Man Charged With Murder For Shooting Two Home Invaders


In Little Falls, Minnesota a man has been charged with murder after shooting two teenagers who had broken into his home.

Normally, my position on this sort of home invasion is to say that people who don’t want to be shot shouldn’t break into other people’s homes. But there are aspects of this case that go beyond Byron David Smith reasonable right to defend himself and his property.

The police report in the case is below. Here’s a description from the Star Tribune:

He heard glass breaking around noon Thursday while he was in the basement. It was the latest of several break-ins that he’s experienced. Brady started coming down the stairs, and Smith shot him with a rifle by the time he saw the intruder’s hips.

Brady fell down the stairs and was looking up at Smith when the homeowner shot him in the face.

“I want him dead,” Smith explained to the investigator for the additional shot.

Smith put Brady’s body on a tarp and dragged him to an office workshop.

A few minutes later, Smith heard footsteps above him. As in Brady’s case, Kifer too started down the stairs and was shot by Smith by the time he saw her hips, sending her tumbling down the stairs.

Smith attempted to shoot her again, but his rifle jammed, prompting Kifer to laugh.

Upset, Smith, pulled out a revolver he had on him and shot her “more times than I needed to” in the chest, he said.

Smith dragged Kifer next to Brady as she gasped for her life. He pressed the revolver’s barrel under her chin and pulled the trigger in what he described as a “good, clean finishing shot” that was meant to end her suffering.

Other facts complicating the case:

In Smith’s defense, this was apparently the sixth time his home had been broken into.

Muddying the waters around his case, though, is the fact that he waited a day with the dead bodies in his home before contacting law enforcement.

I am a staunch proponent of the right to keep and bear arms, and the right to self defense and the defense of property. That being said, if the way this story is being related is accurate, this sounds less like defense than execution. Smith shot the boy as he was coming down the stairs, apparently without having given a warning that he was down there and armed. He also killed both the boy and the girl after they’d already been incapacitated. The boy after he fell down the stairs after being shot, and the girl after she laughed at him.

Those are not the actions of a citizen merely concerned with defense. Those are the acts of a vigilante imposing his own sort of justice on the situation.

Barring mitigating circumstances or details, I don’t see how this is defensible.

Byron David Smith Police Report

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Gbosse

    Don’t care how many times he shot. His right to defend. Who is to say the perp could have had a weapon hidden on him, if smith turned around the story “could have ended differently”. Good for smith

    • borborygmi

      As they are laying there from his own accounts incapacitated the execution of each was over the top. Or is this Phil gays sock puppet

      • dgeding

        I agree, by this man’s own admission his actions were over the top and unnecessary. Also, why the hell did he wait a day before contacting the authorities with the bodies in his house?

        The most disturbing part was this: ” He pressed the revolver’s barrel under her chin and pulled the trigger in what he described as a “good, clean finishing shot” that was meant to end her suffering.”

  • tomorrowclear

    What a sick individual. And what sick individuals who will chime in cheering this on like the amoral filth they are. Good Christians, no doubt.

    • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

      The victims were white, it’s less likely that’s going to happen.

      • HG

        Just can’t miss a chance to play the race card even when it’s not even relative, eh H?

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          Oh, so you are saying when you SAB conservatives were celebrating the two black thieves stealing the neighbors goodies and getting shot dead that it was different because he only shot them in the back with a shotgun, not in the waist and face?

          Question, are these people any less dead because of either reactions? Why the selective outrage?

          • HG

            Don’t know what you’re talking about, but I don’t doubt you’ve ignored the differences in these cases to play this card.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Yes, there were stark differences; for example, the white man shot two black men who weren’t even stealing his stuff….but only his neighbors. The white man shot the two blacks after calling the police and only after the police told him not to go out and confront them with a gun. The white man shot the two black thieves in the back and SAB conservatives celebrated the event.

            In this case, well… guys can identify with the victims. Why do you suppose that is? I know the answer.

          • HG

            Care to link to the story you’re speaking of?

  • HG

    If the facts are as stated, it’s murder.

    • Neiman

      “IF” is a huge word and until there is a full investigation, trial and conviction, this guy under our law is fully innocent. I am sure you agree.

      The idiot tomorrowclear below has chosen absolute judgment and in his/her hatred of Christ and the Church, as well as this man, a man he does not even know, is the kind of ugly citizen with a mob mentality we find at lynchings, screaming we don’t need no trial Sheriff, we know he’s guilty – “hang him and hang all the Jews, Blacks or Christians” or whomever he also hates to make sure we get them all.

