Castle Doctorine & Deadly Force or "Please Don't Shoot Me On Duty!" - Page 2

Castle Doctorine & Deadly Force or "Please Don't Shoot Me On Duty!"

This is a discussion on Castle Doctorine & Deadly Force or "Please Don't Shoot Me On Duty!" within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I hadn't thought of that :) Soundwave: I didn't know that LE's are sometimes req'ed to respond to a felony in progress off-duty... I also, ...

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Thread: Castle Doctorine & Deadly Force or "Please Don't Shoot Me On Duty!"

  1. #16
    Member Array PgSqlQuery's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    I hadn't thought of that :)

    Soundwave: I didn't know that LE's are sometimes req'ed to respond to a felony in progress off-duty...

    I also, have likely watched too many 'cops' episodes as a child :) You know, you always see them calling in 'exactly' where they are :)

    Mark: Good point, I somewhat doubt that a BG will request that you call 911 :)

    Either way, I'd hope the whole thing works out w/o me, mine, or the LE injured :)

    (And maybe the BG too.... :) )

    You're right, however, this is one of those things, that it's best to hash out :)

    Don't get me wrong, BTW, even if there were no way, that I'd be punished for it, I would have a hard time living with myself, if I ever fired on a (plainclothes or not) LEO in my house, even on a case of mistaken identity...

    Heh, murphy has it in for me, the most unlikely situation possible (well, bad situation, that is, I don't see myself winning the lotto...), the higher the probability it will happen to me...

    I could also imagine, the problems such a homeowner responce could cause, say, if BG were still around. The time spent squabbling between homeowner, and officer, would be a GREAT time to shoot us both....

    Odd, I'd never even considered this scenerio before....
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  2. #17
    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    I wasn't going to bring it up, but glocksmygun opened the can... I don't want anybody to quote me on this, but I think it's a pretty sure bet that all LEOs will have at least a city/county/state/federal employee ID, if not a specific department ID with their picture and badge # on it. Don't always count on their badge actually having a number on it, either. I work for a very large agency and none of our badges have the individual LEO's numbers on them.

    At our department all personnel have badge numbers and we all have department-issued IDs. When any one of us acts in our "official capacity" we are required to tell your our first and last name, and our badge number, if asked. Personally I haven't encountered any LE agency that doesn't require that, actually. Might be something to try if you have a dispatcher on the phone already to match the name with the badge number.

    I'd have a problem asking for the actual ID in such a situation, though. The best situation would be that the LEO throws you their ID or shows you up close so you can read it and either way that can get you in trouble if they really are a BG by opening yourself up for attack to pick up the ID or to look at it closer. Kind of like the reverse of the throw-the-wallet-in-front-of-the-BG-and-shoot trick.


  3. #18
    Member Array jimbthestripper's Avatar
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    just happened

    This exact situation just happened several weeks ago in Shrewsbury
    Mass. It is almost exactly as described in the beginning of this thread.

    LEO enters, homeowner does not ID the LEO and shoots him in the
    abdomen. Officer did survive. Homeowner's license is suspended.

    Its a longer story more than i have time for here and i have no further

    The point is very clear and this can't be stressed enough.

    In this state its one of the worst scenarios that could happen for
    gun ownership....


  4. #19
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    Array Scott's Avatar
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    Maveri9720 is correct. Within the laws of his state he can shoot someone in his house he believes is a threat. He gets to articulate that threat. If that is what he wants to do then he is within the criminal statutes.

    I think the other posters are trying to say it isn't a good idea. That is fine as well. It could well save some serious civil litigation for Maveri9720. It comes down to semantics. Maveri9720 certainly can and may shoot someone in his house he believes is a threat, his state's laws provide for this. What the other posters are saying is it isn't a good idea for him to do that.

    So I'm Maveri9720, I have an alarm, dogs, triple deadbolts, thorny plants outside the windows, security lights and all that. The alarm starts up and the dogs are going crazy. I go to see what is going on and see someone in my house. I unload my shotty into them until I can't see the threat anymore. Sucks to be them. Maybe a verbal challenge would have resulted in identifying the potential threat as a LEO. I'm sure that given the chance the LEO would disarm and wait for verification of his status and or simply leave the area if asked.

