Burglar calls 911 to save himself from gun-wielding homeowner


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Apachedriver
December 6, 2012, 09:16 PM
I just came across this article on Yahoo and wanted to share. There are more details in the video interview with the owner. Several that can be things taken from on this one.

A suspected burglar called 911 after the owner of the home he broke into caught and held him at gunpoint.
The suspect, Christopher Moore, placed the emergency call in Springtown, Texas, during the botched burglary attempt early Tuesday after James Gerow, the homeowner, and Gerow's son pointed guns at him as he sat in his pickup truck parked in the driveway.
"I'm out in the country somewhere," Moore told the 911 operator during the 10-minute call. "Some guy's got a gun on me."
Gerow's wife, Lindy, placed a concurrent call to 911 that confirmed Moore's account.
"You better come quick," she said, "or my husband's going to shoot him."
"If he gets out of the truck, shoot him in the legs," James Gerow told his son, according to the Dallas Morning News Crime Blog. "You ain't gotta kill himójust shoot him in the legs."
When police arrived, both Moore and Lindy Gerow were still talking to 911 dispatchers.
According to CBS' Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate, Moore was arrested and charged with burglary. He's currently being held on a $35,000 bond.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/burglar-calls-911-himself-163618126.html

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Texan Scott
December 6, 2012, 09:23 PM
LOL... please note that when all is said and done, it's not the homeowner who was arrested (or made a laughingstock in the Dallas papers).

M2 Carbine
December 6, 2012, 09:55 PM
The burglar is lucky. I'm not sue I'd be that charitable.

Warp
December 6, 2012, 10:41 PM
Everybody is lucky. If the attempted burglar got out and the resident(s) shot him...big mistake.

TheCracker
December 6, 2012, 11:19 PM
Everybody is lucky. If the attempted burglar got out and the resident(s) shot him...big mistake.

Probably not in Texas. In a lot of parts he would be a hero. You forget the Joe Horn shooting in Houston! Castle doctrine!

mr.scott
December 6, 2012, 11:39 PM
If he is still on the property, the home owner has him dead to rights. A threat still exists.

Warp
December 6, 2012, 11:41 PM
If he is still on the property, the home owner has him dead to rights. A threat still exists.



Just because a person is in your driveway that does not automatically mean you can shoot them.

Perhaps this should be posted in the Legal section to get some good feedback.

22-rimfire
December 6, 2012, 11:54 PM
"You better come quick," she said, "or my husband's going to shoot him."

Funny stuff. Nothing like lighting a fire under law enforcement to respond to a call.

Apachedriver
December 7, 2012, 12:18 AM
Just because a person is in your driveway that does not automatically mean you can shoot them.

True, but this all started in the house and the intruder was still on the property. The man did good for himself by not shooting, but if that intruder came back out of his pickup, only he could decide if the threat was still active.

ETA: And yes, I know, you're better off staying in the house and calling 911, and ADEE applies. I agree, but once he went outside, new decisions had to be made.

Perhaps this should be posted in the Legal section to get some good feedback.

That may be a good idea. But any legal discussion needs to keep in mind that only Texas laws apply, not CA or FL or NY, et al.

Warp
December 7, 2012, 12:23 AM
True, but this all started in the house and the intruder was still on the property. The man did good for himself by not shooting, but if that intruder came back out of his pickup, only he could decide if the threat was still active.

ETA: And yes, I know, you're better off staying in the house and calling 911, and ADEE applies. I agree, but once he went outside, new decisions had to be made.



That may be a good idea. But any legal discussion needs to keep in mind that only Texas laws apply, not CA or FL or NY, et al.


Say the guy got out...what would the resident(s) reasonably believe is being prevented by shooting him in the legs?

Apachedriver
December 7, 2012, 12:27 AM
When I read that part, I stopped to think as well on it.

My speculation leads me to think he didn't want his son killing someone. That's heavy and the kid doesn't need it. It's an assumption since I don't recall seeing the boy's age.

