A Belfair, Washington homeowner is facing second-degree murder charges after shooting and killing an intruder he found taking a shower in his home.
The homeowner came to his office property to conduct business, and noted a screen ripped out of a window and that a door had been forced open. He proceeded into the office and confronted a man, identified as 31-year-old Nathaniel Joseph Rosa, who had been probably up until that point enjoying a lovely hot shower. The two exchanged words, and the homeowner left.
The homeowner returned shortly after with a firearm, however, and proceeded to fire multiple rounds into the showering Rosa, killing him – possibly without any warnings. The homeowner then called 911 and reported he had shot an intruder.
In a turnabout that likely was not expected, Mason County deputies arrested the homeowner and charged him with second-degree murder after conferring with a local prosecutor. The homeowner had ample time to call law enforcement and hold the (probably) unarmed and naked Rosa in the room, deputies explained. The homeowner will be arraigned today, April 3, 2017.
I’m sure the homeowner did not expect to be arrested for shooting a man in his property. However, going from what has been reported in news articles, it likely boils down to the fact that he blatantly riddled a clearly unarmed man who likely had no escape route – hell, he didn’t even have any clothes on. This story is an excellent reminder to those who depend on a firearm for home defense to:
- Use your head before pulling that trigger! Tunnel vision and/or anger may cloud your judgement, but you still are responsible for analyzing the situation and reacting properly.
- Know your laws! Just because your state may have a “Castle Doctrine” law, it probably does not give clearance to shoot slippery wet naked unarmed men. USACarry.com says this about Washington State: “Washington state doesn’t have a specific Castle Doctrine law, but has no duty to retreat as precedent was set when the State Supreme Court found “that there is no duty to retreat when a person is assaulted in a place where he or she has a right to be.” (italics mine.) I’m willing to bet (and this is conjecture on my part) that the now-dead Rosa did not try to assault the homeowner while wet and unclothed; therefore, the shooting likely will be found to be unjustified. The homeowner should have retreated and called authorities.
- Have a secondary, non-lethal armament. Even if Rosa was in a shower, a heady blast of pepper spray in the eyes and nose would have been truly brutal to be on the receiving end of. Hot water opens the pores, allowing the working ingredients of pepper spray to work into the skin. Water would have carried the CS spray nastiness to other orifices downstream, probably causing searing pain in the nether regions as well. At the very least, pepper spray could have drastically increased the time Rosa spent in the shower, giving authorities time to respond.
That’s my $0.02. What are your thoughts on the situation? Was the homeowner justified in shooting Rosa?