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Chris73
November 20, 2006, 04:45 PM
Last night I was watching a show on Court TV that showed videos of some of the worst robberies and holdups. One of the incidents really got me mad and my mind started formulating scenarios.

One of the robberies went down like this...

Video footage showed a lady at the counter purchasing something, a man and his wife/gf were down an aisle towards the back of the store. A masked man comes in with a revolver in his hand, "gangsta style" (turned sideways) pointing it at the clerk and comes up right behind the woman at the counter. The thug didn't even see the couple at the back of the store. He was demanding money from the clerk and when he didn't move fast enough for him, he fired a shot above the clerk's head. As the clerk started to open the register, he fired again and hit the clerk in the gut. He then walked out of the store.

First let me state that I live in Florida and have a CCW permit. I also carry my 1911 with me. I wondered what could I have done in this case? I don't have any intentions of coming off like Rambo, so please no flames....

If I were at the back of the store and the thug fired a shot towards the clerk, would I be "permitted" to draw and fire at the thug from behind in an effort to save the clerk's life? I always hear that it wouldn't "look good" to a jury or prosecutor if I shot someone in the back. In this case, I would have no choice, as I wouldn't want to have him turn around and shoot at me if I were to announce myself and order him to drop his weapon.

I have also been in a bank when it got robbed and the thug was threatening to shoot the teller. I was about 10 feet behind him at the time. This was a few years ago and I didn't have a CCW at the time. After that, I applied for it.

What would you do? Just hide and hope he goes away, or God-forbid he decides he doesn't want any witnesses alive and shoots everyone in the store?

marlboroman84
November 20, 2006, 05:29 PM
In both situations you describe you would be justified. The issue with shooting someone in the back is generally applied to if it's only a confrontation between you and another person, because shooting them then generally means they were running away.

Defense of another's life is shaky ground, but if you know 100% what is going on and there is no doubt in your mind that it's nothing other than what it is, you'd generally be justified.

Florida's laws are very pro-CCW now and give you alot more options than other states. After he even pulled that gun on the clerk, you'd have been justified in shooting him.

rmagill
November 20, 2006, 05:45 PM
In PA, it is legal to use lethal force in the stead of someone else who is legally justified in using lethal force to defend himself. So, if this would have happened in PA, you would be justified in using lethal force to defend the store owner.

If I was there, I have no idea what I would really do. However, assuming I would respond and try to stop the actions of the robber, I would probably draw down on the robber either once he drew on the cashier (assuming I saw him draw), or when he fired the first shot. At that point, depending on mannerisms, etc. I would draw on him and order him to drop his weapon no more than twice, at which point, upon the suspect's failure to stop his threatening actions, I would shoot to stop the threat. However, if it looks like the criminal is even more of an imminent threat than he would otherwise be, I would probably shoot to stop the threat. However, this is my .02.

Blackwater OPS
November 20, 2006, 06:25 PM
Also keep in mind the man in the isle had his wife/gf with him, she would be my first priority. A handgun, even a .45, does not launch a magic bullet. Even if you put seven rounds into him he could still turn and shoot back, possibly striking your significant other.

Legally, yes you would certainly be justified in this case, and in fact if I was alone I would draw and shoot without hesitation. No warnings either btw, that just gives him a chance to take the old lady hostage or shoot the clerk, or both.

jcoiii
November 20, 2006, 06:30 PM
I've seen that video. Once that warning shot is fired, I'm telling the SO to head for exit, cover and I'm shooting that SOB immediately. (assuming clear backdrop)

newerguy
November 20, 2006, 06:50 PM
Three other considerations, besides the criminal angle. First and foremost, the robber you have the drop on might have an accomplice who’s got the drop on you. Your just part of the scenery in the beginning, pulling a gun makes you part of their world, and a guy in the store or right outside the door might only take notice of you once you get involved.

Second, even if the robber can't or doesn’t sue you, if you screw up, anyone else you hit might, like if you hit the shopkeeper.

Finally, how can you be sure you know what's going on. In this case it looks pretty straight forward, but what if the guy behind the counter is a burglar running through the register when the owner sees him and pulls a gun? What if you think you see a mugging and it's a plainclothes cop? There are lots of what ifs. If you are wrong, then you might be going to jail or getting shot yourself.

Chris73
November 20, 2006, 07:01 PM
newerguy - I appreciate you offering other scenarios, but in THIS case, the thief was wearing a mask and holding a bag. I don't know many cops that wear halloween masks during a sting. LOL

newerguy
November 20, 2006, 07:28 PM
Like I said, this case looks straight forward. However, no one will ever fight that battle again. I'm talking about intervening in general.

Crosshair
November 20, 2006, 07:46 PM
I have another senario. I did not observe this dirrectly, but was told the story from several people seperatly, all their stories match up so I can say reasonably well that I know what happened.

