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Old 08-25-2011, 10:26   #51
SpringerTGO
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If I had no way to retreat, and the attacker was close enough to be an immediate threat, I would fire.
There is still a weapon present, you just happen to be the custodian of it. If the attacker is so close that his next action could give him access to it, and he has made his intent clear, why allow that?
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:55   #52
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Originally Posted by SpringerTGO View Post
If I had no way to retreat, and the attacker was close enough to be an immediate threat, I would fire.
There is still a weapon present, you just happen to be the custodian of it. If the attacker is so close that his next action could give him access to it, and he has made his intent clear, why allow that?
Because you don't get to base reasonableness on what what could happen. It seems as if many in this thread have forgotten the basic elements of use of deadly force or never learned them. It appears that in the OP we have only one, and at best two, of the four elements.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:57   #53
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Well my take on this is if the perp was lucky enough to drop his weapon as I was pulling/drawing down on him with out me shooting him. That would be a maricle . But then stupid enough to keep coming at me I'd say he be getting shot anyway. He's already shown intent by having a weapon in the first place. Especially if the distance is under 20 ft. I have a second or two before he's on me! I have no idea if he has another knife hidden or a gun.

As for the mob- I keep dropping them as long as they are standing- they have one option run away or get shot! Cause anyone that doesn't run is a threat! There's always a leader/main agressor in a mob -he gets it first.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:59   #54
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Doubtful that most others would believe that, which is the essence of "reasonable."
The definition of 'reasonable' changes all the time, even from one jury to another. If the prosecutor simply argues the fact that "badge315 shot an unarmed man", my actions might indeed appear unreasonable. If my attorney counters with the additional facts that "badge315 was threatened by Mr. BG with a knife and he drew his handgun to defend himself. Mr. BG then dropped his knife, but continued to advance menacingly at badge315", my actions might not appear so unreasonable after all. But like you already said, there is no single "what should I do?" answer to such a situation.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:13   #55
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Pretty simple, IMO. If you drew, intending to shoot based on the fact that the person was threatening you with a knife and he drops the knife, then you no longer have the justification to shoot based on that set of facts. They are no longer in existence. If he now advances on you barehanded can you explain to a jury of your peers why it was reasonable to assume that deadly force was the appropriate response to a threat of attack by an unarmed man. Personally I think you have a rather tough road ahead if you do.
Dr. Armstrong, if the bad guy has dropped the knife when a gun is presented, but he still continues to advance barehanded, I understand that the situation now becomes more complex; i.e., what do I do now.

I am 57 years old, short stature, and I am in poor health. I have a chronic back injury that causes chronic pain. And I have advanced and severe arthritis that also causes chronic severe pain. My hands themselves are crippled with arthritis, to the point that I cannot fully close either hand to ďmakeĒ a fist. I canít punch hard enough to fend off an average sized man in good physical condition. My back is injured to the point that I physically cannot grapple with any degree of effect.

So, in this scenario, I would still have to see the advancing, now disarmed man as a serious threat. If he were to get his hands on me, this would still be a disparity of force and I would be in danger of incurring serious bodily injury, including the possibility of death.

My question is; In your opinion, would I be justified in using lethal force in these circumstances? Iím not asking for legal advice, Iím just asking for your educated opinion.

Thanks.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:19   #56
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The definition of 'reasonable' changes all the time, even from one jury to another.
Not really. The definition remains the same. As the situation changes different juries look at different elements of an event to decide if the actions were reasonable or not.
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If the prosecutor simply argues the fact that "badge315 shot an unarmed man", my actions might indeed appear unreasonable. If my attorney counters with the additional facts that "badge315 was threatened by Mr. BG with a knife and he drew his handgun to defend himself. Mr. BG then dropped his knife, but continued to advance menacingly at badge315", my actions might not appear so unreasonable after all.
Depends on what those actions were. I'd still contend that, barring some unusual circumstances, shooting an unarmed man will not be considered reasonable by most jurors.
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But like you already said, there is no single "what should I do?" answer to such a situation.
Right. There is no single response, so you better be able to explain why you did not respond at a lower level of force rather than selecting the highest level.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:29   #57
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Dr. Armstrong, if the bad guy has dropped the knife when a gun is presented, but he still continues to advance barehanded, I understand that the situation now becomes more complex; i.e., what do I do now.

