I told him he was going to die, and I shot him.

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by Bill Mattocks, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Frustration with the criminal justice system can run high. People want to do something about crime, and nobody likes burglars. However, those who choose to go about armed also have to consider if their actions are going to be considered legal after the fact.

    http://www.freep.com/article/201008...?-Shootings-highlight-frustrations-in-Detroit


     
  2. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    "Chasing down" - very important words right there.
     
  3. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    I understand the shooter view but when he said you are going to die he became the assaulant and must be dealt with as such. people are tired and feed up with the laws to protect the criminals of the world, victoms have no right it seems anymore, I do not have any answers how to make it better but to hold people accountable for their own actions.
     
  4. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    IMO, the only thing that I see wrong with this is the fact that he shot the guy. Now, had he chased after him, held him at gunpoint and called the cops, well, maybe he wouldn't be facing the charges he is today.

    And yes, I know....chasing after him was a dumb thing for him to do. Doesnt seem like they actually gained access to the house and if they did, I didn't see anything that said they took anything. Should he have even bothered to chase after them? As I said, probably not. Call the cops, provide them with good descriptions, and hope that they'll be caught.
     
  5. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    To me, it's interesting that this man did what a lot of people say they would do. I've read a lot of comments online from people who believe he is a hero. So I get the point that resentment, fear, and anger are running deep.

    To me, there is a pretty clear difference between self-defense and vigilante justice, but I think sometimes people have a hard time distinguishing that line.

    If he had been at home and the men had entered and he shot them, I don't think he would be facing charges; he'd be another good guy taking lawful action to defend himself and his home. Even if he had confronted them outside and they had stood their ground or attacked him, same thing.

    I would even venture to say that if he had given pursuit and shot the man while he fled, he might have been OK legally (in some states it is legal for a citizen to use deadly force to stop a fleeing suspected felon when that citizen has personally witnessed the felony) but that's a bit more iffy and most likely subject to scrutiny.

    That the suspect stopped, turned, and raised his hands in the air changes things. The statement made by the homeowner didn't help, of course. If he had said that he thought the man was about to charge him, he might have faced a different situation with regard to the police and DA, but if his statement is a true report of the events, I'm afraid he went well beyond what the law allows.

    Personally, I would not pursue someone under those circumstances, but that's a personal choice on my part. However, I would be thinking that the guys might be armed, and pursuing them is a serious risk to my life. I'd secure my home and call the police. Yes, they'd probably get away, but I don't want to put my life at risk to pursue fleeing suspects over property.
     
  6. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I don't even fault him for chasing the dude, although I don't think I would have. One of the questions people should ask themselves before they even think about being in such a situation is 'what do I do with him if I catch him'? I don't mean he should have asked himself that question in that second, I mean he should have considered it long ago as a 'what if' scenario.

    You chase after someone fleeing from a property crime, and you are putting yourself at risk; he may be armed, he may turn the tables on you and gain access to your gun, etc. He may have a car waiting, full of friends who won't like you. You could even slip and fall down or hurt yourself going over a fence, get shot by a neighbor as you race across their backyard in hot pursuit, etc. Once you catch the dude, you may have to wrestle with him, and you don't have handcuffs, a radio to call for backup, or backup to call for anyway. How do you subdue other than rendering him unconscious or dead if he decides to fight it out?

    And presuming the guy does exactly what the homeowner says this guy did; turn and give up, putting his hands in the air; now what? If he runs away, do you shoot him? If he charges you? Do you march him back to your house and somehow get the door unlocked, get him inside, and call the cops, all while hoping his accomplice doesn't circle back and take a pot-shot at you from the darkness?

    For me, there's just too much risk here for property thieves. Self-defense means defense of self. I'm not a cop, I want to stop crime but I don't carry a badge. Like you, I'd get a description, secure my home, call the police. Yeah, it sucks that they're probably going to get away.
     
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  7. WC_lun

    WC_lun Senior Master

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    If what was reported is correct, this guy shot a person in cold blood. That is murder and he should be punished as such.

    Many of these guys who say they would have chased the criminals down and done this and that are just living in a fantasy. If nothing else, for a normal human being there are consequences that have to be dealt with when you do violence upon another human being. Even if that violence is deserved. It is one thing to say you would shoot someone and quite another to do it and watch the blood and life poor out of the person you just shot.
     
