Full length of burglar with flashlight and crowbar in office corridor

Waking up to an armed intruder in your house would be any home owner’s worst nightmare. If you’re a single mother with two young kids in the house, finding a man wielding a machete in your bedroom closet immediately kicks you into “momma bear” mode.

That’s what happened to a California woman who woke up to the sound of a man rummaging through her walk-in closet. The thief — Ocean Burger (his name, not a restaurant) — was armed with a number of knives and a machete when the un-named woman grabbed a handgun and confronted him.

From ksbw.com . . .

[Investigators] say Burger ignored orders to leave and when the homeowner fired several warning shots he allegedly advanced towards her, that’s when the mother fired at the accused burglar hitting him in the leg. And California law may be on her side.

Warning shots are never a good idea and could even put you in legal jeopardy in many jurisdictions. In this case, they not only wasted perfectly good (and expensive) ammunition, but probably led Burger to believe she wasn’t serious about actually shooting him.

After advancing on the woman, the round in his leg apparently convinced Burger that he was wrong.

The good news is California actually has a castle doctrine law on the books. The woman had no duty to retreat and was legally justified in using deadly force to defend herself and her children.

“There is a presumption that favors the homeowner they’re presumed that the person is in imminent fear of either death or great bodily injury,” said Ellen Campos, assistant district attorney for San Benito county. …

Investigators say they will not recommend any charges be filed against her.

Ocean Burger is currently recovering from his wound in the county jail.


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