Otherwise if his goal was to shoot to disable instead of to stop...I think that's a poor choice.

AethelstanAegen
December 7, 2012, 12:50 AM
Say the guy got out...what would the resident(s) reasonably believe is being prevented by shooting him in the legs?

How does the resident know the attempted burglar didn't retreat to his car to retrieve a weapon? What reason would the burglar have to get out of the car? His escape would be to drive away, thus getting out of the car could be argued to be an aggressive action in the opposite direction of retreat.

That said, would I shoot him in the leg if he got out of the car? Probably not, but it would sure depend on the context and if I could see his hands.

Shooting the suspect in the leg could certainly stop the villain from attacking the family with a knife, etc...and would certainly allow for a follow up shot if the criminal also had a gun. I suspect the homeowner just wanted to avoid having his son kill someone.

Warp
December 7, 2012, 12:52 AM
How does the resident know the attempted burglar didn't retreat to his car to retrieve a weapon?

You can't shoot people because you do not KNOW they aren't going to do something bad. That just isn't how things work, even in Texas.

Apachedriver
December 7, 2012, 01:16 AM
You can't shoot people because you do not KNOW they aren't going to do something bad. That just isn't how things work, even in Texas.


Warp, I agree. But I think you also have to consider the potential threat was already introduced to the situation when the intruder entered the house at night uninvited. You can't just assume the threat is over. But you do have to continue to reassess as you go forward. I think that's what the homeowner did here.

As for shooting him in the legs: 1)With a handgun or rifle, that's as realistic as a TJ Hooker just trying to "wing" the bad guy on TV, 2)If the son had a shotgun, maybe.

Warp
December 7, 2012, 01:24 AM
Warp, I agree. But I think you also have to consider the potential threat was already introduced to the situation when the intruder entered the house at night uninvited. You can't just assume the threat is over. But you do have to continue to reassess as you go forward. I think that's what the homeowner did here.

As for shooting him in the legs: 1)With a handgun or rifle, that's as realistic as a TJ Hooker just trying to "wing" the bad guy on TV, 2)If the son had a shotgun, maybe.

Exactly. Even if/just because a certain response (say lethal force) was justified at one point, that doesn't mean it continues to be.

If the guy is trying to escape, and he is already in the driveway while you are not, and there is no weapon present or reason to believe a weapon is present, and the guy has nothing of yours, etc etc, which all seem likely to be true given what was in the article...I cannot find a justification for lethal force. And that's what shooting somebody in the leg is, regardless of the type of firearm used (even a shotgun with birdshot)...lethal force

allaroundhunter
December 7, 2012, 01:32 AM
Say the guy got out...what would the resident(s) reasonably believe is being prevented by shooting him in the legs?

If it was at night, the argument could be made that the man was trying to flee with stolen property.... In Texas, there is the stipulation that deadly force is justifiable in that instance (if it is the only means to keep the perpetrator from escaping).


While it is not a good idea, and I most certainly wouldn't do it. If the man were to have gotten out of the truck and been shot, I doubt the homeowner or his son would have been indicted on any charges.

brnmw
December 7, 2012, 11:08 AM
Sorry, but if I caught that idiot in my house I would be surprised if he ever made it out the door! >IMO and IMO only if an individual "breaks into a home" Armed or Not you are automatically a danger in any and in every respect. Even at night simply catching a thief in Texas stealing your tools out of a shed may not be reason enough to shoot him, but if he came into my home day or night "BIG TROUBLE!" I don't care what the law dictates. I did not like it when roommates would simply walk in to my room without knocking kindly let alone catching an intruder in my home! (Which they stopped doing after they found out I always had a gun next to me even if I was simply watching TV, and yes it was necessary for the record not simple paranoia. (They never locked the doors at night, we lived in a bad area & and they always went to bed late long after I was asleep.There comment to me when I confronted them about the issue was..."Okay really? What are the chances.. you are just being paranoid... not everyone is out to get you, so chill out!") True story...:fire:

22-rimfire
December 7, 2012, 11:18 AM
I would be very concerned if the perp was in his car. He could easily have a firearm inside the car and be preparing himself for his next aggressive move. It is a very unstable situation and filled with danger to both the perp and home owner.

