Shooting without being charged


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TaurusPT945
January 20, 2006, 11:08 AM
Do we have any civilian members here that was involved in a shooting for defending himself that resulted to serious physical injury or even death to the perpetrator without being charged?

Maybe you can share your experiences why did it lead to shooting.
New gun owners like me will find that very enlightening.

Thanks.

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BlisteringSilence
January 20, 2006, 11:31 AM
5 years ago, I was involved in a shooting that ended with the death of the perpetrator, and no charges being filed against myself or anyone else involved.

I was living at home with my parents at the time, and was sleeping with an 870 express in matte black under my bed. It was loaded with 5 rounds of Winchester 00 buck in 12 gauge. At about 3 in the morning, I was awakened by the house alarm wailing. Wondering what malfunction had caused it, I opened the door of my room on the second floor. I then heard the pounding on my parent's front door. Mind you, this was a steel exterior door with glass lights in it.

At this point, I went back into my room, grabbed my shotgun, and returned to the balcony above the foyer. I laid down prone, stuck the shotgun barrel through the banister supports, and waited. All this time, the alarm was going off, and the strobes on the house were going like mad. One of the features of my parent's home alarm is that when it is tripped, it activates every exterior light on the house, as well as 3 interior and 2 exterior sirens, and 4 exterior strobes. There is no doubt that we were home, the cars were out front, etc.

The perpetrator finally succeeded in kicking in the front door. At this time, my father was below me on the main floor with his HD gun, a marine magnum in SS, also pointed at the door. We both started yelling at the man to put his hands up. He reached for his belt, and we both fired. He took 15 of the 18 pellets to center mass. 2 hit him in the legs, and 1 missed entirely and hit the swinging door behind him. My dad is a trauma surgeon, and I am a paramedic, and there is nothing that we could do for this guy. He was as good as dead before he hit the ground.

Tucked in his belt was a stolen S&W revolved with 6 rounds of stolen Winchester Black Talon .357 mag ammo. Had we not fired when we did, there is no telling what this man would have done. After his post, we found out that he was high on meth, and was suspected in a number of other home invasion robberies. The sheriffís department launched a full investigation, and the county attorney declined to introduce charges against us, stating that everything we did was well within the limits of lethal force in our home state.

People ask me if I regret what I did that night, and my answer now is the same as it was then. No. A nice, simple, No. Thereís no telling what that kook might have done, and I have no regrets. No PTSD, nothing. We were fortunate in that the SO and CAís office agreed to keep it out of the papers as much as possible, but other than that, I would guess that my story is not that much different than many folks. The fact that my dad and I were both known to the SO and the CAís office through our work didnít hurt, but I am fully confident that they would have ruled the same had they not known us.

Anyway, if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

M2 Carbine
January 20, 2006, 11:52 AM
Not personally but a few weeks ago, in the Fort Worth area, a man on the run from the Police broke into a lady's home. She shot him and became somewhat of a national hero, appearing on TV, etc.

The 911 tapes are interesting where you can hear her saying if the police don't get there fast she's going to shoot him again, and she does shoot but misses.:D

Chipperman
January 20, 2006, 12:14 PM
Blistering Silence,
Sorry to hear about your harrowing experience, but glad all turned out ok for you and your dad.

Did the family of the perp file or try to file a civil suit?

BlisteringSilence
January 20, 2006, 12:19 PM
Did the family of the perp file or try to file a civil suit?

Dismissed with prejudice. Judges where I'm from are not so much with the criminals suing the families they attacked in the first place.

TaurusPT945
January 20, 2006, 12:53 PM
Blistering Silence, that was one hell of an experience. Just a few questions: How many sleepless nights did you have? What was in your mind when you pulled the trigger? And if the perpetrator was still breathing, what would you do?

BlisteringSilence
January 20, 2006, 01:03 PM
Blistering Silence, that was one hell of an experience. Just a few questions: How many sleepless nights did you have? What was in your mind when you pulled the trigger? And if the perpetrator was still breathing, what would you do?

Sleepless nights....well, lets just say there were a few. Not to mention that I have never been a big fan of that particular siren since then (my home had identical sirens when I moved in, I replaced them). All told, I was over the big psychological effects in about 2 months. I still occasionally dream about that night, but not with the terror and sweating that I used to have. Now, my nightmares are that the gun misfired or jammed, and I had no way to protect my family.

