Shooting Home Robber in the Back


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numaone
May 29, 2009, 01:42 PM
Hello y'all,
I just started taking a serious stance on home defense and while thinking about it, I had a problem that was plaguing me. I'm not sure what I would do in this (realistic) scenario, so I wanted to gather your opinions.

Background: I live in the state of Florida. Florida has the Castle Doctrine for homes. I interpret the law to mean that anyone who forcefully and without authorization enters your dwelling has forfeited their life, for whatever reason.

That being said would you shoot a home invader in the back as he is heading out the door (but still within the confines of the house) if he was only stealing [insert valuable MATERIAL possession here]. I guess I'm imagining a robber running out of the house with VCR, or Earrings, etc... I don't think this is a legal matter if he's sill in the house, but more of a moral issue. Would you shoot him?

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Oro
May 29, 2009, 01:51 PM
a robber running out of the house with VCR,

I will actually pay someone to come over here and take the VCR's and other antique electronics junk, actually...;)


Seriously, though: No. I have run through this a number of times mentally, and the only way I am going to shoot someone in the back, even if justified, is if they have just done serious bodily injury to someone else, or if I suspect they are a very dangerous, violent felon (e.g., a string of deadly assauly or rapes in the area and the person who broke in fits the descpription and MO). I will not shoot someone in the back over a VCR or something similar if they are fleeing.

Saying something like "I'll shoot to wound or in the leg" is I think also a bad decision - you can easily kill with a leg shot if you hit the right spot. In a tense situation that degree of accuracy is not possible for most people, even good shooters.

Ethically, I think you can only justify taking a life when you believe doing so will prevent serious harm or death to others. That would mean, no, don't shoot a fleeing robber in the back even if it's legal where you live. But that rule does not mean it's wrong for soldiers to kill on the battlefield, or the state to execute a prisoner who kills/rapes/maims/kidnaps and is likely to do it again. I am no softie; I also think horse thieves should be hung (lethal injection and all being too kind for them). Least you think horse thieves are no longer a problem, I can tell you a story that happened to an acquaintance just a few years ago...

ArmedBear
May 29, 2009, 01:56 PM
After you shoot someone, reportedly you will be psychologically impacted, and should seek counseling to deal with it, EVEN IF it was really a "him or me" situation and you barely escaped with your life.

What will you be like if you shoot someone in the back so he can't get away alive with your VCR (which will break when he drops it anyway)?

IMHO shooting is for self-defense, not just because you can.

You don't want to live any other way.

Now if there are a couple guys in my house with guns, and one turns his back for a moment, that's a tactical opportunity I may not have again. In a half-second, he could whip around and shoot me dead.

There's a time for shooting someone when his back is turned. But it's not when he's alone and clearly running away.

For my good, not his.

jnyork
May 29, 2009, 01:58 PM
No. No way. Might be legal in some states, but certainly not moral IMHO. If you catch him in the house, and you feel he is a threat to you or your family, that is a different story. (quickly dons flame suit) :rolleyes:

numaone
May 29, 2009, 02:01 PM
Oro:
A lawyer can argue that it means that you *knew* you didn't need to use deadly force, and you are therefore a sadistic bastard.


Interesting point, but it is my understanding that you don't need to prove a need of deadly force in your own house. Just simply unauthorized forceful entry. The burden is immensely less than a justified SD shooting on the streets.

Please correct me if my logic is incorrect. I just want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row and I'm not going to jail for someone breaking in MY house.

mljdeckard
May 29, 2009, 02:06 PM
The key word here is "heading out the door". You know what? I don't even trust Castle Doctrine laws to protect me for shooting someone who wasn't clearly threatening my life. All it takes is a prosecutor willing to test the law and a judge willing to hear it. I'll let someone else be their guinea pig.

If for some reason you are BETWEEN them and the door, it could make a difference. If you happen upon them when they may or may not be headed to the door, that may be different. They Utah statute says; if someone enters your home either by violence or by stealth, with the intent to commit a felony, deadly force is allowed. If they are clearly leaving, you will be asking a jury to discern whether or not this meant you were allowed to prevent the felony, or if there was justification to kill after the felony had already been committed.

ArmedBear
May 29, 2009, 02:06 PM
Yeah, but do you want to wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, unable to erase the mental picture of the face of a 17-year-old kid on your floor, dying in a puddle of his blood, with your broken VCR next to him?

It's not the movies.

hso
May 29, 2009, 02:09 PM
That being said would you shoot a home invader in the back as he is heading out the door (but still within the confines of the house) if he was only stealing [insert valuable MATERIAL possession here].

You risk going to jail if you did this.

The "castle doctrine" doesn't give you extraordinary authority to shoot uninvited persons in your home, it only protects you in a justifiable shooting. It only presumes that there is a reasonable fear for life or grave bodily harm when someone enters your home that you don't want there. Shooting a fleeing person in the back doesn't constitute a justifiable shooting. If the threat is no longer credible, you should not shoot.

TexasRifleman
May 29, 2009, 02:17 PM
You might get covered under the Florida law, you might not.

Texas has a law that allows shooting ONLY for property in some circumstances, possibly even the one you describe here, but the gamble is great.

You're risking your freedom for a VCR. And the moral question is a no brainer to me, your life is no longer in danger.

Now, if he has just stolen a gun from your house you are in an entirely different area. Morally you may be in an entirely different place using deadly force to stop someone that has stolen a gun. It would not be a stretch to imagine that gun would be used against an innocent person.

I believe the OP's interpretation of the Florida law is correct in that the recent "Castle Doctrine" would cover the shooting, but you really do take a risk with your freedom if you cannot very clearly explain WHY you shot.

"My mom gave me that VCR" may not sell.

"He had a gun" very well might.

The law doesn't give you blanket coverage, you still have to explain why you did what you did to a certain extent.

The exact Florida law says:

(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable

2 fear of imminent peril of death or bodily injury to himself or

3 herself or another when using defensive force that is intended

4 or likely to cause death or bodily injury to another if:

5 (a) The person against whom the defensive force was

6 used had unlawfully or forcibly entered or attempted to enter

7 a dwelling, residence, or vehicle or if that person had

8 removed or attempted to remove another from the dwelling,

9 residence, or vehicle; and

10 (b) The person using defensive force knew or had

11 reason to believe that an unlawful or forcible entry or

12 unlawful or forcible act had occurred.



The Florida law also says:

(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard

14 procedures for investigating the use of the force, but the

15 agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it

16 determines that probable cause exists showing that the force

17 that was used was unlawful.

So, they are going to investigate the shooting as if a crime had occurred.
If you can't explain what you did, you're toast.

84B20
May 29, 2009, 02:19 PM
I'd be worried about two things. The cost of any legal actions that you might need to face if you shot the individual and if you let him escape what you might face after he told his friends how easy it was to relieve you of your property without injury. Quite a dilemma!

Also, it is my understanding, if a perp is trying to get away, a number of states would not consider it a threat to your life which would make the shooting unjustifiable.

Dan Forrester
May 29, 2009, 02:19 PM
I do not believe it is legal to ever under any circumstances in any state (even Florida) shoot someone in the back. I have even read of cases where in the middle of a gun fight while someone was firing multiple shots the perpetrator turned around and absorbed a slug in the back getting the defender in serious trouble.

I’m not saying I agree with that and sincerely hope someone can prove me wrong here. I believe that if someone initiates force upon another human being the defendant should be given plenty of leeway. Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be the case as we can see with the Oklahoma pharmacist.

Morally I don’t think it is ethical to shoot someone in the back except in limited circumstances such as armed bear (and others) have pointed out.

Dan

Fergy35
May 29, 2009, 02:19 PM
A situation like that happened in our area. Local man heard someone in his house. He meets the guy at the top of his stairs with a shotgun. Bad guy turns to run. Good guy takes a shot and ends up crippling the bad guy. The good guy ended up with a great deal of legal trouble. It was just long enough ago now that I do not remember if he went to jail over it (think he did), but he definitely got sued over it, by the poor (yeah right) crippled felon.

I do not know the laws in other areas, but typically a shooting must be to protect your life or another persons life, not the VCR or DVD player. As was pointed out in a couple other posts, the moral side of it would rear its head as well. Could you sleep after shooting someone in the back (over a VCR)? I do not know how it would affect me and I hope to hell I never have to find out.

Take care.

TexasRifleman
May 29, 2009, 02:25 PM
I do not believe it is legal to ever under any circumstances in any state (even Florida) shoot someone in the back.

I have never seen any such law, anywhere.

If it's a justifiable shoot, where the bullet hits is not relevant.

If someone is running away from you to get in a better position to shoot you, and you shoot them in the back, you're still defending yourself.

You cannot make a blanket statement that "you can't shoot someone in the back".

What it DOES do is it puts a heavier load on you the shooter to explain why you pulled the trigger.

danprkr
May 29, 2009, 02:32 PM
I once heard it put this way: (paraphasing) EVERRYTHING you own costs you some portion of your LIFE. So, it's not just money. A pen might cost a buck and take you 20 seconds of life to replace. A Computer $2000 which may be 3 months of your life. A house that represents 30 years plus of your life. It all depends on the cost of the item versus your income.

So, how much of your life are you willing to let a thief run away with? That is the question you need to ask yourself.

Lone_Gunman
May 29, 2009, 02:38 PM
The question here to me is whether you are in fear of your life. If you are in fear of your life, and feel the person is a threat, then shooting him could be justified. In your scenario, you state he was heading for the door, and seem to be implying he is not a threat. Why would you want to shoot someone who is not a threat, whether it is legal or not?

If he is not a threat, then shooting him is not only illegal but also immoral.

I assume you would know enough not to tell the police after such a shooting that you thought he was heading for the door, but decided to shoot him anyway.

When the event is over, you want to be able to honestly tell the police "I was in fear of my life and for the lives of my family and I had no choice but to shoot him".

I do not see the place where the bullet enters to be all that important. As dynamic as that situation would be, it would be easy to imagine scenarios where an assailant might duck or turn at the moment you pulled the trigger, causing the bullet to enter the back.

jakemccoy
May 29, 2009, 02:42 PM
Background: I live in the state of Florida. Florida has the Castle Doctrine for homes. I interpret the law to mean that anyone who forcefully and without authorization enters your dwelling has forfeited their life, for whatever reason.

You should probably just quote the Florida law. Your interpretation is quite a bit broader than than actually law, even though you may not think so at first glance. If you are going to make up your own interpretation, it should be narrower than the actual law, for your own sake.

That being said would you shoot a home invader in the back as he is heading out the door (but still within the confines of the house) if he was only stealing [insert valuable MATERIAL possession here]. I guess I'm imagining a robber running out of the house with VCR, or Earrings, etc... I don't think this is a legal matter if he's sill in the house, but more of a moral issue. Would you shoot him?


I would not shoot an intruder if the intruder were no longer a threat. Even if you have a justifiable shoot, you still run a sizable risk of being hammered in a civil law suit. Great, you were doing your part to rid the world of scum or whatever. Well, the world won't be anywhere around when the bill comes after the civil suit. Also, anytime you shoot a human, you expose yourself to criminal prosecution. Do you really want to do that over a VCR or whatever?

To keep it simple, I will only point a gun to shoot a human if that human is an imminent threat to my life.

Jim Watson
May 29, 2009, 02:49 PM
My policy is that I would not shoot a home invader who was clearly on his way out with stolen goods or fleeing detection.

If he were still prowling the house looking for crimes to commit, I would consider him a threat from any direction and not give him the chance to turn on me, as per Armed Bear.

numaone
May 29, 2009, 02:53 PM
Does the value of the material item affect your decision? Ok perhaps not a
$50 VCR, but a $50,000 valuable. From the florida stautes, there is already the presumption of deadly force by the intruder, even as be escapes, or atleast that's my interpretation.

Lone_Gunman
May 29, 2009, 02:56 PM
I don't think the value of the item stolen has anything to do with it.

jakemccoy
May 29, 2009, 03:05 PM
Even it it's $50,000, you still expose yourself to criminal prosecution (not to mention civil prosecution) whenever you shoot a human. You should go visit a prison if you know anybody in there. It's no joke. You may see your viewpoint as being a bit naive after you realize the gravity of being behind bars. I'm not risking my freedom over some property. I have property insurance.

Again, I will only point a gun to shoot a human if that human is an imminent threat to my life. I would consider a burglar who's rummaging through my home to be an imminent threat to my life. I would not consider a burglar who is obviously fleeing to be an imminent threat to my life. It's a judgment call - to each, his own.

Deus Machina
May 29, 2009, 03:19 PM
To clarify a little: In Florida, if it's a good shoot, you can't be sued.