*Scenario*
A man is outside a store and beating his wife with his fists for whatever reason. She is on the ground begging him to stop.
*End Scenario*

Had I been near and seen this happening I would have positioned myself so I had a safe backstop if I where to miss. ( I wouldn't get so close that he could jump me.) I would then draw my weapon and get the mans attention and tell him to stop it or I will shoot. As I see it, I do not have to give the man a warning but it allows the situation to end without bloodshed. If he tells me to F-off and continues to hit her I would then have to drop the hammer on him until he is no longer a threat to her.

Would this be the correct (Or at least a reasonable) course of action to take? The senario happened as described above but the man eventualy threw his wife into the car and drove off before the police could get there. (They did get the plate number.)

Blackwater OPS
November 20, 2006, 08:31 PM
*Scenario*
A man is outside a store and beating his wife with his fists for whatever reason. She is on the ground begging him to stop.
*End Scenario*

I am a big guy, but I would not consider using a firearm first in a situtation like that. It is much easier to increase your level of force(draw a gun) then it is do go back down a notch. I'd start with something verbal, then go to unarmed physical force, then if I had no other options and I felt someone's life might be in danger, deadly force as a last resort.

Big Don
November 21, 2006, 01:04 PM
Having spent 12 years as a firefighter/paramedic and having many LEO friends, I've learned that domestic disputes can turn ugly on you in very big hurry. Far too many coppers have been injured or worse when wifey has a sudden change of mind about arresting her Adam Henry husband who was just punching her lights out. Given Crosshair's scenario, I don't think I'd intervene unless I was very certain the AH was about to end her life, either with fists or a weapon. Up until then, I'd have my pistol out, concealed as best as possible and be yelling at the BG to cease and desist. Then, if he decided to come after me, things would certainly get interesting.

BillCA
November 21, 2006, 02:49 PM
+1 for Blackwater Ops and newerguy -- watch out for your BG to grab a hostage or have a back-up buddy nearby. There is a 7-11 store within walking distance of my home and any time I approach the store, I slow down to look both inside at what's going on and in the parking lot to see if anything triggers alarms. While inside I'm evaluating the threat level of other folks and even occassionally leaving the store when groups of rowdy young turks enter (this is California after all).

In the first scenario, you need three eyes. One to watch the BG, one to observe the positions and actions of the clerk & old lady customer and one to watch your six for a potential partner of the BG. In that scenario, when he starts shouting for the money, I'm getting my SO behind the best cover possible and drawing. Depending on the time between the robber's first shot and second, once he demonstrates a willingness to fire, he goes down. This is provided that (a)the customer(s) are no where near my line of fire, (b) The clerk is not in line with the BG, (c) a miss won't go out of the front window to endanger others outside. If I do take the shot, it will be without warning and likely be a double-tap to disable him from being a threat. The last thing I want is to shoot the BG and then have to play hide & seek with him in the store until its over.

In the second scenario, the use of non-lethal force is recommended to begin with. As pointed out by Big Don, cries for help may mean only "Stop him from hitting me" and if you turn the man's lights out she's suddenly telling the cops she wasn't in any real danger and her husband didn't really deserve to die. :rolleyes: That's when things can get really ugly.

Start with verbal force while putting your pepper spray in your left hand. At my age, I can't go mano v. mano with a younger/larger guy, so repeat the commands loud, clearly and firmly. If he ignores you or fails to comply you can baptize him with pepper spray. If he starts towards you baptize him early & often.

This permits you to present an affirmative defense in any investigation or court proceeding. You tried to stop him with words, then a non-lethal pepper spray (whilst retreating from contact) and finally the danger was so extreme you were compelled to fire.

James K
December 16, 2006, 08:16 PM
In one SD course, the following scenario was discussed.

You, legally armed, see a young woman running from a house, followed by a man who runs her down, throws her to the pavement and appears to be trying to pin her arms and is beating her in spite of her screams for help and futile resistance. You, being a good guy, shoot that AH who is obviously doing harm to a poor weak woman.

Congratulations! You just shot an FBI agent trying to arrest a nurse suspected of killing 20 patients in a nursing home.

That kind of situation is the reason why some CCW states say specifically that you can use the gun ONLY in defense of yourself or immediate family members, and not try to defend others, even though every instinct says you should.

Jim

The Canuck
December 17, 2006, 01:36 AM
In the first scenario you indicated that there was a masked man at the counter who had just put a warning shot over the clerk's head. Here's some things to remember.

1). You have to assess the situation, do not fixate on masked man, survey the scene to determine if masked man has friends.

2). Get the S.O. to hard cover, if there is none, then you get them to hit the deck and keep thier eyes peeled.

