Spanaway man who shot, killed home intruder tells Dori, ‘If it comes to you, protect yourself’

Dec 10, 2021, 4:31 PM | Updated: 5:30 pm
shooting, intruder...
(AP file photo)
(AP file photo)

Jerahme Smith had less than 60 seconds to decide how to respond when he heard intruders breaking into his Spanaway home around 4 a.m. Thursday.

One day after the break-in, Smith tells Dori Monson Show listeners how his mind worked in the brief juncture between the break-in and the moment he fatally shot one of the two home invaders.

Ten to 20 seconds after awakening to sounds of an outdoor gate opening outside his bedroom window, Smith – a Pierce County husband, father of three, and brother — recalls hearing his home’s back door kicked in.

“I sat up in bed,” Smith, 31, told Dori. “I always have my gun around me; it doesn’t matter where I’m at. When I heard the back door, that is when I grabbed my gun, got out of bed, … and it’s the honest-to-God truth, the first thing I did was take some breaths and collect my thoughts. Because in my mind, it was going to go one of two ways.”

“Somebody was now officially breaking into my house. They’re inside the house. I’m trying to figure out which way they’re going to come from,” Smith described. “But you just kind of gotta do what you can. Rely on yourself. Like I said, confidence is the best thing.”

Smith recalls yelling at both introducers to “get on the ground.” When they didn’t and he saw them reach for something, he says, “in my head, it was my life or yours.”

The gunshot woke Smith’s sister, who was sleeping in the home. Seconds after she called 911, Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene. The dead intruder was outside Smith’s home; the second intruder had escaped.

Listen to Smith tell listeners about the shooting aftermath and how he is dealing with it:

Barely one day later, Smith says he is still managing his emotions and “a lot of adrenalin.”

“That was a human life,” he says of the intruder he shot. “There’s no way around that. A life is a life.”

At the same time, Smith describes himself as “committed – very confident in what I did was right.”

“I’m not going to waiver on that,” he said. “I protected my house. I protected my family. I protected what’s mine.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Spanaway man who shot, killed home intruder tells Dori, ‘If it comes to you, protect yourself’