    Now maybe I can back it up a bit to how I personally would deal with it. I would stay in the bedroom. I would call the police. I keep a mobile beside my bed so if the BGs are good enough to cut the phone lines, oh wait I don't have phone lines, anyway I can call 911. In my neighborhood it takes them about 4-5 minutes to get there. I can probably hold off someone trying to get through my MBR locked door for that long.

    If it happens to be the police they will undoubtably be able to properly authenticate with me probably via the 911 operator.

    So I would back the whole thing up to should you be running around in your PJs clearing your house? My answer is no it's a bad idea. Notice I didn't say you couldn't or cannot. Unless you have trained to clear buildings, you are giving up a huge advantage you have over any potential BG who has entered your house. Your best bet is to stay put and not clear. Now some would say they have kids they need to protect. Fine, make the kids room your spot where you will hole up and wait. Put a mobile in that room on a charger.

    So if you absolutely need to search your home, I would suggest a verbal challenge. You've already given up your tactical advantage by moving, so talking isn't really going to cost you anymore. I could take Mark's scenario a little further, but I have to get to work. Catch you later.
    Procrastinators are the leaders of tomorrow.

  5. #20
    Senior Member Array jeephipwr's Avatar
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    The following is just my opinion with no historical basis.

    I believe there are times when a police officer will need to rethink the pursuit idea. Some states have reliazed this when there have been fatal car crashes that were the result of a car chase. They have adopted the policy that when it starts to be a danger to bystanders, then to back off and let the radios and air support track the perp.

    If a perp enters a residence, and there is a possibilty that the homeowner is armed, and the law allows a castle doctrine stance, they might be better off not entering the residence but surrounding it with patrol cars and to start dealing with a possible hostage situation, should the homeowner not be armed or taken by surprise.

    With my house and alarms, should I hear a door break open and my first sight is an armed man, I will shoot first and ask questions later. It may diasterous to think in such a way but that is why I have gone to the expense of protecting my family and myself. Obviously, if the person is readily identifiable as a member of law enforcement, I will hesitate, but I wonder will he?

  6. #21
    Member Array Go Glock's Avatar
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    If an off-duty or plain clothed LEO enters a house the burden of identification is on him or her. As for me...if a LEO (plain clothed) entered my residence with out consent and identified himself I would not believe him until uniform showed up. Hopefully it would just be a stalemate and not further escalate.

    Most of my family resides in Memphis and the, "I am a police officer," is a favorite game of criminals there.

    All I can hope for is that things don't turn sour...that would be more than a shame. We can sit and analyze situations till the end of time, but it is always different when they happen for real. Yes, I understand the purpose of training but it is so hard to pass judgement about situations when they are all unique.

  7. #22
    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    I think at 3am, being woken up to a broken door or window I wouldn't be very pre-disposed to ask questions. If I saw a uniform obviously, I'd hold my fire, but I'm not so sure for someone in plain clothes. If the situation was that I could challenge without being fired upon I would probably challenge though.

    As dumb as it potentially is, I'd also "clear" my house myself. I've had training to do it, so I feel slightly better about it and the idea of not clearing my house myself doesn't sit well with my principles. Not that I'd expect everyone else to do the same, you gotta do what is right by you.

  8. #23
    Senior Member Array PapaScout's Avatar
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    *Edited to remove reference to a post that I failed to read fully*

    I have three young children (4, 7, and 10) living at home. My first thought is to make sure that they and my wife remain safe.

    My children sleep upstairs. My wife and I sleep downstairs. This affects me in two different ways:

    1) I will take longer to identify a threat. God forbid I would draw down on one of my children that had a nightmare.

    2) Since I am "quantum partically-challenged" I can't be two places at once to protect my family and am more likely to remove a threat than defend a room.

    I like the idea of having a dispatcher on the phone and confirming the officer's ID number with the person invading my house. I do give partial credit for numbers that are close - but I take points off for wrong answers.

    Last edited by PapaScout; August 7th, 2006 at 10:20 AM.
    "If you so much as bunny hop I'll cut your heart out!" Billy Bob Thornton in The Last Real Cowboys

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  9. #24
    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    A few points worth pondering, I hope:

    - LEOs are trained NEVER to give up their weapon. Thus, challenging any LEO (plainclothes or uniform) to put down the weapon is unlikely to result in him/her putting the weapon down, even in your home.