From my point of view, the perp has to do something aggressive to place the home owner in fear for "his" life at this point or a shooting would be more of an execution.

Skribs
December 7, 2012, 12:22 PM
"You don't need to kill them, just shoot them in the legs" is a statement that makes me cringe every time I read it. A shot to the chest can be recovered from (some people even survive shots to the head). A shot to the leg can be fatal (femoral artery). People who say "just shoot them in the leg" got their knowledge of human anatomy from watching movies.

That said, if I had pulled a gun on a BG and he retreated, but didn't leave completely, and he reaggressed, then the attack has recommenced and it needs to be stopped.

Warp
December 7, 2012, 12:23 PM
Sorry, but if I caught that idiot in my house I would be surprised if he ever made it out the door! >IMO and IMO only if an individual "breaks into a home" Armed or Not you are automatically a danger in any and in every respect. Even at night simply catching a thief in Texas stealing your tools out of a shed may not be reason enough to shoot him, but if he came into my home day or night "BIG TROUBLE!" I don't care what the law dictates. I did not like it when roommates would simply walk in to my room without knocking kindly let alone catching an intruder in my home! (Which they stopped doing after they found out I always had a gun next to me even if I was simply watching TV, and yes it was necessary for the record not simple paranoia. (They never locked the doors at night, we lived in a bad area & and they always went to bed late long after I was asleep.There comment to me when I confronted them about the issue was..."Okay really? What are the chances.. you are just being paranoid... not everyone is out to get you, so chill out!") True story...:fire:


Who said he was ever in the house??

Trent
December 7, 2012, 12:39 PM
:30

"They didn't hear anything until they were already inside"

{Shows door opening}

"That's what woke us up"

Trent
December 7, 2012, 12:40 PM
(it looks like the homeowner went out another exit and ran in to the guy on his way back out - the noise must have spooked the burglar in to leaving the home)

brnmw
December 7, 2012, 12:41 PM
Who said he was ever in the house??

Um......
Read: (2nd Paragraph) :)
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/12/06/texas-burglary-suspect-calls-11-on-homeowner-with-gun/

Thanks.

(Just for the record MSNBC reported he was in the house as well....)

Warp
December 7, 2012, 12:43 PM
Um......
Read: (2nd Paragraph) :)
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/12/06/texas-burglary-suspect-calls-11-on-homeowner-with-gun/

Thanks.

Um.....that's not what was linked in the OP.

I didn't go out onto the internet searching news sites for information about this, I went by what was posted in the OP. ;)

I would rather not click on the link. I don't want to give the hit/advertisement $ to them. I'll take your word for it that it says he was inside, I guess.


:30

"They didn't hear anything until they were already inside"

{Shows door opening}

"That's what woke us up"

Who are the theys referring to? That isn't clear at all

sansone
December 7, 2012, 12:48 PM
threads like this help me decide where to live :D

brnmw
December 7, 2012, 12:55 PM
Um.....that's not what was linked in the OP.

I didn't go out onto the internet searching news sites for information about this, I went by what was posted in the OP.

I would rather not click on the link. I don't want to give the hit/advertisement $ to them. I'll take your word for it that it says he was inside, I guess.

Sorry, did not mean it to sound condescending I heard about it yesterday seeing that I live in Texas so it's all over the news the individual was in the house so in my defense I did not I guess carefully read the OP post that closely since the "Facts" if you will have already been established down here... I do apologize. :)
Thanks.

trauma
December 7, 2012, 01:01 PM
I just love THR and I spend a lot of time learning all types of gun and ammo information. I also enjoy the back and forth about topics like this but I have come to understand that:
1. Not all people respond the same. From what I see the location of the person has a lot to do with how the situation is or would be resolved.
2. Itís just as hard for me to see the liberal side as it is for most of you to see the concretive (ultra-concretive) side.
At first I was attempting to explain my views but soon decided just watching the sparks fly is more fun.

