View Full Version : What Do You Do If You Are Involved In A Shooting?

August 7, 2006, 01:57 PM
I Found these guidelines for CCW holders if your involved in a shooting. I thought they would be helpful information. It's a nice reminder for me.

You have the right to have an attorney. You have the right to refuse to answer questions. You have a right to exercise these rights. You also have the right to appear suspicious even if you're innocent of any wrong doing, but why would you want to? Right, you wouldn't.

It may not look to good to the officers on the scene if you appear to be uncooperative. So be cooperative in an intelligent way. In a way that helps the police do their job while still maintaining your freedom, your rights, and your credibility.

Do not lie to the police
Do not make stuff up to make your actions look better
Do not exaggerate
Say as little as possible, without alienating the investigators, until you speak with an attorney. Be cooperative but inform the police you need time to regain your composure. Convey the following points
Make the point that you were in fear for your life and that you tried to stop (and if true took actions to avoid) the attack. I said stop the attack. I did not say kill the attacker. There is a difference. If the attacker dies as a result of your actions, so be it, that is different than having the intentions of killing the attacker - which may be justifiable but it is a hell of a lot more diplomatic and smarter to express concerns for your safety than running at the mouth about "killing that son of a bitch." Your primary concern was about keeping yourself safe and alive not killing that predator.
Get in contact with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible
Know this - the police are not your friends. They are professionals who have a job to do and you are on a crime scene. They do not know if you are the victim or the perpetrator. They do not know if your actions are reasonable, they are trying to determine that. They are there to investigate what has happened. Let them do their job, but don't hurt yourself in the process by running at the mouth.
After you have communicated the necessary information to the police - you should be in a position to read their reactions to your story and you may get a feel for how they will handle this in their report. Be a sympathetic figure. Once they have gotten their information from you, remember Silence is Golden.

Provide the police with the basic information they need. How the events went down and that you used deadly force because you were fearful for your life. You resisted to save your life. Right now, you are too upset to go into any further details and that you will speak with them as soon as you have a chance to calm down (within the next 24-36 hours). Use this time to get an attorney. Follow your attorney's advice.

There's no nice way to shoot someone.

August 7, 2006, 02:09 PM
Good stuff... thank you :)

August 7, 2006, 02:19 PM
50% good advice...50% anti LEO. I would just "line up" a Criminal Defense attorney if the shooting was done while defending your home because 99% of the time you will not need one. If your shooting involves some outside altercation (even if it is in your driveway), contact an attorney. As long as you tell the truth and you are not hot tempered or acting like a wannabe cop or rambo, you will be fine.

August 7, 2006, 02:31 PM

August 7, 2006, 02:59 PM
Of course, you may be an incoherent blob of shock and unable to say a blinkin' thing. It is a good idea to have in mind who you would call. Probably NOT your spouse, btw...you need somebody who can be a little less emotional than they will be. Your minister/priest/rabbi/whatever, your lawyer, or a really good friend. Somebody who can look out for you at a time that you may not really be very functional yourself.

BTW, our CHL instructor noted that if you ever have to shoot, call TWO ambulances. One for the other guy, and one for yourself. You may not have a scratch on you, but you're going to likely need the attention.

Here's hoping none of us will ever need this advice.


August 7, 2006, 04:16 PM
All of this is good, but also remember that when you are shaking like a leaf in the wind, coming down from a huge adrenaline dump after having just wondered whether you were about to die, your tendency is going to be to spill your guts. You will jumble words. You will say things that you didn't mean to say, things that aren't true the way you accidentally said them. The English language will leave you. You won't be intelligible, and anything that you say will be misunderstood/misconstrued/taken out of context/USED AGAINST YOU in a court of law.

The only real thing you should be able to say at the moment the police arrive is, "That guy was going to kill me!" This statement had BETTER be true. Otherwise, you probably weren't justified in shooting at him. After that, the police should have everything they need. If they don't, they can get it for themselves, from someone ELSE.

Once you've made the only relevant statement you need to make, I see absolutely NO reason not to clam-up. If the cop has any more questions, tell him you are too rattled, and you can't talk right now. If he insists that you tell him what happened, repeat that you are too shaken up, and you can't talk right now. Then, ask if you can call for a ride home. If he won't let you leave, ask if you're under investigation, or if you're being charged with anything. If he says no, but still won't let you leave, ask for a lawyer and clam-up. If, at any point, he says that you'll have to come with him, ask for a lawyer and clam-up.

And, above all else, if you're not sure whether or not you need a lawyer, the answer is: YES, you need one. Ask for a lawyer, and clam-up!

August 7, 2006, 06:29 PM
You resisted to save your life. Right now, you are too upset to go into any further details and that you will speak with them as soon as you have a chance to calm down (within the next 24-36 hours).

I'm sure 24-36 hours in jail will really calm you down.

Say nothing and use your phone call wisely. It may be a while before you get that call so practice keeping quiet in your spare time.

Following the logic of this post I might as well send a letter to the police letting them know I might stand my ground someday and to be ready!

August 7, 2006, 08:59 PM
Handle the situation anyway you want. I just think that a lot of people that won't react with candor in this situation. Anyway, I hope we never have to be in this situation. But it's possible someday to have to deal with this issue if you shoot a BG is self defense. Actually, I would perfer to have the BG's die in the shoot out to avoid any kind of civil suits after the BG's recovered from his wounds.


August 7, 2006, 09:41 PM
You know what ORdude you have a point. I have been known to say some dumb stuff at the wrong time. I have said "Have a nice day" to a widow at her husband's funeral:o I guess I could slip up and say something stupid like" he got what he deserved" or something that would raise red flags to a responding LEO.

August 7, 2006, 11:29 PM
If I kill someone in self defense I don't think I would have the guts to go to his funeral I really think you would be the last person the family of the bad guy you killed in self defense would like to attend the furneral.

But if you want to attend please do, I'm sure you'll be the center of attention.


August 8, 2006, 12:14 AM
Remember too that if you are "taken downtown" and offered that phone call, there is no guarantee someone isn't listening to at least your half of the conversation. What you don't want is some officer listening to you call your wife.

"Honey, call Dewey, Cheatum & Howe and tell counselor Howe I'm in jail."
"Yah. Some guy tried to rob me."
"I can't go into it right now. Just call Howe."
"I dunno, an ambulance took him. I don't know yet."
"Look, just call Howe, will you?"
"No they're not telling me much. Will you just call the #(*$ lawyers?"
"Dammit, I don't give a $*#@ about that dirty $*@#, just call the #(*$ lawyers! Now!"
"Okay. Good. Thank you."

And for what it's worth, once you've made a preliminary statement to the cops -- who you are, the essentials of what happened -- if they keep asking questions, tell them you're too shaken and add.. "I think I'm gonna be sick!" Usually they'll not want to be real close to you after that.

August 8, 2006, 01:06 AM
About 18 months ago some [email protected]$$ed punk stomped a 60-something guy to death in my fair city during a robbery where the victim had nuthin. Punk pled out cuz his lying-sac cronies couldn't keep their storys together and punk did a sloppy job setting an alibi.

Both families attended the sentencing which was more severe than [email protected]$$es' [email protected]$$ed family expected and probably less than the victim's thought was fair...something like 20-25 years.

One of the [email protected]$$ Clan hollered, "What do you think, the old guy was going to live forever?"

Yelling, pushing, shoving and minor fists flashed...til my city's finest, who were there in force for the occasion, stopped it.

August 8, 2006, 07:46 AM
Call 911 and request an Ambulance.
If you make any comment, without an attorney say "I shot to live".
Do not:
Say I shot somebody.

August 8, 2006, 08:56 AM
Sometimes we tend to make things more complicated than necessary. If I'm involved in a legitimate self-defense shooting and the police arrive, they're going to see me, a Republican, standing there with a firearm, and they're going to see a Democrat lying dead/wounded. They'll know who the good guy is. :p

August 8, 2006, 11:38 AM
Serious question - does a self-defense shooting always have to be a life and death affair? What if it were a situation where you were being threatened with bodily harm? Do you have to take 'X' number of punches before you can draw your weapon or are you justified from the beginning?

Obviously witnesses help, but I for one dont relish the idea of getting beat up, losing teeth, etc....

Very interested in hearing other people's opinions/views.


August 8, 2006, 01:19 PM
Lawyer up.
While some of the police may agree with your actions if they are justified, they are not he ones who will be making a decision to prosecute. That is made by a Commonwealth’s Attorney (or State's Attorney). Local politics will determine any lean they have.
Do not mislead anyone, just say you are confused and want to speak with your attorney. This should bring any further questioning to a complete halt.
Do as requested, but say nothing further.

August 8, 2006, 03:19 PM
I have been in the situation of calling 911, and when they arrived, seeing them tense when they saw what was a cell phone in my hand but which, at night, can look like a handgun; they took me, for a second, for the assailant I was calling about. Based on that, before I worried about legal problems, after any shooting I was involved in, I would make sure I told the 911 operator clearly to alert the police that one of the men at the scene had a legally registered handgun and made sure I described myself well. This would be especially true if I had I had to keep the weapon out for any reason.Make clear to the cops that YOU are not the assailant. Then you can deal with police questions.

August 8, 2006, 03:55 PM
How about always carring an unregistered weapon, wipe off the prints after the shooting, then toss it in the river?? Just kidding

August 8, 2006, 06:10 PM
You may not have a scratch on you, but you're going to likely need the attention.

why, if your not hurt?

August 8, 2006, 06:46 PM
Serious question - does a self-defense shooting always have to be a life and death affair? What if it were a situation where you were being threatened with bodily harm? Do you have to take 'X' number of punches before you can draw your weapon or are you justified from the beginning?
You can only use deadly force against someone who is threatening your life. In most cases, a fist-fight does not call for the use of deadly force. There was a case in California where a man shot and killed another who was instigated a fight. He was found guilty and lost his appeal on the second try.

