After a shooting -- now what?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Dannix, Dec 21, 2009.

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  1. Dannix

    Dannix Member

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    Right, so there's a bad guy and you stop him permanently. Now what? Say it's in your home -- the default answer is call 911. But want if you had predetermined to never talk to the police? Then what? Oh, and are you going to let police into your house without a warrant?

    Rather uncool, especially if you have kids at home and a dead bad guy in the kitchen, but this seemed like something that needs to be thought out, and I figured someone here would have already considered this.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    For starters, there are absolutely times when police need a warrant to enter your home, but this ain't one of them. You don't get the choice of whether or not to let the police in your house. As soon as the trigger is pulled, your home is a crime scene, and they will investigate it like one to find out exactly what happened.

    That doesn't mean that you have to talk to them, but they are coming in. When they do, your words should be something along the lines of "Please call an ambluance, there's been a shooting and I'm not sure that I'm OK, and I want him (obviously indicating the bad guy) arrested".

    Then shut the hell up and let them do their job. It is likely that you will be detained and brought in for questioning, and it is likely that you will lose custody of your guns (many times all of them, not just the one used in the shooting) for an indeterminate period of time.

    After that, it depends on the circumstances involved in the incident, your local laws, and what (if anything) you tell them without a lawyer present.
     
  3. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    haha Yeah, you go ahead and shoot someone and then refuse to talk to police and tell them they're not coming into your house. Let us know how that works out for you.
     
  4. Teddyb

    Teddyb member

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    Study your 5th Amendment Constitutional Right. Keep you mouth shut and take your 5th Amendment Right at first contact with LEO.
     
  5. Dr.Mall Ninja

    Dr.Mall Ninja Member

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    yeah I agree once you shoot someone, playing im not talking or letting you in doesn't work anymore,
     
  6. Teddyb

    Teddyb member

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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  7. Bronx

    Bronx Member

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    Call an ambulance then call the police. When they get their state that you are not trying to be a wise guy but you prefer that you have representation present for any questions, take the 5th. If you prefer take your 5th after you say "it was self defense". Say no more. Their SOP will be to arrest you until things are cleared up.
     
  8. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Like others have said, the police are coming in. When there has been a homicide, they have sufficient cause to walk through the premises as far as they need to determine the circumstances of the crime. This doesn't mean they have permission to tear out your walls looking for drugs.

    Remember, the first one to call 911 is the victim. Make sure it's you and not someone else. When the police get there, there are two different ways to think of what you need to say. Out in public, it is usually a good idea to point out witnesses and evidence to make sure they are questioned before they drift away, say you need medical attention and you will cooperate when you have spoken to your lawyer. In your home, there is really no reason to point anything out, they are going to figure it out anyway. I would say I need medical attention, and that I wish to speak to an attorney.

    Remember, it's a bad idea to try to be clever and say only what you think will help you. Even what I said above is a bad idea if you really don't know how interrogation works. If you start a conversation, you have opened the door to more questions, they already have you talking. This is why the general consensus is to **** and call a lawyer. It will cost you some money, and you will have an anxious 48 hours while they book you and sort everything out.
     
  9. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    As soon as you and your family are safe (and sooner, if possible) call the police. Say only the absolute truth and only what they have to know. Something like,

    "This is John Doe at 1234 Street Rd. I need police and an ambulance -- I just shot someone who broke into our home and attacked my family. We're retreating to our bedroom (wherever) as I don't know if the attacker was alone. I'm a 6' tall white male wearing a blue sweater and jeans. Please give the responding officers my description and location. We are in the upstairs bedroom. When we see the officers arrive, I'll throw a key down to them so they can enter the house. I'll stay on the line until they arrive."

    Don't touch anything. Don't "fix" anything. Don't affect the crime scene in any way. Don't open your safe room door until the officers arrive and come find you. When they do make contact, place your firearm on the floor and stay clear of it as they enter. All they have is your word about what happened -- don't give them any reason to be nervous. Disarm yourself -- 'cause they will do it for you if you don't.

