Wes makes a fair point that challenges the commonality among us. A posted sign? Okay, just English? (this is New Orleans). Creole? Spanish? Is this sign well lit? It's 2am. Are the letters large enough? (tough to read while you're jumping the fence). Short of having a neon sign running 24 hours Outbackjack has the point that the fence is the sign saying "stay the hell off my property." Separately - playing lawyer on the other side - What is imminent danger to your life? If someone jacks my car, worth $15,000, and I make $10/hour is it not fair to say they just took 1,500 hours of my life? (let's say there's no comprehensive insurance). At what point is it okay to take some "parts" of people's lives? Less than one year? Is it okay to steal $15,000 from the guy who makes $250,000/year but not okay to steal $15,000 from the guy who makes minimum wage because you're taking more of the latter person's life? Yes, it would be shame to have a small child retrieving a ball be injured; but, if we're going to play "what if" games, let's do it all around. Bottom line, short of a miracle - and I do believe they occur - this kid was headed for a life of crime, in and out of the criminal justice system. This is why, IMO, it was not an unreasonable assumption to shoot someone who has scaled your fence and is poking around your property at 2am. Hence the prhase "guts of a burglar" - there is danger when you're on someone else's turf.