Here's what the court decided:
"The only intent on the part of the victim was to engage defendant in fisticuffs, to "beat him up," and the evidence did not establish that the victim was so physically overwhelming that defendant had reason to fear great bodily injury from such an encounter."

August 8, 2006, 07:15 PM
my attorney has advised me to not discuss anything about the incident until he gets there. What you say can and probably will be used against you.

James K
August 8, 2006, 07:34 PM
First, you are obliged to answer police questions up to the point where you receive the Miranda warning. If you claim to be too shook up to do so, you better make it convincing. After you hear "right to remain silent", exercise that right; say nothing unless your attorney is present. But don't babble or run at the mouth. Most specially, don't brag, or mouth off about your shooting ability, your guns, your ammunition, how you'd "rather be tried by 12..." Don't go beyond the facts. And whatever you do, don't go into a racist rant if the victim happens to be of a different color.

A major point to consider for gun lovers is that if you shoot someone or even fire your gun, you WILL be ordered to drop your gun. If you are so in love with your sooperdooper sexed up, cool, 1911 that you refuse to allow it to be damaged by dropping, you may well die with it in your hand.

If you carry a gun, keep an attorney on retainer. Always. Make sure his phone will be covered 24/7. Memorize the number, they will allow you a phone call; they don't have to allow you to have your wallet or your PA with your address list.

Think about bail. Bail in a shooting can range into the hundreds of thousands. A bail bondsman wants 10 percent as his fee, and that is NOT refundable. So if your bond is $500k, someone better find $50k pretty quick or you can enjoy jail food for a long time. Before carrying a gun, consider whether you want your parents or your wife to have to get a second mortgage to get you out of jail.

And don't even think of skipping bail. If you think cops are bad, they are pansies compared to bail agents. Those guys will follow you anywhere and they do not always play by the rules the cops are supposed to follow.


August 8, 2006, 07:56 PM
I think this very useful information if anyone has to fire upon another human in an act of self defense. I know we all would like to be prepared this in case this this grin reality ever happens, and I know most normal law abiding people wouldn't want this experience, nor would I. However, a percentage of us may face this possibility some day, and how we react could have an impact on how the shooting is viewed by LEO and the courts.

I think the bottom line is to try to avoid this situation if at all possible and get a good lawyer if you have to shoot someone in self defense.

Once again thanks for your input to this post.


August 8, 2006, 08:43 PM
"First, you are obliged to answer police questions up to the point where you receive the Miranda warning."

You are not "obliged" to do any such thing.
Do not answer any questions. Not a single one.
"I need to speak with my attorney." is the only phrase you should say.
Nothing else.
You have just shot someone. Self defense is an 'affirmative defense'. This means you admit to the shooting (and possibly a homicide) and then must prove your actions justified (or excusable, or other state specific language).
About the only thing you must do in some locations is identifying yourself.
Hand your drivers license to the police and SHUT UP.

August 9, 2006, 02:58 PM
Posted Jun 19, 05:25
From John Farnam of Defense Training International www.defense-training.com

14 June 2006
Two important points from Skip Gochenour's lecture at the 2006 National Tactical Invitational.. Skip is involved with the criminal justice system daily, and these two points should be kept in mind by all of us:
In the wake of a deadly-force incident in which you were involved:

(1) Let your lawyer do all the talking!

(2) "Self-defense" is a justification only available when your actions were intentional. "Self-defense" may not be invoked to justify" accidents!
Your lawyer can have his facts all mixed up. He can tell outrageous lies.
You can fire him on Monday morning, and probably should! However, when talking with investigators and prosecutors, HE CAN GET YOUR SIDE OF THE STORY BEFORE THEM WITHOUT STATEMENTS THAT ARE ATTRIBUTABLE TO YOU! You needn't worry about what he says, to anyone. You need only worry about what you say.

It 's your statements, even inadvertent ones, that will come back to haunt you.

For example: When you intimate or even suggest, however subtly, that your use of deadly force was, in fact, accidental, from that point forward "self-defense" will no longer be available to you as a justification for what you did. A negligent discharge (ND) that results in an injury or death is a negligent homicide, and it cannot be subsequently converted to "self-defense," no matter what the person was doing when he was shot. STATEMENTS AS INNOCENT-SOUNDING AS, "I 'M SORRY." "I DIDN'T MEAN TO" or "I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS HAPPENED" ARE ALL THUS PERNICIOUSLY INCRIMINATING. Such statements must never leave your lips!

Those of us who go armed neglect the foregoing at our peril.

created by [email protected]
Copyright © 2006 by DTI, Inc. All rights reserved.
created on Wednesday June 14, 2006 23:59:2 MST

Refinements, from a student who is a well-known and respected criminal defense attorney:
"I cannot count the number of times I've heard a client say, "They wanted to interview me, and we talked a little, but I didn't tell them ANYTHING. I was very careful.' Then, I get the discovery, including the report on the interview. It invariably includes a full confession, plus additional damaging statements, repeated multiple times. Great beginning for our defensive strategy!

The only thing that I believe a person should tell police who arrive at a hot scene (not all lawyers agree) is:

(1) 'Thank heaven you're here!'

(2) 'I'm the one who called.'

(3) 'A man broke into our house and tried to murder us.' (adjust as ecessary)
(4) 'I'll be happy to answer all your questions, as soon as my lawyer is here.'
The only additional statements I advise are:

Tell arriving officers about: (1) active threats, (2) innocent people in the area (3) evidence, and (4) witnesses. These are important to the case, to the safety of officers and others, and may not be obvious.

Those statements, while still not risk-free, are appropriate and reasonable, and I think there is a moral duty to provide information which DIRECTLY effects the safety of officers and the discovery of truth."

created by [email protected]
Copyright © 2006 by DTI, Inc. All rights reserved.
created on Thursday June 15, 2006 23:59:2 MST


August 9, 2006, 03:04 PM
Media Tactics
By Victoria Deaton
E-mail: [email protected]

Here goes...off the cuff...my basic rule on how to deal with reporters (mostly TV) when they show up at the shooting scene, and later on at your door and at the courthouse. I'll try and post a more concise version later. Grab a cup of coffee. It's a very long post but subtle nuances are important here. I'm not supporting or damning the media, just giving y'all a feel for what usually happens. If you have a shooting buddy, and you feel pretty comfortable with what I'm outlining, discuss a media plan with him and your attorney in case a shooting occurs to give you some level of preparedness. You may need your buddy as a designated family spokesman. Don't identify him as a shooting sports partner...just a "friend of the family".

I'll assume the shooting happened in a public place, making it a bit more high-profile, like in a road-rage situation where good guy and bad guy aren't immediately evident, unlike a situation where some guy broke into your house at night. The following thoughts are based on heavy media coverage in a town that has a big newspaper, several TV stations, and a neighboring town that has the same. You might get lucky and just get a reporter or two. Unless your local law enforcement agency's jurisdiction has 800MHz systems you can expect the media to show up shortly after the law enforcement officers are dispatched to the shooting scene. 800Mhz systems can cut down on what the media pick up on the scanner, but some law enforcement agency's are providing the media with 800 MHz receive-only radios upon request. In short, you may have to deal with reporters and cameras during one of the most stressful moments of your life. Stay cool, and take care of business.

At the scene, don't duck the cameras. It makes you look guilty. Never, EVER put your hand over or on the lens of a camera, or get in a shoving match with a photographer. It makes you look guilty and evasive, and the photographer in most jurisdictions can and will press charges. Most of all, it makes you look physically aggressive — not a good thing at this time. If you are in a patrol car, don't duck down; don't cover your head. If the officer can give you a copy of a report or even a piece of useless paper to look at, it's even better to look occupied. If not, a simple nod to a camera is okay. Do NOT talk to reporters or answer questions yelled at you. They will be set up in a line along the crime scene tape and a camera will always be on you. Reporters will be talking to the designated law enforcement officer spokesperson. There might be choppers overhead. Live vans and sat trucks will set up on sidewalks. The circus has come to town.

At some point you may have to walk into your local courthouse/police department. Expect cameras during this "walkdown". Again, don't duck. If you're cuffed in front, ask the law enforcement officer if you can fold a shirt or jacket over the cuffs. Photographers will be walking alongside, ahead, and behind you and scurrying pretty quickly. This is a function of having to have walkdown shots that are 30 seconds long plus having shots to edit, so they're gonna be moving pretty quickly and jockeying for position. Don't misinterpret this as aggression. Again, a nod is fine. Do NOT say anything more than "It's best I don't talk to you guys yet." if anything at all. Always use conversational language whenever possible. Walk tall. Don't slouch. Don't appear cocky. Just walk normally. You can do anything for 3 minutes and that's all the media wants at that point: pictures and maybe some sound (TV slang for "interview") with one of the folks involved in the shooting. Pray for a tornado, hurricane, landslide, meteorite...anything to divert crews (manpower) to other stories.

If you have an attorney at this point, coordinate a statement of some sort and contact your family to make sure they get the same message. The media will descend upon your house to get a shot of where you live and will probably knock on the door. If it was up to me, and if it's a high profile shooting, I'd put my family in a hotel room for a few days. Expect live trucks on the street. Expect your neighbors to be asked questions. The line your family is to use is "hi, guys...sorry, we just can't talk right now" if they are getting in the car to come down to the PD. Conversational english. Non-adversarial.

Reporters have deadlines. TV reporters have to have pictures and an interview for that deadline. TV folks will need something for 12 noon, 5pm, 530pm, 6pm, and 11pm, and the stuff will get regurgitated for the early am show at 6am or whatever; they call this "feeding the monster"--a huge demand for fresh pictures and interviews. They are not interviewing you because they want to or want to "nail" you. They are there because of managers who are competing to be #1 with the story, and that crew is the one that got dispatched. Don't take it personally. Depending on whether the shooting was a big deal they will do liveshots, and photographers will be looking for pictures. Did you use a pistol or an AR-15? Expect to see a shot on the news of a law enforcement officer handling it, and boy does that AR look big as hell. Simple COM (center of mass) shots from a Glock 19? Pictures of the brass on the street. A 12ga. fired at near point-blank range leaving a mess on the bad guy's car? Depending on the video standards (rules of what gore can be used on-air) at a station, that mess from the shotgun may show up. Shootings are ugly. The pictures won't be of you fighting for your life so that you can go home to your family, but of the aftermath. I think about these things because I've seen them for the past 12+ years and unfortunately the expected post-shooting media exposure affects my shoot/no-shoot decisions.

