The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 29, 2012, 08:05 PM   #26
Senior Member
Join Date: November 20, 2004
Posts: 3,150
Been watching COPS for many years and have seen a few such cases over time. I've seen cops actually prompt the home owner to say he was "in fear" and then heartily agree.

None of the others I've seen resulted in the arrest of the home owner when it was a stranger that entered the home unlawfully.

In my community, Northern Nev., one isn't likely to be arrested, especially if it's established that the home invader is a stranger with a criminal record.

Now, that isn't to say that when the cops arrive they won't be putting handcuffs on people until they get things sorted out. Not to say they will, either.

When we're being ordered to do something by the police, that IS NOT the time to be explaining the situation while refusing to comply. That's the time to be fully complying. Once things are under control, the officers will be in a much better listening mood.
Nnobby45 is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 08:08 PM   #27
Join Date: January 29, 2012
Location: Chicago Area IL
Posts: 75
The gun will be gone

In most cases your gun will be gone for good. I was in a situation somewhat like this years ago. I spent more that my gun was worth trying to get it back. The only reason I did get it back was my wife had a brother that worked for the states attorney. I still have the gun.
gvw3 is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 08:15 PM   #28
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 3,340
Slotback (#20) put it well, but I have heard it put better. Tell the police that you want to cooperate, but feel unwell (in shock?) and know that this is a serious situation and want to speak to an advisor before making a statement.

Put more succintly, "I want to calm down before I give a statement." If you feel faint, tell them. It is no comment on your manhood that the post-engagement adrenaline dump affects you.

It IS important to point out any evidence of your innocence and the shooting victim's guilt (the shootee is now definitiely the victim of a gunshot wound, no matter HOW guilty of murder, mayhem whatever. One can be the victim and perpetrator simultaneously of separate crimes.)

If you point out exculpatory evidence and the police later cannot produce it, it weakens their case and gives you grounds for acquittal if it should ever get that far. But the first principle is that you don't want that proof of your innocence to be overlooked, compromised, destroyed or lost.

Glenn Dee (#16) The truth is always the truth and the facts are always the facts, but the facts that get collected (and admitted into evidence) may be interpreted so that the UNDERSTANDING of the events does not quite coincide with the truth. No forensic examiner can collect ALL the facts. Selective collection and selective interpretation, whether conscious or unconscious, gets added to preconcieved notions and sometimes gets sorted out in court and sometimes the conclusion gets it wrong.

On the 911 call,

First, the request for assistance: "Send an Ambulance and the police right away to 1234 Maple Street."

The 911 operator will begin to ask questions.

You may want to add more talking:

This is a fact: "Someone is bleeding in the front doorway."

This is a narrative: "A guy broke into the house and got shot"

This is a confession: "I shot a guy in my house."

What will (if it comes to it) your lawyer find less troublesome (and expensive) to your defense?

Stay as calm as you can. Talk slowly. Remember to breathe. If feeling faint, sit down and lower your head. ALWAYS leave your hands in view of the police. Follow instructions. If you don't understand the instructions, make NO movement. If you must move, move slowly.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 08:16 PM   #29
Senior Member
Join Date: November 20, 2004
Posts: 3,150
Will the cops take into custody your entire lawfully owned firearm collection, from your locked safe, as well as any other firearms in the house even though they were not used or involved in anyway with your recent defense of your life and home?
That's a good question.

When I took John Farnam's course, he advised us to keep our gun safe locked, and don't answer any questions in regards to it's contents.

Do not have conversations with your neighbors about the contents of your safe, or how many guns you own.

Obviously, don't put the gun you used in the shooting back in the safe before the police arrive.

As we know, there are jurisdictions where they police are quite capable of confiscating all guns as "evidence". John also advises that you read your gun magazines and then throw them away. A living room full of Gun Mag.'s can be used against you and prompt the police to look even further.

Last edited by Nnobby45; January 29, 2012 at 08:21 PM.
Nnobby45 is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 08:20 PM   #30
Senior Member
Join Date: November 20, 2004
Posts: 3,150
In most cases your gun will be gone for good. I was in a situation somewhat like this years ago. I spent more that my gun was worth trying to get it back. The only reason I did get it back was my wife had a brother that worked for the states attorney. I still have the gun.
I don't agree with that as a GENERAL statement. Certainly true in some jurisdictions. Unfortunately, there are states (or counties) that routinely confiscate guns for a variety of reasons, knowing that hiring an attorney to get them back would be very costly. The state of Kalifornia comes to mind.
Nnobby45 is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 08:22 PM   #31
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 3,340
Police's first act

I was present at a domestic disturbance call once.

