Escaped murder suspect killed by family he took hostage

You may have heard the phrase “Guns don’t kill people” followed by an alleged witticism crafted by an ardent fan of the 2nd Amendment.

Escaped inmate Rafael McCloud in photo provided by Vicksburg police.

Rafael McCloud in a photo provided by Vicksburg police.

Statistics can be biased, but I think it is fair to say guns kill more innocent people than criminals.

Sometimes, however, the person killed by a gun is an escaped murder suspect who invaded a home and took a family hostage.

Today’s interesting example comes from Vicksburg, Mississippi, where escaped inmate Rafael McCloud picked the wrong house.

According to local media, on Thursday morning, at about 4 a.m., McCloud saw a 30-year-old homeowner and his 5-year-old son getting into a car in their garage. McCloud approached with a knife and forced them into the home.

The father fought back and was stabbed. McCloud tied the man up and put him in the bathroom with his kid and 24-year-old wife.

The woman, at some point, was able to get out of the bathroom and returned with a gun. She shot McCloud once and untied her husband, who then shot him some more.

Police arriving at the home at about 7 a.m. found McCloud’s bullet-riddled body in the bathtub. The father was hospitalized with the knife wound.

Police said McCloud had no prior association with the family.

McCloud escaped the Warren County jail March 2. He was charged with murder, rape, burglary, arson, auto theft and various other crimes in the June 28 death of Sharen Wilson.

Wilson’s death has been called one of the most gruesome murders in Vicksburg history.

I’m pretty sure the father won’t be charged with a crime in Mississippi, but what about in other states? Would a prosecutor anywhere argue that the husband broke the law by shooting McCloud?

We don’t know the details of how injured McCloud was by the wife’s first shot, or if McCloud was fleeing, but since his body was found in the bathtub and McCloud can’t give his side of the story, there’s little chance any prosecutor would touch this one.

But you never know.

In Colorado, prosecutors considered charges against a homeowner who shot and killed a man who had tied him up and robbed him.

In Ohio, a homeowner was charged with manslaughter for killing a home invasion suspect.

In general, it seems homeowners are charged only when they chase and shoot fleeing suspects.

A police officer once told me, and I am sure he was joking, that if I ever shot someone in my yard it would smart to drag them inside my house before police arrived.

But wouldn’t that just add “tampering with a crime scene” to the list of charges?

I hope none of us are ever confronted with such a decision.


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