As far as what was going on in my mind when I pulled the trigger, well, I can't say exactly. I was so focused on what was in front of me that I never stopped to think what the repercussions might be. It was tunnel vision at its finest. Fortunately, being on the second floor made it impossible to flank me, but the thought now is a little scary. As soon as the perp make a move for his belt, I just fired. It was more instinct and training than anything else. I don't know what else to hope for, but I'm glad that my training overcame any hidden doubts that I might have had.

As far as if the perp was still breathing, what would I do? As strange as this sounds, I'd probably try to save him. Now, you have to understand, thatís just what I do. I'm a healer, thats my calling. The difference between me and others is that I KNOW that there is a time for killing, and a time for healing. I know of at least one of my coworkers that was in a officer involved shooting before he went to medic school, and he understands. I guess that's why we're the guys that go on alert with SWAT. I guess I don't see the strange dichotomy in shooting someone and then trying to save his life. Its just what I do.

belton-deer-hunter
January 20, 2006, 01:07 PM
i sorry but something doesnt seem right asking if anyone here has ever shot anyone and how they felt about it? jsut doesnt seem right to me

BlisteringSilence
January 20, 2006, 01:11 PM
i sorry but something doesnt seem right asking if anyone here has ever shot anyone and how they felt about it? jsut doesnt seem right to me

I don't mind. If my telling my story will go so far as to protect one life that might otherwise be harmed, well, then its totally worth the 20 minutes I spend typing responses to my story. I didn't have to answer, I chose to. If there are those out there who feel uncomfortable speaking about a shooting they were involved in, then its their right to remain mum, so to speak.

Now for me, I found that the best way for me to deal with this was to speak about it as much as possible, to make it so that every time I mentioned it, I didn't break out in a cold sweat. Thats just my way of dealing, and I make no guarantees that it would work for anyone else.

jtward01
January 20, 2006, 01:13 PM
I was a paramedic also, and I don't see a conflict. After all, you're not shooting to kill, you're shooting to stop. Once the person is no longer a threat then there's no problem with trying to save their life.

Zundfolge
January 20, 2006, 01:55 PM
BlisteringSilence, I know this will sound like a petty question, but I'm wondering what (if any) effects you've noticed on hearing since the incident.

The reason I ask is that I think if we could establish broad hearing damage suffered by those who legitimately use firearms for self defense we might be able to get suppressors removed from the NFA (or at least knocked down to AOW status).

dolanp
January 20, 2006, 03:07 PM
I'm curious about how you interacted (if at all) with the police after the incident. Did you keep quiet and wait for counsel or did you talk to them?

Thain
January 20, 2006, 05:49 PM
For what its worth, as a new gun owner myself, and one willing to use a weapon in defense of self, family, and home, I find this to be a very helpful discussion.

I have three questions, if you don't mind answering them...

1) How did the police react when they arrived? This part of the story is always left out of the newspapers and seems pretty vital. (LEO's please chime in!)

2) How did you "clean it up" afterward...? The coroner will take the body, but the other bits are the home owner's responibilty, I beleive.

trickyasafox
January 20, 2006, 06:00 PM
glad you and your family made it out ok

BlisteringSilence
January 20, 2006, 06:01 PM
I know this will sound like a petty question, but I'm wondering what (if any) effects you've noticed on hearing since the incident.
Well, I hate to say this, but I have not noticed any significant hearing loss that can be attributed to that single incident. I do have a very mild hearing loss in my right ear, but I think its more likely the cumulative effect of 10+ years of competition shotgun shooting than this single event. Not to mention, I've yet to see an effective suppressor for a shotgun ;).

DolanP,
You raise an excellent question, and one that I think some time can be spent on. I chose to invoke my right to counsel, but in my case, the deputies were OK with it. Remember, as a medic, I interacted with the deputies that came to my house on a regular basis, so I knew the responding officer, his backup, and the patrol night supervisor. So did my dad.

