A Colorado homeowner who was tied up and robbed at gunpoint Sunday may face charges for shooting and killing the suspect who was fleeing in a stolen car, Fox 31 reported.
The unidentified homeowner, who managed somehow to untie himself after the robbery, reportedly went outside his home in Littleton and fired shots into the car at the fleeing suspect. The man in the car was reportedly identified as David Martinez, 38, who has a long criminal history of burglary, theft and drugs. Martinez crashed the car about a block later and died.
The Denver Channel reported that under the state’s Make My Day law, a homeowner is able to shoot an intruder who enters the home, but, according to one legal analyst, the law does not protect a homeowner if the shooting occurs from the porch, yard or driveway.
“If the homeowner believed his life was in imminent danger he’s allowed to act in self-defense,” David Beller, the legal analyist, said. Another legal analyst told Fox 31 that, in order not to be charged, the homeowner should have been threatened at the moment he pulled the trigger.
“If a guy is driving away, even if it is your vehicle that he stole, you cannot use deadly force,” Dan Recht, the expert, said.
The victim could be charged if the prosecutor decides that the shooting was not a case of personal protection.
One neighbor, who spoke to Fox 31, said the homeowner should not be charged because it was still a matter of self-defense.