Well, you will be, but if it was a good shoot, it gets tossed out.

But shooting someone in the back? No. Not good.

The law pretty much says that if someone breaks into your house, you're immediately in fear of your life. If he flees, that takes you out of your fear for your life.

If he's running and yelling that he'll be back for you, that's a different story. If he's running and firing a gun behind him, that's a different story. If he's running with your stuff, according to the LEO that taught my CCL class, he's still in commission of a felony and you can shoot him.

Alright under the law? Maybe. Under a jury? Doubtful. What you can be put in prison for sometimes doesn't match up with the lawbooks, and a DA will try to press charges if you shoot someone in the back.

If he runs, let the cops clear it up. Not your problem, unless he returns.

Of course, if he was fleeing with my car, or with my guns, it's safe to assume he means no legal purpose with those (harmful in the latter case) and he better be a fast catcher for that lead.

Rule of thumb: Unless, at that exact moment in time, he needs to be physically stopped, you are not allowed, legally or morally, to shoot.

Flame Red
May 29, 2009, 03:34 PM
Do what Clint did in the Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Wolf Whistle and when he turns around...

Eagles6
May 29, 2009, 03:36 PM
Your scenario assumes that you know as a cold, hard fact that the criminal will not, under any circumstances, harm you or anyone in your house. That he is actually within the doorway and you know for a fact that he is fleeing and that he is not armed and he will not turn, within a fraction of a second, and shoot you or someone else.
If you know all this then no, don't shoot.
Other than that it will probably be a judgment call made in a split second, in the dark or after being surprised, with your heart beating 200 bpm and adrenaline dumping into your bloodstream. Don't overthink.

ganymede
May 29, 2009, 03:42 PM
As far as i know shooting someone who is running away is considered murder no matter where they are. And even if it isn't considered murder legally where you live, it's still murder. we cant just go arround shooting people who try to steal from us. now say they in your house commiting strong arm robbery and you shoot them in the back when they turn arround for a moment, thats not murder, it's taking a tactical advantage.

maroast
May 29, 2009, 03:43 PM
**I am NOT a lawyer** but from my interpretation of the Texas Penal code you would be justified in your action of shooting a fleeing intruder in the back. Would I do it over a VCR (or a Betamax while we're at it)? No.


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:

(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(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



(3) he reasonably believes that:

(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means

TexasRifleman
May 29, 2009, 03:44 PM
As far as i know shooting someone who is running away is considered murder no matter where they are. And even if it isn't considered murder legally where you live, it's still murder. we cant just go arround shooting people who try to steal from us.

Sorry, that is not correct. ETA: The Texas statute is posted above this post.

Kleanbore
May 29, 2009, 03:44 PM
Background: I live in the state of Florida. Florida has the Castle Doctrine for homes. I interpret the law to mean that anyone who forcefully and without authorization enters your dwelling has forfeited their life, for whatever reason.

In the course of working directly with attorneys over more than two decades, I've learned that it is extremely unwise for a lay person to try to interpret any law on the basis of dictionary definitions without a founding in legal concepts and theory, without knowledge of the legal context in which said law operates, without an appreciation of case law, and without knowing the legal terms of art.

Shorter version: do not interpret any law to mean anything and then rely on that interpretation unless you have the benefit of a legal eduction, access to the relevant case law, and some experience in the practice.

What the law (Florida Statutes, Section 776.013) says is that 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...".

The intent, I think, is to relieve from that person the obligation to produce other evidence to show that there was reason to have held the aforementioned reasonable fear if an intruder had unlawfully and forcibly entered an occupied dwelling. Without that provision, a court might require a shooter to provide evidence that an assailant had the ability, opportunity, and intent of causing great harm, even though he had just broken trough the door of an occupied domicile. That's what led to the enactment of a castle law where I live.

Now suppose that there is other evidence that, notwithstanding the fact of entry, the occupant no longer had reason to hold said fear? Do you know the intent of the legislators on that? Do you know the legal theory? Have courts ever been faced with that determination?

Well, if they have not, I recommend strongly against becoming the first test case.

I don't think this is a legal matter if he's sill in the house, but more of a moral issue.

I wouldn't want to wager on that.

I wouldn't bet a nickel on it, much less my record, my fortune, and my personal freedom.

Would you shoot him?

Absolutely not!

Now, you might get by with shooting someone who is on the way out of your house, and you might not. If you do and others follow suit, you might expect to see the law amended. The obvious intent of the law was to remove an unreasonable burden of proof of self defense from the occupant of a residence that has been breached, not to legalize the administration, by individual citizens, of justice to thieves in a proportion that exceeds that which would be applied in the course of due process.

Jim K
May 29, 2009, 03:47 PM
The question legally would be whether the threat is over. If the BG is running out the door, the threat would seem to be over, and there is little justification for shooting (you won't know if he is going to harm someone else later or if he is already a multiple offender).

If he turned his back to shoot at your wife, you would be entirely justified in shooting him in the back or anywhere else.

Jim

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 29, 2009, 03:53 PM
Many many questions in life are difficult. Conversely, this one is a no-brainer.

You NEVER shoot in the back, because a subject not looking at you cannot threaten you. Only exceptions might be:

1. In Texas, after dark, to protect a person fleeing with your property (as I understand it, that is legal there).

2. The fleeing person has strapped dynamite to you, and is fleeing with the remote control detonator to set it off once he gets 'X' distance from you, or some other farfetched scenario in which a person *not looking at you* can actually threaten your safety.

3. He is threatening another person whom you are legally justified in defending (varies state to state as to what relationship is required, whether a spouse or close kin vs. the general public).

4. He is about to commit another new felony - in some states, you can use deadly force to prevent the commission of a felony. If the felony has already been committed, however, you're not justified is using deadly just to catch the perp.

Castle doctrine and Make My day laws ain't got nuttin to do with shootin in the back. You still have to be threatened, at least subjectively (under make my day), and objectively (under castle doctrine), and a person who is not facing you cannot threaten you, either objectively or subjectively. No amount of castle doctrine can save you from a conviction if you shoot someone in the back.

I interpret the law to mean that anyone who forcefully and without authorization enters your dwelling has forfeited their life, for whatever reason.

As noted, you interpreted that law completely incorrectly.

And I didn't even *touch on* morality - just legality.

c5_nc
May 29, 2009, 04:04 PM
Its certainly more likely to go to trail if you shoot in back but to don't think its cut and dry depending on what actually happens and your description of events:

Robbery at nightime- You may not be able to see good enough to tell if they are facing toward or away from you.

Someone else in the path- My front door is right by the staircase (kids rooms are upstairs), are the leaving or heading to the staircase. Maybe they head to a back door and I have a rifle that I keep by the back doorway, are the heading to get the gun or leaving?

hso
May 29, 2009, 04:05 PM
From the florida stautes, there is already the presumption of deadly force by the intruder, even as be escapes, or atleast that's my interpretation.

You had better talk to a FL criminal attorney about that interpretation. Any time someone is fleeing and their back is to you and they're not approaching a family member you're no longer considered subject to deadly force.

A recent case illustrates where shooting someone that is fleeing CAN be justified. Grandparents responded to the threat that someone had broken into the home of their minor grandchild while the child was present. The intruder fled the home, but towards the grandmother sitting in the car outside the home. The grandfather shot the fleeing individual claiming that he was in fear for the grandmother's safety. He was not charged. Had he not had the reasonable argument that he was in fear for the life of another he could have been charged because the intruder was fleeing and presumed to no longer be a threat.

Your broad interpretation of the castle doctrine is common, but incorrect. A fleeing intruder is no longer automatically presumed to represent a threat as someone who was not fleeing would.

TexasRifleman
May 29, 2009, 04:06 PM
In Texas, after dark, to protect a person fleeing with your property (as I understand it, that is legal there).

It's more complicated than that.

The nighttime provision only applies to theft and criminal mischief.

In Texas deadly force is allowed to stop the commission of criminal mischief in the nighttime, and theft during the nighttime. Not fleeing with the property, but the actual commission of the theft itself. Note it's theft, not burglary.

Shooting to stop fleeing with the property is different. The nighttime only applies to property gained by theft. If it was robbery or burglary the nighttime provision does not apply.

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:

(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and

(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

(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

(3) he reasonably believes that:

(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or

(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

and a person who is not facing you cannot threaten you

Fleeing and moving for better position are not the same thing.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 29, 2009, 04:12 PM
ok, wait, got it - thanks.

TexasRifleman
May 29, 2009, 04:13 PM
Thank you for the clarification TRM!

Well, I almost hate to do it.

Since Texas is the only state with these kinds of laws it worries me that others read this stuff and think that their state may have similar.

I almost hate to bring up the Texas law sometimes because it's so unusual.

If you don't live in Texas DO NOT read that stuff above, it could get you sent to prison anywhere else :)

maskedman504
May 29, 2009, 04:20 PM
TexasRifleman-

Would you like to give analysis of the Joe Horn shooting in Texas?

Thanks in advance.

TexasRifleman
May 29, 2009, 04:22 PM
Would you like to give analysis of the Joe Horn shooting in Texas?


That was covered pretty well here before but basically since the deadly force provision only requires darkness for "theft", and these guys had broken into a house (making that burglary) he argued that deadly force was OK since it was unlikely the property could have been recovered any other way, which meets the law here.

That was one of his arguments.

Also, it came out that when he yelled at the 2 guys they came towards him, and he shot in self defense.

I am not sure which story mattered since the Grand Jury testimony is closed.

But, whatever story it was the Grand Jury believed it and he was no billed. My personal feeling is that it was the self defense argument, not the property recovery argument. If you read the Wikipedia article on this, and other stuff, you see lots of references to the protecting property statute. And, he was probably legally justified under that but his attorneys also presented the self defense argument from what I understand.

This case had one of the "shot in the back" things as well, which shows that shooting in the back does NOT always result in a crime.

Also, a cop saw the whole shooting, so that changes things a lot too. They didn't just have Mr Horns version of the story since there was an LE witness.

He heard Horn order the men to stop and instead they turned toward him. Both of them were killed on Mr Horns property, not the place next door or a street.

So, I think this one went to self defense.

ScareyH22A
May 29, 2009, 04:42 PM
If you shot him in the back like you described, heading out the door, you did it in anger and not because of anything else. It's very easy to prosecute someone for shooting in anger. And it's very easy to see right through any bs you might come up with.

Yoda
May 29, 2009, 04:57 PM
NO!

Can I be any more plain?

IANAL... BUT, the law is intended to give you a presumptive defense if you have to shoot someone who has entered your house illegally. The law allows you to assume that someone who has entered your house illegally intends to commit a violent felony, and thus the use of deadly force is justified.

HOWEVER, this is NOT a license to kill!!! Once it is obvious that the intruder is not commiting a violent felony (ever hear of the drunk that came in the wrong door?), or that the person is no longer a threat (running away), then it seems clear to me that you have no LEGAL or MORAL justification for shooting him.

I had a friend in Virginia who was a genuine Army Ranger with combat experience. He came home one night and found a teenager in his house. The kid tried to climb out a window as my friend got his gun. He said he was ready to shoot the kid as he struggled to get through the window, then he decided that whatever the kid was up to, he wasn't ready to take his life for it. The day after it happened, after he had a whole night to think about it, he told me that he was happy with his decision. He said that he just wasn't ready to take the kid's life for whatever he had done in his house, and he sure wasn't ready to take a life over "stuff."

Now, if the kid had just raped my friend's wife or daughter, things would have been very different, and I'm sure he would then have been at peace with a decision to shoot.

You have to live with yourself. If you're the sort of guy who would shoot "just because you think you can," then you're not the sort of guy I want to live with.

- - - Yoda

=============

psyopspec
May 29, 2009, 04:59 PM
That being said would you shoot a home invader in the back as he is heading out the door (but still within the confines of the house) if he was only stealing [insert valuable MATERIAL possession here].

Heck no, and per the reasons laid out by ArmedBear, et al.

KenWP
May 29, 2009, 05:03 PM
Even if the guy had a weapon and was coming at you he's in the right up here. We are supposed to call the cops and hope they get there before hes done. We do not have the right to defend ourselves what so ever up here.

springmom
May 29, 2009, 05:07 PM
ArmedBear and hso have it nailed.

Let me add a slightly different point: it has indeed been said that our possessions represent life...that is, time, effort, sometimes distress, blood, sweat, tears.... But trying to equate shooting someone in the back because they're stealing my TV with shooting someone who's got a gun pointed at me is just goofy. My life is more than the sum of my possessions; it is certainly far more than any one or few of my possessions. My life, in the scenario given, is not in danger.

