Utah man arrested for shooting at FLEEING burglars


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Alaska444
February 3, 2013, 07:38 PM
Not sure if this is being discussed anywhere yet. Fox news has an article on a man who shot at a car driving away and another suspect running away from his home.

Sadly, if what is reported is correct, then that is the correct decision. Self defense MUST have the element of immediacy, opportunity and a directed threat of grave bodily injury or death. Shooting at people running away from you is NOT self defense.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/02/03/homeowner-arrested-for-firing-shots-in-burglary/

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Sam1911
February 3, 2013, 07:41 PM
On the face of it ... yup. That's something we preach here a lot. Sad that he'll learn it the hard way.

Alaska444
February 3, 2013, 07:47 PM
On the face of it ... yup. That's something we preach here a lot. Sad that he'll learn it the hard way.
Thank you, that is why I posted this. Just because a crime is committed, even the police are not allowed to shoot at a fleeing suspect. I can't remember the SCOTUS decision on that, but we learned about it in all three of my CCW classes.

somerandomguy
February 3, 2013, 07:48 PM
That's freakin ridiculous. I'm sorry, but how was he to know that they wouldn't come back and hurt his family? I hate punks, these 2 losers just ruined that Utah guy's life. This is why we need stand your ground and the castle doctrine.

Alaska444
February 3, 2013, 07:50 PM
Sorry, but shooting folks in the back is NOT self defense. I am not very fond of "punks" as well, but heck, if we abuse the rule of law, then we endanger the rule of law. Are we not under the "gun" enough as it is?

Sam1911
February 3, 2013, 07:52 PM
You can't shoot someone for what they MIGHT do sometime later.

The only time the use of lethal force is justified (in all but one state) is when you MUST shoot to stop an immediate threat that is happening right this minute. And once that threat has stopped (they're dead, they're incapacitated, they've surrendered, they're running away) you MUST cease using force against them.

Neither "Stand Your Ground" nor "Castle Doctrine" laws EVER justify shooting at someone who's LEAVING.

Solo
February 3, 2013, 07:53 PM
That's freakin ridiculous. I'm sorry, but how was he to know that they wouldn't come back and hurt his family? I hate punks, these 2 losers just ruined that Utah guy's life. This is why we need stand your ground and the castle doctrine.
what

Alaska444
February 3, 2013, 07:53 PM
We had SHOOT, DON'T SHOOT drills in my CCW class simply because of this. I did find the SCOTUS case:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_v._Garner

Hypnogator
February 3, 2013, 07:54 PM
how was he to know that they wouldn't come back and hurt his family?

How do you know the guy you meet on the street isn't planning to turn around and stab you in the back when you pass him? Better shoot him first! :rolleyes:

Alaska444, you're referring to Tennessee V. Garner (1985). The Supremes ruled that police could not shoot a fleeing suspect unless (s)he (1) used deadly force or the threat of deadly force in the commission of the crime, OR (2) used deadly force or the threat of deadly force in the escape attempt.

longknife12
February 3, 2013, 07:55 PM
I was tought that if the perp is running away, they are no longer a threat.
Rules of conflict can change is 1/2 a heartbeat!
Dan

somerandomguy
February 3, 2013, 07:56 PM
You can't shoot someone for what they MIGHT do sometime later.

The only time the use of lethal force is justified (in all but one state) is when you MUST shoot to stop an immediate threat that is happening right this minute. And once that threat has stopped (they're dead, they're incapacitated, they've surrendered, they're running away) you MUST cease using force against them.

Neither "Stand Your Ground" nor "Castle Doctrine" laws EVER justify shooting at someone who's LEAVING.
There's a difference between dropping your weapons and surrendering or running away though. The threat is already neutralized if they have surrendered, however they are still a potential threat to either you or someone else if they run away.

Alaska444
February 3, 2013, 07:56 PM
How do you know the guy you meet on the street isn't planning to turn around and stab you in the back when you pass him? Better shoot him first! :rolleyes:

Alaska444, you're referring to Tennessee V. Garner (1985). The Supremes ruled that police could not shoot a fleeing suspect unless (s)he (1) used deadly force or the threat of deadly force in the commission of the crime, OR (2) used deadly force or the threat of deadly force in the escape attempt.
Thanks, I did just find it myself as well. Yes, that is the case I remembered but couldn't recall the exact case. Glad I am not a lawyer having to cite this stuff off the top of my head.

montgomery381
February 3, 2013, 07:57 PM
If they were fleeing he never should have fired. One of the biggest responsibilities a gun owner has is knowing when not to shoot. If the threat isn't immediate and active you shouldn't take a shot. I don't believe that either the castle doctrine or stand your ground allows for firing on a retreating attacker. If they are retreating, they are no longer attacking and no longer an immediate threat.

