Homeowner draws weapon on suspected burglar, commended by police


Homeowner draws weapon on suspected burglar, commended by police

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Joe Hemrich has been commended by officers for how he used his firearm when a suspected burglar was at his home.

A Marysville, Washington, man came face to face with a burglar and drew his weapon. Police say it was the right decision and may have prevented any further problems during the confrontation. It was a confrontation that was also caught on surveillance cameras.

Joe Hemrich said he was sitting in his living room chair Monday night when he heard a noise outside. He turned on his surveillance cameras but didn’t see anything.

Not knowing what it was, he went outside to investigate and found a man in his driveway under his carport. Several shelves and drawers he kept in the area appeared to be ransacked. The man who turned toward him was brandishing what looked like a baton or stick.

Hemrich said he drew his weapon, which he had been trained to use for over a decade, and ordered the man back.

“When I first saw the guy, nerves got me and I’m thinking, ‘Oh goodness. This is happening.’”

Hemrich said the suspect dropped what was in his hand, backed away and got down on the ground when told to do so.

“I felt very good about it because I don't want to shoot anybody,” he said.
“Nobody does.”

The suspect was on the ground when police arrived and only tried to run when Hemrich disarmed himself when told to do so by police.

Hemrich said he was concerned because his family was home. He also admitted that he didn’t want to fire his weapon when he was so close to his neighbor’s house.

For Hemrich, watching surveillance video again was unsettling, but he wanted to share his story because he felt that this time something went “right” with a gun.

“You can’t train for the emotions you’re going to feel when you're actually face to face,” Hemrich said. Marysville police agree.

Authorities said an officer was able to quickly catch the suspect even though he ran from the scene.

Police booked the suspect on theft and trespass charges. They say he’s also wanted on several other charges.

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