A home burglary turned to shit for two people after the 80-year-old homeowner walked in on them and ended up shooting a woman to death.
Tom Greer said he came home Tuesday night to find a man and woman inside his home. Greer said they both tackled him and jumped on top of him before robbing his safe of thousands of dollars.
What the couple didn’t know was that Greer was not defenseless… he had a .22 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver in his pocket. The pair ran from the home when they saw Greer was armed, but the woman wasn’t quick enough.
After firing at her in an alley behind his house, Greer said the woman stumbled and then begged for her life. “She says, ‘Don’t shoot me, I’m pregnant! I’m going to have a baby!’ And I shot her anyway,” Greer said.
When asked what happened next, Greer said he shot the woman a second time. “She was dead. I shot her twice, she best be dead … (The man) had run off and left her,” he said. “I shot her so that’s going to leave a message on his mind for the rest of his life.”
Greer was taken to the hospital to treat a severe shoulder and collarbone injury. Police have not identified the woman, who was found dead at the scene, aside from saying she was in her ’20s.
One of Greer’s neighbors told reporters that the couple may have stolen Greer’s car in another incident and that Greer had been robbed several times before. “Apparently the couple has been doing this neighborhood for quite some time,” he said.
Long Beach Police are still investigating, but at this time no one has been arrested – including Greer. I’m not sure what a jury would do to Greer if he is charged and stands trial, but from what little I read on California’s castle doctrine his actions were not quite covered by the law. According to California Penal Code Section 198.5, homicide is excusable if:
“Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the household when that force is used against another person, not a member of the family or household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using the force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred. As used in this section, great bodily injury means a significant or substantial physical injury.”
Personally, I have no sympathy for people who are killed while committing home burglaries. But prosecutors may have to charge Greer despite the circumstances. That first shot may have been excusable, even though the woman was running away, but that second shot may cause Greer some serious legal issues – double trouble if it turns out the woman actually was pregnant.