The first officer arriving on scene ordered/asked me to remove my hands from my jacket pockets. (Alaska, wintertime, outside) I complied, though I was not sure why he wanted that at the time (in retrospect, it is obvious).

After he determined that I was not involved, but only a witness, he looked back at me, observed my hands and said, "Put your hands back in your pockets." and smiled at me.

I complied.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 08:24 PM   #32
Senior Member
Join Date: July 9, 2004
Posts: 5,159
Maybe I am way off base, but how many people "have an attorney".
Not that difficult to find 2A friendly attorney and keep his card in your wallet...just in case. I have one. You should, too.

In most cases your gun will be gone for good.
Mayhaps it will, and mayhaps it won't. That will largely depend on your local DA's practices. Regardless, unless he can come up with some reason to entirely deprive you of your 2A rights, you probably have another self-defense weapon.
orionengnr is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 08:32 PM   #33
Senior Member
Join Date: February 16, 2009
Location: John's Creek, Georgia
Posts: 328
For the last several years I have had an attorney on retainer since CCW out in public. I also have a large Blanket Insurance Policy attached to my homeowners policy for "Stupid Lawsuits" against me in the event I kill your "Son who got in with the wrong kids" syndrome. I do not have to retreat where I live and will Kill any Perp to the ground that tries to attack me. When the police take that gun from me, I will go into my Safe and get it's twin and move on to the next day. End of Line.....
Steviewonder1 is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 08:46 PM   #34
Join Date: November 12, 2011
Location: Anna, TX
Posts: 75
This is what I was told at my last CHL renewal, the instructor who was a 20+ year veteran of a Police Dept., and spent 9+ years as a homicide detective.

He said when you call 911, report what happened, briefly, request police and medical attention. The operator will begin 20 questions with you, then repeat exactly what you said the first time, request police and medical attention, then hang up. Everything you say to the 911 operator is being recorded, you have way too much adrenaline still pumping through your veins to engage in any extended conversations.

He also stated even though you may not think it now, after it happens, you will want to tell someone, it is very easy to get diahrea of the mouth. Once LEOs arrive, answer the basic questions, point out any witnesses, where the BG entered, what weapon he had. Now, answer questions to a point, once basic questions turn to 20 questions, like why do you carry a .45, why do you use Critical Defense ammo, etc, that is when you should shut up and tell them you want to comply, but need to speak with your attorney.

Also, remember, the first LEO to show up is normally just going to be a patrol officer, a supervisor NORMALLY will show up on scene and he/she NORMALLY will be the one to make the decision whether you will be detained or not.

Just my .02
pjp74 is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 08:48 PM   #35
Senior Member
Join Date: September 15, 2004
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 643
Interacting with the police after you are involved in a self defense shooting

You're certainly better off to make a brief statement to the police after any self defense incident you're in. Give the first responding officers a brief synopsis, so they can get on with the investigation. If you decide to make a short statement to the police, make it to a supervisor or the case detective. You don't want to make multiple statements. One will do fine.

Police officers are trained to make a brief factual statement after any shooting incident they're involved in. It is often referred to as a "public safety statement" and deals only with the relevant information needed to deal with the incident and to protect the scene. Such as, how many suspects were there? How were they dressed? If some escaped, which way did they go? Are there any witnesses around? Are there items of evidence around that need to be protected and recovered? Does anybody need medical attention?

You don't have to give them your life story and you probably won't be able to remember all the details about the incident, so DO NOT try to go into great detail. But a brief statement is probably in your best interests. You have to survive the initial incident, and then you have to survive the investigation, and then you have to survive any potential civil litigation.

If you respond to the police in the same way that they are trained to do when involved in a self-defense shooting, it may help them reach an understanding that you were indeed acting appropriately under the circumstances. If you lie to a cop, or try to hide something from a cop, or if they perceive that you are trying to hide something, they respond like sharks do when they smell blood in the water . . . you do NOT want that to happen to you. Nor do you want to talk too much, nor make multiple statements about what happened to multiple investigators. The more you think this stuff through in advance, the better off you will be.