I am 57 years old, short stature, and I am in poor health. I have a chronic back injury that causes chronic pain. And I have advanced and severe arthritis that also causes chronic severe pain. My hands themselves are crippled with arthritis, to the point that I cannot fully close either hand to ďmakeĒ a fist. I canít punch hard enough to fend off an average sized man in good physical condition. My back is injured to the point that I physically cannot grapple with any degree of effect.

So, in this scenario, I would still have to see the advancing, now disarmed man as a serious threat. If he were to get his hands on me, this would still be a disparity of force and I would be in danger of incurring serious bodily injury, including the possibility of death.

My question is; In your opinion, would I be justified in using lethal force in these circumstances? Iím not asking for legal advice, Iím just asking for your educated opinion.

Thanks.
You offer a good point. Yes, there is a great disparity of force available due to your poor health. So it might be reasonable for you to use a higher level of force than someone else. That is what "reasonable" is all about...if someone else was you, what would they have done? Now, is lethal force justified? Again, can you explain to the court (or more likely have your lawyer explain) why you felt that level of force was the only viable option? If so you are probably gong to be OK. You used some key phrases: "If he were to get his hands on me" -and- "the possibility of death." How likely was it he would have been able to get his hands on you if you didn't shoot? How much possibility of death was there if you did not shoot? That is the hurdle you have to get over. That hurdle is at different heights for all of us.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:52   #58
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If he's within 121 feet he's still a threat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_6bmrqIsP8
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:03   #59
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Originally Posted by Cream Soda Kid View Post
Dr. Armstrong, if the bad guy has dropped the knife when a gun is presented, but he still continues to advance barehanded, I understand that the situation now becomes more complex; i.e., what do I do now.

I am 57 years old, short stature, and I am in poor health. I have a chronic back injury that causes chronic pain. And I have advanced and severe arthritis that also causes chronic severe pain. My hands themselves are crippled with arthritis, to the point that I cannot fully close either hand to ďmakeĒ a fist. I canít punch hard enough to fend off an average sized man in good physical condition. My back is injured to the point that I physically cannot grapple with any degree of effect.

So, in this scenario, I would still have to see the advancing, now disarmed man as a serious threat. If he were to get his hands on me, this would still be a disparity of force and I would be in danger of incurring serious bodily injury, including the possibility of death.

My question is; In your opinion, would I be justified in using lethal force in these circumstances? Iím not asking for legal advice, Iím just asking for your educated opinion.

Thanks.
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You offer a good point. Yes, there is a great disparity of force available due to your poor health. So it might be reasonable for you to use a higher level of force than someone else. That is what "reasonable" is all about...if someone else was you, what would they have done? Now, is lethal force justified? Again, can you explain to the court (or more likely have your lawyer explain) why you felt that level of force was the only viable option? If so you are probably gong to be OK. You used some key phrases: "If he were to get his hands on me" -and- "the possibility of death." How likely was it he would have been able to get his hands on you if you didn't shoot? How much possibility of death was there if you did not shoot? That is the hurdle you have to get over. That hurdle is at different heights for all of us.
Both good posts. Lets say Cream Soda Kid(partially disabled and unable to fend off an attack physically) and BailRecoveryAgent(young, able, strong, capable of fending off a physical attack) are both walking down different dark alleys in different locations. CSK and BRA are both approached by knife wielding attackers. CSK and BRA both pull their legally concealed weapons and order both KWA's to stop. Both KWA drop the knives but advance toward both CSK and BRA. CSK and BRA both fire their weapons into the attackers, both are DRT.

Both scenarios play out the exactly the same, but they will likely play out much different if/when brought to a court of law. BRA may be able to prove he couldn't reholster, fend off the attack before the attacker reached him and tried to take his weapon, but he'll have a harder time proving justification of deadly force than CSK.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:05   #60
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If he's within 121 feet he's still a threat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_6bmrqIsP8
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:18   #61
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And yet there is a legal presumption that any uninvited person in your home is there to kill you, whether or not there's any indication that that is actually the case. Any assumption that an unarmed individual aggressively advancing toward an armed person is not intent on violent assault defies logic.

