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Old September 10, 2009, 05:25 PM   #1
MLeake
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Atlanta area homeowner charged with aggravated assault

after thwarting an attempted break-in. Apparently, he shot the intruder outside his residence.

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/intruder-135533.html

Given that the wounds the thief took were to the buttocks, my guess would be the homeowner fired after the thief started running away, which would explain the aggravated assault charges.

We'll see what other details get released in the next few days.

Meanwhile, the applicable point for T&T is that one should know one's laws in one's own jurisdiction, and should think about scenarios like this ahead of time, so that when SHTF one is less likely to take legally questionable shots.
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Old September 10, 2009, 06:44 PM   #2
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An example of a shooting that was not in self-defense; but a use of deadly force likely motivated by anger and revenge.

Georgia has not yet codified that into law as a proper use of deadly force.
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Old September 10, 2009, 06:49 PM   #3
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My guess is that your guess is correct.

Is there a jurisdiction in which a homeowner would be permitted to shoot a fleeing suspect in a "thwarted" burglary attempt?? No property taken, no threat to life (nothing in that brief story suggests that the suspect was armed), and the suspect is departing the premises... Not to shoot someone in these circumstances seems more like common sense than a "know your local laws" thing.
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Old September 10, 2009, 07:46 PM   #4
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Burglary, probably not. I'm pretty sure there are some jurisdictions where one could use deadly force to attempt to detain / apprehend a fleeing, VIOLENT felon, but I can think of very few instances where I'd even contemplate doing so.
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Old September 10, 2009, 10:44 PM   #5
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Law or not ...the burglar got exactly what he needed and deserved EVERY pellet that shredded his butt!

That aside, the shooter is probably in trouble. I hope he gets probation only.

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Old September 10, 2009, 11:29 PM   #6
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If the perp has a gun AND the opportunity to turn and fire and I even *thought* he had intent (or better yet, has already done so) I could see not waiting for the *instant* that he was turned just right before I defended myself against such a threat. I know, it'd be tough to present in court, but I'd be alive to do so.
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Old September 10, 2009, 11:30 PM   #7
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtarget
Law or not ...the burglar got exactly what he needed and deserved EVERY pellet that shredded his butt!

That aside, the shooter is probably in trouble. I hope he gets probation only.
Swell, so you think the crook got his comeuppance. Well, first, even if the shooter gets out of it on probation, there's a good chance he'll never be able to legally own a gun again. And the shooter also stands to be impoverished by a civil suit -- which will enrich the crook.

Possibly a very bad result for the good guys. [EDIT: And there's some possibility he's not a good guy. See post 12.]

Last edited by Frank Ettin; September 11, 2009 at 02:26 PM.
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Old September 10, 2009, 11:45 PM   #8
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Yup, the perp deserved to be shot in the buttocks. However, from the legal standpoint, the threat has ended when the perp fled the house. It is at this time that it is important to keep one's composure, grab the perp, drag him back into the house, and proceed to kick the crap out of him, hopefully landing a few well placed kicks where the bullets entered into what is obviously the perps housing area for his brains.
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Old September 11, 2009, 12:25 AM   #9
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imo, bad choice to shoot.
a choice i probably would have made, but still a bad one
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Old September 11, 2009, 01:15 AM   #10
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The TFL Tactics & Training subforum is not a soap box podium for espousing personal beliefs about when/whether or not a criminal "deserves" to be shot.

Self-defense is not about what the attacker deserves, it's about preserving the well-being of the defender.

This subforum is provided so that members can help each other to prepare themselves for the effective, legal and responsible use of firearms in self-defense should that need arise.

TFL members who can not grasp the point of the T&T subforum or who refuse to cooperate will find their privilege to post in it revoked.
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Old September 11, 2009, 05:50 AM   #11
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he should have used his inside gun instead of his outside gun.
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Old September 11, 2009, 01:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
According to DeKalb County Jail records, the homeowner, Willie James White, 33, was also charged with theft by receiving stolen property and criminal damage to property.
Kind of stretches the definition of "good guy." Hard to imagine a way to justify this one, with or without that information.
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Old September 11, 2009, 02:04 PM   #13
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From the article:
Quote:
the homeowner, Willie James White, 33, was also charged with theft by receiving stolen property and criminal damage to property
Made me wonder if the thief may have been trying to steal his own stuff back from the fence? Better offer from a different fence maybe? Hummm…best get back on subject.
Willie appears to have more problems than just ignorance of Georgia law concerning justified use of lethal force. Doesn’t make sense to blast a fleeing thief if you’re in possession of a pile of stolen goods yourself. Does that qualify as poor tactics?
Plus, I see the homeowner is charged with criminal damage to property. If the damage occurred during the foiled burglary, due to stray shotgun pellets, then we’re reminded of the importance of training to be “on target” to prevent collateral damage.
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Old September 11, 2009, 02:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Is there a jurisdiction in which a homeowner would be permitted to shoot a fleeing suspect in a "thwarted" burglary attempt?
Possibly in Texas, but only if it happened at night (and it would be a stretch of the law; I sure wouldn't want to be the test case)
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Old September 11, 2009, 02:18 PM   #15
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I think in Texas...

