When is it OK to shoot this guy?

Discussion in 'General Weapons Discussion' started by Cruentus, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F4YCXDydFA&feature=related

    This is a serious question.

    Some of you have seen this already. I am curious about the use of force issue here when the enraged dentist forces himself into the other man's vehicle. Now, in this circumstance, he got out and yelled at the man to move the vehicle.

    But, a vehicle is a deadly weapon. If someone is trying to hit you with their vehicle, you can reasonably use deadly force to stop that person.

    This dentist was unarmed. But he was clearly enraged and unpredictable. There is no reasonable expectation that he wouldn't have used that vehicle as a weapon when he first got in (maybe kicked it in reverse or in drive, smash another vehicle or person, etc.). The dentist forcing himself behind someone elses vehicle is akin to him trying to grab a gun or a knife, really.

    So, at what point in a circumstance like this would it be justifiable to pull your firearm to stop the use of a deadly weapon (in this case, a vehicle)?
     
  2. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    In that(particular) case, use of deadly force wouldn't have been justified unless the dentist actually moved his vehicle towards someone with clear intent to hit them with it. Instead he got out of his own vehicle and essentially threw his weight around. Dunno what the initial problem was but the Mercedes driving individual was clearly not in control of himself and thus was physically abusing others around him. No, he didn't like being filmed but so what? Pushing down the "sister" was another assault charge but he didn't continue his assault on her and again deadly force wasn't needed or warranted.
    Bad thing was that the brother (initial rage victim) struck the dentist when the attack on his "sister" was finished. This is another assault charge which should be levied against him, not the dentist.
    The officers interceded and defused the situation admirably and without needing to draw their weapons as they saw there was no threat to life as well.

    You have to quickly assess the situation correctly. In the heat of the moment this is difficult to do and you sometimes can only go moment by moment. Trying to anticipate one's actions is futile I think. The dentist was wrong in shoving the woman when she was speaking to him. It wasn't clear what she said and she might have said something offensive to him (racial slur maybe??) that caused his anger to escalate to where he shoved her down. This does not make it okay by any means but escalation usually takes two parties.

    There was not just ONE wrong person in that video.

    But no, shooting this guy when there was no clear evident threat to life wouldn't been justified. Had he pulled a weapon then yeah of course... but only, ONLY after clear warnings to cease and desist have been made. You cannot arbitrarily just draw your weapon, haul off and shoot someone ala Indiana Jones, in the street without clear warning first. Even most police officers are required to do this.
     
  3. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    You are seeing the situation in hind site, and from a video camera.

    Picture that you are parked, waiting to pick someone up. And some screaming, enraged individual decides to approach your vehcile, rip you out from behind the wheel, and start to get in your vehicle.

    Is he demonstrating, the intent of committing extreme violence? He definatily has the ability and opportunity as soon as he gets behind that wheel. So really, intent is the make or break to justify a shooting.

    This just isn't that black and white...

    I know I personally would fight him without the use of a firearm because he is initially unarmed, and would only pull my weapon if the situation changed. But that doesn't mean that you wouldn't be justified in shooting someone pulling you aside and getting behind your wheel...
     
  4. kaizasosei

    kaizasosei Master Black Belt

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    of course he started the pushing, but they escalated some in my opinion.

    this is a perfect example of how difficult it is for people to deal with physical force.
    the dentist really was quite aggressive however in pushing the guy away-even pushing him away from the car the other party was suposed to get into at the start. the woman however really chose the wrong course of action, which was to push the guy. but then again, by getting knocked down by his onehanded(yet forceful) push, that really put him in a bad enough light that he even showed no resistance when getting arrested.-
    the other party was the first to start punching, he just happened to be in the often more advantageous position of being the defender of his own rights of personal space etc.
    i dont think it's ok to shoot anyone. i would consider the experience of this incident as a lesson learnt for everyone.

    j
     
  5. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    True, hindsight... however; the driver of the vehicle was already OUT of the car, standing in the door well and was subsequently pushed out of the way... a push is not a pull (it's still assault). But getting into the car with obvious intent to drive it where he wanted it... out of his own car's path.. could be considered theft, or at least attempted theft... even if he meant to drive it only 30-40 feet.
    I agree that I would've fought back from him; touching me, touching my car and getting into it. But I still don't see warranted use of a firearm or weapon at that point. As you say if it continued and turned out that HE had a weapon... then yes, of course.

    Wondering what the LEO's here think about it?
     
  6. kaizasosei

    kaizasosei Master Black Belt

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    seems to me that if that guy started punching, people may be in need of surgery. not to mention what he could do to you molars with a drill or hooklike tool if he managed actually to gain entrance into your mouth. :)
     
  7. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    I'm not an LEO and I am not a lawyer but in NYS (other states may be different) it appears you can't shoot him, or at least that is my interpretation of this

    From - New York State Law




     
  8. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    If it was me, I saw no reason to shoot the guy, and in hindsight, I would hate myself for having done it.

    It also goes to show what stupid things people will get in a fight over. Why didn't he just move the car? Obviously he had the ability to move it. It seemed like a pride issue, for everybody involved.

    I know that I would have a hard time not punching the guy if he shoved my sister to the ground, though. As the driver got out of the car, the dentist was still facing the sister. He only backed up and turned towards the driver when he was attacked. The driver couldn't see his sister behind the car, nor would he be able to tell if she had been punched, or shoved, or what.

