The news out of Henry County of an innocent homeowner shot and killed by the police has troubled me since I heard about it.
My condolences go out to Mr. Powell's family and friends. I hope they find peace when all is said and done.
I will not attempt to Monday morning quarterback the events that took place. All I know of the events are what I've heard in the media or read here. And I don't believe about two thirds of what I hear in the (we have to get ratings) media when it comes to incidences like this.
Something like this is the exact reason my family has trained to shelter in place when things go bump in the night. What really got me to thinking about a scenario like this happened in my driveway a few years ago. My driveway is long. If someone has driven up my driveway far enough to see my house, they've made a decision to be here. Two AM, my Bride is home alone, a vehicle comes up the driveway. She steps out on the porch with her handgun, and shines a laser on the garage door in front of the unwelcome vehicle. According to her, the vehicle backs down the driveway far faster than it came up the driveway. And she was not able to get a description of the vehicle or the occupant(s).
After reviewing the incident with my Bride, we determined that she put herself in great danger by doing what she did. Thankfully, she got the results she wanted. Aside from being a bad witness and not getting a description, she didn't know if anybody had gotten out of the car. She also (potentially) gave up her position by using the laser. Because she had no information, there was no reason to make a report to the Sheriff. (BTW, a few days later we found out a couple of vehicles on our road had been broken into.)
Fast forward to last year, the house alarm is activated at 4AM. The immediate reaction is to turn on the lights, but we didn't because we don't want to give up our position in the house. The alarm company calls and tells me one of our outbuildings had been compromised. Grabbing my gun, asking for the Sheriff to be dispatched, and staying on the phone with the alarm company, I used a dim light to make my way to a window where I could see the building. My Bride called 911, established a line of communication with the responding deputy(s), moved to where she could see activity in the driveway, and she and I were in constant communication with each other. The deputy arrived "blacked out". As soon as the deputy got out of her car, she was spooked and went low ready with her sidearm. After a few minutes of checking things out, she asked 911 to tell us to come out of the house. My wife told 911 what door we would come out of and that we would have holstered weapons. My Bride stayed on the phone with 911, and I stayed on the phone with the alarm company until the deputy saw our faces.
Turns out it was a false alarm, but as you can see this could have gone horribly wrong. After things calm down, we discussed with the deputy the chain of events. Turns out what spooked the deputy was the "all dark house" and the reflection of a trailer I have parked just inside the tree line in the back yard. The deputy said it isn't normal for people not to turn on the lights when the alarm goes off, but appreciated our reasoning. She also said not turning on the lights gave her a greater chance of catching someone in the act. As for the trailer, my Bride had already given a description of the vehicles in the driveway, so when the deputy saw the reflection of the trailer, she thought it was a vehicle hiding in the back yard.
I tell of my experiences not to judge Mr. Powell. I think he did what most anyone would do in the same situation. But the people who participate in this forum are not "most anyone". We are the few that have taken our safety and security seriously and have trained and considered how to protect our families and property. Our first reaction is to check things out ourselves. But, I'm of the opinion that everything I own is replaceable. My family is not, and neither am I. I'll hunker down in place and wait for the threat to come to me. After all, that's where I have the tactical advantage.
Don't let Mr. Powell's tragic death go in vain; please consider how you will handle the situation the next time something goes bump in the night.