Aftermath of a good self defense shooting.

Aftermath of a good self defense shooting.

This is a discussion on Aftermath of a good self defense shooting. within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Couple still aren't right with using deadly force in self-defense After Eric Cegon shot the man who had been threatening him and his girlfriend, ...

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Thread: Aftermath of a good self defense shooting.

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    Aftermath of a good self defense shooting.

    Couple still aren't right with using deadly force in self-defense
    After Eric Cegon shot the man who had been threatening him and his girlfriend, the couple are suffering anxiety, shock and grief.

    By Jim Adams, Star Tribune

    Eric Cegon's first few weeks were filled with sleeping pills, anxiety and disbelief that he had to kill a man with a shotgun.
    "I blocked it out of my mind for a while," said Cegon, who never had a gun before. "I realized there was nothing right about it, but I didn't do anything wrong."

    The Wright County attorney's office agreed, ruling that the Rockford man had acted in self-defense.

    Since that devastating December night in his girlfriend's apartment, when Cegon shot armed intruder Erik Richter, the couple have endured nightmares and violent flashbacks, been berated by Richter's friends and struggled in their five-month-old relationship.

    Samantha Simons, 22, said she has taken medication for anxiety-caused chest pains, but has also rediscovered her faith and believes God protected them that deadly night.

    Cegon, 30, has used sleeping pills and talked to a therapist about his feelings of shock and grief. "I think about it every day," he said. "It is something I will always think about."

    Cegon, Simons and her 2-year-old son, Jackson, have left the modest Rockford apartment where her jealousy-crazed ex-boyfriend of three years smashed through two barricaded doors and entered their bedroom about 3:30 a.m.

    Cegon sat up in bed next to Simons as she screamed and covered her son. Cegon aimed a borrowed 12-gauge shotgun at the doorway and blasted Richter off his feet.

    "You killed me," the couple heard Richter gasp after dropping a half-cocked handgun. Cegon fired again at the 6-footer, just to be sure. For more than a month, Richter, 35, had threatened to kill Cegon, and he had threatened Simons with a knife, violating a no-contact court order.

    Richter was the father of Simons' son and a friend of Cegon's who had worked on cars with him. The shooting left Cegon dazed for about a week, until he saw Richter's funeral program.

    "He broke down and started crying," said Simons, 22. "He looked at me and cried some more. Then he started playing his guitar. ... I think he tries to block it out because he doesn't want to feel the sadness and the hurt."

    Those emotions, along with remorse, fear and anger, often surface after fatal shootings, said Minneapolis police chaplain Jeffrey Stewart, who has counseled officers involved in on-duty shootings. "It doesn't matter how right it is. ... We have a desire not to take a human life, even if you are forced and it is the right thing to do."

    He said civilians such as Cegon probably have more difficulty coping than do officers, who are trained about what to expect if they ever have to take a life.

    Cegon's act "probably saved not only his life but that of others," Stewart said.

    Cegon and Simons are living with Cegon's parents in Rockford while saving for another apartment. Cegon, a Rockford High School graduate, also has a son and is going through a divorce. He was rehired for the auto parts delivery job that he quit shortly before the shooting because he didn't want to be any place where Richter could find him.

    Richter, who had served time for meth possession, had shown Simons a shotgun with which he planned to kill Cegon. Simons said she left Richter because of his increasing meth use and physical abuse. She said he begged her to come back to him and said if he couldn't have her, nobody would. He saw her weekly until the shooting and always looked high, she said.

    Regarding Cegon, Simons said, the shooting has "put a dark cloud over our relationship. We both are not as happy because of it. I hope we will stay together." She said they have talked about marriage, adding: "I think the relationship will be stronger after we get over this hump."

    As Simons talked at the kitchen table, Jackson played in a camouflage shirt with a truck and green squirt gun in the mobile home of Cegon's parents. Simons pointed to the bedroom window where on Nov. 4, court records say, Richter tried to break in while yelling that he would kill Cegon. After that, Cegon, with Simons' blessing, borrowed a friend's shotgun and learned how to use it. He had never hunted or kept a firearm.

    Cegon felt an "aura of death" while Richter was stalking him: "You can feel it deep down that he wants me dead," he said. He carried the shotgun with him for two weeks before the fatal night. The couple said they never want a gun in their home again, unless they face a similar peril.

    Cegon has flashbacks sometimes when he dozes off at night and has taken medication for anxiety and to help him sleep. He has seen a therapist several times.

    "My emotions are dulled," he said. "Happiness and sadness are not as intense."

    Getting back to work in St. Michael gives him something positive to focus on, he said during a lunch break one day.

    The couple avoid a Rockford bar where two of Richter's friends confronted them one night after the shooting. The two men called them "scumbags" and tried to pick a fight, Cegon said. He turned back to the bar and ignored them.

