Marysville police commend homeowner for proper use of a firearm

by: Ranji Sinha Updated:

MARYSVILLE, Wash. - A Marysville man came face to face with a burglar and drew his weapon. Both he and police say it was the right decision and may have prevented any further problems during the confrontation. It was a confrontation that was also caught on surveillance cameras.

Joe Hemrich says he was awake just before midnight Monday when he heard a noise outside. Not knowing what it was, he went to investigate and found a man in his driveway under his carport. Several shelves and drawers he kept in the area appeared to be ransacked, and the man who turned toward him was brandishing what looked like a baton or stick.

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Hemrich says he drew his weapon and ordered the man back.

“When I first saw the guy, nerves got me and I'm thinking oh goodness this is happening.”

Hemrich says he trained to use his firearm for over a decade but never knew what it would mean to draw it on someone.

“I just reacted, weapon in hand two feet from me, committing a crime.”

Hemrich said he was sitting in his living room chair when he heard the noise that startled him. He turned on his cameras but didn’t see anything.

Hemrich says he wasn't sure what he'd find at his side door.

Hemrich says the suspect dropped his baton or stick, backed up and even got down on the ground when ordered to do so.

“I felt very good about it because I don't want to shoot anybody, nobody does.”

Hemrich says the suspect was on the ground when police arrived and only tried to run when Hemrich disarmed himself when told to do so by police.

Hemrich says he was concerned because his family was home. He also admitted that he didn’t want to fire his weapon when he was so close to his neighbor’s home. While showing the surveillance video to

KIRO 7, Hemrich admitted that watching it again was unsettling. “Butterflies like crazy,” he said.

But Hemrich says he wanted to share his story because he felt that this time something went "right" with a gun. Marysville police agreed. “You can't train for the emotions you're going to feel when you're actually face to face.”

Marysville police say an officer was able to quickly catch the suspect even though he ran from the scene.

Police booked the suspect on theft and trespass charges. They also say he's wanted on several charges in Eastern Washington.
 

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