3). Remember that even if you are "trying to help", every round you fire is yours. YOU OWN THEM. You are responsible for whatever the bullets do to others. Be sure of your target and what is beyond. If you have the slightest misgiving about taking the shot, DON'T SHOOT.

4). If you shoot, MOVE. That way if you missed masked man's friends, you have made it harder for them to retaliate by moving and changing the dynamics of thier shot(s).

5). Use concealment and cover whenever it presents itself.

6). These things can be disregarded if the scene demands it of you in order to survive. Not before though.

As for the man beating the woman, yeah, call the cops and use the reasonable continuum of force. Start with verbal and then move up from there as the situation warrants. If he ignores you, then you have a hard choice to make, but shooting him should not be considered unless he stops on her and comes for you with intent to do greivous bodily harm or commit murder. Remember, talking is a good way to keep from shooting in a lot of scenarios. But again, if you have to shoot, then shoot (as per #6 above).

All in all, train to assess, plan and act. No two scenarios that one person may encounter have have any serious chance of being the same (it has happend though).

Crosshair
December 17, 2006, 02:11 AM
Jim Keenan

That situation seems about as realistic as requiring CCW applicants to qualify at 25 yards. An FBI agent doing an arrest of a dangerous suspect without backup? An FBI agent beating a suspect? Not exactly proper FBI protocol.

Though you do bring up a good point. The proper method, after more reading, would be gradual escalation of force. Just drawing and shooting the guy could lead to all sorts of trouble as you mention.

dave421
December 17, 2006, 02:36 PM
Something to remember (at least in NC and I assume other states) is that intent does not matter. If you defend someone, you just put yourself in their shoes. In the opening scenario, I probably would have drawn as soon as I saw the gun and would have fired at his first shot. However, in the FBI example above, I would be serving life in prison. If you cannot be SURE of the circumstances, you stand the chance of shooting the wrong person because you misunderstood the situation. If I'm walking down the street and see a man about to stab someone else and shoot him, I'm screwed if he happened to be the victim who got the knife away from his attacker (or is defending himself with his own knife). Think about CCW, if you see someone with a gun, do you KNOW that they are the attacker? I often go out in public dressed pretty rough, especially if I've been working on a car or out playing in the mud. If I'm attacked by someone and draw, how many people will think that *I'm* the bad guy just because how I look?

dave421
December 17, 2006, 02:39 PM
That situation seems about as realistic as requiring CCW applicants to qualify at 25 yards. An FBI agent doing an arrest of a dangerous suspect without backup? An FBI agent beating a suspect? Not exactly proper FBI protocol.



Proper protocol goes out the window when you're defending yourself. If you see a cop trying to get someone in cuffs, it will often look like they're "beating" them. And who knows, if the agent saw a weapon and the nurse is trying to get it, you can be sure some punches will be thrown to prevent it. To put it in a better perspective, how about an undercover cop working narcotics? They often WILL be alone when the shtf.

Ausserordeutlich
December 17, 2006, 05:41 PM
One of the stupidest things you could do would be to announce yourself and try to enter into some kind of dialogue with the scumbag. If you have an advantage, keep it. Don't wait for the first shot, for crap's sake! That's equally stupid. You gonna wait to see how successful the parasite is with the first shot, before deciding to step up to the plate?

Take the shot! You're in FL, not in some sissy, Democrat-run state!

Chris73
December 18, 2006, 12:20 AM
How did we get OFF-TOPIC with bringing in the FBI scenario?

This is about defending the life of the store-owner/employee who has just had a shot zip past his ear already because he didn't get the cash register opened fast enough. The next shot that the BG (did) make was at the clerk, hitting him in the gut. If I'm in the back of the store, how do I know (or not) that the BG isn't a psycho who doesn't want any witnesses alive?

And to think... I could have saved the clerk's life, my significant other, and myself if I had just shot the scum. But I couldn't.... because someone posed the question of, "What if it was an FBI agent"?

dave421
December 18, 2006, 01:54 AM
How did we get OFF-TOPIC with bringing in the FBI scenario?

Because as a gun owner and carrier, it's something that everyone needs to consider and think of. While most of the people on this forum would not hesitate to use force for the aid of another person, many people haven't considered the possibility that they may mistake the the victim for the attacker. In a gas station hold up, it's going to be pretty obvious. On the street, it might not be.

If I'm in the back of the store, how do I know (or not) that the BG isn't a psycho who doesn't want any witnesses alive?

Basically, that statement is the kind of thing that makes the FBI scenario relevant. In most situations where you are not the victim but rather coming to the victim's aid, you are in the "how do I know (or not)" stage.

billydiesel
December 18, 2006, 06:47 AM
I would hope that most of us could tell an assault from an arrest. And secondly you will rarely see an agent or officer make a bust alone for the simple fact that they are not sure what they are up against. Also they will identify themselves before they bust in guns blazing. Basically I am saying they will not act as a group of common thugs. Honestly guys, It will be very rare to be caught in the middle of a shooting and not know who is who.

