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Old April 19, 2018, 01:31 AM   #1
Pep in CA
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When to use deadly force for defense

The below linked video of an actual defense encounter asks the question when it is OK to use deadly force. I agree with the commentator and the defenders in this encounter. What say you?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hPH6sHoSpo
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Old April 19, 2018, 05:28 AM   #2
glockman55
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I agree, they handled it right,
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Old April 19, 2018, 08:26 AM   #3
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I think that the guy handled it right, but it is a hard call. Active Self Protection is a great channel, by the way, lots of good lessons to be learned.

The decision to use deadly force is so hard. It is easy to say

"if a man is arguing, do you shoot him?" No.
"if that man shoves you, do you shoot him?" No.
"if that man grabs pipe and swings it at you, do you shoot him?"
"what if he reaches in his pocket?"
"what if you think you see him pulling out a gun?"
"what if it turns out it is a gun?"

It is easy for us to sit and think about these scenarios and make decisions on WHEN is the right time, WHEN do you feel you or someone you love's life is in danger. The problem comes when all of the above scenarios and questions play out in 5 seconds. It will be hard to do on the fly.

Some people will say a shove is enough to respond with deadly force. Personally, I have been shoved, a drunk even took a swing at me while I was carrying, and I certainly wasn't going to kill someone. If there is an imminent threat to me, a loved one, or an innocent bystander, I will respond with deadly force. Up until that time, for me it is all about verbal de-escalation, or if there is advanced notice and time maybe I'd grab some pepper spray out of my wife's purse or something...
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Old April 19, 2018, 09:09 AM   #4
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Based solely on the video, if I were a Grand Juror, I'd no-Bill the clerks and hope the cops get the idiot with the gun who promptly left the store, off the street as quickly as possible.
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Old April 19, 2018, 12:30 PM   #5
Bartholomew Roberts
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I disagree that the pepper spray was necessary because there was not an immediate threat. I think that was a risky move. On the other hand, if that barrier is bulletproof and as the narrator said, one employee was spraying while the other covered him with lethal force then using pepper spray goes a long way to show you did everything imaginable to avoid shooting and your risk is somewhat minimized.

Open counter, one employee and a guy who I know is armed screaming he will kill me? I think I’d take my chances that I can prove that’s still an immediate threat.

Great channell; but that video is a great example of how emphasizing your best post-shooting legal outcome can involve some significant risk in never reaching that stage.
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Old April 19, 2018, 01:19 PM   #6
Big Motor
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"I will kill you!", that is what the guy with a gun in his hand said, to the clerk. My policy would be, proceed no further, in trying to talk, and grab yer gun.
The clerk made a good shoot, and the guy died, if I heard it right. That is OK, and he should be dead.
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Old April 19, 2018, 01:41 PM   #7
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It depends on the situation, but remember you will have to justify your actions to the authorities.
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Old April 19, 2018, 03:14 PM   #8
Don Fischer
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If you put me in a situation where I feel the need to take out a weapon, one us is gonna die and I hope its you!
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Old April 19, 2018, 04:01 PM   #9
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When to use deadly force for defense
When you have no reasonable alternative.

If you can de-escalate, then do so. If you can run away, do so. If you can safely comply with the attacker's demands, comply. When you have no other way to get away from the threat or otherwise mollify it, then deadly force can be considered.

Since it is not your perception of the reasonableness and necessity to use deadly force, but the court's perception and since you are likely to have to go through both a criminal and civil proceeding, the best course of action is to not use deadly force if it can be avoided.
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Old April 19, 2018, 04:06 PM   #10
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I will kill you!", that is what the guy with a gun in his hand said, to the clerk. My policy would be, proceed no further, in trying to talk, and grab yer gun.
Trying to out draw a drawn gun is foolish. This event played out about as well as you could hope for. The OC blast made a great distraction for the ensueing shoot. OC is not 100%, but its always made the follow on use of force much easier to win.
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Old April 19, 2018, 07:31 PM   #11
Bartholomew Roberts
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Trying to out draw a drawn gun is foolish.
Well, it isn’t plan A; but I watched a reaction time study with Simunitions loaded Glocks and the person initiating action got the first hit on a drawn gun about 45% of the time (7yds apart). And this is in a situation where the other guy knew it was coming.

Not that it mattered much who got the first hit since unless one person missed, the other guy got hit a few hundredths of a second later.
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Old April 19, 2018, 08:06 PM   #12
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Well, it isn’t plan A; but I watched a reaction time study with Simunitions loaded Glocks and the person initiating action got the first hit on a drawn gun about 45% of the time (7yds apart). And this is in a situation where the other guy knew it was coming.

