Homeowner Runs Out of Ammo Firing Warning Shots

An Idaho homeowner – and gun owner – found himself confronting a burglar on New Year’s Eve, but it didn’t go quite as you might expect. Bart Bryson was checking on his family’s second property, which is currently unoccupied, and when he pulled up, first slowing to check the mail, he spotted fresh footprints in the snow. Closer inspection showed the front doorknob had been forced, and this is where the account stops matching what you might expect.

Bryson says he’s a security guard, but he entered the house with his gun apparently holstered. He simply walked inside, and said it was after he’d entered the house a voice yelled “please don’t shoot me” as a figure ran at him. It was then, Byron said, “I grabbed my pistol.”

But he’d “grabbed” it a bit late, and the intruder ran into him. Apparently two shots were then fired into the floor, and I haven’t been able to find out if they were intentionally or accidentally fired that way. Here’s Bryson’s account of the following moments: “I thought, I’ll kill him if I have to, because I’m not going to get killed, and I’m not going to get knocked out either,” he said. “But the gunshot scared him enough, apparently it scared him enough that he fell down thinking maybe I shot him. I thought I had hit him, the way he hit the ground, but he was just playing possum.”

As the man was prone on the ground before him, and Bryson, by his own words, did not know if he had hit him with those two shots – making me think they weren’t purposefully fired into the floor but were accidentally fired and just happened to hit the floor – he decided to ask the man if he’d been shot. The would-be burglar said no, and Bryson had to decide what to do, because he had left his cell phone at home.

Bryson decided he, himself, would simply take the burglar to the police – yes, really. So he left the burglar lying prone on the floor of the empty house and walked back outside to his car, which is where his handcuffs had also been left behind (remember, he’s a security guard, so he had handcuffs).

The burglar, not being a complete fool, took this golden opportunity to make a run for it.

Seeing his not-quite-prisoner fleeing, Bryson decided to fire his gun a few more times. He says he fired these rounds into the ground because he didn’t want to kill anyone over a burglary. The perpetrator got away. And unsurprisingly, police were already en route because neighbors had called 911 after hearing shots fired the first time.

One more thing: Bryson ran out of ammo with all his shots fired into the floor and ground. He didn’t have any more, not on his body or in his car.

I’ve been unable to find an article saying what kind of gun Bryson used although I’m inclined to believe it was a revolver, mostly because I’d prefer to think he didn’t fire more shots than that into the floor and ground. This is where I will stop, although I will include one of the many links to the news story, because I want to know one simple thing: what do you guys think?

News article: http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2014/12/29/homeowner-burglary-shots/20994517/ 

TFB Staffer

TFB Staff, bringing you the latest gun news from around the world for a decade.


  • M.M.D.C.

    I think all’s well that ends well, but… he should have brought his phone and a flashlight. And some more ammo.

    • Mystick

      Indeed. As a former security professional myself, you would be surprised what a 6-cell MagLite is capable of.

      • Phillip Cooper

        No, I wouldn’t. There’s a reason police used to carry them, and use them in an “over the opposing shoulder, backhand grip ready to club your ass” manner… and believe it or not, that’s the same reason why many departments actually forbid their use at present.

    • Ethan

      +1 Don’t talk to news reporters. Ever. Ever. Ever.

      • supergun

        Don’t volunteer anything to anyone.

    • Phillip Cooper

      Anytime I’m carrying a weapon, I carry a phone. It’s stupid not to, since if you have to engage, you’re going to need to make calls and people aren’t going to want to be near to loan their phone to you..

      • M.M.D.C.

        Also, if you call it in you get the first word in on how it went down. Aggressors don’t tend to notify the police when things go south.

        • Phillip Cooper

          True indeed!

      • supergun

        And a flashlight, and extra bullets.

        • Phillip Cooper

          I tend to have a flashlight on me as part of my EDC anyway. Extra ammo- I’m not a mall ninja. I may have an extra mag, but if I need more than 15 rounds fate has my number anyway, and I’m screwed.

          • billyoblivion

            Be really sucky if your number was 15, but because of a bad mag you only got two or three.

          • Phillip Cooper

            Be really sucky if I have to draw my weapon. Full stop.

          • supergun

            Not many people carry extra ammo around with them. But in a situation like that, it would be wise to have 2 or 3 magazines with your in case you have to go to the woods. In case there are several thugs. In case,,,,,,well,,,,it would be wise to have extra in needed situations.