These guys have a hard enough job without us mistaking them for BGs. Analyze the situation first, If you're not close enough to know whats happening, You're not close enough to get involved.

gvf
December 18, 2006, 07:58 AM
I believe I once a read a distinction - and an important one - between the legal test for self-defense and the legal test for defense of others, and I assume I saw it under NY State law.

While in SD a reasonable belief (one that would be so held by any reasonable person) that one's life - or severe bodily injury - was imminently threatened and there was no alternative but to take lethal SD action is the standard, this was not enough when taking the same action to save others.

Then the reasonable belief had to, IN FACT, be true, they were ACTUALLY being lethally jepordized by an assailant. If you are wrong, you pay the piper, beliefs, reasonable or otherwise, are not enough. Becasue it's one step removed from a personal action taken under the extremest stress, there is a greater requirement for objective certainty.

Anyway, I seem to recall this from somewhere regarding our state law.

John28226
December 21, 2006, 01:18 PM
I don't want to jump in here, but I hate to see things stated as fact which are not. Dave421, in North Carolina (and most other states) intent does matter. It is one of the elements in almost every crime. I would hate to see someone hesitate to come to the aid of a person under attack due to something they had read on the Internet.

The appropriate standard is "reasonable and prudent". If your actions are reasonable and prudent they are generally allowed. Civil cases are entirely different so you can be sued for just about anything including doing nothing.

John
Charlotte, NC

AR15FAN
December 21, 2006, 02:59 PM
This is a State related issue, I know here in New York they frown if you are defending yourself, if you come to the aid of another with a firearm they will try and hang you. That came straight from the local police detectives as to how the DA handles these matters, they try to discourage 3rd party non-leo shootings. You can do what your heart tells you, but it will cost you thousands in defense funds even if you are aquitted, plus you risk jail time and fines if they judge you wrong. I don't think its a smart gambit, even though its been a question asked by many over the years. You just can't count on a jury seeing things your way. If your life was imperiled, however, thats a different story.

Mannlicher
December 21, 2006, 03:18 PM
I am sure its been mentioned. When the perp pulled his handgun, he became fair game. When he fired the first shot, the situation begged for redress. When he shot the clerk, his life was forfeit. I would have most likely killed him, since he had demonstrated intent to kill others, and my being in the store put my life at risk as well.
With no shot fired, I would have let him leave, as long as he did not directly threaten me.

chris in va
December 21, 2006, 03:50 PM
Cops are protected legally a LOT better than the average Joe. Something to think about when 'protecting others'.

buzz_knox
December 21, 2006, 03:57 PM
Cops are protected legally a LOT better than the average Joe. Something to think about when 'protecting others'.

Cops are protected legally better than the average joe in nearly every situation, including protecting oneself. That's just something you have to accept now, and deal with the situation when it happens.

John28226
December 21, 2006, 07:15 PM
Every time I read about how you might be sued if you act to prevent injury or death to someone other than yourself, I remember the story of what happened in New York in March of 1964. And then I wonder how those 38 people who watched and did nothing felt.

Instead of accepting a bad situation, maybe we should spend some time lobbying our elected representatives to expand the Good Samaritan Laws to include acting to defend someone from a criminal act?

In the final analysis, what you do is up to you --- and you will live with your decision.

John
Charlotte, NC

dave421
December 21, 2006, 10:24 PM
John, here in NC, intent does NOT matter when it comes to shooting someone in order to protect someone else. The actions of the person you defended are transferred to you. So, if you mistakenly defended the attacker, your intent to help does not matter. It may help you in sentencing but you don't get a get-out-of-jail-free card. If that's not the case, then I suppose someone needs to let the lawyers and LEO's know as they're the ones teaching me. Yeah, intent does matter as to what crime you're charged with but if you shoot someone, it better be obvious self defense if you don't want to spend a night (or more) in jail.

Also, the Good Samaritan laws are supposed to be changing. As I understand it, coming to the aid of a LEO is pretty much an immunity from prosecution now. The defense of others should be added in the next year if I remember correctly. I look forward to it. As someone that wouldn't hesitate to defend another, I really don't like the fact (even though I've accepted it) that I stand a decent chance of being charged and having to fight my way through court due to it.

