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A South Minneapolis Woman Is Claiming Self-Defense After Killing Home Invader

Originally published March 2

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It was a scene that shocked neighbors in this south Minneapolis neighborhood: A man lying face down in the snow, shot while breaking into a garage.

The homeowner who shot him is claiming self-defense.

Defense Attorney Joe Tamburino is not affiliated with this case but told WCCO-TV what Minnesota law says about claims of self-defense.

He says a person must always first try and get away from the situation without using a gun.

"The reason why there is a duty to retreat is because the law wants you to try anything else you can do that's within reason before you resort to force," Tamburino said. "In your home you have no duty to retreat. It seems here she was not in her home, she was in a detached garage, a detached garage is truly not considered home."

What does help the homeowner according to Tamburino is the fact that she says she fired four warning shots.

"What it shows there is she did not want to use deadly force at that time, rather she was trying to scare him off, and it didn't work, he kept coming, and then supposedly reached for something in his waistband, so, yes, it helps her side that she tried to warn him to stop and he did not stop," Tamburino said.

According to the search warrant the homeowner was not alone.

"She was there along with her 26-year-old son, so therefore we have two witnesses, herself and her son, so she could be trying to defend three things: herself, her son and her property," Tamburino said.

Tamborino says under Minnesota law its completely legal for you to defend yourself or use deadly force if your life is in danger.

Based on the warrant, Tamburino says the homeowner is unlikely to face charges. He says she has a very good self-defense, and defense of others, case.

The Hennepin County Attorney Office has not yet made a charging decision.

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