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Old January 31, 2022, 01:34 PM   #26
OldMarksman
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For myself I can imagine a situation where I would personally get involved if legally justified and morally compelled. I’d add getting involved doesn’t always have to involve force. Being a good witness and rendering aid if safe to do so are all ways a person can choose to get involved (and they also carry risk).
I agree.
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Old January 31, 2022, 01:38 PM   #27
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Man shoots another man who is attacking a woman

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Originally Posted by OldMarksman View Post

Not in prison.
The person who intervened in this story is also not in prison. I understand you have multiple points here, with which I generally agree. There can be and generally are legal implications of being involved in a use of force in defense of a third party and it’s practically impossible to know all the details of an altercation as just a casual observer. At the same time, not all intervention results in prison time (or life in prison for that matter).

As has been said, at some level each of us has to choose to what level we care or don’t care about some stranger in our society. A number of threads ago I shared a story of a man who was assaulted coming out of a convenience store at night. He was punched in the back of the head and fell unconscious in a sidewalk. The attackers then robbed him and ran away. People then proceeded to literally step over the man as he lay in the road. Eventually he was run over by a taxi and died from those wounds.

In terms of self preservation the people that stepped over him owed nothing to the man, and a harsh but fair comment might be the man should have known better going out later at night in not a great neighborhood. None of that changes the fact that a man died seemingly because no one was willing to make the slightest effort to help him. I don’t mean chase down or attack his attackers, I mean stop the taxi from running him over. I’m a realist. I expect nothing in terms of help. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be grateful for the help were I that man or that I wouldn’t be grateful if someone helped a family member or friend in a similar situation. There’s a balance in all of this that is difficult and makes choosing to carry a firearm an incredibly impactful decision, which doesn’t always seem recognized (present company excepted).


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Old January 31, 2022, 02:14 PM   #28
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The person who intervened in this story is also not in prison.
Good.

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There can and are legal implications of being involved in a use of force in defense of a third party and it’s practically impossible to know all the details of an altercation as just a casual observer.
The best instructors in the field tell us why intervention without knowing the underlying facts is not prudent.

Over the past dozen years we have read of numerous cases that emphasize why.

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,...not all intervention results in prison time (or life in prison for that matter).
Of course! If the actor had a basis for reasonably believing that the situation justified intervention, and i in some states, that that belief was correct, there would be no reason for prosecution--unless someone to were to provide unfavorable testimony afterward.

Actual cases that some to mind that went bad include intervening when a shoplifter is resisting a store security person; intervening when the apparent victim had started the confrontation; intervening in case of mutual combat; intervening against a plain-clothes officer defending himself from a violent criminal actor; butting in when a care-giver is managing a grand mal epileptic incident; interfering with an arrest; intervening with a parent restraining a child; intervening in a case of domestic violence, only to be identified by the apparent victim as the criminal aggressor; and more.

Those who have been around long enough have seen all of these.

They did not trun out well.
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Old January 31, 2022, 02:27 PM   #29
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Man shoots another man who is attacking a woman

I’m aware of your examples and I agree intervention is a very loaded decision. My goal was to even out what I saw as a one sided argument from people on both “sides” of this argument (I use quotations because I don’t really see people as arguing a side, more trying to point out the realities of the situation).


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Old January 31, 2022, 03:15 PM   #30
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One other thing: from the report, it certainly seems that the man doing the stabbing is not a good guy (and if he had been, he no longer remained one).

That alone would not justify the use of deadly force to defend the other person.

What we cannot know from the report is what the defender knew at the time. That is of primary importance in any defense of justification.
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Old January 31, 2022, 05:29 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by OldMarksman
what the defender knew at the time...
Read https://www.tmwilsonlaw.com/criminal...lf-defense#1.1 Para 1.1
Question: What is the key word?
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Old January 31, 2022, 06:15 PM   #32
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The applicable part here is "Virginia's rule is that you step into the shoes of the person he/she defends. Therefore, if the person being defended would have been justified in using self defense, the third party defending that person is as well.23

However, a third party may not defend another unless he reasonably believes that the other person was without fault in provoking the attack,

Simply seeing one person pounding or stabbing another would not likely provide a basis for believing which participant has been the initial aggressor.