Personally, I'm confident in my ability to articulate why I felt my life was in danger if I ever have to utilize deadly force.
Location makes all the difference in the world. My assumption with this scenario is that it was not within your home, but I may have assumed erroneously. In Florida, tho, shooting someone breaking into your home is doubly protected since we have the "stand your ground" law as well as the right to use deadly force to stop a forcible felony - including burglary.

You may be right that someone advancing toward an armed person is intent on assault. The question becomes is the use of deadly force against a single unarmed attacker justified? Again, my POV is that I'd rather shoot the attacker while he is still armed.
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Old 08-25-2011, 14:00   #62
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Because you don't get to base reasonableness on what what could happen. It seems as if many in this thread have forgotten the basic elements of use of deadly force or never learned them. It appears that in the OP we have only one, and at best two, of the four elements.
David,
I usually agree with you, and most likely we agree on this as well.
The bottom line to me is that the attacker came at me with a weapon, and is continuing the attack after dropping it, and seeing mine.
Like others in this thread, I'm older and weaker, but regardless of that, it still comes down to whether it is worth risking jail by shooting the attacker, or worth risking my life by wrestling over my weapon.

If I was convinced my life is still at risk, I'd rather take my chances with the courts.
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Old 08-25-2011, 14:13   #63
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And yet there is a legal presumption that any uninvited person in your home is there to kill you, whether or not there's any indication that that is actually the case. Any assumption that an unarmed individual aggressively advancing toward an armed person is not intent on violent assault defies logic.

Personally, I'm confident in my ability to articulate why I felt my life was in danger if I ever have to utilize deadly force.
Badge, if I ever get into this situation, I am calling you to be part of my defense team.

This thread has gotten ridiculous. We should all decide right now what we will do in this situation, because if "shoot him" isn't your answer, then you should sell all your guns. In the heat of the moment, there's no time to wrangle over the possible legal options and implications. Hesitation will get you killed, probably with your own gun. If you are afraid of going to jail for shooting an intruder, then sell your guns.
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Old 08-25-2011, 14:46   #64
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Badge, if I ever get into this situation, I am calling you to be part of my defense team.

This thread has gotten ridiculous. We should all decide right now what we will do in this situation, because if "shoot him" isn't your answer, then you should sell all your guns. In the heat of the moment, there's no time to wrangle over the possible legal options and implications. Hesitation will get you killed, probably with your own gun. If you are afraid of going to jail for shooting an intruder, then sell your guns.
I agree. Hesitation will get you killed which is why I am having a hard time understanding why so many folks would hesitate to shoot an attacker armed with a knife.
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Old 08-25-2011, 15:04   #65
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You offer a good point. Yes, there is a great disparity of force available due to your poor health. So it might be reasonable for you to use a higher level of force than someone else. That is what "reasonable" is all about...if someone else was you, what would they have done? Now, is lethal force justified? Again, can you explain to the court (or more likely have your lawyer explain) why you felt that level of force was the only viable option? If so you are probably gong to be OK. You used some key phrases: "If he were to get his hands on me" -and- "the possibility of death." How likely was it he would have been able to get his hands on you if you didn't shoot? How much possibility of death was there if you did not shoot? That is the hurdle you have to get over. That hurdle is at different heights for all of us.
Dr. Armstrong, thank you, I always appreciate your informative and well reasoned posts.
Regards,
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Old 08-25-2011, 15:12   #66
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Let's say you had legal justification to shoot and drew, perhaps because they were approaching with a knife or bat in hand. When you drew your gun they dropped their weapon and stopped advancing. Now you're not able to shoot and are holding them at gunpoint (who would hoster at this point lol).

Let's say the start talking to you and are approaching slowly step by step. If you can, try to create distance and put an object between you and them, sure. But whether you can or can't create distance and place an object between you, do you have legal justification to shoot if they disobey commands to stop advancing, etc. or do you actually have to get to the point where they are two feet from you and able to snatch your gun, and actually trying to snatch your gun?