You should locate an attorney locally who has some expertise and understanding of self-defense issues, and talk to him soon. Get an understanding of how the law works in YOUR STATE and also what the actual "prosecutorial climate" is toward self-defense incidents is in YOUR LOCATION. Find out who the local police union uses as legal counsel for officers involved in a self-defense shooting.

Remember, most cops and most prosecutors (and most defense attorneys) don't have that much experience investigating legitimate self defense shootings, because they don't happen all that often in most jurisdictions. So you need to do some research ahead of time.

IN THE GRAVEST EXTREME by Massad Ayoob remains the standard work on the legal issues of self defense. It was written in 1980 and needs to be updated, but most of the information in there is still valid.

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 (Wisconsin), 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 statutes use the term "privilege" 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 explanation 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".

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 significant 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.

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 incrimination -- 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 witnesses 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 in a limited and careful way. But be very careful what you say!

Just remember not to over-think this stuff: Your actions will be evaluated based on the information known to you at the time of the incident. Your perception of threat. Your perception of tactical options. Your decisions will be compared to those of a "reasonable man" under the same circumstances

Some of the instructors who primarily train the armed private citizen (like John Farnam & Massad Ayoob) always suggest that you find an attorney in your area (if possible) who specializes in defending private citizens in self defense cases, and at least pay to talk to them for an hour or two and get their interpretation of the law in your state and the "judicial climate" in your locality -- how police & prosecutors proceed in these kind of investigations, how the process works, what political issues may be at play, and etc. That's pretty good advice, with the qualifier that, in many locations, it'll be pretty hard to find an attorney with trial experience in this unusual area, because in most places there just aren't that many true self-defense shootings. A regular general practice attorney probably won't have any specialized training or experience in this area, and they may not know that they don't know, so it's always possible that you may get some bad advice.

You might want to consider talking to the counsel for the local police officer's union or association -- it's quite possible that the local police union attorney has had some specialized training in this area, or can point you in the direction of somebody who does have such training

Read your state statutes to see how the whole topic of "self defense" is addressed -- in common law states, it may not be mentioned in the statutes at all. In other states, statutes may define the circumstances under which a citizen can use force to defend life or property (In my home state, Wisconsin, it's defined by statute as "privilege" and defined thusly: "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).

In most cases, as a citizen who uses force in self defense, the way to approach this is EXACTLY the way it's approached when a law enforcement officer uses force in self defense: the affirmative defense: Yes, I used force to defend myself, and this is why I am justified in doing what I did

Should you have the misfortune to be involved in a self-defense shooting, the issue is NOT in taking responsibility and explaining your actions to the first responding officers or to investigators. What you need to avoid is making statements "in the heat of the moment" that are confusing, or not what you meant to say, or not an accurate recitation of the facts as you perceived them. The stress of a deadly force encounter can cause the mind to work in strange ways.

So don't make any detailed statements until after you've talked to counsel. But yes, you should tell the cops a few things:

(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.
You can only learn from experience if you pay attention!

Last edited by Jeff22; January 29, 2012 at 08:53 PM.
Jeff22 is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 08:49 PM   #36
Senior Member
Join Date: April 28, 2010
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 400
Is there a state by state listing of 2A attorneys here or anywhere else?
Young.Gun.612 is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 09:01 PM   #37
Senior Member
Join Date: September 15, 2004
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 643
legal resources

Check out the Armed Citizen's Legal Defense Network for advice on attorney's who specialize in self defense cases

A book that I just got that is very interesting is Self Defense Laws of All 40 States by Mitch & Evan Villos. The most recent edition seems to be dated 2010. This book contains the actual statutory language for the law in all the states, as well as some discussion of relevant case law
You can only learn from experience if you pay attention!
Jeff22 is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 09:09 PM   #38
Senior Member
Join Date: September 15, 2004
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 643
home invasions

And here's another thing to consider. And don't take this the wrong way, because I don't live where you live, and I don't know the crime patterns where you live.

We don't get too many home invasion incidents around here. When we do, it's big news because it's unusual.

Here, the vast majority of home invasion incidents are dopers ripping off the other dopers, or they are somehow gang related.

The cops who respond to your incident may not be smart enough to figure out a legitimate case of citizen defending themselves because it doesn't happen that often in most jurisdictions.

So, be aware that they may have that perceptual bias. The experienced ones probably won't and the smart ones certainly won't, but you don't get to choose which cop(s) respond to or investigate your shooting incident . . .

