Store owner arrested for shooting at shoplifters - Florida

Store owner arrested for shooting at shoplifters - Florida

This is a discussion on Store owner arrested for shooting at shoplifters - Florida within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; This is a case of if you have a gun you need to know the law. I feel sorry for the store owner though. Story ...

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Thread: Store owner arrested for shooting at shoplifters - Florida

  1. #1
    Member Array NKMG19's Avatar
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    Store owner arrested for shooting at shoplifters - Florida

    This is a case of if you have a gun you need to know the law. I feel sorry for the store owner though. Story here.

    WILTON MANORS, Fla. (WSVN) -- The co-owner of a liquor store is facing multiple charges after he reportedly opened fire on a group of men who attempted to rob his business Wednesday.

    Police said that around 10 p.m. Wednesday, Harold Loffman and his friends rushed into Paradise Fine Wines And Spirits, located off Andrews Avenue and West Oakland Park Boulevard, and attempted to loot the establishment. Noticing members of the group trying to shoplift several bottles of gin, clerk and co-owner James C. Regis opened fire on the subjects as the suspected would-be thieves made their getaway. With his store's glass front door shattered in the hail of gunfire, the business' determined co-owner exited his liquor store in pursuit of the alleged shoplifters, firing his pistol along the way. Not a single bullet connected with its intended targets.

    Under Florida law, the initial shots taken by Regis while inside his store were legal, but those made outside of his business while chasing the alleged thieves were not. Police subsequently arrested the co-owner, charging him with agrravated assault and discharging a firearm in public.

    Perplexed by Regis' arrest, a female business associate contends that the instinctive nature of the shooting justified the attack. "He is protecting his own things," said a fellow co-owner of the liquor store. "When people are scared, they are just trying to protect their investment."

    Asked if she would have re-acted similarly to such crime, the woman said, "Of course, because you are protecting your own property."

    Authorities caught up with Loffman and discovered a knife in the suspected would-be thief's possession. Officer's charged him with retail theft.

    Store manager's boarded up the business' front door and opened briefly Thursday.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Just because you may be legal to use a firearm you have to use some discretion, this is crazy he is so lucky none of his shots killed an innocent bystander,You wanta talk about some kinda responsibility if your gonna get a firearm for protection you might wanta stay proficient with it and know the laws for deadly force where you live
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  3. #3
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    Not good.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    His mistake was is that it didn't happen in Texas.

    You have to obey the laws... It sucks that the man is going to be charged with a worse crime then the guy robbing him.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  5. #5
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Things would have been totally different in Texas. Shoot first, ask questions later. If you're a good shot, there will be a limited investigation.

  6. #6
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    I don't think you can use deadly force to protect property in Florida, unless, of course, you're inside your home at the time.

    srg

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    God I hate it that the rest of you all don't live down here in Texas, but then again, what the heck would we have to talk about.

    If he had been a better shot, then he wouldn't have had to leave the darn store in the first place, then he wouldn't be getting charged.

    Boneheaded, probably, but maybe he will get off on this one. Maybe the fact that no one was actually shot will help him.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Couldn't find the relevant Florida statute(s), but the summary page on the Florida Division of Licensing's web page states the following:

    Use Of Deadly Force and Lawful Self-Defense:

    Florida law justifies use of deadly force when you are:

    • Trying to protect yourself or another person from death or serious bodily harm;
    • Trying to prevent a forcible felony, such as rape, robbery, burglary or kidnapping.

    A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman. But, as stated earlier, deadly force is justified if you are trying to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. The use of deadly force must be absolutely necessary to prevent the crime. Also, if the criminal runs away, you cannot use deadly force to stop him, because you would no longer be "preventing" a crime. If use of deadly force is not necessary, or you use deadly force after the crime has stopped, you could be convicted of manslaughter.
    It's unclear from the above whether a Florida citizen has the right to use deadly force against burglary. One statement indicates that a person does, since apparently the list of "forcible felonies" includes burglary (shoplifting, which isn't a person crime of robbery). Yet, it also warns that deadly force must be what's necessary to prevent the crime. Seems to me that coming up to a shoplifter is often sufficient, that shooting him may not be required as would clearly be the case with rape, robbery, etc. Hm.

    Anyone know the relevant Florida statute(s)?