Warp
December 7, 2012, 01:06 PM
I just love THR and I spend a lot of time learning all types of gun and ammo information. I also enjoy the back and forth about topics like this but I have come to understand that:
1. Not all people respond the same. From what I see the location of the person has a lot to do with how the situation is or would be resolved.
2. Itís just as hard for me to see the liberal side as it is for most of you to see the concretive (ultra-concretive) side.
At first I was attempting to explain my views but soon decided just watching the sparks fly is more fun.

What?

brnmw
December 7, 2012, 01:12 PM
What?

Now that I am on the same page with you. :confused:

TRAUMA: Not sure what you are getting at really, I kind of understand but yet don't.
As for the back and forth "sparks flying".... a little banter back and forth never hurt anybody.

(GREAT Now were off Topic!) :banghead:

AethelstanAegen
December 7, 2012, 01:20 PM
You can't shoot people because you do not KNOW they aren't going to do something bad. That just isn't how things work, even in Texas.

If the guy is trying to escape, and he is already in the driveway while you are not, and there is no weapon present or reason to believe a weapon is present, and the guy has nothing of yours, etc etc, which all seem likely to be true given what was in the article...I cannot find a justification for lethal force. And that's what shooting somebody in the leg is, regardless of the type of firearm used (even a shotgun with birdshot)...lethal force

I agree with you. It'd be very important to constantly reassess the situation. To that end, if the guy went into his truck and then proceeded to exit the vehicle, he's no longer retreating, which would be a reason for both concern and suspicion as to his motives now. I think certainly before I was to shoot, I would be yelling for him to put up his hands (because I'd want to know if he was now armed). If he wasn't going to comply and kept his hands hidden, there might be a problem and I think many would think you reasonable to be fearful for your safety. Personally I'd still wait until I saw some sort of weapon or an attempt to engage me physically but I can see how the homeowner wouldn't want to take any risks with his family/son and thus not give the criminal any sort of benefit of the doubt. So is it what, I'd do? No, but I think the homeowner could make a case to a jury that he was in fear for his safety and the safety of his family.

As to the shooting in the legs stuff, I 100% agree with others who inwardly groan. I'm guessing the homeowner thought it'd be a less lethal way to disable the threat but life isn't like the movies. When I first started concealed carrying, my mother was very uncomfortable with the idea (she came from a non-gun family). She asked me where I would aim if ever I had to shoot in self-defense and was very surprised when I said "center mass." I think she too thought that taking a leg shot would somehow be better. I had to explain to her that legally a shot anywhere is now lethal force (and that a shot to an extremity can prove fatal). I also explained to her that I would only ever shoot in a situation which was truly life or death, in which case I absolutely want to end the threat.

The tl;dr version here is that, a shot should only be taken when lethal force is justified/required and that the shots you take should be to that end. If you felt you might be justified in injuring a threat but not in using lethal force, you absolutely should not be shooting.

allaroundhunter
December 7, 2012, 02:46 PM
Who said he was ever in the house??

Okay, here is from the first quoted sentence in the OP:

A suspected burglar called 911 after the owner of the home he broke into caught and held him at gunpoint.

Kleanbore
December 7, 2012, 03:15 PM
Posted by TheCracker: You forget the Joe Horn shooting in Houston! Castle doctrine!The castle doctrine did not figure in the Joe Horn incident at all. The 911 tapes indicates that Horn was under the impression that he would be legally justified in shooting thieves to prevent them from taking his neighbor's property at night, but his attorney did not pursue that defense and instead argued self defense. Very fortunately for Mr. Horn, an arriving first responder who witnessed the shooting told the Grand Jury that Horn necessarily fired to protect himself from attack.

By the way, Horn has paid for his actions with a great deal of unhappiness.

Posted by mr.scott: If he is still on the property, the home owner has him dead to rights. A threat still exists.I don't know what you mean by "has him dead to rights", but the fact that someone is "still on the property" does not justify the use of deadly force.