JohnKSa
December 21, 2006, 11:25 PM
Every time I read about how you might be sued if you act to prevent injury or death to someone other than yourself, I remember the story of what happened in New York in March of 1964. And then I wonder how those 38 people who watched and did nothing felt.Of course, they didn't even call the cops. The level of personal risk involved in calling the police is considerably different from the level of personal risk involved in using deadly force.

gvf
December 22, 2006, 01:02 AM
The intent (of the person intervening) is taken into account - but not by holding a mistaken action resulting in death as non-indictable; but by likley charging the person responsible with a lesser crime than murder (defined as intentional and with criminal intent). What the charge would be would likely depend on the circumstances.

What would result in more death: strict interpretation of the conditions necessary for lethal action to stop a violent crime, or broader ones? Either way there will be misjudgements - but which will produce more social mayhem, i.e., death? That's the question. I think fewer if there is a requirement that the action obeserved is criminal and will imminently produce death/serious injury. Any question about either, or you are acting on your own subjective assumption as to what you are seeing: you go one step down: scream, call the cops, pull out your gun and yell "FREEZE! POLICE" (if you don't mind shifting the focus and threat - if there is one - to you) -or doing nothing but waiting until what's transpiring is clearer AND calling 911 first.

Do I know this for a fact? No. But my own experience and that of all the people that I know gives me no instances where any of us witnessed a horrible, violent crime, or if we did, that we observed it in some moment where we, or anyone we saw, could have altered it. Conversely, I (and from their stories others as well), can point to a number of near-scares when it looked like something violent was about to take place that we were seeing, and it became clear after a beat that it was a different siutation than our first impression.

What would I actually do in such an event? - who knows for sure - the fates would take some of it, and I only hope they would be friendly ones for all concerned. But more, I hope that rare event would never arrive as it has not over these past many years.

gvf
December 22, 2006, 01:14 AM
Deleted mistaken duplicate-post.

garryc
December 22, 2006, 11:53 AM
In PA, it is legal to use lethal force in the stead of someone else who is legally justified in using lethal force to defend himself.

It is likewise in Ohio. Except that the person you are defending can have had no part is instigating or aggravating the attack. So, if it is found out after the fact that the person you defended had some part is creating the incident you will be charged with a homocide. IT IS NOT A DEFENCE THAT YOU HAD NO KNOWLEGE OF THOSE FACTS!!! So, if you come upon a man killing his wife and interceed, and then they later find out that she started the incident or aggravated it, pack your bags for the joint.

buzz_knox
December 22, 2006, 12:44 PM
Except that the person you are defending can have had no part is instigating or aggravating the attack. So, if it is found out after the fact that the person you defended had some part is creating the incident you will be charged with a homocide.

So if you come to the aid of someone who willingly engaged in a fistfight but which their opponent has since escalated by producing a knife or other weapon, you can be charged?

brickeyee
December 22, 2006, 01:35 PM
It depends on both the statute law and the case law in most places.
Virginia has almost no statute law governing deadly force, but relies solely on case law.
In Virginia if you participate in starting a fight you must indicate you want all hostilities to cease before you can gain back your ability to argue self defense.
Only if the other person continues to pursue the altercation can you then escalate.
If two people engage in a fight it is 'mutual combat' and neither is entitled to a claim of self defense unless they try to terminate.

This stuff varies state by state, and sometimes by city or town. A review of both the statute law and the applicable case law is really required to understand what can happen legally.

garryc
December 23, 2006, 02:04 AM
So if you come to the aid of someone who willingly engaged in a fistfight but which their opponent has since escalated by producing a knife or other weapon, you can be charged?

In Ohio Yes, He must be in compliance with the parts of the law that require a duty to egress and not engauge aggrivation or instigation. In Ohio you may use lethal force in defence of another only if they would be justified in useing lethal force in defence of themselves where they able. In Ohio you loose your legal right to self defence if you instigated the conflict, aggravated it, or failed in an attempt to egress if able. You, as a third party, are responcible for knowing facts even if you have no way to know them.

dave421
December 23, 2006, 03:05 AM
Thanks larry, that's what I was trying to say earlier. You summed it up much better.

revjen45
December 23, 2006, 12:26 PM
I guess I'm just selfish, and I offer no apology for that. If someone wants a better level of protection than is provided by the law (which is zero) they can do what I did: get a CHL, buy a suitable gun, and learn to use it. The cops have de facto immunity- I don't, and I can't imagine much worse than having the rest of my life plagued with lawyers.