    When they've got the house cleared and want to talk to you, you can keep it very simple: "I was in fear for our lives. I think I might need medical attention and I don't want to make any statements until I've spoken to my lawyer." They might ask you a few questions beyond that, but that's all you need to say.

    Yeah, you're gonna have to give up the gun, and probably others as well. You're going to be arrested, at least until everything is sorted out. Don't struggle or make their jobs any harder. Do exactly what they say and don't talk about what happened until your lawyer is at your elbow. Your family will probably want to go somewhere else for a while -- at the very least until the police, coroner, and clean up crews are finished. (You'll probably have to hire a company to clean the area. There are firms that specialize in that.)

    It is going to SUCK -- for quite a while. But, if you keep your mouth shut and don't screw with the crime scene, you've given yourself the best odds you can have of getting through it more or less o.k.

    -Sam
     
  10. Teddyb

    Teddyb member

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    For what it's worth, a Funeral Home will do clean up services. Now they are also going to take any person in the house at the time who is over 18 down to the station for questioning. They also do not have to speak to them for any reason under the 5th as well.


    Been There, Done That!
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  11. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    That's good advice--unless you have in fact shot someone and will be mounting an affirmative defense to establish that the act was justified.

    Under that circumstance, you will be necessarily admitting to having done the shooting anyway, and it will be up to you to present evidence supporting your claim of self-defense. If supportive evidence and/or witnesses are not gathered at the scene, they may disappear forever, and your defense would be impaired--perhaps to the extent that it would fail.

    You want the investigation to get off on the right foot and you want to make sure that the police identify and secure evidence and witnesses beneficial to you at the scene and at the time. Beyond that, you do not want to make a detailed statement of any kind.

    The best explanation of this that I have seen is set forth in Lessons from Armed America, by Mark Walters and Kathy Jackson:

    http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Armed-America-Mark-Walters/dp/0982248768/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261420076&sr=1-1

    This will tell you to be the first to call and what to say and do and why. It should be evident why "taking the Fifth" at the scene of a self defense shooting could result in arrest, charges and possible conviction even if the act was completely justified under the law.

    Generally speaking, depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances, substantiating the justification of the shooting of someone in your house may be a easier to to do than would be the case for a shooting on the street.
     
  12. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    There's been some pretty good advice so far. I never thought of telling them that I needed medical attention if ever in that situation, but it would be a good idea. I also agree that there's no need to go into details without an attorney present.
     
  13. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    After the shooting has occurred, the only "rush" is to get victims to the hospital. The police will quickly seal the scene, and WANT to get all kinds of statements, info, confessions, etc. When asked, give your name, address, and tell the police that no statements will be forthcoming UNTIL you speak with an attorney. THEN, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING RELATED TO THE INCIDENT. NOTHING. Repeat your name and addresss, and then tell them they will have to wait for a statement. If they get mad, tell them to arrest you (they are probably going to anyway, this just gets it over with faster, and tells you where you really stand with regard to "statements".) They are not there to comfort you or pat you on the back. They are there to gather infomation and evidence. YOU are the object of their investigation, and they may find some reason to arrest you, but it isn't going to be for keeping your mouth shut. There will be lots of time after the fact to make a statement. They only need ONE statement. Stick with one statement AFTER you clear it with your attorney. I offer this after 20 years of taking statements as a police officer. The cops aren't going to like you clamming up, but they will get over it when they go home at the end of their shift.
     
  14. Lou McGopher

    Lou McGopher Member

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    No. Do not say anything about evidence or witnesses. Especially witnesses, as their story may not exactly match yours, and that would make you look bad. Let the police deal with evidence and witnesses. That's their job.

    Give your name and address, request medical attention, and tell the police you'll make a statement / file a complaint after you've spoken to your attorney. Say nothing about the incident.
     
  15. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Until someone has read of problems caused by this approach as related by Massad Ayoob, or has read the explanation provided by Kathy Jackson in the book referenced in my post above, he may actually believe that that is good advice.

    There's also a pretty good CD available from The Armed Citizen's Legal Defense Network, LLC that explains why the approach that one would choose to avoid being convicted for a shooting is likely to lead to disaster when used when an affirmative defense is necessary to justify a shooting. It will cost $85.00. That won't buy much time from an attorney.

