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Old 08-26-2011, 14:15   #101
Sam Spade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poodleshooter1 View Post
While I think this is a great thread (not really), it's clear no one here really knows anything about the legal aspect of this subject. I'm going to ask this in the GATE forum for Ayoob to comment on.
A good idea, but I'll disagree, strongly, that no one really knows.

It's simple:

Articulate that the other guy has the means, opportunity and intent to cause you serious injury or death. If you're in a weird place requiring retreat or other preclusion, explain why that wouldn't work for you.

The fact that he had the means until he dropped it, or that they had the means until part of the posse fled or got killed, doesn't count. Show that all the elements exist when you pulled the trigger.
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Old 08-26-2011, 14:19   #102
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Originally Posted by Warp View Post
LEOs are civilians.
Yeah, yeah, and a clip is a magazine. Thanks for the completely unnecessary and irrrelevant correction.
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Old 08-26-2011, 14:31   #103
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Originally Posted by David Armstrong View Post
..."I shot an unarmed man because I was in fear of death or serious bodily injury"...
Fixed it for you.

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Originally Posted by poodleshooter1 View Post
While I think this is a great thread (not really), it's clear no one here really knows anything about the legal aspect of this subject. I'm going to ask this in the GATE forum for Ayoob to comment on.
I think your very wrong in that assumption, and should you ask him, I expect the following to be about the same response you'll get from Mas...

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Originally Posted by Sam Spade View Post
...

Articulate that the other guy has the means, opportunity and intent to cause you serious injury or death. If you're in a weird place requiring retreat or other preclusion, explain why that wouldn't work for you.

The fact that he had the means until he dropped it, or that they had the means until part of the posse fled or got killed, doesn't count. Show that all the elements exist when you pulled the trigger.
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Old 08-26-2011, 14:40   #104
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Originally Posted by Sam Spade View Post
The fact that he had the means until he dropped it, or that they had the means until part of the posse fled or got killed, doesn't count. Show that all the elements exist when you pulled the trigger.
Given the initial scenario, I don't think that should be all that difficult. This is not the same situation as being confronted by an individual that never displayed a weapon at all; it goes without saying that drawing down on somebody who didn't threaten you with a weapon would be inappropriate in most circumstances. But any individual who continues with an attack against an intended victim whom he knows to be armed and ready to defend himself should rightly be presumed to be a serious threat. What conclusion could reasonbly be drawn other than he intends to take your gun? He's already demonstrated A) a willingness to threaten another with a deadly weapon and B) an apparent disregard for his own safety.
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Old 08-26-2011, 16:25   #105
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Originally Posted by David Armstrong View Post
So, an unarmed person, who you know to be unarmed, approaches you slowly saying they want to kill you. You will pull out your gun and shoot them?
Simple answer is yes.

This is not just a stanger you bump into at church. He's a home intruder, so he's a felon. You can't assume he's a harmless guy approaching you for a hug. Of all his possible intentions for approaching an armed homeowner, I can't think of one that is not threatening of my life or well being.

BANG.
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Old 08-26-2011, 16:40   #106
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Originally Posted by GlockinNJ View Post
Simple answer is yes.

This is not just a stanger you bump into at church. He's a home intruder, so he's a felon. You can't assume he's a harmless guy approaching you for a hug. Of all his possible intentions for approaching an armed homeowner, I can't think of one that is not threatening of my life or well being.

BANG.
When did this discussion become about a home intruder? The OP didn't specify that the individual was a home intruder.

What you do while confronting a home intruder compared to what you do while defending yourself on the street may well be two very different things.

In my case, it wouldn't because if someone is coming at me with a knife, I'm going to draw and shoot. But in the case of holding someone at gunpoint after he has disarmed himself, the location (home or street) may well be an important factor.
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Old 08-26-2011, 17:28   #107
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But we don't know that.
Yes, I know, everyone is always a weapon all the time. But from a legal point, which is what I'm discussing, if no weapons are visible and none have been mentioned or threatened the law is that you are obligated to consider the person as unarmed until evidence shows otherwise.

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LEOs are civilians.
According to some definitions. Other accepted sources define civilian as not including LEOs, and certainly common useage regularly makes a distinction.