Ohio Rusty
December 31, 2006, 01:51 PM
GarryC is right on the money about the laws in Ohio. If you are thinking you are defending someone, and they started the altercation, or didn't start it and were found guilty of starting it ....You better hope the listmembers here bring you cigarettes to prison because you'll be there for life. Here in Ohio you have a duty to leave. The only time you pull out your pistol is to defend yourself and your family ONLY if you are in fear of serious physical harm or death ...PERIOD. If someone else is getting robbed or beaten, you better be running to a phone to call the police and not playing cop and shooting them. CCW civilians are NOT LEO's !!!. If you were in a store and a robber had a gun robbing them of a loaf of bread ...would you kill him? Over a loaf of bread? You better not !! Your life isn't in danger ...it's none of your business except to get a good description to give to the police. If you are in a store or bank and they are being robbed, again, it's not your responsibility. Their money is insured. Your only duty is to back away and leave if you can. Your life isn't in any imminent danger in any of these scenarios. If a man is beating up someone else, again YOUR life isn't in danger, your only involvement better be getting on your cell phone and calling 911. Other people are not your concern unless it's your family. That is what the police are for. They are duty bound to act in a lawful manner whether they are on or off duty. NOT YOU the CHL carrier. To h*ll with the good samaritan crap. Sitting in a 5 by 9 jail cell for life, you'll have plenty of time to wonder why you played copper and good samaritan. AGAIN ...In OHIO .... The ONLY time you should have that gun out is when you or your loved ones are in fear of serious physical harm or death (I can't stress this enough). Someone being robbed of their money, wallet, purse, goods, etc., it's their bad luck, and maybe they should have taken the CCW course to protect themselves. If you are carrying concealed in Walmart, and the cashier is being robbed, you damned well better be running to the back of the store and out the back door if you can as Ohio requires you to egress or leave BECAUSE YOUR LIFE ISN'T IN IMMINENT DANGER.
Now if that same robber after robbing the cashier points his gun toward you .... that is a whole different ball game.
Too many people have romantic notions of saving people like the hollywood silver screen shows. Hollywood is fiction ...prison and incarceration for you getting involved is real. Lastly ..in Ohio you CANNOT shoot someone to protect property. If you see a car being stolen, or property being taken, you WILL GO TO PRISON IF YOU SHOOT SOMEONE PROTECTING THAT PROPERTY. You CAN ONLY SHOOT if you or your family are in absolute fear for your lives or are facing imminent death ....... PERIOD. I think all of the above would be a good rule to apply to all of us in every state. Leave the saving of lives and property to the LEO's and deputies. Your best weapon needs to be your cell phone, not your gun and romantic notions when it comes to the bad luck of other people.
Ohio Rusty

devildogdad
January 23, 2007, 12:08 PM
Am I the only one here that carries Fox lab pepper spray along with my Sig? Is it perfect no, but except for the armed robbery in the first post pepper spray would more than likely work in the other scenerios.. Even if you sprayed both people, you are not going to jail for the rest of your life.

revjen45
January 23, 2007, 02:27 PM
"A man is outside a store and beating his wife with his fists for whatever reason. She is on the ground begging him to stop."
A colleague when I worked in the trailker mines saw such an occurrance. Eddie was 6'3" and capable of kicking a hole in the wall panel higher than his head. He looked like an Aztec warrior. When he left the scene the wife beater was left on the ground in semi-coma with blood spewing from numerous open wounds. Seems like Eddie was offended by the sight of a man abusing a woman and not afraid to point it out to the abuser.

Mikeyboy
January 23, 2007, 03:09 PM
Reminds me of the store scene in Taxi Driver. I don't think I would pull a DeNero sneaking from behind the chips, shooting the robber in the back of the head, then saying I don't have a permit and split. If I was with my wife, as screwed up as it sounds I would take a defensive position to protect her. If I was alone, I might play hero and draw on the guy, sneak up close for a possible head shot and tell him to drop his weapon. If he flinches the wrong way he gets it.

tepin
January 25, 2007, 08:30 AM
Be a good witness. Only use a gun to protect yourself or a loved one. There is too much risk in helping others. Sounds bad I know but that’s the way it goes. You roll the dice and lose, you will lose BIG!

TBT
January 26, 2007, 07:25 PM
Eh. Honestly, that attitude sucks. And bad. Our children are out and about at times without us and are unable to carry and protect themselves. Your child is being killed on the streets and your advice to a fellow CCWer would be to "walk away ... it isn't worth the risk"?

Laws be damned, right is right. You help people out when you can.

JohnKSa
January 26, 2007, 11:01 PM
There's a statistic that says that citizens are less likely than police officers to shoot the "wrong person" in a defensive situation. Everything I've seen indicates that this is because the citizen is more likely to be on the scene from the beginning of the situation and knows what's going on while the police officer often arrives in the middle of the scenario and has to make snap decisions about who's in the wrong.

All that to say that helping is great but make sure you KNOW what's going on. Appearances can be very deceiving and shooting the wrong person is not helping.

Also be aware that events that occurred before you came on the scene may affect the legality of your actions. Ohio Rusty points out a very good example of this.

