When is a shot in the back justifiable? - Page 3

When is a shot in the back justifiable?

This is a discussion on When is a shot in the back justifiable? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I didn't read any of the replies...BUT I'd say it's justifiable in at least these two scenarios: 1. He's endangering someone else's life 2. He's ...

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Thread: When is a shot in the back justifiable?

  1. #31
    Member Array reyno2ac's Avatar
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    I didn't read any of the replies...BUT

    I'd say it's justifiable in at least these two scenarios:
    1. He's endangering someone else's life
    2. He's firing at you in a ridiculous manner that makes his back face you...
    Guns don't kill people, people kill people...and chimps do, if they have a gun


  2. #32
    Distinguished Member Array RKM's Avatar
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    Obviously we all know shooting somebody that's trying to flee is not justifiable, but that's not what I'm talking about here. The school board incident happened AFTER I initially thought of this scenario. After watching that video, I feel that the shot in the back was 100% justified. How can it not be? Some will argue he should have had the gun in the first place, but all in all, I think that turned out pretty good.

    As far as having time to think whether it's justifiable at the time, then it's not, I agree. But right now, I have the time to think about it, and it's something I've pondered. And I've often just assumed that though generally it's looked at as automatically not justifiable, if you're able to prove the exact situation, I'm sure it'd only be up to that specific judge and jury.

    As most people will say, if it really mean a loved ones life, even if a shot in the back is all you have, you have to do what you have to do to save your child, wife, whomever it may be.

    Just figured I'd get a good discussion going because it's always a rule of thumb, never shoot somebody in the back. Obviously if they're fleeing, but there HAS to be some justifiable situations.

  3. #33
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    The body position of the perp relative to you, has no bearing on the level of threat that they present to someone else.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  4. #34
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    The key factors are, what is the danger presented to you or a third party and how well can you articulate that.

    Biker

  5. #35
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    I don't know about U.S. Law with regards to this situation, but in Costa Rica we have a law called "Legitimate Defense" and it contains an article that says that we can shoot the bad guy while running away and after the threat but only if he has stolen something from the victim and the concealed carry permit holder must use his firearm to retrieve his property (For example: a car, money, jewelry, etc.).

    How does it work in the U.S.?
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

  6. #36
    MJK
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    Consider the following scenario:

    Perp has raised his weapon but doesn't fire and starts to turn away from you at t = 0. Your brain is lagging the situation by, say, 0.25 seconds, so you've pulled the trigger while the perp, rotating clockwise at 360 degrees per second, has rotated 90 degrees and presents you with his back at a 45 degree angle to the trajectory of your projectile at about the time it (the projectile) makes contact. This is assuming the perp's initial position was at a 45 degree angle to you.

    Even though you fired your weapon to stop a deadly threat, you've now shot someone in the back. Not an unrealistic scenario, but you have to be able to prove it to a jury. Evidence such as the angle of entry will be crucial to an effective defense. If I were the defense attorney I'd also do some testing to support assumptions about response time and rotation speed.

  7. #37
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Hey Coder: Kindly read my replies #3 and #8. I get the feeling that Utah and SC have a different take on things. Like many of these issues, each state seems to have "staked out" their laws and restrictions to fit legislative fancy or opinions and they just plain differ. I read and reread the codes and cannot find any reason why I cannot shoot someone in the back at night (note: at night) who is disregarding my command for citizen's arrest and is running away. I am not saying that is what I would even think of doing and I certainly am not about to find out if I am correct if such a situation should ever arise, but I am just indicating what I perceive the laws say in SC in very clear and succinct wording. Why it is written that way--I wish I knew.

  8. #38
    TVJ
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    I've always felt justified is justified; front, side, back, head, whatever. I don't see myself changing my mind for a life or death decision based on what a jury "might" think. The main issue is are you otherwise justified. My kids bedrooms are straight down the hall from my master bedroom. In the event someone makes it that far, they'll get no warning from me. Not headed towards my kids.

    Recognize/Realize your backstop and how it changes with moving perp -in this case- around your loved ones in your house.
    The United States Constitution © 1791. All Rights Reserved.

    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKM View Post
    I've often thought this. Most states will issue a LTCF, CCW, CHL, CHP, whatever it may be to have the legal right to use deadly force to protect yourself from death or serious bodily injury. And some states, the life of another person. In PA, you're legally allowed to protect the life of another person with your firearm.