Now, had I walked into the living room and seen him standing in the middle of the room... that's a different kettle of fish. There's way too much possibility in that case that he's going to choose to make his escape *through me* either by my death or injury. THAT is what the castle law is intended to address. Not someone fleeing your house with your VCR.

And again, go back and read....and re-read....ArmedBear's comments. If you are going to carry a gun, or have one at home for home defense, you *must* be ready for the consequences of what follows if you use it. And those consequences will include you waking up in a cold sweat many nights for the rest of your life. I'm willing to take that for the defense of my life. Not for the defense of my electronics.

Jan

KBT1911
May 29, 2009, 05:33 PM
If all it was was some dude trying to get my electronics and I didn't feel threatened I wouldn't shoot. I might chase and knock the crap (Think Buttstroke to the head, bayonet training style) out of him though, If I could catch him.

Otherwise, I'd just call the cops and then figure out where the hole in my home security was that allowed him to get in in the first place and fix it.

TexasRifleman
May 29, 2009, 05:35 PM
But trying to equate shooting someone in the back because they're stealing my TV with shooting someone who's got a gun pointed at me is just goofy. My life is more than the sum of my possessions; it is certainly far more than any one or few of my possessions. My life, in the scenario given, is not in danger.

That argument generally is true.

However, the Texas law on deadly force to protect property is in place precisely because property CAN be your life.

The example I have seen used most often is the case of a mechanic, repairman, etc who has his livelihood in his tools. If he has no tools he cannot work to feed his family, hence their lives may be in danger to some extent.

The other one cited as kind of the "original" case for this was someone out in the middle of nowhere and a criminal steals your water, food supply, transportation etc which could in a very real way put your life in danger.

So sometimes stuff is "just stuff" but there are very real cases where "stuff" represents life, or the sustaining of life.

Take for example the case of copper wiring theft. If your neighbor is on a ventilator and you see someone stealing the copper wiring off of his house, would you shoot over "just stuff"? It represents much more than just copper wiring, that electricity may be keeping your neighbor alive.

Sure these are extreme examples, but they absolutely can come up.

That is why Texas has this law and I am glad I live in a state that recognizes that there are time when "stuff" is MUCH more than just "stuff".

shootistpd27
May 29, 2009, 05:46 PM
If hes in my house, and hes not welcome, he is a dead man. I would shoot him in the back, front, side, bottom, top, or while rolling. If he is running out the door with my stuff I would shoot him then drag him back in and shoot him again. The castle law is not that he forfeits his life being unwelcome in your home. It simply means that you have no duty to retreat. Make sure you practice your statement by saying that you shot him because you were in fear for your life and not just because you can. It will save you some grief. All the liberal nay sayers who say that they wouldnt shoot an intruder in the back are weak and wrong. My house is my house. If you make the mistake of thinking that you can come in and do as you please, you misread the rulebook and the penalty is death.

SWDoc
May 29, 2009, 06:04 PM
OP, to answer your question: no. I would not shoot him given the scenario you presented. GENERALLY speaking, when he is running away, the threat is decreasing, not becoming more urgent.

COULD there be a situation where you would be justified in shooting them in the back? Certainly. Two that immediately occur to me are the intruder turining to grab a weapon, or him turning his back on you to run into a room containing your children.

Steve

hso
May 29, 2009, 06:07 PM
With all due respect to Texas and Texans, the laws in Texas are unique on defending property and not applicable to the rest of the country (and especially not to the OP question in FL).

The OP misunderstands the defense to prosecution the FL "castle doctrine" provides him. In the situation he describes he would have no defense to prosecution because shooting a fleeing intruder as they left the house would be considered an unjustifiable shooting. If he were charged he would also have no defense to civil liability. He could be bankrupted by the legal expenses attempting to stay out of prison and then ruined by the civil suite.

Boris Barowski
May 29, 2009, 06:27 PM
what he's carrying is probably less valuable than the lawyer you'll need to pay to explain this tricky situation in court.

mcdonl
May 29, 2009, 07:00 PM
OP, to answer your question: no. I would not shoot him given the scenario you presented. GENERALLY speaking, when he is running away, the threat is decreasing, not becoming more urgent.

I am not sure how I would react. If the BG is retreating, heading towards the door, how long to you wait to be sure he is leaving, and not seeking cover AND concealment at an exterior door frame. Too long and your wrong.... your dead.

If the threat is present, and the BG has not LEFT your immediate threat area... 21' with a knife... who knows with a gun, you are always at the threat of serious bodily harm, no matter the direction your assailent is facing.

Frank Ettin
May 29, 2009, 07:39 PM
Short answer: No. Expanded answer: No.

Desert Panther
May 29, 2009, 07:57 PM
I am no softie; I also think horse thieves should be hung (lethal injection and all being too kind for them). Least you think horse thieves are no longer a problem, I can tell you a story that happened to an acquaintance just a few years ago...

not trying to hijack this thread, but I'd like to hear about this

Fred Fuller
May 29, 2009, 08:04 PM
When the threat ceases to exist, legitimate claims to self defense also cease to exist- as a general rule. I too am no lawyer, and never played on on TV. This sort of question is best answered in consultation with a good criminal defense attorney, in the questioner's specific jurisdiction. It is almost always a question of case law and precedent as much as 'black letter' or law book, statute law. All the 'net advice in the world is no substitute for knowing what you can and cannot legally do in your jurisdiction.

From professional trainer John Farnam: "Winning a gunfight, or any other potentially injurious encounter, is financially and emotionally burdensome. The aftermath will become your full-time job for weeks or months afterward, and you will quickly grow weary of writing checks to lawyer(s). It is, of course, better than being dead or suffering a permanently disfiguring or disabling injury, but the "penalty" for successfully fighting for your life is still formidable." -- http://www.defense-training.com/quips/2003/19Mar03.html

hth,

lpl

gimlet1/21
May 29, 2009, 08:07 PM
Now if you whistle him up like a deer and he turns to face you, he's all yours and you've eliminated a threat to the rest of us.

PT1911
May 29, 2009, 08:16 PM
if he is on his way out he is not an immediate threat to your life... Castle doctrines are not free reign to kill whomever you like because they are in your home. If one is breaking in regardless of your warnings, you can shoot, if they have a weapon, you can shoot, if they are approaching you in any sort of threatening manner (your judgement but likely any motion toward you.) If they are running away, not a good idea... perhaps if you are worried about your belongings you could warn to stop and get down and perhaps a warning shot...though I really would not recommend it... exactly what home-owners is for.. if they are leaving, you survived.. learn from your mistake at not being more secure and call your insurance company to collect losses...

BigGuy52
May 29, 2009, 08:20 PM
My outlook on this subject agrees with 'Oro, the second post of this thread.

If BG injured or attacked my wife, I'd take deadly action, no matter which way he was traveling.

Anything else, he can run away. But that's not saying my 3 big dogs wouldn't be chasing him/her, looking for revenge.

jkingrph
May 29, 2009, 09:21 PM
I remember a case here in Texas shortly after moving here about 30 years ago, A young man had had burglery problems at his semi rural home and decided to go check on it, while he was in route his burglar alarm went off, this was pre cell phone days. He arrived before police, caught a couple of guys hauling his possessions out, so he pulls out a rifle, and laid one across a fence dead. I do not remember about the other. Another case another person shot and killed a robber ie purse snatcher in a parkilng lot af a fairly long range with a big handgun, and it was reported in the news, A few days later he turned hisself in to the authorities.

In both cases the shooters were no billed, they were at no time threatned by the criminals. Both of these cases were in the Dallas area, not necessarily the city of Dallas

A lot of what you can do and be legal depends upon where you are at the time of the incident. What might get you jail time in New Jersey, will get you a slap on the back and comment of "job well done" in Texas.

Badger Arms
May 29, 2009, 09:25 PM
The purpose of shooting somebody is to stop them from what they are doing when a reasonable person would believe that were action not taken, bodily harm or death to you or somebody else would occur... EVEN IN YOUR OWN HOUSE.

The Castle Doctorine simply states that, by being in your house after an unlawful entry, there is very little burdon of proof to show you reasonably feared for your life.

Of course, if you shoot somebody in the back, all bets are off.

RoostRider
May 29, 2009, 09:31 PM
No way I would shoot him in the back in that scenario.... But I would not let him leave without being confronted by me and confirming that he was GONE (ie- scared off of my property and no longer a likely threat), at very least verbally from behind (something along the lines of "Leave my property now! I am armed!" or "that stuff isn't worth your life")... and I would "escort" him off my property (following at the pace he sets).. but if/when he turned towards me while taking steps to clear him from my property IMMEDIATELY I would consider him a viable threat once again and things would change... if he came towards me without being told to, I would not likely wait for explaination....

After all, he wouldn't be the first thief to come back into the house to get something else after making off with a VCR. I want to know that he left with a distinct fear of returning.

Kleanbore
May 29, 2009, 09:48 PM
If hes in my house, and hes not welcome, he is a dead man. I would shoot him in the back, front, side, bottom, top, or while rolling. If he is running out the door with my stuff I would shoot him then drag him back in and shoot him again. The castle law is not that he forfeits his life being unwelcome in your home. It simply means that you have no duty to retreat. Make sure you practice your statement by saying that you shot him because you were in fear for your life and not just because you can. It will save you some grief. All the liberal nay sayers who say that they wouldnt shoot an intruder in the back are weak and wrong. My house is my house. If you make the mistake of thinking that you can come in and do as you please, you misread the rulebook and the penalty is death.

How do you spell "state of mind?"

By the way, were the founders of the states that adopted the English Common Law as the foundations of their systems of jurisprudence, starting back in the eighteenth century, "liberal naysayers" as the term is understood today?

onlymeself
May 29, 2009, 10:57 PM
Everything in my house can be replaced. Except for my kids and my husband. And my dogs. That being said I would not shoot someone in the back for leaving with a thing that I could replace. Would I shoot a threat to my or my loved ones life, yes without hestitation. I had a California LEO tell me once, that if you have to shoot someone, not to shoot to wound, shoot to kill. You don't want them alive to testify against you or to sue you for damages. Yes, the BG's family can try to sue for wrongful death, but once you are cleared for the shooting that goes out the window.

Oh course in this scenario I have a hard time picturing this BG running out of my house with anything in his hands....with 2 70lb shar pei/ pit bull mix attached to his butt.

ezypikns
May 29, 2009, 11:01 PM
but if you have to use your weapon in a self defense situation, I believe it's POSSIBLE that a prosecuting attorney can use statements against you which you may have made on a public forum.....like this one.

It's one thing to be determined to defend yourself or your family, but telling the world how you're going to go about it may not be too good of an idea.

Oro
May 29, 2009, 11:08 PM
not trying to hijack this thread, but I'd like to hear about this

(the horse theives) OK - this is off-topic but there are more than an average number of horse owners here so I'll post it.

OK, we own a few horses and ride quite a bit. Many of the friends we've made in this area are horse owners because of that. For those who don't know horses, they are massive investments of time, energy and emotion to train and befriend. Years of hard work to become a good rider, owner, trainer. Hours and hours of care per week, even if you don't do a thing with them. Horses also will develop powerful emotional responses to their owners - it becomes a two-way street. You can have a personal relationship with a horse for about 30 years because of their long lifespan - so this is not like a goldfish.

An older woman I know, mid 60s, childless, long widowed, one of her great things in life is her horses and caring for them, riding them. She came home one day late in the summer, and someone had driven a truck through her back property line, mashing down bushes and saplings and the fence, then hauled her two horses away. This was devastating to her - imagine a child lost, whatever you would want to compare it to. Devastating. I can not say she over reacted; it would have had the same effect on me.

Two or three months later, a few days after the end of hunting season, she woke up one morning to find her two horses, skinny and malnourished, hanging at her back gate wanting grain and hay. Presumably, they had been "kidnapped" to serve as either pack animals or mounts for some hunters. Once the season was done, and they had abused them and run them down to bones and ill-health, they dumped them back.

Personally, I would really like to get a hold of these guys and get even, for the pain they caused and I know they will go on causing to other people pulling stupid stunts like this or other crimes. Believe me, if someone pulled that stunt with my horse, I would not stop until I found them and I would shoot both their knee caps out so they could sit still and think about what they did. After an hour or two of that I'd just shoot them in the gut and tie them up and gag them so they could die slowly and painfully over several days, and I wouldn't have to worry about them coming back at me. Basically, the same plan I have for anyone that badly harms my family or an innocent person close to me. Partly out of revenge, but also so they can't do it to another person.

As you may guess, we don't have children, and the animals serve in many ways as deep substitutes for that. I did not grow up with horses, this is something I learned in mid-life. I realize know why much of the mushy horse stuff in Westerns is there - the human-horse bond can be that deep. "Hanging" for horse thieves was about more than just stealing someones transportation.