August 9, 2006, 03:06 PM
Media Tactics (part two)
By Victoria Deaton
E-mail: [email protected]

You can't control the pictures at the scene but at least you can control the soundbites from your "team" that go on TV and the quotes in the paper. Have your attorney work with someone you designate as a family representative, like your shooting buddy (who may better understand a defensive shooting situation than your non-shooting neighbor Barney does). First, get control of your personal situation: handle the Law enforcement officers, get your attorney on the horn, and call your family. Then use the attorney and your designated family spokesman to provide the media with a statement if they are on the story big time, even if the statement doesn't amount to much. Once it's approved by the attorney, have your friend Joe Soundbite go to the house, if that's where the media are camped out. If at all possible, give them a statement away from the house to draw them away from your family and neighbors. (If you ever once carted a shotgun out to your car on the way to the gunsmith and a clueless neighbor saw it, you can expect a soundbite on TV to the effect of "yeah, he was always playing with guns" or something stupid like that.)

Spokesman: "Hi, I'm Joe Soundbite, and since Fred Defendant is over at the police department helping out with the report, he's designated me to give you guys a brief statement. Before we get going, I'd like to ask for your help. First, we'd appreciate it if you folks will respect his family and give them some room. No one here in the house is going to make a statement. Second, any questions about the situation will need to be directed towards Todd Louis Green, his attorney, who will give you folks more info since he's working closely with the PD and with Fred. This okay? Good. Now I'm going to make a statement. You guys ready?(they'll all nod since they've been rolling tape all this time---it just makes you look as cooperative as possible) I can't answer any questions, but Fred is uninjured (or is being treated or whatever). He told the police that he'd cooperate in any way necessary. The situation happened while he was on his way to work/lunch/whatever. It's a stressful time for everyone involved, and we're cooperating fully with the authorities."
Two things have happened. You've gotten the message out that you don't want the media hounding you (more on that later) and you've given them a miniscule soundbite ("it happened on the way to work...he's cooperating") which is something benign but usable. Make sure your buddy sticks to the script. Keep the tone conversational, like you're telling your employees about a new policy. Firm, but conversational.

After the statement, the media will attempt to get more information. Joe Soundbite, your friend/spokesman, is to smile, shake his head, and say, "Geez guys, I can't give you any more than that since everyone is so busy and I don't have much info. But if you guys will help out and not hassle the family, we'll help out by giving you guys what you need in time to meet deadlines. Have you talked to the cops? They've been very helpful to us. Perhaps they can give you more than I can." He's identified Law enforcement officers as being "helpful" to you (that's subtle), and then ended the impromptu press conference.

This sort of deal making usually works when you've got a shooter who has been already identified as being in a "self-defense shooting". Remember the advice in other posts to tell cops "I' was afraid for my life"? That's a good thing. Remember that if it is a justifiable shooting, and the basic facts come out soon afterwards (reporters will interview law enforcement officer spokespeople on the scene) then you have a very good chance of working with media that will understand early on that it was a justifiable shooting. Good newspeople (they do still exist) will recognize the dynamics.
You can expect calls from the newspaper and TV stations all day and into the night and for a while after the shooting, so prepare your family accordingly. Stick to your spokesman unless your spouse is up to it. Joe or Spouse Soundbite is to repeat the script. Change a few words here and there as the hours progress so they have something different to put on the air...again, it's a sort of trade. If you give them tidbits to appease their editors and producers so that they can feed the monster, they'll give you a bit of room. They may contact your employer to find out what kind of person you are. Don't be surprised if they look for any criminal history...anything on the record will show up, particularly if the shooting has any hint of being anything other than self-defense. Going before a magistrate? If the magistrate permits, you may have cameras on you there as well.
When coming out of the Police Department, after talking to your attorney, you'll have another walkdown the same as before. Best to have your attorney come out, talk to reporters, and give a brief statement. If he's media savvy, he'll give the ground rules, just like Joe Soundbite did (see how this is coordinated?). It goes something like this:

Attorney: "Hey guys, gather round and I'll tell you what's up. First, no cameras for a second, okay? Fred is finishing up with the Police. It's been a long day, and we'd appreciate it if you'd give him and his family some room. That okay? Can you do that? We know you need statements and pictures, so here's the deal. He won't run from you guys if you don't chase him. I'm gonna give you guys a statement, answer as many questions as I can, and then we'll see if Fred is done and we'll walk out. How about we come out this door, we'll get in the elevator, and walk out the front door. He'll walk to the end of the block here and then we're gonna get in the car and that'll be it for today."

The attorney answers questions; his style at that point is his choice. He goes back and gets Fred (you), but before he comes out the door, he comes back out to the herd of reporters and says "we're about ready". What this does is look like you are cooperating fully, helping out the media who have been camped out not knowing when you'd appear. In essence, you are controlling your appearance, which is better than running the gauntlet. Give them a bit of what they want after setting up the guidelines. Most of the time, attorneys will help their client sneak out a back door. When that happens, media members form an impromptu "pool" that temporarily puts media competitors on the same team and increases resources...they will assign photographers to each door, with the agreement that whoever gets the video will share it with the other competing station. Again, give them a little bit, and they'll usually back off and won't resort to pool tactics or pack mentality. It works 90% of the time.

Do not discuss the case in any way shape or form. Don't give much personal information other than the most positive (Sunday school teacher, etc). Don't let anyone who is making statements say stuff like "Fred is well-trained...shoots IDPA...is on a tactics list." It will come out as "Fred trained to do this sort of shooting." THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OFF THE RECORD, AND CAMERAS ARE ALWAYS ROLLING. It's the media version of "treat every gun as if it's loaded". Never let your guard down. Don't say anything stupid. Also, wireless mics are pretty much standard nowadays in TV. It's unethical, but sometimes a reporter will show up on a doorstep with no camera with the intention of getting someone on the record...with a photographer nearby recording the audio and pictures. Never be afraid to ask if you are being recorded (and ask them to stop if necessary and insist on an off-camera interview), and always assume that you are being recorded anyway to be safe. A good reporter will knock on the door, politely ask if you (or family member) will consent to be interviewed on camera. If not, will you make a statement off-camera? If not, can they get pictures of you and the reporter talking but without sound? You may feel like not saying anything, and that is your right. But if nothing else, comply with the last one (reasons follow), but be sure and ask if they are recording the conversation. Remember that while you may not want to give a statement, the victim's family certainly will, and it is best to be on the record in some way that makes you human. But do it in a controlled fashion. Never lose your cool, even if the reporter is a jerk. Let your attorney handle the folks who are on your private property against your wishes *after* you have officially, politely asked them to leave. Have your attorney place a phone call to the station's general manager or the newspaper's publisher. Crap rolls downhill, and no news director wants to hear from their boss that an employee was acting unethically. Expect to hear some sort of excuse about "reporting the news", so don't bother calling unless it's over-the-top aggressive tactics.

If the police report comes out favorably to the shooter, have the attorney, or family member, leak a copy of it. Send it first to the reporters who are cooperating with your request for some privacy.

Do NOT threaten reporters/photographers. One incident a few years back had a shooter threatening to *shoot* reporters if they came on his property. Not good <g>. If they do come onto your property, let the cops know. If the shooting happened on your property, the media will be behind crime scene tape and that distance is determined by Law enforcement officers. They will also look for other angles, like the street behind your house.

August 9, 2006, 03:08 PM
Media Tactics (part three)
By Victoria Deaton
E-mail: [email protected]

Take a look at your property and where the public right-of-way is. Once the crime scene tape comes down, the media knows where the right of way is and will sit there. This means that they can't sit on your lawn, but they can shoot from the sidewalk, or across the street. Remember that if you take an adversarial position with them, they will find ways to get pictures that are worse than those that you control--i.e, the controlled walkdown, the statement on the steps, etc. If you can get them away from your house by keeping all the statements at the PD or attorney's office, even better.
Also remember that the victim's family will be involved and may be interviewed. They *will* provide pictures of the victim to the media. As you can expect, the picture won't be of a snarling, crazed gunman who pulled a gun on you. It will be a picture of him at a family cookout or some pre-crack-addiction picture with him smiling and looking nice and neat, or him accepting the employee of the year award at work. You'll hear the relatives say "He was a great dad/son...he never hurt anyone...now what will we do now that Sally has no daddy?" That picture and interview will be shown in the same report as your picture going into the courthouse. The victim's family can talk for hours and make themselves heard to every reporter who will interview them. You're stuck with short soundbites through your attorney and spokesman at first. This is why image is so darned important. If the shooting incident goes as far as to change legislation (the Seagroves shooting in NC, for example) the pictures will be trotted out for years to come whenever the issue arises. Image is everything. Don't lose your cool. Take care of business with the Law enforcement officers and your attorney, then take care of your family. Make sure if you have kids that you help them deal with the focus that will be on your family. Keep young kids away from the TV initially since the pictures from the scene may be frightening to them. As soon or someone you trust has time, explain in appropriate detail the situation and the resulting publicity. Your kids may take some crap at school; your kid's teacher or guidance counselor may be able to help. Again, never release any info that may come back to haunt you.

Never play up to the camera. No Bible-thumping. No false tears (remember Susan Smith? Every newsroom in the county knew within 10 seconds of her first interview that she was guilty). No matter what you think of the media, there are usually professionals here and there in very market who will give balanced reports right up until the point where they feel you are manipulating them beyond what can be reasonably expected, but no further. Understand what they need to "feed the monster", give them enough to keep them out of your hair, but do not give them anything that will ever come back to haunt you.