    If the BG isn't facing you, but immediate response is needed, then what? What if a shot in the back is all you have? Are you forced to try and put yourself in between the BG and your loved one, or whoever it may be?

    Naturally, I'd say, in the situation, yes, there shouldn't be any issue with it, but I can't come to a conclusion that it'd be justified in the eyes of the jury or judge. I've always had the idea a shot in the back is NEVER justified and for good reason, but in a scenario such as this, I can't see how it wouldn't be.

    Just a thought, I'd like to hear others responses.
    A shot in the back is justified under the same circumstances than any other shot is - when, and only when, it is necessary to stop the immediate infliction of death or grievous bodily harm to yourself or another.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
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  10. #40
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    I can think of several situations whereby a shot in the back or anywhere else for that matter is appropriate.

    1. Assailant shooting at you from over his/her shoulder in retreat
    2. Being corralled in a back room at gunpoint as the perp turns monetarily
    3. BG is aiming a firearm at your daughter’s head
    4. The list goes on…

    The key is justification in your own mind at the moment of incidence.
    “Monsters are real and so are ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.”
    ~ Stephen King

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelcarry View Post
    Hey Coder: Kindly read my replies #3 and #8. I get the feeling that Utah and SC have a different take on things. Like many of these issues, each state seems to have "staked out" their laws and restrictions to fit legislative fancy or opinions and they just plain differ. I read and reread the codes and cannot find any reason why I cannot shoot someone in the back at night (note: at night) who is disregarding my command for citizen's arrest and is running away. I am not saying that is what I would even think of doing and I certainly am not about to find out if I am correct if such a situation should ever arise, but I am just indicating what I perceive the laws say in SC in very clear and succinct wording. Why it is written that way--I wish I knew.
    Yep, every state varies a little or a lot. I was only stating Utah's take and it is very clear that force, but not deadly force, may be used to effect an arrest. Yes, the variations (sometimes very subtle) are frustrating. Makes you never want to leave your home state where you think you understand the law...

    BTW, I had some deep fried oreos in Charleston. Wow, they were awesome. Nice part of the country...
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  12. #42
    Distinguished Member Array RKM's Avatar
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    I've always wanted to try fried Oreo's, and fried ice cream, fried Snikers, it goes on and on.

    I'm glad most people have the same mentality as I do. Shooting in the back is mostly associated with shooting somebody fleeing, which then it's assumed ANY shot in the back is unjustified which I never agreeed with.

    MJK, I've also, often thought about that exact same scenario. As you draw and pull the trigger your reaction time and brain can't process that's he's in the middle of turning to flee and by the time your brain signal reaches your finger, it's too late and you just shot a fleeing BG in the back. It would be a very difficult shot to prove in court. This is why a good lawyer is a must.

  13. #43
    Senior Member Array HK Dan's Avatar
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    I can think of 3 reasons to shoot a guy in the back that would be justified in any county in the US.

    1) In immediate defense of life. He has a person at gun point and is about to shoot, or at knife point and is about the slash.
    2) You have personally witnessed him commit a heinous felony and he is fleeing the scene, or he has shown manifest intent to immediately commit a heinous felony if not stopped.
    3) Under the direction of an LEO.

    I suppose you could add "in your home" at night, where most jurisdictions assume that he means to do grave bodily harm simply by being there uninvited, but htat's largely dependent on your DA. I can think of a lot of more questionable scenarios that would call for a back shot, but don't care to list htem here!

    Dan
    "What does Marcellus Wallace LOOK like?"

  14. #44
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    FL law allows the use of deadly force in protection of others--no where in the statutes does it state from what direction that has to be done, nor does it imply I must allow the BG to turn and "face the music." No where does it imply that a bullet to the back of the head of some jerk holding a cashier at gunpoint is illegal, unwarrented, or requires a warning.

    As to shooting if the BG is running away, it does say no if the threat has ended, but if others (or the public) are still endangered, than that may have to be determined by DA, judge, and jury. I feel they would show extreme leniency if a BG who had just shot someone and still had gun in hand was plugged from the rear, but that's just my thoughts. I know I would if I were on a jury in such a case.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

  15. #45
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    He kept firing and is still free. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AA_dgRdDhk

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