  8. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Comments on this forum, from similar cases or elsewhere? Speaking for myself, and I apologize in advance if I'm wrong, due to forgetting, but I believe the only thing that I've said was that I feel that people should fight back. I believe I've said that once the threat is over, that we should not continue beating the person.

    I'd say this was a case of vigilante justice.

    Agreed.

    Thats true, and I dont know the laws where this guy lives.

    Agreed.

    Good points. Just because no weapon may have been visable, doesnt mean that the suspects didnt have weapons.
     
  9. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    NOt 100% related to this, but its relevant to a point. I think I've shared this story before, but here it is again:

    This was a few years ago. I took a call from a resident who said that her husband was chasing after someone, who was crank calling their house repeatedly. A little backside to the incident. Someone called a pizza place and placed a large order to be delivered. When the driver got to the house, the homeowner declined the order, stating that nobody called.

    This pissed off the driver, who did his own vigilante justice, but crank calling them. Somehow, the womans husband figured out where the calls were coming from (a payphone) staked out the phone, was communicating with his wife via cell phone, and when he saw the guy, he gave chase.

    She calls 911 and is relaying to me, where her husband was going. I told her repeatedly to tell him to stop chasing the car. He had the plate, it matched the car, so stop, wait for the cops and let them do their job.

    Just another case of someone doing something similar. The risk to the other people on the road, the risk to the people involved....the risk to chasing after someone who tried to break into your house at night, when you dont know what may happen.

    Back to this story though....you made good points. Assuming you get the guy, what then? It may be possible to hold him at gunpoint and use your cell phone. Do you have the phone? Do you know where you are? Like I said, the guy was probably pissed off and acted on a knee jerk reaction. If the guy wanted to do something, he'd have been better off chasing him and hitting him with his bare hands vs. shooting him.
     
  10. Gaius Julius Caesar

    Gaius Julius Caesar Black Belt

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    Look where this happend, a hellhole run into the ground by Liberal and racial politics and a hands tied police force to boot.

    He killed a scumbag, I really dont care as the man lives in American Beruit.

    I'd have a differnt view if he did this in a low crime area but where he was good luck with getting a cop there on time, better to kill criminals and bleed their numbers and blunt their boldness.
     
  11. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I should have been more clear, sorry. I meant comments about this specific case made in the media here in the Detroit area. There are plenty of people who see this man as a hero. And I do understand their feelings, even if I don't agree with them. The shooter is a decent, hard-working man with no criminal background who had a low-paying job and manage to steer clear of the drugs, violence, gangs, and criminality that pervade the metro Detroit area. He was truly being a 'good guy' in the way he was living his life, from what I can tell.

    And people are really fed up with things in Detroit. The police are hopelessly underfunded, not enough cops on the streets, the criminals practically run things, it's horrible. People who can, flee to the suburbs. Those who can't feel trapped inside Detroit, or angry because they feel their city no longer belongs to them. It's really not good.

    So I get the anger, resentment, and the idea that vigilante justice may not be the worst thing that can happen. Unfortunately, it's not the answer either.
     
  12. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    I think thi bit is rather important as well

     
  13. Hudson69

    Hudson69 Brown Belt

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    There was no cold blood here. The guy was attempting to burglarize his home; I have chased myself when I caught some guys stabbing my car tires for no reason (gun in hand).

    "Even if that violence is deserved"? Have you ever been a victim? I don't agree with whacking someone if you catch them and they surrender but "watch the blood and life poor out of the person", really? If I have a reason to frag someone the only reason I would stay and watch is because of a safety issue or I am waiting for law enforcement.

    I wont say this guy is right based off of the information (has this guy been a victim before, how truthful about the events and what was said is the media being and so on) but maybe the other guy who ran and got away will think twice about trying to break into someones home such as the elderly or where children are at or some other common victim that cannot adequately defend themselves.

    My opinion only
     
  14. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    One very practical question is here is what do you do with the gun when you catch the person? You will have trouble restraining him with the gun in one hand, and if you holster it or set it aside, you stand a chance of having it taken from you. I would consider chasing someone 'gun in hand' only if I were justified in firing that weapon. For what other purpose would I have drawn it in the first place?

