77-Year-Old Arrested for Shooting Burglar, Refusing to Talk to Police By:

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An Oakland homeowner was arrested after he shot a burglary suspect and then wouldn’t talk to police. (Photo/KTVU)

A homeowner in the Bay Area was arrested earlier this month after fatally shooting a burglary suspect. He has now been released without charges. 

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According to initial reports from KTVU, the 77-year-old homeowner was found holding a woman at gunpoint.

A neighbor says three people arrived at the home around 6 p.m. Police later revealed that the woman and two men were driving a stolen car. 

One of the men visibly held a crowbar. All three entered the property, and the neighbor heard a gunshot. 

Police arrived and found one of the three intruders fatally shot. The homeowner was reportedly pointing a Colt Python at the woman. 

The third intruder fled. Police found him nearby with a fake gun and took him into custody.

The police arrested the homeowner on suspicion of murder. He was not given the option of bail. 

Even then, Bay Aread attorneys pointed out the homeowner could have shot in self-defense.

Prosecutors cannot file charges unless they believe they can prove the case. After several days without charges, the police had no choice but to release the homeowner, per policy.

The Mercury News reported that the case is still under investigation. More details have been released since the arrest. 

The homeowner caught the intruders on his property and confronted them. They attempted to scale a fence and one of them was shot. 

The Colt revolver the homeowner used was stolen from Eureka recently. 

According to Police Chief Frederick Shavies, one main fact led to the homeowner’s arrest. The homeowner refused to make a statement to police. 

“Absent any sort of statement, if ‘A’ shoots ‘B’ without an explanation, we can only go with what we have,” Shavies said. “All we know is an individual lost his life.”

This is when some became disturbed. Every person has the right to remain silent, per the 5th Amendment.

Some self-defense instructors even direct you not to make a statement to the police in this situation. The adrenaline from a self-defense situation warps perception. Statements made in this state are often inaccurate. 

Attorneys in the Bay Area agreed with this.

“I find it very troubling that the police would arrest someone because they didn’t make a statement,” Matthew Martinez, a defense attorney, said. 

“You have a Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate yourself,” Martinez said. “And the fact that you exercise that right doesn’t seem like a reasonable basis to arrest somebody.”

Another defense attorney, Daniel Horowitz, pointed out how this contradicts policy. Police must have a solid basis for arrest. Someone’s silence is not sufficient.

“If there’s just somebody on your property, and you have a gun and you shoot them, that’s not sufficient to arrest them. It just isn’t.”

Another issue people are now concerned about is the Castle Doctrine. Even in California, homeowners can legally defend themselves on their property. 

READ MORE: Homeowner Gets Into Shootout Over Attempted Theft of Luxury Cars

The disregard of these policies does not bode well for California. If citizens are prosecuted for defending themselves at home, when can they defend themselves?

This Bay Area homeowner will hopefully avoid being charged. He has a right to defend himself, especially inside his home and on his property.

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