BillCA
January 26, 2007, 11:39 PM
Ohio Legalities,

If you were in a store and a robber had a gun robbing them of a loaf of bread ...would you kill him? Over a loaf of bread? You better not !! Your life isn't in danger ...it's none of your business except to get a good description to give to the police. If you are in a store or bank and they are being robbed, again, it's not your responsibility. Their money is insured. Your only duty is to back away and leave if you can. Your life isn't in any imminent danger in any of these scenarios.

Robbing a store or bank is one thing, however once the robber starts pointing his gun at customers, the threat is substantial. Likewise, if a robber enters the store and blows a hole in the ceiling, you can certainly make the argument you were in fear of serious physical harm or death.

Most states have some kind of laws regarding the citizen's power to stop a felony being committed in his presence. These laws often authorize the use of deadly force to defend one's self or the life of another while also limiting how that force can be used -- i.e. not shooting a fleeing felon in the back.

Are you saying Ohio law does not permit citizens to stop felonies committed in their presence?

yomama
January 27, 2007, 10:23 AM
I agree. THere is no way you are going to be able to know if the robber is going to shoot after they have what they came for, or didn't get. Once the gun comes out threatening, your mindset should be danger, and you should assume that since they brought the gun they will be using it.

tepin
January 27, 2007, 11:30 AM
Eh. Honestly, that attitude sucks. And bad. Our children are out and about at times without us and are unable to carry and protect themselves. Your child is being killed on the streets and your advice to a fellow CCWer would be to "walk away ... it isn't worth the risk"?

Laws be damned, right is right. You help people out when you can.
Where do you draw the line?
I would consider making an exception for a child being violently attacked by a much older and unarmed adult if I knew the child and knew who the child’s parents were. Most likely I would be calling 911 and telling the adult the cops were coming.

What if you walked into a situation where an adult was on the ground wrestling a 12 year old and the adult had a knife in his hand? BOOM! You shoot and kill the adult and rid the world of another scumbag. You have visions of getting the key to the city, holding press conferences and being invited to the White House for bravery above and beyond. You see your name in print, the event written up in the Armed Citizen column of your favorite NRA magazine.

Oops. Your vision is shattered. Now you are cuffed, arrested for murder and are sitting in the back of the police car where you find out from the very polite law enforcement officer that witnesses to the event say that the twelve year old pulled the knife on the dead guy in an effort to mug him. The guy you just shot was in fact innocent and had just wrestled the knife away from the 12 year old.

“I didn’t know” cannot be used as a viable defense. You might get manslaughter instead of murder for claiming “I didn’t know” but only after you and your family finds about $100K to mount a defense and its proven you didn’t have malicious intent. Guess what? You WILL lose the civil trail (wrongful death) for sure. The dead guy’s family will come at you for everything you and your family ever worked for and all that you acquire in the future. The civil judgment will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Depressing isn’t it? How much are you willing to pay for being a Good Samaritan?

If you do not know all the actors in a given scenario and you did not witness 100% of the scenario from start to finish, how can you make sound decisions about a deadly force encounter or any encounter for that matter? When you choose to step into a situation, you assume all risk and liability for all your actions.

So what was your mistake in this scenario? The person you were protecting, the 12 year old boy, was not innocent. He committed armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon against the guy you just shot. To claim self defense, you have to be innocent. The 12 year old boy lost his right to self defense. You finished what the 12 year old criminal started and sadly, that 12 year old will probably live to kill another day!

“Our children” as you call them are packing pistols these days and killing people to get into gangs so they can walk in the shoes of their MTV role models. “Our children” are killing classmates in our schools because someone called them “fat” or they are not as popular as they think they should be.

Pick your battles my friend. My advice, which is free and only my opinion, is that if you want to be a Good Samaritan, limit your kindness to changing tires for stranded females on long deserted roads in New Mexico.

joab
January 27, 2007, 11:45 AM
To answer the first poster in Florida any citizen has the right to stop a crime in progress and it is legal to use deadly force to stop a forceable felony. The criminal can not sue you and, I believe that the shopkeeper could not either.

*Scenario*
A man is outside a store and beating his wife with his fists for whatever reason. She is on the ground begging him to stop.
*End Scenario*

Had I been near and seen this happening I would have positioned myself so I had a safe backstop if I where to miss. ( I wouldn't get so close that he could jump me.) I would then draw my weapon and get the mans attention and tell him to stop it or I will shoot. As I see it, I do not have to give the man a warning but it allows the situation to end without bloodshed. If he tells me to F-off and continues to hit her I would then have to drop the hammer on him until he is no longer a threat to her.