What are the elements of such a situation?
Read your state statutes. Mine says I have to be in imminent danger of death, serious physical injury, etc., going down to "any felony involving the use of force." Assaulting somebody with your fist is not a felony here, so I'd have a hard time making that look justified.
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Old 08-25-2011, 15:13   #67
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Badge, if I ever get into this situation, I am calling you to be part of my defense team.

This thread has gotten ridiculous. We should all decide right now what we will do in this situation, because if "shoot him" isn't your answer, then you should sell all your guns. In the heat of the moment, there's no time to wrangle over the possible legal options and implications. Hesitation will get you killed, probably with your own gun. If you are afraid of going to jail for shooting an intruder, then sell your guns.
That only makes sense if you ignore most of the original post.
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Old 08-25-2011, 16:20   #68
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David,
I usually agree with you, and most likely we agree on this as well.
The bottom line to me is that the attacker came at me with a weapon, and is continuing the attack after dropping it, and seeing mine.
I'm not sure why that should matter. Would you think it appropriate to pull out you gun and shoot him if he had started the attack without the knife in the first place? If not, you will have a hard time justifying shooting him now.
Quote:
Like others in this thread, I'm older and weaker, but regardless of that, it still comes down to whether it is worth risking jail by shooting the attacker, or worth risking my life by wrestling over my weapon.

If I was convinced my life is still at risk, I'd rather take my chances with the courts.
Sure. Iif you are convinced, that is the way to go. The question is if you can convince a jury that your life was still at risk.
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Old 08-25-2011, 16:25   #69
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Badge, if I ever get into this situation, I am calling you to be part of my defense team.

This thread has gotten ridiculous. We should all decide right now what we will do in this situation, because if "shoot him" isn't your answer, then you should sell all your guns. In the heat of the moment, there's no time to wrangle over the possible legal options and implications. Hesitation will get you killed, probably with your own gun. If you are afraid of going to jail for shooting an intruder, then sell your guns.
That is nice rhetoric, but really doesn't have much to do with the scenario as posted. In the scenario the BG has dropped his weapon, is approaching slowly, and is talking to you. If you consider that a "heat of the moment" that requires a split-second decision, and the only decision is to shoot, maybe YOU are the one that needs to sell the guns, as clearly you don't understand the dynamics of use of force.
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Old 08-25-2011, 16:26   #70
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I would very LOUDLY yell something like: "STOP! DO NOT COME ANY CLOSER OR I'LL SHOOT".

Then shoot.

That way the witness will say " I heard him tell the guy to back off, but the guy didn't stop. . ."
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Old 08-25-2011, 16:27   #71
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I agree. Hesitation will get you killed which is why I am having a hard time understanding why so many folks would hesitate to shoot an attacker armed with a knife.
That is actually a pretty key point. If the danger was low enough you didn't see a need to shoot before, why does the danger suddenly increase after he gets rid of his weapon?
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Old 08-25-2011, 16:28   #72
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Dr. Armstrong, thank you, I always appreciate your informative and well reasoned posts.
Regards,
Lee, aka Cream Soda Kid
Always glad to do what little bit I can.
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Old 08-25-2011, 16:33   #73
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Why would they play out differently? You did say perp was DRT with no witnesses it your word against a dead mans! I'd say both are golden.
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Old 08-25-2011, 16:40   #74
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I'm not sure why that should matter. Would you think it appropriate to pull out you gun and shoot him if he had started the attack without the knife in the first place? If not, you will have a hard time justifying shooting him now.

Sure. Iif you are convinced, that is the way to go. The question is if you can convince a jury that your life was still at risk.
He started the attack with the knife, and it was appropriate to draw the weapon and fire when he attacked, depending on distance. Depending on distance again, it still might be appropriate to fire.

There are too many variables.

If he was within 10' with the knife (when he dropped it) shooting would have been more than appropriate. If you don't have the weapon already aimed at him from that distance, you don't have time to draw it, and barely have time to fire even if it is drawn and aimed. If he closed from there, unarmed, he could have my weapon in a heartbeat.
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Old 08-25-2011, 17:39   #75
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