Burglar Shot After Trying To Break Into Army Veteran’s Home

BALDWIN HILLS (CBS) — Burglars messed with the wrong senior when they decided to break into Jack Goodwin’s Baldwin Hills home.

The 87-year-old retired postal worker was in bed, listening to the Laker game Tuesday night when he heard a rear window in his house breaking. Goodwin got out of bed, picked up his gun, and walked down the hall. When he saw intruders at his window, he raised his gun and fired.

“When I saw them breaking the glass, I was, man. I got kinda — it was either me or them, then,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin happens to be an Army veteran who was a platoon leader for a rifle company stationed in Okinawa during World War II. His discharge papers labeled him a marksman.

When asked if he was a good shot, Goodwin said, “deadly.”

“I’m not bragging, but I was deadly,” Goodwin said, after a chuckle.

Goodwin believes burglars tried to break into his home because he lives alone and they believed he would be an easy target.

“I knew one thing — they were gonna deal with me,” Goodwin said. “Cause if you’ve got enough nerve to break in somebody’s house and they’re home, they’ve got enough nerve to kill you see. There’s no if or ands about it.”

The intruder Goodwin shot was hospitalized in critical condition. A second intruder is still on the loose. Police investigating the break-in and shooting say they have no plans to file charges against Goodwin.

Goodwin says he has no regrets about how it all went down and probably would do it again the same way.

“I could run, run out the front door probably,” he said. “But you don’t know who’s out there either. You just have to go down with the ship.”

  • LA's the place

    Bravo, Jack Goodwin, you are my hero. Both for your brave service to our country and for taking aim when your life was threatened.

  • Johnson

    Burglar brutality

  • Ervin Schoeppe

    EXCELLENT SHOOTING, I know things are probably financially tight being retired and all! But if it happens again, could you please use a couple of extra bullets, and I will send you a box of whatever you are using!!This just saves the county a lot of extra money later on. Penny wise dollar foolish!!

    • Rosie

      Amen brother!

  • Greg Stomash

    He should have at least shot him in the arm or leg. He didn’t deserve to die.

    • Shawn Dery

      Would you be saying the same thing if they broke into your house and hurt one of your family members? Anybody breaks into my house dies, period. I work too hard for what I have and I will protect my family at all costs. But since you dont want to protect your house, post your address up here so this crook thats still on the loose has an easier target next time!

    • Jay

      You sir are the fool – taking the side of the criminal rather than the law abiding citizen. Self-defense is a natural and civil right – in fact, probably the most important right humans have. If no have no right to self-defense, then you may not survive to exercise your other rights.

    • sunwolf

      Can you even see an arm or a leg at night with 87 year old eyes?

    • JT

      So if 2 guys broke into your house, say….with your family inside you wouldn’t shoot at the easiest/biggest target? You have 10 rounds in your handgun max, less if you have a revolver. How many seconds do you think it will take for someone to reach you running inside your home? 1-2 seconds?

      What happens if they incapacitate you? What happens to your family members when they are done with you?

      Shoot for the leg Greg, or better yet let them beat you/rob you and wait til a few minutes (at best) for the cops to show up. That is if you get through. The reason people sit on death row for decades sucking up taxpayer money are because of people like you.

      • DL

        Two rounds, center mass with .45 ACP stops a running dead in there tracks….

    • Mark

      Greg, you apparently have led a very sheltered life and aren’t familiar with this type of situation, nor are you familiar with the difficulty of hitting a moving target with a handgun even at conversational distance. Mr. Goodwin was a Marksman with the M1 Carbine, not a handgun, if I read the discharge paper correctly. When facing a deadly threat, you aim at the largest target presented, which is your opponent’s center of mass, and shoot until the threat stops. It looks like Mr. Goodwin missed at least once, but at least got one effective hit on the suspect, who is reported to be in critical condition, not dead.

    • bishop

      The intruder is critical, not dead.

  • Don Galley

    Are you nuts- shoot him in arm or leg- that BS only happens onTV. When you are confronted and in fear of your life you only get one shot–so make sure it is a good and deadly one!

    • Craig

      He should have just shot at their feet and made them do the Mexican hat dance.

  • Pat

    Tom your the biggest p-u-s-s-y in California !! Greg you take a close second you mope !

  • Armed

    If a person fires a shot, he is responsible for that projectile. Where would you like it to go? It is unfortunate that this criminal decided to burglarize an occupied home. Fortunately Mr. Goodwin had the will and capability to defend himself. An 87 year old man wouldn’t stand a chance in a physical altercation with an 18 year old.

  • Wayne Barricklow

    Ackerton, Fed Up, Stomash. you seem like open minded people. Why not talk to a law enforcement officer about this issue sometime. Next time you see a cop who isn’t too busy, ask how they’re trained. Ask if they’re trained to shoot for an arm or a leg, and ask why.

