Oregon homeowner shoots intruder

McMinnville, Ore. – Police are investigating a shooting involving a burglary in the city of McMinnville, Oregon.

At about 6:11 on the morning of October 15, police responded to a home on Gilorr Street after they received a call reporting an intruder had tried to break into the residence and was subsequently shot by the homeowner.

The McMinnville Police Department said the alleged intruder was flown to a Portland-area hospital where he is undergoing treatment for his injuries. The homeowners are coopering with police.

Police said no further information will be released until the investigation into the incident is completed.

The State of Oregon abides by the so-called “Castle Doctrine.” Oregon law states a person is justified in using “deadly physical force upon another person” if the person is “committing or attempting to commit a burglary in a dwelling,” regardless of threat of harm.

Lewis & Clark law professor Doug Beloof told The Oregonian/OregonLive residential burglaries occurring when someone is in the home are not typical. He said such cases exhibit “incredibly bad judgement” on the part of the burglars.

“One could infer that people who are mentally ill or addled by drugs might be more likely to take that risk than professional burglars would be,” Beloof told The Oregonian. “But that doesn’t make them less dangerous.”

In June 2016, an Oregon woman shot and killed a stranger found in her daughter’s bedroom. Four days before that shooting, a Portland homeowner shot and wounded ex-NFL player Stanley Wilson II after he was found naked trying to break into his home. Grand juries cleared both of those shooters of any wrongdoing.

In non-Castle Doctrine states, homeowners aren’t as protected. According to Jack Levin, a criminology professor emeritus at Northeastern University, you would have to wait until your life is threatened or property is taken before you can open fire.

But in Oregon, the only justification needed is to prove a home invasion occurred, and the person shot was the suspected perpetrator.

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