Also, "Oro" is part of my horse's name. "Oro Ocultado" - hidden gold. He really was.

lexjj
May 29, 2009, 11:40 PM
I am about a year away from passing the bar, but here are my thoughts:

1st, always read the statute -
776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.--

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) "Vehicle" means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.
Source (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0776/SEC013.HTM)

The statute says a PRESUMPTION is created. Generally, in statutory interpretation, that means that the burden of proof is simply shifted. Instead of you having to prove you were in fear of your life/bodily harm, the state would have to prove that you were not. Presumptions are REBUTTABLE. That means an intrepid prosecutor who wants to make a career for himself could go after you if you shot this hypothetical intruder in the back on his way out. Just for reference, the law changed in 2005. There are 5 cases on Westlaw since 2006 about this very issue, and that is at the appeals level. (at least one of the cases is about how the new law should be implemented to "offenders" who acted before the new law went into effect). That does not even count the number of cases that showed up at the trial court level, which frankly I am unwilling to go to the trouble of determining.

In Florida, if you shoot someone who is not a threat leaving your home, you are really taking a giant risk. You are banking on prosecutorial discretion, and you may not get it. And frankly, you may not deserve it.

At the very least, if you shoot someone on the way out of your home. Don't say a damn word to the police without your attorney present. Call an attorney immediately. Do what the attorney says. Don't even say anything to 911, other than, "a man has been shot at XXXX address, please respond immediately."

Mr. Bojangles
May 29, 2009, 11:48 PM
I wouldn't shoot someone unless he posed a threat to a person, either myself or someone else. For example, if he had a firearm that he had stolen from me in his posession as he was running, firing on him would be a realistic option. But as for the VCR, TV, jewelery, etc. I would not shoot someone over any (or all) of those items.

I do realize that every self-defense situation is unique and there are a lot of "gray" areas that must be addressed immediately, and with consequences that will affect many people for the remainder of their lives. While some actions are flagrantly wrong and some are clearly right, it is easy to second-guess someone else when the luxury of time and lack of stress make it convenient.

ghoster
May 30, 2009, 12:03 AM
if he is in my house he is a threat to me and my kids.:mad:

i have no idea what he has already done and no matter where we meet he is between me and some of my kids.

he will be shot.

longdayjake
May 30, 2009, 12:49 AM
I would do it simply to protect others from having the same idiot break into their house. I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing that he is still out there. I would probably try to get him to stop and get on the ground first, but if he didn't comply I would make sure he didn't come back.

catspa
May 30, 2009, 02:26 AM
A similar question is being discussed over in S&T by some members. I don't know how to link it, but it's titled "how to handle a break-in" or words to that effect.

Parker

Hungry Seagull
May 30, 2009, 02:52 AM
It is murder in Arkansas to shoot someone in the back while that person is fleeing.

If they stop, turn around and try to fire a few parting shots, fine. So be it. But if a invader sees that he or she (Or a group) decides that they need to retreat and get off and out of your house and off your lands, let them go.

The LEO's will get to them soon enough or maybe they might show up at one of the hospitals as a GSW.

As much as the stress, energy and feel the violence in your blood, you must not shoot that person who is fleeing and showing you the back. Neither must you chase after them. Just Reload, prepare for a second wave or arrival of LEO's

I am way late to this thread. But I stand firm on this.

We had one case recently where a aggressor pulled onto another's property with a shotgun in truck. That man then sees owner on porch with long gun (Rifle) and wisely decides to back vehicle up and get away. Unfortunately, the retreating man died with two bullet holes in the head from rifle on porch.

That man got arrested and put in jail charged with murder.

mcdonl
May 30, 2009, 07:43 AM
I dont have anything else to contribute other then I am still confused as to when you are certain the BG is leaving, and not just seeking a better defensive situation, just like I would do in a gunfight (I guess....)

A couple of years ago, this was discussed about a store robbery and Lee posted the following link that was pretty informative so I thought I would repost it...

http://www.teddytactical.com/archive/MonthlyStudy/2006/02_StudyDay.htm

Kleanbore
May 30, 2009, 07:54 AM
I would do it simply to protect others from having the same idiot break into their house. I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing that he is still out there. I would probably try to get him to stop and get on the ground first, but if he didn't comply I would make sure he didn't come back.

Here's a relevant posting in response to a very similar statement made on the Strategies and Tactics Forum by moderator Jeff White. Read and head:

...no law anywhere in the United States, no so called Make my Day law or castle doctrine law gives you the legal right to impose and carry out a death sentence. It is not your job nor your civic duty to kill an intruder so that he won't intrude on someone else. Dispensing of justice is still a function of the state.

Castle doctrine laws simply give you an official presumption that you were justified in using deadly force. They do not forbid the police and states attorney from investigating the circumstances of the shooting and if the physical evidence makes it look like you killed someone who no longer presented a threat to you or anyone else's safety by retreating, expect to be arrested, charged and quite possibly convicted. Expect to have your computer seized during the investigation and expect to have this thread and your posts in it found and used to help convince a jury that you have a cavalier attitude towards the use of deadly force and killed someone who was no threat to you or anyone else at the time you killed him.

Only the state can decide someone will be a threat in the future and take action to see that they aren't. You cannot shoot someone for what they might do in the future.

I think too many people have bought into the Brady Organization's propaganda that Castle Doctrine laws are a license to kill. They aren't.



http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5641344&postcount=73

sacp81170a
May 30, 2009, 07:55 AM
If someone is taking my 50 inch plasma TV I wouldn't shoot 'em in the back, I'd... SHOOT THE TV. If I can't have it, neither can they. :evil:

76shuvlinoff
May 30, 2009, 08:09 AM
anyone answering this question on the internet should probably say "no"

RangerHAAF
May 30, 2009, 08:19 AM
A few months back a couple of criminals stole my ATV, fortunately for them I was about 2-3 minutes behind them and the cops arrived on the scene before I did and they ran off and abandoned their stolen truck along with my ATV but I must say in all honesty that if I had of caught them in the act I was going to shoot to kill them.

Here in GA we have established case law, statutory law and civil lawsuit protection that would have backed me up, plus I have several defense attorney friends who owe me personal favors.

So if somebody comes to try to take from me my personal possessions or violate my dwelling I'm going to shoot them no matter which way they're facing. The issue is quite simple to me and I'm willing to take my chances in front of a jury.

justinvoigts
May 30, 2009, 08:28 AM
Every situation is different but myself i will feel threatened anytime if i am awoke by a bg in my house in the middle of the night. Thats why i have 5 mags for my glock 23 loaded with winchester ranger t series the best ammo ready to go and my girl has my sig 250 with 3 15 rd mags loaded with the ranger t series ready to go also in her nightstand.i don't know how good a shot i would be half asleep at 3 in the morning i do have night sights meprolight but i havent ever had to shoot like that before. Technically in the night everyone could feel their life was threatened cause nobody is ready for a break in, everyone is caught off guard so if you shot someone you have a good shot at getting away with it, armed or not your life was threatened the bg is fully awake you are not. I live in nj and my uncle is a lieutenant he says just make sure its in the front of the bg's body. And if you shoot make sure he is dead so he cant sue you that's why i have the t series i wanna make sure they are dead they shred. If anyone wants to check them out go on winchesters website g and r tactical and mah supplies have these in stock.:);) but too make sure they are 100% in your house not in the doorway for the front door or whatever

justinvoigts
May 30, 2009, 08:39 AM
it's easier for you I live in nj it is impossible to get a permit to carry unless you are a cop firearm id card serperate pistol permit for each handgun 15 rd magazine limit you have alot more relaxed laws thats why i wanna move soon

61chalk
May 30, 2009, 08:41 AM
Long time ago 2 guys were trying to steal my Dads 69' GTO from the drive way..middle of the night..Dad grabbed the .20 pump Mossberg, tube always loaded, an went out..they ran towards the lake an across the swamp..Dad said he waited till they were around 50 yrds or so an put some #6 birdshot into his butt area...guy scream an cussed an an cried to his buddy this SOB is trying to kill me! They got to a rode an a 3rd party pulled up in a mustang an they got in an took off, just as Dad (WWII vet from the Pacific) arrived behind them, an put the last 4 shells into the trunk an taillights as it took off. I know Dad didn't want to kill them...bad thing is I found the shell he fired first, an remembered I had been groundhog hunting an changed the regular 6 shot to a 3" magnum 6 shot!!!! An hadn't changed it back...I ran an told Dad.....Dad looked at the shell an just said..." I thought that guy was yelling awful lowd, come to think of it, that first shot did seem to kick harder for some reason."
I think justice was served that night. .....being a thief can be very dangerous....an don't mess with a mans GTO....these are the lessons I learned that night in 1974.

hso
May 30, 2009, 09:10 AM
lexjj,

Thank you for the sound, level-headed analysis.

Everyone must understand that "castle doctrine" simply shifts the burden of presumption of threat, but does not remove any of the responsibility for reasonableness.

SCKimberFan
May 30, 2009, 09:21 AM
Even if the guy had a weapon and was coming at you he's in the right up here. We are supposed to call the cops and hope they get there before hes done. We do not have the right to defend ourselves what so ever up here.

I feel for you my Canadian friend.

justinvoigts
May 30, 2009, 10:04 AM
see you guys all have it so much different than the people in NJ if you shot at someone outside in NJ the cops would come your house lock you up and take all of your guns it stinks NJ stinks to live in I'm trying to move too expensive to live here and ridiculous gun laws

SWDoc
May 30, 2009, 11:29 AM
A quick comment on chasing down a burgler with a gun in your hand. At some point, YOU become the person committing the assault, and THEY become the person who can legally defend themselves with deadly force.

Let's see how the deal with the OK pharmacist plays out.

Steve

Hugo
May 30, 2009, 11:34 AM
Run for office Canadians. Fix the Bull plop yourself or it won't get fixed.

Depends a whole lot on what robber is stealing and just got out the door with.

Robber carrying home electronics out the door? Don't shoot. Maybe covertly follow if he's slow and use cell phone to direct police to him.

Robber carrying expensive medicine I need to live (insulin, cancer meds, etc....)/child of mine/unloaded firearm of mine he somehow grabbed and will surely use to murder or rob others? Shoot to stop and call police/ambulance.

marineman
May 30, 2009, 05:58 PM
While I think that they deserve to be shot, I would use discretion due to the legal ramnifications of shooting someone. If they were fleeing with no other objective other than taking my posessions I would probably let them go and call the police. They will get caught sooner or later. Burglars are habitual creatures and will continue to burglarize until caught in most cases. However, if the person was armed and I felt that they endangered myself or my neighbors, I would blow them away.

ReadyRob
May 30, 2009, 06:16 PM
I don't think this is a legal matter if he's sill in the house, but more of a moral issue. Would you shoot him?

Oh but it is a legal matter. You had better learn about the Administration of Justice. I don't have time to read through the 4 or 5 pages of this thread but I hope someone has mentioned AOJ. Check previous threads if not.

I woman who has just been raped cannot shoot the bum in the back w/o expecting to be run through the legal mill and the worst, charges filed against her, has happened more than once.

We have to get past thinking we can do anything we want in a self defensive act, there are laws that have to be obeyed even then.

(you can talk to God about the moral issue when you get to heaven)

wrs840
May 30, 2009, 06:29 PM
I think shooting anyone retreating from a home invasion in the back would be a legal nightmare and morally wrong. But I'd sure try to shoot his legs out from under him if he was running out the door carrying one of my kids, and expect then to face the consequences.

Les

mcdonl
May 30, 2009, 10:54 PM
I guess the last thing I want to say is... shooting someone retreating or leaving would be bad, but shooting someone in the back could go either way.

If the BG is retreating, then hold your position and wait for help or retreat even further yourself.

If the BG has simply put his back towards you, but is still shooting, seeking cover, moving towards hostages, etc, etc... he is still a threat.

The description in the OP is to vague to know if there is still a threat, only the direction of travel was indicated...

Leroy

Deanimator
June 14, 2009, 10:04 AM
Background: I live in the state of Florida. Florida has the Castle Doctrine for homes. I interpret the law to mean that anyone who forcefully and without authorization enters your dwelling has forfeited their life, for whatever reason.
Fail

It means you can use deadly force to protect yourself and others in your home (and in Ohio, your vehicle), with a legal presumption of justification. It doesn't mean that you can shoot fleeing non-violent offenders or that you can execute an already incapacitated offender.

On the other hand, if you're standing behind a home invader who is presenting an imminent, credible threat to life and limb of another innocent party, shoot him in the back until he's not a threat.