    - As already briefly pointed out, a similar scenario as described happened in Shrewsbury MA about a month ago where police responded to an alarm (owner and family were away on vacation, man returned early {2AM} having left rest of family back at vacation spot), neighbor had key and let police into house, police did not announce and the homeowner shot the responding LEO. Homeowner has lost his LTC (required to possess firearms in MA) and guns (MGL requires confiscation when LTC suspended/revoked). MA DOES have a Castle Law which allowed homeowner to shoot, so shoot is legal per MGLs, but MGLs allow local chief to suspend/revoke a LTC for literally no reason at all. Turned out that homeowner is well known and respected businessman in Worcester MA area and it is a tragedy for all.

    - Here's a thought that I hope is worth thinking about. We prepare for self defense by practicing, why not take some preemptive steps to insure that you know the person in your home at o-dark-thirty is NOT a LEO? How about a challenge that a bad guy might not be aware of and doesn't require advance work with every LEO on your PD? Here's my idea . . . if person says that they are LEO, ask them for the names of all your LTs in the PD . . . you (and family) prepare by knowing the correct names for your PD (assuming not huge with hundreds of LTs)?

    I live in a small town with 26 FT POs and although I was a PT PO for 18 years, I've been out for 10 years now and there are many new faces. I'd hope the first guy in would be a face known to me, to avoid any errors on either party's part, but since we only have 2 LTs, my "quiz" would likely be a better test than trying to see an ID from 10-20' away. I doubt that many bad guys would know the names of the local PD LTs.

    How about it? Would this work for you? Can you come up with a similar "quiz" question that your local PD would know the answer for?

    Let's think outside the box here folks!

  10. #25
    Member Array Rocnerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott
    I would stay in the bedroom. I would call the police.

    Now some would say they have kids they need to protect. Fine, make the kids room your spot where you will hole up and wait. Put a mobile in that room on a charger.
    This is what I have been taught.
    Have any of you guys who are going down with flashlight and gun tried clearing your whole house by sliceing the pie? Have you thought of how difficult it is to clear a house, let alone one room by yourself? The police use a whole team of people to clear a house and still people get hurt. Why? Because it is dangerous. You want to do this yourself? Not a good idea in my opinion. Do as Scott says and stay put and call 911. If you have kids, then go hole up in the smallest kids room with a cell phone. Get behind cover, call 911, and wait. If someone comes through that door than I will more than likely shoot, unless he announces he is LEO and it is confirmed by the 911 operator.
    Seriously, try clearing you house in daylight and you will see how many different ways you can be killed going down your hallway or clearing your bathroom. There are always dead spots in a room or a "T" intersection in a hallway where it is going to be who can react first if there is someone actually there.

  11. #26
    Ex Member Array JeffP's Avatar
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    If you are a plain clothes police officer and you charge into my home, you are going to yield to ME! I don't care what you were taught at the academy or how Masab Ayoob trained you. If you run in MY house, and I have no way of knowing who you are, I am the BOSS! End of story.

    I also don't like the scenarios where the officer tries to slip in quietly and apprehend the BG like in the scenario above where the officer was shot. Police officers need to respond with sirens blazing, lights flashing, and plenty of announcements. I don't know the particulars of the story but I believe that the officer didn't announce himself, please correct me if I am wrong.

    I'm not saying that the CCL holder didn't do something stupid, of course you should identify your target. All I'm saying is that if you go storming around someones house in the middle of the night without announcing yourself you are asking for trouble.

  12. #27
    Member Array Fargo's Avatar
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    Couple of thoughts,

    The first thing that comes to mind is that hypo #2 is a classic case of "stupid is, as stupid does". Stupidity will get an LEO killed just the same as anyone else. I can't see any way to fault the homeowner for shooting the ununiformed man with a gun who has broken into his house. IMO, this hypo is not really a concern for homeowners, but rather a concern for LE agencies as to how stupid of people they are willing to give guns and badges to.

    As to being trained to never surrender your weapon, that is all very fine and well, but it is likely to get you killed here. You have just entered an occupied residence without authorization, in the middle of the night. Now some guy in his boxers is pointing a 12 ga. shotgun at you. You can either drop your gun and wait for the uniforms to clear up who you are, or you can take some buck to the chest. Once again, stupid is as stupid does.

    The onus for making sure that stupid LEO's stay alive should not fall upon the homeowner who is trying to protect his wife and family. It should fall upon the LEO and his agency.

