Video: Armed homeowner scares off intruders

posted at 5:31 pm on February 8, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Cheviot Hills, California on the westside of Los Angeles is within a short drive of Fox Studios and Sony Pictures, and is one of the lowest density neighborhoods of LA. That doesn’t mean that the sleepy community is crime-free … or entirely asleep, either. Burglars who had started a spree of B&Es in the neighborhood brought it to an abrupt halt when they discovered Carla awake — and armed:

Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

“I’m not a sitting duck,” says Carla.  She prefers to keep her last name private.  Carla is a Cheviot Hills homeowner who scared away burglars when she grabbed her shotgun and fired.

Carla told us her dog woke her up when he started barking. She looked outside and saw a man in her backyard, another waiting by a car.

Carla wasted no time. Wearing her nightgown, she went outside and fired once toward the ground.  Carla says, it was just to scare them off. It worked. The two suspects ran back to a white sedan and drove off.

Carla says she heard one of them screaming, “Crazy b**ch has a gun!!”

There are a couple of lessons to take from Carla’s experience. First, warning shots can be effective, but don’t fire up — fire down, as Carla did, because what goes up will come down at the same velocity fast enough to kill someone. However, warning shots that empty your weapon are usually a bad idea unless you can reload quickly. Shotguns are indeed effective home-defense weapons, but they’re not the only effective choice for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves against burglars, robbers, intruders, and the like.

Another point: People who own firearms for self-defense in relatively quiet neighborhoods will often hear scoffing at the need for such measures, as if there’s something magical about those areas that keep them immune from crime. Cheviot Hills is one of the nicer areas of LA, but that didn’t stop burglars from targeting those houses. Those two may not come back any time soon, though.

If you’ve never heard of Cheviot Hills, you’ve probably at least seen it:

Situated within a short drive of both Fox Studios and Sony Pictures Studios, the neighborhood has often been the site for the filming of motion pictures and television shows. Examples dating to the 1920s and 1930s include Laurel and Hardy,[6][15]The Ropers television series from the late 1970s, the movie Private School in 1983,[16] and an example dating from 2009 is the house of the characters of Claire and Phil Dunphy in the television series Modern Family.[17] A house on Cheviot Drive was used in “The Flying Nun” starring Sally Field and a house on Glenbarr Avenue was the home of “Nanny and the Professor”.

Nice area. Carla wants to keep it that way.

Update: Science geeks challenge my claim, and rightly so, that bullets fired upward will come down at the same rate of speed. However, the bullet/buckshot will come down fast enough to kill even if it is going slower — and that’s not theoretical, as it happens occasionally. Every two or three years, we’d see fatal cases of it in Southern California around a holiday like Independence Day and New Years. If warning or celebratory shots kill someone, that’s a possible involuntary manslaughter charge, based on reckless action.

So, if you want to fire a warning shot, shoot downward and make sure you know the area is clear.

More from commenter DavidK here, from Mythbusters.


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I don’t recall all that many gun battles as you are describing and those that do take place oddly seem to take place much more frequently in more restrictive gun zones.

sharrukin on February 8, 2014 at 10:23 PM

That’s probably true because I don’t recall any gun battles we shared, unless you care to state your name, rank and service record.
As far as guns restrictions make for peaceful circumstances, I’ve had some dirty dealings in Missouri and Tennessee that beg to differ. Far from the city folks.

Nape-wa-ste on February 8, 2014 at 10:49 PM

Nape-wa-ste on February 8, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Ever heard of “poor but honest”?

There may be many reasons for committing crime, but no excuse!

OldEnglish on February 8, 2014 at 11:11 PM

Because they are old and outdated. Because it’s been deemed more lucrative to leave town so you can get a cheaper investment- in another state or country. Poverty drives crime; more than drug addiction or greed.

BS

They are violent because they are amoral and are raised that way. Guns simply give law abiding citizens the ability to defend themselves which tends to deter criminals.

