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Old June 21, 2009, 05:05 PM   #1
wickedrider
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Store Owner shoots Burglar

This one will be very interesting. The store owner was on the outside of the store and the burglar inside. Owner said that the BG pointed a weapon at him. I don't know whether a firearm was found inside the store.

http://www.wvec.com/news/topstories/....113589bb.html
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Old June 22, 2009, 02:46 PM   #2
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Sounds like the store owner will find the media to be a bigger threat to his peace and security than any burglar would've been.
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Old June 22, 2009, 03:29 PM   #3
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As usual so much depends upon what the state law is and the jurisprudence. Perhaps an investigation will reveal that the decedent had an object which reasonably appeared to be a firearm, and this would justify the shooting in self-defense.
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Old June 22, 2009, 03:55 PM   #4
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Tough call. Legally, he MAY skate...morally/ehtically, again, HE put himself in the situation of being forced (or actually wanting) to kill.

His mistake? Not waiting for the cops to arrive...

Cower, cover, cell phone....

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Old June 22, 2009, 04:48 PM   #5
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If he was outside and the BG was inside...... 911, hello there is a guy in my shop after hours and I think he has a gun.

Why would anyone put themselves in a situation that could potentially get them killed? Must not have kids at home...
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Old June 22, 2009, 05:04 PM   #6
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I agree with WA, it's definitely a tough call and he definitely should have called the police first.

I might have at least had to go sit outside the store and watch to get a description or a license plate.
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Old June 22, 2009, 05:08 PM   #7
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Update

The store owner had an alarm system. The alarm co. called the police as well as the store owner. The store owner live probably a city block away. He went to the store after the call and well....He said that the guy pointed a gun at him. Update. The police didn't find a weapon.

http://www.wvec.com/news/topstories/....113589bb.html

For those that want to comment, go to http://www.wtkr.com/news/3cents/
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Old June 22, 2009, 10:47 PM   #8
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Tough call. Legally, he MAY skate...morally/ehtically, again, HE put himself in the situation of being forced (or actually wanting) to kill.

His mistake? Not waiting for the cops to arrive...

Cower, cover, cell phone....

I strongly disagree with Alaska here even if he did make some initial mistakes people aren't perfect and the bottom line is the SOB should not have been breaking into the gas station anyway. Whatever happened to the bad guy being wrong, he brought his own death on himself by breaking into a store and making a threatening movement towards and armed man! That is the reality of the situation. Also when the owner left to check out what was going on at the store he probably thought the guy was going to be gone by the time he arrived anyway, I'm sure he wasn't looking for some vigilante justice, he probably just wanted to be there to talk to the cops.

Last edited by Re4mer; June 22, 2009 at 11:05 PM.
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Old June 22, 2009, 10:56 PM   #9
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I strongly disagree with Alaska here even if he did make some initial mistakes people aren't perfect
Yeah well not being perfect with a gun frequently means someone dies...and in some of those cases the shooters life is ruined too

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Old June 22, 2009, 11:00 PM   #10
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Yeah well not being perfect with a gun frequently means someone dies...and in some of those cases the shooters life is ruined too
First, how do you figure that the shooters life is ruined?

Secondly, the main mistake was a fellow breaking into a store not a store owner driving across town to see what was happening to his property, again this is an issue of misplaced blame everybody wants to blame the good guy for taking action and not the bad guy for committing a crime.
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Old June 22, 2009, 11:36 PM   #11
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First, how do you figure that the shooters life is ruined?
In this particular case, we don't know yet. But there have been many cases where a shooter does what he thinks is right and ends up charged with something that, at best, requires a great deal of time and money to defend and a conviction and prison time at worst.

So this guy saved whatever little bit of property the stupid thief would have carried away and now is sitting up at night worrying about being charged with manslaughter or murder and maybe, just maybe, feeling pretty crappy about killing an unarmed man. Do you think he is regretting his decision?
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Old June 23, 2009, 07:12 AM   #12
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So it looks like there is a big camp that thinks the use of deadly force is only OK to prevent death/heinous injury to another human. There is another big camp that thinks the use of deadly force is OK to protect property as well.

I guess I ride the fence on that issue, leaning more towards the latter. If I'm a small business owner and get a call from the alarm company I'm going to get up, get dressed (which would include a gun since I CCW), and go to my company to speak to police (I would assume they could beat me there).

If by the time I get there and see no red and blue lights I might feel like I want to go into MY COMPANY to assess any theft/damage. I might not, I don't own a business but I imagine I would, I know for a fact I have received a call re: my home burglar alarm going off and did not wait for police to show up. (when police finally showed up fifteen minutes later they would not come inside to clear my home BTW)

If the burglar still happened to be present I would detain or defend myself, I have no moral or ethical obligation to let someone take my property from my home/business. Their actions from that point would dictate how the situation unfolded from there. I guess it just so happens I live in a state where the laws align with that philosophy and I'd likely be legally covered.

In this particular situation I can't say that I advocate pumping the burglar full of lead on sight but I think it is possible that he might have had something else in his hands that was mistaken for a gun. I can think of several instances in which police mistook a cell phone or some other object for a firearm and used deadly force.