Would this be the correct (Or at least a reasonable) course of action to take? The senario happened as described above but the man eventualy threw his wife into the car and drove off before the police could get there. (They did get the plate number.)NO, NO OH HELL NO.
Domestic disputes have a way of working themselves out before they get to court and that leaves you as the man threatening with a gun.
You simply yell loudly at the guy from a fairly safe distance to let him know that he is being observed as you call the police. If he escalates let him Bring him to you as you retreat and draw him away from his victim.
You can do this while remaining a safe distance and still keeping close to the victim.
Don't be surprised if she turns on you though.

I have spent time in the back of a cop car for sticking my nose into the exact situation that you described. The only thing that saved me was that a neighbor came out and lied a little to tell the officer what he wanted to hear

Blackwater OPS
January 27, 2007, 03:35 PM
“I didn’t know” cannot be used as a viable defense.

Just FYI, that's not really the case at all. Ignorance of the LAW is no defense, but ignorance of the FACTS is in fact a very good defense. Of course, you would still probably be liable for civil damages and lose your house.

tepin
January 27, 2007, 06:54 PM
Anything can be used as a defense. What keeps you out of jail and your money in the bank is what counts. Sounds like we agree. ;)

Group9
February 3, 2007, 08:28 PM
"Just FYI, that's not really the case at all. Ignorance of the LAW is no defense, but ignorance of the FACTS is in fact a very good defense. Of course, you would still probably be liable for civil damages and lose your house."
__________________


In most states, that is not necessarily the law. When you are defending yourself, your actions in using self defense only have to be reasonable under the circumstances, but you are not required to be correct in your assessment. In other words, if you reasonably believed someone was trying to kill you, but you turned out to be wrong, it would still be a legitimate use of self defense.

But, when it comes to defending someone elses life, in most states (but not all), a private citizen who uses deadly force in defense of someone else's life, must not only be reasonable in his assessment of this threat, but correct as well.

That is a huge difference, and mistake of fact is most certainly not a defense when using deadly force to protect a third party, in most jurisdictions.

Tokamak
February 3, 2007, 10:15 PM
In PA, it is legal to use lethal force in the stead of someone else who is legally justified in using lethal force to defend himself. So, if this would have happened in PA, you would be justified in using lethal force to defend the store owner.

If I was there, I have no idea what I would really do. However, assuming I would respond and try to stop the actions of the robber, I would probably draw down on the robber either once he drew on the cashier (assuming I saw him draw), or when he fired the first shot. At that point, depending on mannerisms, etc. I would draw on him and order him to drop his weapon no more than twice, at which point, upon the suspect's failure to stop his threatening actions, I would shoot to stop the threat. However, if it looks like the criminal is even more of an imminent threat than he would otherwise be, I would probably shoot to stop the threat. However, this is my .02.

I, too, live in PA - great pro gun state by the by. I agree with your assessment that you could use deadly force to protect another.

I hate to disagree with you, however, I would not warn him to drop his weapon but would rather shoot him without warning. Why should I give a warning to a person who has, by his actions, told everyone that he is willing to use deadly force? I have no idea if I would be in trouble for that, but that is what I would do.

I was only in one situation where I had to pull my weapon. In that case a guy was screaming and threating to kill a 17 year old girl like he was insane. I pulled my gun and warned him to stop moving towards the young lady - he was unarmed. (actually I found out later he had a knife in his pocket, but I did not know that)

If he had continued towards the person he was threating to kill I was fully prepared to shot him. If he had had a gun I would have just shot him. However, he (what an amazing thing in the face of his emminant demise ;) ) regained his sanity and backed down.

So, I do agree with a warning in some cases, but not one where the guy is pulling a robbery with a gun. I am going to try and shoot him in the back. Preferably in the back of the head if I am close enough.

rmagill
February 3, 2007, 11:45 PM
Tokamak,

It sounds like we pretty much agree, but come at our conclusion a bit differently. As you mentioned, if it looks like the suspect is going to use lethal force or is aggravated (not thinking clearly so a logical conversation would be impossible), I will probably not give him a warning. However, if the suspect looks like he is using a firearm simply to intimidate and has no intention of firing, I will try to warn him to drop his weapon, and thus not have to shoot him, all along trying to err on the side of safety.

The reason for the warning is because I have been in a situations where someone has threatened (as was quite capable of using) lethal force. However, from the mannerisms and the current situation, I believed that the threats were for intimidation purposes only and not a serious threat. I would not want to shoot someone for simply trying to intimidate someone else. However, if the situation looks like the suspect will actually use force, then I will do anything I can to prevent the unlawful use of force.

Rmagill

PzGren
February 4, 2007, 01:24 PM
Wouldn't it be an irony, if you save the life of an avid antigunner and liberal and he would not even be grateful?

Blackwater OPS
February 5, 2007, 09:34 AM
I like how some of you seem to think you will know what a persons intent is when holding a gun on someone, I really hope you don't have to figure out the hard way that you never will.