    No, you do not want to make a statement, but you do want to make sure that witnesses are questioned at the scene and that evidence is pointed out. And it's probably also a darn good idea to identify yourself as the victim at the outset.

    If a person has been shot, the police will look for the obvious evidence related to the shooting. There may be some indication that you fired in self defense, and there may not. Once the police on the scene have the idea that you are likely guilty of a crime, they will naturally see everything in a light that supports that conclusion; that's basic human psychology. If they have no inkling that the shooting may have been justified, it will be extremely easy for them to unwittingly overlook evidence to that effect, and for witnesses to disappear or decide not to get involved.

    Your attorney cannot create evidence that has disappeared.

    If you do not believe this--or the advice from Kathy Jackson and Massad Ayoob--or the advice from The Armed Citizen's Legal Defense Network--or the several posts on this subject on this forum by Fiddletown, who is an attorney--consult an experienced criminal trial attorney. Make sure that he understands the principles of presenting an affirmative defense in a criminal court and knows how to win one.

    By the way, you may have to travel to find one.
     
  16. docsleepy

    docsleepy Member

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    OK, dumb question here.

    I don't particularly wish to become defenseless after I or my wife defends our home. We keep our firearms in a safe. If there were a need to have one out, the safe would be re-locked.

    The firearm that was utilized in self defense would still be out, and certainly the police are going to impound that.

    Is there a requirement that the safe be opened for the police?

    thanks, I need to look further into the information already presented above.
     
  17. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    An excellent book. I also heartily recommend it.

    I'd be interested in knowing where you get your information and on what you base your recommendations. Based on my training with Massad Ayoob and others, I'd suggest considering the following:

    [1] In a high stress, self defense event, a person will usually experience one or more artifacts of the "fight-flight" response that will affect his perception of time, distance and the event in general. So immediately after the event is a lousy time for the person involved to start telling his story. He will frequently make mistakes. He will often get things wrong because of his altered perceptions.

    [2] In addition, few people have been sufficiently inoculated to the type of stress involved to be able, immediately after the event, to maintain proper control of their emotions and to give a good and cogent account of the event.

    [3] At the same time, while one has a right to remain silent, clamming up is what the bad guys do. Following a self defense incident, you'll want to act like one of the good guys. You also won't want the investigating officers to miss any evidence or possible witnesses.

    [4] Mas' recommendations (also reflected in the Jackson/Walters book) are:

    • Say something like, "That person, or those people, attacked me." You are thus immediately planting the notion that you were the victim.
    • Say something like, "I will sign a complaint." That establishes that you viewed the conduct of the other party to be criminal. It also shows a spirit of cooperation.
    • Point out possible evidence, especially evidence that may not be immediate apparent. So if the assailant's knife slide under a car, tell the investigating officer. If the assailant dropped his gun in the bushes as he ran away, mention that. You don't want any such evidence to be missed.
    • Point out possible witnesses.
    • Then say something like, "Officer, you know how serious this is. I'm not going to say anything more right now. You'll have my full cooperation in 24 hours, after I've talked with my lawyer."

    You will want to point out evidence, because you don't want the police to miss evidence that may be helpful to you. You want to point out witnesses, because if the witnesses are going to disagree with your story, the police are likely to find them anyway. You don't want to give the appearance of hiding anything. Your lawyer will deal with conflicts.

    Ask for medical attention only if you believe in good faith that you need medical attention. If you plan to ask for medical attention as a ruse to temporarily avoid the police, that may well be discovered and damage your credibility. You will be expecting the police, the DA, the grand jury and probably a trial jury to believe your claim that you were an innocent victim forced by the criminal act of another to use violence as a last resort to save your life, and you will need them to believe you.

    An excellent organization. They publish some fine and useful materials.

    Yes, the gun you used will be taken as evidence. Whether or not you will have to open your gun safe during the initial investigation will depend on local law and practice. If you are arrested, generally all your guns will be impounded.
     
