What happens on the police/government side after a shooting?
I know this is a very large question. I am only looking for the large steps. I assume that depending on what is found this could take many different paths.
For the scenario, letís assume the shooting takes place at a personís home and they claim it is self defense.
As you noted, RW, it's a complicated subject, probably warranting book-length reply to get into all the details and conditional branching. Basically, in the scenario you outline, the home will become a crime scene. Investigators will gather evidence (including the firearm) and dig into the backgrounds of both shooter and "shootee." In some jurisdictions, all killings of humans will go in front of a grand jury. In others, the prosecutor's office has the authority to determine the shooting justifiable, ending the matter there from the criminal justice side. (At that point, your firearm and other property in evidence will normally be returned.) Wounded perpetrators, and families of deceased ones, often file lawsuits despite lack of meritorious grounds to do so.
If any part of your story does not appear to check out, of course, the criminal justice system's response will now get a whole lot more complicated...
RW, many folks have the same question as you. If you belong to a gun club, talk to the board of directors about inviting someone from your local prosecutor's office to attend a meeting as a guest speaker, outlining local procedure and answering members' questions.
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