The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > Law and Civil Rights

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 7, 2011, 07:20 AM   #1
shootniron
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2011
Posts: 1,147
Fleeing suspect shot...

This is actually the second article that I have stumbled across where someone shoots a fleeing shooter and no charges are filed against them, I think that this happened somewhere over in Georgia. The other, and I cannot find it now to link,was a case where the fleeing shooter was actually shot in the back of the head and killed.

So much for the thought that shooting a fleeing shooter is an instant trip to jail.

Shooting

Last edited by shootniron; October 7, 2011 at 07:43 AM.
shootniron is offline  
Old October 7, 2011, 07:45 AM   #2
highvel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 21, 2010
Location: Powhatan VA
Posts: 633
It all depends on where the shot is fired.
Around my area you may be very disappointed in the result of shooting someone AFTER the threat is gone. Bubba's always looking for a new girlfriend in the slammer
__________________
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.--Mark Twain

"I have opinions of my own 'strong opinions' but I don't always agree with them."--George Bush
highvel is offline  
Old October 7, 2011, 08:04 AM   #3
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,310
No reason for charges to be filed in that case. The perp had already shot someone, and was still armed.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old October 7, 2011, 08:10 AM   #4
Eghad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 28, 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 6,231
The person shot someone and was still armed while fleeing. I would say that makes him a threat to to other persons and he has already shot someone. The distance he had fled could not have been that much. Now if he had placed his firearm on the ground or threw it down then he would have ceased to be a threat. Plus it appears the man defending hinself didn't shoot him again and again after he was down.

Sounds like case of legitmate self defense to me.
__________________
Have a nice day at the range

NRA Life Member
Eghad is offline  
Old October 7, 2011, 08:28 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
Many states have laws which specifically allow for shooting a fleeing criminal under certain circumstances.

In NY, it is expressly allowed when certain violent crimes are committed, the offender is fleeing and the defender "reasonably believes" shooting the offender is necessary, essentially the only option, to prevent their escape from LE.

I'll look up the exact text, but that's the gist of it. Anyway, it's not ALL that unusual that shooting a fleeing suspect would not bring charges. I'd still say it's generally a very bad idea and much more likely to go bad than good.


Found it:

This covers most of it, NY Penal Code 35.30:
4. A private person acting on his own account may use physical force, other than deadly physical force, upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes such to be necessary to effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of a person whom he reasonably believes to have committed an offense and who in fact has committed such offense; and he may use deadly physical force for such purpose when he reasonably believes such to be necessary to:
(a) Defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force; or
(b) Effect the arrest of a person who has committed murder, manslaughter in the first degree, robbery, forcible rape or forcible sodomy and who is in immediate flight therefrom


Of course, there's "law" and there's "case law". I wouldn't be surprised if case law directly contradicts the statute.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; October 7, 2011 at 12:52 PM.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old October 7, 2011, 01:06 PM   #6
ftttu
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2011
Posts: 125
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.u...E/htm/PE.9.htm

If anyone is interested, the link above is the use of force chapter for the Great State of Texas.
Many people don't know that it is not a right to physically discipline their children, at least here in Texas. It is illegal to use physical force on anyone but to do so, some key words which come into play are "justification" and "immediately necessary". If someone comes up to you, punches you in the nose for what ever reason, you were just physically assaulted and probably received bodily injury. If you punch that person and he goes down, then you defended yourself, hopefully being able to claim that you were justified in using that force. If the person stays down and is no longer an immediate threat, kicking them probably isn't justified and you become the offender. So in short, if you get attacked by a person with a gun, you better be justified in using your weapon, knowing that it is immediately necessary to do so to protect you, another person, and/or your property(in certain situations). Remember, grand juries are made up of all different types of people.
ftttu is offline  
Old October 7, 2011, 01:15 PM   #7
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftttu View Post
Many people don't know that it is not a right to physically discipline their children, at least here in Texas
That's not true.... Subchapter F, section 9.61 specifically allows patents to physically discipline their children.

SUBCHAPTER F. SPECIAL RELATIONSHIPS

Sec. 9.61. PARENT-CHILD. (a) The use of force, but not deadly force, against a child younger than 18 years is justified:
(1) if the actor is the child's parent or stepparent or is acting in loco parentis to the child; and
(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is necessary to discipline the child or to safeguard or promote his welfare.
(b) For purposes of this section, "in loco parentis" includes grandparent and guardian, any person acting by, through, or under the direction of a court with jurisdiction over the child, and anyone who has express or implied consent of the parent or parents.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old October 7, 2011, 01:17 PM   #8
shootniron
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2011
Posts: 1,147
This inhouse thread brought out much talk about this very matter being expressly criminal and in a couple of posts, likened it to the same action as the attacker initially made against the innocent.

TFL thread

Last edited by shootniron; October 7, 2011 at 03:47 PM.
shootniron is offline  
Old October 7, 2011, 01:57 PM   #9
saltydog452
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 16, 2004
Posts: 510
There are lots of circumstances that must fall neatly into place. The District Attorney, political climate, and whos on first are all ingridients in the simmering stew.