DawgsFan_07
June 14, 2009, 10:55 AM
Anybody in my house who isn't supposed to be there I will go after aggressively. I don't really give a crap about my vcr or tv, it's my family I'm worried about. Shooting somebody over 50 bucks worth of stuff just ain't worth it IMO. If they are clearly leaving then I don't think you can or should shoot them. If they have their back to you and you feel they are a threat, I'd take the shot in those circumstances. I'm not a lawyer or a cop though, if you know one talk to them.

augustino
June 14, 2009, 11:49 AM
I personally would never consider shooting a THIEF, fleeing from my home period. If the THIEF is fleeing, he/she is NOT a threat to me or my family. Sure I'd be extremely upset and feel violated that someone broke into my home. BUT I never want to face my MAKER with the death of another on my hands.

Now I simplify things by saying what I said the way I've said it.
If it's 3:30AM and I hear someone removing the TV from the stand and opening the door to exit will I have time to check my son & wife to be certain they are unharmed?
Well I really can't say. BUT I would definitely shout for the thief to stop and if they didn't by that time I would already be at the door because my home is small.

So IF everyone is alright I would not, I would never shoot a human being for stealing "THINGS" material possessions that is. The sanctity of human life, even that of a criminal weighs far heavier that the value of things, material items, with me.

Now if it's 3:30AM and I hear someone (not my wife-not me) entering my sons's room or my bedroom or even rummaging around in the house appearing to be in the midst of a home invasion and NOT fleeing, well look out thief because you're life is now endanger of ending. We have every right, obligation in fact, to defend our helpless children against one that breaks into our homes.

bigione
June 14, 2009, 01:52 PM
One thing about it, a dead thief wont be tempted to hurt or kill someone on another invasion. Maybe one would tell it a little diferent than it happend, but protect future lives. I'm not sure what I would do.

Extremely Pro Gun
June 14, 2009, 01:58 PM
KILL THE SCUM, if you can get away with it!!! :barf:

Kleanbore
June 14, 2009, 10:00 PM
KILL THE SCUM, if you can get away with it!!!

What kind of ambassadorship for THR is that?

"If you can get away with it"? Good lord!

yongxingfreesty
June 14, 2009, 10:05 PM
i dont know, it's hard to say.

mgkdrgn
June 14, 2009, 10:18 PM
It is murder in Arkansas to shoot someone in the back while that person is fleeing.


Are they fleeing, maneuvering for position, going to grab the gun they layed down on the table, or calling to get some more of their buds waiting outside?

Double Naught Spy
June 15, 2009, 12:40 AM
Shooting Home Robber in the Back
Hello y'all,
I just started taking a serious stance on home defense and while thinking about it, I had a problem that was plaguing me. I'm not sure what I would do in this (realistic) scenario, so I wanted to gather your opinions.

Background: I live in the state of Florida. Florida has the Castle Doctrine for homes. I interpret the law to mean that anyone who forcefully and without authorization enters your dwelling has forfeited their life, for whatever reason.

That being said would you shoot a home invader in the back as he is heading out the door (but still within the confines of the house) if he was only stealing [insert valuable MATERIAL possession here]. I guess I'm imagining a robber running out of the house with VCR, or Earrings, etc... I don't think this is a legal matter if he's sill in the house, but more of a moral issue. Would you shoot him?

Thanks for your thoughts.

This type of question always bothers me as it presupposes knowledge that certainly may not be known at the time.

How do you know the robber is heading for the door? It very well may be that the robber is simply heading for a position of cover or better firing position. He may be going for a weapon left behind or an opportunistic weapon. He may be moving in the direction of the door, but that does not mean that he is leaving. He might be leaving...or maybe not.

While this would not go with castle doctrine, it did take place in Florida and is an example of robbers running away only to turn and fire...

Orlando victims scare off armed robbers with own guns
They draw permitted concealed weapons when suspect shoots

Henry Pierson Curtis | Sentinel Staff Writer
November 7, 2007

Two holders of concealed-weapons permits surprised armed thugs who approached them in west Orlando this week.

Both men opened fire rather than surrender their wallets. The robbers beat it.

"They left with broken egos. They didn't get nothing from us," Juan Amezaga said Tuesday. "If more people stood up for themselves, a lot of crime could be prevented. And the concealed-weapons permit, that's great."

The men say they exercised their constitutional right to own guns, carried them legally and defended themselves within the state's deadly force law.

"If it's appropriate, people have to defend themselves," said Sgt. Barbara Jones, Orlando police spokeswoman. "It's no different from us using a gun. It has to be justified, and we will, of course, investigate what happened."

The gunfight erupted at 6:10 p.m. Monday near Clear Lake, according to a police report on the incident.

Amezaga, 25, and Stephen Soto, 23, were enjoying the fall weather outside Soto's apartment on South Wilts Circle when two strangers walked by them two or three times. Thinking that was suspicious behavior, Amezaga and Soto took notice when both strangers walked up to Amezaga's parked car, where the men were standing.

"What time is it?" one of the strangers asked.

Soto looked down at his watch and said, "It is 6:10." Raising his head, Soto heard the stranger say, "Hey, run them," as the man drew a black snub-nose revolver from the pouch in his sweat shirt.

As Soto pulled a 9 mm Keltec pistol from his right front pants pocket, he heard the robber's gunfire and felt a bullet graze his left shin, breaking the skin. Still standing, Soto fired two or three times before both robbers turned and ran, the report states.

"They tried to rob me and my homeboy," Soto said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "Man, put it like this: If I didn't have a concealed-weapons permit, it would have been a lot worse."

When the robbers fled, one stopped, turned and fired an unknown number of shots.

Soto shot back and fired two to three more times, and Amezaga drew his .357 Magnum Sig Sauer pistol and fired eight or nine times at the robbers. Crime-scene technicians later collected 15 shell casings ejected by both of the men's handguns, the report said.

Both men were unsure whether they hit either robber. Police did not determine where the 15 bullets fired by the men struck in the neighborhood.

Police are looking for two young men who sped away after getting into a gray or silver Chrysler 300 or Dodge Intrepid sedan. It had stock rims and dark tinted windows, and one headlight was not working. The vehicle was last seen speeding north toward Mable Butler Boulevard.

Amezaga and Soto bought their pistols after becoming concerned about Orlando's increase in violent crime.

Nearly 20,000 people in Orange County legally carry concealed firearms, records show. The number of licenses for concealed weapons in the county has jumped 20 percent in the past year and rose 57 percent in the past five years.

The state Division of Licensing had sent out nearly a quarter-million applications for permits statewide by June, a 33 percent increase from five years ago.

Soto, who installs sound systems, arrived four years ago from New York and obtained his concealed-weapons permit last year. Amezaga, a warehouse worker who moved here eight years ago from Puerto Rico, also obtained a permit last year. Both practice at public gun ranges in Orlando and Apopka.

"It could have been real bad last night if it wasn't for the quick thinking and our concealed-weapons permits," he said. "We might not even be here."

ningakiller
June 15, 2009, 03:04 AM
:evil:Why would you care if the robber stole your vcr player if you shoot them you might get charger with murder and if you shoot them you might shoot the vcr player but when the robber falls it wil be in more than one peice but the robber was running why care what they and they might have a gun and turn on you!:what::what::what::what::what::what::what::what::what::what::what::banghead::cuss:

P.O.2010
June 15, 2009, 06:48 AM
To answer your question, it all depends on the laws in your particular state.

In New York State, for instance, robbery and burglary are two entirely different crimes. Burglary involves unlawfully entering the premises of another and remaining with the intent to commit a crime therein while robbery is using or threatening to use physical or deadly physical force to take control of the property of another or to maintain control of said property once it has been taken by larceny.

For example, if a thief breaks into your home and you see him take your VCR and climb out the window with it he has committed second degree burglary and petit larceny. If you confronted him as he was stealing your VCR and he threatened you with physical or deadly physical force or actually used physical or deadly physical force against you then it would be robbery. The degree of robbery would depend on whether he was armed and if he had additional persons on hand to assist him in committing the crime. The key, then, is violence or the threat of violence. That is what separates a robbery from a burglary.

Why is this important? Well, because in New York State you are permitted to use deadly force against a fleeing robber but not against a fleeing burglar. New York State law allows the use of deadly physical force to prevent or terminate the commission of burglary, where necessary, but once the crime is complete and the criminal is fleeing deadly physical force cannot be used. You can chase the burglar and try to grab him but you cannot simply discharge your firearm as a first resort.

New York State law authorizes the use of deadly physical force to effect the arrest of certain classes of criminal and I quote the appropriate portions of NYS Penal Law ART. 35 (Defense of Justification) below:

4. A private person acting on his or her own account may use physical
force, other than deadly physical force, upon another person when and to
the extent that he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to
effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of a person whom
he or she reasonably believes to have committed an offense and who in
fact has committed such offense; and may use deadly physical force for
such purpose when he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to:
(a) Defend himself, herself or a third person from what he or she
reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical
force; or
(b) Effect the arrest of a person who has committed murder,
manslaughter in the first degree, robbery, forcible rape or forcible
criminal sexual act and who is in immediate flight therefrom.

(italics and underlining not in the original)

You can, under NYS law, shoot a fleeing robber in the back. However, your use of deadly physical force must be reasonable and necessary. Be prepared to contact a good lawyer, spend a small fortune and appear before the Grand Jury to justify yourself and your actions.

The key here is that you weren't trying to kill him, maim him, hurt him, get revenge on him etc. you were instead attempting to effect his arrest for the crime of robbery while he was in immediate flight therefrom and you didn't see any other reasonable way of effecting such arrest.

Would I shoot a fleeing felon, even if justified? It would depend on the totality of the circumstances.

Also, nothing above constitutes legal advice. If you want a definitive answer to your question contact a reputable attorney and pay him for some of his time.

tegemu
June 15, 2009, 07:33 AM
I am a Floridian with a CCL. My understanding of the law is, yes you can shoot a home invader because if he invades your home it is very likely that he means to harm you and/or your family. The Fl CCW law permits deadly force whenever you have reason to believe that the miscreant means to inflict severe bodily harm to you or anyone else. Other portions of the law say that a fleeing assailant no longer is a threat of serious bodily harm, hence can NOT be shot. Therefore I conclude that in the instance you present, it would not be a "Good" shooting and you could be prosecuted. I have also seen cases here in the Gunshine State where a fleeing criminal has been shot and the shooter wasn't even charged. The bottom line, I guess, is up to the local authorities and/or the courts.

Double Naught Spy
June 15, 2009, 08:58 AM
You can, under NYS law, shoot a fleeing robber in the back. However, your use of deadly physical force must be reasonable and necessary. Be prepared to contact a good lawyer, spend a small fortune ...

This sort of goes without saying for any SD/HD shooting. You say it like it is some sort of dreaded warning but in reality it is just SOP.

weisse52
June 15, 2009, 09:06 AM
I carry a gun to protect my family and myself. I will only use that gun to do that. If a person in my house is running away and is not a threat I am not going to shoot them in the back. I do not care what the law is. Now, I would watch, track and follow out of my house to ensure they exit and do not poise a threat.

I do not want to have to deal with the moral implications of taking a persons life over a “name that piece of crap”. I have had long association with ex-military members who have taken someone’s life at close range, 35+ years later it still haunts them

I have felt that too many people “think” that they want to be in those situations. I have never had to shoot anyone. (Hey, does stabbing count?) I have had guns pointed at me, and I have pointed guns at others. I would not have hesitated to pull the trigger if events had gone bad. But if I can avoid doing so I will.

nitetrane98
June 15, 2009, 09:35 AM
Great El Diablo line...

"You just shot that man in the back!"

"His back was to me."

(b) Effect the arrest of a person who has committed murder,
manslaughter in the first degree, robbery, forcible rape or forcible
criminal sexual act and who is in immediate flight therefrom.


One thing I see a lot of on these forums is the mis-use of the term robber and burglar. At least under Texas definition if somebody is in your house stealing your stuff he is a burglar and is burglarizing your house, not robbing it. Robbery OTOH is a crime against a person, like a mugging where he is stealing directly from a person. In the above example, they say robbery, not burglary. Many times the devil is in the details.

Should have read the whole post po2010 nails it well.

Kleanbore
June 15, 2009, 09:55 AM
The key here [in shooting a fleeing robber in the back in NYS] is that you weren't trying to kill him, maim him, hurt him, get revenge on him etc. you were instead attempting to effect his arrest for the crime of robbery while he was in immediate flight therefrom and you didn't see any other reasonable way of effecting such arrest.

I woudn't want to try it.