    • supergun

      Could claim stand your ground, don’t volunteer the stupid.

  • Bruce

    Forced door? No immediate threat? Call police and wait. If he’s still in there, they can deal with it. If he’s not, waiting isn’t going to matter.

    • supergun

      U right.

  • gunslinger

    basically everything in “what not to do”

    • supergun


    • Andrew Hobby

      We would have also accepted “Kicking in the door and yelling ‘THESE COLORS DON’T RUN MOTHERF-CKER!'” with bonus points for dual akimbo gun wielding.

      Double bonus points for running out of twice as much ammo may also be awarded, if the judges decide so.

      • gunslinger

        would the judges accept american flag pants as a substitute?

  • Pete Sheppard

    Deadly force is serious business, but this is still a comedy of errors…

    • lucusloc


  • Full Name

    This is maybe the dumbest defensive gun use story I have ever read

    • CrankyFool

      It appears pretty clear that when the burglar was running away, he wasn’t using the gun “defensively.” He was no longer in any conceivable danger.

  • avconsumer2

    Seems like somebody needs some training.

  • RWE

    I agree with gunslinger, basically everything in “What not to do”. Florida just enacted a law that allows “a warning shot”. I’m not sure about “shots”. Also I’d have to THINK that those shots fired into the floor were panic shots. I think it’s lucky for both of them that the armed person ran out of ammo (if what I read were indeed the facts). I can only believe that once the intruder was no longer a threat that Bryson had no reason to use his firearm, including when the intruder was running away. Before people get all riled up, I am for owning, carrying and if needed using firearms for self defense, I also believe any individual who chooses to carry a firearm for self defense needs to know basic firearm safety, know how to properly use the firearm they carry and train. This person (as portrayed) didn’t seem to know the fundamentals of either firearms, or training. I’m not sure of the laws of his state, but I hope he was aware of them!

    • Phillip Cooper

      Concur on all points. Flame-retardant drawers are worn.

      The very moment the perp retreats and you fire upon him, you are now the aggressor, and in the wrong. Morally, and I do think I’m probably correct in saying legally in all cases.

  • Mystick

    “What not to do”…

  • Madcap_Magician

    Fortunately he survived his own stupidity with his body and property intact.

    Sure as hell wouldn’t hire him to guard anything of mine, though.

  • mzungu

    Bryson,… If U R really a security guard. Don’t let your boss read this, don’t do more interviews…..you idiot.

    • Curious_G

      U R?

      • Phillip Cooper

        I’m glad someone else got the irony there..

  • Phillip Cooper

    Wasn’t there an incident recently where a homeowner engaged crooks kicking her door down, but fired a warning shot first, resulting in her being found “not in fear of life” and thus she’s now rotting in prison?

    My warning is my weapon clearing leather. I follow this axiom my CCW trainer taught me:

    “Don’t never clear leather. But if you have to, shoot till they’re on the ground or running away.”

    • dan citizen

      And another one where the guy accidentally fired into his own ankle and lost the foot.

  • usmcmailman

    I’m glad he is not GUARDING my house !

  • Smiddywesson

    You get a mulligan for forgetting your cell phone, it happens.
    Mistake #1 Walking around with a loaded gun and no reloads
    Mistake #2 He should have called police when he saw the door was forced. He knew from the tracks they were still in there, and he had to call the police anyway, so why do a solo entry?
    Mistake #3 He was holstered up when he entered the house
    Mistake #4 There is no mistake #4, shooting into the floor wasn’t entirely voluntary, and even if it was, it got the job done. Better lucky than right.
    Mistake #5 Leaving a prone and compliant subject alone to retreive his cuffs.
    Mistake #6 Firing “warning shots” at a fleeing subject you have no legal right to shoot, let alone your last shots. (Refer back to mistake #1).

    • Don Ward

      Hardly a “mistake” that he had no reloads since the majority if not all of those shots weren’t necessary. On the contrary if he was carrying a 15 round mag plus a reload, I’m tempted to say this idjit would have emptied 30-45 rounds of “warning” shots.

  • TDog

    No one was hurt, nothing was lost. There was no need to kill or shoot anyone.

    All’s well that ends well. Not every home intruder is a Satan worshiping ex-spetsnaz cyborg killer from the future that needs to be shot fifty billion times in the face.

    • Phillip Cooper

      Why do you hate Satan worshippers? What has that mythological construct ever done to you?

