arrow-right arrow-left chevron-down close basket account search wishlist star spinner check-mark grid list cart
Handcrafted in the U.S.A.
Lifetime Warranty

Case Study: Man Defends Home From Fake Maintenance Workers Trying to Kick In His Door

Case Study: Man Defends Home From Fake Maintenance Workers Trying to Kick In His Door

As concealed carriers, one of the best training tools we have is to study a variety of self-defense cases and learn from them.

By evaluating these situations and looking at what went wrong, what went right, and how it might have been handled differently, we gain a better understanding of how these incidents unfold and become better prepared to defend ourselves.

On August 20, 2023, a man defended his home against two intruders posing as maintenance workers in a Dallas, Texas apartment building. Let’s break it down.

Incident Breakdown

Two burglars received a rude awakening when a man shot at them through his front door as they attempted to kick it open.

A video of the event can be viewed here, so you can see what happened for yourself. WARNING: Video may be disturbing to some viewers.

At around 6 p.m. that day, Ethan Rodriguez was at home with his brother when a man he didn’t recognize knocked on his door at the Oak Cliff apartments in Dallas, Texas. He spoke with the man, later identified as 30-year-old Aaron Contreras, through a doorbell camera using his phone. Contreras claimed to be a maintenance worker going around the building to check the air filters.

During their brief interaction, Rodriguez told Contreras that nobody was home and that he would have to come back another day. Contreras can then be seen in the video turning around to knock on the door of the apartment across the hall.

Two burglars attempting entry into an apartment

Case Note: While it’s tempting to tell someone you’re not home to avoid an interaction, it’s better to simply tell them that now is not a good time and to come back later rather than telling a stranger the residence is unoccupied. It may seem harmless, but criminals often pose as workers when casing a place to rob, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Several minutes later, Contreras is seen in the video returning to the apartment with a handgun and another man who was wearing a ski mask and gloves.

Contreras proceeds to kick the door, then steps aside to let the masked man try. The man gives the door three hard kicks before turning it back over to Contreras, who turns around to back kick the door eight times.

Around the time of the eighth kick, Rodriguez starts firing his pistol through the front door at the intruders, who flee down the hallway. In all, 13 rounds are fired and bullets can be seen hitting the wall of the apartment directly across from them.

Case Note: Luckily, nobody was in the apartment across the hall when the incident occurred. That being said, this is why it’s always important to be mindful of what’s beyond your target to avoid collateral damage.

Police later determined that two of the shots fired came from Contreras, as two of the casings were found outside and a couple of bullet holes went through the front of the door.

The Aftermath

Following the incident, two Dallas police officers arrived on scene to assess the situation.

Video footage shows the officers telling Rodriguez and his brother to come out of the apartment with their hands visible. Both men were compliant in answering the officers’ questions and explaining the situation.

After viewing the doorbell footage and evaluating the scene, police were able to identify Contreras, who was arrested that same day by Dallas County sheriff's deputies and charged with aggravated assault, deadly conduct, and attempted burglary of a habitation, according to Fox News.

At the time of this writing, he is being held in the Dallas County jail on a $150,000 bond. Luckily, nobody was injured during the shootout.

No charges are being brought against Rodriguez, who later told Fox News he feared for their lives.

"I check the camera to see who’s all at the door and I saw him kicking the door with a firearm and, fearing for my and my brother’s life, I just let the gun go. I didn’t know what to do," Rodriguez said. "This was a random attack, we couldn’t have expected any of this. He’s not linked to anyone in my family or anybody that we know."

Texas is a Castle Doctrine and “stand your ground” state, meaning a person does not have an obligation to try leaving before using deadly force in a defensive situation, according to the U.S. Concealed Carry Association.

Legally, deadly force is justified in the event someone tries to force their way into a person’s home, vehicle, or place of work; tries to forcibly remove someone from their home, vehicle, or place of work; or attempts to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.

In short, if someone believes that either death or serious bodily harm is about to occur to themselves or someone else while in their home, as in this case, deadly force is justified in the state of Texas.


After learning the details of the encounter, it’s time to reflect on what happened and how you might have handled the same situation.

Do you think the shooter handled the situation correctly? Why or why not? Do you think there was anything that could or should have been done differently? What would you have done in the same scenario? Be sure to share your thoughts on this concealed carry case with us on social media@VedderHolsters.

Knowledge is power, and analyzing incidents like these can only serve to better prepare you to respond appropriately in the event you are faced with a similar situation. For more resources on training, information on local gun control and concealed carry laws, and general CCW tips, check out the U.S. Concealed Carry Association.

If you’re looking for a new IWB, OWB, or pocket carry holster, visit our Holsters by Gun Model page for Kydex holsters that are custom-made for your weapon of choice.

Interested in items beyond holsters? Check out our Resources Page for links to recommended products like lights, lasers, first aid, maintenance, and more, and browse our selection of belts, apparel, and accessories at our website,

To stay up-to-date on all the latest Vedder Holsters content and offerings, check out our blog and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And be sure to visit our sister company, GeoGrit, for all of your American-made minimalist wallet needs.

Mikayla Blair

After launching her career as an award-winning journalist in the American Southwest, Mikayla Blair joined the Vedder Holsters team as a content writer in 2021. She writes about all things guns, holsters, and concealed carry, and is especially passionate about women's self-defense.

30-day Money-Back Guarantee

It’s confidence in knowing that you will be 100% satisfied with your holster purchase.

We are so confident that you will love your new holster that you can wear it for 30 days from the day you receive it and if for whatever reason it is not for you, contact us and return within 30 days of receipt and receive a full refund of the holster price (excluding shipping).

Handcrafted in the U.S.A.

At Vedder Holsters, we individually handcraft our products with pride in the U.S.A.

Located in the heart of Central Florida, our Vedder Holsters team crafts your unique holster by hand to ensure a precise fit for your gun model every time. Because our holsters are tailored to your preferences, each one is made to order.

Lifetime Warranty

All Vedder Holsters' Hybrid and Kydex holsters come with a Lifetime Warranty. If for whatever reason the holster fails you (excluding obvious neglect), simply return it and we will make it right. If we can't fix it, we will replace it.

All Vedder Nation apparel also comes with a Lifetime Warranty against any defects. If for any reason your shirt becomes defective from normal wear, just contact us for a return authorization and send it back. We will gladly replace it with the same item. If that item is no longer available, we will replace it with another similar product of the same value.

*International Purchasers* Please note that international shipping is not included with any warranty or exchanges. Buyer must pay international shipping for all packages being sent to a location outside the USA. This does not include APO addresses as they are treated as being inside the USA.

Looks like you forgot something in the cart