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Old September 13, 2012, 09:23 PM   #1
jimpeel
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Doing this could get you jail time.

Don't do this!

SOURCE

Quote:
Winslow Township Pharmacist Fires Handgun At Would-Be Robber
September 12, 2012 10:00 PM

By Robin Rieger, Natasha Brown

WINSLOW TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) ...

Police say the pharmacist, identified as Dr. John Agyemang, distracted the suspect by telling him there was someone entering the store. While the suspect turned around, Agyemang ran to the back of the store and got his gun, according to police.

The suspect fled the store, with the pharmacist chasing after him. Authorities say Agyemang fired at least five shots at the suspect outside the pharmacy.
So what's wrong with this picture?

This pharmacist could end up in jail, lose his license, and be denied all further firearms ownership.

Unless the suspect is running away firing over his shoulder at you never, never, never shoot.
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Old September 13, 2012, 09:25 PM   #2
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You'd think a smart guy like a Pharmacist would know his state laws...
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Old September 13, 2012, 09:27 PM   #3
Glenn E. Meyer
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Be specific -in what states can you pursue for a proper crime?
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Old September 13, 2012, 09:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Be specific -in what states can you pursue for a proper crime?
I think Texas is the only one, and there are still conditions -- most notably, "nighttime".
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Old September 13, 2012, 10:11 PM   #5
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In Texas the law says you can shoot to stop a criminal from fleeing the scene of his crime, but personally I wouldnt take a chance on shooting a guy in the back while hes running away. I would not put it past our system for a minute to put you away for that reguardless what the law says.
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Old September 13, 2012, 10:15 PM   #6
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Shooting a man in the back is hard to defend. Always has, always will be.
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Old September 13, 2012, 11:17 PM   #7
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In Texas the law says you can shoot to stop a criminal from fleeing the scene of his crime...
Not necessarily; the law only applies if the shooter believes that the suspect is fleeing with stolen property. A whole slew of other conditions must also be met. The statute is quite complex and is discussed at length in the following thread:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=468327
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Old September 13, 2012, 11:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
So what's wrong with this picture?
He had to run to the back of the store to retrieve his weapon?

It should have read:

Quote:
Police say the pharmacist, identified as Dr. John Agyemang, distracted the suspect by telling him there was someone entering the store. While the suspect turned around, Dr. Agyemang drew his legally concealed handgun and shot the robber several times.
Harsh? Don't point guns at people and demand drugs, money or anything else that does not belong to you.

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Old September 13, 2012, 11:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
...A whole slew of other conditions must also be met. The statute is quite complex...
Correct. Even TX law doesn't give carte blanche to shoot fleeing criminals.
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Old September 13, 2012, 11:39 PM   #10
jimpeel
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The Texas law in question goes back to the days of horse thievery. Several years ago, a guy shot a tow truck driver who was repossessing his car in the middle of the night. He shot at the guy with a scoped rifle.

The keys to the shooting were that he was taking property and it was night time. Texas has a whole bunch of laws that are defined by night or day -- like burglary laws.

In Killing of Repo Man, Law Shields the Killer

In the stated case, here, the guy did not get anything other than the poo scared out of him.

Once a BG is no longer a threat and is retreating you are taking your life, liberty, and fortune in your hands if you shoot him.

The rule of thumb is "When in doubt, don't."
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Old September 14, 2012, 12:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Several years ago, a guy shot a tow truck driver who was repossessing his car in the middle of the night. He shot at the guy with a scoped rifle.

The keys to the shooting were that he was taking property and it was night time.
Actually, even then, the standard of the law wouldn't be met unless the shooter was unaware of the fact that his car was being repossessed.

TX law specifically states that the person must "reasonably believe the other had no claim of right when he dispossessed the" citizen of the property."

Since a repo man does have a claim of right to dispossess the person, he can not be legally shot unless he "accomplished the dispossession by using force, threat, or fraud".