I still think it's good to give a brief statement at the scene, if you have your wits about you, but then decline to talk until legal counsel is present.

I can't say this enough -- the more your actions conform to the way the police are trained to react when THEY are in a shooting, the better off you are.
You can only learn from experience if you pay attention!
Jeff22 is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 09:58 PM   #39
Senior Member
Join Date: April 28, 2010
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 400
Thanks, but it appears as if you have to join the network to see the affiliated attorneys, and I'm not sure what if any cost there is. Too bad.
Young.Gun.612 is offline  
Old January 29, 2012, 11:34 PM   #40
Senior Member
Join Date: September 26, 2010
Posts: 1,535
Thanks, but it appears as if you have to join the network to see the affiliated attorneys, and I'm not sure what if any cost there is. Too bad
I looked over the link and it is $85 a year to join

Anyone have any free links to 2A friendly lawyers?

Not that difficult to find 2A friendly attorney and keep his card in your wallet...just in case. I have one. You should, too.
orionengnr, that is a good idea to carry a card in your wallet.
Find out just how tall I am
By jumping in the middle of a river
TennJed is offline  
Old January 30, 2012, 01:18 AM   #41
Senior Member
Join Date: March 22, 2011
Location: OKC
Posts: 502
Maybe I am way off base, but how many people "have an attorney". I have never used one and the moments after a SD shooting would not be the best time to be thumbing through the yellow pages
And what about the ones who can not afford a lawyer ? What do you do then ?
kinggabby is offline  
Old January 30, 2012, 01:30 AM   #42
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,701
Originally Posted by kinggabby
And what about the ones who can not afford a lawyer ? What do you do then ?
Then he will be in a pickle.

If someone uses his gun in what he believes to have been self defense, he will be well advised to have legal counsel. If he winds up arrested and can't afford a lawyer, a public defender will usually be appointed for him. In general public defenders are conscientious lawyers, but they also tend to be overworked lawyers.

Private counsel earlier in the process is more desirable. But that can cost a lot of money.
Frank Ettin is offline  
Old January 30, 2012, 02:30 AM   #43
Senior Member
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,117
Jeff22 -- Nice synopsis of a complex subject.

Crazy88 - Yes, I could have probably worded it better. The primary point remains that you should avoid making a statement that "I shot him" or the like. It's better to simply ignore the dispatcher's question of "who shot the man who'd bleeding?" by telling them your description so the arriving officers can recognize you as the reporting party.

pjp74 - I disagree with your instructor's suggestion to hang up. Keeping the phone line open in case the perp has a partner you suddenly have to deal with - or if you see/hear him leaving, you can notify arriving police.

All of the advice about a brief, succinct synopsis is correct. It's normal for any "civilian" to still be frightened, scared, nervous and shaky in the aftermath of a life-threatening situation. Remember you do not have to answer every question they ask you. And sometimes your correct answer may be "I don't know right now, I'm still scared (or shaking, or it happened so fast, it's a blur)." Cops know that it may take you some time to calm down and have a clear recollection. It's especially true about time & distances because the adrenaline rush may distort your perceptions. If you give a basic statement and then tell them "Before I say much more, I'd like to talk to my lawyer."

Attorneys: I believe the NRA has a legal referral system. But the time to use it is well before you need it. Find a recommended local lawyer and talk to him/her for 30 minutes. Ask questions about how they operate and the resources they have. If you're comfortable with the lawyer, keep several of their cards in your wallet (and spouse's wallet). You want a lawyer who has handled firearms law and self-defense cases.

Originally Posted by joneeman
What is deemed reasonable largely depends on people in your area. Police in your area may or may not have a positive attitude towards civilian gun overship. The same goes for District or County Attorneys, Sheriffs, and Judges, except they're elected officials, and they will likely side with the popular opinion of the people around you. Politics should not be underestimated in this regard.
Who says that elected officials will side with popular opinion? It's more likely that they will campaign on popular issues, but have a draconian attitude towards civilian gun ownership. Their "tough on crime" message can very well disguise an anti-gun attitude, even when the use is legally justified. This is more common in large cities in places like the northeast (NY, Philly, Boston, etc.) and the Left Coast (LA, SF, Seattle, etc).
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
BillCA is offline  
Old January 30, 2012, 04:55 AM   #44
Senior Member
Join Date: September 7, 2001
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,164
So, what happens? There are some good posts here that cover the subject well.