    Secondly, I am utterly opposed to "house clearing" unless it is necesary to get kids out of the other room etc. Statistically, it is going to take a force 3 times as large as yourself, and willing to take heavy casualties, to dislodge you from a proper defensive position. That said, I'm not leaving my twin 5 month old daughters alone in their room if someone breaks in, nor will I allow anyone possible access to their room. I am sorry, but when it comes to protecting them, I cut very little slack to anyone who has broken into my house. Thier safety comes well before any abstract hypotheticals of why the guy who has just broken in might be an intelligence-challenged LEO.

    As to the first hypo of the "unsecured door", lock your doors. If the alarm is going off, keep in mind that the cops will be responding and that it is essential to stay put and ID your target. Cops, make sure you are in uniform and announce yourself loudly. Prudence needs to be exercised by everyone.

    In fact prudence is really what this thread is all about. A lack of it can easily get you or someone else killed. However, the grossly imprudent actions of an LEO, like going in alone and in plainsclothes, should not shift some sadistic choice on the homeowner as to whether he can shoot an armed intruder. Likewise, homeowners need to exercise prudence in making the best ID possible and not shooting unless necesary and justified.

    All the best,


  13. #28
    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    I'll address a few posts in order:

    Scott and Rocnerd,
    Staying put and calling 9-1-1 is basically what saved my buddy's hide
    in this situation, and is what would generally be recommended for a homeowner.

    Yes, a perimeter is likely how the situation should have been handled.
    But in the first situation with an unlocked door on an alarm, this is not an option; and it is apparently this circumstance that just got the LEO in MA shot.

    GoGlock and a few others,
    You cited "entering without consent". An LEO does not need consent to enter any residence in hot pursuit of a fleeing felon directly after the commision of a crime. The crimes in this situation were a convenience store armed robbery followed by a car jacking. When he wrecked the car he stole he fled on foot. Would you prefer an LEO let an armed felon run into your residence and not follow him until he gets your consent??

    Thanks much for the added info on the MA case. Apparently the officer here did not announce because the neighbor/alarm contact told him no-one was home and unlocked the door to let him in.
    I like the quiz idea. It's simple and quick, and chances are the bad guy won't know. You could even ask your state Crimes Code section number for burgalry or other crime. This is a sometimes recommended practice amongst patrol officers encountering unknown plains-clothes on big city departments. detectives have a way of not announcing what they're up to in an area, and patrol officers often respond to "man with a gun" calls and find it is plain-clothes operatives.

    As stated in my initial post, if the audible alarm is sounding it is deafening. You won't hear any announcement, and likely neither of us will be able to hear the others verbal commands. Only you and your contacts have the code to turn off your audible alarm; responding LEO does not.

    Fargo (and others),
    This was not a hypothetical situation; it actually happened 8 years ago (and apparently again a month ago in MA with a worse outcome). Let's not forget that while you are confronting the LEO and both of your attentions are on each other, there is an armed felon in your house. You may find out he really is an LEO when the bad guy takes action against you both.
    You are correct in that this is a circumstance where prudence is of the utmost for both parties involved.
    "He who makes things with his hands is a laborer, he who makes things with his hands and his head is a craftsman, he who makes things with his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist."

  14. #29
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    I'm not going too deep into this fray except to reiterate, TALK to a lawyer. You may think you know the laws for your state but I'd put down money that much of what most people know is hearsay and conjecture. Ignorance like that can leave people dead and survivors lives ruined. Then plan ahead of time for circumstances like this with your family and especially if kids are involved run some drills just like fire drills. A little advance planning and knowledge is going to be worth your future life and the lives of others here. Have any of you even talked with any local LEO's about how calls like this are handled? Probably not, I have. Very, very worth while to know how the LEO is likely to respond.

    Lastly I like a quote from a trainer I've heard that an untrained person is more likely to shoot sooner, and poorer with worse results then a trained, practiced and drilled shooter.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

  15. #30
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Interesting thread , I will just post an experiance from my former life take what illumination you wish from it , if any .

