Would you shoot a fleeing intruder in the back?


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Bear2000
January 11, 2009, 07:00 AM
Just curious - do you think that a home or business owner is justified in shooting any intruder for any reason so long as they are in their home or on their property?

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calaverasslim
January 11, 2009, 07:16 AM
As far as I know, that is one of the quickest ways to X the law. The Castle Doctrine states fear of life or to protect ones property. A fleeing criminal is just that, leaving, and you have no justification to shoot.

KC0QGL
January 11, 2009, 07:21 AM
for any reason

That is BIG gray area.

Yes, if they were armed.

As long as they shot first or at least aimed the gun at me.

Nautilus
January 11, 2009, 07:52 AM
Inside my house... Yes. If your in my house, your dead. I'll deal with the law later. If he's in my garage, or on my lawn/property... No.

The way I see it, he could be retreating for cover, I don't know if he's armed or what his intentions are but I do know that if he's in my house... I'm shooting.

If he's in my garage or on my property and running away from me I wouldn't shoot.

I'm a business owner and have caught people trying to steal from my shop. I would only shoot if I really had a fear for my life. I don't take my place of business as personal as my house.

moooose102
January 11, 2009, 07:54 AM
no way. the key word here is FLEEING! talk about a good way to go to jail!

Lone_Gunman
January 11, 2009, 07:55 AM
I voted no but I think you could defend shooting him in the back if he was still in your house at the time. If an armed intruder is in your house, and he starts running, you don't really know if he is running away, or running to take cover, or find a better position, or running up the stairs to where your kids are to take a hostage. If he is in the house, I would be in fear of my life, even if he started running.

Deanimator
January 11, 2009, 08:23 AM
There's only one (non-fatal) way out of my apartment. If you're armed and running in any OTHER direction, you're going to stop a bullet. Even then, I don't know for sure that you're not running for cover, which is right next to the door. I'm not letting you get between me and my only way out. If shooting you in the head with my Model 29 is the most efficacious way of preventing that, then, as the youngsters say, "I'm down with that". You weren't invited in the first place.

An armed man, in my home, blocking my only way out... that's the very definition of "reasonable fear of life and limb".

DRYHUMOR
January 11, 2009, 08:29 AM
There are different flavors of Grand Juries across the country, some would indict, some wouldn't. Prob best not to shoot someone in the back, or even try to wing em (lawsuit). Shooting into the ground may be effective in getting them to stop though.

mgkdrgn
January 11, 2009, 08:37 AM
The Castle Doctrine states fear of life or to protect ones property.

Depends on your "Castle Doctrine". The one here in SC (and in several other enlightened states), state that the fact an intruder forcibly entered your home while you were there is sufficient cause to be in fear of your life or grievous bodily harm. No other justification is needed to use deadly force to repel said intruder. It makes no mention of which way they need to be facing when you repel them.

Also, in most states (including SC) you may NOT use deadly force to protect property.

mgkdrgn
January 11, 2009, 08:38 AM
no way. the key word here is FLEEING! talk about a good way to go to jail!

One mans "fleeing" is another mans "maneuvering for position".

gotime242
January 11, 2009, 09:47 AM
I voted no.

BUT! What if he had first opened fire and you are returning fire. Maybe hes just running for cover?

What if he shot a family member and is running at the sight of your gun? Maybe you could shoot and argue that he might come back...

Double Naught Spy
January 11, 2009, 09:58 AM
BUT! What if he had first opened fire and you are returning fire. Maybe hes just running for cover?

It happens.

Cannonball888
January 11, 2009, 10:07 AM
Only if they are still shooting the gun at me from behind their head or under their armpit while fleeing. At least that's my story.

greenr18
January 11, 2009, 10:08 AM
I'm pretty sure the legal system would frown upon shooting a fleeing intruder in the back

Kleanbore
January 11, 2009, 10:09 AM
Just curious - do you think that a home or business owner is justified in shooting any intruder for any reason so long as they are in their home or on their property?

According to the U. S. Supreme Court, it is permissible to use deadly force to stop a fleeing person only under several conditions, all in place at one time . One of them is that you must have to do so to protect yourself. Do not read into that that you may use deadly force to prevent what he might be trying to do or might do after escaping.

Do not read your castle doctrine law and assume that, according to your lay interpretation of that law, taken out of the context of other laws, legal precedent, and the Constitution, you are permitted to do do anything along such lines. Consult an attorney with knowledge of self defense cases in your jurisdiction.

Kleanbore
January 11, 2009, 10:14 AM
If your in my house, your dead. I'll deal with the law later.

You've got it backwards. The law [enforcement apparatus] will deal with you later. Your fate will be out of your hands if you are arrested.

Glockman17366
January 11, 2009, 10:15 AM
In Pennsylvania, shooting an intruder as he was fleeing would get you arrested.

Prepster
January 11, 2009, 10:28 AM
Regardless of the law, shooting a man in the back puts you on the same level as the scum who broke into your house or place of business. If the guy is fleeing, he's not a threat anymore. My home defense plan is to stop the threat; which doesn't always involve killing.

Shooter88
January 11, 2009, 10:49 AM
I wouldn't do it because the law requires otherwise, but I do believe that bit of the law should be overruled. You have no way of knowing a fleeing intruder isn't going to turn and shoot back, or shoot backwards over his shoulder; and besides all that, I can't support any situation where a law-abiding citizen can be prosecuted for hurting or killing a violent offender. I believe that the state of mind required to prey on innocents makes violent criminals deserving of any harm that comes to them in the act of committing a crime.

Guns and more
January 11, 2009, 10:52 AM
No, for my own protection from the DA.

bumm
January 11, 2009, 11:11 AM
Very unlikely I'd shoot a fleeing intruder. However, it would also depend on whether I figured my family was in serious danger of a return visit. Is he just a thief, or is he intent on harming a member of my family?
Marty

TexasRifleman
January 11, 2009, 11:15 AM
According to the U. S. Supreme Court, it is permissible to use deadly force to stop a fleeing person only under several conditions, all in place at one time .

Normally the US Supreme Court does not hear murder cases based on state law.

What exactly are you referring to here?

What may be legal in Texas may get you sent to prison in Illinois.

Bubba613
January 11, 2009, 11:33 AM
Fleeing with his back to you makes it hard to say you were in fear of your life. Castle Doctrine only gives you the presumption. But a prosecutor can strip that away.
If I thought I could get away with it I would. But since I think it's pretty certain I wouldn't get away with it I won't.

1911shooter
January 11, 2009, 11:39 AM
No. Like it was stated before shooting a FLEEING person is a sure way to get yourself a date with the D.A. here in Pennsylvania. and a pretty good chance youll get a new adress as well. usually state or federal po box.

Captain Bligh
January 11, 2009, 11:42 AM
My reason for carrying is to protect my life and those of my loved ones. Period. If an intruder is fleeing, my purpose has been accomplished. In fact if I encountered an entruder in my home and the situation allowed, I'd give him a chance to leave the same way he came in, rather than starting to shoot.

I'd add that I am not a duputized or part of a sherriff's posse. Just because I have a permit, don't expect me to come to YOUR rescue if you aren't part of my family or a guest in my home. If you can't rely upon an LEO to arrive in time to save your bacon, better have your own permit. I am not running for Caped Crusader, Superhero, or Mall Ninja. I merely want to survive.

subknave
January 11, 2009, 11:57 AM
When I was in the Navy the only reason you could shoot a retreating person was if they had taken something inherently dangerous to others like a machinegun, nerve gas, nuclear weapons etc.

That being said I would probably only shoot someone who has shot at me or is pointing a gun at me or someone else. The only time I could think of that I would shoot or pursue someone leaving would be if they had a member of my family with them. If I could be reasonably sure of not fatally injuring my family member you bet I would shoot. Thats one reason I practice. Otherwise if they appear to be leaving I would not shoot. But if they turn around!!

Double Naught Spy
January 11, 2009, 12:04 PM
I'm pretty sure the legal system would frown upon shooting a fleeing intruder in the back

There is no law that stipulates where a person must be shot. So long as the conditions for lethal force are met, lethal force may be used.

According to the U. S. Supreme Court, it is permissible to use deadly force to stop a fleeing person only under several conditions, all in place at one time . One of them is that you must have to do so to protect yourself. Do not read into that that you may use deadly force to prevent what he might be trying to do or might do after escaping.

And EXACTLY what supreme court decision would that be? I call BS.

EHL
January 11, 2009, 12:08 PM
I'd only shoot if the guy refused to stop and he was in my home. I don't know what the heck he is doing by "fleeing" whether it's diving for a cover position so he can shoot at me or whether so it's he can make off with some valuable family heirlooms or so that he can return again later with some help after he's already mapped out my house, I don't care. If he's in my house, it's a threat on my life and that of my families'.

As far as worrying about what the law is going to do..... I make sure that I live in a state with some common sense about what's right and what's wrong. Somebody breaking into my house for God know's what is in the wrong, PERIOD! If he doesn't want to get shot, then he can stay the hell out of other people's homes!!!!:cuss: So you won't catch me living in states that protect home burglars and prosecute innocent home owners for merely defending themselves and their families from being intruded on by some worthless scumbag. If I lived in such liberal states like Komifornia or Illinois, I'd move somewhere where the laws aren't so backwards.

cpttango30
January 11, 2009, 12:12 PM
There is no way to justify shooting someone in the back. If his back is turned and he is running away he is NO LONGER a threat to you.

highcap
January 11, 2009, 12:14 PM
If he is truly leaving my property, he is no longer a threat. So No shooting.

BUT if he's headed towards my daughter bedroom KA BOOM

Situational awareness is paramont

Duke of Doubt
January 11, 2009, 12:14 PM
The question is loaded, if you'll pardon the pun.

Of course I wouldn't shoot a "fleeing" intruder "in the back."

However, it is possible that, while resorting to self help in order to recover my property, I might overtake the thief or prevent him from leaving my dwelling and attempt to cause him to fumble the property so that I might recover it. At that point, the thief/intruder might be facing me and grappling with me, perhaps grabbing for my gun. Shooting him at that point would be an entirely different proposition.

Somewhat in the middle would be the situation faced in real life by some New York jewelers many years ago, and protrayed in a fictionalized episode of "Law and Order" (Paul Sorvino forced script changes to eliminate some anti-gun statements!). Allegedly, the jewelers "trapped" a robber in a vestibule by remote control so that he could not flee. When the robber panicked and "appeared" to draw a weapon, one of the jewelers gunned the robber down. THAT would be a tougher case to justify, but would make for some good arguments.

mcdonl
January 11, 2009, 12:17 PM
greenr18... I agree with you, except the papers would read:

"Fleeing victim shot in the back...."

Leroy

Art Eatman
January 11, 2009, 12:22 PM
Speaking ONLY to Texas law: If the proverbial reasonable and prudent person has cause to believe that the fleeing miscreant will be an ongoing danger to the community, shooting in the back is legal. Like Stan Freberg said, "It's in the book."

A hypothet would be an armed person who wrongfully entered a business or residence and offered violence and then fled.

One's own moral views would then determine if a shot were taken at the Bad Guy.

