Homeowner Defends Against Weapon of Opportunity

Nashville Shooting

Cleveland County, North Carolina – A man was shot and killed after he attacked a homeowner with a piece of deck railing early Wednesday morning.

According to the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, 911 operators received a call about someone beating on the side of a trailer home in Shelby.

Donald Bautista told officers he armed himself with a pistol and went to investigate the ruckus outside his home. When he exited the home, he saw someone run into the tree line behind his house and then was attacked by another individual.

Swinging a piece of deck railing, Robert Burns struck Bautista repeatedly, causing several defensive wounds.

Bautista fired 1 round from his handgun trying to stop the attack and killed Burns. Detectives soon learned that Burns had been staying in the mobile home community with friends, but after a heated disagreement, had left in a state witnesses say was extremely impaired.

He then walked to Bautista’s home nearby and was met with a firearm. Neither of the men knew each other before the crime occurred. Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office say they have not filed any charges at this time but are awaiting the autopsy results from the NC State Medical Examiner’s Office. The case has been forwarded to the DA’s office for further scrutiny.

Home defense is exactly that. Defense. This means you should attempt to put yourself in a position in which it will be very difficult for your attacker to get to you.

In most cases, this means staying in your home with locked doors and wait for the police to arrive. While you may not be wrong for defending yourself, you are putting yourself in a position where you might need to shoot to save your live and this is to be avoided whenever possible.

Making sure that your doors and windows are secured isn’t enough to keep a determined intruder from getting in your home, but at the very least it will act as an early warning system to alert you as the intruders make noise attempting to get in. Locked doors and windows also slow them down enough for police to get to you, and for you to get to your home defense weapon.

Read here for the latest tactics and techniques of home defense with the Complete Home Defense – Tactics For Defending Your Castle.


  1. Lonnie Rush on March 6, 2020 at 10:05 am

    Although it sounds like a self defense case. In Illinois the homeowner may not be found as an innocent party because, he went to investigate a noise outside. I’m not saying I agree with it but you have to know your laws of your state.

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