Last edited by David Armstrong; 08-26-2011 at 17:51..
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Old 08-26-2011, 17:33   #108
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But the BG did, in fact, start the assault with a knife (in the original scenario). Does the fact that he has disarmed himself when confronted with armed resistance suddenly place an obligation on the intended victim to disarm themself as well?
Nobody has said disarm yourself, or anything close to that. The issue is how much force can you use against an unarmed man who is slowly approaching you.
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What would you suggest one do in such a scenario? Reholster and start from scratch? (not being a smartypants, I really want to know if you'd consider that a viable option for a non-LEO?)
I don't suggest anything other than being able to explain why you felt that whatever you did was a reasonable response to the situation. As mentioned earlier, there are so many unknown variables in this scenario that to suggest a single course of action is appropriate for all is more than a little questionable, IMO. But yes, reholster and start over is certainly a viable option to be considered. Of course, I'm still wondering why anyone wants to stick around with this guy if you don't have to.
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Old 08-26-2011, 17:36   #109
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Originally Posted by poodleshooter1 View Post
While I think this is a great thread (not really), it's clear no one here really knows anything about the legal aspect of this subject. I'm going to ask this in the GATE forum for Ayoob to comment on.
Actually several people here do know about the legal aspect of this, and have commented on it from that position. The legal aspect is not complicated....are your actions both allowed under the law and considered reasonable at the time of the act.

Last edited by David Armstrong; 08-26-2011 at 17:40..
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Old 08-26-2011, 17:50   #110
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Given the initial scenario, I don't think that should be all that difficult. This is not the same situation as being confronted by an individual that never displayed a weapon at all; it goes without saying that drawing down on somebody who didn't threaten you with a weapon would be inappropriate in most circumstances. But any individual who continues with an attack against an intended victim whom he knows to be armed and ready to defend himself should rightly be presumed to be a serious threat.
"Presumed to be a serious threat" does not in and of itself allow lethal force. In the scenario it is also quite questionable how much of a serious threat one should presume exists. Basically all we have at this point is a guy that has dropped his weapon when threatened by you, and is now walking slowly toward you while talking.
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What conclusion could reasonably be drawn other than he intends to take your gun?
There are all sorts of conclusions that don't include taking the gun.
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He's already demonstrated A) a willingness to threaten another with a deadly weapon and B) an apparent disregard for his own safety.
And he has also demonstrated a willingness to de-escalate the issue by dropping his weapon AND now is attempting to try to get you to do the same by moving slowly and talking to you, according to the OP.
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Old 08-26-2011, 18:10   #111
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And he has also demonstrated a willingness to de-escalate the issue by dropping his weapon AND now is attempting to try to get you to do the same by moving slowly and talking to you, according to the OP.
I'm sure that's the way that the prosecutor will spin it.
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Old 08-26-2011, 19:20   #112
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Originally Posted by NewGlockShooter View Post
Pull the trigger.

It was obviously the impact of the SD rounds that made them drop their weapons.
Except they've been advancing since they dropped it, so it won't be where its supposed to be based on your story.

Not a good place to be in. Better to say nothing and get a lawyer to say it than lie. When the story doesn't match the physical evidence, your credibility takes a huge hit, and now the cops start wondering why you feel the need to lie to the, what are you trying to hide. Not going to go well for you after that point.

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Old 08-26-2011, 19:38   #113
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The guy dropped the weapon, he's no longer a threat.

However, now he's advancing on you, while you're holding him at gunpoint, and threatened to shoot him. He's still advancing. If he gets close enough to grab the weapon, he's a deadly threat again, because he's trying to arm himself with your weapon.

His intent is obvious, I'd think. He wanted to kill you before. Pointing a gun at him doesn't change his intent, doesn't make him your friend. Only his ability has changed. However, his ability comes into play once again when he's close enough to have a reasonable chance to successfully take the gun before you can shoot him.

He's going to get to that point if he keeps advancing. His intent is to regain the ability to harm you. Do you let him? Or do you stop the threat from becoming imminent?

If he were advancing toward the dropped knife, while still close enough to stab you, do you let him pick up the knife before you shoot him? I would think not.

Its really the same scenario. He's advancing toward a weapon. Yours. Do you let him get close enough to do so? Or when he gets close enough that you have a legitimate fear he's close enough to lunge and grab the gun faster than you can react and pull the trigger, he IS once again a legitimate, imminent threat, and fair game for shooting.

He sure seems to think he's going to be win the confrontation, leaving you disarmed and at his mercy. If he believes it, why shouldn't I believe he has that ability?