    It is my opinion that too many people see a firearm as a magic wand. You take it out, wave it a bit, and the situation gets better. The situation seldom gets better after a gun is introduced, IMHO.

    Vigilante justice is seldom rewarded by the court system. Extenuating circumstances are sometimes taken into consideration in terms of the degree of the crime, or in sentencing, in an attempt to recognize that (in this case) it may not have been cold-blooded, premeditated murder but rather the 'heat of passion', etc. However, the law, properly speaking, does not care about whether the other guy will 'think twice about it' and so on. These things are understandable as opinions (as you said yours was), but the law doesn't care.

    This seems to me to be a good reason to think about such things ourselves.

    I would not want to try to make a jury understand that I was just 'sending a message' to the thugs out there, whilst my home was being foreclosed on because I lost my job when I got arrested. Know what I mean? I have to go to work everyday. I really don't have time to be arrested and prove to a court of law that those thugs needed to be taught a lesson and I was just the guy to do it.
     
  15. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Master of Arts

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    Well THAT was a brilliant statement to give!

    For all we know the home owner ment he told the guy to stop or else, and the theif tried to run or fight and for all practical purposes he was dead on his feet.

    But you see, when you talk to cops, if you have a motor-mouth you can stay some pretty stupid things that can be taken many ways.

    And that is why you a) tell the cops they dynamics of the situation, b) point out any evidence, and c) SHUT UP and ask for your lawyer.

    Yes the guy may have ment he was gonna kill him no matter what, but he may have ment it another way.

    And yes, he is in big do-do. Now he really needs a lawyer.

    My only question is, why did he grab the .25 auto when he had a 9mm?

    Weird.

    Deaf
     
  16. WC_lun

    WC_lun Senior Master

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    Yeah, I have been a victim. More than once unfortunately. I also live in a less than stellar neighborhood where burgularly and assault is common place. So I'm not talking from a vaccumn of information.

    If the information is correct then shooting the guy was cold-blooded. The criminal wasn't resisting, attacking, or offering any threat. In fact, according to the statement, he was pleading for his life in a manner of speaking. As a criminal, he deserves to have his freedom taken away and I could even see him getting roughed up a bit. Killing though? Sorry, but I don't think of that as being even remotely justified.

    The homeowner went from being innocent to being a criminal himself. I can only imagine his family is going through hell as well. Our actions have consequences. Niether of the men involved in this story seem to have realized that.
     
  17. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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    :rpo: :rpo: *FACEPALM* :rpo: :rpo:
     
  18. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    This is a sad story. The guy did the right thing by cleaning some garbage out of the environment. But he did it in the wrong way and now he's going to pay a heavy penalty.

    Sad, sad, sad.
     
  19. Hudson69

    Hudson69 Brown Belt

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    Holsters are an under-rated tool and when going hands on that is what they are for. If you have to take time to holster and the guy gets away then holster otherwise you risk an AD and remember there is a lawyer attached to every bullet and he doesn't get off until the bullet stops (sometimes never depending on what it hits).

    Plus if the guy is compliant then just keep him at gunpoint until the cops arrive, nothing wrong with that.

    A runner is a runner if you can catch him then do so but not to the point where you or someone innocent is at risk. The guys statement though, about shooting him was not good (spoken mildly).

    As far as guns go I dont think I would pursue a burglar with anything less as an option because you never know how a criminal has armed his or her self.

    Last year in Colorado Springs, Colorado a CSPD Officer caught two burglars in the act and shot one, killing him and tazing the other. http://www.springsgov.com/news.aspx?newsid=64 This was broad daylight in a low crime area. Sure it was the police who fired the shot but it could have been anyones home...
     
  20. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Here's the problem; if you have a gun in your hand and you are NOT legally justified in employing deadly force and the guy wants to wrestle with you, you have to either shoot him anyway, or find a place to put the firearm while you wrestle with him.

    This was a standard drill when I was involved in law enforcement. You don't draw unless you have authority to use deadly force. Drawing the weapon and hoping someone gives up is fine; until they don't give up. If you don't have the legal right to shoot them and they charge you, now you've got a problem. A gun in the hand can be quite a liability when you're trying to defend yourself without using to shoot with.123
     

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