An 85-year-old army veteran homeowner in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania gunned down one of two intruders who broke into his house Friday night, killing him instantly and causing the second man to flee.
“I killed a guy. Two guys robbed me and I killed one of them,” Korean War veteran Don Lutz told reporters.
Mr. Lutz says that at around 1:30 a.m. he heard someone smash through his front door, so he reached for his gun which he keeps under his pillow and went to confront the trespassers.
“I heard them breaking in and it was in the dark,” he said, “They jumped me and we both went on the floor and I scuffled with them on the floor.”
During the fight, Mr. Lutz managed to fire a shot from his weapon. “One guy rolled over dead and the other guy jumped up and ran out of the front door,” he told police. Officers are still hunting for the second intruder who could also have been injured by the gunshot. “The other guy, maybe the bullet hit him too, I don’t know. I hope so,” Mr. Lutz said.
Don Lutz is a U.S. Army Korean War veteran and also a former champion weight lifter, so it certainly wasn’t his first fight. “I’m a little sore from scuffling with them, you know — those two guys, but I can take it,” he added.
“I’ve never been afraid in my life,” said Mr. Lutz, “God has always been with me and I’m a hard believer in God and Jesus Christ.”
Police are still investigating the break-in, but officers told reporters that it appears Mr. Lutz was justified in shooting the intruder. Pennsylvania State Constitutional Provision Article 1, Section 21 states that: “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.”
Residents of Pennsylvania can legally obtain handguns through a licensed dealer, and they can also purchase firearms from gun shows and private dealers. Once an applicant has completed a form, the Pennsylvania Instant Check System scans a database to see if an individual is legally entitled to own a firearm.
This is intended to prevent felons convicted of a violent crime, illegal immigrants, drug addicts, and those declared mentally ill by the court from purchasing weapons from licensed dealers. Although investigations into recent mass shootings have revealed significant failures in the background check system. However, it does enable law-abiding citizens such as Mr. Lutz to exercise their Second Amendment right to acquire firearms to protect themselves and their families.
A similar defensive gun use case took place in Texas earlier this week. Father of four, Carlos Molina, 32, shot and killed a 19 year-old male robber who was attempting to hold up a Popeyes restaurant in San Antonio. When criminal Andrew Herrera pointed his weapon at Mr. Molina’s two children, the father pulled his own handgun and shot the suspect several times. Police say they believe Mr. Molina shot in defense of a third person and that he likely saved lives in the restaurant.
Elderly Korean war vet or young father, the right to keep and bear arms protected both from those “bad guys” with bad intentions. Many in the anti-gun advocacy claim these incidents are rare. However, our investigation shows that they are just rarely reported. Outside their local news anyway. As we reported in the Carlos Molina article, defensive gun uses are quite common. In fact, they are quite possibly more commonly used in defense than in the commission of crime.