      IF the facts warrant conviction and punishment, so be it he must take responsibility for his actions; but, what IF there are things we don’t know yet that drove this guy to madness like this? For me and I hope you as well, I’d kind of like to wait for the dang trial.

      • HG

        The law will sort this out. But, if Smith did what he said he did in the police report, he’s likely going to be convicted. I know things may be different than they appear currently. That is why you never, ever talk to the police. You let your lawyer do the talking. Even police officers know better. In this case, it appears Smith is just telling it like it was. We’ll see.

    • Grand Junction

      Don’t break into the home. Period. You don’t “shoot” to injure especially in a home invasion. You don’t call 911 and ask for “suggestions” you react. Everyone reacts differently. They apparently picked the wrong home. It’s not like he set them up or was out “trolling” for victims. They picked the wrong guy. Get over it.

      • HG

        My familiarity with the law in my state tells me this guy went well beyond it. But read my other comment above.

        • Grand Junction

          Well, the law needs to be changed to simply state you can defend yourself if your home is broken into. The End. Problem Solved. Story than reads Criminals Killed Breaking-in to Home.

          • HG

            That is what the law states as I understand it. But defending yourself doesn’t include killing someone after you have removed them as a threat to your life. There is no death penalty for burglary and it isn’t the homeowners place to act as judge jury and executioner.

          • Matthew Hawkins

            You are not defending yourself when you shoot somebody, drag them to your study and than shoot them again.

            I have no doubt that you consider yourself a good Christian.

          • Thorvington Finglethorpe

            Just one little problem there: His home was broken into, and he’d successfully incapacitated the intruders. The “kill-shots” to finish them off were murder, the first shot that incapacitated them was not.

  • Matthew Hawkins

    The fact that his house was broken into six times is NOT a defense to what he did.

    This was murder and he just lost his property for the rest of his life.

    • Neiman

      Yes, to you guilty by virtue of the accusation alone is sufficient, no need for no dang trial, right? You’d like to string him up from the nearest tree and be instrumental in dispensing vigilante justice, wouldn’t you?

      Thank God several people here, despite being shocked by the story thus far as am I, are still willing to assume innocence and wait for the trial. To slow for you though, huh?

      • Matthew Hawkins

        There is no innocent until proven guilty on a blog. If we were forbidden to comment until conviction it would be quite boring.

        I am willing to give him a fair trial, hell I would be willing to defend him.

        • Neiman

          Well you have a right to your own opinion, but to me, if our justice system is going to be anything approaching fairness – each of us should always qualify our reactions, as HG and others did, with the willingness to wait for all the facts.

          • Matthew Hawkins

            Its implied that if the facts are different than our opinions would be different. You just want to be holier than thou.,

          • Neiman

            In my opinion it is not implied at all, it is one time when “it goes without saying” does not apply very well.

            I am passionate about the Bill of Rights as written and the rule of Law. I think would I not want others to judge me as harshly, not giving me a chance at a defense. Too many times innocent people have been wrongly charged and even convicted, but how can they have a chance when society as a whole prefers to judge without all the evidence? I think we should always, if we think of ourselves in his position, to try very hard to assume innocence until and unless guilt is fairly established. I have many arguments here, because despite the evidence and admitting how bad things look, I want presumption of innocence.

      • Guest

        It’s much more than an accusation, he’s totally confessed. He specifically told investigators he shot them after they were removed as a threat.

        • Neiman

          So, people never under stress blurt out terrible things that are later proven wrong? What if he is mentally unstable and spoke in a temporarily deranged state of mind? Is there no room for doubt and presumption of innocence or do you prefer the dark of night, a rope, a tree and vigilante justice?

          It sounds quite bad, if the facts are proven true then he is guilty and in great trouble, but I am old fashioned and want a fair trial first before your rope.

          • Guest

            Hitler didn’t get a trial either. Are you saying Hitler was innocent of genocide?

          • Neiman

            He rather cheated everyone of a trial with a small pistol, what?

            You sir or madam, whatever the case may be, are a fool.

          • Guest

            I’m simply pointing out your error of confusing legal innocence with actual innocence with an extreme example. I agree, you are foolish for doing so.

          • flamemeister

            Right, the accused is either guilty or innocent before, during, and after a trial and has nothing to do with the law, judge or jury. Legal “innocent until proven guilty” is just one of many useful fictions humans create in order to get on with business.