So, right after the shooting went down, we called 911 (my mom had already spoken with the alarm company, and let them know that our alarm was a no-???? alarm, as well as hitting the panic combination for the alarm itself) and let them know that we had just shot and killed the perp, and had no intention of starting lifesaving measures due to the manner in which the perp was injured. That, combined with the alarm company's frantic calls, was enough to get us bumped to the top of the dispatch list. Response time from 911 to first officer was about 12 minutes. My dad and I used the opportunity to put on clothes, and clear the exterior of the house. We also locked other weapons (cleaning, the basement pump gun, dad's carry weapon) away in the safe.

When the first officer arrived, we asked to invoke our right to counsel and wait for him to arrive before giving our statements. The RO was fine with that, as he was waiting on backup and his supervisor. So, we called the lawyer, and he secured our weapons, as well as the weapon on the perp.

Our lawyer arrived, we briefed him, and then the supervisor arrived. He started with the crime scene stuff, and asked us if we would drive down to the local sheriff's office, and we agreed. We drove down, made our statement in the presence of our lawyer, and then we went to a hotel. At no time were we separated, or interrogated. The statements were made in the supervisor's office, not an interrogation room. There were of course questions that followed our stream of consciousness recitation, and we were both audio and videotaped, and gave individual statements, but the sheriff's were very gentle about the process

The next day, we met with the county attorney and our lawyer, relayed the events again, answered his questions, and he informed us at the end of the meeting that unless new evidence popped up, he had no intention of charging us with any crime, and that we would be getting our weapons back as soon as possible. We later discovered that the .357 the perp stole had been used to shoot a wall at a home invasion 2 weeks before. It took about a month to get our weapons back from the SO, but they were kind enough to loan us a pair of their duty shotguns (both marine magnums identical in function to my dadís) for the duration.

Thain,

OK, again, you have to understand that we knew the deputies that responded to our call well. The RO was just off his training, maybe a year with the department, and he was a little shocked with the blood. Remember, thereís very little that bleeds like a man with 2 shotshells of buckshot in him. The deputies across the board, were polite, professional, and understanding. The sergeant that evening was a longtime deputy with 10+ years on our force, and had known my dad since he was a rookie. I have to commend the SO for what a fine job they did.

As to what we did after, well, my parents were in a hotel for about a week. I moved in with a buddy of mine, sacking out on his couch, for the same amount of time. My dad hired a company from St. Louis that specialized in cleaning up crime scenes, and when they were done, he had the whole front door assembly replaced and repainted to look exactly like the old one. Looking at it now, there is no way anyone can tell what happened there, and even the fancy ALS lights that they use on CSI donít detect the bloodstains on the hardwood. The company that did the biohazard cleanup was expensive, but entirely worth it. When they were done, there was no way anyone could tell what had happened. They even got the house to smell like it used to.

molonlabe
January 20, 2006, 06:19 PM
Having been a medic I can understand your relationship with the local PD and SO. I knew all of them where I worked since I seen them at one time or another either on scene or at the ERís. Now that I no longer do that and live in a different area I certainly wonder if I would get the same consideration in an incident such as this (that you experienced) now that I am a stranger to them.

R-Tex12
January 20, 2006, 06:42 PM
Many thanks for all your patient responses, Blistering Silence. Sorry you had to go through the experience, but am very glad you and your folks emerged safely.

I hope you don't mind one more question. You mentioned instinct and training; had you had self-defense firearms training prior to the incident or were you speaking about trap/skeet style training?

Thanks again,

Rick

Stand_Watie
January 21, 2006, 04:53 AM
People ask me if I regret what I did that night, and my answer now is the same as it was then. No. A nice, simple, No. Thereís no telling what that kook might have done, and I have no regrets. No PTSD, nothing... Anyway, if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

I have a short question - do you credit your job as being part of the reason for your experiencing milder emotional trauma than many?

BlisteringSilence
January 21, 2006, 06:04 AM
I never mind more questions. First off Rick, no, I had not had any formal, firearm-related self defense training at that point in my life. Even now, if you don't count my CCW class (and I don't), I have still not had any. That being said, I am a LONG time hunter and sport shooter. I started my first shotgun at age 10 or so, and have been going strong since then. I figure I had fired close to 50,000 rounds through various shotguns by that point in my life, so it is safe to say that I was very comfortable with my weapon.

