An Ohio man, who was in the shower when he heard someone breaking into his home in July, was able to fight off the intruder thanks to his habit of keeping a gun nearby.
Various pro-gun outlets have described the gun owner’s firearm as a “shower gun.”
According to a Springfield News-Sun report, Richard Winegardner’s property in German Township, Ohio had already been burglarized four times since May. The latest intrusion, however, would end a little differently.
He told CBS affiliate WHIO that he immediately grabbed his phone to call police when he heard the break in while showering. He also retrieved a gun from his gym bag.
In 9-1-1 audio obtained by WHIO, Winegardner can be heard confronting the intruder at gunpoint while speaking with a dispatcher.
“I’m being robbed right now!” he says in the recording.
Winegardner said the would-be robber tried to reason with him while being held at gunpoint.
“(He) tried to talk me into believing he was a great guy and he wasn’t here to cause me any problems — which I found odd because he already broke into the house,” Winegardner told WHIO.
Gunshots can be heard in the dispatch recording.
Winegardner said the man was able to slip away and attempted to drive off in a gray SUV, at which point Winegardner fired five shots at the vehicle in an attempt to shoot out the tires.
The SUV was located by authorities not far from Winegardner’s home. The vehicle’s back windshield was shot out, while bullet holes were found on the bumper and in the vehicle’s interior.
Police arrested a suspect, 38-year-old Jason Moak, a short distance from the abandoned SUV.
According to court documents, Moak admitted to police that he got into Winegardner’s house by using a crawl space that led to a trap door. He also admitted to entering the house the same way on previous occasions.
Moak pled not guilty to one count of burglary.
Richard Winegardner’s “shower gun”
The story of Winegardner’s shower escape was soon picked up by multiple gun rights advocacy outlets, some of whom touted the incident as an example of why gun owners should consider picking up a “shower gun.”
Gun enthusiasts have argued keeping a gun in the shower is an essential tool to protect yourself while in a vulnerable position. The website PrepperResources.com even has instructions on how to create your own “DIY: $15 shower gun box.”
Although cases specifically featuring a shower gun can be hard to come by, some research has found that defensive uses of firearms are a common occurrence.
According to one such study, published by the The National Academies’ Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, guns are used in self-defense circumstances between 500,000 and 3 million times per year in the United States.
“Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008,” the study’s authors note.