‘I protected what’s mine’: Washington man shoots alleged burglars, killing one as crime skyrockets

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(Video Credit: Fox 13 Seattle)

A Washington state man has exercised his Second Amendment rights after two armed intruders allegedly kicked in the backdoor of his home early Thursday, prompting the man to act in self-defense, shooting and killing one of them as the other fled.

Jerahme Smith, 31, told Fox affiliate KCPQ-TV in Seattle that “I have a right to defend myself.” He has not been arrested in connection with the shooting and police are searching for the second intruder. He was alone at his Spanaway home with his sister when the incident occurred. Spanaway is about 45 miles south of Seattle.

Ten to 20 seconds after awakening to the sound of an outdoor gate opening outside his bedroom window, the attackers allegedly broke through his back door, according to KIRO Radio. Smith had approximately 60 seconds to react.

“I sat up in bed,” Smith recalled. “I always have my gun around me; it doesn’t matter where I’m at. When I heard the back door, that is when I grabbed my gun, got out of bed.”

“Somebody was now officially breaking into my house. They’re inside the house. I’m trying to figure out which way they’re going to come from,” Smith recalled. “But you just kind of gotta do what you can. Rely on yourself. Like I said, confidence is the best thing.”

“I don’t know what they wanted out of this house. I don’t know what they were doing, but I don’t care,” he stated.

“When everything first started, the first thing I had to do was take a few breaths and calm myself down because I knew it could have gone one of two ways,” he asserted. “I didn’t know who they were, I didn’t know what they had, but the first thing I did–and it’s the honest to God truth–is I took a few breaths to myself. That way I knew I was calm enough to make a proper judgment decision.”

Smith called the shooting “unfortunate” but that it was ultimately justified.

A call came into the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department around 4:30 a.m. from Smith’s sister reporting a home invasion. She reported that her brother had shot at the suspected burglars.

The intruders reportedly ran into the front yard where deputies later found one of the suspects, an unresponsive unidentified 24-year-old man. The suspect was declared dead at the scene by medics who arrived shortly after the police did.

“The detectives will finish the investigation and forward the case to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office for review,” the sheriff’s department commented in a statement.

Smith lives in the rental with his wife and three children. They have lived there for three years.

“It kind of goes back to your rights. I have the right to carry and I have the right to protect myself and I have the right to protect my property,” he proclaimed. “Protect yourself. That doesn’t mean go looking for it, that means just be ready.”

“That was a human life,” Smith said during a radio interview. “There’s no way around that. A life is a life.”

He said he was “committed – very confident in what I did was right.”

“I’m not going to waiver on that,” Smith declared. “I protected my house. I protected my family. I protected what’s mine.”

Area residents have stated that there has been a notable increase in crime.

“If it ain’t one thing it’s another,” remarked one man, who refused to give his name. “That kind of upsets me that we have this kind of crime going on in the neighborhood. It’s not a good feeling because we don’t know—it could be something happening tomorrow, tonight, you know? Same old thing.”

“The detectives will finish the investigation and forward the case to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office for review,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement.

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