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Old February 16, 2006, 09:37 AM   #1
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What do you say?

God forbid, let's say you have to use lethal force to defend yourself. I assume immediately after it happens you call the police. What do you say? I'm wondering about any phrases that might, in the heat of the moment hurt you in the long run. Obviously this is assuming all you did was above board and legal in defending yourself.

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Old February 16, 2006, 10:05 AM   #2
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I've never really thoght about this extensively but I guess I would say something to the affect of:

"I'd like to report an attempted...FILL IN ATTEMPTED CRIME"

From that point on I would pretty much just answer the dispatchers questions. You started off innocently enough; reporting that you were the intended victim of a crime and you want to report it. As long as you keep a cool head, anything you say in responce to the dispatchers questions should be non-incriminating enough. Just my $.02

He is greatest, who is trained in the severest school.
-General Thucydides, 424 BC
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Old February 16, 2006, 10:22 AM   #3
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Yes in the exitement you may say things you don't really mean. Just give a very brief description of the incident and withhold further comments until you have a lawyer.The police will understand that.
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Old February 16, 2006, 10:22 AM   #4
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You should tell them the obvious ,YOU WERE IN FEAR FOR YOUR LIFE! Please send the police , when they arrive, ask them to send your attorney.Regards 18DAI.
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Old February 16, 2006, 10:24 AM   #5
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what to say

Our CHL instructor discussed this in our class. He said to call a trusted person to come be with you (not your wife or husband) whom you can trust to talk for you because you are likely to have trouble saying anything at all. The shock of the event, plust the shock of having taken a human life, the obvious physical evidence of the death, is quite likely to render you fairly incoherent.

He suggested having in mind somebody (mine would be my priest) who could answer questions like my husband's phone number, my place of residence (assuming it wasn't at my home) and who could be there to be the person with me to help ME in that event.

All in all, a good idea, I expect. Probably not a good idea to get on the phone screeching "I killed him, I killed him" but it's likely as not what would come out of my mouth at such a moment. So somebody else to be there to help would be good.

Also, he said, assuming the perp is still alive but the threat is neutralized, call two ambulances. One for the perp, and one for yourself. Even if you have no physical injuries, you're going to need some attention and calling your own ambulance means you'll get t.

Hopefully I'll never need any of this but it's pretty good advice I think.

I will not be a victim

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Old February 16, 2006, 11:02 AM   #6
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Most people will be completely wigged out by the event.

That's a bad time to be saying ANYTHING.

Try your best to say as little as possible.

If you can possibly do it, say "I want my attorney present before I talk about this", and then say no more.

It does sound comforting to call a friend, but try to wait until the attorney is there FIRST. It is not impossible that your friend will try to make you feel better and succeed. I'm guessing you don't want the police to see you guffawing over some well-intended joke a friend made just after you killed somebody.

Assuming you did shoot in self defense, don't worry about how you are going to pay for the attorney's time. In Florida, the BG is going to pay for it.

Before your attorney arrives, if you say anything other than that you'd like to wait for your attorney, say something like "I cannot talk right now. I was really afraid I'd be killed just a few moments ago and I just can't think straight".

If you don't have an attorney you know you can call, get one NOW.

I've done business with mine so I can call him. But if you have never used an attorney or you don't have the phone number of one you used in the past, find one and make an appointment to discuss the legalities of self-defense.

You'll get two things from that. First, you get the REAL answers, not the internet answers, to your questions. Second, if you give him a retainer (and even if you don't, sometimes) you have a number to call to get an attorney on the way when you need it.

The last two times I consulted (about a half hour) an attorney just to see where I stood on some issues, I paid about $100, but that was 6 years ago.

Even if it costs you $300, what did you pay for your gun, permit, training course, ammo, holster?
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Old February 16, 2006, 11:25 AM   #7
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FWIW i'm in TN...if that makes a difference. Good input so far. Keep it coming. Thanks
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Old February 16, 2006, 12:31 PM   #8
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When you call to report it, tell them...

- your name and location, and you want to report an incident, an attempted....
- to dispatch an ambulance immediately, there is a man down
- you are on the scene wearing...

- IF you want IMMEDIATE...service by the cavalry - tell them shots fired

- that should be enough till someone gets to the scene. Until they arrive - call your lawyer. Some may say be "a good guy - be cooperative" others may say - "say nothing - you are too distraught to give details" and explain that to the responding officer.
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Old February 16, 2006, 05:34 PM   #9
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My plan is very simple:

I will first call 911, and advise them there has been a shooting. When it happened, . . . and the number of people I know of at that moment who are gunshot victims (or any otherwise need medical attention).

