Phoenix Man Wounds Suspected Car Thief


April 25, 2008, 04:37 PM
We used to hang horse thiefs, so this seems justified to me.

Homeowner pursues suspected thief, shoots him
by Brent Whiting - Apr. 25, 2008 11:46 AM
The Arizona Republic
Police are sorting out a shooting that took place early Friday in northwest Phoenix, resulting in the wounding of a suspected auto burglar and the closing of 43rd Avenue south of Bell Road.

The injured man, who suffered wounds that were not life-threatening, was shot by an irate homeowner who told officers he gave chase and fired after somebody tried to break into his vehicle, police said.

There were no immediate arrests as investigators gathered evidence and tried to determine whether the shooter, under the facts of the case, was justified in using deadly force, said Detective Stacie Derge, a Phoenix police spokeswoman.

"Nobody is in custody," Derge said. "We have a lot of investigation to do. We will look at the circumstances of the whole situation and determine what charges will be filed."

Neither the shooter nor the wounded man was identified.

According to Derge, the incident began shortly before 5 a.m. outside a home in the 18600 block of North 31st Drive, northwest of Union Hills Drive and Interstate 17.

The homeowner told police that his car alarm sounded and he stepped outside to see what was happening. He said somebody tried to break into his car and he saw a man walking away from the vehicle.

The suspected auto burglar stepped into a pickup truck and drove away, while the homeowner got into his vehicle, a Pontiac, and gave chase, following the man through surrounding neighborhoods.

Eventually, police said, they ended up on 43rd Avenue south of Bell Road, where the homeowner fired several rounds into the pickup truck, wounding the driver at least twice.

Both the wounded man and the homeowner drove home. A female passenger in the pickup truck escaped unharmed.

When the wounded man arrived home, family members drove him to a hospital for treatment. The homeowner, who also had a passenger in his vehicle, was contacted by police at his residence.

Police closed 43rd Avenue between Bell Road and Paradise Lane as officers processed evidence, including car parts and shell casings scattered in the southbound lanes of the roadway.

In general, Arizona allows the use of physical and deadly force if a "reasonable person" believes it is immediately necessary to prevent crimes such as arson, burglary, kidnapping and all forms of murder and sex crimes.

Under a measure that Gov. Janet Napolitano signed into law in April 2006, people are justified in using deadly physical force if they reasonably believe their life or the life of another is in danger.

In the event charges are brought in such a case, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant claiming self-defense had acted without justification

If you enjoyed reading about "Phoenix Man Wounds Suspected Car Thief" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
April 25, 2008, 04:41 PM
This homeowner might be in for a wee bit of trouble here on this one...

April 25, 2008, 04:46 PM
Yeah, I am sure he will be once the dust is settled. It really wasn't a good idea because innocent people could've been hit. But I tell you, since Arizona leads the country in car thefts, you tend to start thinking this way sometimes.

April 25, 2008, 05:32 PM
While I was going to school in Phoenix, I lived within a half mile of there (33rd Ave. and Bell Rd.) and had my car stolen. It doesn't sound like this shooting was legally justified, but I can completely sympathize with the urge.

My car was recovered about a week later; abandoned with the clutch burned out, the windshield broken, the gas tank empty, and the low oil alarm buzzing.:fire::cuss:

April 25, 2008, 05:54 PM
Why did the homeowner bring a passenger?

April 25, 2008, 07:50 PM
If he gets charged I wonder if the jury will actually vote to convict?

April 25, 2008, 07:59 PM
Do you think the purported theif will think twice about breaking into a car next time?

April 26, 2008, 10:11 AM
The injured man, who suffered wounds that were not life-threatening, was shot by an irate homeowner who told officers he gave chase and fired after somebody tried to break into his vehicle, police said.

This homeowner might be in for a wee bit of trouble here on this one

romma, you've sure got that right.

April 26, 2008, 10:33 AM
This is my neighborhood. I had a car stolen a mile from where the man lives, and half a mile from the shooting.

Not much to go on from the article, and the people who know are either talking to their lawyers, or talking to the police, or are the police. The rest of us, we're just making stuff up.

Under Arizona law, certain uses of deadly force, and certain threats of uses of deadly force, are permitted to stop the commission of some crimes. But not, as far as I recall, for chasing down an escaping criminal.

The article does not say--and perhaps even the police don't know--whether or not a justifiable use of deadly force occurred at the end of the chase.

Under a measure that Gov. Janet Napolitano signed into law in April 2006, people are justified in using deadly physical force if they reasonably believe their life or the life of another is in danger.

In the event charges are brought in such a case, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant claiming self-defense had acted without justification

Nice reporter, giving the Governor all the credit. First off, self defense has always been lawful in Arizona. But around 10 or 15 years back, if I've got my history right, an "affirmative defense" bill went into law. With "affirmative defense," rather than the state proving you guilty, in a self defense shooting you first had to admit your guilt ("yes, I shot him"), and then prove that your shooting was allowed under Arizona law. It was backwards. The AzCDL-backed bill the governor sided into law in 2006 got rid of affirmative defense and put things back to the way they should be--innocent until proven guilty.

