When homeowner David McLaughlin (pictured above) found all-around good guy David Bailey breaking into his garage in Dunkirk Indiana in April of 2014, he shot him. But Bailey, who survived, is now turning the tables on the man he was trying to rob and is suing him for damages.
McLaughlin, the homeowner (who I personally think needs to work on his aim), was inside his home when he heard the alarm go off in his garage. He picked up his gun and went to investigate. Outside, he found Bailey in an alley, still in the felonious act (despite the very loud alarm).
It is unclear just how bad Bailey’s aim actually is, or if he indeed–as the new lawsuit claims–“exited his residence and began firing his weapon into the air in response to a security alarm sound in his garage.”
Warning shots, for those of you who aren’t in the know, are a bad idea.
And, as McLaughlin is now finding out, you aren’t supposed to keep shooting once there is no longer an active threat. Legally, you may not have that right. That’s the crux of this lawsuit.
Bailey was guilty of burglary, and he was convicted. But he ran when McLaughlin started popping off more shots. And Bailey was running away when McLaughlin lowered his point of aim and a round hit the burglar in his arm.
In his suit, Bailey contends he “had not entered [McLaughlin’s] garage” and “never entered the defendant’s garage for the purpose of stealing property.” He does not explain why he was there when the alarm was going off, or what exactly he was intending to do in the garage once he would have successfully broken into it….
The burglar claims McLaughlin “continued to the public-right-of-way [and off his property] and continued firing his weapon down the dark alley.” This, right here–while totally understandable–is why McLaughlin will likely lose this lawsuit.
One of those rounds that McLaughlin fired, according to the complaint, caused “serious and permanent damage.”
And though Bailey plead guilty to burglary, he didn’t do any jail time. Instead, they sent him home with some electronic jewelry.
McLaughlin, the homeowner–Mr. Warning Shot–he went to jail for 60 days. And the lawsuit asks for “a monetary award in an amount sufficient to compensate [the burglar] for all damages.”