If the BG is aiming his gun at someone while he has his back to you, you will be preventing a crime. If he is not threatening anyone you should just be a good witness.
In the 2-3 weeks in KY, there have been two of these and so far no charges have been filed in either case against the shooter..About three weeks ago a woman was waiting in a car outside a home while her boyfriend was breakin in to an owner occupied house.They showed her on the news crying about he was trying to leave and how it wasn't right the owner shot anyway.The other this week in Rockcastle County a guy robbed a conveinence store when the clerk chased after and shot him.It amazed me that there wasn't a big fuss about it.Pretty cool.
Hey mlr: Brandishing a firearm and pointing/aiming a firearm at someone are very different scenarios. Yes brandishing is "doing something bad", as you say, but it is not imminent danger and you cannot just shoot him in the back or any other way.This is where the Alter Ego rule can take a bad turn--you come across a situation that YOU THINK is imminent danger but really have not a blessed clue as to what has been going on and YOU DECIDE to discharge your firearm---suppose the person with the gun has just shown it to someone as he points it stupidly in their direction and the person he shows it to is acting like he is scared of the big bad gun as they kind of joke around just as you appear on the scene---your scenario--he must be a threat--you are now ready to discharge your firearm--bad choice.
Well, I was taught to follow the 4 gun safety rules. I'm not assuming the gun is unloaded. I'm not assuming the person who chose to use it in the commission of a crime will not shoot. Whether they shoot purposefully or accidently, it matters not. What matters is at some point in the gun waving they probably are pointing the gun at someone which means they must want to kill them. They most definately don't care about what is beyond their direct line of sight.
I'm assuming the armed assailant is extremely dangerous with a firearm being held. Unless they are holding the barrel and pointing with the butt of the gun that is.
Brandishing can get you killed. It's a form of stupid that has potential fatal consequences.
What can and has happened is the BG is facing away from you and at the same time he is drawing his weapon and turning towards you simultaneously in that split second you would fire. If it hits him in the back at lease it would be a quartering shot, much easier to prove in court.
Someone comes into the store gun drawn goes up to the clerk points.Obvious robbery. The minute this person came into the store in such a way tells me everyone including myself are in danger. I would shoot no matter if the persons back is to me and i won't be dumb enough to yell "hey you" to get their attention. Why on earth would i want to give up tactical surprise? I would have already by then hopefully found a safer place behind something rather than standing frozen in the open. My first reaction would be seek cover and better position for myself.Then i would engage the perp. I dont want to stand by while a person is murdered in front of me while i debated about where they might recieve my rounds..center mass working my way up to head shot lights out...Period..threat over..Completly legal..
Hey aworld: Your scenario with a slightly different story. He comes into store and is a good friend with the clerk (you do not know this and conversations do not reveal freindship) and pridefully pulls out gun and is waving it as he shows it to clerk and is beginning to talk to clerk about the "great find" he found. If you are in the store at the time or walk in as he is waving it around talking up his "find" are you going to shoot him in the back? If yes--lots of luck. Tony D in reply #77 said if very succinctly.
Are you saying you can't tell the difference in actions of someone who is showing off a new item vs someone who is intent on finishing the crime they began? Body language denotes intent. In this scenario, the body language shows a clear cut intent commit a crime.
Most criminals are pretty obvious while in the commission of a crime. It's why they are criminals. They are too stupid to realize that working at McDonald's/Arby's/some other fast food place/gas station will get them more money in the long run and keep them out of prison. If they aren't stupid, then they are oftentimes desperate because they need their next fix. At least that's the way most criminals are around here.
The percentage of criminals that are actually clever, and good at what they do, are a small minority of the criminals. Chances are, I won't be facing them because they tend to avoid conflict. They are lifelong criminals who know the system well enough to live outside the laws without drawing a lot of attention to themselves.
Hey SFury: Agree with your comments. You ask whether I would know the difference between a real crime and someone showing off and you make it sound so simple--kindly remember this simple act is the difference between shooting someone who should not have been shot and someone who had put another person in imminent danger and could be shot. All I am saying is the dynamics of the situation and the stress of finding yourself in such a situation are a lot different than writing about these things and you had better be darn sure you know all the facts that face you. Walking in on something in progress and being involved from minute one are very different scenarios. The second scenario is obvious--you were there from the getgo and there is no way you misunderstand anything that is going on. The first scenario could have many different reasons for being what it is and you are opening yourself to big legal and civil problems if you make assumptions based on instinct (telling the difference based on body language) when you really do not know all the facts. YOU ARE ABOUT TO SHOOT SOMEONE AND KILL THEM--100% FACTUAL CERTAINTY IS IMPERATIVE---YOU ARE NOT A POLICE OFFICER
I'm not saying they're bad options...just that you never know the results of your actions beforehand....so be prepared for that when deciding on a course of action.
kelcarry: The scenario I was addressing is one in which you know without a doubt what the person is up to. This is why I referred to him as the Bad Guy.
I have discussed this with many of my friends and was surprised to hear a good number of them say that under no circumstance would they ever shoot someone in the back. This is why I posted the question. To try and understand the reasoning behind giving the bad guy a fair chance.