Sam1911
February 3, 2013, 08:01 PM
There's a difference between dropping your weapons and surrendering and running away though. The threat is already neutralized if they have surrendered, however they are still a potential threat to either you or someone else if they run away.Not under the use of force laws of any state. If you can see that they are threatening someone else RIGHT NOW as they flee, you MIGHT have a case to use force against them to try and save another person's life. But that's IT.

If you continue to attack even someone who attacked you a moment ago, while they are fleeing, you are guilty of assault at the very least. Hard to understand, I know, but that's how the law works.

Even if they tried to hurt you, and there may be some chance they might go off and hurt someone else an hour from now, or tonight, or tomorrow, or next week... you CANNOT end their lives to prevent that. You, as a law-abiding citizen, are not granted that right.

The ONLY reason you have that will justify your use of lethal force is that RIGHT THIS SECOND you believed you would die if you did not shoot. If they are running away, you cannot make that claim and thus you have NO affirmative defense that will excuse your assault or homicide of them.

Sam1911
February 3, 2013, 08:02 PM
[mod talk: Texas law does not apply here. Let's not go down that rabbit hole.]

bushmaster1313
February 3, 2013, 08:04 PM
Neither "Stand Your Ground" nor "Castle Doctrine" laws EVER justify shooting at someone who's LEAVING.

Also, I believe that these doctrines merely raise a presumption of righteous self defense.

If the shoot is not self defense and the presumption can be rebutted the shooter is in heap big trouble.

Jolly Rogers
February 3, 2013, 08:07 PM
A cop in Culpepper Va was convicted of 2nd deg. murder for killing a woman as she was driving away recently.
Joe

Alaska444
February 3, 2013, 08:08 PM
Not under the use of force laws of any state. If you can see that they are threatening someone else RIGHT NOW as they flee, you MIGHT have a case to use force against them to try and save another person's life. But that's IT.

If you continue to attack even someone who attacked you a moment ago, while they are fleeing, you are guilty of assault at the very least. Hard to understand, I know, but that's how the law works.

Even if they tried to hurt you, and there may be some chance they might go off and hurt someone else an hour from now, or tonight, or tomorrow, or next week... you CANNOT end their lives to prevent that. You, as a law-abiding citizen, are not granted that right.

The ONLY reason you have that will justify your use of lethal force is that RIGHT THIS SECOND you believed you would die if you did not shoot. If they are running away, you cannot make that claim and thus you have NO affirmative defense that will excuse your assault or homicide of them.
Far too many folks who shot one too many shots that changed the situation from self defense to murder in an instant. Looks like we have one more case where they should have paid a bit more attention in class if they ever went to one. SHOOT DON'T SHOOT cases are an important part of any CCW training opportunity. If you are going to carry, it is important to know and understand the difference.

Evergreen
February 3, 2013, 08:09 PM
If the shoot is not self defense and the presumption can be rebutted the shooter is in heap big trouble.
I have little sympathy for criminals even if the person defending himself committed a so-called "crime" defending his property against these criminals. It seems our country gives criminals more rights than law abiding citizens. In my opinion, any time a person who has robbed you is within your visual range, it's defense. And, how many criminals run, stop, turn around then start firing rounds when you let your guard down? Has that never happened? Who judges what a threat is? The same people who say the 2A is not applicable anymore in the 21st century? Just think, one day that person may enter the house of a person and kill an entire family or rape somebody. Most criminals don't just stop with you and are rarely caught immediately.

As for me I will only stop a threat within the legal means, however, I am just voicing my opinion.

I hope what I wrote isn't Unhigh road..

Alaska444
February 3, 2013, 08:10 PM
A cop in Culpepper Va was convicted of 2nd deg. murder for killing a woman as she was driving away recently.
Joe
Looks like this is the case you are talking about.

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Ex-Police-Officer-Found-Guilty-Involuntary-Manslaughter-188842921.html

Deltaboy
February 3, 2013, 08:11 PM
You got to know and understand the Law in your state . This fellow didn't and his fate is in the hands of the legal system.

Sam1911
February 3, 2013, 08:14 PM
Also, I believe that these doctrines merely raise a presumption of righteous self defense.

If the shoot is not self defense and the presumption can be rebutted the shooter is in heap big trouble.

Exactly right.

Castle doctrine laws generally give the defender a presupposition that IF someone has broken and entered your house they aren't there for pleasant reasons. It takes away the burden of proof that the defender might otherwise have to provide that the attacker had broken and entered AND was trying to hurt the occupants.

