A would-be home invasion and assault suspect was shot and killed after beating an elderly woman with a baseball bat. The Lower Paxton Township police responded to the incident which occurred in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.
The 911 called was made at 6 am on a Sunday morning when the caller reported that a man was trying to kill him at a residence on Fairway Lane. This was the first of several calls that the police force received within a short time frame during those early morning hours.
Moments after the first phone call, while the police dispatched were on their way to the location, another 911 call was received where the caller stated that they saw someone beating a person with a baseball bat in the driveway of their own home. This call was then followed only a few minutes later by another report of a similar suspect breaking into another home on the same block.
Police reported that the first incident that occurred that morning was an assault on an elderly woman by the suspect with a baseball bat in the driveway of her home. The victim was brought to the Penn State Milton S. Hersey Medical Center where they ended up being treated for head trauma and a broken arm. While the entire incident hasn’t been disclosed by police, it is believed that the altercation began with a domestic dispute between the elderly woman and the suspect resulting in the assault. The suspect was a guest of the elderly woman’s son who resided at the home with her.
It was after this incident that the suspect attempted to break into the second home on the same street and where the assailant met his match. It was at the second home that the suspect forced his way in with a baseball bat and the homeowner struck him once in the abdomen after he gained entry to the house. The suspect was transported to a local hospital to treat his injuries but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. The suspect was later identified as 23-year-old Servando Santos from West Market Street in York.
After an investigation by police, it was discovered that Santos did not know anyone at the second residence and the break-in appears to be random. After Santos had forced his way into the home, the homeowner confronted the invader, told him to leave and stated that he was armed. The suspect continued to advance when the homeowner fired several shots before striking him in the abdomen.
Even after being hit the residents in the house said that he continued to struggle with them until they were able to get him restrained. While the incident is still under investigation, David Spotts, the Lower Paxton Public Safety Director stated that the shooting, “appears to be appropriate use of force in self-defense under the Castle Doctrine.” The district attorney’s office will have the final say if any charges are filed.
The Castle Doctrine in Pennsylvania states that a person in any lawful place outside his home “has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and use force, including deadly force if . . . (he) believes it is immediately necessary to do so to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping, or sexual intercourse by force or threat.” (18 PA consolidated statutes 505(b)(2.3)). The provision also includes a requirement that the assailant be carrying a weapon that can be used for deadly force. A baseball bat is often considered a potentially deadly weapon in many courts of law.
With the increase of homeowners exercising their 2nd amendment rights to bear arms in defense of their home and continued support for Castle Doctrine or Stand Your Ground laws in many states, hopefully would-be criminals will begin to think twice about victimizing law abiding citizens who are defending their homes and families.
~ American Gun News