What to do after a shooting

What to do after a shooting

This is a discussion on What to do after a shooting within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I saw this on another forum and thought I would post it here. What do we or should we do after a shooting. http://concealed.wordpress.com/2008/...the-aftermath/ If ...

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Thread: What to do after a shooting

  1. #1
    Member Array NKMG19's Avatar
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    What to do after a shooting

    I saw this on another forum and thought I would post it here. What do we or should we do after a shooting. http://concealed.wordpress.com/2008/...the-aftermath/

    If you spend any time at all on the various gun forums of the World Wide Web sooner or later the conversation will come around to “What to do after a shoot”.

    The advice given by anonymous figures riding the electron waves of the Internet can be … amusing. At best. At worst, some of the advice given will guarantee that the shooter will be hip-deep in legal trouble for the next lifetime.

    I will tell you right up front that any comments made by your Humble Scribe are worth exactly what you paid for them.

    First off — and I cannot stress this enough — anyone who carries, or owns, a gun or a knife needs to know a lawyer.

    First thing tomorrow — or as early as possible — find yourself a lawyer who is familiar with self-defense cases and the weapons laws of your state.

    Now, folks. Not at 0-dark-thirty with a critter bleeding out on your carpet and red-and-blue lightbars screaming down the road.

    Ask the regulars at your gun range/club who they’d recommend. Use your NRA, GOA, JPFO, KABA, LEAA, or SAF membership services and find out if they can point you at an attorney in your area.

    Once you have the name of an attorney, go talk to him (or her). It usually doesn’t cost much — or anything — to introduce yourself, sit in his office and talk about What May Come.

    If you like him (or her), get a couple of his cards and put one in your wallet and another under the bedroom phone where you can find them after the bodies quit bouncing.

    If you should find it necessary to help a critter into his next incarnation, hopefully you or a family member will have called 911 prior to the Grand Finale — so to speak — and the whole fandango will be recorded. However, if (for whatever reason) it was not possible to call 911 prior to the critter starting his trip to room temperature — please call 911 as soon as possible.

    You will note that I don’t have any advice to give as to what you should tell 911 when you call them. Seems like everyone on the Internet has (legal) advice as to what you should tell the 911 operator, how you should say it, how many words to use and how many seconds to spend saying it.

    In my experience, when your ears are ringing, the smell of powder and blood and various human secretions are clogging your nose, adrenaline is rampaging up-and-down your spine and a man — critter or not — that you just killed spent his last moments in this life in your presence begging God for another chance, or calling for his mother, or crying in denial and disbelief as he died …

    … you are not going to be thinking of what your anonymous Internet buddy told you to say. You’re not even going to remember grabbing the phone, and if you are conscious of your conversation with the 911 people you have my admiration.

    So. You have called 911. The very next thing you should do is pull out that lawyer’s card and call him (or her).

    I don’t care how justifiable the killing was. I don’t care if you’re in Deepinahearta, Texas and the deceased is laying in the middle of your living room floor with an axe in one hand and a detailed murder list in the other.

    Call your lawyer.

    Like it or not, guns — and self-defense itself — are political. And District Attorneys are political animals. Trust me, you don’t want to be caught without a lawyer if Mike Nifong’s evil twin Skippy decides to make his political bones with your case.

    You have called 911 and you have called your lawyer. Now — probably sooner rather than later — the scene is going to be crawling with cops.

    Whatever you do, please, please, please do not greet the police while holding a pistol in your hand. Or a knife, bludgeon, broken bottle, chainsaw or whatever else you used to shove your critter in front of his Eternal Maker.

    You, standing over a dead man, with a weapon in your paw when the cops show up is a recipe for an unpleasantness. Trust me on this one.

    Again, there are thousands of folks on the Internet, each one with advice on what to do with your pistol, knife, or whathaveyou.

    And — again — if you have the presence of mind to do something complicated with your gun, I salute you. But I doubt it.

    Just remember not to have the weapon in your hand, on your body or with-in arms reach when you get face-to-face with the police. The officers are going to take custody of whatever you used to chlorinate the gene pool, and when they do — tell them where it is, but, please God, don’t go grab it yourself to give to them.

    Last, but certainly not least, if there is any subject in which every-single-body on the Internet has advice for, it’s what to tell the cops about your shooting.