Just my 2¢ worth. The counsel of your attorney and local Law enforcement officers takes precedence and none of this is legal advice.YMMV, etc. I'll be more than happy to answer any specific questions and I promise I won't be as long-winded.

Victoria Deaton is a Photojournalist with over 12 years of experience working for major news organizations. She is also an avid shooter and an advocate of the 2nd Amendment and carrying concealed weapons.

This article was originally posted to the "Tactics List,"
an e-mail listserve sponsored by
COMTAC, Ltd. Firearms Training
List instructions are available at the COMTAC home page

August 9, 2006, 03:21 PM
as instructed in the JUDICIOUS USE OF DEADLY FORCE Class (LFI-1)
presented by Massad Ayoob of the Lethal Force Institute
in Bloomington, Illinois 14 April 2000

Stages of Intervention:
(1.) Interaction with the suspect
(2.) Interaction with witnesses
(3.) Interaction with first responding police officers
(4.) Interaction with Police Investigators


position would involve your being behind cover that would stop hostile fire at the same time that you were being concealed from hostile observation.

The Verbal Challenge:
(1.) Ideally, challenge from a position of cover or concealment.
(2.) Use a command voice.
(3.) Give clear commands.
(4.) Give simple commands.
If you are a police officer, identify yourself first!
"Don't move"
"Put your hands up"
"Turn around"
"Show me your hands"
(5.) Don't use profanity -- it sounds bad to witnesses and makes you look
like the aggressor.

"If you don't project power and authority in your verbal challenge, then they won't take you seriously, even if you are holding a gun on them. Resist the temptation to be profane or clever like "Dirty Harry" in the movies. Give simple and clear commands in a loud and powerful voice. Project confidence and they will usually obey and submit. Be prepared if they don't obey your commands. The street-wise criminal has a pretty good idea about when you can use force or not, and may not believe that you're prepared to shoot. If they run off, that's fine. They are no longer presenting a threat, so for this moment the problem is solved, and hopefully the cops can catch him later. You can't use deadly force against a fleeing suspect, and most of the street creeps are well awareof that. They know that the cops know that. " -- Massad Ayoob/14 April 2000

Don't direct the suspect "Put the Gun down!" because you have just given him permission to move with the gun in his hand. If he is practiced, or lucky, he may be able to get a snap shot off at you before you can tell that his physical movement is not in conformity with your commands. Tell him "drop the gun" instead.

If you yell out "Drop the Gun!" or "Drop the Knife!" it tells witnesses or your friends or the other cops what's going down. Part of surviving the gunfight is proper management of your witnesses.

However, under stress it is hard to select among options. Yelling "Drop the Weapon!" might be better under great stress, but it doesn't identify the nature of the threat for others nearby.

If you order them to put their hands up, make them turn their palms toward you and raise their hands all the way up until the elbows lock. (If the joint is locked, it takes twice as long to move than would take a relaxed, flexed joint. Also, if you make them "reach for the sky", it may lift any outer garment up high enough on their torso to allow you to see a gun hidden in their waistband.

Holding a Suspect at Gunpoint:
(1.) Finger off the trigger
(2.) Decock if needed
(3.) Aim at the pelvic girdle. Quick multiple shots to the pelvic girdle may
break the bone and impair their mobility. Also, it keeps your hands holding
the gun out of the sight line between your eyes and his hands. Don't do anything to block your view of his hands!
(4.) A shot to the pelvic girdle may break the structural integrity of the body, dropping your attacker forward onto his face and into the track of your continuing gunfire.You may have to break the pelvis in multiple places to drop him. (Heavy bullets work best to break bone)
(5.) If you aim at the pelvic girdle, and you have to shoot, if a bullet over-penetrates or misses, it is already aimed at a downward track and thus less likely to hit any bystanders.
(6.) If they have a full bladder and you hit them with a high velocity bullet, they may essentially blow up. The fluid shock wave can be enormous and can create vascular overload by itself.

Your Priorities:
(1.) Take cover
(2.) Secure the scene
(3.) Summon police and medical assistance
(4.) Identify witnesses
(5.) Identify physical evidence
(6.) Wait for the police

Remember that the back guys have backup too -- "scouts" (or "outriders")
functioning as lookouts outside the target location (may be armed with heavy weapons),and "tailgunners" inside prepared to prevent any armed intervention. Don't get involved in an armed robbery unless people start getting hurt!

August 9, 2006, 03:25 PM
as instructed in the JUDICIOUS USE OF DEADLY FORCE Class (LFI-1)
presented by Massad Ayoob of the Lethal Force Institute
in Bloomington, Illinois 14 April 2000


Managing the Witnesses at the Scene after the shooting:
(1.) "Stay back! He still has a weapon!"
(2.) "Has he hurt anyone else? Look around and see!"
(3.) "Call the Police! Call an Ambulance!"

When a sudden dramatic event occurs, witnesses who are not involved will be startled by all the action. A violent incident like a car wreck or a fight or a shooting occurs, and bystanders suddenly have their attention drawn to a dramatic event. What they observe will be out of context, and thus confusing.

When people watch stuff on TV or in the movies, the story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. In real life, this isn't true. Stuff just happens. In real life, you can't hit "rewind" and replay stuff in slow motion to see what really happened. It's like witnessing a car wreck that you aren't involved in. You don't know who's driving the car. You don't know where they were coming from, or where they're going. All you know is that the blue Chevy just hit the telephone pole. Unless you were looking directly at the intersection, you don't even know if the blue Chevy ran the stop sign or the red light or what.
The problem is, witnesses tend to fill in the blanks about the parts that they don't know. This is called "confabulation".

CONFABULATION -- to fill in gaps in memory by fabrication.

"We all know that witnesses to a sudden violent event are highly undependable. There are several reasons for this. Of course, being startled by an unexpected event has a lot to do with it. They aren't paying attention. They're minding their own business, and then BAM! something unusual happens, but they aren't paying attention. If you aren't looking for it, you won't see it! Also, eyewitnesses who observed some portion of a dramatic incident don't always realize that they only saw part of the action. They assume that because they saw part of the action, they must've seen all of the action.
Aso remember, human beings like to make sense of the world around them. They are used to stories that have a beginning, a middle, and an end. They unconsciously try to place events they witness into context so that it makes sense to them. In a very short period of time, they will confuse what they witnessed with what they visualized in their mind's eye as they attempt to put the events they witnessed into context." -- Massad Ayoob

Dr. Elizabeth Loftus has extensively studied the process of memory in the human mind, and has served as an expert witness in many criminal cases. Her books include: Eyewitness Testimony and Witness for the Defense: The accused, the eyewitnesses, and the expert who puts memory on trial.

Interesting trivia about witness descriptions: eye glasses and facial hair dominate the face. Those are the first things that people will focus on when giving a description.


(1.) Give your address
(2.) Tell them exactly what's going on without going into un-necessary detail:
" I live at 27 Elm Street. There's an intruder in my house RIGHT NOW.
I have him at gunpoint RIGHT NOW. I live at 27 Elm Street."
(3.) Don't begin at the beginning and chronologically describe everything that
has happened. The Dispatcher doesn't need to know and doesn't care! Get to
the point! You can explain the other details later to the responding officers.
(4.) Repeat your address so that they know for sure where you are.
(6.) Give the cops your description -- race and gender, how you're dressed, etc.
(7.) Tell them where in the house you are located and how they can get to you -- will a family member meet them at the door or do they have to break in, or what?
(8.) Give them a description of the suspect, so there will be no problems of
mistaken identity once the police arrive.


(1.) When they arrive, do exactly as they say. If they tell you to put your gun down, then put it down. If they handcuff you, don't resist. Self defense situations are very chaotic, and the average officer does not go to many incidents involving a legitimate display or delivery of force by a law-abiding citizen, so it may take them quite a while to figure out what's going on.
(2.) What do you tell the cops?
-- "This man tried to attack me"
-- "The evidence is here"
-- "The witnesses are here"
-- "I will sign the complaint"
-- "I will cooperate with the prosecution"
-- "I will cooperate with the investigation, but I'm kind of upset right now. I will cooperate with the investigation and make a full statement after I've had time to gather my thoughts and speak to my attorney."
(3.) You need to give enough of a statement so that the police have an idea about what happened. In particular, they need to know who potential witnesses are and where relevant physical evidence might be located. At the scene, they need enough information to begin the investigation and properly manage the crime scene. Remember, the police equate silence with guilt! The only people who utilize the "right to remain silent" are those with something to hide, so a carefully worded statement is probably in your best interest.

"At the scene, tell the responding officers a synopsis of the incident. Cops connect silence with guilt. Almost everybody they ever deal with who asks for a lawyer turns out to be guilty. Tell them what they need to know to get an idea about what just happened. Especially identify any witnesses so that the cops know who to talk to, and point out any potential evidence that they might otherwise overlook. Help them to do their job better. If you are perceived as obstructing the investigation, that perception is NOT in your best interest." -- Massad Ayoob


(1.) Contact the police. Explain the situation. Describe your physical description so that they know who to look for to prevent a "mistaken identity shooting".

(2.) If the event takes place within a building, you need to designate a
"welcoming committee" for the police. Somebody needs to meet the police
at the door, and that somebody needs to be able to repeat the explanation.

(3.) In the case of an enclosed incident, such as the armed robbery of a business, it is desirable for someone to lock all exterior doors and to only open them for uniformed police. This keeps any robbers outside from rescuing their friends, and can prevent witnesses who "don't want to be involved" from slipping out in the confusion.

(4.) Control Yourself!
-- Keep your muzzle off the cops!
-- Don't point the gun at any responding officers by mistake
-- Follow directions from the police

If you're involved in a shooting, give a brief statement to the investigator at the scene. Don't give a detailed statement until you get a chance to calm down, collect your thoughts, and talk to an attorney. GIVE THEM ENOUGH INFORMATION TO GET STARTED IN THE INVESTIGATION. Where is the evidence? Where was the point of entry where he broke into your house? Who are the witnesses?