M2 Carbine
January 11, 2009, 12:33 PM
Depending on a few things, mostly the law, Yes I would shoot a criminal no matter which way he was facing.

I care not in the least about a criminal's life, but I would keep the shooting legal.

In TX you can even use deadly force to recover property.

Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:.......................

(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and.....................

SwampWolf
January 11, 2009, 12:35 PM
For me, it's a moral question: if the fleeing intruder poses no immediate threat (and I concede I don't know how I could ever ascertain this) to me or others, then no. I don't ever want to have to shoot any human being, certainly not a person in the back while he's running away from me.

This may sound like a contradiction to some, but I believe it should be legal to shoot a felon any place in his anatomy if he's fleeing from your home. Whether it's morally right to do so should be a question only between a person and God.

waterhouse
January 11, 2009, 12:37 PM
There is no way to justify shooting someone in the back. If his back is turned and he is running away he is NO LONGER a threat to you.

So if someone is running away from you and shooting blindly at you as they flee that would not justify returning fire? What if he is armed and is running to the car in your driveway to seek cover and start shooting at you?

As with most shoot/don't shoot scenarios, a lot depends on the specifics of the situation and there is a lot of gray area.

withdrawn34
January 11, 2009, 12:41 PM
This question is too vague, IMO. You can't always predict how a gunfight is going to be; and no one stays in one place facing you forever. People are going to run, move, and possibly run to other cover. You have to use your judgment.

If they're running to get away, no, I would not shoot. But if they're just turning, or maybe running to find cover, then I might have to shoot. Not sure. There's no hard and fast rules in this sort of thing.

But some guy just stole my TV, and he saw me and now he's running out of my door, and I'm sure he's running away? No, I wouldn't shoot. Once he gets past my door, definitely not shooting.

twoclones
January 11, 2009, 12:50 PM
do you think that a home or business owner is justified in shooting any intruder for any reason so long as they are in their home or on their property?

Any reason at all? No, but...
When an intruder discovers that I am also in the house, if he doesn't flee immediately, he's there to harm me. Assuming otherwise would put me and my family at grave risk. Only if he were dragging away a family member would I shoot him while he fled.

Would I shoot an intruder elsewhere on the property? No. Not unless there was obvious justification like having a weapon pointed at me or mine.

okespe04
January 11, 2009, 12:51 PM
Yes if they were armed. Just because somebody turns their back does not mean they are fleeing. They could be going to find a better vantage point to stage their next attack or even looking for a hostage. If they were undoubtedly feeling out the door and off my property I would not fire on them.

qwik
January 11, 2009, 12:54 PM
Depends on what he's toting, what he just did, and how pissed off it made me.:scrutiny:

Duke of Doubt
January 11, 2009, 01:08 PM
Some of you guys are just a little too bloodthirsty to take home to momma.

Suppose some drunk wanders into your garage, sees a pile of boxes full of what look like deposit cans and bottles, picks up your priceless unopened can of Billy Beer and opens it to drink the contents. You appear in the doorway, he panics, takes the can of Billy Beer and runs from the garage. He nearly gets to the end of the driveway, but you put thirty rounds of 7.62x39 into his back.

Congratulations, Tex: you have stopped a fleeing felon on your property.

Are you telling me this is your idea of proper behavior?

Hawaiian
January 11, 2009, 01:10 PM
No, I would not shoot a fleeing intruder in the back. I would keep my sights on him to make sure he continued to retreat though. If he is running away, then he is not an immediate threat to me or my family. I have no desire to kill anyone unless it is absolutely necessary to protect my family. It could be some stupid unarmed teenager.

Treo
January 11, 2009, 01:16 PM
Would you all mind if I didn't take this opportunity to incriminate myself by publicly stating an intent to shoot someone in the back while they're running away from me ?

Thanks I knew you'd understand

Kleanbore
January 11, 2009, 01:22 PM
There is no law that stipulates where a person must be shot. So long as the conditions for lethal force are met, lethal force may be used.

Absolutely true. Problem is, entry wounds in the back could raise questions about whether said conditions did in fact exist at the time of the shooting.

And EXACTLY what supreme court decision would that be? I call BS.

Garner v. Tennessee.

This concerned a Fourth Amendment issue in which the court overturned a Tennessee state law that permitted the shooting of fleeing felons. The ruling placed limitations on when officers may shoot at fleeing felons under civil law.

In point of fact, it applies only to police officers---all police officers--in that the Fourth Amendment (taken together with the Fourteenth) restricts only the actions of governments.

However, in most, but not all, places in which cases have been tested, the principle has held in civilian shootings. Unlike law enforcement officers, when civilians use force, they do so "at their own peril" without the protections afforded the officers.

It is important to not try to deduce what is permissible by interpreting, as a lay person, a single law out of context and without knowledge of what the courts have done. Where I live, the castle doctrine portion of the law states that deadly force is not permitted unless the person against whom it is used attempts to enter or has entered an occupied dwelling or automobile without permission or remains after entering without permission. The actual words are "enters unlawfully", and "unlawful entry" is defined as "entry without license".

Might one read that to say that shooting a person who is fleeing is justifiable? I would think so, but it wouldn't pass that sniff test. I discussed the matter with an attorney yesterday, and he said that while the law as written appears to say "yes." it must be interpreted only in the context of all other laws and case law. His view was that shots in the back would create a real problem for the shooter.

Having talked to one of the framers, I do know that the Missouri law was enacted (as the result of some bad case law) to protect residents from unjust prosecution (1) by establishing, like most castle laws, that the fact of unlawful entry is evidence of imminent danger of death or bodily harm ("when an intruder discovers that I am also in the house, if he doesn't flee immediately, he's there to harm me"), and (2) like many castle laws, to remove any duty to retreat. That individual also told me that when the intruder chooses to leave I may not shoot.

None of that is written into the law in those words. So--should I, as a lay person, try to interpret the law myself, or should I rely on competent advice? I'll opt for the latter.

Kleanbore
January 11, 2009, 01:25 PM
Would you all mind if I didn't take this opportunity to incriminate myself by publicly stating an intent to shoot someone in the back while they're running away from me ?

That's great, Treo!

mgkdrgn
January 11, 2009, 01:31 PM
There is no way to justify shooting someone in the back. If his back is turned and he is running away he is NO LONGER a threat to you.

Until he is done reloading, turns around and pops you one 'tween the eyes.

mgkdrgn
January 11, 2009, 01:34 PM
His view was that shots in the back would create a real problem for the shooter.

I doubt that the BG invading your home will have any such problems shooting you in the back given the chance.

"Fleeing felons" and "home invaders" are two entirely different beasts. If you decide you are going to "fight fair" with home invaders you, and your family, are going to loose.

Until such time the BG is:

1) incapacitated
2) has surrendered
3) out of my house

he is still a threat and will be treated as such. Just because I catch him with his back turned means I either got lucky, or employed better tactics than he did. I also don't know if he's alone (likely he's not ... predators normally travel in packs), so I'm going to neutralize him when I have the chance.

If you choose to stand there and mull the legal ramifications and various supreme court cases (while he is reloading) go right ahead. I'm going to go BANG!

gbran
January 11, 2009, 02:19 PM
Probably doesn't apply to this thread, but I remember a few years ago where a bad guy had shot someone and was being chased by a couple cops. They wouldn't shoot him in the back and after they caught up to him just after turning s corner, the perp did shoot both of them.

akodo
January 11, 2009, 02:35 PM
JUST If they were armed, no.

If they fired at me, I fired back, and they retreated, I'd be unable to tell if they were 'fleeing' or 'retreating to find hard cover and continue fighting'

Basically if they fire once, I'd say you are okay to fire back until they CLEARLY surrender or are incapacitated, or successfully remove themselves from the area. (you'd not be able to get in your truck and chase them down to continue the gunfight)

Maelstrom
January 11, 2009, 02:51 PM
If it was legal I'd shoot any intruder. I don't care if he's advancing, retreating, or dancing to the Village People's YMCA.

My home is my sanctuary. My home is where I go to get away from the ravages of the outside world.

To bring those ravages INTO my sanctuary is reason enough to be killed as far as I'm concerned.

The lawmakers and judges who disagree most likely only do so because they haven't been violated.

However, I have grown accustomed to not being raped in the shower so I'll continue to follow the law.

mljdeckard
January 11, 2009, 02:52 PM
Normally no, unless I had reason to believe that immediately after leaving me he would go to another place and commit another violent crime against someone else, and that knowledge is rather difficult to imagine.

Paladin_Hammer
January 11, 2009, 03:06 PM
I wouldn't want to shoot someone period. If they were running away, I wouldn't shoot them even in the instance he/they were shooting while running.

Cyborg
January 11, 2009, 03:07 PM
Unless a Peace Officer would be justified in shooting him I would not. The cops are bound by what I was taught as the "fleeing felon rule". You P.O.s out there correct me if I am wrong but if someone is running away you can only use deadly force if they present a danger to others. In Tennessee v. Garner SCOTUS ruled that deadly force may not be used unless the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others. Unless I am prepared to defend myself in a criminal court, if he is running away I am not going to shoot him (or her - we had a home invasion here in Alamo Town last week where a female knocked on someone's door and asked to use the phone, when the homeowner unlocked the door the female's two acomplices burst in, shot her husband and sexually assaulted the homeowner while her 4 year old watched from the top of the stairs). Of course, I really don't know what I'll do if this really happens. I'll tell you folks what I did if it does.

Cy

theotherwaldo
January 11, 2009, 03:16 PM
As an intellectual exercise, I would say that I could only justify shooting someone in the back if:

1) They had just done something truly heinous, and/or;
2) They had just promised or threatened to do something truly heinous, and/or;
3) They were running toward cover, weapons, or hostages while otherwise breaking the law.

Questions?

meef
January 11, 2009, 03:18 PM
I would shoot a fleeing intruder in the back if he/she had broken into my house and posted a poll on the Internet from my computer with a question or subject such as:


What caliber handgun for bears?



What do you put in your BOB?



What rifle for SHTF?



45ACP or 9MM?



What handgun for my wife or girlfriend?



Would you shoot a fleeing intruder in the back?



Would you be so astonishingly brain dead as to make potentially self-incriminating statements on a public bulletin board?

The above list is intended as examples only and by no means all-inclusive. No doubt you can think of others.

I have no doubt whatsoever that any jury of rational, reasonable, thinking human beings would find my shooting absolutely justified and righteous.

:cool:

Friendly, Don't Fire!
January 11, 2009, 03:36 PM
"do you think that a home or business owner is justified in shooting any intruder for any reason so long as they are in their home or on their property"
No, I would not shoot any person for ANY reason.

I would specifically have to feel that there is physical danger to my life and/or the life (lives) of others around me.

NELSONs02
January 11, 2009, 04:00 PM
Probably not because i don't keep any of my WMDs ready for use. We don't have much crime in our area and i figure i can cause much more pain and suffering with a golf club.

shooter429
January 11, 2009, 04:04 PM
We are talking about Call of Duty or something, right ;)

It depends on who you are and under what authority...
It also depends on the totality of circumstances. If a guy came into my house grabbed say some jewelry and upon seeing me rant out the door, and did not stop or make any furtive movement, I would not.