    Folks, what you should or should not tell the cops is based completely upon the unique circumstances of your personal incident.

    I can tell you that it’s never a Bad Thing to not make a statement to the police before your lawyer is present, but let’s talk Real Life here:

    You have just ended the life of some mother’s child. You may have stared into the eyes of this person as the life drained out of them. You may have listened to the death rattle as they took their last breath. You may have heard this person’s last words, or you may have simply watched them kick until they were still.

    Whichever, you have just breached the most sacred of Man’s taboos. You have done something that cannot be taken back, and you have done the single most powerful, awful thing one human being may do to another.

    In addition, you’re going to be so jazzed on adrenaline that your teeth will hurt. Endorphins will mask any pain — and failing to find pain, they will be tweaking your inhibitions in 23 different directions. Your mind will have played tricks on you — sounds will have gone squirrelly; time will have done wierd things.

    And worst of all, you probably won’t remember entire sequences of what just happened. Self-doubt is going to jump on your back like an 800-pound gorilla with cold feet and clammy hands.

    And you will want someone — anyone — to understand that you were forced to do this terrible act. You will want someone — anyone — to know, to understand, that you had no choice in breaking the ancient taboo against killing.

    Ladies and gentlemen, in the average self-defense shooting, it’s not getting the shooter to talk to us that’s hard — it’s getting him to shut up that’s difficult.

    I can tell you to assert your right to have an attorney present during any interview with the police, but in the last 13 years of police work, I’ve never seen a justified Average Joe self-defense shooter who was capable of doing so.

    Again, you may be different. I salute you if you are, but — again — I wouldn’t bet anything important that you won’t be like everyone else I’ve seen in that position.

    So — my advice to you is to sit down with your attorney before the Fit Hits The Shan and discuss what your attorney wants you to do in that situation. Find out what your attorney wants you to tell the police, and try to stick with that.

    Don’t be surprised if you find yourself unable to stop talking, though. Prepare for it, and you will probably be able to limit any damage done.

    LawDog
    NRA Member


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Pretty good post, he's an entertaining writer. The advice sounds pretty good too.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

    (Sometimes) "a fight avioded is a fight won." ... claude clay

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    One of my favorite comedians is Ron White......

    He has a bit where he's talking about a situation that he had gotten into while imbibing a bit too much. His comment......."I had the right to remain silent, just not the ability!"


  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    IIRC, LawDog is a regular on USN. He knows his stuff.

  5. #5
    Member Array apierce918's Avatar
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    i dont have a clue on how to find a defense attorney, and doesnt it cost a ton of money to "retain" an attorney for such an event? i mean people choose less caliber for price, throwing out a ton of money for something you hope to never happen, what about the public defenders? do they just generally suck?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    All seems like very solid advice, but I have one question about it.

    He says make sure not to have the weapon on your body or within immediate reach when the police show up.

    Obviously never having been through a self-defense shooting myself, I don't know how that part would go, but I'd imagine I'd just re-holster, sit down near the front door with my cell phone and wait for the red and blue's to arrive.

    Maybe an LEO on the board could shed some light on this - if a homeowner just committed a seemingly "clean" self defense shooting, would there be a problem with the homeowner simply re-holstering his/her weapon and waiting for your arrival? You could disarm them when you arrive as you see fit...

    Just curious.

    I also very much agree with the "shut up until your lawyer gets there" sentimate. I'd (if I had the presence of mind for it) make a very simple, brief, non-detailed statement and then say that I don't wish to answer any other questions until my lawyer is present. That way it doesn't seem like you're trying to hide anything, and you'll keep your butt out of trouble.

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    It has been discussed here at least twice in the last 2 months.

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...ge-advice.html

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...othetical.html

    I'll save you the trouble of reading those posts - Use your 5th amendment right to remain silent and make no statement to the police except identifying yourself by name and then request an attorney, except in Texas because you don't need the 5th amendment in Texas because Texas is Texas.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apierce918 View Post
    i dont have a clue on how to find a defense attorney, and doesnt it cost a ton of money to "retain" an attorney for such an event? i mean people choose less caliber for price, throwing out a ton of money for something you hope to never happen, what about the public defenders? do they just generally suck?
    Step #1 - Go shooting. Use Glock 19. Bring about 400 rounds.