It says NOTHING at all to someone who shoots a person who entered AND THEN LEFT. If they are no longer IN the home and/or are trying to LEAVE, the defender loses his/her presupposition that the intruder is actively attempting to harm them. That's really just basic logic. If you're coming into the house we'll accept that you mean harm. If you're obviously attempting to leave (without returning fire or whatnot) you really can't STILL be attacking the occupants.

"Stand Your Ground" laws do something similar. They remove the prerequisite that sometimes existed that a law-abiding citizen had to show that they had done all they could do to retreat BEFORE using force to defend themselves. That doesn't grant anyone more rights to shoot or kill an attacker. It simply says that when you get to court you won't have to prove that there was no way you could have run away as part of your affirmative defense.

Again, none of that has anything at all to do with shooting criminals who are trying to get away.

Alaska444
February 3, 2013, 08:15 PM
You got to know and understand the Law in your state . This fellow didn't and his fate is in the hands of the legal system.
Sad but true unfortunately.

Solo
February 3, 2013, 08:23 PM
I have little sympathy for criminals even if the person defending himself committed a so-called "crime" defending his property against these criminals. It seems our country gives criminals more rights than law abiding citizens.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer"
- Sir William Blackstone

Isaac-1
February 3, 2013, 08:34 PM
One thing to remember here is castle doctrine varies considerably from state to state, in some states must break into your house before it comes into play, in others like here in Louisiana the mere attempt to break into an occupied house is considered justificaiton to believe your life is in danger and therefore use of deadly force Now shooting someone in the back could rarely be considered self defense, but I can see cases where it can be argued, shooting at a fleeing attacker might be justified if you knew they were leaving with the intent to harm or kill others (in my state and many others deadly force is allowed in denfense of yourself and defense of others), think of a situation where a man that is your neighbor confronts you using deadly force (shooting at you) because he thinks you have been having an affair with his wife, you successfully take cover and return fire, he yells something like if he can't kill you now he is going to go kill his wife, and will be back for you later. I can see that a strong argument could be made that you would be acting in defense of his wife if you shot him in the back as he was fleeing, since he has already attempted to use deadly force against you, and there would likely be no time for a police response before he ran the hundred or so feet home to his wife.

Sam1911
February 3, 2013, 08:34 PM
I have little sympathy for criminals None of us here do. Not one scrap of it. But the laws are written very specifically for very specific reasons. The only reason a citizen can ever use deadly force (outside of one state which has some limited further contingencies) is to stop an immediate, active, direct, realistic threat to his or her life, or the life of another person (who would be acting within their rights to do the same him or herself).

Revenge, stopping what "might happen later," defending items of property, making sure there aren't any witnesses, and all other reasons for assaulting and/or killing someone are completely UNLAWFUL. Felonies that can carry long-term jail sentences. You really do need to understand the VERY FEW instances where you'd be acting within the law to draw and/or fire your gun at another person. As we say, no one else can see your halo. A "good guy" can become a "bad guy" (criminal, felon, murderer) with one bad decision.

It seems our country gives criminals more rights than law abiding citizens.Meaning no disrespect, that's something a lot of people say when they find out they really can't kill another person for trespassing or theft, or some other minor crime. The laws surrounding these issues have been set in the "Western" justice system for many hundreds of years. This isn't NEW stuff, but most folks just have never taken the time to understand it. And TV and movies have been horrible teachers for generations.

In my opinion, any time a person who has robbed you is within your visual range, it's defense.And that opinion, if acted upon, would put a "good" person in jail for many years. PLEASE study and understand these things if you carry a gun or keep one at home for defense. Take a class, read some books by self-defense experts. Do whatever it takes to understand the law.

And, how many criminals run, stop, turn around then start firing rounds when you let your guard down? Has that never happened?That surely has happened. (It MUST have happened at least once or twice.) But the belief that someone MIGHT do that doesn't change anything about your lawful reasons for self-defense. If they actually DO that, you'll have the same justification to respond with force as when they enacted their first assault. I'd recommend using the intervening time to MOVE. The gun doesn't make you bullet proof and if they're fleeing, your justification is gone.

HOME and SELF-DEFENSE IS NOT A FREE-FIRE WAR ZONE WHERE ANYONE IS DECLARED HOSTILE. You cannot shoot/kill someone unless in that moment they are trying to harm and/or kill you or someone else.

Who judges what a threat is? A JURY.
In a self defense case you will have to present an "affirmative defense." That means, NOT innocent until proven guilty. Instead it means, "I did this thing. I shot/killed a man, which is against the law, but I HAD to because of X,Y,Z..." If your affirmative defense matches what the law grants (you were in reasonable, realistic, fear of immediate death at the hands of the person you shot, etc.), and if the jury finds your story believable, your guilt for killing him is absolved. If they do not, you are guilty of some form of criminal homicide.

