An Oregon man has had rifle confiscated and is facing criminal charges after he attempted to stop a wanted felon from breaking into his home by firing a warning shot.
Police in Medford, Ore., say the incident occurred at around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. Officers responded to an apartment complex in the area after receiving a disturbance call. During their investigation, cops heard a gun shot and a man running away toward the complex’s parking lot.
Authorities say 40-year-old Jonathon Kinsella, a wanted felon, was attempting to flee the scene when he was arrested on outstanding warrants, including for burglary and assault.
Military veteran Corey Thompson, 36, told KDRV-TV that the wanted felon was trying to beak into his home via the back door. Defending his property, Thompson said he warned the criminal that he was armed and he was giving him his one and only warning shot.
“This is the end result. You break into someone’s house, there’s consequences,” Thompson said.
Wielding his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the veteran made good on his threat and fired one warning shot. The bullet did not strike the suspect or anyone else.
“When I’m dealt with a stressful situation, being a veteran from Iraq and the Afghanistan war, it’s natural. I just jump into combat mode. I told him I’m going to give you a warning shot,” Thompson explained.
However, police later determined he wasn’t justified in firing his weapon. Medford Police Lt. Mike Budreau said “there was nothing that the suspect was doing that was aggressive enough to justify the shooting.”
Apparently, for police in Medford, a wanted felon trying to break into a law-abiding citizen’s home isn’t enough to justify a warning shot.
Thompson was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, menacing and reckless endangering. The veteran’s AR-15 was seized by police because they claim it was used in the commission of a crime.Thompson said he doesn’t agree with the police’s decision in this case.
“I can see where they’re coming from, with those kinds of ordinances and stuff. I understand yes, I did discharge my weapon but I was careful not to fire it at any body’s residence. It was at the ground specifically,” he added.