I have no problem with guns as long as people are responsible. This shootin’ people in the neck for throwin’ popcorn isn’t the finest example of illustrating this. Sorry, if that offends you.

Nape-wa-ste on February 8, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Don’t recall saying that it was a fine example and I fail to see what this anecdote proves exactly?

There are a 1,000 knife crime victims in London each month…should knives be banned or restricted in Britain?

As far as guns restrictions make for peaceful circumstances, I’ve had some dirty dealings in Missouri and Tennessee that beg to differ. Far from the city folks.

Nape-wa-ste on February 8, 2014 at 10:49 PM

Oh look, another anecdote.

I heard that a red-haired man killed some folks once so that kinda proves they have no soul…right?

sharrukin on February 8, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Shot it into the ground, eh? I’m surprised some liberal cop didn’t bust her for hurting Mother Earth.

John the Libertarian on February 8, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Ever heard of “poor but honest”?

There may be many reasons for committing crime, but no excuse!

OldEnglish on February 8, 2014 at 11:11 PM

Yes, I have. My family made a dynasty of pulling their selves up by the bootstraps. It’s a truly inspirational story. But that’s all it is- a story.
After WWII, the industrial might of this country became the envy of the world. Taxes on war were upwards of 90%. The result was a quick and decisive victory over world dominance. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now estimated to have cost upwards of four trillion dollars. All of it, unpaid for.
We weren’t asked to donate nylon or ration gas. We weren’t demanding everyone volunteer for this effort. We didn’t tax the war industry while they made immense profits.
Then, after years of prosperity and a growing middle caste system, big industry decided it would be cheaper (h/t The Bean Counters) to move all of our manufacturing base off shore.
I don’t adhere to the idea that the less fortunate are ‘takers’. I don’t believe for one minute that our tax dollars couldn’t be used in a most constructive way.
I walked out on a very good payin’ job in 2007 thinking I could start my own business and found my self swimming in a very cold climate. I’m broke, now. All of my hopes of a ‘free market’ dashed.
As George Carlin famously said- “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5dBZDSSky0

There may be many reasons for committing crime, but no excuse!

I will argue yes there is but until you have been there, you have no capability of knowing what true desperation looks like. And it’s gonna get worse before it gets better. When is it going to dawn on people that corporations ain’t yer bff? ‘divide et impera‘ is the order of the day, it seems.

Nape-wa-ste on February 8, 2014 at 11:46 PM

These stories are my favorite. Freedom ftw.

maychorian on February 8, 2014 at 11:47 PM

There may be many reasons for committing crime, but no excuse!

OldEnglish on February 8, 2014 at 11:11 PM

I sure wish some one would tweet Jamie Dimon about the quirks in our ‘Rule of Law®’. Somehow the law has no bearing on the leisure caste.

Nape-wa-ste on February 8, 2014 at 11:52 PM

Update: Science geeks challenge my claim, and rightly so, that bullets fired upward will come down at the same rate of speed.

It takes a Science”Geek” to challenge this statement by Jazz? How about just: “People who aren’t Pluperfect Idiots“…….

williamg on February 9, 2014 at 12:08 AM

These stories are my favorite. Freedom ftw.

maychorian on February 8, 2014 at 11:47 PM

http://i713.photobucket.com/albums/ww138/Napewaste/HopeChenge.jpg

Nape-wa-ste on February 9, 2014 at 12:15 AM

Another inspiration of the imperial state-

Nape-wa-ste on February 9, 2014 at 12:23 AM

One more gin…

http://i713.photobucket.com/albums/ww138/Napewaste/TortureAltar_PhBu.jpg

Nape-wa-ste on February 9, 2014 at 12:26 AM

I will argue yes there is but until you have been there, you have no capability of knowing what true desperation looks like. And it’s gonna get worse before it gets better.