  18. wishin

    wishin Member

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    For what it's worth, I think this is excellent advice!

     
  19. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    Miranda only applies if you are arrested, or told that you are about to be arrested. Otherwise, you should answer reasonable police questions. Suppose the police ask if there are any other intruders in the house, or if you know any reason someone might have chosen your house. If you answer questions like that with, "F**k you, pig, I don't talk to no stinking cops", and "I ain't talking widdout my moutpiece", they just might think you are not the innocent homeowner you are pretending to be.

    Jim
     
  20. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Shut your mouth.

    Tell no lies.

    Call your lawyer.

    Shut your mouth.

    If you cannot follow these instructions, you fail.
     
  21. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I'm with Jim.
     
  22. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I Need To Go To The Hospital & I Need To Speak To My Lawyer

    The cops are not working for you. They are trying to build a case to put someone in jail. Your lawyer is the one working for you. Tell the lawyer of witnesses & other details but say nothing to the cops. Use the advice call 911 & tell them there has been a shooting & you need a ambulance then go quit. You don't even need to tell them where you live unless it is a cell phone because they already know. The recorded evidence starts at the point of that phone call so don't offer any info to 911 ether. You will be going to jail for that day unless you have a great lawyer or the doctors think you need to stay at the hospital. When the paramedic arrives demand he treats you first & remind him that you was the one that called for him If the person you shoot is still living insist that they call another ambulance for him & that you need treated. Insist that they take you to the hospital. This may give your family a chance to secure a lawyer & get you out of some of the drilling that the cops would have put you through to get you to talk before you get to a lawyer. The statement I have nothing to hide is stupid. You have everything to hide because they are going to try to build a case against everyone they can (it is there job). Make sure your family insist on going to the hospital also & refuse to give statements. Any question they ask answer with I need to speak to my lawyer & nothing else. You or your family never have to say a ward even in court. You should never give a statement to anyone except your lawyer until your trail if there would be one.

    More then likely you will never see a trial if you keep your mouth shout. If you talk then even the best of evidence in your favor will be used against you. When they say "can & will" they mean it. Don't even answer the polite questions like how are you felling or is this your house because this is how they get you off track.

    Remember the only answer is I need to go to the hospital & I need to speak to my lawyer.

    ETA: It is never a good idea to give up your rights. They are there to protect you. Saying it is a good idea to give up your 5th because good guys have nothing to hide is like saying give up your 1st & you would never be in this mess (which would probably be right because you & your family would be dead instead & they never prosecute dead people). If you fell you must run your mouth go ahead because even though you never had your rights read to you everything you say will be used against you because it can. Opposed to what people believe your right do not have to be read to you & anything you say is evidence. Your rights are to protect you not get you in trouble. :banghead:
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  23. Teddyb

    Teddyb member

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  24. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, you may fail, completely. That is, you may fail to convince the charging authority, grand jury, and/or the trial court jury that your actons were justified, if you have shot someone in self defense. That's what you have to do to avoid conviction.

    Maybe you will be OK, if the attacker is armed and has broken through the door into your occupied home, and your justification is just plain obvious.

    Perhaps you did not read, or did not understand, posts 15 and 17.

    Here's something else that might help. Of course, it might not.

    To be not charged or to be acquitted, the authorities or court will have to conclude the following:

    To even get a favorable jury instruction, you are going to have to present at least some evidence on each of those factors.

    Do you really want to depend upon officers who were not at the scene at the time and do not know who witnessed the incident (and who did not) to secure and compile that evidence (the presentation of which is your responsibility) before it is taken away, washed away, rolls away, or trapped in boot treads? Really?


    http://www.nacdl.org/public.nsf/01c1e7698280d20385256d0b00789923/f587d7d10c34fff2852572b90069bc3c?OpenDocument&Click=

    If you do not want to get the CD referenced above, get the Jackson/Walters book.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  25. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    True fact.

    Your lawyer will not be able to help you at all if evidence has disappeared and witnesses decide to not get involved; the police at the scene are the only people who can prevent that, they can only do it then, and they are unlikely to do it without information from you.
     
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