If, however, it was an armed intruder who was carrying an UZI and running toward a door, I would drop him without hesitation. Why? Because I assume he is just running for cover or concealment, he has the ability to kill me, has demonstrated intent etc.

Now lets say that I see a guy taking a bike off the back portch. He is pedaling away, has not confronted me, and I see a gun in his waistband-I would not unless he turned toward me etc.

Now as a public servant, ya also need to consider "is this subject an immediate danger to the lives of others in the community and if I don't stop him is he likely to kill somebody in the next whatever 30 seconds." He is an armed felon who I stopped wherupon he opened fire at me breaking out the lights in my car and then fleeing toward a nearby school. In that case, yes, because he presents a clear, imminent threat to the safety of others I am sworn to protect and has proven he is willing to kill.

astark
January 11, 2009, 04:07 PM
I would not shoot the Fleeing intruder.

sturmgewehr667
January 11, 2009, 04:52 PM
not unless i am sure he is retreating for cover to shoot at me from. i would follow him out of the house to make sure he isn't coming back and call the cops. i dont want to give the media any basis for an anti gun story and i especially dont want to have to shoot someone or deal with a grey area in the law.

Wyo_F-A
January 11, 2009, 05:12 PM
My property (land and posessions) is just that; MINE. It does not belong to the US Gov't, so it does not belong to any taxpayer other than myself (assuming the intruder pays taxes).
It is a matter of risk and reward. If they feel like their personal safety is worth violating my property, then that is what they will pay.
I do not know what the exact laws are in Wyoming, but anyone who takes my stuff or trespasses on my land and refuses to see the cops will be forced to wait for them.
Any intruder poses a threat if not dealt with.
Criminals are like animals, if they find a soft target they will continue to exploit it. If they find a hard target, they will continue to look until they find a soft target.
Don't shoot to kill unless immediately threatened, BUT, make sure that person can not go on to threaten someone else. Do yourself and your neighbors a favor.

just my .02.

Coronach
January 11, 2009, 05:38 PM
It is all situational. If the scenario was he sees me, he immediately turns and runs, he heads straight for the door and never looks back, and I have no evidence of him being armed, the answer is a strong "NO!" If I have any reason to think he is armed and I can articulate a present threat to my life or the life of another, he is probably going to get lit up. There's a whole lot of "vague" in there, and that's just the way it is. Each situation is different.There is no way to justify shooting someone in the back. If his back is turned and he is running away he is NO LONGER a threat to you.The problem is with the choice of wording. "Fleeing" implies a motive or intent on the part of the intruder; in this case, he's trying to get away. You don't know exactly what his intentions are, all you can know is what you see. Now, you can infer intent from action, but the inference cannot be 100% accurate. As was said, was he fleeing, or attempting to maneuver on you? Was he turning his back to gain distance and time to draw a gun?

The better question would be "would you shoot an intruder in the back as he ran in the opposite direction from you?" The answer is still a resounding "maybe", but at least the question has been stripped down to a matter of position and action, not position, action and intent.

In other words, yes you darned well can justify shooting someone who is running away in the back, legally, morally and tactically.

Mike

7.62X25mm
January 11, 2009, 06:00 PM
Shooting an intruder performs the convenient function of "tagging" the perp for the police so they can be arrested later. Most criminals who get shot end up in the ER or the morgue. Either way, the police get notified.

Next question.

expvideo
January 11, 2009, 06:24 PM
The last thing I want to do is shoot someone. If I don't feel that they are a threat to me or my family, then I'm not going to shoot them. But like it's been said in this thread, there is a huge grey area. I'll shoot someone in the back on the way to my kid's room (if I had a kid). But if he's running away from my house, that would be murder. At least the way I see it.

Duke of Doubt
January 11, 2009, 07:04 PM
7.62x25:

Gunshot wounds and their treatment at hospitals or elsewhere are a legal thicket.

Docs have to report them, so perps limp downtown to "Quasidocs."

In areas with significant numbers of GSWs, there are always a few former doctors or other practitioners who lost their licenses for one reason or another and will treat a GSW for a cash fee (or dope). Others still are licensed but in debt to gangsters for gambling or drugs.

Surreptitious GSW treatment itself is chargeable as a crime --- for anything from hindering apprehension to conspiracy to accomplice liability for the underlying crime -- remember Doctor Mudd and John Wilkes Booth's leg?

The situation can create dramatic little scenes for television shows -- the young idealistic doctor who wants to treat the man bleeding to death in front of him in an alleyway, but who worries -- rightly-- about legal liability.

When the perp is delivered on a stretcher to the ER with a GSW, the detectives call it "Meat on the Table."

Bear2000
January 11, 2009, 07:49 PM
I posted this question because of the support some on this board showed for the British farmer who was jailed after shooting two intruders in his home. They were both fleeing the scene, and he shot them both, killing the sixteen year-old with a shot to the back. See:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=419066

The video did not mention this crucial fact, but instead portrayed a probably angry farmer looking for revenge as a victim. The fact is the case is much more complicated than the reporting makes it out to be.

I would NEVER shoot a fleeing intruder, even if they were armed. I'm glad most of THR members agree.

Rodentman
January 11, 2009, 08:39 PM
One must consider what lies beyond the fleeing BG. I'd hate to miss and send rounds into the kitchen of the house across the street.

MP3Mogul
January 11, 2009, 08:54 PM
A fleeing intruder is no threat to myself or my family.. No

politicaldookie
January 11, 2009, 08:55 PM
Yes. My home is my castle.

Carl N. Brown
January 11, 2009, 08:56 PM
I would not shoot a fleeing, unarmed intruder in the back.

If an intruder can flee without being an imminent threat of death or greivous bodily harm to me or an innocent third party, good riddance. An armed intruder fleeing to cover to possibly open fire on me would be a whole 'nother situation.

WardenWolf
January 11, 2009, 09:07 PM
I would never shoot a fleeing intruder unless, instead of fleeing the house, they instead fled to a room where they could endanger others or have access to loaded or loadable weapons. Thus I would be doing it to protect myself or my family. I would have reason to believe they posed an immediate threat to life and safety, and thus it would be legal under the laws of most states.

Kleanbore
January 11, 2009, 09:09 PM
I'd only shoot if the guy refused to stop and he was in my home.

Refused to stop? EHL, check the law in Idaho. Consult a lawyer. In most places, one is permitted to use deadly force if the intruder refuses to leave. In most places, using deadly force to restrain a trespasser is unlawful. I'll wager that you'll find that to be the case in Idaho.

pith43
January 11, 2009, 09:10 PM
Personally, I try to keep it real simple, if there's a threat, I'm shooting till the threat stops. If there's no threat, I'm not shooting.

Kleanbore
January 11, 2009, 09:16 PM
Personally, I try to keep it real simple, if there's a threat, I'm shooting till the threat stops. If there's no threat, I'm not shooting.

Can anyone put it more simply than that?

Ohio Gun Guy
January 11, 2009, 09:17 PM
I voted no,

I know I couldnít do it unless I (Or my family) was threatened. Running away clearly isnít threatening. Like other replies, if it is in my house; I'm not taking a survey on what is going on.

One of the worst scenarios I can think of would be holding an intruder at gun point, especially if they were on drugs, drunk, or desperate (Or all three). Likely they would not cooperate or would push you as much as possible. You would have to be willing to actually shoot them if you thought they could get your gun! That is the scenario that I really wouldn't want to deal with. You can see this on the show "Cops". Often the drugged up people take 2-3 police officers a taser and a can of mace to subdue them and they donít care about pain or anything else (at the time). :scrutiny:

Owen Sparks
January 11, 2009, 09:25 PM
I suppose if he were fleeing WITH my property.

WardenWolf
January 11, 2009, 09:39 PM
One of the worst scenarios I can think of would be holding an intruder at gun point, especially if they were on drugs, drunk, or desperate (Or all three). Likely they would not cooperate or would push you as much as possible. You would have to be willing to actually shoot them if you thought they could get your gun! That is the scenario that I really wouldn't want to deal with. You can see this on the show "Cops". Often the drugged up people take 2-3 police officers a taser and a can of mace to subdue them and they donít care about pain or anything else (at the time).

I already have a scenario in mind for how I would deal with such a situation:

"Hands on your head!"

"Get down on your knees!"

"Face down on the floor!"

If they make ANY threatening moves or come towards me, they get shot. That's how you do it. If you can get them in that position, you can safely hold them until the police get there. If you cannot get them in that position, they remain a threat.

EHL
January 11, 2009, 09:51 PM
Refused to stop? EHL, check the law in Idaho. Consult a lawyer. In most places, one is permitted to use deadly force if the intruder refuses to leave. In most places, using deadly force to restrain a trespasser is unlawful. I'll wager that you'll find that to be the case in Idaho.


Kleanbore, I live in Idaho, not in the former USSR or Cuba. Last I checked, if I shot some meth head for being in my house I would still be judged by a jury of my peers. Here in Idaho, people don't like meth heads that break into homes. Maybe in your state people sympathize with the rapist/murderers that break into people's homes, but I do my best to avoid states like that. Furthermore, do you have any idea how often perps are shot in the back even though the shooter shot when the perps front was the target? It takes a split second for somebody to pivot their body and expose their back for gun fire, whether it was intentional or not. Should we not shoot because we might hit their back?? Therefore, if it only takes a split second for somebody to turn their torso, they can turn around in a split second and take aim at me. I'm not going to chance that. They have one and only chance, they stop, lay down and don't move. That way I KNOW they are no longer a threat to me or my family or any other of my neighbors. Today's cat burglars are tommorows rapists. Sorry Kleanbore, I'm not going to chance my family's safety because I'm worried about a possible juror that might sypathize with some meth addict that was rummaging through my house.

Coronach
January 11, 2009, 09:53 PM
The fact is the case is much more complicated than the reporting makes it out to be.The fact is that most cases are more complex than the reporting makes them out to be, be the trigger puller a good guy, bad guy, cop or homeowner. This business of trying to decide who is right via news report is just a waste of time.

Mike

Lucky
January 11, 2009, 09:54 PM
If a threat is shooting at you, then turns and runs, they have not stopped being a threat. As long as they have the intent to do you harm and a gun in their hand they're a big <> threat. Assuming you've already established they have intent to harm you, by them saying so or shooting at you, the only way you can reasonably assume that intent has left them is if they no longer retain the firearm. They could be moving to cover to reload, or moving to go around behind you, or moving to meet up with more to come right back at you. It doesn't matter because they can still shoot you while they're moving, yes even if they're moving away. The whole <> point of guns is to send a bullet over distance so you don't have to go there with a knife.

The <> summary is that as long as they have a gun in their hand they can and will still ****ing shoot at you. If <people> confuse A) distance and B) the presence of a firearm, and which one is relevant to constitute a threat, then by definition <they're foolish in their thought>.

blkbrd666
January 11, 2009, 10:46 PM
In my house, always...will not live with the possibility they can come back at any time.