      • Yellow Devil

        I find it curious that you jumped on the “Satan worshiper” but not the ex-spetsnaz or cyborg killer or from the future part of the statement.

        • Phillip Cooper

          I welcome our future Robot Overlords. 😉

  • nitemarejim

    how good of security guard could he be?

  • Fruitbat44

    Oh dear. Well nobody got hurt and nothing got stolen, though someone’s going to need some new flooring, so I suppose it counts as one for the good guys.

    But . . . oh dear.

    Some random observations; if you ever find yourself on the wrong end of gun, and hopefully in the case of people reading this blog it will just be a misunderstanding, “Please don’t shoot me” is a not unreasonable thing to say, but it works best if you’re standing still. Running directly at person holding the gun kinda sends mixed signals!

    And if I ever find myself lying face down and some chap says, “Stay there while I get my handcuffs . . .” Well, yes I too would be leaving the scene pretty darn smartish!

  • MountainKelly


  • AD_Rtr_OS

    What a Maroon.

  • CharlieLima2

    Firing “warning Shots” has been declared as ‘careless & irresponsible use of a firearm’ by virtually every professional firearms training program I know of. This is simply Hollywood BS. The first two shots sound more like ADs or UDs (Accidental discharge or Unintentional discharge) either one could be indicative of poor firearms handling ( i.e. finger on the trigger with sights aligned on the target, one of 4 basic firearms rules). If this is his level of expertise, I hope his “security” job doesn’t involve protecting vital National Security items.

  • wvhillbillie

    Maybe I’m a little different than everyone but I never see a wrong time to shoot a thief.

  • Anonymoose

    Uncle Joe is proud.

  • Aaron E

    I’m a huge proponent of CCW. However, as a police officer I am not at all surprised by this guy’s response. Too many people (even gun owners/carriers) don’t look at things in the proper mindset. This one should have been simple – empty house, night time, fresh shoe prints in snow to front door, door forced open.
    Call police and wait!!!
    And THANKFULLY, this good citizen did not hit the burglar when he was fleeing! Had he actually decided to shoot the fleeing bandit he likely would have been charged with aggravated assault or some form of homicide. Shooting him inside the house as he came towards him – no problem. That’s Castle doctrine, reasonable fear of death or serious injury, lawful use of deadly force to defend self. Once outside however, no threat of serious bodily injury or death = no justification for deadly force. Goes for cops too (Tennessee v. Garner).
    If you carry a firearm, great! For goodness sake learn your State’s laws on using it in defense and abide by those laws.

  • Sulaco

    Naw Texas will still do you for shooting at a fleeing felon…

    • Phillip Cooper

      Yes, recall seeing a story about this about 6 years ago- someone fired upon fleeing robbers at a friend’s place while said friend was out of town- and went to jail for it.

  • supergun

    Took a chance on getting shot, didn’t he?

  • gunsandrockets

    So the security guard has never watched a horror movie in his entire life?

    • Phillip Cooper

      Nice point! Can’t believe I missed that one!

  • Phillip Cooper

    No, it does not. Please explain your stance- how is this political in any fashion?

  • Jim_Macklin

    I hope he has a steady job parking cars or perhaps splitting fire wood because he is a complete cluster _ _ ____ as any kind of a guard.
    Entering a home with a forced door, alone and without the cellphone or it seems a flashlight,
    Accidental discharge, followed by “warning shots” {run faster shots} .
    Shots fired with a fleeing burglar constitute assault with a deadly weapon in most states.
    Is this a lesson in what not to do? Or are Larry, Mo and Shempfilming?

  • Highland Jack

    I think he is a graduate of the Acme Security Guard Training Academy run by Wile E. Coyote.

  • antiliberalcryptonite

    Save all “warning shots” for center mass.

  • I can understand that the guy was just out to check his other property and didn’t expect anything exciting. Thus, why he perhaps didn’t think it was important to grab a flashlight, extra ammo and his phone. BUT c’mon. Who leaves without their cell anymore? LOL. Plus if you’re carrying a gun, you’re obviously prepared to use it, worse case scenario. You should carry extra ammo. Flashlight is always a good thing to have in your car/truck in case of late night, in the DARK, emergencies! LOL. And leaving that guy to chill while he got his cuffs…yeah no. BAD mistake! Duh. He should be fired. LOL

  • Yellow Devil

    *rolls eyes