April 26, 2008, 10:34 AM
The homeowner violated enough laws that he's going to meet me professionally. I'll be happy to tell him what an incredibly stupid move that was.

Yeah, Wayne, Castle Doctrine. AZ also has another great law - no civil liabilty for justified conduct.
What we DON'T have is a law saying if someone makes you mad you can chase and shoot them - which is what we had here. Based on what I've read, (no access to court papers, filings and such), there was never a Self Defense incident at the beginning of this, and the other party, as required by law "clearly communicated his desire to end the conflict", by leaving at high speed, and the homeowner elected to follow, utilizing deadly force along the way. This in the eyes of the law, is a totally separate incident, and if the BG had killed the homeowner, he, now, could claim Self Defense!

If he gets the book thrown at him, Attempted Murder One, twice, Aggravated Assault for every round fired, Reckless Endangerment for every round fired, plus others that could be tagged on.

Hope he looks good in orange. That car he was so anxious to protect will have a new owner soon.

April 26, 2008, 11:29 AM
related. I have heard that AZ relaxed in car carry laws and carjackings went way down.

April 26, 2008, 12:00 PM
armoredman, there is insufficient information in the article to know whether it went down the way you read it (where the homeowner chased the thief and shot him in retribution) or another way (the homeowner chased the thief in order to provide information to the police, but the thief turned it into a self defense situation by pulling a weapon on the homeowner).

The latter, while arguably foolhardy, would be lawful under Arizona law.

April 26, 2008, 12:39 PM
Not enough info. From the press release it sounds like the home owner pursued him and then punished him with bullets. Clearly not acceptable use of force in modern times.

However that might not be the case. For all we know he jumped in his car to follow the guy to learn where he was and alert the authorities. When he finaly ended up someplace with the alleged criminal, perhaps the criminal tried to run him over to escape and the guy then defended himself.
He may have put himself in that situation, but it does not mean self defense would not be valid if he was just trying to get the man's information and then was placed in great danger.

So it looks like he was in the wrong, but that is all assumption. The press release from most police departments always tell such stories from the angle that anything except letting a criminal get away and reporting it to police to ducument was a bad choice.
So it always sounds like someone is being a vigilante if they deviate from that.
That may or may not be the case.

Ron James
April 26, 2008, 01:16 PM
The homeowner was arrested and charged with a number of offences. The " alleged thief " was released with out any changes. There was no proof he had committed any offence. The dumb Ass homeowner heard his car alarm go off, saw some one walking away (The car was parked outside on the curb ) . He chases him , spraying bullets all over the city, and shoots the guy twice. The car had not been broken into, there wasn't even a hand print on it. Come on , how stupid can you be, The homeowner is going to jail for a long long time. I live in Arizona and those are the facts. Now how many of your are going to try and justice what the home owner did.

April 26, 2008, 01:23 PM
Ron, Ain't that something. Yep, More info is in.

From Homeowner arrested after suspected thief chased, shot ( (
A northwest Phoenix homeowner was arrested Friday and accused of shooting an auto-burglary suspect during a car chase.

Investigators concluded that the force used by Terrell Andy Moore, 28, was not reasonable under the circumstances of the case to justify a claim of self-defense, police said.

Further, he fired multiple rounds in an area containing businesses and apartments and it was fortunate that nobody else was struck, said Detective Stacie Derge, a Phoenix police spokeswoman.

Moore was booked into a Maricopa County jail on two counts of aggravated assault and one count of unlawfully discharging a firearm.

The shooting victim, Jason Rhymes-Taylor, 29, was released from a hospital after being treated for gunshot wounds but was not taken into custody.

Investigators did not find sufficient evidence to charge him with a crime, Derge said. In addition, there was no evidence that he had been armed during the confrontation with Moore, she said.

Moore told police his car alarm sounded and he stepped outside to see what was happening. He said somebody had tried to break into his car, a silver Pontiac Grand Am, and he spotted a man walking away from the vehicle.

The man stepped into a pickup truck and drove away, while Moore got into his Pontiac and gave chase.

Eventually, they ended up on 43rd Avenue south of Bell. Moore fired several rounds into the pickup, police said, wounding the pickup driver at least twice.

Don Lu
April 26, 2008, 01:31 PM
very irresponsable to fire at someone b/c they are walking down the street when your car alarm is going off..

April 26, 2008, 01:51 PM
Gee, darn, I hate it when I'm right. See you soon, Terrel Moore, we'll leave the light on for ya!

April 26, 2008, 01:51 PM
Not only will the shooter be prosecuted criminally, i would be willing to bet the thief AKA "victim" has a lawyer waiting to file a civil lawsuit. The home owner showed incredibly bad judgement by chasing the theif, and absolute stupidity by firing at the truck in that nieghborhood, my sister and my three nephews just moved from that area 2 months ago. I hate thieves as much as anyone but the the guy that did the shooting deserves to be jailed for his acts. You just do not chase someone and shoot at them for breaking in to your stinkin car!