In fact, I wouldn't want to try to arrest anyone. A peace officer, who acts under approved departmental procedure, is indemnified against civil suits. A citizen is not. Even if he should win the civil trial with no damages being awarded, the citizen may end up spending a very large amount of money just to achieve that outcome. Kinda dumb to try to arrest a robber just to end up owning next to nothing.

And that could be the best case scenario. Claiming to have necessarily and reasonably used deadly force to effect an arrest may well not prove successful as a defense against a murder charge.

Not for me, thanks!

mcdonl
June 15, 2009, 10:01 AM
In Maine, the intruder needs to be involved in a second crime other then the B&E... theft would count as a second crime.

Or arson alone is justified means for deadly force. Odd.

Kleanbore
June 15, 2009, 10:14 AM
That being said would you shoot a home invader in the back as he is heading out the door (but still within the confines of the house) if he was only stealing [insert valuable MATERIAL possession here]. I guess I'm imagining a robber running out of the house with VCR, or Earrings, etc.

Nitetrain makes a good point, and I had missed it.

The OP has erroneously referred to a burglar as a robber.

That's not an uncommon mistake. M sister in law recently told us that her car had been robbed. On an old Mary Tyler Moore Show episode, Mary reported that her apartment had been robbed, and the police cadet she was dating corrected her: "burglarized, not robbed".

OurSafeHome.net
June 15, 2009, 10:25 AM
At least under Texas definition if somebody is in your house stealing...

Texas, it is a whole 'nother country...

P.O.2010
June 15, 2009, 01:00 PM
I woudn't want to try it.

In fact, I wouldn't want to try to arrest anyone. A peace officer, who acts under approved departmental procedure, is indemnified against civil suits. A citizen is not. Even if he should win the civil trial with no damages being awarded, the citizen may end up spending a very large amount of money just to achieve that outcome. Kinda dumb to try to arrest a robber just to end up owning next to nothing.

And that could be the best case scenario. Claiming to have necessarily and reasonably used deadly force to effect an arrest may well not prove successful as a defense against a murder charge.

Not for me, thanks!

Once again, it's a matter of taking into account the whole picture. In some cases it's better to offer no resistance and to allow the criminal to take what he or she wants. A good example would be a gunman entering a bank or a crowded store and announcing a robbery. If you can't be sure of incapacitating the gunman immediately and avoiding a prolonged firefight with innocent bystanders in the way then it may well be best to stay your hand unless forced to act.

In New York State using deadly force to effect an authorized arrest is on par with using deadly force to defend your life or the life of another and is just as likely to result in an acquittal as asserting that you were in fear for your life. There have been a number of cases over the years of store owners using deadly force against escaping robbers and a handful of rape victims who shot or otherwise killed their attackers in mid-flight. None of the cases that I saw ever resulted in a homicide conviction or civil judgement against the store owner or rape victim.

Imagine you are a father who has been blitzed in the middle of the night and forced to watch the rapes of your wife and daughter. If you managed to free yourself while your attackers were in the process of loading your property into their truck, after having first called to summon an ambulance and the Police, would you simply let them escape assuming you had the means to stop them?

These types of scenarios, while extremely rare, do play out. And it pays to seriously consider what you would do and why. You also have to go beyond the issue of financial cost. Can you live with yourself if these people attack another family and you could have stopped them?

The Legislature included the 'deadly force to effect an arrest clause' in the Penal Law because of the type of scenario envisioned above and because its authors recognized that it is human nature to chase someone who has just murdered, raped or robbed another human being in front of you. They also recognized the continuing danger that such individuals pose.

Frankly, I consider it quite fortunate that NYS has this provision in its Penal Law because some states do not. I remember a case some years ago in, I believe it was Tennessee, where a man used deadly force to stop an armed murderer from fleeing immediately after having killed his victim. The man was put on trial for murder because state statute didn't allow for the use of deadly force to make an arrest. There was talk at the time of amending the law. I don't know what the final disposition was.

I wouldn't use deadly force against a thief in my home simply because he was stealing but there are circumstances where an individual criminal or group of criminals is so dangerous or depraved that to allow them to escape is unconscionable.

Every case is different, however, and should be judged on its own merits.

eye5600
June 15, 2009, 01:03 PM
On the other hand, if you're standing behind a home invader who is presenting an imminent, credible threat to life and limb of another innocent party, shoot him in the back until he's not a threat.

This would be the "Robert Ford Doctrine."

Owen Sparks
June 15, 2009, 02:03 PM
It amazes me that some of you think that you somehow owe a criminal intruder a "fair fight".

A home invasion is not a sporting event like a boxing match. A person who chooses to get in the ring does so voluntarily and is therefore honor bound to conduct himself as a gentleman and obey the rules at all times.

If some stranger breaks into your house he has shown blatant disregard for the most basic rules of civilized behavior and should be considered a deadly threat. You did NOT agree to participate and are under no moral obligation to further risk your life by making sure that the intruder has an even chance if violence ensues.

mgkdrgn
June 15, 2009, 02:26 PM
It amazes me that some of you think that you somehow owe a criminal intruder a "fair fight".

A home invasion is not a sporting event like a boxing match. A person who chooses to get in the ring does so voluntarily and is therefore honor bound to conduct himself as a gentleman and obey the rules at all times.

If some stranger breaks into your house he has shown blatant disregard for the most basic rules of civilized behavior and should be considered a deadly threat. You did NOT agree to participate and are under no moral obligation to further risk your life by making sure that the intruder has an even chance if violence ensues.

+1 ... and that is pretty much the way South Carolina sees it. Pity all states don't feel that way.

glockman19
June 15, 2009, 02:39 PM
That being said would you shoot a home invader in the back as he is heading out the door?

NO. That would be murder.

Owen Sparks
June 15, 2009, 03:48 PM
Quote:
That being said would you shoot a home invader in the back as he is heading out the door?

It would depend on if he were leaving with my property and shooting him was the only way to retrieve it.
Before all you pacifists answer that no one should be shot over property, realize that you are paying taxes to support a military that does exactly that. It is not uncommon for the government to use deadly force to protect "US INTERESTS" all over the world.

Kleanbore
June 15, 2009, 06:13 PM
That being said would you shoot a home invader in the back as he is heading out the door?

It would depend on if he were leaving with my property and shooting him was the only way to retrieve it.

Lawful in Texas, and only at night.

Let's not give the impression to anyone in any of the other forty nine states, the territories, or the District of Columbia that that would be lawful where they live!

By the way, Owen, I'm not sure where the concept of a "fair fight" came into this... that's not an issue anywhere in the county.

amprecon
June 15, 2009, 07:34 PM
When the criminal broke into your house and you didn't shoot them because of your feelings, how're you going to feel when he/she does something violent/deadly to their next victim? The direction a criminal is facing is irrelevant imo, they decided to take the chance. Do your duty, do society a favor. Capture them for the cops and some democrat liberal judge'll let 'em go on a techni and then they'll want some payback. Not to mention all our tax money going to their defense attorney, their clothes, food and housing costs, it's just cheaper for everyone to just shoot 'em.

Double Naught Spy
June 15, 2009, 08:13 PM
Lawful in Texas, and only at night.

Nope, that would be incorrect. You can shoot an intruder in your home in Texas because an intruder can be considered a lethal threat. As long as the intruder is in your home, the intruder can be considered a threat - day or night.

MT GUNNY
June 15, 2009, 08:54 PM
Depends on the "Valuable" Property,
VCR DVD, TV PC, No! However, Firearms , Son or Daughter, You Bet!

ReadyRob
June 15, 2009, 09:29 PM
Before all you pacifists answer that no one should be shot over property ...

Man I hope this never happens to you, haven't you read of all the cases that any sane person would consider a justifiable shooting only to end up in court because the bad guy was shot in back or was ONLY stealing property. My point is that we need to know and be aware of what can happen to us after we shoot the bum. Someone said tied to the end of every bullet in cases like this is a lawyer. It only takes ________ (fill in the blank, - DA, Grand Jury, LEO, etc) to turn the homeowners life upside down.

Being 'right' isn't always enough. Be smart too.

saltydog452
June 15, 2009, 09:40 PM
This thing has over a hundred posts. I am sure that all of them were given due consideration with prevailing morals, social values, and legal issues.

Lots of Monday morning quarterbacking going on. I'll contribute.

Fact is though, if someone enters an occupied home as a thief, that worthy individual is either desperate, reckless, or indifferent. I would fear for my life, and the lives of those I am charged to protect.

salty

Kleanbore
June 15, 2009, 09:57 PM
You can shoot an intruder in your home in Texas because an intruder can be considered a lethal threat. As long as the intruder is in your home, the intruder can be considered a threat - day or night.

Let's make darn sure that no one relies on that, either.

"As long as the intruder is in your home"? Necessary, but not sufficient.

There are also little things like whether (1) the person knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used had "unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force" the home, or (2) the shooting was necessary "to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery". That's robbery, not breaking in and running off with property.

Note that, absent the latter factor (preventing the imminent commission of certain crimes), the fact of unlawful and forcible entry simply establishes the presumption that deadly force was immediately necessary for self defense. That presumption is rebuttable.

Kleanbore
June 15, 2009, 10:06 PM
When the criminal broke into your house and you didn't shoot them because of your feelings, how're you going to feel when he/she does something violent/deadly to their next victim? The direction a criminal is facing is irrelevant imo, they decided to take the chance. Do your duty, do society a favor. Capture them for the cops and some democrat liberal judge'll let 'em go on a techni and then they'll want some payback. Not to mention all our tax money going to their defense attorney, their clothes, food and housing costs, it's just cheaper for everyone to just shoot 'em.

Without going into a discussion of just who is and who is not empowered to pass judgment and administer justice when someone commits a crime in any of our fifty states, that post embodies three serious problems:


The act suggested would undoubtedly be felonious and result in harsh penalties for the shooter;
In the event of a questionable shooting by the poster in which charges were filed, the post itslef could be used to establish criminal state of mind; and
The post can serve as ammuntion for the anti gun community.


Probably a good idea to think before posting, and if necessary, to learn first also.

Rail
June 15, 2009, 10:34 PM
One of the much overlooked statistics is recidivism. That guy is more than likely going to come back - and you can guess the rest. This has happened to me and to my parents. In my case he found me in the Laz-e-boy with a shotgun the second time and ran like the wind never to return. With my parents he left blood on the broken window and was DNA'd later. I would have to try to stop him, and if he turned, as a threat...well I'd have to see.

JImbothefiveth
June 15, 2009, 10:37 PM
I once heard it put this way: (paraphasing) EVERRYTHING you own costs you some portion of your LIFE. So, it's not just money. A pen might cost a buck and take you 20 seconds of life to replace. A Computer $2000 which may be 3 months of your life. A house that represents 30 years plus of your life. It all depends on the cost of the item versus your income. Not really. If someone takes my TV, how is shooting them going to get the time I spent to earn that money back?

Let's say someone got an item so valuable it represented 1 year's salary. If I shoot him, the bloodstained item might be worth 25% less. Now that leaves the conservative estimate of a 5 month trial, plus probably the majority of my salary for legal bills (If you're not counting, that means I've already lost 8 months in money and 5 for the trial, which is more time than it took me to pay for the extremely valuabal item) Court is also very stressfull, even if you're the one who's right and you are the plaintiff. It would be much worse if you are the defendant and you know you commited a crime.


So, how much of your life are you willing to let a thief run away with? That is the question you need to ask yourself. No, the real question is whether the item in question is worth 20 years of your freedom, because that's what you can lose by shooting him. You also need to ask if you want to wake up every day knowing you killed someone over a TV. You need to ask if the money in legal bills, probably over $90K if you get a good attorney, was worth it. You need to decide if post-traumatic-stress disorder is worth it. You can get that even from a necessary shooting to save your life, it would probably be much worse if you took a life needlessly.


If the person had a gun I might shoot. If he ran from one room in the house to another room with a gun, and I think that he's taking cover (I mean I actually think that, not just an excuse) I would most likely shoot him. However, it's just not worth it for a (most likely insured) item.

Quoheleth
June 15, 2009, 10:43 PM
Double Naught Spy wrote:
Quote: Lawful in Texas, and only at night.
Nope, that would be incorrect. You can shoot an intruder in your home in Texas because an intruder can be considered a lethal threat. As long as the intruder is in your home, the intruder can be considered a threat - day or night.

My CHL instructor said what the original post said is true: at night, no problem. Why? Darkness = sleep time and lends a deeper layer of fear which is necessary in Texas for a clean shoot - you must demonstrate fear for your life. Daytime = light and being able to visibly discern who/what is in your home.

