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Old October 23, 2008, 01:41 AM   #1
onthejon55
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Using Deadly Force

I know that my home state has some variation of the "castle doctrine" as law when it comes to defending ones property. I was wondering of anyone knew if that meant you had the right to protect your property if it was located on public land. for example what if someone carjacks me at gun point at a stoplight. since their gun is pointed at my head the entire time i don't have a chance to draw on them during the first part of the confrontation. but then after i get out and they prepare to make off with my vehicle do i have the right to gun them down even if they are no longer threatening me?
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Old October 23, 2008, 03:09 AM   #2
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I don't know either the letter nor the spirit of your state's law, but I would have to opine that it would be a crap-shoot as far as your defense since you indicate that there is a decline in threat level. To, basically, react 'post crime' while the booger is departing in your car (and you are now out of immediate danger) would come real close to vigilante-ism... wouldn't it? In my state, a lot of weight is given to the 'Reasonable Person Rule' as in, "What would a reasonable person do?" Study your state's laws and better yet- refer to the instructors of your state's CCW programs, it doesn't cost anything and knowledge is your friend.
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Old October 23, 2008, 06:23 AM   #3
Keltyke
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Quote:
do i have the right to gun them down even if they are no longer threatening me?
caveat: Each state's law is different - check for YOUR state.

Although the "Castle Doctrine" usually extends to cars and motel rooms, you'd be hard-pressed to defend shooting a fleeing BG. For a CWP holder to shoot, there MUST be: opportunity, ability, and intent. Our state law says an "imminent fear of life or severe bodily injury." If a BG is running or driving away - unless they're shooting at you as they flee, you can't shoot.

That being said, one of our local sheriffs said, "If a person breaks into your home, you may assume they're there to harm you, not to just rob you - and you may act accordingly."

It's a fine line, and a good lawyer can wrangle "defense of property" into "defense of life". However, forensics can beat that. They'll KNOW if you shot the guy in the back as he was fleeing. Then you're up S*** ceek.

My advice? Let him go - property is not worth the hassle you'll be in. That's what you carry insurance forr.
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Old October 23, 2008, 11:04 AM   #4
OldMarksman
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As Keltyke said, the law varies, check your state. Here's the relevant section of the Indiana code.

Quote:
IC 35-41-3-2
Use of force to protect person or property
Sec. 2. (a) A person is justified in using reasonable force against another person to protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person:
(1) is justified in using deadly force; and
(2) does not have a duty to retreat;
if the person reasonably believes that that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or the commission of a forcible felony. No person in this state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting the person or a third person by reasonable means necessary.
(b) A person:
(1) is justified in using reasonable force, including deadly force, against another person; and
(2) does not have a duty to retreat;
[I]if the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person's unlawful entry of or attack on the person's dwelling, curtilage, or occupied motor vehicle.
(c) With respect to property other than a dwelling, curtilage, or an occupied motor vehicle, a person is justified in using reasonable force against another person if the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to immediately prevent or terminate the other person's trespass on or criminal interference with property lawfully in the person's possession, lawfully in possession of a member of the person's immediate family, or belonging to a person whose property the person has authority to protect. However, a person:
(1) is justified in using deadly force; and
(2) does not have a duty to retreat;
only if that force is justified under subsection (a).
The emphasis is mine.

The way I read it, and this is a lay opinion, you may use deadly force only if the vehicle is occupied and you are trying to prevent entry or terminate an attack.

Do not rely on that as legal advice.

I know I sure wouldn't shoot, and I wouldn't want to have it put to the reasonable person test if I had done so.

Last edited by OldMarksman; October 23, 2008 at 11:07 AM. Reason: typo
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Old October 23, 2008, 11:09 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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You are virtually never justified in firing at a fleeing suspect, even police don't shoot fleeing car thieves. There are exceptions in some states for shooting someone you have WITNESSED committing a violent felony (murder or rape), with the emphasis on violence having actually occurred. Even in castle doctrine states you can't just blast away at someone who is running away. For instance, you find someone inside your door and as you raise your gun they run outside. If you shoot now your probably going to jail.
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Old October 23, 2008, 11:36 AM   #6
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The time and expense of loosing a car and wallet pales compared to the legal fees and court time.
As someone better than me said "Your firearm is an emergency tool."
A lost car is not an emergency !
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Old October 23, 2008, 12:24 PM   #7
OldMarksman
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The time and expense of loosing a car and wallet pales compared to the legal fees and court time.

Not to mention time served behind bars......
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Old October 23, 2008, 12:25 PM   #8
Japle
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The only reason to shoot someone is because they’re doing something RIGHT THEN!! that can’t be tolerated. That generally means a violent felony.

Rape, assault, attempted murder, kidnapping all qualify. Running down your driveway with your TV doesn’t qualify. Looking through the window at your naked girlfriend doesn’t qualify.