Nape-wa-ste on February 8, 2014 at 11:46 PM

Born during a little downturn known as The Great Depression, followed by being cornered in a small spat by the name of WWII (Coventry).

I’ve been there.

OldEnglish on February 9, 2014 at 2:13 AM

Born during a little downturn known as The Great Depression, followed by being cornered in a small spat by the name of WWII (Coventry).

I’ve been there.
OldEnglish on February 9, 2014 at 2:13 AM

I feel like a youngin’. Khe Sanh, 1968. My heart goes out to you.

Nape-wa-ste on February 9, 2014 at 2:29 AM

And to you, OldEnglish- I think we can come out of this quagmire. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have volunteered to fight.
Everyone around me wanted to flee to Canada or seek a deferment.
It’s different now. You have men/women that serve ten tours of duty. That’s quite insane to ask of a warrior. Unless that’s what you desire out of men.
One of my buddies has a white stripe through his Devil Dog tattoo on his arm, burned through by an AK47 round that ricocheted off his elbow into his skull before taking a circuitous route through his brain pan and exiting out of his right eye socket. He still insisted he wanted to go back for a fourth tour. My man is Force Rekon USMC. He had to leave this country to get help for Agent Orange trauma in South America because the FDA didn’t approve of the medications. Thanx, VA for your help.
After three tours of Viet Nam, I’m glad the doctors diagnosed him with a severe case of the kray kray. When is enough enough?
And another thing- I don’t think drone operators deserve a medal higher in order than the Purple Heart or the Bronze Star. This pisses on all I believe in. Peace.

Nape-wa-ste on February 9, 2014 at 3:04 AM

I kinda feel embarrassed for Nape-wa-ste he/she is getting his/her butt handed to them.

Nape-wa-ste, debate is n0t quite your forte.

The Notorious G.O.P on February 9, 2014 at 3:18 AM

By the way, Cheviot Hills is really a nice place. It is right next to Century City separated by a Country Club. Just up the road from Nakatomi Plaza from Die Hard(Fox Plaza).

The Notorious G.O.P on February 9, 2014 at 3:20 AM

Nape-wa-ste, debate is n0t quite your forte.

The Notorious G.O.P on February 9, 2014 at 3:18 AM

I’m open to debate. What you got, pard? Lay it on me.

Nape-wa-ste on February 9, 2014 at 3:30 AM

A warning shot is a very bad idea. She could be charged with a crime even though she shot into the ground. The best warning shot is put right in the center-mass of the attacker. That will warn him/her that the occupant has a weapon. Anything other than center-mass is a bad idea.

Mojave Mark on February 9, 2014 at 3:50 AM

The Notorious G.O.P on February 9, 2014 at 3:18 AM

Khe Sanh would make Nape-wa-ste a “He”, I believe. And 1968 was a bad year to be in the military.

OldEnglish on February 9, 2014 at 6:07 AM

This is all I am saying, my compradre- if you carry around a hammer- everything starts lookin’ like a nail. Be careful and peace out

Nape-wa-ste on February 8, 2014 at 10:39 PM

When I carry around a hammer it is because I am a craftsman.

I have hammers to:

- adjust plane irons
- use chisels and gouges
- form metal
- knock jigs together and to knock them loose
- put in recalcitrant bench dogs and, if the handle is the right size, to be an ersatz bench dog
- align boltless shelving pieces so that they slide into each other
- use them as a lever with their handle using the head as a means to grasp it
- break rocks apart, which is something you need to do so as to get a fresh face to analyze the unweathered minerals
- get bricks aligned under my cosmoline cleaning device and to get those 6×6′s aligned for my solar panels
- to disassemble my Ruger Mk. III and anyone who purchases one brandy new will know what I’m talking about for cleaning the thing

In fact I rarely use a hammer to drive nails. It is the least function that I can think of for one.