    ================
    EDIT: Statutes seem to be 776.08, 776.012, 776.013 & 776.031. If burglary is what the shoplifters would be charged with, then it seems burglary is defined as a forcible felony. Hence, the charge against the shop owner must be (guessing, here) something on the order of chasing down the people after the threat of the felony (and risk to people) had passed.


    776.08 Forcible felony.--"Forcible felony" means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.
    776.012 Use of force in defense of person.--A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

    (1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

    (2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.

    History.--s. 13, ch. 74-383; s. 1188, ch. 97-102; s. 2, ch. 2005-27.
    776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.--

    (1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:

    (a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person's will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and

    (b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

    (2) The presumption set forth in subsection (1) does not apply if:

    (a) The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner, lessee, or titleholder, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person; or

    (b) The person or persons sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used; or

    (c) The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity; or

    (d) The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person entering or attempting to enter was a law enforcement officer.

    (3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

    (4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person's dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.

    (5) As used in this section, the term:

    (a) "Dwelling" means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.

    (b) "Residence" means a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest.

    (c) "Vehicle" means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.

    History.--s. 1, ch. 2005-27.

    776.031 Use of force in defense of others.--A person is justified in the use of force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on, or other tortious or criminal interference with, either real property other than a dwelling or personal property, lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal duty to protect. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be.

    History.--s. 13, ch. 74-383; s. 1189, ch. 97-102; s. 3, ch. 2005-27.
    776.031 Use of force in defense of others.--A person is justified in the use of force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on, or other tortious or criminal interference with, either real property other than a dwelling or personal property, lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal duty to protect. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be.
    810.02 Burglary.--

    (1)(a) For offenses committed on or before July 1, 2001, "burglary" means entering or remaining in a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter or remain.

    (b) For offenses committed after July 1, 2001, "burglary" means:

    1. Entering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter; or

    2. Notwithstanding a licensed or invited entry, remaining in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance:

    a. Surreptitiously, with the intent to commit an offense therein;

    b. After permission to remain therein has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit an offense therein; or

    c. To commit or attempt to commit a forcible felony, as defined in s. 776.08.
    And yet, the standard seems to require the threat of great bodily harm, which shoplifting doesn't seem to press on anybody.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    In my opinion, regardless of the way the law reads, shooting someone over 'stuff' is wrong.
    The preceding post may contain sarcasm; it's just better that way. However, it is still intended with construction and with the Love of my L-rd Y'shua.

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  10. #10
    Member Array Chris Dawg's Avatar
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    From my understanding it is legal to use a handgun to stop a forcible felony in FL. Shoplifting is not, and shoplifting is not burglary. I am pretty sure burglary involves B&E.

    <EDIT>
    810.02 Burglary. (above) states.
    "1. Entering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter; or
    2. Notwithstanding a licensed or invited entry, remaining in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance:"


    Not necessarily B&E but not invited either.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array ronwill's Avatar
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    No imminent danger, no lethal force. That's been a belief of mine for as long as I've carried. Shooting someone over a couple of bottles of booze is wrong and to continue shooting where bystanders (possibly kids) could be hurt is worse.
    Member NRA, SAF and Georgiacarry.org
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    Senior Member Array jeephipwr's Avatar
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    It would be better if he stayed in the store. Now he needs to practice more to hit his target or move to a shotgun.

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    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    I worry about CCL holders and weapon owners in general getting all involved in a situation, and not stopping to think what could happen as a result of there actions.

    While I feel sorry for this store owners, firing recklessly at these BG's could of injured or worse killed an bystander. And just think of the bad media that would have brought weapon owners.

    NEVER shoot at someone unless you know exactly where you bullet is going, and what the possible back stop will be should you miss.

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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post

    His mistake was is that it didn't happen in Texas.

    .
    Why?

    You can't chase after someone who has left the scene of the crime and shoot at him in public in Texas either.

    People need to come to a little better understanding of TX laws.....it's not the wild west people!
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronwill View Post
    No imminent danger, no lethal force.
    My thoughts, as well. Though, there were two thieves, and from the photos they look plenty healthy and strong. Basically, if the courts would never have a sentence of death for shoplifting, for myself I have a very hard time seeing how death dealt by a witness (even a shop owner) is justified.

    The news article states the men came in to "rob" the store owner, yet it only mentions a property crime (thievery) and not a person crime (robbery).

    The police charged him with aggravated assault, apparently for the chasing and shooting outside the business.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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