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Read & React: Sacramento Homeowner Shoots Intruders

by Richard Nance   |  January 3rd, 2013 25

Thomas Ordonaz, 21, was arrested after he and two others allegedly broke into a home in the Pocket neighborhood of Sacramento, Calif. One of the alleged invaders, 31-year-old Joseph Merjil, was shot and killed by the homeowner.

According to The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, a homeowner foiled a home invasion style robbery by shooting all three intruders, killing one.

The incident occurred at 3:29 a.m. Dec. 22. At that time, Sacramento Police officers were dispatched to a report of shots fired at an address on Haven Court, which is located in the Pocket neighborhood of Sacramento.

Upon their arrival, officers determined that three robbers, as well as the homeowner, had been shot. The only subject police have identified in connection with the shooting is an alleged invader, Thomas Ordonaz, 21, who was arrested for assault a deadly weapon and being an accessory to a crime.

One of the alleged home invaders, later identified as 31-year-old Joseph Merjil, was pronounced dead at the scene by Sacramento Fire Department personnel. The homeowner and two other alleged intruders sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to a hospital.

According to Sacramento Police Department Officer Doug Morse, “There were some juveniles in the home who didn’t live there, but they were not involved in the shooting and were not injured.” Morse said it appeared the children were having a sleepover.

This incident is still under investigation.

While there seems to be more questions than answers at this point, one fact is crystal clear, even with the limited information available regarding this incident. The homeowner’s gun was readily accessible and he was proficient enough in its use to shoot three intruders, at least one of which was known to be armed.

The homeowner had a firearm, knew how to use it, and just as importantly, was committed to using it in defense of himself and others inside the residence, including his children and their friends.  As a result, we’re left with what appears to be a dead bad guy, two injured bad guys and an injured homeowner. Had the homeowner not have been armed, trained, and committed, there may well have been other occupants of the residence, including children, who were injured or killed by the home invaders.

It’s often said that a gun is a tool. It’s also said that guns save lives. I believe that a gun is a tool that—when placed in the hands of a trained and committed individual—can dramatically affect the outcome of deadly force encounter.

What are your thoughts?

  • Tom

    Go ahead make my day!,,, that is my comments! God bless homeowners with guns. I will support all of you…..

    • Martin

      I am also armed citizen, and if some intruder is found unwelcomed in my home at night, it will be found in the morning in the same spot.

  • Starky

    To the home owner you did what needed to be done. I hope I am never in the same situation. Now for the big question(s) Will the powers that be come after the home owner? How will the media twist the story to make the home owner the bad guy and the three low lifes the victims? What kind of criminal history do the three low lifes have? You can bet this wasn't there first rodeo.

  • Kokomotony

    Sometimes the crime of jaywalking is a capital offense. That can be sad. But righteously, sometimes the crime of robbery is immediately too.

  • Karl

    I agree. Had he surrendered, who knows what horrors might have followed.The challenge is accessible gun + kids in the house. That takes some thinking and planning.

  • Karl

    I agree. Had he surrendered, worse might have happened.

  • Wendel

    Thank you Mr. Nance for your report. It's refreshing to see folks that will still report these stories instead of all the other type of reports that show just the "other side's" view. I know there are others out there like yourself and I just want to encourage them and you to keep up the good work!

  • Steve Hollar

    What we all hope will never happen was handled exactly as it should have been by the homeowner. Since one of these sub-humans were killed, I do hope the other two will be charged with his death.



  • Jealous of you

    We can only dream of this kind of justice up here in Canada the criminals and new canadians that bring there crime here at our great expense have alot of rights that make it hard to prosecute they run all of us scared and no way to protect ourselves it really does suck.good on ya USA

    • Mike K. YYC

      Not only that, but to stay within the law (in Canada) it's going to take me a few minutes to reterive my handgun or shotgun. I'm lucky I have no fear of a home invasion. No reason for anyone to bust my door down. 'Cept maybe the bad guys got the wrong address. Before they get halfway down the hall, I have to wake up, realize what is happening, barracade the bedroom door and open the safe. (I'll call the law as soon as I can, there is no phone in the bedroom). What was that combination again? Good, got it opened. Grab the shotgun. (or handgun, same deal for both). Oh shooit! What did I do with the keys for the trigger lock? Oh, here they are. I hope the keys for the lock box are with them. (the ammo has to be locked up, separate from the firearms). So it may take me a few minutes for me to say, "STOP! I have a gun and I know how to use it!" And (if I can stomach it) it's "shoot to kill". I don't need this hood coming to visit me with his lawyer or a gun after he is out of the hospital. For now I will stay in compliance with the law, but if ever the shtf, I will likely circumvent some or all of the laws. Maybe.

      • Kiwi Kevin

        Amen to that – as another resident of a former Dominion I have to obey laws that greatly advantage any home invader. We had a guy beaten to death by 5 intruders armed with a baseball bat. Would I have time to get my shotgun or SKS, AND the separately locked ammo in time? Hmmm.

  • Walt R. QGA

    Generally, there are two ways shootings occur –one is an armed criminal who unilaterally decides to take his victim's life. The other is for a responsible, legally armed citizen to protect against threat of mortal injury or death. Aside from the 2nd ammendment, I believe it is immoral to be aware of the first without allowing for the second.

  • shootbrownelk

    Too bad the other 2 perps survived.

  • ctgunowner

    i bet he wished he had more than 10 rounds in his mag…in any event, good shooting!

  • Jason

    I don't mean to be offensive but a person is an idiot if they obey any gun laws that make you keep it in a safe, with a trigger lock and also the ammo kept someplace else, and in their own private residence. You might as well not have a gun at all.

    • shootbrownelk

      JASON, right you are! The 2 most useless things are an "Unloaded Gun" and a "Dull Knife".

    • Ruebezahl

      That was a sarcastic comment from Mike in Canada

    • Mike K. YYC

      No offence taken, Jason. Let me put this another way. The "threat level" where I live is low. At this time it does not necessitate breaking the law and having a loaded firearm by my side. ( I still have other offensive/defensive weapons within reach). Should the threat level increase, I will most certainly will reassess my position. With the gun laws in Canada, it's too easy to lose our firearms "privileges", and practically impossible to get back. And I'l finish with this …(with apologies to the unknown author). To all you anti-gun godless people out there….. You don't like guns and don't want one in your house? That is your right and I fully support it. Don't believe in God? That is your right also. I fully support your right to your beliefs. But I bet you will do two things if someone breaks into your house. First, you will call someone with a gun, and second, you will pray they get there in time.

  • Russell

    My first choice and the situation allowing and probable the safest, I would lock the bedroom door and call 911 and let the cops kill/shoot any house invaders. I always have a gun and a cell phone on my night stand and I would shoot the invaders if they broke the door open. Reducing culpable litigation by the invaders and reinforce justification of deadly force,

  • Joe Johnson

    Crime has been rampant in Sacramento, so no surprise here. I think it is important to have the best gun for home
    and learn how to properly shoot a firearm to be prepared for these types of situations!

  • sonia

    Can all u low life people stop it’s not worth your time if u really don’t no the whole story u guys should stop talking u guys are just irrelevant

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