BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - So far, in 2018, three men have been reportedly shot in alleged home invasions. Two of them occurred earlier this week.
The most recent one happened Tuesday morning when a 34-year-old man allegedly forced his way inside an apartment on Victoria Drive.
One of the three people inside of the apartment grabbed a handgun and shot the intruder multiple times, according to the Baton Rouge Police Department.
The alleged intruder is currently in the hospital and is expected to survive. He will be booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on the charge of home invasion when he is released from the hospital.
The second-most recent incident happened Monday afternoon when Michael Duchamp, 31, was shot and killed after allegedly hitting the homeowner with a lead pipe.
Duchamp and two other men, Anthony Myles and Arthur Rogers, allegedly broke into the house with the intention of robbing the homeowner, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.
In another case, David Martin, 26, was shot and killed by a homeowner when he "unlawfully entered" a home in the 3400 block of Canyonland Drive around 3:30 a.m. on Feb. 25.
Investigators say, Martin, whose home address is located less than a block from where the shooting occurred, did not have permission to enter the home. A spokesperson for the Baton Rouge Police Department said the law enforcement agency has since ruled the homeowner was justified in shooting David Martin in self-defense.
The deaths of Martin and Duchamp represent two of the 20 shooting deaths so far in 2018.
If charges are not brought against the homeowners who shot the two men, the cases will be declared justifiable homicides.
Justifiable homicides accounted for eight of the 121 total homicides that happened in East Baton Rouge Parish during 2017.
Three of those justifiable homicides in 2017 were incidents where a homeowner shot and killed an intruder.
No such incidents occurred in 2016.
One incident involving a homeowner shooting and killing a burglar occurred in both 2015 and 2014.
Sgt. L'Jean McKneely of the Baton Rouge Police Department says home invasions are "a crime of opportunity."
"There is no sure way of preventing this from happening," he noted.
However, McKneely says there some things homeowners can do to deter such crimes from happening.
If possible police recommend homeowners:
- Have adequate lighting around the property
- Have an alarm system
- Have video surveillance cameras monitor the outer and inner perimeter of the home
"Most criminals like to commit crimes with the least amount of resistance," he added.
McKneely also says be sure to put up signs in the yard that say the home has an alarm system or surveillance cameras. Law enforcement officials also suggest having a dog inside the home and keeping lights on when leaving the home.
When asked about the rights a homeowner has regarding using a gun to defend themselves, McKneely said, "A homeowner has the right to defend himself, family and property. It is legal to have a weapon inside your home."
However, a convicted felon would not legally be able to use a firearm as they are not allowed to possess or be around firearms.
WAFB reached out to East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore, who responded with a document that legally defines "justifiable" violence or homicide in the state of Louisiana.
Read the document below: