Homeowner arrested for firing shots in burglary of his house, police say

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  • cwwvc salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 9, 2013 7:15 p.m.

    In a situation such as this there is a high amount of adrenalin and from my view it seems that Mr. Niederhauser was more in control than out of control. Intentionally firing away from people and property. That isn't to say something unforeseen couldn't happen. I agree it was a bad choice to fire at a car. However I do disagree with the term "deadly force" That shouldn't be used in this discussion because that implies knowing with intent to cause harm. He has stated he was intentionally away from the individuals. Its hard to second guess but if I was between a man with a crowbar and a getaway car I may have considered myself in imminent danger.

    "Deadly force, as defined by the United States Armed Forces, is the force which a person uses, causing—or that a person knows, or should know, would create a substantial risk of causing—death or serious bodily harm."

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    Feb. 6, 2013 3:40 p.m.

    I thought the White House just said there was no need for imminent threat before killing an American citizen?

  • HopScotch Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 3, 2013 9:46 p.m.

    Too Smart For You,

    First of all, that is a really silly title for your posting name.

    Second, you have no idea what he was feeling. If that man had gotten away, which he was about to, he could have easily come back and harmed Clare at a later time. I suggest that you think through and put yourself in the shoes of a 60plus year old man who came home to face criminals in his home and on his property, tried to contain at least one of them from fleeing, and felt he was in harms way as the criminal started fleeing the scene.

    If and when Clare goes to any trial, he'll be represented by the best there is in this town and he'll be in good shape with the outcome.

    Perhaps it would be well to put yourself in Clare's shoes rather than piping up with your brilliant pseudo legal insights. Remember, the scale of Lady Justice could easily go in a direction you don't want it to at some point in own your life.

  • The Judge Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 3, 2013 7:22 p.m.

    It speaks volumes about our society that the debate on this page is about whether a man has a right to protect his property rather than the fact that a career criminal is allowed to roam the streets.

  • WHAT NOW? Saint George, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 11:19 p.m.

    People are buying weapons...lots of weapons.

    Even though...

    This citizen had a CWP.

    Went to his vehicle.

    Secured his weapon.

    Steadied his weapon.

    Fired his weapon at the perps as they were driving away from the scene.

    Two rounds scattered around the neighborhood.

    Luckily, no unarmed innocents were wounded or killed.

    The nra would have you think that all you have to do is buy a weapon, practice at the range and than viola, you're Clint Eastwood.

    The nra has a financial interest in the public buying as many weapons as possible.

    The central purpose of the nra is to run cover for those who manufacture and/or sell weapons.


  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 10:39 p.m.

    You could easily help yourself here if you read the article somewhat carefully. Mr. Niederhauser fired at the burglars AFTER they began to drive/run away from him. Holding them at gunpoint on his property was legal. Firing shots once when they were fleeing the scene is not.

  • Seminole sandy, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 10:33 p.m.

    I disagree...The title of this article should be, "Burglars who break into a house of an elderly man premeditated and with a crowbar weapon fully assume the risk of their actions". I am just glad that the man did have home protection and that he is safe...

  • Seminole sandy, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 10:18 p.m.

    Can someone please help me here. . .I don't understand how the police in this case can make the assumption that Niederhauser wasn't personally "at risk" or in body danger when the robber runs out the house wielding a crowbar?

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 2, 2013 10:01 p.m.

    @owlmaster2:"Most are bullies that feel to carry a loaded weapon makes them a man." Is this just your opinion or do you have any kind of reliable research that backs up your claim.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 9:45 p.m.

    @ hopscotch

    I applaud your support of a good man, but reality says he was charged with shooting towards a person fleeing a crime and even the police are not justified in such response. I strongly urge and suggest you look at the fact that he was charged and will have a trial. The problem wasn't that he got his gun, it's that he discharged it illegally. Running away isn't a crime that rises to the level of allowing a person to be shot.

    @ DN Subscriber 2

    Yes, not only did the robber break the law, but so did the gun owner/shooter. On that we agree. Otherwise, why was he charged?