    And it wouldn’t hurt to put yourself in the shoes of an 87 year old man. Would you be willing to let these guys in and wrestle with them? You guys might be big, tough guys at your age, but at 87, maybe not so much.

  • Tommy Delves

    Some of you people need to stop attending Code Pink rallys. Seriously. You DON’T shoot to mame, you shoot to kill. Just like the Police are trained to shoot center mass, so should a homeowner who’s life is in danger. The burglar, well he made that decision to invade someones home. If he dies, it;s HIS fault, NOT the homeowners. It’s great seeing these stories as MOST of the time it’s the homeowner ending up dead……..

  • Donald

    Why did he have to shoot him? He could have easily fired a warning shot. These gun owners are out of control!


    • Jon reid

      I assume you’re being sarcastic of course, but you probably need to be more clear with your sarcasm.

      Just a note. All of you who understand that this man was absolutely correct, NEED to go to your local Friends of the NRA banquet. The money stays HERE in California. My small area of central California is the Largest fundraising area in the US. Northern and Southern california have MANY, MANY more people but fail to raise a quarter of what central california does. visit friendsofnra.org to find out. and remember we raffle off TONS of guns at each event. :)

    • Shawn Dery

      Donald, how can you say these gun owners are out of control? He was in his own house and these idiots made a clear decision to break in. I wouldve fired more than one shot. I have four kids at home and nobody is gonna come into my house and threaten my family. you are obviously uneducated on responsible firearm use.

  • Alpha Kenny Juan

    I think he should have shot the burglar’s hat off his head. (Burglars wear hats, don’t they?) Then he should have given the burglar a stern lecture.

    • John McMahan


  • Craig

    Well gee Tom, idk why he should have had to defend himself. Things like this aren’t supposed to happened. The police should have never let them in the window and maybe he should have just let them in the house to beat him to death. After all, in California it’s frowned upon to be a gun wielding defender and survivor. Here your expected to be a victim. Anyways, in any self defense course you are told to shoot to stop the threat. Anything else will subject you to a civil lawsuit.

  • http://thecryptojournalist.wordpress.com The Cryptojournalist

    Ahhh, kaarma

  • Darren C. U.S.M.C. Retired

    Are you kidding me!!!!! He is alone and scared for his life. The only warning shot that needs to be fired is a head shot.. GAME OVER. As for shooting him in the arm or leg, that is all we need is a convict who is now disabled and we have to pick up his medical cost. Tom, you should be thankful that people like Jack have training in the proper use of weapons. You can only pray that when your life is in danger that someone with this training is there to save your life when your failed attempts to talk to your attacker fail.

  • Arondos

    Being a criminal should be a dangerous occupation. BRAVO!

  • Great story!

    Seems the tide is turning towards the law abiding citizen’s here in California.

    I like that more and more stories are written about robbery suspects being shot dead and or seriously wounded. It’s to bad for those that feel the wild west has returned, guess again. It never left and will become worse due to moonbeams cuts and forced early releases of convicted criminals. The numbers are stacked against the liberal who thinks that they will not fall victim of a robbery/home invation. At that time you will wish you had a gun to protect yourself and family!
    Good luck and practice on your aim!

  • Greg with common sense

    Warning shots are more effective when you hit the target. Thats why the other guy left.

  • MolonLabe

    You shoot to hit your target, that means in the center of whatever target is presented. Just so happens many of our most vital organs are located in the central area of our bodies.

    Msg to the old man: glad you came through alive and in one piece.
    Msg to the bad guys: play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

    Bad guys should be in fear of victimizing the innocent, fear of force is what prevents crime. Law only punishes after the fact.

  • CarlosT

    Warning shots are highly irresponsible. If you’re going to use a gun, you’re using lethal force, and you have to know where your bullets are going. Deliberately missing a target means sending a bullet off somewhere to an unidentified target. Either you’re justified in using lethal force, i.e. a gun, or you’re not. If you are justified, take the shot at center mass. If you’re not justified, don’t take the shot.


    If the a$Shole is on the outside fire a warning shot, inside shoot to kill. Guess who is now on the hook for the for the sh!thead’s medical treatment.

    • 1 I pete

      if the kid who was shot dies, and they catch the other guy who ran away screaming like a baby, HE is on the hook for murder of his accomplice.

      1 shot.1 kill.
      there is NO other way!

      @YJC – if you knew him, what did you do to convince him a life of crime is not a good choice?

