After the Shooting Stops


July 19, 2005, 10:27 PM
The new issue of Concealed Carry magazine is out.

Let me hear your thoughts on the cover story "After the Shooting Stops". Hope you like it and that it gives us all pause to consider how to best handle things and respond AFTER a lethal encounter is over.

If this article saves even one of us good guys from a manslaughter charge, all the better. What you say in the 911 call and how you handle the situation during the post-shooting investigation will have a direct impact on being 'cleared' in the homicide investigation and also on how things go in the event of a wrongful death lawsuit by the BG's relatives.

I'll probably do an article later on the subject of asset protection, as that's my field in the law. But for now, let's consider the the practical side of protecting ourselves from the immediate process when the smoke clears and law enforcement is summoned to the site of your defensive shooting.

Stay Alert. Practice. Stand Tall.

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Double Naught Spy
July 19, 2005, 11:15 PM
Manslaughter? That sounds like a reduced charge from murder. If the cops somehow think you intentionally shot a person wrongfully, then being charged with manslaughter is a much better charge than murder.

chris in va
July 19, 2005, 11:37 PM
I was told by a lawyer in my CCW class just to say, ''I was in fear of my life'' and ''I'm sorry officer but I'm shaken up right now and would like to speak to a lawyer''.

Apparently it's not good to say, ''I shot...'', or anything for that matter.

July 20, 2005, 12:00 AM
The article considers the range of charges and discusses an approach that will definitely help.

Murder is a very specific intentional act. Manslaughter is an easier charge to make, but either way the Homicide Investigation that will result will go much better if everything from your initial 9-1-1 call to the way you handle yourself in the post-shooting interviews is such that your shooting is more likely to be ruled 'Justifiable' as a self-defense shooting.

It's best if you are the one making the initial 9-1-1 call. Your call will be recorded and what you say can help or hurt, depending on the words you use. So considering it in advance is just like practicing after-action drills. Yes, you'll probably want to get a lawyer to help you, but sooner or later you'll have to sit down for an interview to explain in your own words exactly what happened and why you took the actions you did.

There may be several interviews. The police or D.A. investigators who talk things over with you will be different than the officers who first responded to the scene at the time of the shooting. The district attorney's office in your jurisdiction will consider the reports of the officers "on the scene", the 9-1-1 tapes, and any reports of any post-shooting investigators. If things "add up" to justifiable self-defense, then your chances of coming out of it okay are much better.

The article in this month's Concealed Carry magazine is written from the perspective of a police officer and an attorney, both of whom are instructors and believe in CCW. It's intended to cover the "Now What?" issues.

I'd enjoy reading your comments on the article. And I sincererly hope the contents will help you when you need it most.

July 20, 2005, 01:38 AM
Mike - I assume you are the author of this article? Could you post a link to an online source, or post it here. I don't subscribe to Concealed Carry Magazine and don't plan to rush out to buy it just for this article. If I see it at the Borders while my wife is looking for some book, I may peruse the article but still probably won't buy it. As, I'm sure, is the case with many others here.

July 26, 2005, 10:18 PM
Actually, several of us do in fact subscribe to Concealed Carry magazine. It's fairly new but so far pretty darn good.

It's not one of those gun magazines that's an uninterrupted advertising campaign with occasional articles thrown in. Instead, it's a down-to-earth practical journal that I believe is highlighting people who see carrying as a lifestyle choice. The website is Hope you become a subscriber.

The article explores the practical and legal sides of how best to handle things AFTER a lethal encounter. It's written from the perspective of a police officer and an attorney, both of whom are shooters & instructors and share a strong support for CCW permit holders and their need for practical, effective training.

For example - from the very start the initial 911 call should be undertaken with the knowledge that what you say to the operator is being recorded and will either help you or hang you later when the homicide investigators (and maybe even a jury) consider what you have to say (or fail to say).

The way you handle yourself and what you reveal in the eventual follow-up investigation interviews with detectives (after you've been Mirandized) will matter a great deal. The unavoidable need to defend yourself (or someone else) from imminent death or serious bodily injury will be the key to the outcome. No Clint Eastwood or John Wayne smart-ass comments will be helpful. The detectives need to know the details of what transpired before the shooting began and during the time your firearm was out of its holster. They will probably ask for your narrative more than once to see if your story is consistent and whether it changes from interview to interview.

Eventually, the decision whether to clear you or charge you will be made by a prosecutor and/or the police working in concert. If the article in this month's issue saves even one of the Good Guys from being improperly charged with Manslaughter or Murder 2, that's a good thing.

Good Luck out there. Keep on seeking more and better training, and keep your skill levels sharp and your Situational Awareness well exercised.

July 26, 2005, 10:25 PM
Um, color me a bit warped, but you know what these "aftermath" articles never seem to cover ?

Cleaning up the mess after the EMT/Coroner crew remove the unfortunate, or remains, from your kitchen - people bleed a LOT when you shoot them, and heavens only know what you may be exposed to in the process of cleanup.

It's definately not something you WANT to think about, but having a cleanup kit tucked away isn't a bad idea either.



Standing Wolf
July 26, 2005, 11:09 PM
Instead of a clean up kit, it might be a better idea to have the name and number of a professional service, as well as your insurance carrier. I certainly wouldn't want to take chances with some criminal's blood.

walking arsenal
July 26, 2005, 11:44 PM
Don't shoot him so hard and you wont have a problem :D

Jim K
July 27, 2005, 01:47 PM
Judging by what I see on this and other sites, some folks need a cold dose of reality. I once mentioned that in a situation where a person was shot, anyone with a gun would be ordered to drop it. The result was a diatribe from one "gentleman" to the effect that no one was going make him drop his gun, etc.

Believe me, folks, you might have all kinds of law on your side, but if you are armed and don't obey police commands, NOW, you are definitely going to find out the down side of all those neat hollow point bullets you like so much.


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