Sounds like the prosecutor wasn't really on the ball...either that or he figured it wouldn't be possible to get an indictment in his area.
Quote:
In the stated case, here, the guy did not get anything other than the poo scared out of him.
It's also quite likely that he got to defend himself in a civil suit. Unlike self-defense encounters in the home which can offer protection from civil suits under the castle doctrine law, shooting over property leaves all civil remedies unaffected.

Here's some additional information on shooting to protect/recover property in TX.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...9&postcount=18

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...4&postcount=26
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Old September 14, 2012, 12:52 AM   #12
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shooting in Winslow Township NJ

What exit?
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Old September 14, 2012, 04:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Today's Pharmacists are not what they used to be.
Many only pursue the career because they heard the pay was good. Once they find out they wasted 5-8 years of their lives on school, for mediocre pay and a job they hate; they give up, stop paying attention to much of anything, and have to spend the next 20 years working 80 hours a week to pay off their student loans ...until they make a mistake that gets their license revoked.
As a former pharmacist before I made the switch into my current career field, I read that with some amusement... A blatant generalization with a grain of truth in it.
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Old September 14, 2012, 08:18 AM   #14
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Defense of Property

These are the Texas Penal Code Provsions on the use of force in protecting property. I've left out the parts that have nothing to do with someone fleeing.

Quote:
Sec. 9.41. PROTECTION OF ONE'S OWN PROPERTY.
(a) * * *
(b) A person unlawfully dispossessed of . . . tangible, movable property by another is justified in using force against the other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to . . . recover the property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession and:
(1) the actor reasonably believes the other had no claim of right when he dispossessed the actor; or
(2) the other accomplished the dispossession by using force, threat, or fraud against the actor.

Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect . . . tangible, movable property:
(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and
(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) * * * or
(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and
(3) he reasonably believes that:
(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or
(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.
I don't know if the phrase "during the nighttime" applies to "burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft" or just theft. If you are doing contingency planning, I'd ask a lawyer first.

I'm not going to shoot someone running away with my TV at night. I'll just hope they trip on some of the tools scattered in the front yard and get hurt.

It would have to be something that represented a very large portion of my material or emotional life before I shot someone like that. I can't even imagine what those things would be.
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Old September 14, 2012, 09:25 AM   #15
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I think people are looking at the wrong subset of statutes.

IE, I don't see this as a "When can you shoot to stop somebody who is stealing your property?" question.

I see this more as a "When can you shoot to stop an armed, violent, fleeing felon who poses potential danger to the community?" question.

The answers to those two questions are often very different.
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Old September 14, 2012, 09:54 AM   #16
silvrjeepr
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A few years ago, a fellow shot at a burglar fleeing his place of business. He missed and the shot went through a wall and killed a little girl across the street. It was very sad as I knew both the shooter and the girl's family. The shooter received a fairly stiff prison sentence.
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Old September 14, 2012, 10:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
It should have read:

Quote:
Police say the pharmacist, identified as Dr. John Agyemang, distracted the suspect by telling him there was someone entering the store. While the suspect turned around, Dr. Agyemang drew his legally concealed handgun and shot the robber several times
That would have been my preference as well.

Fleeing, without anything that belongs to you and having not actually harmed anyone, generally speaking shooting at them is a no-no.

Being that the guy was a scumbag anyways, I hope the pharmacist gets cut some slack but I also hope he learns a valuable lesson as a result
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Old September 14, 2012, 10:20 AM   #18
jasmith85
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Quote:
A few years ago, a fellow shot at a burglar fleeing his place of business. He missed and the shot went through a wall and killed a little girl across the street. It was very sad as I knew both the shooter and the girl's family. The shooter received a fairly stiff prison sentence.
This right here is why I would be perfectly fine with the pharmacist getting criminal charges brought up against him. Assuming he didn't hit the suspect he fired "at least five shots" towards him and could have shot anyone. If it had happened in his pharmacy I would be on his side, but the way I take this article is he chased him out into a public street and started firing.
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Old September 14, 2012, 11:48 AM   #19
jimpeel
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I actually have no problem with shooting a fleeing violent armed perpetrator. He is not just fleeing from his current crime, he is fleeing to his next crime where his victim(s) might not fare as well.
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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.

