Right To Shoot??

This is a discussion on Right To Shoot?? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The Scenario: A woman is being attacked in a public parking lot. You pull your gun to stop the attack. You have the perp on ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array CigarStix's Avatar
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    Right To Shoot??

    The Scenario: A woman is being attacked in a public parking lot. You pull your gun to stop the attack. You have the perp on the ground at gun point and are waiting for the police to arrive. The perp gets up and starts to run away to evade arrest. Do you shoot?
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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array SCXDm9's Avatar
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    No... but might have shot him before he was up enough to run. If he is getting to his feet I am now in fear for my or the womans life. If he makes it to his feet and is running away, I have nothing to fear.

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    Only if you like the idea of a felony weapons charge and a criminal record. Otherwise, no, he's no threat to you if he's moving in the opposite direction.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Short answer: in the situation you've described, IMO it's probably best to let the fleeing perp flee.

    You've stopped an apparent felony assault and battery, but the alleged perp gets up and runs away. Well, at that point, it's hard to state the guy is a threat to you or the victim. At most, it can be claimed he's a potential threat to others. But particularly in a situation in which no actual physical harm (beyond a bit of roughing up) was witnessed, and no deadly weapon has been seen, then it's also tough to claim he'd be such a violent threat to the point that the only way to stop that threat would be to shoot. That's the sort of situation where forcible citizens' arrest situations get ugly, fast. Caution, if you want to go there.

    For my money, given the risks when there isn't blood and/or a body as proof of manifest intent to kill, I find it hard to kill a fleeing person who's only crime was to have been witnessed assaulting another. If that person opts to flee at that moment, then I'm pretty sure I am going to let him do so. Daring the county DA and GJ to charge me doesn't seem like a good bet, in such circumstances, at least not until we get a whole lot further down the path to sane and rational support of citizens who are armed and act on behalf of others ... reliably so. Until then, if he chooses to flee, he gets a temporary pass ... at least until the 911 call brings police down around his ears in a few minutes; during which time, I might well tail him in my car (depending).

    Now, if the perp was actually witnessed by me committing some egregious violence that couldn't be easily ignored (to the point there was a clear attempt to kill/rob/rape and either blood or a body), then everything changes quickly. That's when the choice of evils argument begins to hold much more water, in the case of deciding to put the guy down as he strives to rise (given the extreme risk he's manifesting intent to continue the fight/threat). Thin ice, in such situations, and you'd best be damned sure you're right. Else you could be spending some time in the clink wondering how you're going to pay for the charges being leveled against you, at least if you're in a county where you're in the least doubt about how it would play out.

    Your call. All things considered, it's probably best in all but the most-violent and first-hand-witnessed cases to let a fleeing perp go.

    Generally speaking, the A.O.J. principles guide me. Specifically, the state statutes where I am do so as well. If there's no real Ability of the person to harm me, and no real Opportunity for him to do so (since he's fleeing, back to me, and apparently without a weapon), it gets hard to claim there's any actual Jeopardy to me at that moment. Hard, as in hugely expensive to me if I judge incorrectly. Those "reasonable man" elements in the statutes have teeth, all things considered, and here's a good situation where those teeth can be very sharp.

    That being said, you're in Texas. Things tend to be a bit different there with respect to accepting the concept of stopping crime. Particularly if at night, you're going to have a whole truckload of support behind you, even though any shooting's going to go through the GJ. (ie, the case involving Joe Horn, a couple years ago.)
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    Only if you like the idea of a felony weapons charge and a criminal record. Otherwise, no, he's no threat to you if he's moving in the opposite direction.
    What he said.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    Only if you like the idea of a felony weapons charge and a criminal record. Otherwise, no, he's no threat to you if he's moving in the opposite direction.
    What he said.
    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    You can say that again.
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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    I agree with Brad426 and his identical twins.
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    Hi I'm Brad. This is my brother Brad and my other brother Brad.

    In response to the original post: no way. At that point it's just time to be a good witness and to be able to witness on behalf of good gun owners everywhere that don't shoot when they don't have to.
    I'm in favor of gun control -- I think every citizen should have control of a gun.
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    Senior Member Array KBSR's Avatar
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    Don't shoot. The threat has been eliminated, when you broke it up. If you shoot him because he's running away, you've just put yourself behind bars for awhile. Be smart, don't shoot.
    " But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself... Baa." Col. Dave Grossman on Sheep and Sheepdogs.

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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    NO!
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  13. #12
    Senior Member Array GeorgiaDawg's Avatar
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    Don't shoot. If he's running away, he is no longer a threat to you (or the woman), and therefore would be considered a victim and you the perpetrator.

    Hopefully one of have the police on the phone so that you can let them know where he's running.
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  14. #13
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Here is your answer in Texas.

    PC §9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON. (a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:
    (1) if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and
    (2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
    (A) to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or
    (B) to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.
    It says nothing about chasing one down, or shooting them after the attack has ceased. I think you would be in pretty hot water if you shot them while fleeing after the attack was stopped and they had submitted for a period of time.

    This might very well be a good time to have a less than lethal option available to use if they did attempt to flee.
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    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CigarStix View Post
    The Scenario: A woman is being attacked in a public parking lot. You pull your gun to stop the attack. You have the perp on the ground at gun point and are waiting for the police to arrive. The perp gets up and starts to run away to evade arrest. Do you shoot?
    Stated this several times in threads. If this is in daytime, you do not shoot--it is called murder. In South Carolina, however, if this is occurring at night, Section 17-13-20 of the SC Code of Laws allows you to affect a citizen's arrest, because the BG has or you have just suspicion of a felony by the BG, by "efficient means as the darkness and the probablilty of escape render necessary, even if the life of the person should be taken". In other words, he tries to escape you can shoot him to stop him--period/end of story. Case law has validated this action and it is on the books for better or for worse. Don't be a BG in SC at night.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CigarStix View Post
    The Scenario: A woman is being attacked in a public parking lot. You pull your gun to stop the attack. You have the perp on the ground at gun point and are waiting for the police to arrive. The perp gets up and starts to run away to evade arrest. Do you shoot?
    Why did I not shoot him right after I pulled my gun to stop the attack?
    BkCo1 likes this.
    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
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