    Of course, it also goes to show how fast self-defense can turn into a separate act of assault, depending on different people's point of view.
     
  9. kaizasosei

    kaizasosei Master Black Belt

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    no doubt. acting up like that is what get people shot all the time.
    i can think of countless places where his aggression would have gotten him shot pretty quick.
    but i personally have a hard time accepting that option as a martial artist.
    if someone uses guns or knives on me, i guess i might also end up escalating the level of violence, but generally i try to stay human and am confident in my ability to communicate as well as my rights as a human being.
    so if someone would have shot him in the situation i could see it happening. sure seemed like a bully, but wasnt actually a robber.-even if he may be charged with theft.

    j
     
  10. Doc_Jude

    Doc_Jude 3rd Black Belt

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    Justification of deadly force (you never shoot to wound) requires Ability, Opportunity, and Manifest Jeopardy on the part of the assaulting party, and Preclusion on the victim's part. When both parties are in cars and out of their cars at relatively the same time, the parameters aren't met.
    Outside of the car, however, the disparity in size would perhaps justify the drawing of a weapon, whether gun/knife/bat, as a deterrent. That little guy probably couldn't have handled the big guy if he had con't the assault upon the female, some kind of weapon would have been required to stop the assault, if there was no assistance available. Assistance was present, however, and they all seemed to get the point of who was in the wrong.

    Nope, no justifiable use of deadly force.
     
  11. Archangel M

    Archangel M Senior Master

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    The cameraman appears to be talking to officers nearby and theres a squad car right there in one shot, I wonder what took them so long to take control of this guy?

    What was a camera crew doing there in the first place?
     
  12. kaizasosei

    kaizasosei Master Black Belt

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    good point . maybe he's already a famous bully.??
     
  13. Archangel M

    Archangel M Senior Master

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  14. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

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    Generally, I would say that it's a prime example of why we shouldn't pack millions of us in close proximity to each other.

    We're still a tribal animal and thus happiest in small communities. Mound us togther and stress us and this is the sort of thing you get i.e. intelligent, educated people behaving in unfathomably aggressive ways.
     
  15. Doc_Jude

    Doc_Jude 3rd Black Belt

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    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - Agent K, Men In Black
     
  16. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    At an OP in view of your house...
    Let's look at this a different way; take this issue out of the picture, and just consider that your parked behind the wheel in your car, and someone opens your unlocked door and starts trying to pull you out, screaming obscenities and acting enraged. However, no weapon is present.

    Do you have the right to shoot that person?

    I say that if you are unable to fight him off, at the moment he gets behind the wheel, if he has demonstrated that he has intent to gravely harm someone with the vehicle, then I say that yes, deadly force is justified. The ability and opportunity becomes present once in the vehicle, it is just "intent" that needs to be demonstrated at this point (which can be subjective, and where disagreements would occur). Secondary arguments might occur regarding opportunity if the vehicle is blocked in, or if it isn't evident that he could easily pull out and harm someone with the vehicle.

    You would not be able to use deadly force until "ability to do grave bodily harm" becomes present. If the person has a weapon or is much larger and more powerful then you (and trying to beat on you to get into the vehicle) then ability may be present. Otherwise, ability does not really present itself at that moment of the assault until he is actually in the vehicle and trying to drive off.

    That's what I think, anyway. I would like to hear some LE and attorney opinion on this too. I don't disagree with anyones answers here, incidentally; I just believe that this isn't as black and white of an issue as people might want to think...
     
  17. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    It would have been a non issue for me. At 7 seconds into the tape when he moved that close I would be yelling to back up. At 8 seconds into the tape when he touched me I would have touched him back. Not knowing his state or intention I would most likely stuck a finger or thumb into his eye and then grabbed him from behind and dragged him away from my car.

    But that is me. ;)
     
  18. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Maybe yes maybe no, I am thinking in NYS no. But then if you did it would then be up to the court to decide.
     
  19. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    I agree with you on this; that it will ultimately come down to how good is your attorney and how understanding is the court system to your situation as to whether or not it is justified.

    A "grand theft auto" style jacking where the jacker is unarmed leaves a big gray area regarding use-of-force and what is or is not appropriate. For me, I hope it never happens of course; and if it does I just hope I react in a manner that is appropriate...

    As to NYC:

    See, depending on the circumstance it would be REASONABLE to assume that an irate person who forces himself behind the wheel of your vehicle could cause death or serious injury to those around him. A car, under a given circumstance, is considered a deadly weapon. THis is why police are justified to shoot if someone backs up or moves a car towards them in a threatening manner.

    It will come down to reasonableness based on your perceived intent of the assailant. I just think it might be a difficult road for you if you do use deadly force in this situation, so one better be sure...
     
  20. Archangel M

    Archangel M Senior Master

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    It all comes down down to articulation. If I drag you out of your car and hop in and drive off and you shoot me in the back of the head, you used deadly force to protect property, which outside of a residential burglary or arson attempt is a no no in most penal law. If I drag you out and you catch your arm in the seat belt and I drive off dragging you, thats a whole different kettle o fish. How you argue the point that you [being a reasonable man] felt your life was in danger is what matters. In this case here I dont see it.


    I believe that the "victim type" is important here too. A woman with a kid in the back could probably get away with capping the guy. A male who is involved in a road rage incident, no so likely.123
     

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