Daylight or full dark, value of the object being stolen, gender, race, and age get added to the mix. Add skill of the defense atty and mind set of the Grand Jury to the mix, the stew thickens.

A few years back here in Dallas County, a kid managed to get himself shot in the back of the head while driving away in a, now stolen, car. The shooter and car owner was No-Billed by the Grand Jury. The deed was legal. The kid had a Hispanic surname, the owner/shooter didn't, it was well after dark, and there was lots of video blurb about value of property over life. LULAC was indignant and a couple of City Council members got some TV face time about it.

Point is, if I should drop the hammer, I'd be letting lots of forces out of Pandora's Box.

salty
saltydog452 is offline  
Old October 7, 2011, 03:21 PM   #10
dabigguns357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2008
Location: Ona,West Virginia
Posts: 1,215
Quote:
The other, and I cannot find it now to link,was a case where the fleeing shooter was actually shot in the back of the head and killed.
That other shooting was in the parking lot of a logan walmart and the guy who was killed had stalked his victim from the bank inside all the way across the parking lot.He then pulled a knife and held it to the vic's neck.When he gave him his money the robber let go just as he pulled his gun and thats when the robber took about 3 steps,was shot in the back of the head,collapsed right there and died.

Yes the victim was finally aqiutted and is doing good.It didn't stop the state from pressing charges and taking about 2 months of his life away.I personally think it was justified and justice prevailed for bag guy and victim.
__________________
it's better to have a gun on your hip than one to your head
dabigguns357 is offline  
Old October 7, 2011, 05:16 PM   #11
Bartholomew Roberts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 5,719
Quote:
Originally Posted by shootniron
This inhouse thread brought out much talk about this very matter being expressly criminal and in a couple of posts, likened it to the same action as the attacker initially made against the innocent.
State law matters a lot in the different outcome. I haven't looked at Georgia state law; but some states allow the use of deadly force to prevent a criminal who has committed a forcible felony from fleeing in the immediate aftermath. Pennsylvania (the state where the incident in your second link took place) is not one of those states however. Furthermore, the discussion in the second link was framed as using lethal force in defense of property, not as prevention of a forcible felony.

Different state laws, different set of facts, and different focus (property vs. arrest via deadly force) are going to lead to different conclusions.
Bartholomew Roberts is offline  
Old October 7, 2011, 10:39 PM   #12
shootniron
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2011
Posts: 1,147
Quote:
Furthermore, the discussion in the second link was framed as using lethal force in defense of property, not as prevention of a forcible felony.
There was a discussion within that threat about using force when someone was fleeing after having physically attacked someone...not just the defense of property. It was widely held amongst posters that it was an absolute no-no and that it was criminal.
shootniron is offline  
Old October 7, 2011, 10:48 PM   #13
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
It's almost always a bad idea, illegal or not, and it is in fact almost always illegal, either by penal code or case law. There are a very few situations wherein it would be legal, ethical, wise and safe.

Remember "legal" or "illegal" is only one variable of the equation. The other variables have to be reasonably in your favor as well.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old October 8, 2011, 12:57 AM   #14
youngunz4life
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2010
Location: United States of America
Posts: 1,877
I wouldn't roll the dice on that one myself

but if I was the District Attorney than I wouldn't have filed charges on the son either.
__________________
"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut @ Battle of Mobile Bay 05AUG1864
youngunz4life is offline  
Old October 8, 2011, 04:43 AM   #15
Bartholomew Roberts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 5,719
Quote:
There was a discussion within that threat about using force when someone was fleeing after having physically attacked someone...not just the defense of property. It was widely held amongst posters that it was an absolute no-no and that it was criminal.
You know, I just re-read that thread and I am not seeing "widely held that it was criminal.". I saw a bunch of different posters chiming in with their state law or personal moral beliefs - like the part where you said you'd shoot someone who had hurt your family whether it was legal or not - which in turn prompted a mod to point out that if it was illegal, you would not really be helping them by going on trial for murder.

And the original poster in your second thread was asking whether the nature of the property stolen made a difference in whether you could use lethal force (not reall in most cases).

Again, different set of facts, different state law and different focus of discussion.
Bartholomew Roberts is offline  
Old October 8, 2011, 10:41 AM   #16
MrWesson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2010
Posts: 298
Always remember that a fleeing criminal can shoot while fleeing.

Once shots are fired no sane man is going to keep advancing even while shooting.

Back turned means nothing when they turned to retrieved a dropped weapon or fire blindly while "retreating".
MrWesson is offline  
Old October 8, 2011, 01:50 PM   #17
shootniron
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2011
Posts: 1,147
Quote:
You know, I just re-read that thread and I am not seeing "widely held that it was criminal.". I saw a bunch of different posters chiming in with their state law or personal moral beliefs - like the part where you said you'd shoot someone who had hurt your family whether it was legal or not - which in turn prompted a mod to point out that if it was illegal, you would not really be helping them by going on trial for murder.
BM,

The majority that posted concerning that discussion stated something to the EFFECT that it was criminal or at least close. "Widely" as I used it, was intended to mean majority...which is the term that I should have used.

