Latest incident in SC

This is a discussion on Latest incident in SC within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; According to the Charleston Post & Courier, a lady was in her house and heard noise outside her home. She saw a man "playin around" ...

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Thread: Latest incident in SC

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Latest incident in SC

    According to the Charleston Post & Courier, a lady was in her house and heard noise outside her home. She saw a man "playin around" by her truck and heard noise in the garage indicating that someone was in the garage. She took her 12g, opened the window and fired at the legs of the guy at her truck. With the noise, she noticed a woman running from her garage and the two of them took off into the night. Police investigated and determined that the man may have been shot and so they looked into hospital treatments and lo and behold, a man showed up with pellets and bruise in his legs. He was arrested along with the with the woman and no charges will be filed as to the woman and her discharge of the shotgun. We have a "castle doctrine" law here in SC and I have no sympathy at all for the slimeballs but I still have a problem with the story. No call to police, no immediate danger of life---not even a confrontation. Personally she could have killed them out on her property and I would have read the story and smiled but something still bothers me. My question is: Just how far does "castle doctrine" take you in the State of SC. I still assume that imminent threat of death is a necessity, not just committing a felony (in this case burglary and theft) or am I wrong?

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  3. #2
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    In Utah, you can use deadly force to stop a forcible felony, nothing to do with Castle doctrine. My question, where was the felony being committed? Vehicle burglary/theft a felony?, not in Utah, unless the vehicle is occupied.
    Last edited by sigmanluke; December 9th, 2009 at 03:07 PM. Reason: more clarity
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    New Member Array ragifiro's Avatar
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    I am not sure what the laws of your state are but here they would probably be in some serious trouble. The only state I know of that allows you to defend property is Texas I think

    My wife (never fired a gun) and I had a similar discussion today about "what" if we saw someone stealing our car, would I shoot. The answer was and is no. It is illegal to do so in my state.

    As far as the Felony angle doesn't it have to be directed at a person vs. property to justify the use of deadly force?
    Last edited by ragifiro; December 9th, 2009 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Clarify and spelling

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    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Just found the "castle doctrine" laws and, from what I can gather, a person living in his house, can use deadly force if he is in reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily injury and if he knows or has reason to believe that an unlawful and/or forcible entry or act is occurring or has occurred on his property, which includes his car. I guess this says that all bets are off in SC if you are looking for a quick buck at someone else's expense while on their property. May be harsh when it comes to personal property (someone's life for something in a car) but it does put the preverbial line in the sand.

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    Member Array Rhino1965's Avatar
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    Good post. When I took my CCW class back in 1995 this was one of the instructors stories. He did a great job of getting everyone in the room listening to get all pumped up that someone was out in their garage stealing their custom motorcycle. Most of the people in the room shouted out "I'd pop a cap in his butt". As I sat in my chair I remember pulling my hand across my face and shaking my head and thinking to myself "if these guys get permits I will see em in the news". From that time on in the class we spent "extra" time sorting out the use of deadly force laws in NC.
    "Rhino"

  7. #6
    New Member Array ragifiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelcarry View Post
    person living in his house, can use deadly force if he is in reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily injury and if he knows or has reason to believe that an unlawful and/or forcible entry or act is occurring or has occurred on his property, which includes his car.
    I have to disagree with you on that. The "and" as opposed to "or" etc makes a difference I think.

    I would be very hesitant to do so unless the law was very clear on it, i.e. a person may use deadly force to defend property valued in excess of 2,000 US dollars and even then probably wouldn't do so.

    No argument about the bad guy getting shot, good for him:) Kudos for the lady aiming under the truck:) I just think it is a big risk for something that is insured.

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    As a fellow South Carolinian, I'm fairly certain that our state's interpretation of the Castle Doctrine does not protect her actions here, unless she could prove that she felt that her life (or another's) was threatened. However, given that she was at her home, she had no requirement to retreat, so if they approached her she could be justified in the shooting.

    Shooting to protect property is a big 'no-no'.

    Disclaimer: The above is the personal opinion of a half-witted, middle-aged redneck. It is not offered in the context of legal advice, nor does it reflect the views of this board.
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    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    Her age and whether she lived alone may play into it as well. Disparity of force can do funny things to the law. Don't see myself doing that though. Phone calls are less paperwork.

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    My problem is this:
    "Just found the "castle doctrine" laws and, from what I can gather, a person living in his house, can use deadly force if he is in reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily injury 'and' if he knows or has reason to believe that an unlawful and/or forcible entry or act is occurring or has occurred on his property, which includes his car."