Not that it mattered much who got the first hit since unless one person missed, the other guy got hit a few hundredths of a second later.
Come on Brother....

45% SUCCESS rate and that realistically only equalled a DRAW. A draw in a weapon based fight is a net loss. Me AND my attacker get to ride to the hospital ER/trama care center together. Not a good outcome.

Im familiar with the trainer that posts these vids. He uses a term i like...”earn your draw”. Basically, wait for your moment or make that moment. In the posted vid, when the BG tucks the gun away, the OC was the perfect distraction. Completely, interfered with the BG’s ability to engage efficiently with his firearm. Thus giving the defender the advantage. He “earned his draw”.
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Old April 20, 2018, 04:35 AM   #13
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I agree totally with the use of mace. Anyone who can disagree must be misreading things.

The guy had (in spoken words) given intent to commit murder, only a fool will spend a lot of time wondering if he is just goofing around. Killings occur every day over next to nothing, such as saying no to an armed robber.

A man who has pointed a gun and threatened murder has taken his weapon out of the equation for a while, there is no certainty that he has changed is mind entirely, there is a full excuse for believing that the guy still intends to engage in murder, just after he yells a little longer.

Escalation on the part of the defender isn't to be thought of as escalation, it is simply responding to an ongoing threat. the guy still has a gun in his pocket and he is still behaving violently after threatening murder, and he never said that he was through being a jackass. Legally, although I am not a lawyer, what I see is a defender engaging in non-lethal force to end a possibly lethal threat. While the aggressor has drawn a weapon and threatened murder, he has engaged in assault with intent to kill. The defender has engaged in simple battery.

Enough said about that. I feel that the "escalation" of using CS was not in fact escalation, it was an attempt to non violently disable a man who showed (pretty clearly in spoken words,) intent to commit murder. the defender hoped that the spray would entirely end the guys ability to do so. The actual shooter drew his gun to be prepared in case the aggressor escalated further, responding to non-lethal force (or assault, call it whatever you want) by once again engaging in (probable) attempted murder. Just drawing his gun has escalated the situation. Now, the shooter withheld his attack a reasonable amount of time, maybe he could have held out a little longer without firing that first shot. It wasn't necessary to do so, he had once again shown intent to kill or do severe bodily harm to either of the clerks, or any other bystander. both of those justify use of lethal force by a number of state codes under stand your ground laws, the genuine belief of imminent deadly or extreme injury justifies returning (yes, escalating) with use of deadly force. Stand your ground is all about the rights of a victim to escalate to deadly force before deadly force has already been used by his opponent within reasonable legal interpretation.

I think that the problem that these guys (the defenders) are going to have is that birmingham is not part of a stand your ground state. There is a legal obligation to retreat. They were fully capable of retreat, of dropping behind the counter, but that action would not absolutely and with certainty end the threat. Retreat, as apparently available, may have been only possible in the most narrow definition. Will the court find that the shooter made reasonable efforts to avoid killing?

Mace was not escalation in that encounter, it was legally and morally an attempt to de-escalate, a non-lethal attempt to end a lethal threat. The shooting was problematic according to local codes, as the shooter had at least probable ability to avoid the shooting by escaping.

We have taken a few seconds of action out of what was obviously a long event and taken all context away. We don't know anything that we haven't been spoon fed by media. Based on my observations, the video supports the actions shown. The actions
may become a little less convincing if we saw maybe five minutes of what led to the shooting. If we knew about any history between the aggressor and either the clerks or the store, or if there was any connection at all, we would have another thing to consider.

The most important consideration is that the clerk did not appear to 'retreat' as alabama law would require. the shooter fired his gun when the aggressor's gun was in position to engage in deadly force. The shooter was apparently not running willy-nilly for the back room, whatever form of 'retreat' he engaged in will without doubt be questioned. Firing one, then two follow ups, showed that he obviously did not deliberately murder the aggressor, he acted with deadly force to end the threat.

It's easy to take the five seconds of decision apart and condemn these two for their actions. I have my own questions and doubts. Morally, ethically, it's probable that they had full justification to use deadly force take a life in defense of their own. They do stand on an unsturdy platform regarding the legality, the laws of the state may not support the entire event.

I have to remind myself that the motives of all three people, their intent and feelings, what they actually knew about the situation are absolutely key to the entire event.

