An Update on the Cape Coral Defensive Shooting.
There’s this story from Tuesday:
By PHILLIP BANTZ, Daily News Correspondent
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Jacob Seckler keeps a gun in his pocket when he mows the lawn. He keeps a gun in his pillowcase when he tries to sleep, but the shadows dancing across the bedroom walls keep him awake.
“I’m strictly against guns. I never wanted them in the house,” said Seckler. “Now I wouldn’t be in the house without a gun.”
Mr. Seckler is another person who has discovered that he is responsible for his own protection. It is quite often a significant shock.
Seckler’s stance on guns changed the morning of May 16. He was mowing his lawn when he turned around and saw two 20-year-old men standing behind him. Seckler said one of the men was pointing a gun at his head.
After Seckler, 50, raised his hands to the sky, the two men pushed him past the garage toward the front door of his home in northeast Cape Coral.
That would be the $297,000 home built last year at 2125 Northeast 1st Ave, just east of Santa Barbara Boulevard and north of Pine Island Road, as reported by the local News-Press on May 16. I just thought you should know. For some reason that paper thought it important.
They held him at gunpoint and said they were getting into his house no matter what.
A struggle ensued at the front door. Seckler refused to let the men inside and they beat him over the head with the pistol and their elbows and fists. One of the men bit Seckler’s back. Seckler’s fiancée, Elizabeth Kachnic, 37, said she heard screaming and the door slam repeatedly.
“I don’t know what happened to me,” said Seckler. “I was so scared. I’m not crazy like that, but I knew I had to do something.”
No sir, you are not crazy. You did your job and defended yourself and your fiancée at the risk of your own life. You understood what was at stake, and took the proper action. And you were lucky. No doubt about it.
The gun was pressed against Seckler’s temple. He said he pushed the assailant’s hand down and the gun fell to the ground. Seckler said he screamed for Kachnic to call 911 as he and the two men scrambled for the weapon.
“I got the gun. I just turned around and shot,” said Seckler. “If they did not come here with a gun, they would be alive. It’s their fault.”
And thankfully, that’s the position that Florida law takes as well.
He fired every bullet in the clip.
I have read elsewhere that the firearm in question was a .38 revolver, but seeing as this is a newspaper report and newspaper reporters tend to be completely ignorant of firearms, I will take the “every bullet in the clip” statement with a grain of salt the size of the rock of Gibraltar.
One of the men, John Patrick Moore Jr., was hit as he sprinted across Seckler’s driveway. He stumbled to the edge of the street and died.
The story on this is at variance with other reports as well. Mr. Moore is reported to have been shot in the side. I have no doubt he was able to sprint some distance before his mortal wound felled him, however.
Police say Moore’s accomplice, Damion Jordan Shearod, fled when they lost control of the gun. Seckler said Shearod was hiding in the garage or the side of his home and appeared after the gunfire ceased and ran to a car parked in the street outside Seckler’s residence.
Police say Moore’s 19-year-old girlfriend, Jazzmyne Carrol-Love, was waiting behind the wheel and the two sped away.
Seckler had just killed a man. He hadn’t held or fired a gun since he was 18 years old and serving in the German Army. Even then, he was only aiming at practice targets.
“I was crying, screaming and hurting,” said Seckler, a large man who became tearful while recounting the shooting. “If they would have gotten in they would have killed us both. Everybody says I did the right thing, but it feels so bad. I killed another person.”
That’s something you have to live with. “Better him than me” does not make the taking of a life any easier, but at least you’re around to feel bad about it.
Lives changed forever
Long bands of yellow police tape cordoned off their home and detectives stood in their driveway looking down at a puddle of blood as Seckler and Kachnic packed their essentials and drove away on the evening of the shooting.
They lived in an area hotel for a week. Then they rented a camper and left Lee County for a while. Seckler said he had an emotional breakdown at the RV park and requested a priest. The priest was not available and the police were called, but they could not ease Seckler’s troubled mind.
The Catholic church must be suffering a real shortage of clergy…
The couple returned to their Cape Coral home Monday. The house had symbolized a new beginning for the pair, who left the perpetual hustle of New York behind in January and headed for the Sunshine State.
On the afternoon of their return, Seckler slid his new handgun into his pocket and started up the lawn mower. He mowed part of the side yard before the fear took hold. He went back into his home and locked the doors.
“We have to lock ourselves in to feel safe during the day,” said Seckler. “We don’t feel safe going to dinner and coming home at night. It feels like someone’s hiding around the corner.”
And you know that “the right to feel safe is a fundamental right of all Americans.”
A jogger dressed in dark clothing coming down their street in the middle of the afternoon incites panic. Seckler and Kachnic must always be together when at home. If one is swimming in the backyard pool, the other is watching for an attacker lurking in the bushes or around the corner of the house.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever ride my bike around the neighborhood,” Kachnic said. “We came down here to start a new life and it’s just not fair. It will never feel safe again like it used to.”
No sir, it’s not fair, and you just found that out the hard way. I’m sorry, but at least the blood on the driveway isn’t yours, leaving Ms. Kachic to discover just how unfair the world can be all by herself.
When a gardener knocked on the couple’s front door as they spoke about the shooting, Kachnic jumped off the couch and asked Seckler if she should get the gun before answering. They were both crying.
Post traumatic stress. It’ll get better eventually.
Seckler and Kachnic both have upcoming appointments with therapists. Seckler also has an appointment with a neurologist. Ever since he was pistol-whipped on the temple, his vision has been blurry and he can’t read magazines or street signs.
Good. Just make sure the shrinks you see aren’t GFW’s. Ask to see their CCW permits FIRST. This will ensure that they too understand that the world is not a fair place and that they are primarily responsible for their own protection. Then contact a lawyer about a civil suit against the remaining perps for medical expenses and mental anguish.
While Seckler works to obtain a concealed-weapon permit, Kachnic will be getting a gun of her own, she said.
“It was meant for us both to be dead and they would have robbed us,” said Kachnic. “You can’t imagine the fear. We just don’t know what to do.”
It sounds like you’re taking all the right steps.
Shearod and Carrol-Love were arrested and remain in the Lee County Jail; both have been charged with one count each of homicide and robbery with a firearm.
In 2005, a Lee County jury found Shearod guilty of murdering an 18-year-old Lehigh Acres man, but Judge James R. Thompson overturned the conviction, citing a lack of evidence.
Boy, would I be interested in the transcript of that trial.
The State Attorney’s Office is awaiting a judge’s decision on an appeal in the case. The jury’s verdict will be upheld if the appeal is granted and Shearod will be sentenced.
“The judge who let him go should be in jail,” said Kachnic. “Who knows how many people he’s shot and how many times he’s gotten away with it. I hope they (Carrol-Love and Shearod) stay in jail forever.”
Not likely. Not in our revolving-door “justice” system.
Meanwhile, Seckler and Kachnic are desperately trying to piece their lives back together. They have considered selling their home and starting a new life somewhere else. They have also considered turning their residence into a fortress of sorts, installing surveillance cameras and a tall privacy fence around the property. Seckler is leaning towards the latter option.
“I’m not going to give in,” he said. “We’re going to stay here and make it safer. I know it will never feel like it felt when we moved in, but we’ve got to make the best of it.”
Congratulations on your decision. I wish you the best of luck. Now, in addition to the pshrinks and the medical doctor, please get some quality professional defensive gun use training so you don’t shoot the pizza or the pool guy in your current state of (understandable) paranoia. There’s more to being safe than merely owning a gun. As Col. Jeff Cooper once put it, owning a guitar doesn’t make one a musician.