The same people who say the 2A is not applicable anymore in the 21st century? All you are ever promised is a "fair and impartial" jury. What they think about the 2nd Amendment you can't know ahead of time, and should not have anything to do with the case. It may, of course, in a tangential way, but it won't be at issue in your trial. You won't be judged on the 2nd Amendment. You'll be judged against your state's laws against manslaughter and murder.

Just think, one day that person may enter the house of a person and kill an entire family or rape somebody. Most criminals don't just stop with you and are rarely caught immediately.Utterly and WHOLLY irrelevant. You are NOT the jury and executioner that will "take them off the streets for GOOD." Your ONLY right in this situation is to stop someone from killing you in this instant.

nathan
February 3, 2013, 08:42 PM
Wasnt there a case years back when a US border patrol officer tried to apprehend a running Mexican and he went across the border and tried to flip his hand to the US border patrol. The officer thought it was a gun and he shot the guy? It was big news ...

Alaska444
February 3, 2013, 08:44 PM
Wasnt there a case years back when a US border patrol officer tried to apprehend a running Mexican and he went across the border and tried to flip his hand to the US border patrol. The officer thought it was a gun and he shot the guy? It was big news ...
Yes, if it is the same case, I believe it was on tape of photographed as well. They were actually throwing bricks which could have been a deadly weapon as well. Once again, I do remember a case of that sort. Not sure it is the same one or not.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/13/u-s-border-patrol-fires-at-rock-throwers-in-mexico-and-three-have-died.html

Hmm, maybe not the same case you are talking about.

Evergreen
February 3, 2013, 11:00 PM
And that opinion, if acted upon, would put a "good" person in jail for many years. PLEASE study and understand these things if you carry a gun or keep one at home for defense. Take a class, read some books by self-defense experts. Do whatever it takes to understand the law.

Sam.. I completely agree with you 100%..

I was sharing you my ethical opinions. I have read books and taken many classes and everything I have written was merely my opinion of how things would be in what I feel would be a perfect society.

As for me.. I would never shoot a fleeing intruder.. That is ludicrous. Not because I think it is entirely wrong (in some cases), but I know that I can be convicted of Murder for doing so and it wouldn't be worth spending my life in prison over such a thing.

Sorry, that you misunderstood the point I was making. I guess I should just leave ethical opinions out of my posts.

My goal is to be 100% law-abiding citizen. That doesn't mean I agree with the way things work 100%.


HOME and SELF-DEFENSE IS NOT A FREE-FIRE WAR ZONE WHERE ANYONE IS DECLARED HOSTILE. You cannot shoot/kill someone unless in that moment they are trying to harm and/or kill you or someone else.
I think this is a response for a statement, I, myself blew up a little bit about what a "threat" can be classified. Ethically, not legally, just my opinion, anytime a criminal is still in your house, regardless if he acts like he is fleeing, he is still very much a threat. If he is 50 yds down the street and you start taking shots and risk harming your neighbors, then obviously, you become more of a threat than he does. I still think the laws are unjust, giving more protection to criminals than law-abiding. What if instead of fleeing to the door, he runs to my child's room and takes her hostage? I thought he was fleeing, so therefore, I had no means to stop him.

Once again, if I saw an intruder fleeing I would give him the benefit of the doubt, because that is what the Law says to do. Does it mean I think it is ethical? No. Thankfully I don't have any children, as I think people with children would risk breaking such laws much more than myself, out of fear and panic for the safety of their loved ones.


Utterly and WHOLLY irrelevant. You are NOT the jury and executioner that will "take them off the streets for GOOD." Your ONLY right in this situation is to stop someone from killing you in this instant.
Everything I have written here is totally irrelevant with regards to the Law. What I wrote here is simply opinion of the ethics behind the laws that I will 100% fully follow and abide by, but which I feel are not rational, ethical and perhaps, not even constitutional.

I am just writing my opinion about laws that protect thieves and burglars and how I don't agree with the ethics behind them. I do believe everyone MUST follow the law of the land, even if they don't agree with it.


If I was in a situation where an intruder was in my house, I would be secured in my bedroom with my firearm and dialing 911 and shouting for the intruder to leave. If I had children, my goal would first be their safety. That is where things would be much more challenging. The jury will decide if the life of the burgler or your children are more important, if for some reason, that person gets between you and your children.

Here's an interesting question that I would like to ask people here who have kids. What would you do if an intruder was fleeing in the direction of your crying child's bedroom, that also may be the direction of the door/window out of the house. You are terrified and wondering if he will leave or go to your child's bedroom. What would be going through your head? Just know if you shoot the intruder in the back and tell a jury you were protecting your children, depending on what county/state you live in, you may still be deemed a "murderer".

Alaska444
February 3, 2013, 11:37 PM
Sam.. I completely agree with you 100%..

