ACTIONS TO TAKE AFTER A SELF-DEFENSE SHOOTING
The first statement is the 911 call. The first words out of the caller's mouth should be the location of the incident. Next is the caller's name. The core of the 911 call consists of three sentences:
1. He tried to kill me.
2. I was never so scared in my life.
3. Send an ambulance.
When the police arrive, they will want a more elaborate statement; this should consist only of:
1. He attacked me.
2. I will sign a complaint.
3. There is the evidence.
4. I WANT A LAWYER.
The demand for a lawyer is both the best thing one can do, and a damaging statement. Anyone who is questioned by police has the right to a lawyer; this includes victims. The problem is that the police, and potential jurors, take a demand for a lawyer as evidence of something to hide. To compound the problem, the victim's decision to remain silent and demand for a lawyer can be used again him or her in court. In the criminal system, one does not have rights, until arrested; it doesn't have to make sense, it's just the law. People who act in self-defense are routinely arrested. It may be called something else. Whenever a person is not allowed to leave, he is placed under arrest regardless of descriptive terms. If one is arrested, generations of TV shows advise us to remain silent.
If the circumstances are ambivalent, simply state a fear of being sued, and demand a lawyer to protect against frivolous litigation. Police are frequently sued by criminals and the explanation is likely to ring a bell.