Once the operator gets the information, . . . I'm hanging up the phone, . . . holstering my weapon, . . . and sitting very, very quietly until the LEO's get there, . . . and then when they get there, . . . I will be cooperative, . . . but reserved on what is said and what information is given.

The perception of the LEO's who first arrive, . . . will be the perception that goes down on record. A cooperative attitude, . . . honestly and truthfully trying to be more assistance than hindrance, . . . will go a long way.

Anyway, . . . that's my plan.

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Old February 16, 2006, 06:13 PM   #10
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From an ex LEO about LEO's responding to your call. They are there to secure the scene, the publics safety, AND TO GATHER EVIDENCE! Either good or bad on or about you, and what has happened. Answer as little as possible " sorry officer I'm very shaken up right now". LET your lawyer do your talking. If the LEO's should "arrest the gun" as they do in Minneapolis, watch what you say in the squad car. It CAN and WILL be used against you. (often theres a tape recorder running) Again from the lips of a 30 year vet. LEO. If possible have your lawyers # in you cell phone address book. May be Damned hard to remember after the p**p hits the fan... As said earlier when calling be sure to ask for medical assistance, it looks better for you if your ever charged.
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Old February 16, 2006, 07:20 PM   #11
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Happily my experience with a BG on the other side of my .45acp ended with me escorting the BG out of my front door. I'm sure things would have been different if I had killed the intruder.

This is definitely not a good time to run your mouth, recount how you had trained or mentally prepared for this time, or that the SOB got what he deserved. Bragging about your brass b*lls will get you chrome bracelets.

When LEO interviewed me I was asked at least 3 times "Were you in fear of your life?" One officer even asked "I understand that you never felt that you were in danger or in fear of your life, is that correct?" I corrected him quickly and POLITELY and told him I WAS in fear of my life and that of my wife & family.

I posted my experience on this forum, got some great input and learned a lot about what I did right & more importantly what I did wrong. I hope I never again need to use what I learned, but I believe I will be better prepared.

You've gotten lots of good input so far, good post.
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Old February 16, 2006, 07:44 PM   #12
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If the BG was no longer a threat, I'd clear my weapon and set it on something. I wouldn't walk away from it; but I wouldn't want responding LEO's to see me standing over a dead man waving a gun around. Their perception of you will go towards the judge's perception of you.

I would also tell them that you were ATTACKED and NEED HELP NOW when you call 911. You really have to show how scared you were when you pulled the trigger. I would make sure that you request an ambulance for him; it shows you don't want him to die.

I wouldn't completely ignore the officer's questions by responding with "I won't talk until my lawyer is here"; because to me it makes it sound like you did something wrong. I understand where it comes from, but LEOs are people too, and they could get annoyed by you dismissing their questions like that. Remember, the officers can be your best friend or your worst enemy in this case. If I was handcuffed, I'd tell them that I understand they are doing it for their safety but that I really would prefer to free once they make sure everything is safe. You don't want to appear as if you are accepting any guilt.

During interviews on the scene I would stick with easy, repeatable phrases such as:
"He tried to kill me" (after all, that should be the only reason for shooting him).
"I was in fear of my life"

Most importantly, I would NOT say any of the following:
"Is he going to be okay?"- This could be twisted in showing that you regret shooting him.
"Am I in trouble?" This could be used to show you as ignorant of the laws.
If they take your gun, "What is going to happen to my gun?" This could be twisted to show that you care more about a possesion than your life or the BG's life

And of course, don't panic and think you need to recreate a better scene before they get there by moving bodies, shell casings, or trying to make it look like a botched robbery if it wasn't one.

Just my .02
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Old February 17, 2006, 02:34 AM   #13
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OK, I do NOT discuss my responses to threats. I did aid and assist a friend some time ago. A self defense shooting with multiple shooters, a firefight. A true nightmare. He was gambling in Memphis, TN. He won fair and square. One loser tried to rob my friend. What did he do? Draw and fire as he believed his life was over. If it was not mixed up enough, a female good samaritan suddenly began firing at the robber!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Imagine being IN a firefight and having close support. The police were called as matter of routine for Memphis has many shootings and noone was seemingly disturbed about the shooting. My friend contacted me. I said to lawyer up, gave a trusted name and told him to say NOTHING until he spoke to the lawyer. He did just that. No way could the local prosecutor get around TWO actively threatened citizens RETURNING a instance of robbery. My friend was charged under some ancient law in re gambling and prohibited firearms. A Misdemeanor. It was eventually dropped but, he was charged. I believe the tab was almost $9,000.00 in the end. Most was for a bond and it was recouped. I suggest ONLY saying that you wish to speak to a lawyer before giving ANY statement. Let the LEOs gather evidence, ballistics, witnesses, blood splatter and other physical evidence, wait for a lawyer and ONLY talk to the lawyer. If you are in outer Mongolia, you should call 911. What should you tell them? There has been shots fired, someone is shot and EMS is needed. Offer NOTHING else and wait. It IS a good idea to reholster and reconceal your CCW. No brandishing charges that way. Be icy cold and ask to speak to your lawyer.
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Old February 17, 2006, 11:53 PM   #14
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Officer, I'd like to press charges against this individual lying at my feet who tried to attack me!
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them". John Wayne - "The Shootist"
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Old February 18, 2006, 12:27 AM   #15
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I'm wondering about any phrases that might, in the heat of the moment hurt you in the long run.
How about;