Kleanbore
January 11, 2009, 11:00 PM
From EHL: Kleanbore, I live in Idaho, not in the former USSR or Cuba. Last I checked, if I shot some meth head for being in my house I would still be judged by a jury of my peers.

And in accordance with the judge's instructions on what they must decide under the law...

Here in Idaho, people don't like meth heads that break into homes. Maybe in your state people sympathize with the rapist/murderers that break into people's homes, but I do my best to avoid states like that.

No one likes them.

Furthermore, do you have any idea how often perps are shot in the back even though the shooter shot when the perps front was the target? It takes a split second for somebody to pivot their body and expose their back for gun fire, whether it was intentional or not. Should we not shoot because we might hit their back?? Therefore, if it only takes a split second for somebody to turn their torso, they can turn around in a split second and take aim at me. I'm not going to chance that.

Excellent point. That (having a proper shot enter the intruder in the back) is a risk that one may have to take. It's simply a matter of testimony and forensic evidence.

They have one and only chance, they stop, lay down and don't move. That way I KNOW they are no longer a threat to me or my family...

What will you do if they do not stop? Shoot them? At that point your fate is out of your hands. In most places, that's murder. Don't presume that that's not the case in Idaho without qualified legal advice.

...or any other of my neighbors. Today's cat burglars are tommorows rapists.

Do you believe that law enforcement officers are permitted to shoot someone because he may later pose a threat to someone? Do you believe that you have that right? Think again.

Sorry Kleanbore, I'm not going to chance my family's safety because I'm worried about a possible juror that might sypathize with some meth addict that was rummaging through my house.

You are certainly justified in protecting your family against an immediate threat, and in using deadly force if it is necessary.

Here's the Idaho castle law:

Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in either of the following cases: ... When committed in defense of habitation, property or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein...

What that means will be determined by judge and jury, and if necessary in appellate courts. But to me, the operative words are "in defense of" and "against one who endeavors," and not "against someone who has" or "against someone who may in the future"...

Something that has been impressed upon me is that the possession of a gun does not endow a citizen with police powers. Also, the police are themselves limited in terms of when they may or may not use deadly force.

I personally think that a visit with a qualified criminal trial attorney would represent an excellent investment for anyone, whether he own or carries a firearm or not. Do not ask me which posts have led me to that conclusion.

RioShooter
January 11, 2009, 11:21 PM
Fleeing BG's have been known to return to continue the fight. Just something to think about.

4v50 Gary
January 11, 2009, 11:29 PM
Not here in California. Deadly force may not be used to retrieve chattel here in California as the state considers human life more important than chattel (personal property). In Nevada where it's legal, why not? God Bless Nevada!

Lucky
January 12, 2009, 12:05 AM
Rio is right, at the very least people could compromise their adamant statements and admit it would be at least prudent to seek and maintain cover, though an assailant may merely be 'fleeing'. And to vacate the premises ASAFP afterwards.

People on this site complain about outsiders to this esoteric group who get their firearms knowledge from TV. Well it sure seems hypocritical because it appears many get their legal and, for lack of better word, tactical knowledge from TV.

People DO get shot by assailants who are 'fleeing'. There is no debate; it is fact. And the presumption of omnipotence in the very use of the word 'fleeing' as if to know the intents of your erstwhile assailant is <> hubris. Every situation will obviously be sui generis.

...do you think that a home or business owner is justified in shooting any [fleeing] intruder for any reason...

The obvious answer is yes, and then to list the situations, state by state, country by country. It's almost irresponsible for people who DO have information to allow such ignorance as the poll demonstrated to perpetuate.

Kleenbore did well, both in posting an excerpt of law, and also nipping the notion of homeowner making an easy arrest.

hso
January 12, 2009, 12:11 AM
Just curious - do you think that a home or business owner is justified in shooting any intruder for any reason so long as they are in their home or on their property?

Would you shoot a fleeing intruder in the back if on your property?

The first and second questions are not even remotely similar.

There are clearly valid self defense reasons to shoot an intruder in your home and on your property and there are clearly valid reasons not to shoot an intruder.

There are NO valid reasons to shoot a fleeing intruder and doing so can land you in prison.

Coronach
January 12, 2009, 12:12 AM
Everyone needs to chill out about 30*, or this one is going to be closed.

Savvy?

theotherwaldo
January 12, 2009, 12:34 AM
I don't have any property that I would kill someone over - except for the items that are designed to make it easier to kill someone.

If someone were to break into my home and then reach for one of those items - well, all bets are off, regardless of which way that person was facing.

Been there, done that!

Lucky
January 12, 2009, 02:27 AM
Ok shoe on other foot. Assuming intruder possesses firearm, and you have established their intent to do you harm; name the law that prevents you from stopping the threat. Time to put up or shut up.

There are NO valid reasons to shoot a fleeing intruder and doing so can land you in prison.

A threat is a threat is a threat, unless you possess some magical bell upon high which rings and announces that hostilities have now ceased. PEOPLE GET SHOT BY ASSAILANTS MOVING AWAY FROM THEM.

tube_ee
January 12, 2009, 03:00 AM
If it's clear that the bad dude is on his way out of Dodge, then no, you should not shoot. Regardless of what he's got in his hot little hands.

Cover him until he's gone? Yep... you betcha. If he turns towards me, with a gun in hand, he's catchin' a round.

But so long as he's headed for the horizon, he's safe from me.

Remember, castle law or no, if you shoot someone and they die, it's homicide. If you meet every single one of the law's criteria for a self-defense justification, you may walk. If you fail to meet even one of those gates, or if 12 of your fellow citizens (who share the freeways with you every morning, and were too dumb to get out of jury duty) decide that you didn't cross that line, you get to leave your life for a long, long time.

It does not matter what you think is right.

It does not matter what a bunch of folks on the internet say.

It only matters that you are alive and free at the end of the scenario.

If they're running away, and you shoot, the odds against you remaining free just went way, way up.

Do you want to roll those dice?

--Shannon

Coal Dragger
January 12, 2009, 03:16 AM
Unless the intruder is running away with a family member (highly unlikely) there is no way I would shoot them.

I don't think having your home broken into and going to jail is a very good deal.

Doc_Jude
January 12, 2009, 04:04 AM
The OP seems to be positing a few questions and then an incomplete poll.
Me, I'd shoot a fleeing intruder in the back for a few reasons:

- if he's armed and "fleeing" me... towards my kids' room. My lil' blonde babies WILL be protected BEFORE they are injured or killed, not after. The "Law" can't protect them after the fact.

- if he's fleeing... with one of my kids in his arms. He will die at the very first chance that I get. I'm confident that I'll be just fine legally, there is massive amount of legal precedence of lethal force used to prevent kidnapping.

- if he's used lethal force against me, such as firing a weapon at me, prior to his "fleeing" for cover (as mentioned before). I'd rather not allow an extended firefight in my friggin' house, especially with my kids in the vicinity. Someone shoots a gun in my house, the chances of them getting shot before they decide to shoot again goes way up.

Now, if they're fleeing OUT THE DOOR, while not violating any of the above issues, they'll probably get away. Nothing I own is worth shooting someone in the back & risking prison time.

expvideo
January 12, 2009, 04:26 AM
If he's got my property, I can definitely shoot him per WA state law. But I can't shoot him per the bible. At least the way I see it. Too bad. You may see it differently, and that's ok.

In WA state you can use deadly force to stop a person committing a felony in your presence or against you. It doesn't have to be a violent felony. Taking my stuff is committing a felony against me, so per WA state law, I can absolutely shoot you and I can shoot to kill. But like I said, the way I interpret the bible, it would be wrong of me to kill you for stealing my things.

nrthwoods
January 12, 2009, 07:15 AM
There's a lot more to take into account here, the first priority is the safety of me and my loved ones. If the guy was turning around going out my front door, I would not shoot him. If he was comming out of a family members bedroom and running for the door, and they did not immediately respond, might be another story. I could definately see myself losing my cool to see someone running off with something I worked for, but it isn't worth killing someone over. They are just things. Those people take a gamble doing it, and whatever they get is a part of their risk taken. But it is certainly not worth ME sitting in a cell over a mistake they made.

If I felt they were there to do harm to me or mine, would act upon that accordingly. If he was fleeing but not straight towards the door, looking to go to cover, I would act upon that accordingly. If he was some knucklehead kid and decided it wasn't worth his life and took off before he did any damage, I would act upon that accordingly. It all would be a lot to consider in the heat of the moment but it's pretty circumstantial, as long as everyone in the house is safe and unharmed that is what's important, priority #1. Beyon that I, at least, would have to assess the situation best I could at that given time.

Mike2
January 12, 2009, 07:19 AM
Yes if they are armed, they maybe fleeing but it may be to find cover to continue to attack you, to protect my family I would do anything.

Double Naught Spy
January 12, 2009, 07:42 AM
Kleanbore said...

According to the U. S. Supreme Court, it is permissible to use deadly force to stop a fleeing person only under several conditions, all in place at one time .
I said...
And EXACTLY what supreme court decision would that be? I call BS.

Kleanbore said
Garner v. Tennessee.

This concerned a Fourth Amendment issue in which the court overturned a Tennessee state law that permitted the shooting of fleeing felons. The ruling placed limitations on when officers may shoot at fleeing felons under civil law.

Ah! You misrepresented the SCOTUS decision which was applied ONLY to the government and not to individuals. The decision only addressed the issue of the suspect being reasonably believed as unarmed and no mention was made of the suspect fleeing with property.

We have had several "shot in the back" cases in Texas of fleeing suspects who do not meet the Garner v. Tennessee decision in the last 24 years since the decision where where the shootings were effected by non-leo citizens. Given bloodthirsty lawyers, they would have gladly taken up the case.

SCOTUS did not define the ONLY parameters in which such shootings may occur, but simply ruled specifically on the circumstances of the shooting as noted.

To this I would add that SCOTUS did not add any parameters to determine how individuals are to acertain whether or not a felon is carrying a concealed weapon or the distinguish between being in flight versus simply moving to a more advantageous position. SCOTUS certainly did not say the suspect must be armed before being shot whilst in flight.

divemedic
January 12, 2009, 08:40 AM
There was a case here in Florida where a woman shot a fleeing burglar in the back. When it went to court, the woman testified that her children were sleeping on the opposite side of the house, and the burglar was between her and her children's bedrooms. Even though the burglar was not even running towards those bedrooms, the shooting was ruled as justified because Florida law allows one to presume a threat:

776.013 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 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 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.

Sav .250
January 12, 2009, 08:44 AM
If you do I don`t think you have a leg to stand on.

Doc_Jude
January 12, 2009, 09:08 AM
There was a case here in Florida where a woman shot a fleeing burglar in the back. When it went to court, the woman testified that her children were sleeping on the opposite side of the house, and the burglar was between her and her children's bedrooms. Even though the burglar was not even running towards those bedrooms, the shooting was ruled as justified because Florida law allows one to presume a threat:

776.013 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 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 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.

Would anyone know, off hand, the law in ********** concerning the same conditions? Thanks.

Oro
January 12, 2009, 09:35 AM
No, and unless there are some very extenuating circumstances, Hell no.

