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A lot of people have been talking about this story out of Chicopee, in which a man killed a drunk teenager who was looking for his friend’s house, but didn’t realize he was knocking on the wrong door. The man allegedly viewed the teenager as a threat and shot him through the door:
On Saturday, Jeffrey Lovell shot and killed Dylan Francisco, a 15-year-old from Springfield who was knocking on his door at 120 Boucher Circle in Chicopee. Lovell told police his wife woke him up at around 1 p.m. because she believed two people were trying to break into the house. Lovell said he saw Francisco walking around in his yard, and then the teenager started banging on a locked door. The door had three panes of glass in it. Francisco’s knocking broke one of the panes, and Lovell shot him once in the chest.
“Mr. Lovell told this party to ‘get the f–k out’ and ‘stay the f–k out.’ As the … party continued to bang on the door Mr. Lovell stated that the window broke at which time Mr. Lovell raised his loaded S & W (Smith & Wesson) firearm and shot one round through the glass of the door,” the police report states.
The door has three windows lined up vertically. The top window broke when the boy was knocking on it, said James Leydon, spokesman for Gulluni.
Lovell had called Chicopee police to report a breaking and entering in progress. Officers arrived to find Francisco suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to Baystate Medical Center, where he died about eight hours later. Prosecutors said Francisco had gone to the wrong house, probably because he was confused after drinking alcohol with friends. Two other teens were with him at the time of his death; they were unharmed. The 42-year-old was arrested, charged with first-degree murder and held without bail.
The details of the case have raised questions from readers of The Republican/MassLive about the laws surrounding home defense. On Monday, we spoke with legal and firearms experts about the Castle Doctrine, which gives Massachusetts residents the right to use deadly force against intruders in certain situations.
Western New England University law professor Bridgette Baldwin said that, to use deadly force, a homeowner must have a reasonable belief that there is an immediate or imminent threat of grievous bodily harm or death. While cautioning that her knowledge of the Lovell case is limited to media reports, she said the circumstances don’t appear to justify deadly force, but a first-degree murder charge may not be appropriate, either.
So this is a huge story in the 413 right now. The kid who was killed is homeless and has really gotten a raw deal in life. He didn’t mean to knock on the wrong door but he was obviously drunk and belligerent. And he certainly shouldn’t have to die for it, because we’ve all been young, drunk, and stupid before.
Look, this is pretty simple – the guy who shot him is at fault, but he’s being overcharged with first degree murder. If you want criminals to go to jail then prosecutors have to stop overcharging them. Just ask Marilyn Mosby about that in Baltimore.
Turtleboy has been and will be in favor of gun rights in order for people to protect themselves. But this is exactly the type of person who should not be owning guns. They give responsible gun owners a bad name. If he wasn’t inside of your house then he’s not a direct threat. If you don’t understand what he’s saying because he’s wasted, then you don’t shoot first and ask questions later. You just can’t come up with a scenario in which this guy was legitimately in harm’s way.
It’s just insane when you think about it. If we’re gonna let people shoot random people who knock on our doors then there will be no more Jehovah’s Witnesses or girl scout cookies. And things will be awkward between the mailman and I. What if it was someone in distress who was running away from an actual crime and was looking for help? We’re gonna shoot all these people because……self defense? Give me a break.
Anyway, just as you can imagine it’s brought out all the patriotic wannabe rambo yahoos:
“The man only had to fear for his or his family’s life.”
Bullshit. The term “self defense” is to the far right what “hate speech” is to the far left. It’s a vague term that seems to be used whenever it’s convenient. He wasn’t in imminent danger against a 15 year old while he was behind a locked door and two pains of glass. Try again.
If he legitimately felt like his life was in danger then he has no business owning a gun. Because a rational person would not feel as if their life was in danger.
Yea, this kid deserved to die for being drunk and knocking on the wrong door. That seems reasonable.
Yea, the homeowner could’ve been the one lying on the ground dead. Except the teenager didn’t have a gun. And he was safely inside his locked home. Besides that you’re spot on buddy.
The bottom line is that this is an awful tragedy and terrible luck, but it’s not first degree murder. It’s definitely a crime though. When you buy a gun, you’re taking responsibility for your actions with it. You have to follow the law, and you can’t shoot at random people who knock on your door in the middle of the night.
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