Gun stores see rise in Hoosiers looking for home protection

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WESTFILED, Ind. -- Two deadly home invasions happened this week in Indianapolis. Each time, police say the homeowners shot and killed the intruders.

The first one happened Tuesday at 75th and Hague Road in Castleton. Police said a teenage suspect broke a window and forced his way inside the home. A man, his wife, and 3-year-old child were sleeping.

The second one happened Wednesday afternoon on the city's East side near 30th and Mitthoeffer. Police said a mother heard someone breaking into her apartment and found an armed suspect inside her home.

At Tim's Shooting Academy, President Tim Tomich said he's seen a huge increase in people coming in looking to buy guns for home protection.

"A lot of women coming in. We see a lot of older people coming in," Tomich said.

The shooting academy offers a home protection program for homeowners to learn how to protect themselves using guns. If an intruder shows up to your home, Tomich said to first go to a safe room, then grab your gun, and call 911.

"When you hear the perpetrator come to the door, walk up the stairs or walk down the hallway, 'hey I hear you. I’ve called 911 and I have a gun.' Hopefully, they will run away," he said.

If that person doesn't leave, Indiana law says you have the right to use deadly force.

"If someone’s unlawfully attempting to enter your home or they’ve already unlawfully entered your home, then you can use deadly force," explained gun law attorney, Guy Relford.

The castle doctrine only applies to situations where an intruder is unlawfully inside your home.

"I’m just out on the edge of my yard somebody wants to come into my yard, well that’s trespassing, that’s not a felony, and I definitely can’t use deadly force just for that," Relford explained.

Each case can be different. Both Relford and Tomich said it's best to find other options if possible, while understanding the consequences of firing your gun.

"I don’t want to take a human life, first and foremost. Secondly, you’re probably going to get sued even if it’s justified, and thirdly, that’s a homicide and it will be investigated by police as a homicide," Relford said.

Each case will likely be sent to the county prosecutors office to determine what, if any charges should be filed.

Click here to learn more about home defense classes offered.

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