It's not gentlemanly, and nothing more needs to be said. The exception is unless they have committed a "capital felony" against a member of the house, and then there may be an excuse for that. While it may be legal in some states, that doesn't absolve what is right and decent. And never the two should be mixed in a gentleman's mind. Unless a rape or murder had been committed, the answer is quite clearly, "no."

mgkdrgn
January 12, 2009, 09:46 AM
It's not gentlemanly, and nothing more needs to be said.

I'm sure the thugs that invade your home in the middle of the night will also be observing the "Marquees of Queenesbeery" rules. Perhaps a strongly worded letter to the Times will put them off?

Bonsai Doug
January 12, 2009, 10:28 AM
I believe I would. I'm not so sure I'd be able to determine the intruder's intent
should he turn his back on me, while in such a tense situation.

NY State Penal Law says (in part): A person in possession or control of any premises [...]
may use deadly physical force in order to prevent or terminate the commission or
attempted commission of [...] a burglary or attempted burglary [...].

Oro
January 12, 2009, 10:40 AM
I'm sure the thugs that invade your home in the middle of the night will also be observing the "Marquees of Queenesbeery" rules. Perhaps a strongly worded letter to the Times will put them off?

You may feel like acting like a common thug; I do not. It's my privilege here to asset my views without a snide personal attack like that. I have higher standards than thuggery and I am sorry if they offend you. If they do, there's no reason to be snide and sniping in your response; it's not very "high road." Remember, these aren't thugs that are threatening your life per the OP, only ones running away.

Also, you should learn how to spell "Marquis," it would strengthen your argument if you could do so correctly. If you were stabbing after the Scottish, that's "Marquess." The "Queensberry" bit leaves a lot to be desired in the spelling category, too. And unlike you, this is not a sniping attack, merely a friendly attempt to elevate your spelling and logic. The rules of boxing don't quite apply to shooting someone in the back.

cottonmouth
January 12, 2009, 10:55 AM
Yes, because he was holding what looked like a weapon and pointing it in my direction. Right? RIGHT..................

J.B.

22lr
January 12, 2009, 10:57 AM
I just read a quote that I found both accurate, and funny.

"if you see a fleeing felon, wish him well on his journey"

Kleanbore
January 12, 2009, 11:51 AM
Yes, because he was holding what looked like a weapon and pointing it in my direction. Right? RIGHT..................

If that is true indeed, it's a non-decision.

But if it is not, the shooter may have three things working against him:


Forensic evidence
The testimony of the invader, should he survive (I think I've heard that the survival rate in shootings approaches 90%), or that of a surviving accomplice, against that of the shooter
Any statements he may have made on the internet or to others indicating that he would shoot a person who no longer posed a danger, and possibly that he was confident that he would get by with it by misrepresenting the details of what happened


Of course, it will all hinge on the situation. If the perp has indicated that he is leaving and heads for the door, and has his hands where they can be seen, that's one thing. If he heads further into the house or toward family members, or if he is armed or reaches into his clothing, that could be quite another.

In my view, there are several possible outcomes for the resident. From worst to best case:


The resident fails to shoot, or misses, and either the shooter or a loved one is killed by the invader
The resident shoots and hits an innocent person in the house or elsewhere
The resident shoots the intruder and the shooting is judged to have been unjustified
The resident shoots the intruder and the shooting is found to be justified after a lengthy and expensive legal battle
The resident shoots the intruder and is not charged, and gets his gun back before he needs it again
The intruder flees and does not come back, and legal proceedings are limited to a police report


That's not complete, of course. Depending on the state law there could be civil liability, and if the intruder is shot and the shooting is found to be justified there could be a most unpleasant reaction from his family...

One might suggest that another outcome is that the intruder leaves and goes on to commit other crimes, but since the right to keep and bear arms does not give the resident police powers or the authority to act as judge and jury, that's as far beyond the scope of legitimate discussion as the speculation that if the intruder is not killed while fleeing, he might later kill someone in an automobile accident.

I keep a weapon because I may need it. I've encountered home invaders on three occasions (two of them involved violent thugs, and one involved an unarmed man who was high on drugs), and I survived because I was armed. While I was ready to do so, I never had to shoot. I really hope I never do.

divemedic
January 12, 2009, 12:50 PM
Like I am going to try and discern his intent while he is in my house.

If a burglar is in my house while I am home, there are only two possible reasons:

1 he broke into my house, knowing I am home, but not caring because he has plans to deal with me if I catch him.

2 he broke into my house not caring if I was home, because he has plans to deal with me if I catch him.

My first priority is for me and my family to survive. I do not care if the felon does. I am not going to try and apprehend him, as I am not a LEO and it is not my job to arrest people. The law is on my side, and if I do it right, the burglar will never attempt to run, as the first hint that I am watching him and that I am armed will be a gunshot and a burning sensation in his chest.

shotgunjoel
January 12, 2009, 12:55 PM
I wouldn't shoot unless of course they were running away and shooting, then it's no question. Otherwise I'm pretty sure I'd get sued or get a job at the license plate factory.

shotgunjoel
January 12, 2009, 12:56 PM
Oh plus I'm pretty sure it's illegal here in Illinois.

Knotthead
January 12, 2009, 01:01 PM
I believe another level of response is warranted:

Yes, but only if I knew him to have just committed a serious act of violence on someone.

The situation, last year I believe, where a Texas man shot his wife's lover after she yelled "Rape" comes to mind. I need more than the loss of property to think about justifying this.

cottonmouth
January 12, 2009, 01:35 PM
Donít get me wrong, I don't want to shoot anyone and Iím not advising anyone else to, but I'll be damn if stand around waving goodbye while some low life, non working, living off of the government, piece of trash (and I could throw in more) walks away from my house carrying my property that I paid for with the money that I made from the job I worked hard at to get. If he did it to me he is going to do it to you or someone else. Our Governor said on television when the castle law was passed "Now if you shoot someone who is breaking into your house you don't need to then drag him inside, just leave him laving there and call the authorities". As far as posting a comment here on THR I can't see or haven't seen a case where there would be a reason to look that deep but I guess each situation dictates. And from what I understand in MS. the dirt bagís family cannot hold you liable if the situation was shown to be justified. No two situations are going to be the same. Maybe my local thugs will read this (on a stolen computer Iím sure) and go to someone elseís house, not to wish anyone here bad luck of course. But if not, like Charlie Daniels said ďIf I catch somebody breaking in my house Iíve got a 12 gauge shotgun waiting on the other side.Ē I wonder if I could hold Ole Charlie liable for that lyric if the situation did come up?

J.B.

Kleanbore
January 12, 2009, 01:56 PM
Like I am going to try and discern his intent while he is in my house.

I believe that the existence of a castle law largely removes from the resident the obligation of initially discerning an intruder's intent, as it effectively establishes that the fact of unlawful entry or attempted unlawful entry provides reason for the person occupying the residence to believe that he is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm. Lay opinion.

The rub would seem to be that if other evidence, such as the intruder's attempt to flee or stated intention to leave peaceably, emerges to indicate clearly that the resident is not in imminent danger, the question becomes one of what it was that the legislators actually intended. That's where someone with a legal education and a knowledge of relevant case law can advise.

One of the people involved in the formulation of the law in my state advises that when the threat ceases, so does the justification to use deadly force.

As has been stated before, things will vary somewhat from one place to another. A poster from South Carolina has apparently interpreted the law there to permit shooting someone who is leaving. That would seem on the surface to be the case where I live, but I've been told on good authority that it is not. An instruction booklet in North Carolina states that there is never any justification for shooting a fleeing criminal.

That's all about the law. But even if you can shoot, does that mean that you should?

My first priority is for me and my family to survive.

Yep. Worst case scenario is to fail in ensuring that outcome. Best case is for no shots to be fired while achieving that first priority.

The idea of investigations and trials do not appeal to me at all and wouldn't even if lawyers were free. Heck, I don't even like the idea of having my gun taken as evidence.

kludge
January 12, 2009, 02:26 PM
None of the poll options address this:

http://www.forcescience.org/articles/shotinback.pdf

If the person is fleeing then let him go. Indiana law does not allow deadly force if they are running away with your stuff.

If they are running away from you, while shooting at you, then yes, deadly force can be used.

KBintheSLC
January 12, 2009, 02:38 PM
Would you shoot a fleeing intruder in the back?

Thats illegal in Utah. The law says that all entry holes need to be in the front... unless of course it is some sort of hostage situation where you sneak up an pop the BG in the back of the head to save someone.

yenchisks
January 12, 2009, 02:53 PM
if he was running away carrying my TV yes, if he was running away carrying my wife no.;)

Mello
January 12, 2009, 03:09 PM
Fleeing intruder implies that the intruder has ceased to be a threat. If there is no threat the use of deadly force may not be used, can not be justified; therefore no right to self-defense because there was no imminent threat of death or great bodily harm.

Only if you add facts like the intruder was shooting over his shoulder, or the intruder was running to cover to better his chances of killing you, or the intruder was moving to harm someone else, or I saw him murder three armed law enforcement officers and he was going after more victims or something like the foregoing; do you get to argue self defense of defense of others.

EHL
January 12, 2009, 04:20 PM
The rub would seem to be that if other evidence, such as the intruder's attempt to flee or stated intention to leave peaceably, emerges to indicate clearly that the resident is not in imminent danger

How does an intruder "state intention to leave peaceably"??? Does he put it in writing with a notary signature? I'm not sure how that would work out in a life and death struggle in ones home. The mere presence of the individual in my home constitutes an active threat to my family. If he can manage to get away without a few bullet holes, than I guess he survives to rob/rape/murder another day. While he's in my house and not laying on the ground with his hands visible to me at all times, he/she remains a threat. You know how many police officers have been shot for not abiding by this simple rule of controlling the subject and where his hands are at all times?

but I'll be damn if stand around waving goodbye while some low life, non working, living off of the government, piece of trash (and I could throw in more) walks away from my house carrying my property that I paid for with the money that I made from the job I worked hard at to get.

I agree with Cotton mouth. I'm not sure if any of you realize that material possesions represent a portion of your life. You spent a portion of your life to earn the money to buy that possesion. By somebody stealing that possesion, they just robbed you of a portion of your life that you spent earning that possesion. It's not merely a TV anymore, it's a part of your life that you spent slaving away scrimping and saving for that object. With it stolen, all of that TIME was just "given" to that burglar. That is akin to a partial murder. Imagine if he cleans you out. Do you know how much time you invested in earning all of that? That's a portion of your life that he just made off with! Imagine instead that this person is an opportunistic rapist. One of those guys that break into homes, find the occupants asleep or unarmed and clueless and ties them up. What better time to enjoy the pleasure of the wife's and daughter's company than when they're all tied up? No sir!!! Any person comes into my home, they are implying that they are willing to do all of the above and then some. Don't expect me to hesitate in deciding whether this burglar/rapist/murder gets to live if he doesn't immediatly stop on my command while in my home.

Here in Idaho, people don't like meth heads that break into homes. Maybe in your state people sympathize with the rapist/murderers that break into people's homes, but I do my best to avoid states like that.

No one likes them.