"Under fire, you will not be able to keep track of how many rounds you fire! We call it the "fire four, reload eight" phenomenon. Under stress, you will experience what is called "cognitive dissonance" which means that your thought processes will be all jumbled up. Your perception of time and distance will be altered and may not be accurate. History has taught us that if you fire more than two or three rounds in a self-defense scenario, you WILL forget how many rounds you've fired. Sometimes, an investigator who does not understand this dynamic seizes upon this inconsistency as evidence of deception. It is nothing of the kind. When they ask you how many rounds that you fired, tell them: "I don't know. I was in fear for my life. I didn't have time to count . . . "
-- Massad Ayoob

August 9, 2006, 03:31 PM
Always remember:
Most police seldom if ever investigate a legitimate self-defense shooting incident. If you are uncooperative, it makes it that much harder for them to figure out what actually happened. Innocent people usually DO NOT invoke their rights against testimonial self incrimmination -- they can't wait to tell the investigating officers all about what happened BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG! Right or wrong, cops equate "silence" with "guilt". You can rant and rave all you want about your "rights" but the first right you have is to be responsible for your actions!

That being said, be careful what you say, but it's best that you give them a little bit of information so they can start the investigation, and then ask for your lawyer. If there is evidence or witnessess that can verify your side of the story, the police need to know that. You can't assume they're just going to magically figure it out for themselves. If you want to avoid a great deal of trouble, you're going to have to cooperate with the investigation. But be very careful what you say!

August 9, 2006, 03:41 PM






ARMED RESPONSE by David S. Kenik

THE LAW OF SELF DEFENSE: A GUIDE FOR THE ARMED CITIZEN by Andrew F. Branca (out-of-print and hard to find!)

The first step for the armed citizen is to find out what the law on self defense in their state REALLY is, and not what some gunshop commando THINKS it is. Then they need to select an appropriate weapon and learn how to use it, learn to think tactically and focus on prevention, detection, and avoidance. Of course, the gun handling and marksmanship is the fun part, but knowledge of the rest of those topics is critical.

Every state has their statutes available on line and statute books can be found in your local library. Go read what the law is in YOUR state.

And beware asking cops about the law -- they usually know those parts that they enforce or deal with on a regular basis pretty well, but may not know much about other topics, AND THEY DON'T KNOW THEY DON'T KNOW! The same thing with a general practice attorney, who doesn't do criminal cases much, nor have a familiarity with self-defense issues. THEY MAY NOT KNOW, AND THEY WON'T KNOW THAT THEY DON'T KNOW!

Baba Louie
August 9, 2006, 07:10 PM
Thank you Jeff22 for posting some very interesting and enlightening reading. Might have to print that out for re-reading...

August 9, 2006, 08:06 PM
“Innocent people usually DO NOT invoke their rights against testimonial self incrimmination -- they can't wait to tell the investigating officers all about what happened BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG! Right or wrong, cops equate "silence" with "guilt".”

Good thing they will not be making the decision to prosecute.
A District Attorney will be reviewing the police reports, and in many (probably most) places they are elected. If they are of the lefty persuasion you can easily find yourself on the wrong side of an indictment. Anything you say can easily be twisted. Remember the line about indicting a ham sandwich? Say nothing. Nada. Zilch.
If you feel you must say something “He was trying to kill me.”

Do not give any information to the police beyond your identity.
It is not your job to convince them you are innocent, or that the shooting was self defense, or aid them in the investigation. Even knowing the location of evidence could easily be misconstrued, and could also indicate you had more control of your faculties after the event to your detriment.

Ayoob is still a policeman and thinks like an agent of the state. You will not be accorded the same deference he might be.

Ask your own attorney and I will bet the answer will be “Say nothing.”

You can rant and rave all you want about your "rights" but the first right you have is to be responsible for your actions!
I cannot seem to find that one in the Constitution. Care to point it out?
Rights are not responsibilities, they are things inherent to being a person.

August 9, 2006, 09:29 PM
You may not have a scratch on you, but you're going to likely need the attention.

why, if your not hurt?

Well, you may be hurt and not aware of it...heaven knows we've read often enough about police officers who have to have their injuries pointed out to them before they even realize they're injured! But equally important, it's quite possible that you will go into shock. That's a physiological problem, not just a psychological one, and if so, you are going to need physiological help. Maybe you won't need it at all. Ok. But it's just a piece of advice I'm passing on, which seems a good idea to me.


Hard Ball
August 10, 2006, 10:24 AM
First things first. Reload!

August 11, 2006, 03:52 PM

Anytime you're subject to possible arrest, from a traffic ticket to a shooting, the only words out of your mouth should be: " Respectfully sir, I have no comment without counsel." Repeat as necessary.

Cops are paid by the hour. Who cares how long it takes for your lawyer to get there? Your obligation is looking out for number one, not helping the friendly policeman do his job. So you've made his efforts at convicting you much more difficult by not speaking. Who cares?

You know the second amendment, get familiar with the fifth.


August 11, 2006, 04:13 PM
There are certain laws that preclude your injunction of "self defense" after the fact so it must be stated immediately. I have been instructed to repeat the following statement until the fourth or fifth time I have been asked it, at which point you aske to speak to the supervisor and tell him the officers are harassing you.
"This was self-defense. I want to cooperate, but I can't give you any statement until I speak with my attorney."
Use of deadly force must be justified by the protection from danger to innocent human life, not danger to property.
Silence never sent a man to jail, but erroneous, irretractable statements can, especially if the prosecutor has an axe to grind for whatever reason. Your hearing will most likely be before a grand jury at which point the decision is made to whether it was self-defense or if the DA will prosecute criminal charges.
Laws vary state to state, and some or all of the above content may not apply to anyone.;)

August 12, 2006, 06:27 PM
I think that most of this "don't say anything without an attorney" debate is really generated by people who either fear or dislike police officers. That sentiment is supported by more than one comment made here.

However, maybe the real issue is that this is a somewhat emotional issue and that people are understandably fearful of being hung out to dry by our legal system.

If you are involved in a shooting (no matter how justified) there are a few things that people need to remember. For one, your weapon is going to get confiscated - understand that. You will get it back assuming there are no criminal elements that lead to an indictment on your part.
Secondly, you may very likely find yourself in front of a Grand Jury, or at a preliminary hearing if your State doesn't have a Grand Jury, explaining why you felt justified using deadly force. If you don't believe this, then you need to go back and review your State's use-of-force statutes.

In all of this debate about whether or not to say anything to the police on scene, I have yet to hear anything about what benefit staying silent gets you other than it keeps the "man" from trying to prosecute you, or giving the "man" ammunition for a criminal case.
As I said above, you already stand a high probability of standing in front of a judge or grand jury and getting an opportunity to tell your side of the story.

The police arriving on scene will have to try to piece together the situation not from first-hand experience, but as all investigators do - by talking to witnesses. While it is true that the police will not be the ones prosecuting you, they WILL be the ones who determine the direction the larger investigation will go, so we all need to understand what role we play in that. By refusing to cooperate without an attorney, the seeds of distrust will have been planted in the investigator's mind. If you are not willing to give ANY information to the investigator, then they will have to rely on other sources for that information - and those witnesses could be friendly to the now-dead assailant or they could be anti-gun...point is, you don't know, and you don't want THEM to be the ones whose information decides the initial direction of the investigation because you refused to talk.

There is no harm in tellining police what happened. What everyone needs to remember is that you in no way are required to tell them every little detail - mostly because you will not remember every little detail, and you do not want to paint an incorrect picture up front and then be forced to reconcile with it later; that just isn't going to look good and any prosecutor or plaintiff's attorney will eat it up.

Sensible advice would be to briefly describe the situation that led to the shooting; "Officer, that man tried to stab my wife and I shot him to protect her life."...or something to that effect. There is no need to make a detailed statement, and if a police officer requests one of you then it is at that time you need to invoke your right to speak with your attorney. You will have fulfilled the investigator's basic need for information and you will have avoided painting yourself into a corner with sketchy or false details. One of the most common phenomena under stress is sensory exclusion - meaning that you will not immediately be able to recall everything that happened, even if it was in your direct line of sight. In fact, research shows that what you will most likely remember will be chunks and disjointed pieces. Do not attempt to work through that while still sitting on the sidewalk 10 minutes after being forced to defend your life.
And finally - do not make written statements for the police. Work through your attorney to prepare a written statement which can be supplied to the investigator and whoever else wants it.
If the police give you grief over it and ask you why you won't give them more information or sign a written statement, your reply should be something along the lines of, "Officer, for the same reasons that you won't make an official statement after a shooting without involving your union attorney."

We all have a responsibility to understand exactly what it is that we're telling people to do, and this is definitely one of those topics that is less appropriate for emotional opinions and more appropriate for responsible, sensible advice. The real message should not be "Don't talk to the police" because that's just going to cause problems. The real message should be that once you have given sufficient information to the investigator you need be careful about signing anything.