I was sharing you my ethical opinions. I have read books and taken many classes and everything I have written was merely my opinion of how things would be in what I feel would be a perfect society.

As for me.. I would never shoot a fleeing intruder.. That is ludicrous. Not because I think it is entirely wrong (in some cases), but I know that I can be convicted of Murder for doing so and it wouldn't be worth spending my life in prison over such a thing.

Sorry, that you misunderstood the point I was making. I guess I should just leave ethical opinions out of my posts.

My goal is to be 100% law-abiding citizen. That doesn't mean I agree with the way things work 100%.



I think this is a response for a statement, I, myself blew up a little bit about what a "threat" can be classified. Ethically, not legally, just my opinion, anytime a criminal is still in your house, regardless if he acts like he is fleeing, he is still very much a threat. If he is 50 yds down the street and you start taking shots and risk harming your neighbors, then obviously, you become more of a threat than he does. I still think the laws are unjust, giving more protection to criminals than law-abiding. What if instead of fleeing to the door, he runs to my child's room and takes her hostage? I thought he was fleeing, so therefore, I had no means to stop him.

Once again, if I saw an intruder fleeing I would give him the benefit of the doubt, because that is what the Law says to do. Does it mean I think it is ethical? No. Thankfully I don't have any children, as I think people with children would risk breaking such laws much more than myself, out of fear and panic for the safety of their loved ones.



Everything I have written here is totally irrelevant with regards to the Law. What I wrote here is simply opinion of the ethics behind the laws that I will 100% fully follow and abide by, but which I feel are not rational, ethical and perhaps, not even constitutional.

I am just writing my opinion about laws that protect thieves and burglars and how I don't agree with the ethics behind them. I do believe everyone MUST follow the law of the land, even if they don't agree with it.


If I was in a situation where an intruder was in my house, I would be secured in my bedroom with my firearm and dialing 911 and shouting for the intruder to leave. If I had children, my goal would first be their safety. That is where things would be much more challenging. The jury will decide if the life of the burgler or your children are more important, if for some reason, that person gets between you and your children.

Here's an interesting question that I would like to ask people here who have kids. What would you do if an intruder was fleeing in the direction of your crying child's bedroom, that also may be the direction of the door/window out of the house. You are terrified and wondering if he will leave or go to your child's bedroom. What would be going through your head? Just know if you shoot the intruder in the back and tell a jury you were protecting your children, depending on what county/state you live in, you may still be deemed a "murderer".
Running to your daughter's room and taking a hostage is not fleeing. Keeping with the story of the OP, he shot at a car fleeing and a person fleeing. That will be very hard to prove a self defense situation if not impossible. Even police are prohibited in that situation. He deserves his day in court, but it does not look like it will be pretty.

mljdeckard
February 3, 2013, 11:45 PM
Utah does have Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground. (We had it before it was cool.) You are allowed to use deadly force if someone is ATTEMPTING to gain entry, either by violence or by stealth, with the intent to commit a felony. That does not cover someone who is fleeing.

He is being charged with misdemeanors.

Jorg Nysgerrig
February 4, 2013, 12:04 AM
These articles have more information:
http://www.standard.net/stories/2013/02/01/layton-homeowner-arrested-shooting-handgun-burglary-suspect-fled
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865572051/Homeowner-arrested-for-firing-shots-in-burglary-of-his-house-police-say.html

It seems the homeowner fired a shot at the accomplices as they tried to flee in a vehicle. He then held the first burglar at gunpoint until an officer arrived on the scene. Then the homeowner turned to talk to the officer, the burglar made a break for it. The homeowner then gave chase and fired into an empty field.

Alaska444
February 4, 2013, 01:08 AM
These articles have more information:
http://www.standard.net/stories/2013/02/01/layton-homeowner-arrested-shooting-handgun-burglary-suspect-fled
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865572051/Homeowner-arrested-for-firing-shots-in-burglary-of-his-house-police-say.html

It seems the homeowner fired a shot at the accomplices as they tried to flee in a vehicle. He then held the first burglar at gunpoint until an officer arrived on the scene. Then the homeowner turned to talk to the officer, the burglar made a break for it. The homeowner then gave chase and fired into an empty field.
Sounds like a plea deal will be made and the case will go away. Fortunately, no felony involved at this point. With a good lawyer, he should be able to keep his guns hopefully. Perhaps shooting in city limits or something like that. Just a guess, I ain't no lawyer.

Not an ideal encounter at all. The police are already on the scene, let them handle the guy running away. Shooting at a car, not a smart thing unless it looks like it is coming at you used as a weapon.