I disagree with the assertion that "no one likes them". When a group of people vote for politicians that support laws that protect and succor these violent individuals and prosecute victims, then no matter what they say about the issue and how they "don't like them", their ACTIONS speak otherwise. They choose to pass laws that protect these criminals instead of passing laws that protect innocent people who are the victims of these animals, that is the exact opposite of stating "no one likes them".

Master Blaster
January 12, 2009, 04:29 PM
If they are armed, they are still a threat fleeing or not. Would I pursue them beyond my property, or engage in a chase?? Maybe, it depends on how dire I perceive the threat to be, and whether letting them go would immediately endanger others.

Now if they are unarmed thats a different story entirely.

JMHO YMMV

Lucky
January 12, 2009, 05:08 PM
I wouldn't shoot unless of course they were running away and shooting, then it's no question. Otherwise I'm pretty sure I'd get sued or get a job at the license plate factory.

Suppose the scenario is that you've been assaulted, the assailant has a pistol in his hand. You move to partial cover, the assailant moves quickly away from you, even turns his back on you. Why do you consider him not to be a threat?

You moved away from him earlier, to cover. It did not mean you were unwilling or unable to defend yourself. You could even have fired while moving to cover, if it did not slow you down. The same logic applies to the aggressor, just because he is moving does not mean he is unwilling or unable to continue assailing you. He has initiated the confrontation, and as long as he has intent and a firearm he can readily fire at you, he is a threat.

Good reaction time is .25 seconds to realize a situation, and between .25 and .50 seconds to formulate a response and put enact it. This means it takes between half a second and .75 of a second to respond to a stimulus. If you throw in lack of training, or bad training, then that time can go higher. When the assailant moving away from you fires backwards, maybe just to discourage pursuit or out of anger, it will take you precious time to react.

And when you train yourself that an armed assailant that moves backwards is not a threat, then you won't be treating it like a threat. 90% of you have already said so. What behaviors do you take when there's a threat? You seek cover. If it's not a threat then you're safe, right, so you won't be behind cover. And when the armed assailant fires at you, guess what, there's nothing between you and him to stop the bullet.

If they are armed, they are still a threat fleeing or not. Would I pursue them beyond my property, or engage in a chase?? Maybe, it depends on how dire I perceive the threat to be, and whether letting them go would immediately endanger others.

****ing eh. Armed assailants are threats, no matter what direction they move, their bullets can still travel to you as long as there is nothing in their path.

But chasing would be pretty ****ing idiotic. Don't get me wrong, I've heard of cases where otherwise rational people do just that when their blood gets up in a situation, even when taught specifically not to. But they get in trouble, as you would. Best case it's legal trouble, worst it's bodily harm.


How does an intruder "state intention to leave peaceably"???

Exactly. And of course, what is more stolid than the word of a home-invader? That's a person whom you can absolutely trust not to tell a lie. But again, arresting would be folly. NRA magazine has articles every month of people holding suspects at gunpoint until police arrive, but I'd suggest it'd be better to be a good witness and stay on your own turf. Your priority has to be stopping the threat, if the threat does run off into the sunset, no more threat, you win assuming you're not harmed. Making arrest is not only legally fraught, it adds unnecessary risk and complication to yourself.


Fleeing intruder implies that the intruder has ceased to be a threat. If there is no threat the use of deadly force may not be used, can not be justified; therefore no right to self-defense because there was no imminent threat of death or great bodily harm.

Only if you add facts like the intruder was shooting over his shoulder, or the intruder was running to cover to better his chances of killing you...

Explain how you determine when he is about to fire backwards at you. In the process of running one moves their arms back and forth naturally, with every stride. They have a pistol in their hand. You need half a second to react to his action. The notion of shooting implies an extraneous situation where you are not completely behind cover, and then to add to this your choice to wait for the assailant to fire first... Bad idea.

CoRoMo
January 12, 2009, 05:50 PM
Would you shoot a fleeing intruder in the back if on your property?

Pretty close to impossible to define an intruder's actions as 'fleeing' under those circumstances. Even if the guy's screaming, "I'm fleeing! I'm fleeing!", how could you ever know for sure until he is completely off your property and hasn't come back after an hour or two? At that point, no, I wouldn't shoot.

EHL
January 12, 2009, 06:23 PM
WELL SAID CoRoMo! I believe the situation you put forth would be the one and only one where I too wouldn't shoot as well.:)

Kleanbore
January 12, 2009, 06:26 PM
How does an intruder "state intention to leave peaceably"???

By holding up is hands, saying "don't shoot" and backing away, by perhaps fabricating a story that he is in the wrong house, and saying he is leaving. Gun down an unarmed man who is doing those things and see what it gets you.

The mere presence of the individual in my home constitutes an active threat to my family.

Certainly that's true--keep your gun on him and stay alert for an accomplice.

While he's in my house and not laying on the ground with his hands visible to me at all times, he/she remains a threat.

And he is a potential threat even if he's on the ground. I think you may be a lot better off with him out and gone. If he chooses to leave and you tell him to remain, you have effectively performed a citizen's arrest, which entails more risk than most people ever want to assume. If he chooses to stay on his own accord, fine, but remain vigilant and make sure that when the police arrive they do not shoot the man they see pointing a gun. That does happen.

If he can manage to get away without a few bullet holes, than I guess he survives to rob/rape/murder another day.

Irrelevant.

I disagree with the assertion that "no one likes them".

Well, maybe their mothers do.

When a group of people vote for politicians that support laws that protect and succor these violent individuals and prosecute victims, then no matter what they say about the issue and how they "don't like them", their ACTIONS speak otherwise. They choose to pass laws that protect these criminals instead of passing laws that protect innocent people who are the victims of these animals, that is the exact opposite of stating "no one likes them".

Read up on your legal history. The law in all of our states except one originated with the English Common Law, which dates back to Henry II. The common law held self defense to be a basic right but stated that one forfeited that right (1) unless he first retreated (except while in his 'castle") as far as he could--"to the wall"; (2) if he started the fight; (3) if he used excessive force; and so on.

Our courts and legislatures have modified the retreat requirement in many cases, primarily due to the advent of firearms--the common law was developed in an era of blade weapons.

The concept that a man's home was his castle also existed in the common law, giving the home-owner the right to use deadly force if necessary to prevent nlawful entry or violent attack, but it did not legalize murder. Some of our states have not included castle laws in their criminal codes, but fortunately they are becoming more prevalent.

The purpose of these laws was to establish an orderly, peaceful society, and not to protect criminals. Read Black's Law Dictionary or a related text for an explanation of the reasoning behind each element of the common law.

The only major instance I know of in which U. S. law has been made more restrictive than the common law in terms of using force on suspects (other than the failure of some states to enact castle laws) is the overturning of the fleeing felon rule by Garner v. Tennessee. Maybe one of our attorney friends can add to the list.

I'm not sure if any of you realize that material possessions represent a portion of your life.

A couple of states now provide for the use of deadly force to protect property under circumstances other than the arson of an occupied building, but most do not. That prohibition also dates back to the common law in the twelfth century, and it is not a product of politicians of today passing laws to protect criminals.

Don't expect me to hesitate in deciding whether this burglar/rapist/murder gets to live if he doesn't immediatly stop on my command while in my home.

I'm sure you didn't mean to put it quite that way. No citizen has the right to make that decision. What one does have the right to do is use deadly force if necessary to defend himself, his loved ones, and in most cases, others--to shoot to stop. The intruder may die in the process (5% or 10% of the time, if memory serves) but that's a lot different from deciding to kill.

You may shoot if he does not stop attacking, breaking in or otherwise being a threat (being armed, or in proximity to someone), but before you ever shoot someone who does not stop on your command to not leave, spend some money on a couple of consultation hours with an experienced criminal trial attorney in your state. The small investment involved could save your fortune, your record, your job, you ability to remain free, and maybe the home that you desire to protect--or at least a heck of a lot of expense and trouble.

I hope you find this helpful.

mgkdrgn
January 12, 2009, 06:28 PM
Why does this all suddenly remind me of the scene in "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid" where they discuss "the rules for a knife fight" ...

Ex-Cop-JPD
January 12, 2009, 06:36 PM
When I was a cop I had to make that decision once, but luckily didn't have to pull the trigger. Life is precious. This guy was shooting at us during the car chase. During the foot chase it appeared that he was going to outrun me and get away, had committed an armed robbery. I decided it was the best course of action to take him down. Luckily, another officer came out from the side yard, unluckily, the cop next to me shot the cop in the shoulder. It's not a pretty picture. Two other cops got the guy. Once you see someone actually shot it makes a difference in your life.

cassandrasdaddy
January 12, 2009, 06:53 PM
i voted no but on reflection if i believed that they were there to hurt me as opposed to steal and run. and that they were an ongoing threat i would shoot em the back top bottom or any other area. an example might be if it was someone who had a beef with me coming to hurt me or family. a thief running no shoot

Opsboss
January 12, 2009, 07:19 PM
If he's in the house, it's a no-brainer... he's toast.

But if he's merely "on the property," that's a bit more dicey (as others have suggested).

Here in Kali, if he's not actually in the house and I shoot him in the back I'm probably going to jail, and I'd just as soon not go to jail over a TV set. On the other hand, if he's just molested my daughter, hell, I'll chase him to the ends of the earth and shoot him any way I can.

So it's a judgment call.

Best, Ops

cassandrasdaddy
January 12, 2009, 07:27 PM
Once you see someone actually shot it makes a difference in your life.


QFT nothin like a video game fantasy

vandave
January 12, 2009, 07:57 PM
I wonder of the almost 300 posts to the question, how many members have actually had a weapon trained on an intruder? How many have actually fired a shot at an intruder? Like others on this site, as a Vietnam veteran who was in combat; we may have experience in shooting someone, but what we would do in our home is something else. I, for one, would not shoot a fleeing thief. Too many things that may could be wrong; teenager, drunk, drugged up old man looking for goods to fence, etc. Although most of us have never had a situation where "deadly force" was necessary, I think it interesting to review questions like this; almost like mental target practice so if the "real thing" happens, it would be more of a reflex than a time consuming thought process. JMHO (where's spell check when you need it?) :)

JoshM
January 13, 2009, 04:35 AM
Bear 2000

[QUOTE]
I posted this question because of the support some on this board showed for the British farmer who was jailed after shooting two intruders in his home. They were both fleeing the scene, and he shot them both, killing the sixteen year-old with a shot to the back. See:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=419066
QUOTE]

I'd note that British legislation, and more importantly the non gun-owning Public who comprise the juror pool is significantly different. At best, this makes drawing meaningful comparisons difficult.

For example, I'm aware of a rural SD incident (not in the UK) in which a farmer on an isolated property shot and wounded a "fleeing" armed thief. However, in this case the local Police declined to prosecute. The reasons, as I understand them, being:

- gunfire had already been exchanged;
- the thieves had maneuvered, while shooting, back to their vehicle (for cover, for use as a potential weapon, or to escape?);
- the farmer was outnumbered;
- the farmer was outgunned; and
- the farmer had no reasonable expectation of any Police assistance during the incident.