    As some know i am former LE , well one fine morning ( about 0230 or so ) I recived a call at home that the alarm was sounding at a local residince and both the deputys were on pressing calls ( seprate ) , with the closest deputy being 20 min or so away . The home in question was the owner of the local airport who is a huge LE supporter . He would do anything for us including loaning pilots , aricraft ect.. for missing people searches ect.. and never charge us a dime . Suffice it to say WE REALLY , no i mean REALLY LIKED THIS GENTLEMAN . I was familiar with his house which is imho huge , I also was familiar that he was on vacation somewhere in the carribian at that time ( he would notify us when he left town for a time and ask that we checked his house ) . Well i grabbed a pair of jeans ,and tshirt for dress , pulled on my dept " gimme hat " ( ball cap for you yankees ) grabbed my little " load out " kit which was a sig 220 in a sholder setup to which a spare badge was clipped as were 1 pair of cuffs . and responded to the alarm . Uppon arrival i found strange out of state vehicles setting in the driveway . I blocked the drive with my squad car , notified dispatch of being on scene , the strange vehicles , and plate no's . I was advised that one deputy should be clearing the call within 5 min . I then went to look over the exterior of the house . Now this house had 3 " wings " kinda like the bottom of a peace sign with a straight down line . The straight down line was the indoor pool , Looking at the house from the top of the peace sign the right wing was garage, a small machine shop , gun locker , storeage , ect.. the left side was the family residince . I went arround the building to the " left " watching for any activity in the dark house and saw nothing , untill i rounded the " back side " of the pool wing where i found a set of double or french doors open , I entered at that point and announced who i was , and is everything ok , No response , I went to the " front of the house " ( a well kinda foyer area tho a bit more , maby a public entertaining area would be better discription ) right at the front doors where the 3 wings split , again i announced , no response but i did hear something from the residental section of the house which was " open " ( the doors leading to that wing were open ) My streamlight showed nothing but i could hear " movement " I again shouted , no response back . I proceeded on to see what is up .. ( a common cop failing that has imho killed more cops than a cats curiosity has cats lol ) anyway .. clearing the wing at one point the hallway lights come on ( i was not using house lights , but my streamlight from the squad as needed ) and when i turned i found myself inspecting the bore condition of a real nice over and under 12 ga . Now i can assure you that it was well maintained since to me it appeared i could walk down the bores at that time , and every detail was clear . Behind said shotgun was a portly gentleman in a pair of pants and nothing else , who bore a striking resemblance to our homeowners wife . I i advised him i was police and backup was on the way , his reply was to snick the safety off that dammed dual sewer pipe and tell me to drop the gun . which i promptly lowered so it wasnt scaring the nice man with the bfg . He had some questions about just who i might be and also about my " family heritage " at this point , which i answered to the best of my ability including that i came from good honest stock who were not prone to burglery , robery , or mollestation ( as evidinced by the badge which was my only id for this fine fella ) . I further encoraged him to call 911 to get a second opinion of my seterling qualitys ( while reconsidering my support of lack there of on the dispatchers bid for a small and entirely reasonable pay raise ) . He shouted back down the hall " call the cops " I pointed out to him that he looked like " homeowners" wife a bit , and he advised me that he was her brother ( the barrells had not yet wavered ) . about this time his wife came out into the hall , and advised him that not only was I an officer , but at this time he was holding the guy that ran the dept at gunpoint . She advised me that my backup was about a min or two away and right on time i heard sirens approching . The nice and i might add reasonable man then put down the shotgun ( damm them engraved european over and unders are pretty when seen from the side ) and apologised over and over . Seems he was the homeowners brother in law who came down to work on an antique airplane that they were restoring while the homeowner was gone , they had arrived about 10 pm and disarmed the alarm , got the kids snacked , dogs out , made some calls , and went to bed about midnight after re arming the peremiter . One of the kids woke up without his dog , went looking , found said dog outside the pool wing so he let the pooch inn , and went to bed never knowing that he had created all the excitement . It all worked out fine and the homeowner was impressed with the response time , ( about 7 min from the alarm going inn to me going onscene ) I honestly dont think anyone but me and the brother in law ever thought thro the possibilitys of the brief standoff we had tho . What is right ? What is wrong ? I dont know , I do know that there is not a " Proceedure " for the situation , nor will there ever be . IMHO if you have to clear the house then dont shoot at shadows , dont shoot untill if and when you have to . If you do shoot an officer or other innocent you will be the one to live with that fact for the rest of your life . I will tell you that no matter how justified shooting someone is the incodent never goes away ... somethng to think on .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

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