Elderly Homeowner Charged with Manslaughter for Shooting at Home Invaders, Killing One

DAVID PETTERSEN. CHARGED WITH SECOND DEGREE MANSLAUGHTER.

Given his age, which is 65, David Pettersen was right to be afraid of a gang of teens who admit that they were casing his house for a burglary. It isn’t clear that all of them were white, but the dead teen shot by Pettersen was of European descent.

The moral and legal question is whether he was justified in trying to shoot out the tires of the car in which teen Nick Embertson was fleeing.

Fox News

A Minnesota homeowner is facing manslaughter charges after he told police he shot at a group of men who had tried breaking into his home, and one of the suspects later died in the hospital.

David Allen Pettersen, 65, called police around 7 a.m. Saturday to report a possible burglary and shooting at his home in Fieldon Township, just south of Madelia. According to the charging documents, Pettersen told the dispatcher he fired his handgun at a gray car that was leaving his property after an attempted burglary.

A deputy responding to the call found the car 2 miles north of Pettersen’s home, with three people inside. One of the passengers, 19-year-old Nicolas Thomas Embertson, had a gunshot wound and later died at Madelia Hospital.

NICOLAS EMBERTSON. HAS DONE HIS LAST BURGLARY.

Another passenger, 18-year-old Kyle Thomas Nason, had a broken ankle. He told police that he, Embertson and a third man — 18-year-old Cornelius Ayers — were at Pettersen’s home to “case” it for a future burglary.

Nason said his friends gave him a boost onto the second-level deck of the home, and that he injured his ankle when making the 10-foot jump back down. He told police he heard two loud bangs as Embertson drove away from the home. As they were headed down the driveway, Embertson said, “I think I’ve been hit,” before losing consciousness. Nason continued driving the car until they were stopped by the deputy responding to Petterson’s 911 call.

Pettersen told investigators he was in bed when he heard someone trying to open a door to the deck. He saw the person jump from the deck and crawl toward a car, at which point he grabbed a .45 caliber handgun and tried to shoot the tires of the car. Pettersen said he was about 10 feet from the car when he fired two or three shots.

Pettersen was arrested and booked into the Watonwan County Jail. Monday morning, he was charged with second-degree manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm.

“The law does say a self-defense law, but what we’ve gathered so far, we feel we have enough to charge him with second-degree manslaughter,” Watonwan County Chief Deputy Jeremy Nachreiner told KEYC-TV in Mankato.

If I were Pettersen’s lawyer I would emphasize his age, the fear factor, and the fact that he was outnumbered three to one by vital young teens. And I would emphasize that he was afraid they would come back, which they admitted they planned to do.

Any other amateur lawyers out there willing to argue for Petterson’s acquittal?

9 thoughts on “Elderly Homeowner Charged with Manslaughter for Shooting at Home Invaders, Killing One

  1. Wanna bet that if he never shot at the car, the police would never have found them or if they did, they wouldn’t press any charges?
    Dunno, this seems kinda weird to me.
    I mean, policemen shoot people all the time because they are afraid, even fatally, but they are supposed to be trained professionals.
    Meanwhile, if you as a civilian with no training shoot someone because you fear for your life because they tried to break into your house, you go to jail.
    Kinda weird ain’it?

    • You’re right on all counts. The police would not have found them. Once in a while a white cop goes on trial, but that’s usually political, related to the fact that the dead thug was black. If this homeowner has killed a black it might be a murder charge.

  2. “Pettersen told investigators he was in bed when he heard someone trying to open a door to the deck. He saw the person jump from the deck and crawl toward a car, at which point he grabbed a .45 caliber handgun and tried to shoot the tires of the car. Pettersen said he was about 10 feet from the car when he fired two or three shots.”

    10 feet? i do not think so. If he was at ten feet, how did he miss and fire inside the car instead? This man is in deep poop. Remember that these guys did not even break in – they only tried to do so. You can only shoot home invaders who break in to your locked house, or sometimes armed people pointing a gun at you etc. Shooting people running away is rarely allowed – unless maybe they have done some very serious crime. I am not a lawyer and if I was I would be ashamed to post my opinions on this site. Some/many lawyers are liars who get guilty people off and convict innocent ones, all in a days work. Or sue innocent people on behalf of crooks and liars etc. Many lawyers become politicians like Obummer, Laughing Hillary and “Honest” Abe Lincoln.

    The 65 year old should have studied the law and above all he should have gone to regular target practice at the range. Shooting out tyres with soft lead bullets from a handgun is a bit fanciful, especially in the dark. Do not use TV shows and movies as a life guide.

    • You are correct in the context of your argument, but I don’t care. I’s immoral to steal, and these guys targeted someone vulnerable and and well beyond his physical prime. They were going to come back. He defended his territory. I wish all three of them had been killed. That is justice by my terms.

      • This is one we can reasonably disagree over. My sentiments waffle but I tend to agree with you right now. Tomorrow I might have a different opinion. I hope that if he is convicted that he’s sentenced to probation. He’s not a danger to anyone other than thugs.

    • Yes always shoot non violent invaders in the chest and never in the back. Better to let them do some break and enter, e.g. break a window or a lock – though a wise shooter could do that afterwards with gloves on! There was a guy shot a loud crazy Cooness through his front wire screen at 3 a.m. and I think he got 22 years or so in jail?

      • Shooting them in the back is a different deal, they are fleeing and no longer a threat…. mostly

        Not the same as shooting through a door while someone is kicking it in

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