    You can't be serious that in our gun-toting, wild west culture you honestly feel the law should now allow you to shoot at a fleeing criminal just because he had a crowbar in hand a few minutes before and decided to drop it and run. Maybe if your could assure that the bullets would remain on your "own property" it would make more sense, but how are you going to police that?

    @ xscribe

    Good point.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 8:19 p.m.

    The robbery victim broke the law, that is pretty clear.

    However, laws can be changed. This should be the first example cited to the Legislature to support a change in the law so that lethal force can be used to protect yourself or others from death or serious bodily injury (as it is now) PLUS:
    To stop a fleeing suspect who has committed a felony burglary, robbery or assault if on your own property. But, the victim could be held jointly (and equally) liable with the fleeing felon for any damages or injuries resulting from the shots.

    Let's get back to supporting victims' rights, not those of criminals, and change the law.

  • HopScotch Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 8:06 p.m.

    To all of you who think Clare is trigger happy or a "gun nut" - my statement to you: you don't know the man. Anyone in the area where he lives knows he is an absolutely guile-free person. If the police had apprehended this thug when Clare had him held, no more action would have been necessary. Go Layton City Police.

    I'm also familiar with where Clare lives (which most of you are not) and the criminal was heading to an area where he could have easily disappeared - never to be found again (until he committed more crimes and put others at risk). And, I ask you what would have happened to Clare had he not gotten his gun in the first place - a crowbar over his head?

    Bottom line - Clare was defending himself and none of you who weren't in the situation should judge him. You have no idea how he felt and what he was experiencing. He's a good man and I (and A LOT) of others stand behind him 100%.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Feb. 2, 2013 6:49 p.m.

    "Burglers deserve to be shot, period."

    Really? Who else deserves to be shot breaking the law? Speeders? Red-light runners?

    I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but where do we draw the line?

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    @ Brian in Wasilla, Alaska....
    If I were called to serve on a jury in this matter, based on the story, I'd vote "guilty" to the charges lodged against this individual.
    To fire a deadly weapon at a fleeing suspect in a residential neighborhood is not only stupid and I emphasize stupid but its also against the law.
    Gun carrying nuts have murdered enough people in this nation on with the phony I feared for my life law.
    Most are bullies that feel to carry a loaded weapon makes them a man.
    There are too many gun carriers that have no experience or training that is truly needed.
    A 4 hour discussion isn't training, it's a joke.

  • legal citizen Murray, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    It's time our laws were in favor of the victim and not the criminals.
    So does the current law mean that to protect yourself you have to wait for the
    criminal to shoot you first or someone in your home, then its all right to do something about it?
    Its too late by then.
    I'm getting sick of the way this country is going, you have to be a criminal to have any rights. The homeowner here did the neighbors and
    others a service by at least stopping one of the burglers. Doesn't sound like the cop was
    trying to stop him or the getaway car. Now those guys are free to go on and break into someone
    else's home. The burglers are getting so they don't even care if someone is home when they
    break in. This man didn't even shoot to kill, sounds to me like he was being careful how and where he was shooting. We need more people like Clare. If these druggies are desparate enough to break in homes, one of these days they are going to be desparate enough to kill, and it may be your house. !

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    clydesdale; What about no knock warrants?

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Feb. 2, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    I lived in West Valley City years ago and while my wife and I were sitting at our kitchen table, a man ran by, right past our window in our yard. He was followed by a West Valley Mall security officer firing his revolver at the fleeing robber who robbed a jewelry story in the mall. The suspect jumped our fence into the field and the officer shot him in the butt and stopped him cold. No charges were filed, but the robber was caught, charged, convicted and jailed. One bullet went through our neighbors' front door and lodged in the wall next to where they were sitting. Things would have been different if someone innocent would have actually been shot and possibly killed, but I applaud the guy in this story for shooting at burglars. I hope it is a deterrent to these idiots who think it's ok to rob and steal. But for the actions of the burglars, this would have never happened. And but for this guy's efforts, they likely would have gotten away and kept it up.