          • awfulorv

            Hitler, like Obama on Benghazi, was simply unaware of what was going on in the concentration, and death camps. I know he, like El Supremo, should have been, but he wasn’t. So that’s that. That’s all his historians can say, until the incident is thoroughly investigated, read forgotten, that is. And no more impertinent questions, if you will.

          • Guest

            Hitler apologists. SAB has hit a new low.

          • awfulorv

            So solly, forgot to add sarc for you brain dead liberals…

    • Rob

      You clearly didn’t read the post.

  • KJUU

    Not a defense. Something snapped in this guy, like his friend said earlier. He’d had enough, and unfortunately didn’t stop himself from going too far.

    That line was *before* he took the first shot.

  • matthew_bosch

    Bizarre and unfortunate case.

    Smith’s actions were ungodly

    “They tortured him and targeted him…” Smith’s friend John Lange.

    I cant claim that I would be of sound mind after my home is broken into 6 times and including whatever other actions were committed up to this point. The lack of sleep, fear and paranoia would drive many to the brink of insanity. I need more information about the events leading up to this point before passing judgement on Smith.

    • Paula

      Unfortunately, there is only one police report on file showing that his house was broken into one time. If it was broken into 6 times, he only reported it to police once.

      • matthew_bosch

        I wondered that. If this was self-defense he didn’t do much to help his case.

  • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

    Is this guys screen name Sparitcus or 2Hotel9??

  • WOOF

    He wanted Justice.
    He’ll get some kind.

  • Slickwilly

    I don’t think his defense stands a chance. It’s the same as when a bullied student shoots up a school. People might feel sorry for them, but its still murder. He only needed to fire twice, one for each intruder. Instead he fired multiple times after they were incapacitated.

  • jimmypop

    there is defending your home and plain crazy. this fella is CRAZY. send him to jail.

  • matthew_bosch

    Why did Kifer pursue Brady? Did she not hear the rifle shot?

    • Matthew Hawkins

      IF you read the police report it was quite a bit later. She may have just been trying to find out where he was.

      • matthew_bosch

        Who would wander into a stranger’s home looking for somebody? Why was she near the home? Was she just driving around and decided to check a random house for her friend?
        I think she entered the home because:
        1.Nefarious reasons.
        2. And/or she was intoxicated. Why would she laugh after being shot?
        3. Or lured in by Smith so he could commit the murders.

  • HG

    I’m not sure about Minnesota, but in my state the presence of a trespasser in my home is defined as an immediate threat to my life. No need to give a warning. No need to identify the threat, it is lawfully assumed.
    What Smith did was just plain criminal. I don’t fault the man for shooting when the burglar was coming down the stairs, but there was no excuse for what followed. He should have called 911 after the first shot removed the threat. You’d think he would have thought to clear the upstairs or take up a position to defend himself while waiting on authorities to arrive. It appears Smith wasn’t in a right frame of mind. Maybe the 6 burglaries had something to do with that? The law will sort this out and Smith will get what he deserves.
    As for the burglars, burglary is not without life threatening risks, especially in America. My advice, don’t burglarize homes. But then again, it’s a little too late for that.

  • RCND

    If, and only if, the story told is indeed the facts of this case, he is toast. This would have a hard time passing muster in a Castle Doctrine state let alone Minnesota. He had no responsibility to retreat or to prove he was in danger in order to defend, but if the story is correct he went from defense to offense.

  • borborygmi

    He just had to shoot each of them once. The execution was over the top

    • HG


  • 308T

    If you don’t want to die don’t break into someones f—–g house, pretty damn simple.

    • Matthew Hawkins

      I can’t believe 10 people gave this a thumbs up.

      You people disgust me.

      He didn’t defend his property. He executed an 18 year old and a 19 year old.

      They were petty criminals, but they didn’t deserve to be shot and than executed.

      IF THE FACTS ARE TRUE, I hope this man dies in prison.

      • 308T

        Awww Boo hoo hoo, Matty feels bad for people who break into houses & die for it. If those two hoodlums didn’t break into the mans house they would be alive today, they sealed their own fate. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

        • Dave Golterman

          The punishment for breaking & entering is not the death sentence! Smith has every right to defend himself and his property, but he went way too far.

          What if the persons coming down the step had not been burglars, but instead were friends or neighbors. Many of us have walked into the unlocked home of a friend or family member at times when we thought they might be home but not hearing the doorbell. Especially if we thought maybe they could have had an accident or medical emergency.