CLP
February 4, 2013, 01:29 AM
Thank you, that is why I posted this. Just because a crime is committed, even the police are not allowed to shoot at a fleeing suspect. I can't remember the SCOTUS decision on that, but we learned about it in all three of my CCW classes.
Unless you're a US Marshall shooting at a 15yr old boy fleeing.

michaelbsc
February 4, 2013, 02:51 AM
You can't shoot someone for what they MIGHT do sometime later...

If you look deeper at it, this is the whole genesis of why we *DON'T* want the universal background check or magazine limits. We don't want to be punished for what might happen.

Laws aren't in place to prevent crime. Laws are in place to define crime for subsequent prosecution. Social mores are the ordinary mechanism societies use to prevent crimes.

But back to this particular shooting, while the venue and details are different, it's probably going to look a lot like the case of the pharmacist who shot the drug store bandit some years ago. It was following him outside that did him in.

I don't know if these assailants are in mortal danger or not. But the theory is at least similar from an ethical analysis.

Edit: Ok, so it's resolving into a misdemeanor. Good.

Double Naught Spy
February 4, 2013, 02:53 AM
Sorry, but shooting folks in the back is NOT self defense.

While shooting folks in flight may not be considered self defense or even legal, the location of impact itself is not a legal stipulation of self defense. In fact, there do not appear to be any US laws stipulating shot placement as a criterion for self defense and numerous shootings where the BG has been shot in the back have been ruled as justified under the guise of self defense laws. I noted a couple in post 42 here...
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=600836&page=2&highlight=shot+in+back

Also
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=286786&highlight=shot+in+back

Shot in back during home invasion whilst fleeing cops after bank robbery
http://www.folsomtelegraph.com/article/police-alleged-bank-robber-shot-back-sacramento-sheriff-deputy

Assuming the criteria for self defense and lethal force are met, then the location of the impact isn't salient despite all the TV westerns that claim otherwise. Remember that self defense includes the defense of others. For example, Larry Phillips was shot in the back during the North Hollywood Bank of America robbery, the shot severing his spine. Just prior to the incident, he had been engaging officers in front of him when and officer approached from behind and fired the shot. The shot was in self defense.

As such, the blanket statement that shooting somebody in the back isn't self defense isn't necessarily true just as shooting somebody in the front isn't necessarily self defense either.

mbt2001
February 4, 2013, 09:02 AM
Getting arrested in the not the same thing as getting charged, indicted, or convicted. It maybe that he is arrested/charged/indicted/acquitted.

That being said, people do not turn into Satan when the violate the law. In modern society there is this view that when someone does something bad, that they are "evil personified", not even human really, nothing like the rest of us, monsters! Kind of strange that we laugh at past societies because many believed just that, criminals were literal demons.

Most shooting events, are like the Zimmerman shooting and unless they are breaking into your house or some other clear cut situation, the same result will likely happen, you will be arrested. Remember that no one is going to see Satan as the perp in the cold light of day. Keep Calm, Move On... Batman is a comic book hero.

jem375
February 4, 2013, 10:36 AM
I think anyone in the commission of a crime should be fair game and should not have any recourse in courts for injuries sustained in that criminal act. It is time to quit coddling law breakers.

Sam1911
February 4, 2013, 10:40 AM
I think anyone in the commission of a crime should be fair game and should not have any recourse in courts for injuries sustained in that criminal act. It is time to quit coddling law breakers.So you can observe what you think is going on and then act as a one-man judge, jury, and executioner. That sounds very reasonable, and couldn't possibly contradict the last like 500 years of law.

dbaxley57
February 4, 2013, 10:44 AM
Take a look at this video. It is of a 71 year old, ccw, that foiled a robbery in Ocala, FL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-hJGppkOFA

In the video, he continues to shoot at the fleeing suspects even after they left the building. This is perfectly justified in my opinion.

Sam1911
February 4, 2013, 10:48 AM
We discussed that event extensively here: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=668351

gossamer
February 4, 2013, 10:54 AM
It seems our country gives criminals more rights than law abiding citizens.

How exactly is preventing anyone from shooting anyone in retreat "giving the criminal more rights than law abiding citizens?" You'll need to explain that to me.



In my opinion, any time a person who has robbed you is within your visual range, it's defense.

My opinion, as a motorcyclist, is that anyone who even looks at their phone, touches their makeup or lunch in their car while driving should be sent to jail for 20 years without trial.

The thing is, my opinion is not a substitute for the law.


And, how many criminals run, stop, turn around then start firing rounds when you let your guard down? Has that never happened? Who judges what a threat is? The same people who say the 2A is not applicable anymore in the 21st century?

They're called your peers. There will be 12 of them. And their opinions are no substitute for the law either.

