LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — A 26-year-old Leavenworth man is under investigation after police said he shot and killed a man on his front porch early Thursday morning.
It happened at a house near South Seventh Street and Walnut Street around 3:30 a.m.
The Leavenworth Police Department said the man living at the home called 911 to report he shot someone trying to break into his house.
Officers arrived and found a man’s body. Investigators said the man suffered several gunshots before his death.
Police said the person who lives in the home told them he didn’t know the man who was trying to get inside. Right now, it’s being investigated as a homicide.
Yellow crime scene tape was in the trashcan and three bullet holes in the door of one Leavenworth home.
Chief Patrick Kitchens said the man who was killed was 33 years old.
“It was a Leavenworth resident that lived in the neighborhood,” Kitchens said. “It started apparently there was some sense that he was trying to get into the vehicle in the driveway first. Then, made his way to the apartment and then made some clear indications that he was trying to force his way into the home. And at that point the homeowner had a firearm and used it.”
Kitchens said they’re still in the fact-finding stage.
“A person lost their life, and we need to make sure that the law was followed in that regard and no crime was committed,” Kitchens said.
The Leavenworth Co. Prosecutor Todd Thompson said there’s a fine line between justified self-defense and bringing a gun to a knife fight.
“So, you have to just look at all the circumstances,” Thompson said.
He’s not seen this case hit his desk, but he does know Kansas law and self-defense.
“People come onto your property every day, solicitors whatever, you can’t just shoot them,” Thompson said. “They have to be doing something, some overact to make that person fear. And then that fear has to be so over-act, so reasonable, that it’s not just bodily harm, it’s great bodily harm or death.”
Thompson said the force of protection should match the level of threat. If someone was protecting themselves from great bodily harm or death, it could be reasonable that they protect themselves as they see fit.
He said there are several other factors to consider, like if the intruder has a weapon, “Does the person know, time of day, the way the person’s trying to invade the home. All those factors weigh-in to it,” Thompson said.
At this point no charges have been filed. Leavenworth police continue to investigate.
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