Look--telling someone to shoot someone in the leg if he gets out of his truck is terrible advice that indicated almost complete ignorance of the law, and if that had happened, we'd be reading about an attempted murder or murder case here.

The homeowner would not have been justified in firing to prevent the man's escape, and for that and other reasons "holding someone at gunpoint" is almost always a very poor idea. He would have been justified in pointing a weapon to indicate a willingness to use force if that were the only way to terminate the trespass--that is, to persuade him to leave--but that's not what he seemed to want to do.

TX_QtPi
December 7, 2012, 03:31 PM
This just made My day, the burglar IS extremely lucky he delt with someone level headed.... And good to see someone showing their son the right way to handle a weapon, both father AND son held him at gunpoint till authorities showed up!!

Skribs
December 7, 2012, 03:32 PM
KB, it sounds like the would-be robber was in his truck, which would indicate that he has an avenue of escape via the truck. If he gets out of the truck, that signals to me that he is ready to attack. (I'm not saying pull the trigger blindly at that point, but if the robber chooses to leave his best means of escape to come closer, it is very likely that escape is not his plan.

Until the interloper is off my property, I might not have the right to shoot, but I will keep myself in a much higher state of alert and readiness so that if I do have to shoot, it happens with less delay.

WALKERs210
December 7, 2012, 03:50 PM
This reminds me of a story that a co-worker told us about. His grandfather was owner of a small Mom & Pop type store in rural Va. Over a period of three weeks he had been held up at gun point, when he called 911 it took between 30 and 45 min before anyone arrived. Then about a week after the last robbery, apparently the bad guys felt they had a never ending resource of cash and they came back again. This time when the Grand dad call 911 he informed the dispatcher to tell the responding officers not to be in a hurry, both BG's were laying dead in the front of his store, LEO's were there in less than 5 min. No charges were filed and surprisingly no more robberies occurred. I would loved to see this guy in his truck, trying his best not to wet his pants.

Apachedriver
December 7, 2012, 04:56 PM
Who said he was ever in the house??

Warp, the homeowner said the guy walked into his bedroom in the video I linked to in my OP.

Apachedriver
December 7, 2012, 05:19 PM
Quote:
I don't know what you mean by "has him dead to rights", but the fact that someone is "still on the property" does not justify the use of deadly force.

Being on the property may not justify deadly force but the until the intruder leaves the property at a minimum or is arrested, he still poses a threat to be assessed and dealt with appropriately.

Look--telling someone to shoot someone in the leg if he gets out of his truck is terrible advice that indicated almost complete ignorance of the law, and if that had happened, we'd be reading about an attempted murder or murder case here.

You're assuming that when getting out of the truck, the intruder displays no overt ill-intentions, i.e. he charges out at them or possesses a potential weapon during the egress. If so, the ante just went up.

The homeowner would not have been justified in firing to prevent the man's escape, and for that and other reasons "holding someone at gunpoint" is almost always a very poor idea.

Where did you see that he was holding him at gunpoint? That he forced the intruder to stay put? The video said the owner and his son had their firearms trained on the guy in the truck. The intruder could've driven away. If anything, the 911 operator is the one that directed the intruder to "just sit right there."

Heck, the homeowner even said the intruder wasn't in his right mind and didn't need to get shot. That shows he wisely reassessed the situation as it played out.

He would have been justified in pointing a weapon to indicate a willingness to use force if that were the only way to terminate the trespass--that is, to persuade him to leave--but that's not what he seemed to want to do.

Per the OP video, that's what the homeowner did. The trespass was not yet terminated. How did you arrive at that final conclusion in bold above?

Skribs
December 7, 2012, 05:31 PM
You're assuming that when getting out of the truck, the intruder displays no overt ill-intentions, i.e. he charges out at them or possesses a potential weapon during the egress. If so, the ante just went up.