I'll tell you this: The call we receive from dispatch usually gives us a decent idea of what we're headed in to.

What do you do? As has been mentioned before, make sure you are not in danger. Do not put yourself in the position where the perp can get to your firearm.

If you can call from a cell phone and can be outside in plain view, while you are keeping an eye on the person who got shot, so much the better.

When we come up, if we see you, the good guy, standing outside with your hands empty, our approach will be as low key as possible. If we do NOT see you, hopefully you're still on the phone with Dispatch, and you can assure them that you're OK.

If you are NOT on the phone--and we cannot see you--then we (knowing that shots have been fired already) will be entering the home with the possibility in our minds that you might be in danger, from a possibly armed criminal in your home. Thus, we will clear the house.

I have mentioned this to make sure that there is no mistake that the BEST way for the police to contact you in this case is with you in the open, and with empty hands.

I will also say this much: When we arrive, the only thing we know is that someone has been shot, possibly killed; you are the one who did the shooting, and that you have access to a firearm. The pieces of the puzzle we can put together from that point may make the difference between you going to jail that night, or not. If it is a VERY clear cut case of self defense, then there is a good chance that you will not be arrested or detained.

Understand that we know full well that you have the right to remain silent, and the right to consult with counsel.

However, let me paint a scenario for you. In this example, I have received a call of shots fired at your residence. I arrive (with plenty of backup), and see you standing on your porch--or seated. Lying out of your reach is a firearm. I will secure the firearm, ask you to stay put with another officer, and we will take a look at the person who got shot. Aid will be summoned, as well as my supervisor.

I will approach you, and ask if you're hurt in any way. I'll ask if you need medical attention as well for any reason.

If you're OK at that point, I will then read the "Miranda" admonishment to you before you say ANYTHING.

If you decide after hearing the admonishment to fill in some of the blanks, and summarize what happened, that's fine. If not ("Officer, I'd like to consult an attorney before I say anything") then that's OK as well.

Understand this well: there is a good chance that you will be detained on suspicion of manslaughter, however it goes. Our place is not to determine guilt or innocence; once probable cause has been established, we deliver you to the trier of fact (the Court) who will make the determination.

There is one other thing to be well aware of: You can be cleared of criminal charges--but the CIVIL trial will almost surely follow.
Hiding in plain sight...
Powderman is offline  
Old January 30, 2012, 09:26 AM   #45
Kevin Rohrer
Senior Member
Join Date: May 19, 2010
Location: Medina, Ohio
Posts: 728
This is one of those 'What do I do if the sky falls' questions. I didn't read most of the responses as (no offense meant) they come from people whose knowledge in this area comes from watching TV. Some I did read were wayyyy off the mark.

However, your post-shooting response needs to be divided into two parts: pre-police arrival and post-police arrival.

Pre-Police Arrival
1. Give the Dispatcher enough information to have adequate resources respond (multiple patrolmen, supervisor, and ambulance) and can readily find your house and hopefully ID the BG's car and grab any accomplices. The situation inside the house also needs to be explained so responders know what to expect as the scene might not be secure (BGs still kicking, some on the loose, house occupants panicking, etc) .

2. Continue to protect yourself as the BG might get up or there may well be a second one who comes looking for his partner.

3. As soon as the police arrive but before they come in, put your weapon aside and ID yourself as being the homeowner. I'd raise my hands in the air to show I was unarmed so I was treated like the homeowner instead of a BG. I like to hear, "I'm the homeowner and I put down the gun. The robber is lying on the floor over here". That answers all the immediate safety questions and establishes GG from BG. My first responses would be: Is anyone hurt and is the robber alone?

Post-Police Arrival
There are only 3-people who can give you a knowledgeable answer to this question:

1. Defense attorney
2. Prosecutor who has jurisdiction in this matter
3. Detective or senior patrol person (sgt or above) in the PD who has >15-years on-the-job and who services your area

Their answers will be different, but their responses will be based on the political climate in your area.
Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA--Life, Varmint Hunters' Assn., ARTCA, American Legion, & South Cuyahoga Sportsmen's Assn.

