When is a shot in the back justifiable?

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'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 ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array RKM's Avatar
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    When is a shot in the back justifiable?

    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.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    While it would depend on specific circumstances and where, I think that the School Board incident and related threads would answer that generally.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Tough call what with juries etc. Here in SC, one part of the law talks about imminent danger; someone with their back to you is tough to reconcile. However, at night, as I have said in other threads, effecting a citizens arrest allows you take the life of a person who has the probability of escape from your arrest, which you are attempting because you had just suspicion of the perp's design to steal or commit some felony and he is fleeing when he is called upon to give up for a citizen's arrest. If he is fleeing from you to get away after you have declared him under arrest, my appreciation of the words would lead me to believe that he can be shot in the back. This is not my appreciation of the use of my firearm but the law sure seems to give me the go-ahead. Comments on SC law would be appreciated.

  4. #4
    Member Array Trav's Avatar
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    I doubt you could get away with shooting someone in the back when they are running away if you "announce a citizens arrest"

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    While it would depend, to some extent, on local statutes and the political SD/gun climate, I would not care to be the test case.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    While it would depend, to some extent, on local statutes and the political SD/gun climate, I would not care to be the test case.
    Honest citizens need to worry about all these laws which can endanger lives because of the inaction they may cause. Just look at the school guards statement when he said he was afraid he might be arrested. This inaction put lives at risk.
    Criminals have no restrictions on them. They are not influenced in any way by these laws. Honest citizens are at a disadvantage first because the criminal gets to choose the time and place of attack. Secondly after they are attacked they must follow the rules of engagement the politicians place on them. While I will act quickly to protect my family and myself. I might not come to your aid if I think it might make me a test case.

    Michael

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    Honest citizens need to worry about all these laws which can endanger lives because of the inaction they may cause. Just look at the school guards statement when he said he was afraid he might be arrested. This inaction put lives at risk.
    Criminals have no restrictions on them. They are not influenced in any way by these laws. Honest citizens are at a disadvantage first because the criminal gets to choose the time and place of attack. Secondly after they are attacked they must follow the rules of engagement the politicians place on them. While I will act quickly to protect my family and myself. I might not come to your aid if I think it might make me a test case.


    Michael
    I was referring specifically to the back shooting of a fleeing perp, not in progress confrontations
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Combining the last two replies by Trav and Guantes, it strikes me as difficult to figure out how you can understand the SC law when it specifically allows you shoot to kill if a person you demand citizen's arrest on is fleeing; he cannot be fleeing running backwards--ie it is in the back. As Guantes says, I am not about to be the test case on this. As I said in my last reply, even if I could fire, I would only consider imminent danger to me or others (alter ego rule in SC) to be the one and only reason for discharge of my firearm front or back; I am not about to shoot someone in the back unless there are extreme circumstances. Then again this word game is easy sitting at the computer.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    My training and understanding is that the justification lies in the fleeing perp being such a threat to the public that he cannot be allowed to escape. Known facts and articulation being some of the key points.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    I was referring specifically to the back shooting of a fleeing perp, not in progress confrontations
    Understood, but I believe that private citizens can have their reactions inhibited by the laws in both types of cases. Enough so that a person may needlessly be harmed.

    Michael

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I have no doubt that that has been the case in the past and will be so again in the future.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    My training and understanding is that the justification lies in the fleeing perp being such a threat to the public that he cannot be allowed to escape. Known facts and articulation being some of the key points.


    ^^^^As In^^^^^^^^^^^^

    He just shot several people, and is now making his escape?

    He is strongarming a loved one at knife/gunpoint against their will and you fear for their life.

    I think in these instances I would probably shoot.




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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    There are significant differences in the two examples you cite. One is an ongoing, in progress, situation and the other he is fleeing from a completed action. The former falling under the circumstances we were most recently addressing.

    In the latter, I see little problem with lethal action. The former, more of a problem, as it is more of a judgement call, leaving it open to more disagreement. Depending on circumstances, I would have no more hesitation shooting in the former than in the latter.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    He just shot several people, and is now making his escape?
    Are you certain this is what he is doing? You had better be sure your right. If he is still close enough to be a viable threat it should not watter where you shoot him. Shooting someone in the back who is retreating but who is still a threat is different from shooting someone who is clearly fleeing after the act. I can inflict harm on you while I am in retreat.

    Michael

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Knightrider's Avatar
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    If he is still a endangering people then you can shoot him/her in the back. ie, he is running to your kids bedroom.
    Glock: G22 .40 S&W and G23 .40 S&W Sig Sauer: P938 9mm Smith and Wesson: Model 437 .38 Spl, Model 65 357 Mag, and Sigma SW9VE 9mm

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