August 12, 2006, 10:52 PM
Psycho-Physiological Responses to Danger:

Under normal, non-stressful conditions, the body is under the control of the parasympathetic nervous system. Under conditions of stress or danger, the body switches to the control of the sympathetic nervous system. This happens when the cerebral cortex in the brain senses danger, and sends out nerve impulses along the sympathetic branch of the body’s nervous system. These nerve impulses cause a number of specific effects, including:
 accelerated heart rate
 increased blood pressure
 increased blood flow to large muscle groups
 increased muscular tension in the lower back, neck, and shoulders
 increased respiration
 increased audio and visual perception
 decreased sensitivity to pain
 increased blood sugar, which increases short-term energy
 stimulated adrenaline secretion

August 12, 2006, 10:55 PM
Body Alarm Reaction/Fight or Flight Syndrome
 Fine motor coordination significantly impaired. Trembling begins first in the weak hand, then in the strong hand, then in the knees.
 Tachypsychia (Greek for “the speed of the mind”) – the distortion of the way that the mind perceives the passage of time. Events may either speed up or slow down. In a life-or-death situation, the mind kicks into overdrive, perceiving much more information than is customary. This causes the perception that things are happening in slow motion, even though you – and your opponent – are probably moving faster than you ever have before. Tachypsychia can work in reverse (“it all happened so fast”). In general, the more experienced and highly trained a person is, the more likely it is that the person will experience Tachypsychia. A person who is experienced in confrontation is less likely to be surprised by sudden action, and more likely to respond with super-heightened awareness. An “average” person who is an accidental witness to a dramatic event (like a car accident or a shooting) will usually perceive that events happened with great speed, because they were caught by surprise and unaccustomed to such situations.
 Tunnel Vision – the mind focuses on the deadly threat to the exclusion of much of one’s ordinary peripheral vision. It appears as if one is looking at the threat through a tunnel, and it requires conscious effort to see more than a few degrees to the right or left or up or down. This is why officers are drilled in physically turning their head and checking their environment after firing, even in practice. Physically turning the head helps break up the effect of tunnel vision. Also, tunnel vision explains why in practice using picture targets, in role playing simulations using paintball guns and in real gunfights why so many participants are hit in the hands and forearms. The hands contain the firearm or knife or club that is the threat, and the operator visually locks on to the threat object to the exclusion of all else.
 Auditory Exclusion– a kind of stress induced deafness. Auditory exclusion is largely a function of the brain’s cortex. The brain has kicked into the fight or flight reflex, focusing on the threat and screening out everything extraneous to immediate survival. One is still – physically – seeing and hearing as usual, but the brain is screening lots of things out.
 Cortical Perception – Under stress, the cortex of the brain automatically focuses on that information most critical for survival and discards the rest. Some detail may be recalled later, but if short-term memory didn’t pick it up, it may be lost forever. VERY COMMON in stressful situations of all kinds.
 Precognition – this has to do with having seen something so many times that you “see it coming” before the un-threatened observer – such as a witness – does. The connection with the fight or flight reflex is that in a deadly threat situation the mind draws on memory resources that are not typically activated. Precognition is a response to a subconsciously perceived clue, and is the scientific explanation of a “hunch”. Precognition is the subconscious recognition of an impending threat – recognizing precursors to certain behaviors or events, sometimes without realizing what your have recognized.
 Denial Response – caused by an overload of the mind’s emotional control resources. An example: you get a totally unexpected phone call telling you that a close family member has died. Your first response may be denial that the event even occurred. Very common. A police officer just involved in a shooting may say, “My gun went off” instead of “I shot him”. Remember, there is justification when acting in self-defense, but there is no justification for an unintentional act!

 Amaurosis Fugax – a stress induced temporary blindness. While “visual white out” is relatively rare, what is commonly called “hysterical blindness” is less so. The eyes have seen something so terrifying that the brain refuses to see it anymore. This is much more likely to happen to the untrained, to those unprepared to deal with potential violence or sudden danger. One result of amaurosis fugax often causes the actor to flee the scene of the incident. In criminal investigation, the assumption is that flight equates with guilt, and that a person who did right will stand his ground to explain as need be; the person who flees does so because there is culpability involved.
 Psychological Splitting – the more highly trained and experienced a person is, the more apt he or she is to experience this. When you have trained something to the point that you can perform automatically – coupled with some event that triggers the fight or flight reflex – the body moves so fast that the conscious mind can’t keep up. This can result in the altered perception of watching oneself do something. If you experience this, you would be well-served not to mention it in the initial debrief to the investigators: unless they’re unusually experienced or well trained, they may think you’re crazy.
 Excorporation – out of body experience, the highest manifestation of psychological splitting. This is most commonly seen on operating tables after clinical death, and is often combined with the perception of the “white tunnel of light”. It is also seen in gunfights with persons who think they are about to die. Its cause is that the survival instinct is taking all bodily senses into overdrive and into a state of hyper-perception. In this state, the mind can generate 3-D images from sounds and recollected sights. Even when the body is unconscious, the ears can still hear and the eyes (if they are still open) can still see. Even at clinical death, the brain may live for another 8 to 10 minutes.
 State of Fugue – a somnambulant, zombie-like state. Rarely seen.
 Cognitive Dissonance – a state of confusion. Common manifestations include remembering events out of sequence, or trivial things being retained and important things being lost to short-term memory immediately after the incident. Under stress, the mind processes more information faster than usual, and sometimes gets perceptions mixed up. (In this case, the mind can be compared to a camera with a motor drive, taking photos of the action. Because of the stress reaction, the brain "mixes up" these "photos" out of sequence when storing the images in the short term memory).

PRE-COGNITION: The scientific explanation of a "hunch" -- perception of cues that indicate that a particular event is about to occur. This perception may be made by the subconscious mind, which may make it hard to explain later! For example, you are facing a potential threat that suddenly moves, dropping his right shoulder and bringing his elbow back as though beginning the draw stroke. Your subconscious mind may recognize these actions as consistent with a suspect attempting to draw a concealed handgun, and you may react before your conscious mind has "caught up".

DENIAL RESPONSE: The verbal reaction to a sudden, unexpected traumatic event. For example, a person may employ justified deadly force and shoot an attacker, and then under the stress of the incident make the statement "The gun just went off" even though their firing the gun was an intentional act.

As a general rule, under stress your perception of distance will be impaired. You may perceive the threat to be 10 feet away, but in actuality he was 30 feet away.

Under stress, you will not have an accurate recollection of how many rounds you fired. If you fire more than two rounds, the chances are you will completely lose track of how many rounds were expended. This is often called the "shoot two -- reload six" phenomenon.

August 13, 2006, 10:01 AM
I like the advice about having an attorney on retainer. I have a question, though. How do you go about finding one who understands and is sympathetic to 2nd amendment issues? The ABA is a pretty liberal organization, and I don't know of other resources, as I've never had the need before, so I've never looked.

Also, how much should we expect to pay as retainer fees, and what do you get for that fee?

Thanks in advance.

August 13, 2006, 10:14 AM
"I think that most of this "don't say anything without an attorney" debate is really generated by people who either fear or dislike police officers."

The police are not the ones who will be making the determination about prosecuting.
That task will fall to a local District Attorney, who may or may not be sympathetic (and it even may depend on the election cycle).
The police are agents of the state and obligated to report anything they see or hear to the DA.

I think your problem is you have never been involved in any type of legal proceedings.
You are not required to help someone who will then provide evidence against you. Period. Even if the police have all the sympathy in the world and fully agree it was a ‘clean shoot’, they are not the arbiters.

All you need is a gung-ho DA and you will be spending a fortune paying your attorneys. Why damage your case?
I was personally told by a DA in Arlington, Virginia that any shooting in the county will result in your arrest. Period. The police are forced to obey this (and I have no doubt they will).

August 13, 2006, 11:52 AM
I think your problem is you have never been involved in any type of legal proceedings.
You are not required to help someone who will then provide evidence against you. Period. Even if the police have all the sympathy in the world and fully agree it was a ‘clean shoot’, they are not the arbiters.

All you need is a gung-ho DA and you will be spending a fortune paying your attorneys. Why damage your case?

With all due respect - I think you skipped the rest of my post; thereby missing the point.
I fully explained the difference between the "don't say ANYTHING" paranoia that is being espoused in many posts here and the need to tell the investigating officer SOMETHING if for no other reason than that you don't want the first pieces of information coming from witnesses who may be sympathetic to the person who just got shot or who may not have seen the whole thing take place and are filling in sketchy pieces with what they 'think' they saw.

The decision to prosecute will come from the DA, but the indictment will come from either a judge or a grand jury, depending on your jurisdiction. You will have an opportunity to tell your story, so as long as you avoid signing your name to a statement without your attorney involved you are fine. It doesn't hurt to give a very simple statement to the investigating authority.

To advise otherwise shows either a complete lack of regard for the investigative process or, at worst, a total disrespect for the police who will be conducting the investigation. At best, it shows an inadequate understanding of the legal process.

August 13, 2006, 06:12 PM
"You will have an opportunity to tell your story, so as long as you avoid signing your name to a statement without your attorney involved you are fine."

Dead wrong. What you say is fully admissible.

"To advise otherwise shows either a complete lack of regard for the investigative process or, at worst, a total disrespect for the police who will be conducting the investigation. At best, it shows an inadequate understanding of the legal process."

The legal process is that you are not required to say anything. Not one word.
The police do not make the decisions.
you remember the Miranda warning? You think the Supreme court does not understand the process?

"Anything you say can be used against you."

Get it?
To hell with convincing a policeman you have done nothing wrong.
They are not in any position to help you, and in a very strong position to harm you.

Ask your attorney. He will tell you to say NOTHING.
But he does not understand the investigative process or the law either I guess.

August 13, 2006, 06:59 PM
To hell with convincing a policeman you have done nothing wrong.
They are not in any position to help you, and in a very strong position to harm you.
And as has been demonstrated in a variety of cases from around the country, they actively work to harm you.

August 13, 2006, 07:06 PM
You are blatantly ignoring my points and choosing to provide responses that have nothing to do with the arguments I have made.

I never indicated that what you told the investigators would not be admissible in court. I stated that you will either go before a grand jury (or a judge for a preliminary hearing, depending on your State) and THEY will determine if there are criminal elements in your case. Not the police, not the DA.

I never suggested that we have any obligation to convince the police that we have done nothing wrong - quite the opposite. Rather than go back through it, I will refer you to my original post.

Attorneys know the law very well - to imply that I don't understand that is juvenile. However, attorneys get paid by the hour their advice will ALWAYS be to never make a single move without them.

Let's look at it this way - if you take a hard line and refuse to tell the police ANYTHING without your attorney then I submit that you are severely limiting their choices when it comes to whether or not you should be arrested. It harms nothing to say "This man tried to stab me and I shot him in self-defense." If that's the truth, then I do not see how that simple statement being admissible in court can harm your case.

Like I said, ultimately is's up to you - the individual - what path to take. My advice stands, and it's worth what you paid for it - it matters not one bit to me if anyone follows it.