  • Youth Justice Coalition

    This student came to my school.My prayers go to the student and his family. This student would dance around my school making everyone happy, his positive energy would shine light in my school. he made everyone laugh and smile. God’s gonna take him in his arms and make him the angel he’s meant to be. He didn’t deserve to get shot in this manner its not fair. He was a youth organizer, an intelligent student,a warrior, and church going student. he was in the choir and an usher. We don’t need guns in our homes, we need justice, we need love. Guns aren’t the answer to everything. Where’s the dialogue? this man who shot him did a lot of harm not just a family that’s grieving, but a whole school and its community.

    • John Q. Public

      How sweet. In actuality though he just another low life criminal. He got exactly what he deserves. Good riddance!

    • judy Q

      guns are ‘the answer’ to someone breaking into your house.
      a dead criminal cannot commit another crime.
      is that justice? or just us that don’t want to be a victim?
      what would your reply be to an 87yo man that was robbed, beaten and left for dead?
      too bad he didnt have a way[gun] to defend himself???

    • Astonished

      Uh, your kidding, right? This kidd doesn’t sound like such an angel to me! Church going usher; singer AND, youth organizing burgler. That’s a new one on me!

      So, by your account, it was more fair for your friend to break into and rob or burgerize this homeowner, than for the homeowner to defend his life and prperty.

      Boy, do you need a reality check!

      • Anonymous

        You didnt know him, so who are you to talk?

        your one of the ignorant people out in this world. hope you decide to change that.

    • Other Greg

      Guns arent the answer to everything, but they are the answer when someone is breaking into your house. We need justice? Justice was served.

      • other greg

        Oh…sorry we do need justice, the kid should pay for the broken window

    • Pro Pilot

      You are so, so wrong! This kid was no saint. He was burglarizing an 87 year old man in his home! The only thing that you got right is that the kid was a warrior. You try to break into someone’s home and you have declared war upon yourself and deserve to be shot. He obviously didn’t learn very much at his church because burglary is a wrong and a sin against God and his fellow man. We most certainly do need guns in our homes to protect ourselves against thugs such as this kid. The man who shot him is not to blame for the grief his family or community is feeling. The young man is to blame for a terrible choice that he made when he attempted to burglarize the old man’s house. Justice was indeed served.

    • Greg Stomash


      I couldn’t agree more! Jamaar made some mistakes in life, but he is a great boy. I mean he just graduated from UTI and got his GED. Jamaar is an angel and did not deserve to be treated so inhumanly. Gun owners are out of their minds….

      • peoplercRAZY

        INHUMANLY. WOW!!! what are u on DRUGS!!!! He violated someone’s home.

      • Other Greg

        Out of our minds? Just graduating wih the skill to get a job and then throwing it away breaking into a house is what I would call out of his mind. If you are capable of making the decision to commit a crime, you are capable of understanding and evaluating all the consequences. He chose his path.

    • Ross

      The family of the bundle of positive energy should be paying for the broken window and for the ammunition Mr. Goodwin used to defend himself and finally for the counseling he should get after using his gun to defend himself. Having to kill someone is usually quite harmful to the person who did the killing.

      I am prepared to defend my family, but I sincerely hope that I am never in the position that Mr. Goodwin found himself in.

  • YJC

    RIP lynnard baker he went to my school he didnt deserve to die good kid in a bad situation and that old man should be ashamed of his self for killin my boy and our youth!!

    • LAFightBack

      Shame on him for not lying on the ground and cowering in fear of a gang of “good kids”
      You really ought to get some help. Your outlook is sadly skewed towards enabling young bangers like Lynn-Dog Baker.

    • RM

      The stupid guy – NOT a Kid. Did not die. My God read the the article! and if he has since this was published GOOD! he got what he deserved! Mr. Goodwin just saved us a lot of money and time on this idiot, (wish he would have gotten both of them) You good people did a bang up job raising this “kid”. Way to go, hope you don’t have more like him.

  • TR

    It’s sadly ironic that whenever a young person is killed while engaging in criminal activity; they were always the good ones. Here’s a bright idea. How about if all you good kids stay home or in church instead of running around doing questionable deeds. If a burglar is bold enough to choose a target where someone’s at home, they are desperate enough to harm or even kill it’s occupants.
    I’m sorry that all these folks lost a bright and gifted youth. However, that “good boy” was lost to you all long before he was shot while engaging in a criminal activity.

  • PRO-2A

    But but but he was a good kid? A good kid with complete disregard for someone elses property.
    He didn’t deserve to get shot!
    Breaking and Entering, the gateway crime to armed robbery, car jackings, murder, rape, the list goes on and on. Sometimes I wish the criminals would go after the liberals exclusively.

  • http://fellowshiproom.org/2012/02/03/plans-to-establish-a-new-church-article-needed-rebranding-c/ Plans to establish a new church, article needed, rebranding &c. « The Fellowship Room

    […] Reckon we’re as prepared for the invasion of false teachings in our congregations as this man was for the burglars who broke a back window and entered his home? Seems like some brethren are […]

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