Skip to comments.SDSU Student Fatally Shot (Drunk, thought he was entering his own house)
Posted on 04/10/2009 11:31:56 AM PDT by Chet 99
A 23-year-old Brookings man was shot and killed after trying to enter a home that wasn't his. Multimedia
In a release sent to Action News, Brookings Police Captain Jeff Miller says Bradley Joe Odens was trying to get home late Thursday morning. At just before 2 a.m., he tried entering 129 Main Avenue, but there was a problem.
Odens lives at 143 Main Avenue.
Reportedly, the 28-year-old Brookings man inside the home tried telling Odens that he has the wrong house. But the man tells police that Odens didn't listen and continued to kick his way in.
In a 911 call, the man told police that he thought Odens was trying to break in and because he wouldn't stop, he shot him.
When officers got there, they found Odens fatally wounded inside the home. They dispatched medics to the scene, but it was too late and he was pronounced dead at the Brookings Hospital.
Police think Odens was confused as to his whereabouts. His house at 143 Main is just two houses down from the 28-year-old's and both are white. But whatever the reason, his school at South Dakota State University is mourning the loss of their student, classmate, and friend.
According to University officials, Odens was a senior and studying electronics engineering technology. His adviser and professor Byron Garry says he was planning on graduating in December. Just hours after his death, Garry got an e-mail, which informed him of the bad news.
"It was quite a stun, you know? Just had him in class yesterday; talking to him about his senior project group... with his group. So, it was quite a surprise to find that out this morning," said Garry.
Having taught at SDSU for around 20 years, Garry could think of just one lesson one could take away from this. He said, "Appreciate the people, your friends and family, when your with them."
Elsewhere on campus, there was chatter about the death. Few wanted to go on the record, but all expressed feelings of grief. The University has been quick to help any students coping with the loss.
"Students have been given a hotline number for the Counseling Services Center and it will be staffed through the weekend for those that feel the need to talk to someone," said Bob Otterson, who serves as executive assistant to the president of the University.
It seems that many students are coping in other ways, including online. A Facebook group has been set up to remember Odens. On the site, someone wrote, "He will be missed, but not forgotten for his kindness, humor, and love of life."
In this piece, police say alcohol may have been a factor:
Lesson 2: Don't drink yourself blind.
I bet he won’t ever do that again. Harsh life lesson for this man.
Or at least, if you choose to drink yourself blind, make sure you stay at home. Scary to think this fellow was likely driving directly prior to his untimely demise.
He was a confused young man
I can think of two such incidences near here with drunks trying to break into rual houses in the middle of the night. No one was hurt but the homeowners now have big dogs and guns.
Isn’t this the excuse that other people have used? It seems to me that when a stranger tells you that you are at the wrong house you would get clue, drunk or not. I think the guy, in a state of drunkedness, was trying to rob the house and got his a** shot for the trouble.
If he was such a great guy, why didn’t his “friends” help him get home safely.
Or at least, if you choose to drink yourself blind, make sure you stay at home....
or run a rope from your front door knob to the the bar stool leg....then you can crawl home.
I think the fact that the house was two houses down from his actual house makes a mistake much more . probable
Nah. Blacked out drunks can seem almost normal and proceed to ignore reality, often getting angry at anyone who tries to set them straight, (even to tell them the bathroom is through the doorway on their right, not the wall on their left).
What a shame. His parents must be devastated.
So... a little more than just turning the wrong doorknob. I hope they don't charge the homeowner.
I don’t know. You live in a college town presumably with drunk kids wandering. Something tells me that this guy should have had a little more restraint. But I guess it depends on how it actually played out (whether the kid was attacking the man etc) However if the kid was stumbling, not able to put a sentence together, I think killing him was a little overboard.
Unfortunately incidents like this will be used by anti-gun activists as reasons why people shouldn’t have guns in their homes.
Same thing happened in Colorado recently. No charges against the homeowner.
But wouldn't you think he'd have a house key for his own house? Would he normally try to kick in the front door to his own house?
They don't need justification. That said, its a much clearer argument against drunkeness.
I simply don't accept your premise that people in college towns just expect to have their front doors kicked in at 2am and thus should lighten up. This young man is the victim of his own bad decisions, not of the home owner.
I'm also reminded of the child rapist in Oakland who is also described my neighbors and friends as a really nice guy.