  • Clydesdale Tooele, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    I would always stand on the side of the homeowner in a case like this. If a criminal wants to break into someones house they deserve to be shot. Period. Home owner=innocent by any standard.

  • Brian Wasilla, AK
    Feb. 2, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    Good luck finding a jury to convict.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    @ HopScotch

    "I applaud him and know he's smart enough to use his firearm responsibly."

    The evidence suggests otherwise.

    @ cwwvc

    "If I read the article correctly it also mentioned he was not shooting at the individuals."

    They why was he shooting in his neighborhood?

    Was he trying to scare the thief into surrending? We learn that bluffing with a gun isn't effective. To make a gun work effectively, you'vve got to be willing to shoot someone else. That's the bottom line.

    The neighbors and this man need to learn the laws regarding the use of deadly force. Yes it was wrong to have crminals burlge your home, but two wrongs don't make a "right" and shooting at a fleeing person is not legally defensible by either police or citizens.

    Tough lesson to learn; wonder how many "carrying" folks don't really know rhe law or are stable enough to keep their cool in a stressful situation versus being trigger-happy. Expect more violemce as gun ownership increases.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    The homeowner was not arrested because he drew a gun to protect his property and safety. He was arrested because he discharged his firearm in an illegal manner. The law does not allow someone to fire at someone running away from you and off your property. He shot at a car driving away and at the burglar who had dropped his pry bar & was running away, neither of which were directly threatening him at the time. That's why he was arrested. He did the right thing by keeping the burglar at gunpoint until the police arrived. He did the wrong thing when he pulled the trigger at someone not directly threatening him. These laws exist for a reason; you don't want bullets ricocheting around neighborhoods and punching holes in walls above your baby's crib if it's not a life-threatening situation. Don't like that, then change the law.

    Really, if someone can't understand the distinction here, they shouldn't be carrying a firearm.

  • mountain man Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 3:11 a.m.

    This is a very poor heading for this article. Better said arrested for shooting at fleeing house burgler

  • mcdugall Layton, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 3:03 a.m.

    @HopScotch - Clare was way out of line in using deadly force. At the time he discharged his firearm the criminals posed no danger to his personal safety (they were fleeing the scene) The charges failed against Clare are fare and chances are he will get a plea in abeyance.

    @cwwvc - "Frequently these days it seems the crimals rights overshadow the honest citizen." The criminal was also booked into Davis County jail and will face charges. Clare too broke the law by discharging his firearm with the intent of using deadly force when it was not necessary. Had the criminal not been fleeing the scene or was in his house Clare may have been within his rights to use deadly force. However, that was not the case.

  • cwwvc salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 1, 2013 11:05 p.m.

    I agree that firing a gun in a residental area is a bad idea, but being familar with the area involved there are no houses across the street or in the back yard. There are a lot of details left out of the story as printed and we ought to be careful drawing emotional conclusions not knowing all the facts. If I read the article correctly it also mentioned he was not shooting at the individuals. Lastly, if we are going to lay blame or condemnation on someone, none of this would have happened if some individuals hadn't decided to break the law by burglarizing a home. Frequently these days it seems the crimals rights overshadow the honest citizen.

  • HopScotch Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2013 8:21 p.m.

    Clare is one of the best men in the state of Utah. I applaud him and know he's smart enough to use his firearm responsibly.

    Bottom line: no one has the right to come on someone else's property, break into someone else's home, or put them in harm's way in any way. And, frankly, it's about time people started standing up for themselves against thugs like this. What if someone had been home when this guy broke in - how would he have used the crowbar then? Take a good look at his photo - he's a criminal. Clare did the right thing - he WAS protecting the neighborhood.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 1, 2013 6:22 p.m.

    Typical gun nut.... feared for his life? Or wanted to prove a point?

    I can understand protecting ones property but to fire bullets in a residential neighborhood is going over the edge.

    Nothing in this guys home is worth the death of another person.