Even so, the idea that shooting someone in the leg is "less lethal" is a fallacy. The reason we aim COM isn't to "kill", it's to stop the target faster. A shot to the leg won't be as immediately fatal, but if you sever the femoral artery then the target is not in for a good trip.

I also want to point out that the wife saying "hurry up or my husband will shoot him" could just be her overreacting to the situation (or encouraging the cops to show up faster). It might not have been the best thing for her to say, but I've seen Cops enough to know that the mindset of two people who are married is often not the same.

Apachedriver
December 7, 2012, 08:48 PM
Quote:
You're assuming that when getting out of the truck, the intruder displays no overt ill-intentions, i.e. he charges out at them or possesses a potential weapon during the egress. If so, the ante just went up.
Even so, the idea that shooting someone in the leg is "less lethal" is a fallacy. The reason we aim COM isn't to "kill", it's to stop the target faster. A shot to the leg won't be as immediately fatal, but if you sever the femoral artery then the target is not in for a good trip.

Roger. I understand and agree but that wasn't the point of my comment. The portion of the comment I was referring to was:

and if that had happened, we'd be reading about an attempted murder or murder case here.

If there had been a shooting without the threat to life, it wouldn't matter where the guy would've been shot. The opposite is true as well. If the life threat exists, then a leg shot or COM shot should make no difference in causing a murder case or attempted murder case. IMHO.

Warp
December 7, 2012, 08:58 PM
This just made My day, the burglar IS extremely lucky he delt with someone level headed.... And good to see someone showing their son the right way to handle a weapon, both father AND son held him at gunpoint till authorities showed up!!

:rolleyes:

Kleanbore
December 8, 2012, 01:13 AM
Posted by Apachedriver: If there had been a shooting without the threat to life, it wouldn't matter where the guy would've been shot. True, if the threat had been imminent and actor had had reason to believe that the immediate use of deadly force had been necessary.

The opposite is true as well. If the life threat exists, then a leg shot or COM shot should make no difference in causing a murder case or attempted murder case. IMHO.Also true, again assuming imminence and immediate necessity and evidence to that effect.

However, the evidentiary balance might very well be effected in the case of a leg shot following a discussion before the fact about shooting the man in the leg. Any indications of actor's possible intent to wound, combined with his demonstrated ability to do that under the circumstances, could cast doubt on his claim that he had reasonably believed that the threat to life had been imminent and that the immediate use of deadly force had been his only alternative.

Apachedriver
December 8, 2012, 02:33 PM
However, the evidentiary balance might very well be effected in the case of a leg shot following a discussion before the fact about shooting the man in the leg. Any indications of actor's possible intent to wound, combined with his demonstrated ability to do that under the circumstances, could cast doubt on his claim that he had reasonably believed that the threat to life had been imminent and that the immediate use of deadly force had been his only alternative.

Roger. I'm tracking with you now.

Collector0311
December 8, 2012, 03:17 PM
Can we address the fact that as soon as he set foot in his truck, he was in control of a potentially "deadly weapon"?
If I were holding a man in a truck at gunpoint and he started the ignition, without knowing his intent I would take it as a hostile action.
Am I wrong?

meat57
December 8, 2012, 03:37 PM
In this case I think I disagree. The suspect was caught in the commission of a crime. I think a reasonable person could assume that they had criminal and possibly violent intent upon exiting the vehicle.

Sam1911
December 8, 2012, 04:05 PM
Can we address the fact that as soon as he set foot in his truck, he was in control of a potentially "deadly weapon"?
If I were holding a man in a truck at gunpoint and he started the ignition, without knowing his intent I would take it as a hostile action.
Am I wrong?
That would be a real bad thing to try to support in court. There's several reasons someone might have for starting a vehicle, and the (by FAR, even under the circumstances) most likely one would be to drive away. Then shooting him would be use of lethal force to keep someone from leaving.

He COULD be starting it to try and run you over, but until he actually makes some move to do that violent act, he's just starting a car.