But again I have a problem with someone stating that a good guy has a moral obligation to let a burglar go about their merry way. There's a difference between a judgement call that has to be made after assessing the situation and something you're bound to do. By clinging to the idea that you're morally obligated to not use deadly force in a situation such as that there is a good chance that in the heat of the moment the BG could escalate the scenario while you're still fighting with your morality to make a decision for what to do next.

BTW, I like how this thread has focused on that philosophy rather than damning the actions of actor(s) with very little access to concrete information.
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Old June 23, 2009, 07:29 AM   #13
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I own a small business myself, and I have a written policy that is part of every employee's orientation that if anyone finds, on arriving for work, any signs of a burglary, that they are to call 911, stay clear of the building, and keep any early-arriving clients clear. We assume that a burglar is present and armed until proven otherwise by sheriff's deputies. They, I would assume, would work in a team, using professional training that I don't have, wearing body armor and probably using long arms that I don't carry around, clear the building and tell us when it is safe to enter.

The situation for this business owner was different, in that he saw the burglar through the glass, and, according to him, the burglar pointed something at him to mimic a weapon. That is a tough situation, but it could have been prevented if he had kept a little more distance while awaiting the arrival of LE.

Think through the possibilities: If the burglar is still there and I show up before the police, I am facing the possibility of a confrontation with injury or death. If the burglar has gone and I go in before the police, I am messing up the crime scene and hindering the investigation. There is just nothing to be gained by going in ahead of LE unless you so value your inventory that you are willing to kill or be killed in trying to protect it.

I am not saying that the burglar is the good guy. I am saying that your brain may be more valuable than your gun in such situations.

Part of that employee training I mentioned in the first paragraph is that I tell employees that I can replace anything that a burglar steals or wrecks, but that they are unique, and loved by someone, and therefore irreplaceable. We would be reading a vastly different story if the burglar in this scenario had really been armed and had fired before the business owner could react. I don't see why a business owner would put himself or herself in that position.
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Old June 23, 2009, 07:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donn N
"In this particular case, we don't know yet. But there have been many cases where a shooter does what he thinks is right and ends up charged with something that, at best, requires a great deal of time and money to defend and a conviction and prison time at worst.

So this guy saved whatever little bit of property the stupid thief would have carried away and now is sitting up at night worrying about being charged with manslaughter or murder and maybe, just maybe, feeling pretty crappy about killing an unarmed man. Do you think he is regretting his decision?"
+1

Outcome=>NoShooting = the owner loses property and must deal with their insurance company regarding restitution.

Outcome=>Shooting = the owner spends a small fortune in legal fees; may need to pay a retainer of up to $10K to their lawyer, assuming the case will go to trial; loses the time that will be spent in court; loses time spent preparing for the trial; and possibly loses some freedom - including the right to own firearms - if the trial goes against them.

The burglar is the bad guy, not the owner; and no one is suggesting that the owner 'let the burglar go their merry way'.

The point is that in terms of future hardship to the owner, the outcome from not having taken those shots would likely have been preferable (to the owner) than the outcome from having opened fire.

In relative terms, the death of the burglar brings the owner little benefit, and much distress, cost, and legal grief. In the end, was it worth it? And in particular, was there a better way to handle the issue?
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Old June 23, 2009, 07:57 AM   #15
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I am not in either of the "camps"... I am for "legal use of the firearm".

If you are in a place where you can shoot a shop lifter who just jacked a pack of smokes, and you wish to do so... Put 2 in the chest... It is on you not me.

If I were in a place like this I would possibly use my gun to detain a thief but would only shoot if forced to do so.
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Old June 23, 2009, 09:04 AM   #16
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Think through the possibilities: If the burglar is still there and I show up before the police, I am facing the possibility of a confrontation with injury or death. If the burglar has gone and I go in before the police, I am messing up the crime scene and hindering the investigation. There is just nothing to be gained by going in ahead of LE unless you so value your inventory that you are willing to kill or be killed in trying to protect it.

I am not saying that the burglar is the good guy. I am saying that your brain may be more valuable than your gun in such situations.

Part of that employee training I mentioned in the first paragraph is that I tell employees that I can replace anything that a burglar steals or wrecks, but that they are unique, and loved by someone, and therefore irreplaceable.
TailGator,

That was a beautiful post.

Here's something else, written by a friend of mine for Concealed Carry Magazine earlier this year ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Stahlnecker

Implicit in the question, "When do I have to shoot?" is the idea that you are going to avoid shooting whenever possible--which is good, because avoidance is almost always the best course of action, both during the encounter and for the legal battle after the encounter. Our hypothetical Tom is about to be in a shootout, and the problem is that a shootout always entails a high level of risk. For the shooting to be justified, Tom's own life must be in danger. To put it bluntly, the aggressor will have the same opportunity to shoot Tom as Tom has to shoot the aggressor. And regrettably, one very likely outcome of a gunfight is that both participants will end up killing each other. If we acknowledge that Tom's primary goal is to stay alive and, even better, uninjured, then we must note that Tom's odds are not good in a shootout. But if Tom was able to contrive such an advantage in this gun fight, if he found a way to give himself such an upperhand that he could shoot the aggressor without any real risk to himself, then Tom would be at risk from the legal system which will have to wonder, "If you were in such a position of safety, if you were not in danger, why did you have to shoot?" Either way, this course of action leaves Tom at great risk.

