Before you can repair a kicked in door frame, you must realize the different situations you can be in. First, you have to analyse the present condition of the door frame. Is your door still hanging at its hinges or has it fallen off completely? Does the latch side of the door frame remain slightly dented or has it completely come off? Are the other parts of the door frame still intact or there are many ruptures and clearly visible damage? There may be some innate damage which wouldn’t be visible at a glance and you have to inspect closely to observe subtle damages. You also need to look for any damages to the wall if the kick in has been extensive.
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I'm still baffled by the fact that James was shot and killed near the front door, but all of his known guns are accounted for and were not removed from wherever he stores them. If someone rang the bell, he may have gone to the door without a gun, but you'd think he'd at least have had it in the back of his mind that he should maybe be thinking about having one accessible. Then, if he didn't open the door, that tells you he perceived the person at the door to be a threat. So wouldn't he at least be retreating toward his guns when the person kicked the door in? That makes me think the perp just kicked the door in right away and that was the first sign to the family of any trouble at all. But then, why would James go to investigate the noise without grabbing a gun first?


There are several methods, the most thorough of which is to replace the door and frame as a unit, and this is what insurance would usually pay for due to difficulties with half-measures.  You might try replacing the portion that splintered by using good joinery techniques to fit in a new section of frame, adding such shims and metal reinforcement plates as might fit the particular situation.  (Plates are available at retail for the door itself which wrap around the door at the lock area, for example, or serve as a strong strike plate on the frame).  Door and frame ratings for fire and smoke cannot be maintained without replacing the unit to the best of my knowledge and experience.
How many seconds does it take to get to a front door from a bedroom or other room in most houses? I would think a person of average mobility in an average house could get to their front door from any room in about 5 to 30 seconds. I have to go down a flight of stairs and traverse the entire house but I can do it in about 15 seconds. So it is possible that if the intruder was not able to breach the door with a single kick but had to use multiple kicks or shoot the door then kick it or shove it then the father could have arrived at the hallway just as the door was being breached and then been shot. Or he could have gotten there before the door was breached and been there as it was breached. I don't think there is a way for us to know that. I am not sure it matters either other than this situation at the door probably all took place in under a minute from start to finish.
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Do you think there was a reason that Mr. Closs was by the front door? I said in my post, it definitely could be that it was just an easy way to get in to surprise them. But also loud and would draw IMMEDIATE attention. Just another example of weird stuff in this case that could totally mean nothing. But it also brings up the question of whether someone knew the perp was at the door before they kicked it in. Which seems likely if Mr. Closs was by the door.

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I realized after I wrote the post that I had forgotten about the time of night. Totally agree that someone knocking at 1am would certainly have them more on guard. This also is a small friendly town though. I think the only way that they would’ve KNOWN something was really off was if they recognized the person. I could be wrong, but Barron seems like the kind of town where if someone came and asked to use your phone because their car broke down, or your neighbor rang your bell late at night because of an emergency that most people would be happy to help. But i definitely agree that a family more in the country may grab a gun to check the door late at night just to be safe not even thinking anything is wrong.
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