http://www.startribune.com/467/story/841009.html From his bed, Coon Rapids man kills an intruder Gerald Whaley, 73, picked up his loaded .22-caliber rifle and shot the burglar once. Jim Adams, Star Tribune Last update: November 28, 2006 – 11:31 PM The Coon Rapids home with some dilapidated siding may have looked unoccupied when a young burglar broke in and slipped along narrow paths between piles of boxes and furniture late Monday, authorities said. But when the burglar with a flashlight went upstairs, he was shot to death by a 73-year-old homeowner waiting in bed with a rifle. Gerald Whaley told police that he was home alone when he heard what sounded like several intruders breaking in through his garage about 11 p.m. Minutes later, he shot a burglar once with the .22-caliber rifle he kept loaded by his bed. The intruder stumbled downstairs and collapsed in the home on the 11700 block of Bittersweet Street. Whaley, who had no phone, got dressed, climbed out onto a second-floor deck and went next door to call police. The intruder was dead when police found the youth, whose name wasn't released Tuesday. Anoka County sheriff's officials said they don't expect Whaley will be charged, but it's up to the county attorney to decide. Noting Whaley was alone in his home, sheriff's Capt. Robert Aldrich said: "You have a right to defend yourself and to protect yourself." University of Minnesota Law School Prof. Richard Frase agreed. He said Minnesota and other states allow the use of deadly force in self-defense or to prevent a serious felony in the victim's home. "It's sometimes called the Defense of Habitation rule," he said. "People feel they have a right to be safe in their homes," he said, including older or weaker people. This isn't the first time a resident has killed an intruder. Newspaper articles say grand juries declined to indict two St. Paul men after they shot intruders to death in their homes in separate burglaries in 1988 and 1990. In Whaley's burglary, police found no other suspects or weapons, Aldrich said. Whaley was picked up by a family member after being questioned by investigators early Tuesday. He could not be reached for comment. He has no police record but has been cited for numerous housing code violations, officials said. Whaley's poorly maintained house could appear unoccupied, said Clayton Larson, chief building official for Coon Rapids. A court hearing is set for next week because Whaley had not fully complied with orders to replace dilapidated siding, windows and a rotting back deck, Larson said. On Tuesday, the house was deemed uninhabitable and a fire hazard after police and housing officials found boxes, newspapers, bags of pop cans and furniture piled from floor to ceiling throughout the house and garage, including around the basement furnace and water heater. Larson said the piles were divided by narrow paths going upstairs and to the doors. The house had heat and limited lighting, he said. Neighbors said Whaley has no car and walks to work. They said his house is usually dark, with the windows covered. The back yard is overgrown with weeds and trees. Ray Hanson, 36, who lives across the street, said he wasn't surprised someone might assume the house was vacant and break in. He said as a kid he used to play with the youngest of Whaley's four children, who are now grown. Whaley's wife had health problems and had moved to a care facility years ago, Hanson said. Whaley "is a recluse. He stays to himself," Hanson said. Another neighbor, Jenni Elmore, said Whaley waves to her while walking to and from his job at Cub Foods. "He seemed sweet," she said. Whaley was a teacher and principal for 19 years before his firing in 1981 for being unfit to teach. He fought the Anoka- Hennepin school board's decision all the way to the state Supreme Court but lost. Star Tribune news clippings said the board reviewed a list of deficiencies, including that Whaley had "a rigid and stiff" classroom manner and picked on and swore at students. Cliffs: 73 yr old man shoots and kills intruder/burgler with .22 rifle he keeps loaded by his bed. Charges may be pressed, but probably not.