Minnesota law, which applies in the case of the incident described in the OP, is essentially similar.

By the way, in all states, "reasonable belief" extends beyond the subjective.
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Old January 31, 2022, 06:36 PM   #33
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However, a third party may not defend another unless he reasonably believes that the other person was without fault in provoking the attack,
Which is counter to your assertion that
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If she had been the initial aggressor, she could not lawfully employ deadly force to defend herself, and therefore, a third party would not be justified in using deadly force to defend her.
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Old January 31, 2022, 06:42 PM   #34
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Man shoots another man who is attacking a woman

I think it’s worth pointing out that in the OP’s story the shooter witnessed the woman being stabbed and then chased by the assailant. While I think it’s reasonable and prudent to point out that just because you witness someone in an advantageous position in a fight it doesn’t mean they were the initiating party, in many states you cannot chase your assailant once you gain the upper hand. At that point you have may have positioned yourself as the aggressor in many localities. I have had conversations with prosecutors that have pointed out that even certain levels of preparation in a home break if those preparations were done before choosing to seek out the burglar could be argued as pre-meditation, which is why in the quote above I specifically stated “imminent threat”. To me the act of witnessing an unarmed person being assaulted and then chased by an armed person would add to the argument of a person in the event he or she chose to intervene. This is important to keep in mind for both a person intervening and for someone defending himself or herself.


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Old January 31, 2022, 07:09 PM   #35
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I think it’s worth pointing out that in the OP’s story the shooter witnessed the woman being stabbed and then chased by the assailant.
...and that's why he fired.

.
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in many states you cannot chase your assailant once you gain the upper hand.
All states.

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At that point you have may have positioned yourself as the aggressor in many localities
.But not the initial aggressor, unless the other person had signaled an intent to withdraw, and a second encounter had begun.
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Old January 31, 2022, 07:13 PM   #36
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Man shoots another man who is attacking a woman

Again my goal here is to keep the original story in perspective to the comments being made, hence why I’m making these comments. I have no way of knowing the third party chose to shoot solely because he knew he was legally permitted to do so. That’s an assumption about his legal knowledge. He seemed to intervene because he saw someone who was in distress. I think it’s worth pointing out the legal implications for everyone reading.

As to being the initial aggressor, I don’t see how what I said in any way conflicts with that. My point is that just because you are the victim of the initial aggressor doesn’t give you the legal right to chase your assailant. This is relevant to the OP’s story and your point about judging who is or isn’t legally in the right to use force by being a casual observer.


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Old January 31, 2022, 07:35 PM   #37
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Man shoots another man who is attacking a woman

Let me put it this way. Say the woman in question was the initial aggressor. The man fends her off, she flees, and he then chooses to pursue her and attack her despite him no longer being in imminent danger. At this point both parties have committed acts that will likely see them arrested and investigated. Were I to intervene on behalf of the man and when questioned by police argue I did so because he wasn’t the initial aggressor, I don’t know that my actions would be legally justified.

My point is while who is the initial aggressor is an important component, the actions of the original victim following the crime are also important. This is worth keeping in mind both for someone defending himself or herself and a person considering intervening. This highlights something you brought up earlier and that I have already agreed with, that choosing to intervene is a weighted decision.


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Old January 31, 2022, 08:13 PM   #38
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Great discussion, all. Thanks to Old Marksman and Tunnel Rat for their reasoned arguments.

My own position vis a vis inserting myself into an "apparent" attack on another is this....I will intervene only in the case of a family member or very close friend. The consequences of my actions, if I misread the unfolding scenario, are far too great to gamble with the future of my family.