Sure a car can be a lethal weapon and someone can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon if it is actually used in that way. But starting a car is not the same as grabbing a gun in that situation. There's really only one thing an escaping criminal might be intending if he grabs for a gun -- he's going to shoot whomever is attempting to arrest his flight. If you have to testify about the incident and say "He grabbed for his gun and I believed he was going to shoot me." -- that's believable. A jury is likely to accept that claim.

If he gets in a car and starts the ignition, there are two possibilities as to what he's attempting to do and using that car to flee is far more likely than using it to drive in the opposite direction from escape and run you over. If you have to testify, "He started the car so I believed he was going to run me over," the jury is likely to find your claimed belief unreasonable and decide that you shot either to arrest his flight or retributively -- neither of which are lawful uses of force.

(Unless you deliberately place yourself in his path so he can't flee -- which would fit nicely into the textbook definition of "tactically unsound.")

Sam1911
December 8, 2012, 04:16 PM
I think a reasonable person could assume that they had criminal and possibly violent intent upon exiting the vehicle.That might be a reasonable suspicion, but absent an actual THREATENING act -- producing a weapon, charging at the homeowner(s), or something else that is an actual threat of violent action -- you simply CANNOT shoot the guy.

Getting out of a car isn't a violent act. The homeowners have no lawful authority to enforce any command (except "stop attacking me!") with deadly force.

It may be a clue that he will attack...or it may not. You're going to have to have something to say to the jury besides, "he got out of the car so I shot him," or they aren't going to be very accepting of your self-defense claim.

grubbylabs
December 8, 2012, 05:23 PM
Can we address the fact that as soon as he set foot in his truck, he was in control of a potentially "deadly weapon"?
If I were holding a man in a truck at gunpoint and he started the ignition, without knowing his intent I would take it as a hostile action.
Am I wrong?

No, in our state just a few years ago a bunch of cops shot and killed some one in a car because he was using it as a weapon.

I think the father and son did the right thing. Many people speak of what they would do, bur really how many of us truly know until we are in that situation. As in many cases similar to this, we do not know all the little nuances and details of just what happened so I don't think any of us could really say for sure what we would have done much differently than the father. Except maybe most of use would not have advised some one to shoot someone else in the leg.

As far as what's legal? I doubt even the state attorney general let a lone a local prosecuter would be able to give any advise. I know ours won't. Their standard answer is to seek legal council from an attorney.
So I don't see much point in speculating what the legal ramifications would be given a certain out come.

Warp
December 8, 2012, 05:25 PM
No, in our state just a few years ago a bunch of cops shot and killed some one in a car because he was using it as a weapon.

I think the father and son did the right thing. Many people speak of what they would do, bur really how many of us truly know until we are in that situation. As in many cases similar to this, we do not know all the little nuances and details of just what happened so I don't think any of us could really say for sure what we would have done much differently than the father. Except maybe most of use would not have advised some one to shoot someone else in the leg.

As far as what's legal? I doubt even the state attorney general let a lone a local prosecuter would be able to give any advise. I know ours won't. Their standard answer is to seek legal council from an attorney.
So I don't see much point in speculating what the legal ramifications would be given a certain out come.

Which is entirely possible.

But as was mentioned turning on the ignition/starting the engine is not using it as a weapon.

Based on what we know from the article(s), we can say VERY WELL what we would have done differently.

The whole thing with instructions for shooting him in the leg...I would not do that. Most people who know a little about the law would not do that.

Sam1911
December 8, 2012, 06:57 PM
As far as what's legal? I doubt even the state attorney general let a lone a local prosecuter would be able to give any advise. I know ours won't. Their standard answer is to seek legal council from an attorney.
So I don't see much point in speculating what the legal ramifications would be given a certain out come.

Unfortunately this comes out reading like, "We can't know anything for sure so there's no point in reading the law, understanding prosecutorial proceedures, studying the actions of juries, and reviewing the legal outcomes of similar cases." That's probably not what you meant to say, but sometimes people really do make that kind of ignorance-is-bliss claim.