My father was an electrical engineer and a master woodworker and he taught me that firearms are just a tool, like any other tool, to be properly used and maintained and that you need skills to go with it that are appropriate to it as a tool. He said that cars were far more dangerous as were bars of soap in tubs because people did not take them as serious threats to their lives.

When he carried around a hammer it was as a craftsman who respected the tool and that it was a multi-function device and could be used to make other tools. Anyone who sees it as merely a way to drive nails has no real experience in what a hammer in all of its variations can do for you to enrich your living experience.

I treat firearms as hammers as I seek to be a craftsman.

They have purpose and function.

They require skill in their use and proper treatment as a tool.

In their wide variety they mimic hammers and serve in purposes far and wide, and can be adapted to differing situations.

I’m sorry if you know people who just drive nails with hammers and then see firearms as hammers. My experience with hammers is far different from yours, obviously.

ajacksonian on February 9, 2014 at 6:10 AM

Mojave Mark on February 9, 2014 at 3:50 AM

No kidding, particularly in CA. Coming out of her house, armed, was a bad idea in CA. They could argue that she had no actual idea what those people were doing and she assaulted them. (Yes, a warning shot could be argued to be assault.)

If you’re going to go outside armed, better to walk up and question the folks (OK, yell across the yard). You’re armed for protection, but not planning on assaulting anyone who has a good explanation or walks away. Then plug ‘em if they threaten life or limb – don’t waste ammo on a warning shot that could get you in trouble.

GWB on February 9, 2014 at 6:12 AM

ajacksonian on February 9, 2014 at 6:10 AM

Well said, jacksonian, well said.

GWB on February 9, 2014 at 6:19 AM

Well said, jacksonian, well said.

GWB on February 9, 2014 at 6:19 AM

My thanks!

Hammers get no respect.

ajacksonian on February 9, 2014 at 6:32 AM

Hammers get no respect.

ajacksonian on February 9, 2014 at 6:32 AM

I’ll confess to often thinking that a box of them has not a bit of intelligence (though more than many liberals).

GWB on February 9, 2014 at 7:04 AM

I’ll confess to often thinking that a box of them has not a bit of intelligence (though more than many liberals).

GWB on February 9, 2014 at 7:04 AM

I know where you are coming from, and after a bag of hammers you get to a box of rocks…

We owned a Maine Coon cat that came from the ‘bag of hammers’ family, the one who got scared inside a paper bag, dashed out and got his neck through the handle of it and went flying downstairs with it to land with a thump at the bottom. Totally frightened by that animated paper bag that followed him all the way there. He was as smart as a bag of hammers.

Now we can refer to some of the smarter types of his species as a bag of wrenches. Or a bag of screwdrivers.

Tools are not noted for their brains. And someone who knows what they are doing with a hammer and using it to ill intent is a very dangerous person, indeed, for they need touch no one with it to do harm.

I can’t see hammers or firearms as masculinity fetishes, either: they are just tools. I’m no more nor less masculine for purchasing that Desert Eagle in 50AE with the titanium nitride coating for my niece. She loves the thing and wants to go handgun hunting with it, and it has served to drive away dates by those who can’t understand her. A multifunction device, serving purposes that aren’t lethal and yet life enriching to her. I got the Seecamp on that trip with her as it is the work of a craftsman and serves a function as well, and needs to be understood in that function and that for its size your hand will be a major part of the recoil control system. If you see them as a masculinity fetish to represent manhood, then something is wrong with the user in my opinion, not the firearm.

Hammers also make great weights to hold down stuff, just sitting there letting gravity do its thing.

It has been months since I used a hammer to drive a nail, and yet I do most of my work in wood.

ajacksonian on February 9, 2014 at 7:17 AM

Guns and hammers have equal intelligence. They also have equal usefulness as tools when used properly. It is the intelligence of the person using the tool that is important.

One favorite gun quote from a movie is the exchange between Steven Segal and a scantily clad young lady on a ship in answer to her statement that she did not believe in guns – “That’s too bad, they believe in you.”