YMMv and I truly understand that, but will add...you had better be 100% right in your actions, and even then you may be psychologically and financially crippled for life. Rod
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Old February 1, 2022, 12:21 AM   #39
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I would also like to point out that because the local authorities chose not to pursue charges means that the shooter (in this case) is not necessarily free.

The Ahmad Aubaury (spelling?) case was not initially charged by local authorities. But when the the people eventually convicted of murder provided the videos they recorded to social media prosecutors followed up and now they are spending the rest of their lives in prison
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Old February 1, 2022, 09:24 AM   #40
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If the stabbing was a random event and the woman happens to be within a car-length from me (at a gas station), I will defend the woman if I can do it safely.

If some sort of chase is going on, moving away from me, I'll call 911. I am not a cop. I am not paid to be a cop. Nor am I a Judge. I do not have soverign immunity like a cop or judge has, and I am not going to run down some murderer like a cop.

Let's not forget, if I can carry a gun, so can the woman being attacked. Each of us must take measures to protect our own lives and the lives of our families.

Last edited by Skans; February 1, 2022 at 09:31 AM.
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Old February 1, 2022, 12:02 PM   #41
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Enjoying the reasoned, cordial discussion. but I need to digress briefly to eat some crow.

In post#10 I mentioned a fellow in UK who ran over and killed a guy who was stabbing a woman, and was arrested for doing so. Cynically, I assumed there would be no followup.

Today the news is that the cops let him go. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-60218733

He did not manage to save the woman's life but he tried.
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Old February 1, 2022, 02:01 PM   #42
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rodfac posted
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My own position vis a vis inserting myself into an "apparent" attack on another is this....I will intervene only in the case of a family member or very close friend. The consequences of my actions, if I misread the unfolding scenario, are far too great to gamble with the future of my family.
That goes for me, and for most former senior LEO personnel whom I know.
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Old February 1, 2022, 02:08 PM   #43
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Without Comment:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jrchHAN_tY
May you sleep well.
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Old February 1, 2022, 02:57 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
Without Comment:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jrchHAN_tY
May you sleep well.

I’d argue this was worse:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/17/u...ped-septa.html


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Old February 3, 2022, 02:09 PM   #45
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where you live

Where I live the application of deadly force is defined in Iowa code. Witnessing a forcible felony in progress is one. Make sure you know the law concerning deadly force where you live. 12-34hom.
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Old February 4, 2022, 08:54 AM   #46
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For all these folks saying they 'only carry a firearm to protect themselves and their family', I'm curious; would you REALLY watch an unarmed, fleeing woman get stabbed to death while you were armed and able to prevent it?

While that may speak to your 'superior' knowledge of law and self-protection, it's evidence of a very frightening moral stance; I know I couldn't live with myself having done something like that.

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Old February 4, 2022, 11:04 AM   #47
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This forum is about tactics and training, specifically with respect to firearms. Morality is a separate topic and, for what it's worth, the definition and delineation of morality tends to vary from person to person. Finally, it's difficult to discuss personal moral codes without people being insulting (perhaps without meaning to) and feeling insulted.

From a tactics standpoint, and also from a legal standpoint, there's a clear best choice.

Without weighing in one way or the other on the morality of intervening or not intervening, I would make a couple of suggestions. If your personal moral code demands that you act on behalf of others, then I would suggest, at the least, you need to be 100% sure of the situation before you do anything other than call 911. That is, you need to have observed things long enough to know how the situation started so you don't break in on the middle of a scenario that may be very different from what you think it is. Second, you need to be sure that you're not getting in over your head.

Why? Well, here are a couple of reasons.

1. There was a study some years ago that showed concealed carriers tended to shoot the wrong person less often than cops did when they intervened in a situation. The results seemed confusing so there was additional work done to determine why. It wasn't that the concealed carriers were better trained, or smarter, or had better ability to assess a situation; it was that they tended to have been present for the whole situation and therefore had a better idea of who was really the aggressor and what was really going on.

