Hard way to learn that lesson.
Like most people, James Dittrich had horrible situational awareness.
He’d walked his dog and was returning up the stairs to his third floor apartment, and the two thugs were on him in the stairwell before he knew what was going on. They robbed him of his wallet, and forced him into his apartment at gunpoint, where his fiance was sleeping.
Dettrich—finally clued into the fact that he put his fiance, Meredith Duffy in great danger—went after the gun, hoping to give Duffy a chance to call 911:
So I reached up and I grabbed [the gun],” Dittrich said. “I couldn’t wrestle it free, but I knew, with both hands on it, I had control of it, and that was the opportunity that she needed to call. And I just, I really just hoped I could keep control of it for her to make that call.”
But when Dittrich grabbed the gun, the burglars attacked him, he said. As her fiance was beaten in front of her, Duffy was able to call for help.
“That was the absolute hardest part, was that when I dialed 911, they were just beating him so absolutely mercilessly and brutally,” she said. “And the one kept yelling, ‘Shoot him, shoot him, shoot him.’”