  It is one of the security risks that is unavoidable if you allow people into your domicile.  The attackers probably knew that the door was habitually left unlocked.  When I was growing up in Northern Wisconsin, we never locked our doors.  What would be the point, in a house with no visible neighbors?  When we were home, the dogs always alerted us to the presence of visitors; when we were not, any criminal need only break in unhindered.

That does not apply to a man living alone without a dog.  Sophisticated home security systems have become common and relatively cheap. It is easy to become complacent, especially in an environment where crime is rare.

Both attackers had criminal histories.  If the bullet hit bone, the survivor is likely missing a leg.  30-06 hunting ammunition is designed for optimum destruction of tissue in big game.  Deer are about the same size as humans.

The make or model of the rifle has not been made public.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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