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Old October 7, 2012, 10:17 PM   #156
BillCA
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Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,087
Quote:
So if some shoots a person, carjacks another, I watch see it and I engage him and stop him, by shooting his tire out, firing a warning shot, or neutralizing him, I go to prison for stopping him?
You sure might go to jail in California.

Typically, it's considered a bad idea to fire on a fleeing felon for several reasons. First and foremost is that shots are likely to miss and in {sub}urban areas which can endanger innocent people. If the person is in a vehicle, a hit on that person may cause the vehicle to become a projectile that kills or injures other innocent persons. These principles apply to LEOs and civilians alike.

As a general rule, California does not allow civilians to fire at fleeing felons. Police may do so, under specific circumstances. One exception is that the civilian must know (not suspect or believe) that a felony was committed and have a reasonable belief the subject committed the felony and that the fleeing person poses an real and immediate danger to persons after the crime committed.

Someone who carjacks a car, robs a liquor store or even stabs another person and is leaving the area does not necessarily meet that criteria. That is because, legally, the perp got what he wanted and is leaving the scene

One could claim that someone involved in a mass shooting or who boldly shoots several "random" people in broad daylight is likely to repeat the crime and/or to kill others to avoid capture.
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