Milan man holds home invader at gunpoint; calls 911

There are few things in this world more dangerous that breaking into an armed ex-U.S. Marine’s house with his family sleeping upstairs.
Emil Whitis
Sep 29, 2012

Jesse Murr, 29, learned that lesson early Thursday morning when, in a drunken stupor, he busted the glass out of his neighbor’s back porch door, reached through the jagged hole and unlocked the door, then walked in at about 12:30 a.m. in the 100 block of Strecker Road.

From his bedroom upstairs Scott Stith heard the crash, cocked his loaded Springfield Armory Model 1911 .45 caliber pistol and charged down stairs. Without a sound he trained the weapon on Murr’s silhouette.

“I’d ran that scenario though my head probably 1000s of times and every time it comes out the same with the bad guy lying dead on the floor,” Stith said.

But he didn’t squeeze. With teenage sons Stith couldn’t be 100 percent sure of his target.

“Before I got down there I thought ‘I have to make sure I’m not getting ready to kill someone I love,'” he said. “I had to make sure this guy was an enemy not just a messed up loved one.”

Stith broke the silence.

“Do you know how close to death you are?” he said.

The voice that replied came from a stranger.

Keep reading this story in Saturday's Register.

Editor's Note: The 911 tape posted with this story contains profanity. User discretion is advised.



A BEAUTIFUL THING...AN INFANTRY MARINE WITH A .45 COCKED AND LOCKED...WITH CHL...One lucky intruder...Drunk and stupid...could have easily be killed for his stupidity...this is why Ohio has chl and castle doctrine laws. ECSO was only a couple of minutes away...Could have been in Vermilion, or Huron or ? Said it before, will certainally say it again... WHEN SECONDS COUNT, HELP IS ONLY MINUTES AWAY.


Ohio does have the Castle Doctrine which assumes if someone breaks into your home, your life is threatened. The Marine acted admirably. Sam Adams you state "I probably would have pulled the trigger, too" Sounds like the threat had ended when the intruder saw the why would you have shot. My issue is not with the guns but with the people who have them.


Saying u don't have a problem with guns just the people who have then is like saying you don't have a problem with cars just the people who drive them. You anti gun freaks think because criminals do horrible thing with a gun which is an inanimate object that everyone who owns a gun doesn't know how to properly use or carry it. So I guess since 13.8 percent of all licensed drivers are convicted of OVI it's safe to assume you are or will be one of those nearly 14% under your standard of assumption correct?


The guns nuts are the precise people that shouldn't own them. Daydreaming about having the oppurtunity to shoot someone legally is a dangerous proposition. Wanna be toughguys, dreaming of being tv heroes.


To clarify, I have a very simple criteria for shoot/don't shoot, and that is this: If the intruder sees the gun and turns to run, I will NOT shoot him or her in the back. I'll still have the police on the phone and will still hope to press charges, but I won't shoot. If the intruder sees the gun and keeps right on coming, I'll pull the trigger long before he or she gets close enough to take it from me.

In this particular scenario, the Marine spoke up. I might or might not do that much. It would depend on how close the intruder was to me at the time. Fire willy nilly? No. But I'd also point out that those people who end up being shot by their own firearm are those who DON'T fire in a timely manner.

Regardless of my own criteria, neither you nor anybody else has to worry about whether I have a gun in my home or not. Unless, of course, you decide to break in...


I don't have children in the house anymore. In the middle of the night, if I heard a sound and saw a moving shadow, I'd shoot first and then turn the lights on to see where the holes were. You see, in the dark, I don't know if he has a gun pointed at me and is about to squeeze the trigger or not. To survive I have to do what I have gone over in my mind countless times. Size up the situation, pick a plan and execute, all in about 2 seconds.
Semper Fi


Being neither ex Marine,Army,Navy or Air Force I wouldn't have the skill or now how to decide, but we now have a gun based on what all of you have said of late and given what has happened here in Sandusky. So breaking glass and moving figures in the dark would not set my mind at ease at all. We don't have kids at home either. Intent is intent, no matter how you look at it and those we WANT in our house have keys, so to break the glass is a pretty good indicator to me that it isn't someone with an invite.

We would probably ask once "who is it". Given no satisfactory answer, the next sound you hear is going to be the sound of a gunshot. B&E or not, that moving figure is going down. They aren't invited and since their answer won't be satisfactory due to pure silence, they get what they bad, so said. I doubt they came calling or to use the facilites or for a cup of coffee. Enough is enough. Breaking into people's houses is not something you do for the heck of it and defending yourself is everyone's right. (or so many of you have said over and over again until you convinced us it was the right thing to do).
Law or no law, if they break in, they aren't coming to pay a nice visit that is for sure, so they can suffer the consequences of the "not invited" gun we have now. It sucks to be them. Next time, ring the door bell.


just a reminder to the criminals, out here in the country, most of the time, we're the ones who are armed and dangerous.


exactly...we have to be. The police cannot be everywhere at once.


Robbers beware of homeowners carrying guns when there is a break in. The kid almost got himself shot. Maybe now the kid will lay off the booze and pay more attention to his surroundings.

Phil Packer

Emil, if I made that many mistakes in one project at work, I'd be looking for a new job. Well done.

tired of stupidy

jesse murr never had a lot to work with it runs deep in the family genes,this is your wake up call. jess change your life.

he said she said

I just want to thank Mr. Stith for his service and loyalty to this country.

Once a Marine, always a Marine; there is no ex in it.

Semper Fi

Cracked Cherry

The castle doctrine also applies to your vehicle in the state of Ohio.


Thanks for the info ...good to know.


I've known Scotty for years, and would expect nothing less of him in that type of situation. Hope that sends a message out, because more and more home owners are buying weapons for self protection. Your a very lucky man Murr.


Yep, I agree Mr. Stith did a fine job - as for the drunken twank ...hmm, NOT so much.