‘We Have the Right to Defend Ourselves’: Community Rallies Around Utah Man Arrested for Shooting at Burglar

Photo Credit: APResidents in a northern Utah city are coming to the defense of a man who was arrested and faces charges for shooting at burglars as they drove away from his property.

Layton police arrested Clare Niederhauser, 64, last week after he fired one shot at a car and another at a fleeing burglar, said Layton Police Lt. Shawn Horton. He was arrested on suspicion of two counts of reckless endangerment.


The shots were unlawful because the burglar had dropped a crowbar and was fleeing the property, according to Horton, who added that the shots could have endangered somebody’s life.

“There is a responsibility of owning a gun: you need to know when you can lawfully use your weapon,” Horton said. “You’re not authorized to shoot a firearm at a car just because you don’t want it to get away, or to scare them, or disable a tire.”

Layton police said they also have arrested the man suspected of burglarizing the house, Robert Santos Cruz, 47. Investigators are searching for a woman who drove the car that was leaving the driveway when Niederhauser shot at it.

Read more from this story HERE.

  • steamingernie

    the government is always so invasive in demanding what race people are on surveys and applications, I’d like to see the official stats on violent crimes and percentage of what ethnicity committed them, including breakdown of citizens and illegal immigrants.

  • mrbp

    I guess only cops can shoot at a fleeing car, or disable it. This sends a msg. to all crooks out there. Don’t worry no on will shoot at you for robbing people. But then it is Utah.

  • brabbie2002

    Well, there is the point that the burglars were not on his property. If they are in your yard and threatening you – shoot the a–holes! If they are in your house – shoot the a–holes. If they are driving away, call the cops. And aim for the head – saves the county millions of dollars for a stupid trial and paying to support the a–holes the rest of their lives!

  • Good for the folks in that community, if that judge give a BS liberal decision, march on the courthouse nad have his arse impeached/recalled/fired…

  • sure let illegal aliens steal everything you have and get way..thats what uncle scam wants

  • reggiec

    He should ask for a jury trial and then the court should be surrounded by protesters carrying “nullify” signs.

  • If they’re breaking into your house of course you can shoot them. If they are endangering your life you can shoot them. But if they are fleeing it is completely unjustifiable to shoot them. It is wrong to attempt to kill someone for attempted theft.

    • I agree. I’m a CCW holder and that is one of the first things they teach in class. Even as much as you’d like to, if they are not threatening harm or life of you or someone else you can’t shoot them. If possible, you can hold them at gun point (probably would only work inside your house where there’s still the real threat of them being shot) but this man was wrong for shooting at them and opens himself up for criminal charges.

  • So the question is … who is in more trouble. the robber and get away driver or the man defendingh his home..

  • gwedem5995

    I live in Ohio and I stand behind him l00%. I guess O is the only one authorized to kill who he feels should be killed.

  • JHinSD

    In general, the comments about some sort of inherent right to shoot burglars as they leave your property, with no apparent physical or lethal threat to the homeowner are asinine. They also present an argument that the anti-gun nuts will use against us, “law-abiding” citizens, in their continuing quest to disarm the Citizenry.

    Those of you who think it’s justifiable to shoot a fleeing burglar, who no longer presents a threat to your person or others, should re-examine exactly why you own guns, if you do. You’re doing the rest of us, and the Second Amendment, a tremendous disservice.

    Either get your head squared away or get out of the conversation and give your guns to someone who is responsible enough to know why we have guns.

  • In most states it is not legal to shoot a buglar unless you fear for your life when they enter you home. Remember that one.

  • Capt.America

    For all of you legalese experts,By not shooting at these Bastards they rob someone else. Its better to be tried by 12 than to be carried by 6.

  • Capt.America

    They had to arrest someone if they go after the burglars they might shoot back. Take that to the bank.