    Clearly this woman was not in danger of "imminent death or great bodily injury " as she opened her window and shot the guy who was outside at her car. Having said that, score one for the old lady and the sheriff who backed her up! One more BG learns a hard lesson.
    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... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Hey WHEC724: All of the recent incidents that have had similar scenarios (no police call, no "imminent" problem) have resulted in injuries to perps but no charges against the shooter. As I said in my initial post, I find this a little difficult to digest but I reread the "castle doctrine" and, as long as you profess your "fear" and let an attorney do your talking, the law is on your side--criminally AND civilly. The law does not say you have to see a firearm pointed at you or presented, it only indicates that you had a "reasonable" concern about your potentially imminent death or bodily injury---just make sure this is what you (preferable your attorney) says. Just another hint: If you are CC or have a firearm in your home, be sure you also know and have the phone number of a competent attorney--THAT should be your first call.

  12. #11
    Member Array scorpion12's Avatar
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    She's lucky... it could have gone badly for her... either way, I agree about castle doctrine... it applies to vehicles but I think it's probably only when you're "occupying" it...

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Hey Scorpion12: Section 16-11-440(A)(2)---presumed to have a reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily injury if the person "who uses deadly force knows or has reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act is occurring or has occurred"----nothing about being in the car that is being subject to forcible entry or unlawful activity, but IMO a real question about reasonable fear and imminent death. In SC it appears that perps have very little wiggle room and I may raise an eyebrow but I have no sympathy for the perp getting whatever happens to him. Again--interpretation is the key and that is why WE have attorneys to speak about and defend the interpretation of what other attorney/legislators, judges and prosecutors have made law. In any event, it may start to cost you more $$$$ than the car's contents or even the car if the interpretation goes against you--IMO that is why I have insurance for my "stuff". If LEO arrives OK, if not in time, I call the insurance company. I certainly would call the LEO before I begin shooting someone--it is common sense to do so and it establishes your reasonable fear of what is going on.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array bladenbullet's Avatar
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    intersting situation...i would like to change the subject just a bit becasue something always pops up regarding being insured and not worrying about theft because your insurance will cover it...

    i dont know about everyone else but high deductibles are commonplace today...meaning a theft is more than likely to cost someone $500 to $1000 in deductibles plus the problem of trying to replace what was stolen at current prices...a 4 year old car is going to return 4 year old car prices from your insurance company minus the deductible...you arent buying new and finding a direct replacment in the condition yours was in isnt likely with the money you get...in addition...any personal belongings in the vehicle fall under homeowners and are subject to another deductible and possible devaluation unless you have replacement cost insurance...

    i am not saying that shooting someone isnt going to cost you anything and there may be some mental anguish involved...but what i am trying to imply is that even a small theft of damage situation may incurr financial hardship on the victim and that could be enough to trigger a violent outcome...letting them get away is the equivalent in many peoples minds of having to spend $500-$1000 to replace what the thief stole...that is considerable....

    as far as someone losing their life for just trying to steal someone elses property..thats a gamble the thief takes...i dont care if its a teen grabbing change from a center console or a hardened criminal going for the big haul...they are messing with someone elses property and their lives are at risk doing so...if they dont understand that they picked the wrong business...

    do i think the police should have been called in this case...yes...do i think shots should be fired...no...am i glad they were...yes...i hope the perp suffers for a long time because of it...bless the ladys soul for having the guts to stand up for what is hers and i hope she lives long and suffers no repercussions for her actions...

    another consideration of shooting at your own vehicle is that your insurance may not cover damage you purposely caused to the vehicle in an effort to stop the crime...in addition...shooting inside your own home leaves the cleanup to you...they dont send in teams to clean up the mess and its a lot bigger and uglier than tv leads you to believe...my aunt was the victim of a multiple stabbing in her home and ther was blood from one end to the other...my cousin had the honor of cleaning it up...not pretty...

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Seems like the Charleston Post likes to print the story twice just to make sure to make sure you read it at some point.

    Suggestion to the OP - if possible, when posting news stories, try to find the article and copy/paste the article and link.


    /Edited to remove three news links that appeared to be related


    Man fires shotgun to foil burglars The Post and Courier - Charleston SC newspaper

    Man fires shotgun to foil burglars
    By David MacDougall
    The Post and Courier
    Monday, December 7, 2009


    A Ridgeville homeowner foiled an apparent attempt to break into his home Sunday morning by firing several rounds of birdshot at one of the intruders.