Someone coming toward you in the dark inside your home qualifies in most states. Just hope it isn’t a drunk 16 year old who got lost and stumbled in through the front door you forgot to lock.
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Old October 23, 2008, 12:36 PM   #9
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The time and expense of loosing a car and wallet pales compared to the legal fees and court time.
+1

I've got $1000 deductible on my car. That would buy less than 4 hours of an attorney's time.

My gun is to protect me and mine. Stuff can be replaced.
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Old October 23, 2008, 12:52 PM   #10
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Just make sure you shoot the carjacker while you're still in the car, and he's still trying to commit the crime.
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Old October 23, 2008, 01:14 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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In the end, we all have to live by our own ethics.
Mine tell me that I won't kill someone unless it's unavoidable. I wouldn't shoot a car jacker after the fact unless he was shooting at me while he drove away. Just like I wouldn't shoot by default if someone was in my house even if the law said I could.
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Old October 23, 2008, 01:19 PM   #12
Recon7
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You could
A call your insurance company, pay a deductable and some higher rates, or

B Have a blood splattered car that will be taken in as evidence, not be able to get anything from your insurance company to get a new car, lose your gun and probably ccw. oh, and the whole murder trial thing.

I'd call lojack on the dude instead, he won't even know what hit him when he gets pulled over for the felony stop
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Old October 23, 2008, 04:28 PM   #13
David Armstrong
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but then after i get out and they prepare to make off with my vehicle do i have the right to gun them down even if they are no longer threatening me?
That depends on your state's laws. But even if you could, why would you? Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
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Old October 23, 2008, 04:38 PM   #14
Stagger Lee
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And it's threads like this one that make me visit this and other boards less and less frequently. It always seems like somebody's posting about how badly they really want to shoot someone else, basically just to do it.

No wonder we haven't cleaned out all of the terrorists in Iraq yet. All of the wanna-be killers are still in the US posting on the internet.


Fortunately this board does have a large number of sensible folks, and you can see that in this thread too. All hope is not lost.
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Old October 23, 2008, 10:23 PM   #15
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Stagger Lee there is no terrorists in Iraq FYI, just a religious civil war with our army in the middle. terrorists come for Saudi Arabia, and fill in the blank a-stan. however I agree with the rest of your statement. I generally do not read the tactics and training section of any forum because the posts are not about either tactics or training 90% of the time
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Old October 24, 2008, 12:22 AM   #16
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I don't think that I would even think about shooting someone AFTER they carjacked me. I'm guessing that a lot of the reasons people have such a "want to shoot" attitude is frustration with the criminal justice system. I would be willing to bet the farm that most would not be inclined to shoot anyone unless they feared for their life or that of a loved one.....and from the way some talk, even that would not happen. It's easier and better for the board to let guys blow off a little steam then to get into what Capt. Charlie calls "a urination competition" (something that he accused me of)
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Old October 24, 2008, 06:18 AM   #17
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I'm guessing that a lot of the reasons people have such a "want to shoot" attitude is frustration with the criminal justice system.
Agree. It just seems that the criminal, no matter the crime, has more power over the victim. I do believe in innocent until proven guilty, but there's some cases that it sounds more like innocent until....ah forget it, he's innocent. Fair sentencing is also nonexistent. Maybe it's just me but I feel eye for an eye is applicable. Have I ever been in a situation where a loved one was victimized severely? No. Hopefully never will. I think victims and their families should have a say in the punishment of the criminal IF proven, beyond ANY doubt, guilty. As in 3 people saw it happen or else-wise. Kyle
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Old October 24, 2008, 10:01 AM   #18
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Here's the problem with this thread (and many others like it).

The original question assumes the BG is only interested in taking your car, and that you know he only wants to take your car.

In a real life situation you may not know that's all the BG wants. You don't know what the BG is willing to do to you to take your car. You don't know if the BG is a case of road rage wanting to shoot you or beat you senseless. You don't know anything other than a guy is approaching your car with a gun. You won't know that he only wants your car until he drives off and leaves you behind. You can only assume he intends to hurt you.

What if your kids or your wife is in the car and he takes you out of the car?

I wouldn't shoot if the guy is driving off with my car, ESPECIALLY if I have family in the car. However, if he has a gun and he's getting into my car but hasn't driven off yet, and I'm able to access my gun, I might shoot him before he starts driving.

Things to think about:

1) You are always responsible for your bullets and their destruction. If you shoot at a moving vehicle, what else or whom else might you hit?