Q

JImbothefiveth
June 15, 2009, 10:51 PM
One of the much overlooked statistics is recidivism That's still not worth it. Not only is there a very good chance this person won't re-offend, there's the matter if whether it's worth killing someone, having psycological problems, and $90k in legal bills to stop someone from stealing another T.V.

layer of fear which is necessary in Texas for a clean shoot - you must demonstrate fear for your life. Daytime = light and being able to visibly discern who/what is in your home. Wouldn't that make the fear about the same? In the day, if you clearly discern someone who is a threat to your life, I'd say that means you're in fear of your life.

Fact is though, if someone enters an occupied home as a thief, that worthy individual is either desperate, reckless, or indifferent. I would fear for my life, I would also, however, if the person is leaving, he's not a threat.

When the criminal broke into your house and you didn't shoot them because of your feelings, how're you going to feel when he/she does something violent/deadly to their next victim? The odds are that they won't. The direction a criminal is facing is irrelevant imo, they decided to take the chance. Do your duty, do society a favor. Capture them for the cops and some democrat liberal judge'll let 'em go on a techni and then they'll want some payback. Not to mention all our tax money going to their defense attorney, their clothes, food and housing costs, it's just cheaper for everyone to just shoot 'em. You know this how?

Holding them for the cops is a far better alternative. They go to jail, it doesn't give the impression that all gun owners are a bunch of maniacs who want to kill people, and you don't have to pay $90,000 for an attorney and maybe get convicted, and you don't have to live with killing some teenager over a VCR.

JImbothefiveth
June 15, 2009, 11:06 PM
It amazes me that some of you think that you somehow owe a criminal intruder a "fair fight". I think nothing of the sort.

would you simply let them escape assuming you had the means to stop them? That's actually an interesting scenario. Everyone's alive and the attackers are leaving. Right now getting in to a firefight with presumably more than one person is not a good idea. I think the best option would be to fort up and wait for the ambulance.

Can you live with yourself if these people attack another family and you could have stopped them? The odds are that they will not kill anyone. Could you live with yourself having killed some teenager over some electronics?

but if you have to use your weapon in a self defense situation, I believe it's POSSIBLE that a prosecuting attorney can use statements against you which you may have made on a public forum.....like this one.

It's one thing to be determined to defend yourself or your family, but telling the world how you're going to go about it may not be too good of an idea.

I would not stop until I found them and I would shoot both their knee caps out so they could sit still and think about what they did. After an hour or two of that I'd just shoot them in the gut and tie them up and gag them so they could die slowly and painfully over several days,





By the way, were the founders of the states that adopted the English Common Law as the foundations of their systems of jurisprudence, starting back in the eighteenth century, "liberal naysayers" as the term is understood today? No, they were "classic liberals", essentially modern conservatives.
if you have to shoot someone, not to shoot to wound, shoot to kill. No, shoot to stop. That is, once the threat is stopped, you stop shooting. For instance, if someone runs at me with a shovel, I can shoot until he can't reach me with that shovel. However, if he's still alive, I can't shoot to make sure he's dead, that would be murder.



I would not stop until I found them and I would shoot both their knee caps out so they could sit still and think about what they did. After an hour or two of that I'd just shoot them in the gut and tie them up and gag them so they could die slowly and painfully over several days, And torturing someone to death solves a problem how?

Towboater
June 16, 2009, 12:03 AM
NO I would NOT shoot him in the back. However I don't see how it is you know the perp is leaving and not just putting a load in the truck and coming in for more. Personally the way I see it is I pump my Winchester model 1300 Defender that I keep by the bed loaded with 00 buck 15 pellet for just such an occasion. Then you tell the bad man to freeze. After this any movement should and in my case WILL be considered hostile and reacted to accordingly.After this time we wait for the cops. NEVER would I just shoot a man in the back though, unless there has been harm done to my family..... then morality and legality are not first on my mind. Just my two cents.

model of 1905
June 16, 2009, 12:28 AM
An intruder in my home is subject to be shot, without question and without question of direction he is headed.

I'm pretty sure that explains my thoughts on this matter.

shiftyer1
June 16, 2009, 01:26 AM
If you enter my house, the one that my family occupies you have already made the decision to put your life at risk. Especially at nite. I'm asleep......I don't know if you've already grabbed my teenage daughter. I don't think I would ask ya what your doing. I don't know what the law would decide, i'm now in tx. but I really feel that someone in your home without permission does not deserve that much thought. Maybe you could shoot him in the leg until he turns around. Everything I own was earned thru blood sweat and tears. If what you own is that easily replaced than let him go, but it's YOUR stuff period and nobody should be allowed to just take what they want. Theives are vermin and should be treated as such. Today it's your vcr or blue ray player........tomorrow it's your car because you were so easy the first time.

kym
June 16, 2009, 02:36 AM
Go to the pound and adopt a dog. Not for attacking but for an early warning system. Doesn't have to be a big mean dog. All you want is one to bark when someone tries to come in.

lexjj
June 16, 2009, 02:41 AM
Maybe 20% of the posts in this thread make sense. The rest read like chest beating.

Owen Sparks
June 16, 2009, 11:26 AM
Some people would shoot a home invader on principle alone. That principle is

STEALING WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

The more tolerant of crime society becomes, the more crime society can expect.

Kleanbore
June 16, 2009, 12:40 PM
Some people would shoot a home invader on principle alone. That principle is

STEALING WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

Other "principles" are

HE WORE BLOODS COLORS
HE LOOKED AT MY WOMAN
HE IS AN INFIDEL

...and there are many others often cited.

The more tolerant of crime society becomes, the more crime society can expect.

Agreed. There is too much crime, including murder. However, it's unlikely that society will tolerate the crime of shooting a home invader solely to prevent stealing in most states.

In Texas at night if necessary, it's OK, legally, I understand.

But stealing is defined as theft or larceny, and none of our states prescribe the death penalty for theft (note that theft is not the same thing as robbery, which constitutes the use or threat of force against a person).

They are all pretty harsh when it comes to murder, however.

One needs to know when the use of deadly force is justifiable in his state before pulling a gun. Self defense, preventing certain felonies, protecting property at night in Texas, effecting an arrest under limited conditions in a few places... And in some places an unlawful or sometimes unlawful and forcible entry into an occupied dwelling or car may provide a presumption of necessity... Texas and Georgia alone do provide for the use of deadly force to protect property under certain limited circumstances.

One cannot use deadly force because of what another might do at a later time.

One cannot use deadly force on principle alone.

One who uses deadly force unlawfully to protect property will end up owning no property at all--dumb. Very dumb.

To be on the safe side, should someone shoot someone "on principle" for stealing, it had better by in our 28th state, at night, and with no other alternative for protecting the property in question!

And should there ever be any question about an incident involving deadly force, it would be good to not have created any letters or postings that might indicate a disregard for the law.

2nd 41
June 17, 2009, 06:08 PM
Even it it's $50,000, you still expose yourself to criminal prosecution (not to mention civil prosecution) whenever you shoot a human. You should go visit a prison if you know anybody in there. It's no joke. You may see your viewpoint as being a bit naive after you realize the gravity of being behind bars. I'm not risking my freedom over some property. I have property insurance.


Ditto this. Also, It's cheaper to replace the items.....than to hire an attorney

Colorado Luckydog
June 17, 2009, 06:35 PM
If he was leaving, and I was 100% positive he did not harm my family, I would let him walk. Chances are I would have shot him on the way in. If there is a sliver of a chance my family or myself is in danger, I would smoke him like a big free bag of weed.

Italian Motorcycles
June 17, 2009, 06:50 PM
It's amazing to me that so many of you can, in the middle of the night, having just awakened, with poor lighting, and under immense stress:

1. determine if he/she is facing you or with their back to you, moving toward you or away from you

2. determine if he/she is armed or not armed

3. determine if he/she is carrying something

4. determine if he/she is carrying something he/she is stealing from you

5. determine if he/she is carrying something expensive or something inexpensive

6. determine if he/she has already killed or inured others in your house.

7. determine if he/she is alone or if there are others in your house


And to top it off, some of you believe that if you were to:

1. determine you are witnessing a home invasion

2. shoot the home invader until he/she is no longer a home invader

3. call 911

that would be considered immoral?

A home invasion by default means deadly threat. You must assume the invader is there to do you harm. Neutralizing the deadly threat is the immediate task at hand. If I took the time to evaluate each of those 7 points above... I would most likely be dead. Maybe in Hollywood you can do all that, and even carefully shoot 'em in the leg, just to slow 'em down. In reality you don't have time for any of that.

;(

RustyShackelford
June 17, 2009, 07:20 PM
As a FL resident and a gun owner, I would suggest you read over the related FL gun laws here; www.mylicensesite.com or www.handgunlaws.us . ;)

In general, I would not think you could fire at a "fleeing" subject even if the criminal is still in your home or on your property. If you are not a sworn LEO(law enforcement officer), you have no duty to stop a robber or house breaker. If the subject used force(shot at you, hit you, had a weapon that you SAW), then you could use deadly force to stop him/her. The criminal still poses a threat to you or to someone else and may injury or kill someone later on. You could show that in a criminal-civil trial or in a formal criminal investigation. ;)

I'd also suggest that you learn more about use of force law(s) and get skill training. www.ayoob.com www.S2institute.com .

As the state of FL Div of Licensing says; " Having a a weapons license does not mean you have a license to use deadly force." ;)

Double Naught Spy
June 17, 2009, 08:18 PM
Let's make darn sure that no one relies on that, either.

You claimed it had to be at night, which is untrue.

"As long as the intruder is in your home"? Necessary, but not sufficient.

There are also little things like whether (1) the person knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used had "unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force" the home,

Now just what they heck do you think an "intruder" is? FYI, they don't have to enter with force to be unlawfully in the home. Under Texas law, unlawfully entering a premise means being without the effective consent of the owner.

or (2) the shooting was necessary "to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery". That's robbery, not breaking in and running off with property.

Ah, the omnipotence claim that you know why the intruder is there...to steal, as opposing to steal and murder. For all you know they are there to rape you and stealing was an act of opportunity.

bigione
June 17, 2009, 08:19 PM
Did he tell anyone he was going to rob your house? Not likely. Does anyone know he want there? Not likely. A Denver cop told me stuff them in a gully, cave off the bank and shut up. Where I live, I could probably get away wirth it. Would I do that? Probably not, but one can be tempted.

saltydog452
June 18, 2009, 10:32 AM
Entering an occupied home w/o an invite might be thrilling and even moderately profitable in the short term.

Its also an act of self-destructive behavior.

I am confident that there are a number of people who are more than willing to assist a would-be intruder in accomplishing that goal.

salty

03Shadowbob
June 18, 2009, 10:50 AM
you have no duty to stop a robber or house breaker

If someone breaks into my house and comes into my master bedroom, hears the rack of the Mossy 590 (which he wouldn't hear anything as there's one in the chamber at all times. He'd probably be blind from my tac light), turns to run out of my bedroom and down the hall...I do not know where he is headed, whether back to the front door or to my kids' rooms on the other side of the house and it's not my job to determine which he is going to do. My job is to protect my children and family. There is your answer.

Kleanbore
June 18, 2009, 11:51 AM
You claimed it had to be at night, which is untrue.


For using deadly force to protect property against a thief, which is what I was referring to? Oh yes it is. Read Texas Code Section 9.42, DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY.

A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and

(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

(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

(3) he reasonably believes that:

(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or

(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

So, if not at night, the question is whether section 9.32, DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON, applies.

(a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:

(1) if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and

(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or

(B) to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.

(b) The actor's belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:

(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

(B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor's habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or

(C) was committing or attempting to commit an offense described by Subsection (a)(2)(B);

(2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and

(3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.

(c) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the deadly force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used is not required to retreat before using deadly force as described by this section.

(d) For purposes of Subsection (a)(2), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (c) reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.


Under Texas law, unlawfully entering a premise means being without the effective consent of the owner.

True where I live, also. But in Texas, the law on deadly force reads that the intruder must have entered "unlawfully and with force" for the fact of the unlawful entry per se to establish a presumption that the resident had reasonable belief that the deadly force was immediately necessary for the purpose of self defense.

As I read it, forcible entry is not necessary to justify deadly force, just to establish a presumption of reasonable belief, absent other exculpatory evidence.

For all you know they are there to rape you and stealing was an act of opportunity.

Yeah, but the law does not say anything about speculation--it speaks of reasonable belief.

Dont get me wrong--as a juror, I would most likely, and given a forcible entry, surely assume that if a stranger had entered his occupied home unlawfully, a resident did in fact have reasonable belief that deadly force had been immediately necessary, absent contradictory evidence.

But since the OP spoke of a person "heading out the door (but still within the confines of the house)", forensic or other evidence may well be contradictory, and "if he was only stealing", he was not committing any of the felonies listed in Section 9.32 (aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery) as subject to deadly force, the use of deadly force would most likely not be justified, as I read it...