TarDevil
February 4, 2013, 10:58 AM
Personally, I really really really don't ever want to shoot anyone. Even if I catch someone in my house, they're welcome to the TV, stereo, computer.. whatever they can carry as long as they don't threaten me or my loved ones. Once they DO become a threat, then I will do what is necessary to protect.

I realize you can never be assured that a thief in your house will not try to harm you, but that is why I have a plan that takes me through several locked doors to a stronghold with a shooting advantage. If I'm able to get there and someone follows me, I'm pretty sure they mean to do me harm.

cluck
February 4, 2013, 11:03 AM
Just so you all know, Surprisingly, Utah does NOT have castle doctrine. None of those justifications apply here. This man needed to know more about the law. There is a Utah author who is also an attorney that wrote a book about the firearms law of every state. Mitch Vilos. Worth owning.
http://www.gunlaws.com/SelfDefenseLawsOfAll50States.htm

Sam1911
February 4, 2013, 11:04 AM
They're called your peers. As an aside: technically not really. The 6th Amendment promises you a speedy and impartial trial, but since the US has no established system of aristocracy, there is no guarantee given that you'll be tried by a jury of those of your social station or who are in any way similar to you.

Sam1911
February 4, 2013, 11:05 AM
Just so you all know, Surprisingly, Utah does NOT have castle doctrine. None of those justifications apply here.And, again, if UT DID have C.D. or SYG laws on the books, they wouldn't have anything to do with this case we're discussing.

zorro45
February 4, 2013, 11:10 AM
jury nullification

WardenWolf
February 4, 2013, 11:13 AM
The only times when deliberately shooting someone in the back is legal is when they are endangering or about to endanger someone else (i.e., headed into the room they are in) or headed to a location with weapons.

Carl N. Brown
February 4, 2013, 11:40 AM
stand your ground and the castle doctrine

Basicly all these laws do is remove the burden on the self-defender to prove in court that retreat was not an option, and if the evidence reasonably indicates self defense, you stay out of jail until the prosecutor makes a presentment to the grand jury, and only go to jail if they return a true bill on manslaughter or murder.

They don't justify shooting an attacker who breaks off and retreats, or someone fleeing with property, and especially someone fleeing empty handed.

jem375
February 4, 2013, 12:02 PM
So you can observe what you think is going on and then act as a one-man judge, jury, and executioner. That sounds very reasonable, and couldn't possibly contradict the last like 500 years of law.
You mean like it was in the frontier days when they could hang you if caught horse or cattle rustling????... little less than 500 years ago...

Sam1911
February 4, 2013, 12:06 PM
You mean like it was in the frontier days when they could hang you if caught horse or cattle rustling????... little less than 500 years ago...An overstated popular belief that, where it did happen, was largely an effect of folks operating OUTSIDE the effective rule of law, not within it. When folks took the duty of judgment and the execution of sentence into their own hands it was often known as lynching and was indeed completely illegal.

HOWARD J
February 4, 2013, 12:08 PM
In MI you are not allowed to shoot anyone stealing property outside your house.
If you were to run out & start a gun fight outside you would be held as the criminal. You have to sit there & watch them steal. you could run out with a baseball bat but that would be a big mistake in most cases.
If you are in your house or in your car you can open fire if they break in or try to steal your car.
You can't shoot at a criminal running away unless he has killed or shot someone.
Remember--anything can be contested in court.

morcey2
February 4, 2013, 12:31 PM
In the local coverage here, the first shot was fired at the fleeing car. The second shot was fired in the general direction the other suspect fleeing into the field _after_ the police had already arrived.

If the suspect still had the crowbar in his hand and was facing me on the front lawn, he'd have exactly one chance to drop it, which this guy did. There was also some time that elapsed between that event and the police arriving.

He's been charged with two counts of Reckless Endangerment, which is a Class 'A' misdemeanor since the homeowner stated that he wasn't trying to hurt/kill anyone, just trying to disable the vehicle with the first shot and scare the perp into stopping with the second shot. At least that's what he told the police. :banghead: In that statement, he effectively admitted that he wasn't within the law in Utah to fire the gun.

My guess is that the charges will be reduced and he'll get a slap on the wrist. I think he made a really dumb decision, twice. I know that Utah law states that reckless endangerment can be a felony if committed with a firearm, but I don't think they will go that route.

Matt

BBQJOE
February 4, 2013, 01:05 PM
Wait. So what I'm hearing here, is if someone breaks into your home, pops a round into you, and turns to leave, your duty is to roll over, die, and not shoot back?
I'm not sure I like this much.:scrutiny:

baz
February 4, 2013, 01:22 PM
Wait. So what I'm hearing here, is if someone breaks into your home, pops a round into you, and turns to leave, your duty is to roll over, die, and not shoot back?
I'm not sure I like this much.There is so much left out of this scenario that it must lead to endless speculation. I'm not sure if you really want to carry on a serious discussion or not. Just to show where this might go:

1) The assailant turns. How do you know it is to leave? Do they still have the opportunity to turn right around and shoot you again, and are you still reasonably in fear of your life? If so, shoot first, and sort it all out later (with the help of an attorney, do not say a thing to the cops).