2) If the carjacker is struck with the bullet and unable to control the vehicle. You then have a deadly weapon out of control moving down the road. You may be responsible for the damage the vehicle causes.
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Old October 24, 2008, 12:02 PM   #19
David Armstrong
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However, if he has a gun and he's getting into my car but hasn't driven off yet, and I'm able to access my gun, I might shoot him before he starts driving.
At which point I always have to ask "why?" What do you hope to achieve by this, other than getting even? You're still going to lose your car (police will impound it), perhaps for a longer time than jsut the carjack, and given that you have shot the guy, I doubt your insurance will cover the damage or pay for a rental car. Throw in the bills for the lawyer, time lost due to court and such, "why?"
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Old October 24, 2008, 01:29 PM   #20
GPossenti
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I am inclined to shoot because an armed and dangerous person is on the loose who very well may hurt someone else.

A poster on another thread said he was confronted by a guy with a shotgun. He drew his pistol in response but never fired and the shotgun BG took off in his own vehicle. Later the shotgun BG murdered someone else.

I know we're not (or I'm not) talking about being LEOs, but if an attacker has a gun out, you can only assume he's means to hurt you. You aren't safe from him until the BG is gone. Just because he's now in the car doesn't mean you are out of danger. What if he intends to shoot the witness?
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Old October 24, 2008, 03:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
The original question assumes the BG is only interested in taking your car, and that you know he only wants to take your car.
I take the questioning to mean that if the BG is no longer a threat can I still shoot him. If someone is doing anything to you at gunpoint you (mostly likely) have the right to shoot them.

Once they are driving away I think a reasonable person has to say "I guess he WAS just after the car."
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Old October 24, 2008, 03:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
I take the questioning to mean that if the BG is no longer a threat can I still shoot him. If someone is doing anything to you at gunpoint you (mostly likely) have the right to shoot them.

Once they are driving away I think a reasonable person has to say "I guess he WAS just after the car."
Agreed. If the guy is still a threat, then you can legally shoot him.

If the guy is driving away and is no longer a threat, why shoot?
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Old October 24, 2008, 03:21 PM   #23
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At which point I always have to ask "why?" What do you hope to achieve by this, other than getting even? You're still going to lose your car (police will impound it), perhaps for a longer time than jsut the carjack, and given that you have shot the guy, I doubt your insurance will cover the damage or pay for a rental car. Throw in the bills for the lawyer, time lost due to court and such, "why?"


Because he is still in the commission of a violent felony against you, a person, and some people believe in using Deadly Force to prevent that from happening to them.

Let's use your logic. You come home and a man is raping your wife. I guess you could not use Deadly Force because, hey, he's already raped her and she can't be unraped. You have nothing to gain other than getting even, right? And if you shoot him instead of letting him finish raping her, then you'll just have attorney's fees, time lost due to court, etc. You should not interfere and just let him finish, then shoo him away and let the police catch him later.

Carjacking is NOT a property crime, no matter how anyone tries to spin it. It's Robbery (in this case, Aggravated Robbery because of the gun), which is a crime against a person...the same as Sexual Assault, Murder, etc. And a completely different animal than Car Theft, which is a property crime.

Disclaimer- ***I am not saying if he's already taken your car and is driving away, then you should start shooting. GP said if the guy had a gun and was still getting into his car, then he MIGHT shoot.
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Old October 24, 2008, 03:42 PM   #24
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Sorry, Hondo, but your example is entirely unrelated.

Yes, if someone is pointing a gun at me, whether he wants my wallet, car, or to kill me, I am in immediate danger of death or grave bodily injury. I am fully within my rights to resist using lethal force. Once that threat is over, in most states I can no longer use deadly force.

From a practical standpoint, if the guy is still getting into my car, but his gun is no longer pointed at me, I'm running for cover. If the guy is getting into my car but his gun is still pointed at me, I have the choice of doing nothing (and hoping he doesn't kill me), drawing against an already drawn gun (and hoping I beat his shot), or running away.

Btw, many states consider rape to be grave bodily injury, and the use of deadly force is justified to stop it. Besides, rape is generally done with the expressed or implied threat of death or grave bodily injury.
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Old October 24, 2008, 03:45 PM   #25
Brian Pfleuger
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Carjacking is NOT a property crime, no matter how anyone tries to spin it. It's Robbery (in this case, Aggravated Robbery because of the gun), which is a crime against a person...the same as Sexual Assault, Murder, etc. And a completely different animal than Car Theft, which is a property crime.

Disclaimer- ***I am not saying if he's already taken your car and is driving away, then you should start shooting. GP said if the guy had a gun and was still getting into his car, then he MIGHT shoot.

MMMmmm, maybe. In most places you'd have to show that you considered yourself to be in imminent danger of death or grievous injury. The "type" of crime doesn't matter per say, so much as were you in immediate danger of death or life-threatening injury. Sure, with some crimes risk of death or injury is implied in the event but I don't think you'd win a case saying a car jacker was going to kill you simply because stealing your car is an indication your about to be killed. As I said above, gun pointed in your direction, your probably clear to shoot, otherwise it's going to be a tough case.
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