    The homeowner, Glenn A. Little of U.S. Highway 78, said he was taking a shower, getting ready to go to church, when he heard his doorbell ring.

    As he was getting dressed to answer the doorbell, he looked out his bedroom window and saw a man rifling through his pickup truck. At the same time, he heard his garage door opening, and it sounded to him like another person was coming into his house.

    Little said he didn't know how many people might be trying to get in or whether they were armed.

    "I felt like a caged animal backed into a hole and trying to get out," Little said. He grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun and fired through his bedroom window at the feet of the man who was rifling through the truck.

    "I aimed low because I didn't want to kill him," Little said.

    The intruder flinched as if he'd been shot and ran toward a small, silver-colored car that was in the back yard. Little fired again at the man's feet. He saw a second person, a woman, run out of the garage and toward the silver-colored car. The two intruders sped away in the car, heading on U.S. Highway 78 toward S.C. Highway 27. That's when Little dialed 911.

    Little will not be charged in connection with the shooting, Dorchester County Sheriff's Maj. John Garrison said.

    "He was perfectly within his rights," Garrison said. "They not only were in the car, they at least were trying to make entry into the house."

    Sheriff's deputies had notified area hospitals to be on the lookout for anyone coming in with a gunshot wound. A short time afterward, Trident Regional Medical Center's emergency room reported a man was being treated for gunshot wounds to his legs.

    Deputies went to the hospital and arrested the man.

    Bobby Joe Powell, 38, of Summerville, is charged with breaking and entering a motor vehicle, Garrison said. He was being held in Dorchester County Detention Center pending a bond hearing.

    Investigators were pursuing several leads to find the woman Little said he saw fleeing from the house, but they have not identified a suspect, Garrison said. She was described as a tall, thin white female with red hair.

    Garrison would not speculate on whether the intruders were targeting homes while people were attending church. "His wife had just left the house," Garrison said. "Maybe they saw her drive away and thought no one would be home."

    Little said he never made it to church. "The last detective didn't get away until 5:30," he said. "And I shot out two windows in my bedroom."


    Man fires at intruder
    Wounded man arrested in break-in attempt
    By David MacDougall
    The Post and Courier
    Tuesday, December 8, 2009


    A Ridgeville homeowner foiled an apparent attempt to break into his home Sunday morning by firing several rounds of birdshot at one of the intruders.

    The homeowner, Glenn A. Little of U.S. Highway 78, said he was taking a shower, getting ready to go to church, when he heard his doorbell ring.

    As he was getting dressed to answer the doorbell, he looked out his bedroom window and saw a man rifling through his pickup truck. At the same time, he heard his garage door opening, and it sounded to him like another person was coming into his house.

    Little said he didn't know how many people might be trying to get in or whether they were armed.

    "I felt like a caged animal backed into a hole and trying to get out," Little said. He grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun and fired through his bedroom window at the feet of the man who was rifling through the truck.

    "I aimed low because I didn't want to kill him," Little said.

    The intruder flinched as if he'd been shot and ran toward a small, silver-colored car that was in the backyard. Little fired again at the man's feet. He saw a second person, a woman, run out of the garage and toward the silver-colored car. The two intruders sped away in the car, heading on U.S. Highway 78 toward S.C. Highway 27. That's when Little dialed 911.

    Little will not be charged in connection with the shooting, Dorchester County Sheriff's Maj. John Garrison said.

    "He was perfectly within his rights," Garrison said. "They not only were in the car, they at least were trying to make entry into the house."

    Sheriff's deputies had notified area hospitals to be on the lookout for anyone coming in with a gunshot wound. A short time afterward, Trident Regional Medical Center's emergency room reported a man was being treated for gunshot wounds to his legs.

    Deputies went to the hospital and arrested the man.

    Bobby Joe Powell, 38, of Summerville, is charged with breaking and entering a motor vehicle, Garrison said. He was being held in Dorchester County Detention Center pending a bond hearing.

    Investigators were pursuing several leads to find the woman Little said he saw fleeing from the house, but they have not identified a suspect, Garrison said. She was described as a tall, thin white female with red hair.

    Garrison would not speculate on whether the intruders were targeting homes while people were attending church. "His (Little's) wife had just left the house," Garrison said. "Maybe they saw her drive away and thought no one would be home."

    Little said he never made it to church. "The last detective didn't get away until 5:30," he said. "And I shot out two windows in my bedroom."
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

  16. #15
    Member Array MWatson35's Avatar
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    I glad it turned out well for her. However, she broke the law. Call 911, observe closely and be a good witness. Her life was not in danger.

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