Most people in Missouri work hard to buy the things they own. As such, it may be difficult to predict how people might respond when their personal property — and, potentially, their personal safety — are under threat, especially if they believe there is a weapon involved. Unfortunately, a man now faces an assault charge after he allegedly shot a teenager who he caught breaking into a vehicle on his property.
The incident reportedly happened on a night in October. Reports indicate that teenagers were breaking into vehicles in a Missouri neighborhood. When the group broke into a vehicle on a 41-year-old man’s property, he allegedly confronted them. However, law enforcement officers say that the man thought he saw one of the teens reaching for a weapon; no weapon was recovered.
Prosecutors say that the homeowner fired on the teen, shooting him in the leg. While neighbors support the man for protecting his property, law enforcement officials claim that the man was not in imminent danger and that the appropriate response in a situation such as that is to call the police. Despite this, officials say that many who live in the area feel “under siege” as a result of crime. Reports indicate that charges were not filed against those believed to have been breaking into vehicles in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
In addition to second degree assault, the man is also charged with armed criminal action. If convicted of the charges he is facing, he could spend up to seven years behind bars. Because of the potential consequences of a conviction, the Missouri man likely wants to know of all of his options and the potential consequences of each. Fortunately, an attorney with experience with such cases can help him make informed decisions regarding the direction his case will take.