Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Close Encounters of the Second Kind

Billy Dean Riley, shot and killed in self-defense by a woman home alone

Many times, criminals attack the most vulnerable among us. A woman home alone, a wheelchair-bound man--these are two recent cases in which the Second Amendment came into play. Or, as I like to call them, Close Encounters of the Second Kind.

At 12:40 a.m., on December 4, 2009, a call came in to the 9-1-1 center in Cushing, Oklahoma. It was 56-year-old Donna Jackson, home alone while her husband was at work.

“There’s a man at my back door,” she said. “He’s trying to get in.”

The stranger, Billy Dean Riley, had a long history of drug and alcohol offenses. The 9-1-1 dispatcher could hear him banging on the backdoor and screaming. She informed Jackson that police were on the way. For ten long, excruciating minutes Jackson spoke with the dispatcher. Eventually, as the situation escalated, the homeowner grabbed a gun and clicked off the safety.

“I have a shotgun and I’ll use it,” Jackson said. “He’s crazy. He’s crazy.”

Jackson described the actions of the stranger as he walked around the house, from front to back, trying to get inside. Finally, the man slammed a patio chair through the screen-glass window on the back porch. A series of loud crashes could be heard on the 9-1-1 audio later released by the police.

“I don’t want to have to kill the man,” Jackson said, “but if I have to, I’ll kill him graveyard dead.”

“Please hurry," Jackson begged the dispatcher. Because the house was in a rural section of the county, deputies were still several minutes away.

Finally, she said, “He’s gotten in the house. I’m going to shoot.”

With that, the blast of a shotgun can be clearly heard on the tape. After a pause, Jackson sobs into the phone: “I shot. I’m going out front. I hit him. God help me. Oh please, dear God. I think I’ve killed him. Please Father in heaven. Please father in heaven...”

An obvious case of self-defense, Donna Jackson was not charged with any crime.


On December 16, 2009, at 10:45 p.m., Gary Wroblewski heard a knock on his door. The wheelchair-bound homeowner lived in Silver Springs Shores, a community not far from Ocala, Florida. A stranger yelled that his car had broken down and he needed to use a telephone. Before cracking the door, Wroblewski grabbed his .45-caliber handgun.

As soon as he nudged the door open so that he could see who was there, a second man rushed from the bushes and knocked the door open. Wroblewski went sprawling. The intruder wore a mask and held what appeared to be a gun. "I was suspicious [and] I didn't really want to open [the door], but I did,” the homeowner said. “He hit [it] and I went tumbling over and just pulled the gun up and started firing. He was laying across the floor."

Jeffrey Alan Kenney, the home invader who died at the scene, was described by his aunt as a “lost soul.” She stated that she knew he would end up dead or in trouble. “He couldn’t deal with life,” she said. “He had to be drinking and doing drugs. He wasn’t capable of living an honest life without drugs and alcohol.”

Two accomplices were quickly arrested.

Wroblewski was not charged.

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