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Old November 15, 2010, 12:23 PM   #1
Ruark
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Report a wounded attacker?

You're walking down a dark street or parking lot. A would-be assailant walks up behind you and refuses to stop following you, or brandishes a knife, or whatever justifies your using deadly force in self defense. You pull out your compact 9mm and put a +P round through his knee or foot. He falls to the ground with a horrifically painful, incapacitating, but non-fatal injury.

You continue walking, go around the corner, get in your car and drive home. He will eventually end up in the ER and will be fine, after limping around with his leg in a cast for a few weeks.

The topic for discussion regards reporting it. One school of thought is, "yes, report it, otherwise it's like a hit and run." The other is, "heck, no, he won't die, and what's he going to do, tell the police he was robbing you and you shot him? Just drive home and forget it."

Input from those with legal and/or LEO experience would be especially welcome.

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Old November 15, 2010, 12:36 PM   #2
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He (or she) who calls first is usually perceived to be the "good guy".
I can't imagine NOT calling to report the incident.

1) there is absolutely no way to be certain that the wound wouldn't be fatal.
2) there is always some tall tale that the badguy can come up with to try and pin the attack on you.
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Old November 15, 2010, 12:40 PM   #3
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I discussed this in your other topic, Ruark... Always report the incident...
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Old November 15, 2010, 12:52 PM   #4
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I'm not a cop, but I would report it ASAP.
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Old November 15, 2010, 01:04 PM   #5
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Failing to report a crime is itself a crime.

You were criminally attacked. If that attack was serious enough to justify shooting the attacker, it was serious enough to call the cops over.

If it wasn't serious enough to call the cops, it wasn't serious enough to justify you pulling out your blaster.

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Old November 15, 2010, 01:15 PM   #6
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Non-reporting illegality aside for a moment, the possibility that someone heard that gunshot and saw you leaving the area would be significant, not to mention the possibility of the police prying your description out of the BG at the hospital. Why risk it? Leaving a wounded person on the street just to avoid the hassle would be a good excuse IMHO for a jury to lock you up and throw away the key.
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Old November 15, 2010, 01:15 PM   #7
OldMarksman
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Quote:
The other is, "heck, no, he won't die, and what's he going to do, tell the police he was robbing you and you shot him? Just drive home and forget it."
No, he'll tell the police you shot him for no reason, or that you shot him while you were trying to rob him. Or maybe the police will find out on their own that you fired the shots.

You will then be the suspect.

You have shot someone. That can happen accidentally, through negligence, or on purpose. If it was done on purpose, it is ordinarilly a crime, but if you fired in self defense, it is justified. Problem is, in order to mount a defense of justification, you have to provide evidence showing that all of the elements of justification were present at the time of the shooting.

By not having reported the shooting, you have shown an intent to not provide such evidence--to not defend yourself against accusations that you have committed a crime.

Bad idea.
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Old November 15, 2010, 01:20 PM   #8
Ruark
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I suspected the same thing you guys are saying; I just wanted to hear somebody else's thoughts about it. For sure, if some piece of dirt attacked you in a parking lot and you put him down with a foot shot or something, there would be a clear temptation to just avoid all the hassle and drive off. But you're right, the potential for disaster would be huge.

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Old November 15, 2010, 01:21 PM   #9
Frank Ettin
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Always report the incident. See Massad Ayoob's column in the August, 2010, Combat Handguns.

Even if you don't report it, the authorities are probably going to find you. When they do, no one is going to congratulate you for leaving a person (even if a criminal) you injured bleeding on the sidewalk to fend for himself. Also, your leaving the can be argued by the prosecutor to be a sign of a guilty conscience.

In fact, if the you didn't have to shoot because the guy ran away, you should report. Otherwise, there's the possibility that he will report that he, an innocent, was just threatened by some "not with a gun." If he reports first, he will immediately like the victim to the police.

For some additional discussion see: http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=390985
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Old November 15, 2010, 01:24 PM   #10
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To the best of my knowledge, you are required by law in most places to report *any* use of your gun to defend yourself. In addition, failure to report a shooting will lead the police to assume that you were in the wrong, which tends to lead to arrest, jail, and lots of expensive legal problems, as well as loosing any concealed carry permit that you might have and likely forfeiting the gun that you used.

I have a *very* good imagination, and can imagine exceptions to almost any rule. I can't imagine any reasonably likely circumstances where it would be wise not to report a shooting that you were involved in, however, at least not if you are in the United States or any other country whose government or police are not criminally corrupt or evil.
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Old November 15, 2010, 01:41 PM   #11
Tom Servo
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Quote:
He (or she) who calls first is usually perceived to be the "good guy".
I have been in this situation, though no shots were fired. Once the aggressor had left the scene, I contacted law enforcement to inform them of the situation.

There were other circumstances, and they did eventually track him down. His side of the story? I was a raving lunatic waving a gun around at a guy who'd done nothing to deserve it. Always be the first to call the police in any such situation, even if it is a simple car accident.

Quote:
Failing to report a crime is itself a crime.
In every jurisdiction I'm familiar with, it's illegal to shoot someone. Really hurtful technical phrases like "aggravated assault" and "attempted murder" tend to get thrown around. If one is involved in a legitimate shooting, they have still committed a crime. Self-defense is an affirmative defense to criminal charges.

Up until the authorities (and possibly a grand jury) have been convinced that you were acting in self-defense, you have committed one or more crimes in shooting someone.
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Old November 15, 2010, 01:44 PM   #12
Omaha-BeenGlockin
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Even though they wound up shot---now they need their jail time for trying to rob you.
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Old November 15, 2010, 02:13 PM   #13
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From the sticky at the top of this forum:

Quote:
If you're thinking of posting "screw the law, do it anyway" posts, don't bother, because you probably won't be around TFL long enough to read any replies.
Closed.

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