By The TimesLedger
Two Queens burglars found out the hard way last week that they had picked the wrong house to rob.
Police say the bungling burglars attempted last week to break into the Briarwood home of Amelio Santos. The thieves rang the doorbell, waited for a moment and, when no one answered, they headed for the rear of the house. Mr. Santos' wife was heading to answer the bell when she saw the ill-fated crooks slinking around the side of her home. The terrified woman cried out to her husband who was working in the basement.
Mr. Santos, a retired air marshal, met the two alleged burglars with a licensed gun and attempted to drive them from his home. At some point, the crooks pointed a gun at Santos. Bad idea. Santos fired once killing one of the men.
Burglary is an extremely serious crime, even when the bad guys aren't armed. It is a terrifying experience to discover that your home has been broken into. It is far more terrifying to be in the house when the thieves break in. Every burglary is an act of violence.
No one can make light of the fact that a man has died a violent, tragic death. But likewise no one can fault this courageous homeowner for protecting his family. The fact that Mr. Santos fired only once indicates great restraint.