Now, I don't know if this is true for anyone else, but when I'm out stalking through the woods after my spring turkeys, I have all kinds of scenarios that go through my head. One of those scenarios for me was a kind of preview of the crime that ended up occurring. Of course, rather than fighting off a platoon of VERY stupid Russians that came through the front door, it was a meth-head with a revolver, but having rehearsed it in my mind was worth it.

When I moved into my new place, I walked the entire floorplan, inside and out, looking at sightlines, cover and concealment, and likely means of egress. I planned for the same kinds of events, and placed weapons where they would be most likely to be needed (I don't have any kids to worry about), and arranged my furniture with this in mind. Why? Well, 'cause I'm kind of weird. But, to each his own, ya know?

Anyway, as to Stand_Watie's question, yes, I absolutely credit my training for the milder case of PTS. The guy I shot was not the first gunshot wound, let alone body, I had seen. I joke about it all the time, but my job exposes me to life and death on a scale that the general public never knows about, and therefore it has made me both more appreciative of my life, and dare I say callous to those who's lives are lost in vanity or stupidity. I know better than most that we come and we go, and that we have no control over the whens and whys.

In this criminal's case, he did have control. Had he chosen to break into someone else's home, he might not have died that night. Well, not on my street, but elsewhere, who knows? We take our chances, and we take our repercussions. I guess I'm kind of cynical, but at the same time, I'm one of the most fun guys on the planet, because I want to make the very most out of my time here. My circle of friends is huge, and I'm never hurting to go out or to a party. I'm fun, just a little more jaded than most.

R-Tex12
January 21, 2006, 12:56 PM
BlisteringSilence -

Thanks very much for a most well-reasoned and thorough response.

[snip] When I moved into my new place, I walked the entire floorplan, inside and out, looking at sightlines, cover and concealment, and likely means of egress. I planned for the same kinds of events, and placed weapons where they would be most likely to be needed (I don't have any kids to worry about), and arranged my furniture with this in mind. Why? Well, 'cause I'm kind of weird. But, to each his own, ya know? [snip]

Not weird at all. This is precisely the kind of planning Thunder Ranch's Clint Smith advises. One thing he suggested during our classroom session was to pick up some decorative items, such as a few highly polished metal vases, and place them in strategic places so their surfaces can be used as curved mirrors for seeing around blind corners. An intruder probably wouldn't think to use them, but you know why they're there. Something that had never occurred to me. Dang, I have a lot to learn! :)

Take care,

Rick

GoBrush
January 21, 2006, 01:39 PM
BlisteringSilence:

Thank goodness the good guys won. Thank you for the courage to share your experience so we can all learn from it.

armoredman
January 21, 2006, 02:00 PM
Well done, sir, well done indeed.:cool:

Texfire
January 21, 2006, 02:15 PM
Excellent thread, very informative. While I'm sorry that the intuder put you in a situation where you had to use deadly force, I appreciate your openess to share your experience so we can learn from it. I hope I'm never put in the same situation, but if I am I hope I handle it as well as you did.

But I'm not suprised, you seem like one who is attracted to public service for the right reasons. I tip my hat in your direction, my red-patch brother. :)

Tex

AnthonyRSS
January 21, 2006, 04:15 PM
i sorry but something doesnt seem right asking if anyone here has ever shot anyone and how they felt about it? jsut doesnt seem right to me

youre lack of proper speling or punctuatin never seems right tome either

AnthonyRSS
January 21, 2006, 04:17 PM
i sorry but something doesnt seem right asking if anyone here has ever shot anyone and how they felt about it? jsut doesnt seem right to me

youre lack of proper speling or punctuatin never seems right tome either


I, for one, am glad to hear of a self-defense story that turned out so well. I abhor hearing about charges being brought, and lawyers hired, and civil suits filed, just because someone did the correct thing.

I am glad everything turned out okay.

Anthony

Monkeyleg
January 21, 2006, 06:58 PM
BlisteringSilence, thanks for sharing with us. I'm glad you and your family survived, and that you've dealt with it so well.

Few people on this forum who've been involved want to go into detail, so your posts give us all some real insight.

I just pray that nobody else on this forum has to go through what you did.

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