The truth is that we can indeed read the laws of every state, we can talk to or read the studies of those who have surveyed the factors that sway juries, we can discuss with attorneys (including those who are members here) how the law is applied, and we can discuss with trainers and students of lethal force encounters how such events unfold.

While everything in life can be represented in terms of probabilities and tendencies, we can educate ourselves about what actions (and/or words) are likely to be a good idea and which are very poor choices. Telling your son to shoot a man if he steps out of his car is a very poor choice.

grubbylabs
December 9, 2012, 03:43 AM
I think it is of utmost importance for any one who carries to find out what the laws are in the state or states they carry.

But to sit and speculate without knowing all the details, and I am about 99%percent sure the news did not get the story 100% about what his legal options and obligations were is just speculation.

If you know something for certain, like how the castle doctrine is routinely used in that state and can site how it was used to determine out comes of other similar cases, that is one thing. But armchair quarter backing without knowing the laws for certain is counter productive.

Sam1911
December 9, 2012, 08:29 AM
But armchair quarter backing without knowing the laws for certain is counter productive.To some degree it would be, I agree.

But there are basic principles about the lawful use of deadly force that are universal throughout the US which inform what you should and shouldn't do in a potential lethal-force encounter. It isn't as though the laws in one state are so vastly different that you can't make any informed judgments.

(For example, there is no part of the US in which it is prima facie lawful to shoot someone for simply getting out of a car.)

But I agree, if you really have NO IDEA what the laws are in the state under discussion, you probably shouldn't comment with great specificity about goings-on in that state.

Kleanbore
December 9, 2012, 12:10 PM
Posted by grubbylabs: I doubt even the state attorney general let a lone a local prosecuter would be able to give any advise. I know ours won't. Their standard answer is to seek legal council from an attorney.Right. The attorney general is an advocate for the state. Prosecutors are not apt to offer opinions on hypothetical situations, and they would not be binding anyway.

I think it is of utmost importance for any one who carries to find out what the laws are in the state or states they carry.So do I. But that's not a simple, straight-forward undertaking. Without some basic understanding of legal principles; without some knowledge of relevant case law (appellate decisions); and without familiarity with some of the jury instructions that may govern use-of-force cases, a layman's reading of individual statures taken our of context is apt to be incorrect.

The best approach is to avoid the very dangerous pitfalls inherent in an interpretation such as "in this state I am justified in shooting someone if...."

The three key words in the common law and in all state laws are necessity, necessity, and necessity. If the actor does not have a basis for a reasonable belief that the use of force, any force, is not immediately necessary, it would not be lawful. And if he or she cannot provide at least some evidence supporting that belief, he or she will not be able to mount a successful defense of justification.

There are some differences among states; they fall mostly into the following areas:


Where, and under shat circumstances, a "castle law" might provide a resident with a presumption that the fact of an unlawful entry into an occupied whatever-it-is would lead to a reaonable belief that deadly force might be justified
Under what circumstances the drawing, pointing, exhibition, or defensive display of a weapon, normally a criminal act, might be lawfully justified
Whether or not retreat is required if retreat is safely possible (note that the absence of any reference to that subject in the code is not necessarily an indication)
The kinds of felonies that may be lawfully prevented by the use of force by a citizen who is not a sworn officer
The defense of property
The termination of trespass


And of course there are the differences in weapons laws--concealed or open carry, permit requirements, disclosure, and so forth.

Posted by Sam1911: But there are basic principles about the lawful use of deadly force that are universal throughout the US which inform what you should and shouldn't do in a potential lethal-force encounter. It isn't as though the laws in one state are so vastly different that you can't make any informed judgments.Very true indeed.

(For example, there is no part of the US in which it is prima facie lawful to shoot someone for simply getting out of a car.) Bingo!

Neverwinter
December 9, 2012, 12:39 PM
Another observation is the value of being on the phone with 911. If the homeowner had used unlawful force, it would have been on record on the call. That way, even if the deceased cannot provide testimony, the evidence is still there.

It probably would have helped that dead Florida teen.

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