Cold Case Files last night.


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cool45auto
August 4, 2004, 11:21 PM
On the show two guys beat two other guys to death with bats and a couple saw it happen. Okay, I didn't see the episode myself but a buddy was talking about it at work.

So up comes the subject: could you shoot the people doing the killing without shouting or doing anything else? I know calling the cops would be high on the list of things to do but suppose you didn't have access to a phone. Could you shoot them to stop them killing the guys?

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buy guns
August 4, 2004, 11:28 PM
in florida you can use lethal force to stop a felony in progress so i would think so. the only problem is knowing if the crime in process is a felony.


i would do it anyway, as long as the victims are innocent people.

Walosi
August 4, 2004, 11:39 PM
The use of deadly force revolves around prevention of death or great bodily harm to yourself and others. Different states write this in different ways, but the basis is the same. Being attacked by two men with baseball bats would fit the criteria everywhere. A requirement to "shout a warning" if it exists anywhere, is something to be covered with your attorney later.

Nickotym
August 5, 2004, 01:35 PM
Here in ND, the person you are defending has to be an innocent person who could legally defend themselves if able. IOW if the "victim" started the fight, they could not legally defend themselves. If you know all the details go ahead, but if you don't know the details you had best find them out. If you want to yell "hey stop the police are on the way" and see who runs, that might be the way to go.

WilderBill
August 5, 2004, 07:21 PM
It does raise some questions.
I think if I saw someone getting beat with a basebll bat, I'd normallaly think they were the victim.
However, if I didn't see how that situation got started, there's no way to be sure that the "victim" had not pulled a knife of the guy with the bat.

Hypnogator
August 6, 2004, 12:35 AM
For LEOs, anyway, the courts require a verbal warning before using deadly force when feasible. If giving a warning would endanger yourself or another, then you aren't required to give one -- but you'd better be able to clearly and convincingly articulate why giving warning would have been dangerous.

38SnubFan
August 6, 2004, 03:42 AM
Hypnogator introduces a very good point:

LEOs are typically, in most circumstances (to my knowledge) required to shout a verbal warning before firing.

It would probably be a good rule of thumb to follow the same procedures as the LEOs would follow. Just to say on the same side of the law as them.

The other point here is, make sure that you are COMPLETELY sure of the situation and know all the facts before you make the decision to intervene. Basically, if you didn't see the fight start, it would be difficult to justify shooting the "victim" if they started the fight. The only way I could see myself shooting the person(s) with the baseball bat(s) is if it was brutal, forceful, and showed the intent of causing immenent death.

In any case (and even this could cause you some legal problems), I would think that a strong, loud verbal command combined with presentation of a firearm should be enough to disinterest someone with a "less dangerous" (and I use that term VERY loosely) weapon from doing any further harm or damage.

Just my opinion.

Sincerely,
Matthew Webb
Franklintown, PA

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