... it would require that it be at night, and that the burglar actually has possession of some piece of the homeowner's property. I could be mistaken.
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Old September 13, 2009, 06:04 PM   #16
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I belive the prevailing case law through out the U.S. regarding a fleeing suspect is: Tenn V Garner (1985 USC).

You cannot shoot and kill a fleeing suspect unless you can articulate that an IMMEDIATE threat of death or serious bodily injury to yourself or others is imminent.

It is based in the IV Amendment.

FYI,
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Old September 13, 2009, 06:07 PM   #17
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L Puckett....

... for most of the US, you are probably right, but several threads involving Texas have posted the relevant statutes, and Texas seems to allow pursuit and possible use of deadly force to recover property.

The conditions under which one can do this are limited, and I personally don't recommend it from a tactical or liability standpoint.
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Old September 13, 2009, 06:22 PM   #18
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MLeake,

You may well be correct as Tenn V Garner relates to Law Enforcement pursuing a fleeing suspect, even though a civilian has no duty to pursue or apprehend.

Of interesting note, Texas has enacted some very creative laws designed to protect it's citizens and to allow them to protect themselves in a more straight forward manner. Refreshing to see the law moving away from protecting the criminal and not the victims.

I do not think that the Georgia legislature where this event occurred has taken quite the positive moves that Texas has.

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Last edited by L Puckett; September 13, 2009 at 06:28 PM.
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Old September 14, 2009, 08:02 PM   #19
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So could someone describe for me how to distinguish between a home invader who changed his mind, and a violent felon running to the car packed with his homeboys?
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Old September 14, 2009, 08:14 PM   #20
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Not sure...

... but the charges against the homeowner make me wonder if "the burglar" was a guy trying to recover his own, stolen property.
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Old September 14, 2009, 08:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyT
So could someone describe for me how to distinguish between a home invader who changed his mind, and a violent felon running to the car packed with his homeboys?
Let's put it this way. If you shoot the guy, you will need to convince the DA, grand jury and maybe a jury that a reasonable person would have concluded that he was in fact still a threat. You're going to need to tell a very, very good story.
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Old September 14, 2009, 08:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
So could someone describe for me how to distinguish between a home invader who changed his mind, and a violent felon running to the car packed with his homeboys?
That's a VERY good question and one that you will have to answer to a jury's satisfaction if you ever shoot someone who is running away from you.
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Old September 14, 2009, 09:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
... for most of the US, you are probably right, but several threads involving Texas have posted the relevant statutes, and Texas seems to allow pursuit and possible use of deadly force to recover property.
And that's why it's good to be in Texas.

That said, Texas law allows the use of deadly force only under clearly articulated, reasonable (to us, anyway) conditions. It is certainly not a free-fire-zone, as much as some ill-informed and agenda-driven bird-cage liners would have you believe.

As many details are missing in this article (like, all of them?), I will try to reserve judgement, but from what little there was, the BG was shot through a door and in the buttocks? Sure sounds like lots of things wrong with this equation, but hey, like I said, lots of facts missing. Maybe the BG was trying to bust the door down with repeated blows from his 54" hips?

We'll just have to see how the evidence plays out.
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Old September 14, 2009, 09:47 PM   #24
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Guess not everyone has my option available:

Use a shotgun, kill the sonofabitch and pack the body off the back side of the back 40. Leave in the deep woods a half mile or more from your property. Hey, coyotes and buzzards gotta eat, too!

Friend of mine went missing for over a year. A hunter found his truck, locked up in the woods and a short time later, found only his skull and part of his backbone hanging from a noose. Everything else had been carried off by the critters. He was identified by dental records. Ruled a suicide because of a lack of any other evidence.

Just as easily could have been someone that broke into my house.
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Old September 14, 2009, 09:51 PM   #25
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My post( #5 ) was well before it appeared both of these guys were/are bad guys. Still, when a person chooses a criminal life path he should EXPECT to get shot for his efforts. I still say he deserved it...I did not say that I thought the law looks at it the same way. I said I hoped the shooter got probation....again, before it was stated that shooter may also be a criminal.

Either way, I'm not involved in any kind of criminal activity. I don't associate with known,(to me), criminals. If my home is targeted, I will defend only as far as I can within the law. Here is hoping I'll never be pushed to that. However, there have been at least 15 home burglaries within a half mile in the last ten days. Things don't look good.

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