Similarly, there is also the famous Harry Beckwith incident (http://gunowners.org/op0730.htm). Where engaging "fleeing" criminals could have quite easily come about.

As you can see it is not outside the bounds of reality that a scenario could exist where lethal force would be justifiable for individuals who are supposedly "fleeing".

Kind of Blued
January 13, 2009, 04:48 AM
No, and realize that the poll and OP are two completely different questions.

jaholder1971
January 13, 2009, 05:35 PM
Bottom Line: No, I wouldn't.

However: Were I seated on a jury there the trial involved someone who did I'd never vote to convict.

glockman19
January 13, 2009, 05:51 PM
NO. NO WAY. NO HOW.

Threat is leaving. no need for lethal force.

Kleanbore
January 13, 2009, 06:07 PM
However: Were I seated on a jury there the trial involved someone who did I'd never vote to convict.

Even if it were a clear case of an execution?

PMVARGO
January 13, 2009, 06:07 PM
ohio might be a little different on property
up to and including your car or truck but you have to be in it
you can check this out ccw laws and go to state of ohio i am not 1oo percent sure i was just skimming over it the other day i might want to get a ccw licensebut im not sure if i will ever be in a place were i would have to use a gun except defending my home ?
if i try to get one it would be to see if i could pass the course
PM VARGO

Sniper X
January 13, 2009, 06:12 PM
Not enough information to make an educated comment. Is the felon IN the house, are otheres who may be harmed between him and the exit? Has he already hurt or killed a member of the house, or has he stolen something?

Answer these and Ill answer...thanky!

EHL
January 13, 2009, 07:30 PM
Even if it were a clear case of an execution?

Kleanbore, you seem alittle too hung up on the exception of this scenario. Clearly, there are cases where it would be over the top and totally overkill to shoot a guy who is A. off your property fleeing, B. not a threat anymore (example: the burglars portrayed in American History X who were already on the ground) etc...

But back to my initial assertion, I would more often then not, shoot a person who is unlawfully in my house before I'd ask him for a list of intentions and perform a blood/alcohol test on him before I decided to excersize my right to defend my home and family. I am not going to second guess myself and wait to see if there are any other circumstances that might have led this individual to my house. The only thing I'm worried about is A. Is this person in my house illegally? and B. How can I best insure both me and my families' safety? If the answer to question A. is "YES", then the answer (more often than not) to B. will be to immediatly take control of the perp (i.e. by force if necessary) not asking him to turn around politely leave out the front door as has been implied. I'm no "Punisher" type, but I'm also not some bleeding heart that wants to give the perp every opportunity to victimize me and my family. Sorry, but I'm not playing the game of "What if" when it comes to safety. A perps safety is last on my list of priorities.

leadcounsel
January 13, 2009, 08:46 PM
How can you be sure he's not turning to grab the knives in the kitchen? Or to grab your kid as a hostage. Or to yell to his buddy outside with a shotgun to come inside? Or to get behind some cover and draw his gun?

Many jurisdictions also allow you to use lethal force to stop a dangerous felony in progress.

Unless it's CLEAR that he's retreating and fleeing or giving up (through the aggregate of actions, words, etc.) then I think if you still feel in danger of life or serious bodily harm then you are justified to shoot in most circumstances/states.

Keep in mind that in almost no jurisdictions are property rights greater than human life. If you shoot to defend property alone, most jurisdictions will arrest you and probably prosecute.

Kleanbore
January 14, 2009, 12:09 AM
Unless it's CLEAR that he's retreating and fleeing or giving up (through the aggregate of actions, words, etc.) then I think if you still feel in danger of life or serious bodily harm then you are justified to shoot in most circumstances/states.


Depending on the law in your state--and especially, assuming that you have a castle law--I think you are right . Lay opinion.

starboard
January 14, 2009, 07:06 AM
EHL said:

I agree with Cotton mouth. I'm not sure if any of you realize that material possesions represent a portion of your life. You spent a portion of your life to earn the money to buy that possesion. By somebody stealing that possesion, they just robbed you of a portion of your life that you spent earning that possesion. It's not merely a TV anymore, it's a part of your life that you spent slaving away scrimping and saving for that object. With it stolen, all of that TIME was just "given" to that burglar. That is akin to a partial murder. Imagine if he cleans you out. Do you know how much time you invested in earning all of that? That's a portion of your life that he just made off with!


By this token, Paulson, Bernanke, Greenspan, and their Wall Street insiders should be suffering from severe lead poisoning for robbing the taxpaying segment of the US population. And they should be, as in the coming years we are assured of the dollar's inflation/collapse in the face of enormous deficits and debt, and the concomitant drop in the standard of living.

Megistopoda
January 14, 2009, 10:06 AM
No, and for several reasons, the most primary of which to me is that it wouldn't be worth the legal hassle afterward (even if no charges were filed).

paul
January 14, 2009, 01:54 PM
Yes, I would...
But only if he/she were facing away from me.:)

paul
January 14, 2009, 01:56 PM
Danggit...
Double-tap...
Must check sear engagement.

Grassman
January 14, 2009, 04:28 PM
Funny

expvideo
January 14, 2009, 04:30 PM
By this token, Paulson, Bernanke, Greenspan, and their Wall Street insiders should be suffering from severe lead poisoning for robbing the taxpaying segment of the US population. And they should be, as in the coming years we are assured of the dollar's inflation/collapse in the face of enormous deficits and debt, and the concomitant drop in the standard of living.
Umm... Yes please?

Coronach
January 14, 2009, 11:02 PM
Drag this back on topic and away from the economy and tax code, or it will get closed. You don't need X-ray vision to see through fig leaves. ;)

Mike

Arcticfox
January 14, 2009, 11:49 PM
An L.A. cop once told me that once they turn their back, they are no longer a threat, and you should do nothing at that point.

williamthedog
January 14, 2009, 11:59 PM
not just no
hell no!
he cant hurt you running away.
and nothing i own is worth killing over.

Double Naught Spy
January 15, 2009, 06:58 AM
An L.A. cop once told me that once they turn their back, they are no longer a threat, and you should do nothing at that point.

Such an overly gross generalization isn't valid.

Bill_Rights
January 15, 2009, 07:04 AM
I voted "no".

Do you think US BP agents Compean and Ramos would have avoided the trouble they are in, if they had shot Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila somewhere a bit more frontal than the buttocks? See:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/15/convicted-border-patrol-agents-hoping-for-bush-par/
(2nd-page, next to last paragraph, as web-formated in this link)

BTW, does anybody know why these BP agents reveived such a heavy sentence (~ 11 years)? The "govey" types I know are mystified and speculate that there must be more to the case than has been made public, else the convictions, much less the heavy sentences, make no sense at all....

Ben86
January 15, 2009, 07:02 PM
Generally I would say no. That is the safest way to stay on the right side of the law.

Although, if I had either witnessed or it was clear that this fleeing subject caused obvious physical harm to any of my family or self I would shoot. Correct me if I am wrong but it is legal to shoot fleeing felons. You are still burdened with the evidence that you knew they had commited a felon before shooting. But at least you don't have to let the murderer of your wife, for instance, get away just because he has his back turned on you and is running away like a rat because he can only prey on the weak.

cassandrasdaddy
January 15, 2009, 07:09 PM
BTW, does anybody know why these BP agents reveived such a heavy sentence (~ 11 years)?

there as a mandatory minimum or some such nonsense on the "use of a firearm" part of their charges. and they looked bad with trying to hide evidence

Gunfighter123
January 15, 2009, 07:21 PM
As others have said ---- if , while fleeing , I think they are still a DEADLY threat to me or my family -- YES ---- if the person HAS ALREADY shot at me with a firearm --- YES !!!!

Bill_Rights
January 16, 2009, 07:31 AM
I add a further comment to my own posting (dated 15 Jan '09, #149, this thread):

The original poll question about shooting a fleeing attacker in the back had to do with a private citizen defending his own person (or family) or his own house/land with a firearm. That is much different than the situation for a law enforcement (LE) or Border Patrol (BP) officer.

Morally, the LE/BP officer is not primarily defending himself/herself. The officer is doing a job approved by the citizens and the Constitution (job = defense of our society and/or rule-of-law, at least). His job does not end when the attacker/criminal flees or ceases to be an immediate threat to the officer's person. The situation is compounded when the law-breaker is fleeing into a different jurisdiction, where the officer can no longer do his job.

Anyway, within the scope of the original poll posting, I think it is good to define the morally-permitted action of LE/BP officers because it clarifies the role and limitations of private citizens. But really, the subject should be a thread of its own - I think it gets at bigger, different issues. Maybe I'll start such a thread when I get to it....

DeepintheHeart
January 16, 2009, 09:06 AM
That is a simple question. The person is an intruder, ie., trespasser. He/she has not been found guilty of a crime, and I have not been authorized to be his/her executioner. He's not a murderer or rapist, he's a burglar, perhaps, or somebody who's in the wrong place at the wrong time. Would I shoot a fleeing murderer or rapist is a different question than would I shoot a fleeing intruder. Your best weapon is the wetware between your ears. If you're going to be carrying a loaded gun with the intent of using it, you'd better engage the brain before you engage the trigger.

divemedic
January 16, 2009, 05:48 PM
He/she has not been found guilty of a crime, and I have not been authorized to be his/her executioner. He's not a murderer or rapist, he's a burglar, perhaps, or somebody who's in the wrong place at the wrong time. Would I shoot a fleeing murderer or rapist is a different question than would I shoot a fleeing intruder. Your best weapon is the wetware between your ears. If you're going to be carrying a loaded gun with the intent of using it, you'd better engage the brain before you engage the trigger.

If he is in my house, I am shooting him so he will not become a rapist or murderer at my expense.

Double Naught Spy
January 16, 2009, 06:30 PM
If he is in my house, I am shooting him so he will not become a rapist or murderer at my expense.

+1

Right. An intruder in my house is a threat no matter what direction s/he is moving/facing.

Ridgerunner665
January 16, 2009, 06:35 PM
All I have to say to that fleeing thief is this...and I'll tell a jury the same thing.

I have worked hard to get the things that I have...I paid for them, they are mine...get a job and buy your own stuff or ask me for it, if I think you really need it (life or death)...I'll give it to you.

Let me catch you stealing from me...and you'll likely pay a very high price for it.

Kleanbore
January 16, 2009, 09:06 PM
From Ridgerunner665, Tennessee-- All I have to say to that fleeing thief is this...and I'll tell a jury the same thing.

I have worked hard to get the things that I have...I paid for them, they are mine...get a job and buy your own stuff or ask me for it, if I think you really need it (life or death)...I'll give it to you.

Let me catch you stealing from me...and you'll likely pay a very high price for it.

