Little Falls shooting self-defense or murder?Little Falls, MN (WDAY TV) - We are learning much more today about a home break-in in Little Falls Minnesota that left two teens dead.
Little Falls, MN (WDAY TV) - We are learning much more today about a home break-in in Little Falls Minnesota that left two teens dead.
The homeowner admitted to killing the 17 and 18 year olds but says although he fired more shots than he needed, it was self-defense. Authorities say it was excessive and have now filed murder charges.
It's been a hot debate today. Was it self-defense or murder?
Prosecutors have laid out the details of how the teens were killed. And say it's those details that led them to file two counts of 2nd degree murder against 64 years old Byron Smith.
This all started Friday when Smith's neighbor called deputies to the area over concern of a death.
Sheriff Michel Wetzel, Morrison County: "Mr. Smith told them he did kill two people that were breaking into his home."
Byron Smith was taken in for questioning where authorities say he gave a detailed statement.
He said after hearing someone break in, he armed himself with a rifle and pistol and went to the basement.
He said he shot the first victim 17 year old Nicholas Brady when he could see most of his body coming down the stairs.
Wetzel: "The person fell to the bottom of the stairs and then Mr. Smith said he fired several more rounds at point blank range."
He then moved the body into a room.
That's when the second victim 18 year old Haile Kifer started walking down the stairs. He shot her and dragged her into the room but noticed she was still gasping for air.
Wetzel: "Mr. Smith told us he then placed his .22 caliber pistol under the victims chin and fired a final shot."
What puzzled authorities, if this was self-defense, why did Smith not report it to authorities? It happened on Thursday. His neighbor called police Friday.
Wetzel: "Mr. Smith did tell us that it was Thanksgiving and he didn't want to trouble us on a holiday."
Minnesota law states a person has the right to use deadly force if it’s necessary to protect yourself from death or bodily harm.
In this case it went further. The sheriff says law does not allow you to execute someone.