A solid principle of tactics is to follow the course of action which accomplishes the goal with minimal risk.
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Old June 23, 2009, 11:27 AM   #17
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First, how do you figure that the shooters life is ruined?
If you shoot someone then your life is going to suck, at the very least, for a good long while. Justification or not. The guy could be on video holding a gun to your wife's head and screaming about killing her when you pull the trigger. Makes no difference. The guys family will sue, you may STILL be charged (depending on the "gun friendliness" of the DA), you will absolutely positively need a lawyer.... and on and on.


Shooting someone = suck city.
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Old June 23, 2009, 11:48 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by TailGator
I am not saying that the burglar is the good guy. I am saying that your brain may be [delete] is [insert] more valuable than your gun in such situations [delete].
There. Fixed it up a bit.

Seriously, I can't imagine any self defense situation where your brain is not the most important weapon you have. I did fine without a gun for forty-eight years, just by keeping aware of my surroundings, avoiding places and times where danger was likely, and disengaging/not escalating on the (fortunately rare) occasions when my instincts told me that somebody was up to no good. I know these tactics don't *always* work; that's one reason I started carrying. But I hope to go the rest of my life never needing my gun for self defense, and given the record so far, think that's not too unlikely.

I don't go a single day without needing to use my brain to keep me out of trouble.
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Old June 23, 2009, 12:01 PM   #19
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Shooting someone = suck city.
And that boys and girls, should be the sighn over the blackboard in every training class in the nation.

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Old June 24, 2009, 04:22 PM   #20
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Its funny that in this case the man was not charged and people here are still making judgment calls about his decision to open fire. Again by way of clarification he did not open fire on a man he thought was unarmed he opened fire on a man he believed to be armed and dangerous. Does anybody feel that the burglar shares some blame too or is it just this guys fault? Ultimately I think we can all agree that it is a horrible thing to have to take a life in self defense, however it is not fair to judge this man when we ourselves were not in his situation.
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Old June 24, 2009, 04:46 PM   #21
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Lets be realistic here:

People are afraid when confronted, people are not bound to tell the truth to save their own skin. ...and the law is far from perfect.


You don't really know if the burglar "had a shotgun like object" or not and neither does the law. We also don't know whether or not mister big and bad store owner with the gun suddenly found himself in real life peril, panic and saw something that wasn't really there. Do we?


In the end it will depend on the state laws I gather. But after some careful consideration, experimentation and conversation with people who know much more then I do Wildalaska's "Cower, cover, cell phone...." is the very best defense in every situation.
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Old June 26, 2009, 08:15 AM   #22
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Well, first of all the shooting is still being investigated. And if it goes to trial will be a very interesting case. THe burgular was shot 4 times thru a window and was killed after he pointed something at the property owner. Later found to be a tire iron. Was the property owner threatened? DId he fear for his safety? Probably so, but he was OUTSIDE and could have retreated. Virginia law doesnt have a CASTLE DOCTRINE, it has a RETREAT DOCTRINE (<-- uggggg) Plus Va Law says that you cannot use deadly force to protect property.... Now I am not a lawyer nor am I abdicating any rights the criminal might have.... but waiting on the police to arrive and being a good witness would have been the smart thing here.
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Old June 26, 2009, 08:17 AM   #23
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Wildalaska's "Cower, cover, cell phone...." is the very best defense in every situation.
It certainly is the best strategy for the criminals!!!!!
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Old June 26, 2009, 08:32 AM   #24
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Whatever happened to the bad guy being wrong, he brought his own death on himself by breaking into a store and making a threatening movement towards and armed man! That is the reality of the situation.
It is indeed, whether or not he actually made a threatening movement, and it is also completely irrelevant to the question of whether or not the shooter's action was lawful.
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Old June 29, 2009, 05:30 AM   #25
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The facts are reasonably clear, fast asleep, phone call "Your alarm is going off" leap out of bed, drag on clothes, and take pistol, a couple of blocks to his garage.

If he had a pistol in a holster, quite different than pistol picked up from next to bed, placed in vehicle, drive a couple of minutes, jump out of vehicle, see broken window/door.

Blood pressure 160 over 95! not really wide awake yet, pistol is in hand, See's movement, a glint of metal? maybe, up gun, bang/bang etc.

Me, wide awake in one minute, my lovely Wife? twenty of those minutes, maybe.

Worse case scenario, an expert witness describes this possible scene to a lawyer in court, his lawyer.
The DA asks questions, aggressive? Jury listens, makes a decision based on the facts, and the fact that the Police did not charge you directly after the fact.

In my State Florida, the Police can not charge you unless a crime had occurred, you shooting a criminal who you do not know, in your place of business, based on a paid alarm company's phone call? after breaking in, at night?

Clean up glass, new window. Time will lesson any bad feelings, but not being dead (you) is good.
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