I do not believe in warning shots – that’s why I have a voice box. I do believe in making certain of my target, (is this something/one I really need to stop) and making certain it actually hit it (good gun control).

evie1949 on February 9, 2014 at 8:25 AM

Hitting the firing range today with another “crazy bitch”. 100 rounds dedicated to Carla!

Sig Sour on February 9, 2014 at 8:27 AM

So basically you are saying Uncle Plugs was right?

Brock Robamney on February 9, 2014 at 8:42 AM

Update: Science geeks challenge my claim, and rightly so, that bullets fired upward will come down at the same rate of speed. However, the bullet/buckshot will come down fast enough to kill even if it is going slower — and that’s not theoretical, as it happens occasionally. Every two or three years, we’d see fatal cases of it in Southern California around a holiday like Independence Day and New Years. If warning or celebratory shots kill someone, that’s a possible involuntary manslaughter charge, based on reckless action.

Wow, that is some seriously shaky “science.” The summary conclusion that falling bullets can kill appears to be derived almost entirely from second-hand anecdotes from a supposed “expert.” I don’t see much science behind this claim at all.

With that being said, being struck by an airborne bullet would surely be an unpleasant experience regardless of whether it was a lethal one. A person who causes a firearm to discharge is directly responsible for the result of that discharge, and that’s something which is impossible to control when a firearm is discharged into the air. Whether a falling bullet might kill someone, or simply damage property, would most likely impact an innocent third party who winds up as the unintended destination for the bullet. For this reason alone, the ability to maintain positive control of the destination of a warning shot by firing at the ground is the best advice.

JKG

jgoodish on February 9, 2014 at 8:51 AM

I will argue yes there is but until you have been there, you have no capability of knowing what true desperation looks like. And it’s gonna get worse before it gets better. When is it going to dawn on people that corporations ain’t yer bff? ‘divide et impera‘ is the order of the day, it seems.

Nape-wa-ste on February 8, 2014 at 11:46 PM

Then if I were you, I would get off the internet and stop supporting all those large corporations that make money off of your usage fees, items you order online and your help in supporting Google to gather information about your likes, dislikes, buying habits, browsing habits, bathroom habits and all the other million of dollars that Google makes off of someone like you using the internet.

Begone!!

Walter L. Newton on February 9, 2014 at 11:32 AM

“By the way, Cheviot Hills is really a nice place. It is right next to Century City separated by a Country Club. Just up the road from Nakatomi Plaza from Die Hard(Fox Plaza).”

As it happens, I was researching real estate in this area within the last month, and one of the web-sites I looked at said it’s almost entirely white. It’s surrounded by other well-off areas, such as Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. However, it also abuts Inglewood and South LA, which are not white nor well-to-do.

The powers-that-be have been pushing for a subway line from downtown LA to Santa Monica, which would make it faster and easier for business commuters to get where they’re going to make money. It would also make it faster and easier for people to travel from Inglewood and South LA to get where THEY are going to make their own kind of money … and then faster and easier to disappear afterwards. So far, Beverly Hills is staunchly refusing the subway idea, saying “you can’t tunnel through OUR dirt, thank you very much”, so the idea is stalled. I wonder which direction these two gentlemen headed in once the crazy bitch with the gun chased them off.

NahnCee on February 9, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Maybe if your side would come to the table to help our president improve the economy so they didn’t have to rob other people to survive then we could approach the issue sensibly.

Oh, so it’s REPUBICANS fault Carla had to shoot……

You get the idiotic post of the day award.

kozanne on February 9, 2014 at 2:55 PM

ajacksonian on February 9, 2014 at 7:17 AM

We don’t always agree, but I’ll stand with you on this one. :)

The summary conclusion that falling bullets can kill appears to be derived almost entirely from second-hand anecdotes from a supposed “expert.”

jgoodish on February 9, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Injury and death *does* sometimes result. The morons on Guam* do this crap every year at New Years and other celebrations. And, yes, there have been a few people actually killed. (It’s fairly low-density there, so mostly the bullets fall in the boonie, thank goodness.)