2) The assailant turns, and starts moving toward an exit. How far must they go before you feel the threat is gone?

3) The assailant is out the door, running away. Are you still wanting to shoot back?

It is all about the perception of mortal threat. Any scenarios you posit where that is gone, you have no moral basis to shoot at them. It is just that simple.

Nalgi
February 4, 2013, 01:36 PM
You dont go shooting down your street at a car driving away! and you dont shoot across an open field with houses on the other side. If he would have remained focused on the guy with the crow bar coming out the door and detained him rather than worrying about the car driving away he would have been ok.

Pulling in behind the car in the driveway would have held the car; he then could have dealt with the guy coming out the house. IMO

BBQJOE
February 4, 2013, 01:38 PM
You dont go shooting down your street at a car driving away!
Way too many movies and cop shows promote this.

cluck
February 4, 2013, 06:45 PM
Utah does have Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground. (We had it before it was cool.) You are allowed to use deadly force if someone is ATTEMPTING to gain entry, either by violence or by stealth, with the intent to commit a felony. That does not cover someone who is fleeing.

He is being charged with misdemeanors.
I didn't think Utah had "Castle Doctrine" like Texas. Utah's code 76-2-405. "Force in defense of habitation" doesn't seem to have as much teeth as other states.

M-Cameron
February 4, 2013, 07:53 PM
There's a difference between dropping your weapons and surrendering or running away though. The threat is already neutralized if they have surrendered, however they are still a potential threat to either you or someone else if they run away.


potential threat =/= immediate threat.

if Whitey Bulger moved in next door, that would be a potential threat....but that doesnt mean i can shoot him while hes getting his morning paper.

6 guys standing on the sidewalk outside my house wearing ski masks and holding pipes are a potential threat......however, if they are just standing around not doing anything illegal or threatening, they are not an immediate threat......and i cant justifiably shoot them and claim SD.

the fact is, a man running away from you is not an immediate threat to your well being....and you cant shoot someone because they might come back.

the threat is neutralized when they no longer pose an immediate threat to your life.....whether they run away or surrender is up to them....but you cant shoot them because you dont like their answer.


Edit:

hell, if given the choice, ide rather that they DID run away......because even if they surrender, they are still a potential threat, they may get desperate, change their mind about surrendering and try and fight me for my gun, or even pull a second weapon.......if they run away, its just putting more distance between me and the threat.

im not the police, my job isnt to arrest people.....its my job to protect the well being of myself and my family, and ide rather get any source of danger as far away as possible.

Alaska444
February 4, 2013, 08:02 PM
potential threat =/= immediate threat.

if Whitey Bulger moved in next door, that would be a potential threat....but that doesnt mean i can shoot him while hes getting his morning paper.

6 guys standing on the sidewalk outside my house wearing ski masks and holding pipes are a potential threat......however, if they are just standing around not doing anything illegal or threatening, they are not an immediate threat......and i cant justifiably shoot them and claim SD.

the fact is, a man running away from you is not an immediate threat to your well being....and you cant shoot someone because they might come back.

the threat is neutralized when they no longer pose an immediate threat to your life.....whether they run away or surrender is up to them....but you cant shoot them because you dont like their answer.
+1, like I stated earlier, all CCW classes should have shoot/don't shoot drills.

mljdeckard
February 5, 2013, 08:26 AM
Texas is the only state that extends the protection to property under narrow circumstances.

beatledog7
February 5, 2013, 08:51 AM
Shooting a fleeing suspect would generally mean shooting him in the back, right? Sounds a bit cowardly, doesn't it?

I have no "thing" in my house worth putting a bullet into someone, regardless of the law. If he were fleeing with my daughter I might hit her. No, no way I'd take a shot at a fleeing person.

mgmorden
February 5, 2013, 09:28 AM
What I find to be the most puzzling aspect of this thread is the lumping of "criminals" into some dehumanized class that effectively, "needs killing", and so many advocate breaking the law in order to do so. In effect, becoming criminals themselves.

That's what makes people criminals - breaking the law. I can guarantee you that everyone of them before they commit whatever act they do that puts them into that class mentally justified it somehow. Their justification is no more valid than yours if you choose to operate outside of the law and criminally attack someone.

Robert
February 5, 2013, 09:33 AM
The guy made a bad desicion and may have to pay for it.

And why must people always drag TX law into threads about different states? What does TX law matter in Utah or anyother state...

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