If you own a gun or even a lead pipe in Tennessee, you should become aware of the laws there:

http://www.tngunowners.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15780

You may use deadly force only if you have a reasonable belief of an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury
If you do not have all of these elements, do not even show your weaponóyou will likely be facing a criminal charge
You get the protection of this law only if you are not engaged in unlawful activity and youíre in a place where you have a right to be[1]
You CANNOT use deadly force to protect property because there is no danger of death or serious bodily injury: the threat has to be against a person, not a thing
The threat has to be imminent: it has to be about to happen now

divemedic
January 16, 2009, 09:15 PM
If you own a gun or even a lead pipe in Tennessee, you should become aware of the laws there:


Perhaps you should as well. Tennessee law has a provision that is referred to as the "castle doctrine," which allows a resident of a home to presume that an intruder presents a reasonable threat of death or serious bodily injury.


Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-11-611

(c) Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury within a residence, dwelling or vehicle is presumed to have held a reasonable belief of imminent death or serious bodily injury to self, family, a member of the household or a person visiting as an invited guest when that force is used against another person, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence, dwelling or vehicle, and the person using defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.

conw
January 16, 2009, 09:18 PM
In short, fleeing would have to be the operative word. Shooting someone in the back does not mean they are fleeing, and they better be really good at emoting that they are fleeing, like dropping their weapon and moving so fast they're leaving their shoes where they began their sprint for the door.

Ridgerunner665
January 16, 2009, 09:57 PM
Thank You divemedic, for explaining that for me.

Kleanbore
January 16, 2009, 10:07 PM
From divemedic: Tennessee law has a provision that is referred to as the "castle doctrine," which allows a resident of a home to presume that an intruder presents a reasonable threat of death or serious bodily injury.

True. But would you presume that your lay interpretation of that statute as it applies to the protection of property and a fleeing suspect is more correct than that of a lawyer who practices in Tennessee, such a Patrick Stegall? Stegall does advise that the resident of a home that has been invaded need not retreat, but he does not advise that he can shoot a person absconding with property.

The following is contained on the Arizona government website on concealed carry; it was written by an attorney named Michael Anthony:

You should not assume that you understand a criminal statute by
merely reading it. Courts determine the meaning of criminal statutes, and
they sometimes do so with bizarre results. ... The legal principles used by the courts to interpret the meaning of criminal statutes have evolved over centuries, and scholars argue endlessly over how the laws should be interpreted. In other words, you should not assume that you understand the meaning ofa criminal law by simply reading a statute and attaching your own meaning or dictionary definitions to it.

The Missouri castle law would appear to the layman to allow a resident to use deadly force against anyone who has entered without invitation, but lawyers have told me to not make such a conclusion, and that if the invader decides to leave one may not use deadly force. One must consider all of the pertinent laws in context, along with case law and constitutional law.

divemedic
January 17, 2009, 06:28 AM
Then it would be the state's burden to show he intended to leave and was not merely seeking cover. Since the only witness in MY house is going to be: a- the now dead burglar, b- me, and c- my wife, just how they will establish this is hard to imagine.

Sure, they can show that I shot him in the back, but that is beaten in court constantly.

Revolver Ocelot
January 17, 2009, 06:49 AM
This is a tough one for me to answer, it depends on a circumstance (which i would assume they would have to be armed other wise I'd assume they'd drop my property on sight of my weapon) more detailed then what is listed in the poll, ifany of the following apply then yes:

I have reason to fear for my life, They are armed and I feel they may be inclined to use it, or if I think they are running for cover to turn fire torwards me I will light them up like a christmas tree.

Also if they drew a weapon but clearly do not have it in them to shoot a person so run instead I'll probablly shoot them in the hind quarters on principle.

Kleanbore
January 17, 2009, 08:37 AM
Then it would be the state's burden to show he intended to leave and was not merely seeking cover. Since the only witness in MY house is going to be: a- the now dead burglar, b- me, and c- my wife, just how they will establish this is hard to imagine.

Possible. But consider the other possibilities. Testimony of a surviving accomplice or of a witness who observed from outdoors. Testimony of the not dead burglar--the survival rate against gunshot wounds is substantial, and if "you finish him off" it will be obvious.

I presume that you are speaking purely hypothetically and are not describing what your intent would be should the occasion arise.... The messages are permanent and subject to discovery.

SCKimberFan
January 17, 2009, 08:42 AM
if "you finish him off" it will be obvious.

I would shoot to stop the threat, not "finish him off".

barnetmill
January 17, 2009, 08:46 AM
True story. Happened in the 80's in northwest florida. Man was stealing christmas presents off a porch of a rural house on a dead end road. Returning occupants informed by nieghbors of robbery in progess. Fleeing man wounded in legs by shotgun pellets. No criminal charges, but a civil case ensued. Verdict one dollar in damages to the wounded man and his lawyer.

Bonsai Doug
January 17, 2009, 09:30 AM
he intended to leave and was not merely seeking cover
Isn't this really the crux of the matter? In a home invasion situation, would you really
wait to see if the intruder was heading out or heading for cover?

You have no way to judge the intruder's intent. Do you risk it all by waiting?

cassandrasdaddy
January 17, 2009, 05:04 PM
have any of you who espouse varying degrees of shoot till slide lock ever had occaision to act on that plan? in real life as opposed to the net? real life has a way of failing to flesh out fantasy

Cyborg
January 17, 2009, 08:56 PM
Absent an articulable observed threat to me or my family I still wold not open fire. But my circumstances might be different than many/most. My house is rather small (1600 sq ft) and it has a very open floor plan. except for a tiny hall betheen the 2nd bath and two auxiliary bedrooms, it has no hallway. One side is a bath and 2 bedrooms with a miniscule hall, the other side is the master suite with a fair sided open area in between. The middle of the house is 1 contiguous space with a 40' sight line. Living room, dining room and kitchen are set apart by architectural features but at the ceiling there is nothing. When I hear noises at night I immediately pull my baby eagle out of its little hammock beside my bed and go to investigate.

It I caught the intruder in either the 2nd or 3rd bedrooms, 2nd bath or the connecting hall there would literally be no place to which he/she could flee. If I perceived a weapon being brought to bear I would open fire. No, cassandrasdaddy, I have never fired a firearm in anger (hope like hell if I fire it for home defense it STILL won't be in anger) but I have pulled the plug on my baby brother whom I diapered, advised my Mother she was terminal and filled out a blank, signed DNR order within 48 hours. 3 days after THAT I pulled the nasal cannula out of my dead Mother's nose and drove home with what was left of my baby brother sitting in a baggie in a box in the floorboard behind my seat. I reckon that if I can do that in a single 5 day period, I can freaking well open fire on an intruder. If I caught the intruder coming into my bedroom I would open fire - and the fact that he was coming into my bedroom would be ample evidence of intent for the civil jury.

But if I caught him/her out in the open area in the middle of my house and he/she was heading for either of the doors, that would be pretty good evidence that the intruder was, indeed, fleeing. HOWEVER If, prior to opening either door the intruder stopped and even started to turn around (unless it was in response to my command to stop) I would open fire and continue to discharge the weapon until I perceived them to be stopped. Whether that meant I fired until slidelock or just a few rounds would have to be seen.

I will do whatever is necessary to take care of my family. I would probably feel like CRUD afterwards - I STILL beat myself up occasionally about "killing" my brother and Mother after 4 years - but I would not hesitate during the crisis. It's just how I'm wired.

But I think Garner and the "Fleeing Felon" rule are the best course, Bill_rights, even for private citizens. Even assuming that Texas' castle law would protect me from the DA, I could easily wind up having to prove by preponderance of the evidence that I considered the intruder an imminent threat to someone's life when I shot him/her in the back.

Cyborg

lanternlad1
January 18, 2009, 12:54 AM
In Texas, there is a legal precedent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Horn_shooting_controversy

Kleanbore
January 18, 2009, 09:00 AM
In Texas, there is a legal precedent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Hor...ng_controversy

Not exactly. In Texas the law (Section 9.42) permits the use of deadly force to prevent the taking of property if there is no other way to safely do so if the crime occurs after thirty minutes after sundown and before thirty minutes before sunrise.

Not the same as shooting a fleeing suspect.

charliemopic
January 18, 2009, 09:11 AM
I voted NO because none of the YES choices indicated personal injury or even threat.
I don't know much about the law but my conscience says You do not have the right to defend property with deadly force, its just stuff and life is life. Thats the difference between a responsible and ethic gun toter and an ignorant thug.
What if a handicapped, sick, injured or disoriented person stumbles onto your property and falls onto your shed making noise. Would you shoot?

cassandrasdaddy
January 18, 2009, 09:45 AM
"What if a handicapped, sick, injured or disoriented person stumbles onto your property and falls onto your shed making noise. Would you shoot?"


some here might more the pity and it feeds that stereotype again. thankfully in real life its like harleys and harley gear. many have the t shirt the wallet the hat etc. far fewer own the bike or understand what it means

divemedic
January 18, 2009, 10:23 AM
You can what if things to create a no shoot situation. The question was "would you shoot a fleeing intruder in the back?" I said yes, because there are occasions where I would. There are situations where I would not, but none of those situations require me to determine whether or not the person is intending to kill me, or ask him what his intentions are.

I don't care if these are discoverable. If you enter my dwelling in the state of Florida, the LAW says that I can presume that he presents a deadly threat and I can engage him with deadly force. The law does not allow me to execute someone, but it also does not require me to arrest him, or go looking for a reason not to shoot him. If it is not blatantly obvious that he intends to surrender, he is about to be engaged in a gun fight.

ar10
January 18, 2009, 11:09 AM
Stand in front of intruders exit.

HorseSoldier
January 18, 2009, 12:33 PM
There's a lot of chest thumping in this thread.

If a bad guy poses enough of a threat to use deadly force in the first place, I can see the logic in trying to finish the fight and neutralize the threat -- but a self-defense shooting gets investigated like any other homicide when it is all said and done. The more squirrely and questionable the actions in the shooting, the greater the potential for a DA and/or a Grand Jury to consider it was a bad shoot -- and I'd guess that entry wounds in a bad guy's back at the edge of your property line would be a red flag for investigating officers, the DA, etc.

Does that mean shooting the fleeing bad guy is always the wrong answer? No -- as other people have noted, you can wargame and what if the question to death and get either a never shoot or never-not-shoot scenario. But people who think the law is going to just give them a pass for defending themselves with a five round rhythm drill into a would-be burglars back probably need to give this topic a lot more thought about the potential for criminal and civil actions arising from the shooting. There's a pretty high suck factor in the notion of saving your stereo from a strung-out meth head only to shoot and kill him and then have his equally worthless family win a multi-million dollar wrongful death suit against you and spend the rest of your life sending them a check every month.

GlowinPontiac
January 19, 2009, 03:11 AM
If they were in my house and running for the door then most likely no. If they were running deeper into the house then yes. They may just be looking for a back way out but i dont need them running into my wife in their search and deciding to take a hostage or worse.

If they are outside then hell no. that is a one way ticket to jail around here. The police have even told me that its iffy to shoot anyone trespassing on your property unless they are pointing a gun at somebody.

homebase.ning.com
January 19, 2009, 04:35 AM
If

1.) They are armed

or

2.) They are kidnapping someone

CoRoMo
January 19, 2009, 03:37 PM
In those split-seconds, gripped with fear of my family being harmed, tension rising and adrenaline soaring, how in the heck do I define his actions?
If he's running this way or that way, what in the world do I use to determine his intentions?

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