Caveat Emptor: Cavery Grips from Clayton, NC. He is a ripoff

Last edited by Kevin Rohrer; January 30, 2012 at 09:33 PM.
Kevin Rohrer is offline  
Old January 30, 2012, 09:37 PM   #46
Senior Member
Join Date: March 3, 2011
Location: Vernon AZ
Posts: 1,195
Just a few comments:

Jeff22 Post #35. Best discussion I have seen on this subject.

TennJed Post #19: My CCW Instructor provided a list of SUCCSSFUL 5a Attorneys as a part of the course materials. Most of them were successful in defending LEOs as well as civilians. Most Attorneys will give you an hour or so to discuse your situation.

Joneman post # 22: Do not expect to get your weapon back. Some departments have a problem with retaining a chain of custody once the case is closed. Pinal County SO, Paul Babeau is reported to have lost over 200 weapons along with the custody documents.

Recieve the Police you should be Clearly visible, with Open hands up, weapon on ground and out of your reach. Assuming it is safe to do so. Generally the bad guys DeDE when the blue lights are visible.

While on Reserve Duty in NM with a bunch of Ar Troopers I listened to a discussion with NM LEOs concerning NMs open carry. NM Guys said they loved it when they pulled up on a shooting. The bad guy was on the ground and the shooter was standing there with his gun on the ground along with his ID and his hands in the air.
ltc444 is offline  
Old January 30, 2012, 10:25 PM   #47
Senior Member
Join Date: October 21, 2009
Location: Quadling Country
Posts: 1,803
Often times a good lawyer will be able to get statements thrown out if you have not been advised of your rights. I would not want to rely on that though.

I would be real careful about what you say. Just keep in mind you will have to repeat the story about one billion times. Laws are very different in different states and one action that might get you no billed in one state will get you locked up for 5-10 in another.

I would not count on the police not taking all of your guns unless the case is open and shut and they believe your story. Most likely they will believe that the gun apparent in play was the gun used; but a smart cop might want to cover his bases just in case something goes haywire.
know the law, act within it, and stick to the facts.
Great advice.

Alternatively if you acted outside the law but believed it was necessary at the time you are going to have a rough time of it. Strangely everyone here is assuming a good shoot. I can't really advise you here on what to do if you broke the law with the best of intentions but don't want to go to prison for momentary lapse of judgment in a situation that you did not instigate.
Proxima est Mors, Malum Nullum adhibit Misericordiam
MTT TL is offline  
Old January 30, 2012, 11:19 PM   #48
Senior Member
Join Date: July 31, 2008
Posts: 295
I've said this before,

and I'll say it again. Always remember that your public statements are exactly that: public. Your posts on this and other forums are able to be used in a case, either civil or criminal. If a prosecutor or plaintiff's attorney can paint you as a gun crazed psycho waiting or hoping to ambush someone, they will.

Be careful what you say, be careful who you say it to, and always be aware that anything can be used against you.
Remington Nylon 66 .22LR - Squirrels Beware
Browning BAR Safari II .270 Win - Whitetails Beware
Sig Sauer P229 .40 S+W - Burglars Beware
Hi Standard Supermatic Citation .22LR - Tincans Beware
jjyergler is offline  
Old January 30, 2012, 11:19 PM   #49
Glenn Dee
Senior Member
Join Date: September 9, 2009
Location: South Florida
Posts: 1,560
Once again... Most of the investigation will consist of forensics, and proximity. (NO RACIAL INSULT INTENDED) If a White man is in his home and a black man breaks in at 4AM,and is armed, and the white man shoots him... It wont take rocket science to figure out what happened. You can swap races, and neighborhoods any way you want. You'd still get the same results.

The facts will be what they are. Some may even try to interpet the evidence to fit a particular scenario, but the facts dont change.

Has anyone ever actually see a citizen prosicuted for a self defense shooting in a home invasion?

As a criminal investigator... self defense shootings tend to be ground ball's.
Glenn Dee is offline  
Old January 30, 2012, 11:28 PM   #50
Senior Member
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,295
Location, location, location.
If your in Texas (maybe not Travis County), Oklahoma, rural Pennsylvania, (etc) you're probably OK unless the evidence strongly suggests a bad shoot. If your in New Jersey, of course you will be arrested and I would expect the police to tear your house apart looking for your other guns, doing as much damage as possible -- heck, they might even burn it down just for fun.

Other states will fall somewhere in between.

Having one gun stored in your safe deposit box might not be a bad idea regardless. Think I'll take care of that this week...
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:04 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11876 seconds with 7 queries