          • 308T

            It would be for someone who broke into my house & the more it happens to these burglarizing freaks the less likely the others will be to try it. Thank goodness ND has a Castle Doctrine! I don’t walk into peoples houses unless they know I’m coming in, it’s common sense. One more time for you slow learners: If you don’t want to die don’t break into peoples homes. If theses two criminals had walked passed this guys home they’d be be breathing today. Their deaths are nobodies fault but their own.

  • The fighting Czech

    In deed a bad situation. But its a lesson to all those out there who like to break into places they dont have the right to be…. there are all kinds of people out there. and some dont have any sense of humor at all. Its best to leave what isnt yours, alone….

  • SigFan

    If this incident went down EXACTLY as reported then Smith is guilty of 2nd degree murder or manslaughter at minimum – and a fair trial will determine whether that is the case. If the two thieves were incapacitated then he should have immediately called the police to the scene – no need to fire any more shots unless one or the other of them somehow became a threat again. That said though, situations like this are one of the reasons that you should never go for an incapacitating shot unless there is no other choice – if you’re going to shoot, shoot to kill. You’ll still be in trouble with the law, even if you were right in what you did, but in most cases today that would be determined as justifiable in your own defense. It sounds as if this guy snapped though and went far beyond the necessary – and that’s going to cost him dearly.

  • banjo kid

    The guy went to far they both were incapacitated and was not a threat . In My Opinion he will suffer to be found guilty of murder, he was the judge jury and executioner in this case and gives all who want to protect our families and ourselves a bad name , Gun owners should reject this type of wanton murder .

  • banjo kid

    I based my statements on the article but I do not agree he is guilty or innocent as I also believe he deserves his day in court. We have to much media involvement in crimes today, and various cases one that comes to mind is the Zimmerman case but we should stand by and let the justice system work . The new evidence in the Casey case is a moot point, sort of like locking the barn door after the horse and the hay is gone. Media looks for sensationalism and that is wrong and not good journalism. If you do invade someones home you never know what is waiting on the other side of the door so you buy what happens next . Conjecture on my part but just maybe the guy snapped a tad and went to far .

  • awfulorv

    What a break, that the burglars were white, that is. Had they been black, our entire federal Govt. would have been put on hold. While Obama, Holder, the black caucus, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, his brain addled kid,and many others, grateful for the respite from the impertinent Benghazi questions, and half the media outlets in the country, traveled to Little Falls and proceeded to ruin the deer, and pheasant seasons, as well as stiff every motel operator for miles around with unpaid tabs. Big mouthed Ed Shultz, being familiar with what goes on in racist towns like this throughout the hinterlands, would lead the charge, of course. Even our own Hannitized, and his brothers, having been shot down flying their Trayvon Martin racers, would have a new cause with which to attack we on the sane side of the blogosphere. Yes sir folks, you just know the skin color of those kids has caused this entire country to dodge what sounded like a 105 howitzer shell whooshing by…

  • Rob Beadon

    Bonnie and Clyde break into someones home and die from a hail of gun fire. Case closed.

  • NDWinds

    Not certain of the claims from the shooter. Kifer laughed? Seriously, after being shot and tumbling down the stairs she reacts by laughing to a jammed rifle! High pain tolerance? Very suspicious! Reasonable doubt, thus it’s crowbar hotel time.

  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    This was not self defense. Sorry. The kids should not have broken in, but what he did went far, far beyond protecting himself and his property.

  • jdamoth

    12 gauge 20 inch cylinder bore 2 odd buck one shot each not fancy no finishing shot needed

  • Spartacus

    If I had to choose, I think it would be on the side of the homeowner.
    The guy is clearly disturbed, but his disturbed state of mind wasn’t
    bothering anyone until they illegally invaded his home.

    If you are a burglar, 9 times out of 10 you will encounter an empty home
    or passive, frightened residents. If the one time its Leatherface, well
    that’s the gamble you took when you decided to break and enter.

    • UrbanCyclist666

      Except Leatherface probably didn’t end up taking monster cocks up the anus for 20 years after his crimes. This guy will.

  • Aussie

    You Americans and your guns… Unbelievable. What.A.Joke

  • UrbanCyclist666

    This scumbag was sentenced today. Enjoy being a prison wife, Byron Smith. You deserve the life in jail you’ve chosen.