For the record, it is legal in my state to shoot a fleeing felon if you have knowledge that he is responsible for a forcible felony to include grievous attack.

wide┬Ěly
Adverb:

To a large extent or occurring in many instances or places


My posting this thread was not an attempt to reopen or rehash an old thread, it was mostly because after the thread that you referenced, I had really come to the conclusion that regardless of state law, that if this happened, the shooter would be charged and I was surprised that just recently that I had read of the 2 instances where this happened and the person was not charged.

There has never really been any doubt in my mind that in most instances if this happens, the shooter will be charged. However, I do not think that it is clearcut and, I think, therein lies the dilemma.

Last edited by shootniron; October 8, 2011 at 02:05 PM.
shootniron is offline  
Old October 8, 2011, 06:55 PM   #18
Bud Helms
Staff
 
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 13,014
This discussion probably should have been in L&CR from the gitgo.

Moving.
__________________
"The irony of the Information Age is that it has given new respectability to uninformed opinion." - John Lawton, speaking to the American Association of Broadcast Journalists in 1995
Bud Helms is offline  
Old October 8, 2011, 07:43 PM   #19
Patriot86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2010
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,293
http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.ht...&f=23&t=327706


This happened a few years ago just a bit north of my neck of the woods.

Fleeing suspect peddling away on a bike was shot and killed , no charges filed.

Prosecutors often wont file charges in a case where there is a high risk of losing and a low risk of cutting a deal. In that case, my guess is the prosecutor didnt want to mess up his win/loss percentage
Patriot86 is offline  
Old October 8, 2011, 07:51 PM   #20
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,571
Quote:
However, I do not think that it is clearcut and, I think, therein lies the dilemma.
You're making this a lot more complicated than it is.

Sure, you might be able to get away with shooting a fleeing suspect. It might be that there are unusual laws in your area that could justify it, or it might be that a grand jury won't indict, or it might be that the DA will feel like it's not worth prosecuting. Then again none of those might apply and you may have to battle in court for the chance to stay free.

All of your confusion is the result of your initial premise that shooting at a fleeing criminal is desirable. In reality it's not desirable because it carries unnecessary risk. Not just legal risk to the shooter, but generally other risks as well since many of these encounters take place in populated areas and cranking off rounds in populated areas puts innocents at risk.

Don't shoot at fleeing suspects and you won't be charged. Simple, clearcut, dilemma free.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old October 8, 2011, 08:20 PM   #21
secret_agent_man
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 25, 2011
Posts: 463
Quote:
a person whom he reasonably believes to have committed an offense and who in fact has committed such offense
Hooboy! I would not rely on that statute. Talk about a two edged sword that could cut you bad.
secret_agent_man is offline  
Old October 8, 2011, 08:59 PM   #22
highvel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 21, 2010
Location: Powhatan VA
Posts: 633
I wonder how many have been cut by that sword, oh, that's right they probably can not log on and discuss it from prison

And there are other aspects of a questionable shoot, like money that you used to have, or would have made in the future.
__________________
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.--Mark Twain

"I have opinions of my own 'strong opinions' but I don't always agree with them."--George Bush
highvel is offline  
Old October 8, 2011, 09:02 PM   #23
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
That clause is but one of many reasons why I say it's almost always a bad idea.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old October 9, 2011, 12:05 AM   #24
jimpeel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 11, 1999
Location: Longmont, CO, USA
Posts: 4,488
The perpetrator is not fleeing FROM this crime, he is fleeing TO his next one. More will suffer if he is allowed to do so.
__________________
Gun Control: The premise that a woman found in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is morally superior to allowing that same woman to defend her life with a firearm.

"Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house." - Jules Henri Poincare

"Three thousand people died on Sept. 11 because eight pilots were killed"
-- former Northwest Airlines pilot Stephen Luckey
jimpeel is offline  
Old October 9, 2011, 01:57 AM   #25
ftttu
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2011
Posts: 125
peetzakilla, sorry for not quoting your post but I've forgotten how to do it. But I'm not wrong. You do not have a right to physically discipline your children. Using force against anyone has to be justified. I'm a 20 year veteran law enforcement officer and I have to deal with the use of force every day in the field and in the courtroom setting. If you had a "right" to physically discipline your children, you could whack them anytime, anywhere. Here is the statute below:
Sec. 9.61. PARENT-CHILD. (a) The use of force, but not deadly force, against a child younger than 18 years is justified1) if the actor is the child's parent or stepparent or is acting in loco parentis to the child; and(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is necessary to discipline the child or to safeguard or promote his welfare.

So, if I get called to a child abuse call and mama told me that she slapped her son for accidently spilling milk at the table, charges may be filed. If mama reasonably spanked little son for running after a ball into the road and a car was coming, putting the child in danger, no charges at all. Both cause physical injury but only one was "justified".
ftttu is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.16780 seconds with 7 queries