Homeowner shooting at fleeing burglars raises questions on when and when not to shoot (VIDEO)

A Reno woman returning home from work was shocked to find two burglars in her home trying to steal her guns. Not surprisingly, she pulled a gun on them.

ADT sign

The ADT sign in the yard didn’t keep the suspects out, but the homeowner’s gun sent them running. (Photo credit: KOLO)

As the woman confronted the two robbers, and the robbers saw the gun, they quickly ditched the items, ran out of the house and dashed off down the road, local media reports.

The woman, who has not been identified, told police that she fired two shots while still standing on her property, but also admitted to chasing the suspects down the road while screaming profanities at them. There are conflicting reports as to whether she continued to fire as they ran down the street.

Nonetheless, they both got away and were not believed to be hit by gunfire.

The homeowner said one fled on foot while the other took off in an older model beige four-door sedan. A later report indicated that the other suspect fled in a blue Ford Ranger. Both men were described as white or Hispanic in their late teens or early 20s.

Police helicopters circled the area for several hours looking for the men, but the search was unsuccessful.

In their sudden attempt to escape from the armed homeowner, the suspects left behind the items they were planning to steal, which included other firearms that the woman owned.

No one was injured during the incident, but questions arise on whether or not the homeowner was justified in her shooting at the fleeing suspects.

The Nevada Supreme Court, in the 2001 case “State V. Weddel,” determined that a private citizen may not use deadly force against a suspect who is fleeing. This is known as the Fleeing Felon Rule. In other words, if the suspect is outside of your home and running away, it is not justifiable for you to shoot at them.

However, the homeowner’s neighbors admit that in this case they mostly support the woman’s actions and probably would have done the same thing had they been the intended victim.

There is no word yet on whether or not the homeowner will face any charges for shooting at the fleeing suspects.

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