Intoxicated Man Walks Into Wrong House, Gets Shot By Homeowner

Monday, June 25th 2012, 9:07 am
By: News On 6

A man is out of surgery after being shot when he walked into the wrong house and became violent Monday.

Tulsa Police said it appears Robert Rankin, 35, was drunk and thought he was going into a buddy's house, then got upset and punched a wall, so the homeowner shot him.

Rankin's friend, Charles, said Rankin had been at his house drinking until around 3 a.m., and then he went to bed. Around 6:30 Monday morning, he got up and went outside. Then he thought he was coming back to Charles' house, but went into one that is in a similar position, just one block away.

Charles was actually on the phone with Rankin, trying to find him, when he heard the cops yelling for him to get down on the ground.

Charles said he had just talked to Rankin on the phone and Rankin said, "I'm at your house." But Charles said, "No, you're not."

That's when he realized Rankin was at a house exactly one block away.

Police closed off several streets around the home in the 700 block of South Maplewood just after 7 a.m. Authorities say the homeowner heard a noise on his front porch and saw a man there who forced his way into the home.

Police say Rankin had rattled the door, so the homeowner got his gun, but couldn't see anyone. So he went back inside, then heard the rattling again and saw Rankin on the porch.

"He opened the door to talk to the gentleman and the guy forced his way on into the house," said Corporal Gene Watkins, Tulsa Police.

Police said the homeowner was a young man, who was scared and confused, and he repeatedly told Rankin to leave.

They said Rankin could see the homeowner had a gun, but refused to leave, then punched a hole in the wall and lunged at the homeowner, who fired a shot.

Police said the homeowner escaped to a nearby restaurant and called 911, leaving the wounded burglar inside.

"He was in fear for his life, in his own home, you do what you need to do to protect yourself," said Watkins.

Police said Rankin didn't even seem to be aware he'd been shot.

Officers aren't sure if he'll be charged with felony burglary—since the homeowner opened the door—or a misdemeanor of trespassing and destruction of property.