April 26, 2008, 02:35 PM

IF the home owner caught the person in the act of breaking in, then I might say there was a little justification. To go back in to the house, get a gun, get a passenger and then chase the purp over a fair portion of town :what: , NAH!

If this home owner doesn't get his bacon fried beyond crisp, I'd be surprised. :rolleyes:

Harve Curry
April 26, 2008, 03:27 PM
If he was a LEO could he have put 50 bullet holes into his own stolen car and have a chance at getting aquitted?

We don't know all the details though.

April 26, 2008, 06:33 PM
Harve Curry, It doesn't matter, because that's not the topic of this thread.

USMC 1975
April 26, 2008, 10:40 PM
I guess my feelings over this incident is directly tied to what my attorney told me.

" If your life is no longer in danger, never shoot. Retreat and call the cops. If you do shoot, you better be damn ready to prove that your life was in imminent danger and you didn't go looking for the danger. "

This guys life was NOT in danger. The only thing in danger was his car being broken into. Big deal. Call the insurance company and get the damage car fixed. Instead he plays Super Leo.

I believe that if the prosecutor follows the law he will bring charges against this guy. All he needed to do was get his tag number and call 911 and let the cops handle it. Instead John Wayne jumps on his horse and gives chase then shoots the guys pickup truck up, wounding the driver in the process.

This is what worries me the most over CCW laws. Cowboys such as this guy are going to give the anti gun people more ammunition and make the CCW laws tougher for us all.

Sorry guys, but he had no damn business shooting. Notta.......


April 27, 2008, 12:19 AM
I think this case will hinge on the size of the criminal record of the shootee.

The Lone Haranguer
April 27, 2008, 08:24 AM
Whatever criminal record the "shootee" may have would probably be excluded.

April 28, 2008, 06:47 PM
I'm not advocating a loose canon firing away in the city, but that's not what happened. That was the 3rd time in the same week that Mr. Moore had been the victim of thieves. The whole street has been vandalized & robbed. The police had been called many times but some of their responses were, "they're probably in Mexico by now". There is fingerprint dust over the property of those in that neighborhood. Mr. Moore's tools were stolen, leaving him in debt to buy new ones time after time & he has a family to feed. The vehicle with the suspect turned a 180 & came straight at Mr. Moore & his brother-in-law. After getting away, the suspect went to pick up his girlfriend so that she could provide him an alibi before going to the hospital. Meanwhile, Mr. Moore had already called the police & told them that he had fired his gun & wanted to report what happened. The neighbors are tired of being the victims & it was just one time too many for Mr. Moore.

April 29, 2008, 11:41 AM
If Battered Wife Synd. is a defense, why isn't Serial Victimization Syndrome a defense???

When you get robbed multiple times it has a serious financial impact, the insurance premiums (if they keep you increase to a LARGE degree) and your personal safety becomes a serious concern...

I am not saying that I agree with this dudes actions...

Read the entire essay -

The Common Law of England has been laboriously built about a mythical figure-the figure of 'The Reasonable Man'. In the field of jurisprudence this legendary individual occupies the place which in another science is held by the Economic Man, and in social and political discussions by the Average or Plain Man. He is an ideal, a standard, the embodiment of all those qualities which we demand of the good citizen. No matter what may be the particular department of human life which falls to be considered in these Courts, sooner or later we have to face the question: Was this or was it not the conduct of a reasonable man?

Though any given example of his behaviour must command our admiration, when taken in the mass his acts create a very different set of impressions.

He is one who invariably looks where he is going, and is careful to examine the immediate foreground before he executes a leap or bound;

who neither star-gazes nor is lost in meditation when approaching trap-doors or the margin of a dock;
who records in every case upon the counterfoils of cheques such ample details as are desirable, scrupulously substitutes the word 'Order' for the word 'Bearer', crosses the instrument 'a/c Payee only', and registers the package in which it is despatched;
who never mounts a moving omnibus, and does not alight from any car while the train is in motion;
who investigates exhaustively the bona fides of every mendicant [beggar] before distributing alms, and will inform himself of the history and habits of a dog before administering a caress;
who believes no gossip, nor repeats it, without firm basis for believing it to be true;
who never drives his ball till those in front of him have definitely vacated the putting-green which is his own objective;
who never from one year's end to another makes an excessive demand upon his wife, his neighbours, his servants, his ox, or his ass;
who in the way of business looks only for that narrow margin of profit which twelve men such as himself would reckon to be 'fair', contemplates his fellow-merchants, their agents, and their goods, with that degree of suspicion and distrust which the law deems admirable;
who never swears, gambles, or loses his temper;
who uses nothing except in moderation, and even while he flogs his child is meditating only on the golden mean.

Devoid, in short, of any human weakness, with not one single saving vice, sans prejudice, procrastination, ill-nature, avarice, and absence of mind, as careful for his own safety as he is for that of others, this excellent but odious character stands like a monument in our Courts of Justice, vainly appealing to his fellow-citizens to order their lives after his own example.

If you enjoyed reading about "Phoenix Man Wounds Suspected Car Thief" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!