Did the aggressor know that the clerks were armed, that one might mace him, the other shoot him? did he have any idea that his actions would have resulted in death? Was he just being a dick, waving his gun around to intimidate and scare the guys who he was arguing with? Did the shooter really, truly believe that his life was in immediate danger, or the lives of others? What would have happened if all three had more intel on the situation they were facing, and was he really intending to murder one of the defenders? If he was bluffing, did the killer know it? Did the killer really act properly with the next two shots? I don't know, I only saw a few seconds of the video, but over and over, all over the country, people are being asked to decide and comment. There are a whole lot of morons out there who are giving opinions based on nothing but a few seconds of video, it's a good thing that we have a court system.
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Old April 20, 2018, 06:22 AM   #14
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Was he just being a dick, waving his gun around to intimidate and scare the guys who he was arguing with?
Once you start waiving your gun around during an argument, let alone using the words "I will kill you", all bets are off on the limit of force you can expect to be brought against you. I get your argument about the duty to retreat in a non-stand your ground state but that duty does not apply (to my unqualified mind) once an imminent threat of severe bodily harm has been made and demonstrated.

I'm all for using the minimal force required to end a situation. I am also about having adequate force available when possible. Once you are brandishing a firearm in an attempt to intimidate in a non-lawful manner the idea that force can legally be brought against you including lethal force should be so obvious and plain that discussion should be very short.
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Old April 20, 2018, 08:05 AM   #15
briandg
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If you failed to understand my meaning, consider this.

Attempting to intimidate alone isn't justification for a lethal response, or even a response that could result in serious harm to the other guy. This is where the judgment comes in, did that pair of clerks genuinely fear for their lives and safety? If they didn't, the shooter is in big trouble.

At the very least, the guy committed assault with a deadly weapon, aiming what may have been a real, loaded gun at two people. That clearly justified mace, imo, it is a clear, technically correct thing, the law is usually pretty clear that what he did was assault by threat with a deadly weapon. Ending the threat was reasonable.

What I am concerned about is that the aggressor may have never intended to shoot, never attempted to shoot, posed no apparent threat of grave injury to the actual shooter or bystanders. If that is the case, and the shooter did not actually believe that the danger could only be neutralized my shooting him, he is wrong, even in a hold your ground case.

Without genuine belief in that threat, it all falls apart.

I keep wondering if the shooter was aware that the situation could have been resolved, maybe shooting just because he had a chance. I keep wondering what happened beforehand, whether the shooter and his partner were equally at fault in the confrontation, the other guy drew as just another step of escalation, then the shooter killed him out of anger or spite, not out of fear.

I could invite my BIL over and goade him into a fight and shoot him when he grabbed a weapon and threatened me. Or pretend that he did.
I could arrange that, he's stupid. Knowing that I was almost certainly not at risk is in direct opposition to the principle. The prosecutor wouldn't sleep again until I was absolutely cleared of planning and carrying out the deliberate murder of a man that I hate.

There is an attitude that some people have, they wonder when they can shoot, looking for the lowest threshold of justification. You see it all the time.

The proper frame of mind is to decide when lethal force is probably unavoidable, that unless decisive force is used, The aggressor will kill or injure someone.

I'm going on over 36 hours without sleep, I've tried to make everything clear and coherent. Taken only in context of that few seconds I believe that it was done right.

If we had the entire story and put it into the context of law, we are left with only two questions that I think matter. Did the guys genuinely act out of fear, making that morally and ethically as well as legally correct, and did they in fact fulfill the obligations that were in place by the state laws?

I don't trust that video. It seems to be trimmed awfully short. It was surveillance footage, there were hours of tape, why do we only see those few minutes?
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Old April 20, 2018, 08:07 AM   #16
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If you put me in a situation where I feel the need to take out a weapon, one us is gonna die and I hope its you!
While in most jurisdictions the threshold for the lawful justification or producing a weapon is the same as that for actually using deadly force, things can change--instantly. One who has lawfully drawn may not always be justified in discharging the firearm after having drawn.

Whatever "need" the person may have "felt" would have to be supported by the facts known to the defender at the time.

The defender's lawful objective is not to cause the attacker to die--it is to defend himself. Death may, of course, occur.

The likelihood that handgun fire will result in death is actually rather low--about one chance in six.

A statement such as that one made in a public forum is discoverable, and it could prove extremely damaging in a criminal or civil trial.
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Old April 20, 2018, 08:14 AM   #17
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Brian: I get your point about genuine belief and while I get it may be required I'm not certain it is the legal standard. We might be getting into a very technical legal area here that I am not qualified to discuss but I'm going to step forward off the cliff anyways because I'm not smart enough not to.

The standard to use force in defense is not centered no a genuine belief. It is centered on the belief of the fictitious "reasonable person." Thus even if I genuinely believe someone who sprays me with a super soaker represents a threat of severe bodily harm or death and use lethal force against them my lawyer is going to have to convince a jury of the same.