2. If you take control of a situation, you take on some level of responsibility for the persons in it. If you don't have the ability to fully control the situation, things can get really ugly. I watched a video awhile back of a police response to a disturbance. A homeless person attacked a group of people picnicking in a park and started trying to hit them with a large rock. The situation went back and forth, but eventually the group got the upper hand and were administering an attitude adjustment to the attacker who was apparently disturbed/deranged enough that he would not break off the engagement even after it was clear that he was losing badly. About then the police arrived in the form of a single officer. He broke everything up and focused on the group since they seemed to be the aggressors when he came on the scene. That gave the actual attacker time to recover. While the officer was focusing on the group, the homeless man picked up his rock and casually walked over to the group. Right in front of the officer, he hit a woman in the group in the head with the rock with enough force to knock her unconscious.

The bottom line is that you'd better get it right and you'd better be able to take full control of the situation and all the people in it if you're going to intervene. It is definitely possible to make things worse than they already are and also to get yourself into a lot of trouble.
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Old February 4, 2022, 12:11 PM   #48
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The bottom line is that you'd better get it right and you'd better be able to take full control of the situation and all the people in it if you're going to intervene. It is definitely possible to make things worse than they already are and also to get yourself into a lot of trouble.
I mentioned seeing this before in force on force scenarios and I wanted to springboard off of John’s comment to fill out my remarks above and add another example. In this case these students were all people who had proficient marksmanship and had gone through firearms courses before, though not force on force training.

One of the scenarios was an open air cafe. Two actors enter the scene and harass, punch, and knock two customers at the entrance to the ground. The assailants stop as soon as the victims fall to the ground. The assailants proceed to enter the cafe, knock things off tables, verbally abuse some customers, push people, and then eventually they leave. Out of the twelve students in the class, 10 of the students either blended into the back of the restaurant or waited until they had a clear path and bolted out of the restaurant. Two did not. One student saw the two people being attacked, ran to the assailants and commanded them to stop, and when they turned to him (not moved to him but turned) he shot and incapacitated both. The other student decided to draw her pistol when the assailants got near her in the restaurant. At this point the assailants were between her and the exit (the cafe had a fence around it). She made some initial verbal commands. The assailants ucontinued to get closer to her, taunting her, then eventually one pushed her and she shot him. She stayed in place as the second assailant rendered aid to his friend. In the above the first student was a competition level shooter and the second student was a NRA instructor. I mention this not to disparage those groups, but to point out that even students of some experience can make decisions that are questionable in hindsight.

In the above scenario, students choosing to take action had no impact on the well-being of the initial two victims. Between the available sight lines and the speed of the initial attack there was no way to stop the attackers before they made their first attack. The victims were hurt, though their wounds were presumably not overly serious. The only difference then was what happened to the assailants. In the case of most students the assailants left, hopefully to be reported by police afterwards. In the case of those two students at least one or both of the assailants died. While what can start as simple assaults can turn deadly, shooting someone for knocking someone to the ground may well resort in legal charges.

As an aside, if anyone has an opportunity to do force on force training I recommend he/she closely watches what other students do (if you get the opportunity). Decisions that are obvious to one person are not to someone else. I learned a lot in watching others and listening to the instructors give pointers to each student based on their course of action.


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Old February 4, 2022, 11:28 PM   #49
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John, respectfully, I don't believe you can divorce tactics from morality. If that were possible, we would all watch Rome burn while we held extinguishers, would all lie to investigators to protect ourselves from our actions and would do all manner of heinous things which worked out better FOR US.

Morality has to be the underpinning for every civilized man's actions; it's the reason men have died to protect others throughout history, and the reason we've risen above the caveman; without morality, what discussion of tactics could be relevant except, "Do whatever is best for you as long as you can get away with it."

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Old February 5, 2022, 07:28 AM   #50
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John, respectfully, I don't believe you can divorce tactics from morality.
You don't have to. They are two separate things. Which is fortunate because we only discuss one of them here.

Legality is also separate from morality--again, that is fortunate, because again only one of them is a topic for discussion here.
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