And as has been demonstrated in a variety of cases from around the country, they actively work to harm you.

References, please.

Baba Louie
August 13, 2006, 08:41 PM
There's no one right or wrong answer that's going to cover all of the potential situations you might find yourself using deadly force to protect your life. Home, office, car, parking lot, walking your dog, etc.; each are different enough and may or may not have credible witnesses nearby who saw or heard anything of use.

I'd say it's a given that, you will (probably) lose the weapon used to defend your life.

Cops have heard "It was self defense" before. They might be a tad bit cynical... then again, if you're in your p.j.'s at 0 dark thirty in your own front room...

You'll probably get a free ride downtown until the authorities decide they know reasonably well what happened, who is whom and what is what... an attorney could be useful here, neh?

You'll probably never get a ride in your attorney's mercedes/bmw/porshe/jaguar that you're going to help him pay for. :rolleyes:

Hopefully you'll be alive and unhurt physically. Your mental anguish might take a hit or two as will your savings account.

What's right for you may not work for me. One size does not fit all. There's some great advice in the above posts worth thinking about. I plan on doing so.

August 14, 2006, 11:57 AM
"I stated that you will either go before a grand jury (or a judge for a preliminary hearing, depending on your State) and THEY will determine if there are criminal elements in your case. Not the police, not the DA."

Do you understand who decides to bring the case before the judge or grand jury?
The first step in prosecution falls to the DA.
Nothing goes before a judge or grand jury without a DA putting it there.
As the accused you may not even be offered the opportunity to appear before the grand jury or the judge.
Statements by witnesses and police alone may be presented.
You may not even be notified the proceedings are occurring.

Self defense is an affirmative defense. You will be admitting to the charge of homicide, and then pointing to mitigating factors that make it justifiable or excusable (these are the Virginia words; other states use other words/phrases).
This is not territory to enter without a knowledgeable attorney standing with you.
Can a simple description harm you? Easily.
Can a simple description help you? Probably not.

Do you want to listen to a policeman testify you were ‘so calm and cool you could give him a statement after shooting someone in cold blood’?

August 15, 2006, 12:30 PM
Agree to disagree. To continue this would be unproductive.

August 15, 2006, 02:41 PM
I cannot understand why you would go against what every attorney I have used or known (including my wife) have said.
"Do not talk to the police."
It has been an axiom of law school training for a long time.
If you can find an attorney that will say otherwise I would really like to make their acquantance and here there arguments.

August 15, 2006, 03:12 PM
I cannot understand why you would go against what every attorney I have used or known (including my wife) have said.
"Do not talk to the police."
It has been an axiom of law school training for a long time.
If YOU got paid by the hour to render a service, wouldn't YOUR advice be to never make a move without first enlisting your help? Neither of those points further your argument.

I have already addressed those questions. What you - and others - are so vehemently arguing against is making an "official" statement without consulting your attorney.

What you are missing is that I never once advised anyone to do otherwise. However, telling the police that "That man tried to stab me, and I shot him" can only help - they already know you shot someone, so what's the harm in telling them that you shot someone? Everyone already knows this, and one of the witnesses will surely let them know. What it DOES is give the police that interesting bit of information that you feared for your life...which will help determine the initial direction of the investigation.

However, when they come at you initially they are going to ask "What happened here"...they are not going to approach you with a pad and paper and immediately ask you to make an official statement.

There is a difference between making an official statement and simply explaining to the police "what happened"... all you're doing is telling them what they already know. Only an attorney would conceivably advise someone not to do that.

August 16, 2006, 09:32 AM
""That man tried to stab me, and I shot him" "

I am going to make one last comment on this and end it.

The simple statement above is an admission of guilt.
You have just freely and spontaneously admitted to at least aggravated assault while armed. It will be admitted as evidence, ?formal statement? or not.
The police do not "...already know you shot someone...".
They now a shooting has occurred. Nothing more.
When you go to law school you can comment on the motives and reasoning for what attorneys say.
Until then I am inclined to believe what 100% of the attorneys I have ever encountered say "Do not talk to the police".
Most of the time the advice is based on hard lessons learned.

August 16, 2006, 11:31 AM
You have just freely and spontaneously admitted to at least aggravated assault while armed. It will be admitted as evidence, ?formal statement? or not.
You mean like the ballistics evidence that they're going to run or the weapon that they're going to confiscate from you or the witness statements they're going to get?

The police do not "...already know you shot someone...".
They now a shooting has occurred. Nothing more.

You can't be serious... really....I have no suitable response.

When you go to law school you can comment on the motives and reasoning for what attorneys say.
It appears my knowledge (or lack thereof) of attorneys is as much based on assumption as is your understanding of police officers. Perhaps the answer is somewhere in the middle.

Either way - Stay safe.

August 19, 2006, 05:07 AM
How much do you tell the police after you are involved in a self-defense shooting? A lot depends on how the self-defense issue is addressed in the laws of YOUR STATE. (look your laws up. Don't depend on somebody to tell you what they are, or what they think they are. look them up yourself. Depending upon how the statutes are organized, sometimes it's hard to find them on the web, and you may have to go look at the hard copy of the statutes down at the public library)

Where I live, there is no "right" to self defense in the statutes -- self defense is an AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE, where basically you are saying "Yes, I shot the guy in self defense AND THIS IS WHY." (our statutues use the term "privilage" to define instances where otherwise unlawful acts are justified; such as the use of force in self defense) If there are witnesses that can support your actions, or evidence that would prove that events happened the way you said they did, YOU need to point this stuff out to officer friendly when he gets there. DO NOT presume that the cops will find this stuff on their own. Most cops, even detectives, do not investigate legitimate self-defense shootings very often. This means they may overlook evidence that is beneficial to your case. This may also mean that they mis-interpret events, because they're NOT familiar with this kind of investigation.

Don't misconstrue the suggestion that you should make a statement to the police to mean that you need to make a detailed statement at the scene of the incident. That is probably NOT a good idea.

What you need to do is sometimes referred to as a "public safety statement" -- that's what cops are often required to give at the scene of an incident they are involved in. It would be simple -- something like "I was gassing my car up and a guy appeared out of the darkness with a knife and he tried to rob me and he threatened me with the knife and began to advance and my escape route was cut off and I was in fear for my life and I shot at him to defend myself." Just a simple explaination of the incident. Don't go into great detail at the time, because you'll probably be too upset. Wait until you have counsel before you make a DETAILED statement, but tell the investigating officers SOMETHING -- a brief synopsis of events.

You will be handling it the same way that most police unions tell their officers to respond in such an investigation -- a brief description of events, followed by "I prefer not to make any more statements until I've had the advice of counsel".

(In fact, George T. Williams has an article about this very topic, called "Public Safety Statements" in the August/September 2006 issue of POLICE MARKSMAN magazine)

Of course, all situations are different. And I don't know how the police and prosecutors handle incidents like this where you live. To make a determination about the "prosecutorial climate" in your locale, DON'T depend on anything written in the newspaper. Articles in the newspaper or features on television are not (generally) prepared by people who know anything about the law or tactics or much of anything else. They're just newspaper or TV reporters, NOT subject matter experts about anything. Most of the stuff you read in the papers has signficant errors in it, not because the news media are participants in some vast conspiracy, but because THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY'RE WRITING ABOUT. So don't depend on the media to get the facts straight on anything.

And don't depend on advice you hear from some gunshop commando or some guy you ran into at the gun show. A regular general practice attorney probably won't be of much use as a reference, either. You'll need to talk to somebody who specializes in this kind of criminal defense. And DON'T depend on advice from the cop who lives down your street. Absent specialized training, they won't know either! They may (or may not) be familiar with the policy of their police department, and how the police union advises them to act after being involved in an incident, but they probably WILL NOT have good advice for the private citizen in a similar situation.

(It seems that people who have a few seconds to realize that they're in danger can usually maintain better mental track during the incident than those caught totally by surprise. And if you are wounded or sustain a significant injury, you are in no position to be talking at all.)

Remember, ANY STATEMENT YOU MAKE TO THE POLICE CAN BE USED AS EVIDENCE. The police only have to inform you of your privilege against testimonial self incrimination during a custodial arrest. There is a common misconception that "it doesn't count" if you have not provided and signed some kind of written statement, and this is incorrect.

When you make this brief statement, make it to the sergeant or the investigator who will be the primary investigator on the case. Don't explain to just any uniformed cop who happens by, because they may not be primary on the incident. And only give your statement once. The more you repeat it, the more likely it is that there will be inconsistencies, caused by the stress of the situation.

If you aren't sure that you can make a statement and then stop talking, then it might be best to say very little at all.

August 19, 2006, 08:35 AM
"Depending upon how the statutes are organized, sometimes it's hard to find them on the web, and you may have to go look at the hard copy of the statutes down at the public library"

I would only add that you ned to review the applicable case law to have a full understanding of how the statutes have been applied previously.

The case law can help clarify the boundaries that have been set in how the statute law is applied.

Virginia's self defense law is entirely case law (other states are similar).
Some if it may seem odd on first reading. You typically cannot claim self defense if you pursued the person or engageed in 'mutual combat'.
If two people get in a fight and escalate to firearms EACH can be charged and neither can claim self defense. If one party attempts to halt the confrontation 'clearly by word or deed' and the second continues the self defense claim may be revived.
The general juducial philosophy in the state has a lot to say how the judge may view the case also. Virginia is pretty conservative, but some areas are more liberal than others.

Even the new 'stand your gound' laws are going to need supproting case law (and there is ot much yet).
If prosecutionin self defense is dissalowed, who will make the decision if the self defense calim is justifiable?
The DA?
The judge?
How will it get before a judge without prosecution?

Many of these items have yet to be sorted out.

August 19, 2006, 11:30 PM
Self Defense in the Law of Illinois:

(720 ILCS 5/Art. 7 heading)

(720 ILCS 5/7‑1) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑1)
Sec. 7‑1. Use of force in defense of person.

(a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or another against such other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.