I think this cuts both ways. An individual who has uttered threats to kill, has brandished the means to do so, and is continuing to make such threats and aggressive actions represents to a reasonable person an imminent threat of severe bodily harm or death. At least to my reasonable person. Your reasonable person may be different. To me this is a major flaw in the standard.
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Old April 20, 2018, 08:26 AM   #18
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A sergeant with the pd said this, for whatever it's worth. He is pretty clearly commenting that it was preventable, and that the da will probably call it justified. I just can't find any good info.

Quote:
Based on information our investigators have, we believe the shooting will be ruled justifiable," Sgt. Bryan Shelton told CBS 42. "The ultimate decision falls to the District Attorney's office. We have to make better decisions, even knowing when to walk away. Truly unfortunate."
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Old April 20, 2018, 08:27 AM   #19
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He is pretty clearly commenting that it was preventable,
Really?
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Old April 20, 2018, 09:07 AM   #20
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He is pretty clearly commenting that it was preventable, and that the da will probably call it justified.
Quote:
Really?
The use of force by an individual is ALWAYS preventable by that particular individual. Extreme pacifism will always prevent the use of lethal force by the pacifist. It might not prevent injury to its practitioner but it prevents the use of force by that individual.

Chances are a lot of situations are preventable. The concern, at least from a legal stand point, is justification.

I lean towards the "prevent the use of force whenever possible" side of the equation. However once force is necessary the application of force should be overwhelming and only limited by justifiable limits.
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Old April 20, 2018, 09:44 AM   #21
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The use of force by an individual is ALWAYS preventable by that particular individual.
That's really not very meaningful at all here.

The need for the defender to use deadly force could have been prevented by the attacker.

That's how I would interpret the police officer's comment.

Quote:
Extreme pacifism will always prevent the use of lethal force by the pacifist. It might not prevent injury to its practitioner but it prevents the use of force by that individual.
And?

Quote:
Chances are a lot of situations are preventable. The concern, at least from a legal stand point, is justification.
If the use of force, deadly or otherwise, is not immediately necessary, is it not justified.
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Old April 20, 2018, 09:49 AM   #22
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If the use of force, deadly or otherwise, is not immediately necessary, is it not justified.
One of the discussions points that are sometimes had involves an early tactical error. For instance we ignore various red flags and walk into a situation where we should not have such as a gas station that had various red flags that it may be the target of an armed robbery. Such a situation may present justification for and immediate necessity of the use of lethal force to defend one's self from violent attack. Still the situation that required such force was preventable should we have "simply" not ignored those red flags.

I guess my point is preventable and justified are not mutually exclusive.
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Old April 20, 2018, 11:26 AM   #23
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Is the use of deadly force not covered on the assorted CCW courses?
In any case, YouTube is not the place to get your training.
"...about 45% of the time..." Means that 55% of the time you get shot or killed.
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Old April 20, 2018, 11:58 AM   #24
Bartholomew Roberts
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Originally Posted by Sharkbite
45% SUCCESS rate and that realistically only equalled a DRAW. A draw in a weapon based fight is a net loss. Me AND my attacker get to ride to the hospital ER/trama care center together. Not a good outcome.
Like I said, not plan A. However, an early, unexpected, and aggressive attack can save the day and is occasionally necessary. I would not categorically rule out drawing on a drawn gun; because that is still a better option than drawing on one already firing at you.

To use this video as an example, all the shootee had to do was start pulling the trigger instead of putting it back in his waistband. They waited for a better opportunity to draw; and luckily they got one. However, sometimes you wait and the chances just get worse and worse. What if the shootee kept his pistol out and ordered them to prone out facing away from him? Shoot then? Prone out and hope it gets better?

Discussions like this are great because we can think about things like this now. And I think one thing worth thinking about is what your personal lines in the sand are. You and your attacker getting shot isn’t a great outcome; but it still beats a loved one being shot or getting executed in the back of a freezer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O’Heir
"...about 45% of the time..." Means that 55% of the time you get shot or killed.
Actually, way more than 55% of the time, since even when you get the first hit, it is rarely fast enough to stop the other person from shooting you as well.
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Old April 20, 2018, 12:30 PM   #25
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What if the shootee kept his pistol out and ordered them to prone out facing away from him? Shoot then? Prone out and hope it gets better?
If you believe continued compliance or non-action is going to result in severe injury or death and safe retreat is not possible what choice do you have but to attempt action? Its like a morbid free play at the casino
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