I wonder if in this case a civilian is justified in shooting someone, especially in defense of a helpless child.
I believe in New York State it would be - it was a murder, one of the justifications for SD in defense of another's life. The difference with lethal action in defense of another person from SD is that in the latter a reasonable belief the attack is lethal is not enough: you must be right: murder, rape, kidnapping - perhaps one other potentially lethal felony - must actually be occurring. This pathetic case would fit the bill if any would in my view, especially since there was a failed attempt to stop him other ways.. However, even pepper spray would have done something - too bad no one had any - (or a gun).....club... anything...two or three just jump on him - anything to slow him until cops arrived. I hope I would have - even without a gun - have done something, I would have had to, I couldn't watch that and not do something, even something foolish and ineffectual or to my own harm. Course, easy to say sitting here - I bet many just froze in shock, and maybe I would have too....