"The SOB pointed a gun at me and I blew his damned brains out with one round in each eye... after I put two in his gut."

I'm glad the bas***d is dead...

Bas***d deserved to die... so I obliged him... Tee hee!

No SFB's going to get the best of me!

I'd do it again in a New York minute!

Maybe if I'd given him a chance... he might have surrendered!
Ya think?

I deserve the "chair" for this...

That'll teach him to mess with an armed citizen.

My girlfriend said, "Shoot him!"... so I did...

This is a right to carry state ain't it?
"Political correctness is tyranny with a happy face." Charlton Heston

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Old February 18, 2006, 10:02 PM   #16
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What to say?

I killed a bad guy so come and get him cause he's starting to stink.
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Old February 20, 2006, 12:52 AM   #17
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Sounds like the consensus is to be reasonably polite, say as little as possible, get your attorney en route ASAP. Works for me.
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Old February 21, 2006, 08:11 PM   #18
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This is a chilling thread and goes to remind all of us that carrying concealed is (OBVIOUSLY) deadly serious business.

After reading almost every reply I stopped and thought about how I would have handled the situation, and how a shooting would turn my life UPSIDE DOWN in the short term and also change it likely forever.

My first thought is, "it's not worth it to me to continue to consider getting my CCW" I'm still struggling with this.

My next thought is then, "But, it's LESS worth it to me to be in a BAD situation with no hope of defending myself." I'd rather mortgage the house off, lose my job, and go broke in the courts, proving I acted only as a last resort because I truly feared for my life. Going down this road seems moderately better than the first option (at least I'm still alive), but man, at what cost.

It goes without saying (for me, at least), that pulling a gun to shoot is a LAST DITCH, DESPERATION EFFORT to save my life, and THAT only happens
after I have tried talking, running, joking, thinking, and screaming my way out of danger. Situational awareness seems SO important to me to help avoid these situations, that I hope it is a topic of great focus if I go forward with a CCW class.
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Old February 21, 2006, 11:10 PM   #19
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duck911 said,
My first thought is, "it's not worth it to me to continue to consider getting my CCW" I'm still struggling with this.
I have had those thoughts, too. Two things remind me that CCW is
necessary. First, I have family who need me, need the support,
financial and otherwise, I provide. I can't put myself at risk and
allow them to be without my support.
Second, I spent more than a little time in Southeast Asia in 1969
and 1970. The professionals of the North Vietnamese Army didn't get me then, and I don't intend to make it easy for some dirtbags in my
own country to do me in now. They may take me down, but it won't be easy, it won't be quiet, and it may not go just as they had planned.

Semper Fi,,,,,,

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Old February 21, 2006, 11:37 PM   #20
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If the shooting happens, call 911 first, then lawyer up next.
We all hope it does not occur, but that is why we are armed, to prevent harm to ourselves, or others.
Take care of the legal problems if they happen,It's not as common as the headlines would have you think.
I also have over 30 years in law enforcement, and have never seen a good shooting make it past the grand jury.
Don't dwell on it, it makes you weary.
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Old February 22, 2006, 05:40 PM   #21
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My first thought is, "it's not worth it to me to continue to consider getting my CCW" I'm still struggling with this.


All you need to do is decide if you'd rather be dead or alive to carry on the fight...

That decides it for me quite nicely...
"Political correctness is tyranny with a happy face." Charlton Heston

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Old February 22, 2006, 05:58 PM   #22
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What makes it worth it to me is how ^%$# angry I would be if something did happen to me or my family, and I didn't do what I could have to prevent it.

Going home to my family every day makes it all worthwhile.
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Old February 22, 2006, 06:09 PM   #23
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Deleted by moderator because zero basis for the advice was given and the advice given misstates use of force law throughout the country.

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