* Not everyone on Guam is a moron, but there are plenty who do this kind of crap, and they qualify as morons.

GWB on February 9, 2014 at 2:58 PM

So, did the police confiscate her shotgun to run “appropriate” checks on it? That’s what they do in California in my experience. Always have more than one gun.

claudius on February 9, 2014 at 3:37 PM

To begin with, firing warning shots is a bad idea. Even if you shoot into the ground, a ricochet, off of a rock or something else hard, could injure or kill someone, leaving you criminally liable. Secondly, in most cities, discharging a firearm inside city limits, is an offense, and could get you arrested. Thirdly, by coming out into the yard, she exposed herself to possible gunfire from the perps. The best course of action would have been to stay in her house, and call the police. Then, if one of the perps burst through her door, blowing him back out with that shotgun, would be justifiable, or at least legally defensible, in most jurisdictions.

kjatexas on February 9, 2014 at 5:45 PM

She shot TOO low…

vnvet on February 9, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Firing a gun into the air is dangerous. But, not because of how fast the bullets drop to the ground….

Unless you fire the gun up at a perfect 90 degree angle to the ground, it will still have significant horizontal velocity. If the bullet comes down some distance away, it’s the horizontal speed, not the vertical speed that will cause the bullet perforate someone.

Long story short- it’s better to shoot into the ground.

bettercallputin on February 10, 2014 at 8:12 AM

When is it going to dawn on people that corporations ain’t yer bff?

Nape-wa-ste on February 8, 2014 at 11:46 PM

So who is your BFF? The government? Surely you aren’t this stupid.

See, if I don’t want to do business with a particular corporation, I just don’t.

If I don’t want to do business with the government, they point a gun at me and tell me to get back in line. Think taxes, or business licence, or healthcare if your knee jerk reaction is to disagree with me on this point (and let’s be honest, it was).

Also, as was pointed out earlier, do you have any idea how many corporations were involved in creating that computer and internet you used to whine about corporations?

Now that you are aware (I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you were that ignorant), if you post one more comment, ever, you will have admitted to being a hypocrite.

Have a nice day!

runawayyyy on February 10, 2014 at 10:18 AM

You cannot ask them to wait for the cops to show up. We have to stand up and defend ourselves.

TXMomof3 on February 10, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Ed: Every two or three years, we’d see fatal cases of it in Southern California around a holiday like Independence Day…

Did Ed mean Cinco de Mayo?

Terp Mole on February 10, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Biden proposed this idea while watching the Grammys:

“Fire two blasts outside the house… Buy a shotgun”

Terp Mole on February 10, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Hooray for Carla, the ‘crazy b*tch’.

Would that more Americans were crazy like her.

orangemtl on February 10, 2014 at 1:35 PM

And did you notice she didn’t need thirty bullets?
verbaIuce on February 8, 2014 at 5:48 PM

I judge from the photo (no vids from my location) Carla appears to be holding a pump SHOTGUN …
They shoot a LOT more than 30 bullets simultaneously … with ONE pull of the trigger.
How do you like that verbie?

Missilengr on February 10, 2014 at 2:17 PM

This is why I need to get a gun. I always supported 2nd amendment rights in principle, but never saw the need to have one. Then my husband was physically attacked by a gang of highschoolers in broad daylight, and was rescued by a woman with a conceal carry permit who kept an eye out on the block and regularly rescued victims from the kids (black woman, with an Obama bumper sticker and and and ‘I love Jesus’ pendant, not your liberal stereotype of a ‘vigilante’).
Now, with kids, I realize how important it is to have a weapon. Police are awesome and all, but they show up afterwards. I’d rather no one has to die in the first place.

bat_Chava on February 11, 2014 at 12:06 AM

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