Earlier this month, a tragedy occurred in Farmington, New Mexico. Police responding to a burglary call inadvertently arrived at the wrong home, repeatedly and clearly announcing themselves as law enforcement.  The homeowner came to the door and opened it, holding a handgun, and appeared to raise it toward the officers.

Predictably, he was killed by police gunfire.

This is something I’ve warned about repeatedly over the decades. Here’s an example, from a video I did for Tom Gresham’s show, Personal Defense TV, in the early 2000s:

Or watch video here.

I covered it a bit more in depth here, on the Wilson Combat YouTube channel, this past year:

or watch video here.

That last one has logged some 1.8 million views at this writing.  Apparently, that wasn’t enough. Spread the word, in hopes of keeping the Farmington incident – a tragedy for all involved – from being repeated.


  1. Predictably, on the one gun board I usually use, there’s been some folks who clearly don’t understand the dynamics of violent confrontations in the real world. I posted a link to the Tueller video you featured a couple of posts back to point out the less than human reaction time ability of someone to fire a shot established by the Lethal Force Institute. Not sure it changed any minds of those who reacted badly to the incident.

    It was a tragedy, but some folks appear to choose not to learn from others mistakes. And, some folks choose to use tragedy to push their own agenda.

    Clint Smith has an appropriate comment: “Don’t die stupid.”

  2. Great advice, along with don’t shoot through your door, and too often ignored. We all make mistakes at times, including police, dispatchers and the 911 caller. Many peoples’ idea of home defense is “I’ll grab my gun and…” My one time idiot neighbor used to grab a golf club and run outside if he heard a noise. I was thankful he didn’t own any firearms.

  3. As someone with hearing nerve damage, I probably won’t hear the pounding on the door unless very loud. I did recently install couple of ring cameras and am learning their various functions. So far only intruder has been a black bear standing up on the porch to tear down the bird feeder…. Didn’t know how tall they can be!

  4. Back in 1980, my wife woke me up about 2:00 AM and said she heard a metal cup fall in the kitchen. I grabbed my revolver and covered the hallway while she grabbed our one year old baby from the other bedroom and retreated into the master bedroom. I then retreated to the master bedroom, locked the door, and called 911 on our landline. I told the dispatch how many people lived here and that I was armed. I told her to be sure and tell the responding officer I was armed. The responding officer did an outside perimeter search and found no signs of breaking and entry. He was communicating with me through the dispatcher. Time to get him inside, so I told the dispatch to tell the officer I was wearing shorts and a white t-shirt and I would be armed since I had to go through the house to reach the front door where he waited. I was not wearing a holster so I held the revolver behind the opening door so it wouldn’t be the first thing he saw. Once he was satisfied that I was who I said I was, he entered the house and we went to the kitchen (and eventually through the rest of the house). I followed the officer through the house at a good distance in case we found someone and he needed to back up to cover. No intruder was found, not even the metal cup in the kitchen. I thanked the officer and he left. I was somewhat embarrased that we did not even find the metal cup. My wife swore she heard a cup drop onto the kitchen floor. No big deal, we all went back to bed. The next morning we found the metal cup – it had rolled under a cabinet. What made it fall? Quién sabe? I later had a security system installed – in those days it was cumbersome and expensive.

    I decided that the big negative from the way my wife and I handled the situation, was that I had no holster to use with my gym shorts. Before I opened the door my revolver should have gone into my holster and stayed there while the officer was present. I later remedied that situation, but in the 43 years since then, I have not had to deal with any other alleged intruder.

  5. On a semi-related note, Mas, whatever happened to that LEO in N.M. who went to prison for killing a suspect with a “coup de grace” some time ago? You said he would not fare well in state prison, but I’ve always wondered how things turned out for him.

    • It wasn’t a coup de grace. He pled to manslaughter unfortunately. After I testified at the sentencing hearing, the judge sentenced him to probation for the shooting, but was forced to give him the minimum-mandatory one year for a felony with a firearm. The judge was furious that he had to do that and gave a lecture about min-man laws that tie a judge’s hands and prevent them from crafting an appropriate sentence. He did fine in prison, teaching literacy to other inmates, and last I heard was living peacefully in retirement. Sad case.

  6. The common concealed carry citizen is subjected to endless compromising surroundings as we navigate our day-to-day. We should all be able to take a little comfort in the forethought we’ve given to worst case scenario plans and fortifications we can make to our ‘castles’ to win a fight brought to our front door.

  7. POGO=Pants On Gun On. someone pounding on the door late at night could be a cop, someone in need of assistance or a person with nefarious intentions. i keep a holster on a gun belt for quick donning if necessary while in my jammy’s with a baggy sweat shirt to conceal it. if necessary, it can be deployed quickly, if it’s not needed, its concealed, threatening no one…

  8. If and when I ever answer the door to a LEO, any firearm I would happen to have is concealed with my hands visible. Now it may be a fake LEO to so guys wisest thing to do is still have it on you … concealed with hands visible.

    Then politely ask what is the matter and take it from there.

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