    Step #2 - Ask people at the range what they do until you run into a lawyer.

    If this is unsuccessful, repeat step #1 till you find a lawyer. This may take several range sessions.

    Step #3 - Upon finding a lawyer, ask if he does criminal defense work. If he does, proceed to #4a; if not go to 4b.

    Step #4a - Make an appointment to talk with the attorney about self defense laws in your state and what you can expect in the aftermath of a shooting.

    Step #4b - Ask him who he would use in the event he had to shoot someone. Once you have this name, go to #4a.

    Step #5 - Ask this lawyer what he will expect to be paid in the immediate aftermath of a shooting to be available to go out and see you at the location of the event or at the PD to do damage control. Also get his after hours contact number.

    Step #6 - Set this amount aside in your safe or have this amount available on your credit card & load attorney's number into your speed dial.

    For a local after hours, SHTF event, I'd want $500 before I went to see someone.

    I get that before I go to work. After hours, unscheduled service has its costs. Sorry.

    That would cover going out to the location of the incident or the PD, telling the police you were represented and not to try and talk to you without my being present, informing you to shut up and say nothing to anyone except your name and if you need to go to the bathroom, and telling your wife/husband/significant other that you are alive and they better start getting cash in hand to pay a bondsman or pay for an appraisal to put the house up for a real estate bond for your release.

    That is basically triage for the situation. It stops the police from having a free hand and puts your advocate into the case from the begining.

    Further representation is negotiated the next morning with your wife/husband/significant other. You can either continue with me, hire someone else of go it alone from that point on. Your call.

    Public defenders vary in quality.

    I have to say the ones I deal with are high quality, and they have investigators paid by the state to help them.

    Other areas may have underqualified, overworked, inexperienced, apathetic lawyers who are retired in place and don't really care if you get good representation, just that you were represented.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Zaria View Post
    I also very much agree with the "shut up until your lawyer gets there" sentimate. I'd (if I had the presence of mind for it) make a very simple, brief, non-detailed statement and then say that I don't wish to answer any other questions until my lawyer is present. That way it doesn't seem like you're trying to hide anything, and you'll keep your butt out of trouble.
    What you think is non-detailed can end up hanging you.

    Name. Address. Request lawyer. Silence.

  9. #9
    Member Array apierce918's Avatar
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    thanks Mitchell, i was getting under the impressions it would be $1000-$2000 paid to before anything even happens... while talking to some guys that arent thinking about a lawyer. Having money set aside and knowing an amount before hand that you basically are sure will just be given as soon as you dial that number sounds more reasonable. Guess i need to head to the range :)

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    For some lawyers that is the price.

    Quite frankly, I want to be called so I set the price reasonable, but making it worth my time.

    Nothing is going to get resolved that night.

    Calling the lawyer in at the begining offers you the best opportunity for a good disposition, but that won't be for a while.

  11. #11
    Member Array Catalina's Avatar
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    Great posts Mitchell in Connecticut.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    It has been discussed here at least twice in the last 2 months.

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...ge-advice.html

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...othetical.html

    I'll save you the trouble of reading those posts - Use your 5th amendment right to remain silent and make no statement to the police except identifying yourself by name and then request an attorney, except in Texas because you don't need the 5th amendment in Texas because Texas is Texas.
    While that may not be completely true, things are a little different down here. We'll find out how different in a few days. The Pasadena Grand Jury and the Supreme Court should both be ruling this week. I just hope I can sleep through the gunfire of everybody firing their six guns into the air in celebration. I'm just kidding...I won't try to sleep through it.

    In all seriousness, regardless of the state I am in, I'm would attempt to say as little as possible until the nerves have calmed down. And I have no idea how long that's going to take. Knowing me, I probably will not lawyer up. In all honesty, I would probably represent myself if push came to shove and I actually went to trial.

    As many lawyers have said, representing oneself is a stupid thing to do, but I'm stubborn that way.
    Last edited by Kerbouchard; June 17th, 2008 at 11:44 PM.
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  13. #13
    Member Array JudoJake's Avatar
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    What do you do after a shooting? Go home, kiss your wife, hug your kids, then take them all out for dinner. Don't forget to thank God that you still walk the earth and can do these things. Celebrate that you won and he lost.

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