(720 ILCS 5/7‑2) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑2)
Sec. 7‑2. Use of force in defense of dwelling.
(a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other's unlawful entry into or attack upon a dwelling. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:
(1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent,
riotous, or tumultuous manner, and he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent an assault upon, or offer of personal violence to, him or another then in the dwelling, or
(2) He reasonably believes that such force is
necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.

(720 ILCS 5/7‑13) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑13)
Sec. 7‑13. Necessity.
Conduct which would otherwise be an offense is justifiable by reason of necessity if the accused was without blame in occasioning or developing the situation and reasonably believed such conduct was necessary to avoid a public or private injury greater than the injury which might reasonably result from his own conduct.
(Source: Laws 1961, p. 1983.)

(720 ILCS 5/7‑14) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑14)
Sec. 7‑14. Affirmative defense. A defense of justifiable use of force, or of exoneration, based on the provisions of this Article is an affirmative defense.
(Source: Laws 1961, p. 1983.)
Wisconsin State Statute 939.48 -- Self Defense and the Defense of Others:

(1.) A person is privileged to threaten or intentionally use force against another for the purpose of preventing or terminating what the person reasonably believes to be an unlawful interference with his or her person by such other person. The actor may intentionally use only such force or threat thereof as the actor reasonably believes is necessary to prevent or terminate the (unlawful) interference. The actor may not intentionally use force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm unless the actor reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or to herself.
(2.) Provocation affects the privilege of self-defense as follows: (a.) A person who engages in unlawful conduct of a type likely to provoke others to attack him or her and thereby does provoke an attack is not entitled to claim the privilege of self defense against such attack, except when the attack, which ensues, is of a type causing the person engaging in the unlawful conduct to reasonably believe that he or she is in imminent danger
of death or great bodily harm. In such a case, the person engaging in the unlawful conduct is privileged to act in self-defense, but the person is not privileged to resort to the use of force intended or likely to cause death to the person's assailant, unless the person reasonably believes that he or she has exhausted every other reasonable means to escape from or otherwise
avoid death or great bodily harm at the hands of his or her assailants. (b.) The privilege lost by provocation may be regained if the actor in good faith withdraws from the fight and gives adequate notice thereof to his or her assailant. (c.) A person who provokes an attack, whether by lawful or unlawful conduct, with intent to use such an attack as an excuse to cause death or great bodily harm to his or her assailant is not entitled to claim the privilege of self-defense.
(4.) A person is privileged to defend a third person from real or apparent unlawful interference by another under the same conditions and by the same means as those under and by which the person in privileged to defend himself or herself from real or apparent unlawful interference, provided that the person reasonably believes that the facts are such that the third person would be privileged to act in self-defense and that the person's intervention is necessary for the protection of the third person.

Wisconsin State Statute 939.45 -- Privilege: The fact that the actor's conduct is privileged, although otherwise criminal, is a defense to prosecution for any crime based on that conduct.The defense of privilege can be claimed under any of the following circumstances:
(2.) When the actor's conduct is in defense of persons or property under any of the circumstances described in 939.48 (Self-Defense and the Defense of others) or 939.49 ((Defense of Property and protection against retail theft):
(3.) When the actor's conduct is in good faith and is an apparently authorized and reasonable fulfillment of any duties of a public office; or
(4.) When the actor's conduct is a reasonable accomplishment of a lawful arrest.

These are just a couple of examples of how the "self defense" issue is addressed in statutes. Most states probably have similar language. I find it interesting that Virginia does not address "self defense" in statutory law, but rather depends on case law to determine precedent. That has to make being involved in any use of force in self defense incident quite an adventure . . .

October 30, 2006, 09:49 AM
I think there is a lot to consider when your involved in a self defense shooting, having a good lawyer on retainer wouldn't be a bad idea.


October 30, 2006, 10:38 AM
Geez Louise! There is some really conflicting advice in here. Some good advice, but some really bad THIS IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU!!!*big dramatic voice*

1. Not everyone is going to be reduced to a bowl of Jell-o when they shoot somebody. Adrenaline? Yes of course, but not everybody reacts immediately to that kind of stress. I almost kissed the grill of a Ford Explorer one day on my motorcycle and it didn't even phase me til about 2 hours later.

2. I definitely agree with not saying much and getting a lawyer. You are probably gonna be arrested or "invited" downtown for a chat, but that doesn't mean they are gonna slap you in blue overalls and throw you in the cage with Bubba and Joe Bob. Cops can only detain you 12 hours without charging you and if they go over that 12 hours or throw some crap charges at you to hold you, BAM! civil suit buddy. :mad:

Not to say sometimes it doesn't end badly, but I'd imagine most of the time if it's a good shoot, that's gonna be pretty much that.

Either way I don't ever wanna find out what prison food tastes like.

October 30, 2006, 11:20 AM
“Cops can only detain you 12 hours without charging you and if they go over that 12 hours or throw some crap charges at you to hold you, BAM! civil suit buddy.”

This varies by jurisdiction. In some places you can actually be held for 72 hours before you must be arraigned.

October 30, 2006, 12:35 PM
If you think cops are bad, they are pansies compared to bail agents. Those guys will follow you anywhere and they do not always play by the rules the cops are supposed to follow.

They don't have to follow LEO's rules. My dad used to tell me stories about when he was a bondsman. This was back in the late 60's to early 70's. They didn't need warrants to go in someone's house if they felt their suspect might be inside. They had almost absolute power.

One time in SC, they were pulled over by a LEO*. The cop saw that they had pistols & a shotgun in the car & asked what they were doing. They told him they were bail bondsmen & were going after a suspect who had skipped. The LEO went back to his car & called in to verify their story. He came back to their car looking dumbfounded & said "You guys got more authority than I do!"

They then left.

*I forget what for.

October 30, 2006, 01:02 PM
The one thing you need to keep saying to yourself is " I'm alive" "My kids still have their father" "My wife is not a widow" Never loose track of that. Yes your life will turn to -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-, but when it does, just keep repeating those lines to yourself. If it's a clean shoot, this will come out in the eveidence, if it was iffy well you should have thought of that before you pulled the trigger. remember you can't wish a bullet back.

October 30, 2006, 03:42 PM
Here is what I would do.

My first response would be "I am in shock and I am confused and I do not understand my rights" practice it , memorize it. You probaly do not understand your rights (well enough) unless you are an attorney.

I would probably state that 3 or more times in the presence of multiple people (witnesses).

In my experience, Police are very used to the I don't want to talk without a lawyer response and a lot of them are trained at getting you to talk after hearing that...very common is Why don't you want to talk to me? Are you guilty? Then why not talk to me? etc, etc, etc,

IF you start of by stating or answerring - regardless of the question asked - "I am in shock, I am confused and I don't understand my rights" You already have a reason to then state I want an attorney present or I'm not feeling well, and IF you do end up talking after that which most people do at least you have some grounds for trying to get it disqualitfied - first you stated you do not understand your rights second you asked for an attorney.

October 30, 2006, 08:47 PM
"In my experience, Police are very used to the I don't want to talk without a lawyer response and a lot of them are trained at getting you to talk after hearing that...very common is Why don't you want to talk to me? Are you guilty? Then why not talk to me? etc, etc, etc,"

Once you ask for a lwayer all questioning must stop. Period.
The SCOTUS and multiple lower courts have upheld this.
They can try but are looking at a quick loss in court.
The police wil not make a decison to presecute. A DA will.
While some jurisdictions may be more accepting of SD shootings, many are not.
The every time answer is (regretfully) to lawyer up and shut up.

October 31, 2006, 08:23 AM
FWIW, I had a state police investigator tell me this:

The 2 biggest mistakes a suspect makes are talking assuming the police know more than they do. The third is leaving witnesses:eek:

October 31, 2006, 09:19 AM
Is it just me....

The 2 biggest mistakes a suspect makes are talking assuming the police know more than they do. The third is leaving witnesses

Or did I miss something? :confused: ;)

I've seen the adrenaline dump cause people to do odd things in the aftermath of a life-threatening event. Some can't stay still. Some yell & scream. Some cry, swear, laugh, giggle, shake uncontrollably, faint or sit down and go to sleep when it wears off.

Remember, no matter how sympathetic the cops are, they are not your friends, they are doing their job to investigate. Give a minimum of information and advise your spouse to do the same. Tell no lies since if they are discovered to be lies it will make you look worse (and may be grounds for prosecution).

The best way to tell no lies, it is easiest to say nothing without your lawyer present. When it comes time to answer questions with your lawyer, don't answer immediately, to allow your lawyer a chance to jump in. Consider each question and try to recall the circumstances before answering. If you can't remember a detail, say so. If asked to pin down anything like time, distance, number of shots fired, etc. prefix your responses with "as I remember it..." or "the way it seemed to me was..." You are providing your perceptions of the event and because you are human, your perception of a specific item may be less than perfect. Example: You recall shooting twice. Evidence shows you fired 4 shots -- two sets of double-taps.

October 31, 2006, 10:07 AM
Call my attorney and say nothing.

October 31, 2006, 06:24 PM
We cover this on Personal Defense TV. Massad Ayoob did a segment on it.

His advice:

Do not have the gun in your hand when the police arrive. In your holster is okay. As they roll up, put your hands up.

Officer, I'm the one who called you.

I will sign a compaint.

That man attacked me.

Point out the details (gun, casings, etc.). Point out the witnesses (don't allow them to leave, since they could be your best defense).

Office, you know this is a serious matter. I will make a complete statement in 24 hours, after speaking with counsel.

He points out that saying nothing can allow important evidence to disappear. Witnesses leave. Cartridge cases (from the attacker's gun) get blown across the street or picked up by the treads in car tires.

Set yourself up as in the role of the one who called the police and who will sign the complaint. The only other role available in this play is that of the perpetrator.

What you do in the five minutes after the police arrive can determine where you get to live the rest of your life.

October 31, 2006, 10:32 PM
yeah. keep your mouth shut. Let them put you in cuffs and take you "down town". When your attorney arrives then you talk to him/her.