The distinction comes between this dividing line: what constitutes punishment, versus defense. A jury will likely see it that way, at least many of the jury members. Count on being asked the tough question: was your life in danger when you acted?
Originally Posted by Mongoose
Likely, the jury won't be able to get over that fact, either.
I just can’t get over the fact that the threat is no longer there.
There are no good kills, as already pointed out.
Or is this a good kill ...
You always have the right to defend yourself. Your community (society) always has the right to determine if the line has been crossed between defense and aggression, in which the "victim" has turned into a wolf.
Just the FACT of having a weapon pointed at you gives you the right to shoot the guy in the back of the head.
Can't possibly know this is the BG's intention. Can't possibly know you're not about to be eliminated as a witness, which is becoming more frequent as the years go by, sadly.
Even once he has decided to leave you alone and bullet hole free.
If a BG decides to threaten my life and then allow me the space to draw my weapon in defense of myself, then that's exactly what I'm going to do. Bank on it. It's one thing I train for. Why? As suggested, a back turned does NOT mean the threat is over.
I hope I'll be moving toward cover, if available. If the BG is still within threat distance (ie, in my view and capable of harming me), I would absolutely loudly demand he "DROP THE WEAPON!!! DON'T MOVE!!! DO IT NOW!!!" This is as much for the benefit of witnesses as to ensure the BG's immediate manifest intentions. A smart BG would simply keep walking, calmly and assuredly, 'cause I think I would have a hard time firing on a "fleeing" person. However, that defensive posture (cover, armed, prepared) should allow a defense against the BG turning on me as he leaves, which is a far sight better than hoping the pixie dust and prayer book have lost none of their potency. Still, all this is mere hopeful thinking. No telling how it's actually going to play out, as the next move is squarely out of our hands. But, frankly, since there's no telling, I would just as soon be armed when crossing that bridge. But that's just me.
In such a situation, you're going to fire at the back of the head of a "fleeing" (at least, exiting) BG? Then, you're going to have much to explain. "Sticky" questions, if you know what I mean.
Preferable by far, IMO, is to have solid ground to stand on, when you state that you were reasonably and justifiably fearing loss of your life as the BG turned and made to attack you again, after already having proven he had the will and ability to do so. The latter is far simpler to justify. Remember, usually the laws are written that it's not merely your fear, but it's fear of imminent injury/death using the "reasonable man" standard.
Now, all situations are different. If the BG is actively shooting, then proclaiming your presence and demanding he disarm is likely going to do one thing only: give him time to point the muzzle at you. Bad juju. In such a scenario, as occurred at the church in Colorado Springs a few weeks back, shooting first is almost assuredly the best option, all around. But, if the BG is leaving and shows zero signs of using that lethal weapon, then at best defending yourself against the potential (likely) subsequent use of it is about the most you can safely do while absolutely being able to justify those actions. Beyond that, it will depend very much on the timing and facts of the situation as to whether you'll get strung by the toenails.