    Cegon regrets that Richter "brought it to this. ... I didn't have a choice. It's not good," but better than being dead, he said.

    Simons said she had shunned God in her teens after three friends in Brainerd died in a meth-related shooting and another girlfriend died in a car accident. But she says that God, not the shotgun, gave her peace when they decided to stay in her apartment that night. They expected Richter's arrival because he had a court hearing the next day for violating her no-contact order.

    "Something told me to stay there," she said. "We could have gone and hid to avoid it, but he would have been looking for us. You can't run forever. I felt we should stay there and face up to the problem."

    Although they hadn't slept well and had barricaded their bedroom door for a week, "that night we fell asleep and felt safe," she said. "I never used to believe in God ... but all the sudden I felt this peace inside of me ... that night I started to believe. I felt like God was protecting us."

    Simons said she plans to see a therapist and take her son, who seems OK, to what is called play therapy.

    She expects the boy will ask someday about his father, whose framed photo he saw after the shooting. Jackson hugged it and said, " 'That's my daddy,' " Simons said. "I don't know how I am going to answer when he brings it up. I won't lie to him about anything. I hope he understands why we had to do what we had to do. ... It changed my life, and it will forever."

    This young man protected himself and his girlfriend with a borrowed shotgun. He is taking the shooting pretty hard and I can understand that. I just wonder if I would be as disturbed as he seems to be over protecting my wife and myself in similar circumstances. I know I would be worried about what a prosecutor would do to me no matter how just the shooting was. I'm not heartless but I just don't think I would be as broken up as he is about protecting my life. What do you think?

    Certified Instructor for Minnesota Carry Permit
    NRA Pistol and Personal Protection Insrtuctor
    Utah Permit Certified Instructor

  2. #2
    Member Array Sonic Misfit's Avatar
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    One problem is that he had to borrow a shotgun. This means that firearms where not a common part of his life.

    Anyone who takes the time to think through why they need a concealed carry class or anyone who has been in the military or police should have had to think through what it means to take another life. The sad thing about this scenario is that this person was only armed, he wasn't prepared mentally to deal with the aftershock.

    This is why it is the duty of every concealed carry instructor to ask whether everyone in the class has thought through what it means to kill someone else.

  3. #3
    Member Array BlueMerle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Misfit View Post
    he wasn't prepared mentally to deal with the aftershock.

    This is why it is the duty of every concealed carry instructor to ask whether everyone in the class has thought through what it means to kill someone else.
    How does one become "mentally prepared" to deal with taking the life of another? You can think this through until you are blue in the face and I just don't think that you can be "prepared" to kill another human, regardless of the circumstances. It's like trying to prepare for the loss of a child.... impossible to fully understand from the outside.

    There are way too many documented cases of police, soldiers and civilians going through "hell" after having to kill. Even when it is completely justified. I think that it is a very personal event, and everybody will deal with it in a different way. Some will be alright and others will not.

    I know what you're trying to say and I agree that we should all give the matter serious thought. But I just don't think we can be prepared for the aftermath. jmo

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  5. #4
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    The couple said they never want a gun in their home again, unless they face a similar peril.
    Whole point is ''perils'' do not make appointments - this is why we carry and stay armed at home.

    I have no idea what the percentage breakdown might be regarding after effects but would hazard a guess that a very significant number of folks, even those who have settled their mind set - will in fact have ''issues'' after such an event.

    The method of rationalization is perhaps one of the most important details that needs successfully ebraced, plus reinforcing the fact that the BG gave you no choice. In effect - ''he brought it on himself'' kinda deal.

    I shall continue to hope that good awareness and avoidance of situations keeps me from having to find out just how well or badly I would handle it.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!." - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  6. #5
    Member Array soflasmg's Avatar
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    What it means and what happens to your mind afterward are two different things.

    Most of us here are shooting enthusiasts because of an interest in the technology and skill development in addition to the interest and responsibility of defending ourselves and our loved ones.

    It is sobering and beneficial to read reports like this.
    The Marshmallowist

  7. #6
    Member Array Exmasonite's Avatar
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    Berated by Richter's friends?
    While I'm sure they're not the pride of society either, they're complete morons for finding any fault with what went down. Their friend was an idiot.

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array OPFOR's Avatar
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    Richter was the father of Simons' son and a friend of Cegon's who had worked on cars with him.
    This wasn't a random intruder, or the stalker of a girlfried - the man he killed had, at one point, been his friend. I'm sure that plays into the equation as well.

    Killing someone is a traumatic event, any way you slice it. I've never had the extreme reaction this man seems to be having, but I never shotgunned an ex-friend from accross the room, either. My experiences are all "war time" killing, which automatically lends an aura of social acceptance and "rightness" to it, so perhaps that has eased my burden.

    In any case, it is (as always) something to think about.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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