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"Three thousand people died on Sept. 11 because eight pilots were killed"
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Old September 14, 2012, 12:03 PM   #20
aarondhgraham
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Does "heat of the moment" apply?

Does "heat of the moment" apply?

I doubt if it would for the pharmacist.

Look at the recent video of the older man in that Florida Internet Cafe,,,
He started firing and kept firing after the bad guy(s) turned and fled.

There was never a pause in the action,,,
He started firing when they were facing him,,,
And kept on firing until they were out of the door.

I as a reasonable person see nothing wrong with that,,,
He was acting in the heat of the moment.

People under attack shouldn't be expected to walk such a fine line,,,
As knowing the exact second that they should stop firing.

Now the pharmacist scenario is a different thing,,,
He was past the heat of the moment,,,
He should not have fired.

Kind of like the pharmacist in Oklahoma,,,
The immediate threat had passed yet he fired again,,,
In one way it pained me to see him convicted of 1st degree murder,,,
But the initial threat was over and he clearly was not in harms way any more.

My take on this might be a bit provincial,,,
But if I am pulling my gun on an armed assailant,,,
I'm going to keep shooting until he's down or absolutely fleeing.

If he has simply turned his back to me for a moment,,,
How am I to know if he's disengaging or seeking cover to fire at me from?

Judging when to stop firing seems as difficult as when to start firing.

Aarond

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Old September 14, 2012, 05:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
I actually have no problem with shooting a fleeing violent armed perpetrator. He is not just fleeing from his current crime, he is fleeing to his next crime where his victim(s) might not fare as well.
Right, so while it may not be legal to shoot a fleeing criminal on the grounds that the criminal is in flight, it may be perfectly legal to shooting a fleeing criminal you feel is endangering the public.

In the Jerome Ersland case, this did come up specificially and the DA discussed the matter and noted that Ersland, in his shooting pursuit of the fleeing armed robber (who stole nothing and who never fired a shot) was n his rights to do so. The robber was an obvious danger to the public. Of course, then getting a gun and pumping several rounds into the unconscious robber on the floor is where Ersland screwed up, but until that time, according to the DA, the video indicated nothing illegal on the part of Ersland.

From the story in the OP, I have a feeling that the pharmacist was not protecting the public. He was chasing and shooting the robber out of "contempt of victim" which would be a lot like "contempt of cop" where cops go overboard for transgressions against them.
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Old September 16, 2012, 01:13 PM   #22
Woody55
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@Jimpeel,

Quote:
I actually have no problem with shooting a fleeing violent armed perpetrator. He is not just fleeing from his current crime, he is fleeing to his next crime where his victim(s) might not fare as well.
I carefully read chapter 9 of the Texas Penal Code with deals with justification including all of the defense of self, others, property etc. There isn't anything that would justify a civilian shooting a fleeing felon unless the civilian did so in the presence and at the direction of a police officer.

I don't know about Colorado law, but in Texas if someone is running away you can't shoot him because he is running towards his next crime.
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Old September 16, 2012, 01:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimpeel
I actually have no problem with shooting a fleeing violent armed perpetrator....
However a DA/grand jury/trial jury very well might.
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Old September 16, 2012, 02:11 PM   #24
MLeake
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I have read laws for some states that would allow this, but generally the shooter has to have witnessed the violent crime, and has to believe the perpetrator will pose an immediate threat to others if allowed to escape.

I don't have time right now to do a look-up, but Frank Ettin may be able to elaborate.
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Old September 16, 2012, 06:07 PM   #25
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Judge and jury

It is presumptive, to say the least, that you have the right and implied responsiblity to shoot an alleged criminal on the way to who knows where. This is similar to the thinking of Zimmerman that shot Martin in Florida. Zimmerman assumed that Martin had to be a criminal, and in the end, an innocent kid was capped. Guns don't endow any of us with some superior god like power to make those judgements.

Misuse of firearms will always feed the anitgun crowd. Even percieved misuse will be twisted and used to the disadvantage of gun owners.
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