....unless it happens at night, in which circumstance Section 9.42 comes into play.

And, of course, unless it it in Texas, or possibly Georgia.

Upon reflection, it is probably very true indeed that "as long as the intruder is in your home, the intruder can be considered a threat - day or night," but I would want to rely on that alone as justification for the use of deadly force, particularly if he is on his way out.

saltydog452
June 18, 2009, 12:47 PM
Just an aside and a question.

If you were to encounter an intruder in your home, would you ask for a 'time-out' so you could check for broken glass or any other form of forced entry?

I don't think 'bump' keys, credit cards, or rakes leave much evidence of force.

Some locations may require evidence of forced entry. I dunno, but I think the presence of an intruder would be sufficient evidence of unlawful entry.

I hope we never have to deal with that.

If someone were to creep my house, it would never be the same place.

If someone were to enter, by force or stealth, our occupied home, we would never be the same.

Considering that, I do not think that it'd be a real good career move.

salty

DHJenkins
June 18, 2009, 12:57 PM
To the OP - Yes.

Of course, in TX, we are legally allowed to shoot (in the back) if we believe that we will be unable to recover our property from a fleeing BG - you may not have the same leeway in your state.

Kleanbore
June 18, 2009, 01:13 PM
Some locations may require evidence of forced entry.

Lay opinion: that's only for the fact of the entry alone to provide a presumption for reasonable belief that deadly force is necessary in a state in which that requirement exists. Some states say "tumultuous", some say "and with force", others say "by force or by stealth", others simply say unlawful.

Lack of said evidence does not deprive you of the right to self preservation. For a discussion of what evidence you might otherwise have to produce, consult an attorney in your state.

Stranger, gun or knife in hand.... (?)

I dunno, but I think the presence of an intruder would be sufficient evidence of unlawful entry.

Sounds reasonable to me....

So, what do you do if you encounter someone who has entered unlawfully? That which is immediately necessary for the protection of yourself and your family, no more and no less.

Where I live, the law reads that I cannot be convicted for shooting someone who has entered my occupied domicile or automobile unlawfully or who has refused to leave. Opponents, of course, loudly claimed that the law would "legalize murder."

The CCW instructors adamantly advise against using deadly force if the person chooses to depart--or holding an intruder. I don't know the case law, but I do know that the intent of the law was to eliminate previously extant, case-law-driven, unreasonable requirements for proving justifiability, and not to empower me to execute the death penalty for ulawful entry.

Haven't heard of any repercussions since it was enacted.

saltydog452
June 18, 2009, 01:38 PM
I was not questioning your research or personal opinions.

It was, apparently, a failed attempt by me to bring attention to the 'forced' entry comments, and note that there isn't a lot of time for conjecture or second guessing when the 'bump-in-the-night' has a shape and is in your home.

I don't know, I really don't.

Bottom line, I think, is that we'll react and deal with the aftermath later.

I'm gonna back out of this. I don't have anything else to contribute except hope that we'll never, ever have to deal with the either the act, or the ramifications.

salty

bradfromearth
June 18, 2009, 01:52 PM
I have not yet read the entire thread here so I may be repeating someone.

Joe Horn -

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

He shot two guys who robbed his neighbor. He came out his front door as they were crossing his yard. Yells, "move and your dead" they moved, he shot one in the front and the other was running away from him and he shot him in the back. Both dead, Grand Jury - no billed him. These guys did not even rob him. But they were in his yard.

This was in Pasadena Texas and I grew up around there and will tell you that all of pasadena at that time was hispanic or white, very very few african americans would want to live in that area.

When younger I was brief friends with the then mayor of Pasadenas son and the son and I did some business together. I brought along a third party for some work and we all met for luch. After the lunch he said to me with a sneer. "You did not tell me he was black" Our business relations and personal dissolved after that.

That will give you an idea of Pasadenas roots, so I really think that it IS remotely possible that this could have been a factor. I do not know the demographics of Pasadena now, it may be very different. I do recall seeing an african american officer during the news coverage so possibly they have progressed out there. No offense to anyone who lives in Pasadena.

I point all of this out only to demonstrate an exaple of recent relevant case law. Pointing to the possible leaglities in the op's question. Not morality. I have no idea what I would do personally.

Deanimator
June 18, 2009, 02:10 PM
However, it's unlikely that society will tolerate the crime of shooting a home invader solely to prevent stealing in most states.
If you FORCIBLY enter my home, unless you leave some kind of note or living will, nobody is probably going to know for sure why you were there. The odds are that you won't be able to tell anyone. It'll all be conjecture on the part of the police. If I find you in my home without my permission and you either do not flee or you fail to obey my commands not to come any closer to me, the same conditions will prevail.

In Ohio at any rate, if you force your way into somebody's home, or are found there and act in a threatening way, the presumption is that you meant to do harm. The law doesn't accord to you any benefit of the doubt, nor is a home owner/renter likely to accord you any either. Nor should they. You have ZERO right to shift the consequences of your irresponsible or malicious behavior onto innocent third parties.

If you find that terribly unfair, don't be a home invader. Don't put people in reasonable, immediate fear of life and limb. Bad things are likely to happen to you.

Kleanbore
June 18, 2009, 02:18 PM
I was not questioning your research or personal opinions.

SaltyDog, if you are referring to me, I did not take it that way.

It was, apparently, a failed attempt by me to bring attention to the 'forced' entry comments, and note that there isn't a lot of time for conjecture or second guessing when the 'bump-in-the-night' has a shape and is in your home.


Failed? No indeed! I thought you were right on point. I hope my reply was helpful.

Bottom line, I think, is that we'll react and deal with the aftermath later.


That's exactly what I would do.

rustysragsinc
June 18, 2009, 02:26 PM
If you shoot him, better drag him back in the house. It is the only way you can get away with it. Once outside your house (not property) it would be considered murder or manslaughter depending on how the jury saw it. And I would not want my fate resting in the hands of jury members who probably don't even own a gun in the first place.

To answer the question, no. I would let him go.

Dogbite
June 18, 2009, 02:30 PM
Shoot someone in the back while they are fleeing? Absolutely not! Extremely bad idea. Your life is not in danger, therefore, you don't have the right to shoot the guy. A cop would go to prison under these circumstances.

Kleanbore
June 18, 2009, 02:35 PM
If you shoot him, better drag him back in the house. It is the only way you can get away with it.

OOOPS!!

From Kathy Jackson:

No. No. No. Moving the body, or rearranging any other physical evidence about what happened, is called "tampering with a crime scene." And it is itself a very serious crime.

Tampering with evidence isn't just a criminal act. It is also an act which is very likely to be discovered. The science of forensics has advanced to the point where the investigators will definitely know that you have done something to the scene, and will probably know exactly what it was that you did. And the investigators will (very reasonably) assume that the reason you did it is because you outright murdered someone and were trying to hide evidence which shows that the shooting was a murder instead of an act of self-defense.

If you are ever involved in a shooting, it is vitally important that you do not lie to the police. Even one little lie, if caught, can destroy your credibility in court. Without that credibility, you will have a much harder time staying out of jail even if your actions were completely within the law.


http://www.corneredcat.com/Legal/myths.aspx#porch

Leanwolf
June 18, 2009, 02:42 PM
"A Denver cop told me stuff them in a gully, cave off the bank and shut up."

That's one of the easiest ways in the world -- short of robbing a bank -- to end up in prison. I can't imagine a cop stupid enough to suggest that.

RUSTYSRAGSINC - "If you shoot him, better drag him back in the house. It is the only way you can get away with it. "

Same as above. The instant you start tampering with evidence at a crime scene, you are going to find yourself up to your rear end in alligators! Smoke someone outside and drag him in will leave a blood trail that even a blind man can follow, not least homicide detectives. Tampering with evidence and lying to cops is a very unwise thing to do.

L.W.

t165
June 18, 2009, 03:09 PM
For all practical purposes that question cannot be answered by anyone on this forum. It cannot be answered by a LEO, practicing attorney, or civilian. I would contact the elected prosecutor in your jurisdiction and pose the question to him/her. I would ask for their opinion in writing if you can get it. The prosecutor is the final say as to whether you will face state criminal charges or not. The feds usually do not stick their beaks in these matters unless someone wants to make a violation of civil rights beef. If the elected prosecutor in your jurisdiction changes then seek their opinion. Prosecutors do not always agree on the interperation of the law. Also keep a eye out for modifications or the law and subsequent case law. Just my .2 worth.

jeeper01
June 21, 2009, 03:46 AM
waaaaaait a minute... you still have a vcr?

i almost feel bad for the guy robbing you.. that poor bastard couldn't even pawn that thing for a can of soda

Double Naught Spy
June 21, 2009, 07:53 AM
Yeah, but the law does not say anything about speculation--it speaks of reasonable belief.

And time and time again in Texas courts have intruders been justifiably shot based on the reasonable belief they were there to do harm to the people inside. It is a reasonable belief and juries have no problem with the concept.

Zach S
June 21, 2009, 08:12 AM
I didnt bother reading the whole thread.

I want to say no, but in reality, it depends on what he's running towards while he's running away from me.

If the door he wanted to use was in the same direction as your wife and/or child, what would you do?

saltydog452
June 21, 2009, 10:53 AM
jeeper01, the VCR sits right next to the 8 Track.

salty

JohnMcD348
June 21, 2009, 11:18 AM
I will add my point of view as a born and raised Florida Boy.

If I find someone in my home and I do not know them, my family does not know them, and they are present in my home for reasons other than a social visit(Mormons, Jehovah's Witness, cookie sales, etc) they forfeit their life. I will not risk my families life or mine on the idea that they just wanted my Plasma TV and had no intention of harming anyone.

I will do everything within my power to assure they pose no threat to my family before Law Enforcement arrive. 10 years ago, when I was single and unattached, had I seen someone leaving my home with a TV or something, I would have dialed 911 but been prepared had they returned. Now, I will not take the chance with my families life that they may return.

t165
June 21, 2009, 04:10 PM
I remember a prosecution which happened years ago that IIRC involved an Indiana State Trooper who had shot a robber/burgler in the back. I cannot remember or find the verdict in the case. The Trooper's attorney argued that the suspect was facing the officer and a threat when the initiation of the trigger pull was started. By the time the trigger follow through was completed and the firing sequence was finished the suspect had turned his back to the officer. It was argued the suspect's actions during the trigger pull and firing of the weapon was the reason he was struck in the back instead of center mass. Of course both sides had experts pro and con relating to possibility. If anyone is familiar with this case or a similiar one I would be interested as to the decision(s) of the jury.

saltydog452
June 22, 2009, 02:30 PM
t165,

Never having shot anything more threatning than a NRA 25yard pistol center, I can kinda relate to that.

Maybe its just me, but if I'm on the front sight and get too aggressive on the trigger, fist sized groups just ain't gonna happen.

No doubt there are folks who can have ten brass cases in the air vs. my one or two.

I'm just slow. The situtation you described could easily happen to me. The gun can work faster than I can think. And I 'think' front sight.

salty

Buckhannon
June 22, 2009, 02:40 PM
I would aim to wing the bad guy, but you know a 45.... the rounds are apt to hit the perp anywhere....:rolleyes:

justinvoigts
August 23, 2009, 01:58 PM
If it is in the middle of the night a homeowner will always feel their life is being threatened. If the homeowner is half asleep and the bg is all coked up or whatever the homeowners life is being threatened. I will always feel my life is threatened when someone comes into my house uninvited this warrants the use of deadly force.

THE DARK KNIGHT
August 23, 2009, 02:01 PM
Hello y'all,
I just started taking a serious stance on home defense and while thinking about it, I had a problem that was plaguing me. I'm not sure what I would do in this (realistic) scenario, so I wanted to gather your opinions.

Background: I live in the state of Florida. Florida has the Castle Doctrine for homes. I interpret the law to mean that anyone who forcefully and without authorization enters your dwelling has forfeited their life, for whatever reason.

That being said would you shoot a home invader in the back as he is heading out the door (but still within the confines of the house) if he was only stealing [insert valuable MATERIAL possession here]. I guess I'm imagining a robber running out of the house with VCR, or Earrings, etc... I don't think this is a legal matter if he's sill in the house, but more of a moral issue. Would you shoot him?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Are you concerned with defending yourself and your family, or murdering someone? Regardless of if your jurisdiction makes it legal, why in the right mind would you kill someone who does not pose a threat to the life or safety of you or anyone else? If some crackhead is running out my house with a pair of earrings, fine. Id rather not live with the burden of killing someone who is not a threat to me. Let the scumbag have the earrings.

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