Close enough to stab you with a knife before you can react, close enough to grab your gun before you can react... they both seem like imminent threats to me. I don't think its much of a stretch to explain that to a jury.

Randy

Last edited by steveksux; 08-26-2011 at 19:39..
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Old 08-26-2011, 20:01   #114
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I've just read through this entire thread, and it's got my brain spinning. IMO, several very good points have been made. You shouldnt pull your weapon unless you intend to use it. If someone is approaching me with a knife, it is my belief beyond a doubt that his intent is to cause me great harm in some way shape or form. In that situation, I would have immediately pulled and fired if I felt I could not avoid the confrontation. The aggressor has showed intent to cause me great bodily harm with a weapon, and I would be within the law to use deadly force. In a situation where the victim brandishes the weapon and the perpetrator drops their weapon, there are several ways that could play out. First, you don't know if they have another weapon. If you tell them to stand down, and they stop approaching you, it's reasonable to say they aren't necessarily a threat. If however they continue to approach you after they've dropped their weapon, I believe you can reasonably assume they are still intent on causing you harm, either with a second weapon (hidden) or your own by attempting to disarm you, at which point I feel it's safe to say you still have a right to shoot, however it will be much harder to convince the jury of that. Each state is different in it's laws regarding the use of deadly force and self defense. I reside in Florida, and in my state you have no duty to retreat and are allowed to meet force with force, including deadly force IF necessary. There are variables upon variables in every situation. I've spent hours researching my state laws, as well as actual events that occurred where deadly force was used and what the circumstances were, as well as the outcome from a legal standpoint. A friend of mine also made a very good point to me when I was somewhat new to firearms and such in general. She told me that god forbid I did ever have to use my gun to defend myself, not to just fire once. The more shots youve fired the more it shows how terrified and in fear for your life you were. If you fire several shots, it shows you were truly in fear for your life and were ensuring that the threat was truly gone. Fire only one shot, it may come across as you were not really that scared. Obviously again there are variables, like wether or not there are innocent bystanders nearby and such, but I felt she made a very good point none the less. Your responsible for where each bullet ends up. The more in the perpetrator, the better in my opinion. Im not any kind of expert, but I've invested a good amount of time researching this, because time is free but life is priceless. Know your state laws, and know at best what to do when any situation presents itself. Play it out in your head, with as many variables as you can. Sure, you never know 100% what will happen if the time ever comes, but preparation and awareness will play a major role in the outcome as a whole. Just my .02


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Old 08-26-2011, 20:09   #115
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You are seriously simplifying Ayoobs statements, and I believe slighty mi-stating them.

Depending on the laws of your state, your last paragraph might or might not give justification.
Laws in our State are written so ambiguously that ANY attempt at self defense is a crap shoot. Fortunately, I can't think of one self defense shoot that's been prosecuted in years. (ending ia a conviction) Something to do with the victim being able to articulate that they were in fear of great bodily harm, and the fact that the law says "any reasonable person" would fear for their lives. (paraphrased)

The biggest key here is "reasonable person".

Last edited by Bogey; 08-26-2011 at 20:40..
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Old 08-26-2011, 21:08   #116
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When did this discussion become about a home intruder? The OP didn't specify that the individual was a home intruder.

What you do while confronting a home intruder compared to what you do while defending yourself on the street may well be two very different things.

In my case, it wouldn't because if someone is coming at me with a knife, I'm going to draw and shoot. But in the case of holding someone at gunpoint after he has disarmed himself, the location (home or street) may well be an important factor.
You're right. I assumed it was a home invasion and the OP doesn't say that. If this happened on the street, my reaction would be different.
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Old 08-26-2011, 21:22   #117
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I have read through most of these comments and some of y'all think like me and some don't, that's every mans right.. But the way I look at it is if he has a knife or has dropped it and is still coming at me either way he's a dead man..... If the guys on here having all these questions in there heads WHAT IF ....i think might do better off with pepper spay or something along that line. Everyman if the state allows should carry if the so choice, but to have all those WHAT IFS running through your head at the time of danger, Will either get YOU your WIFE or KIDS hurt and to me if a man choices to carry a firearm he needs to have all those answer way ahead of starting to carry.

Not in anyway trying to put down on anyone just giving my 2 cent
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Old 08-26-2011, 21:40   #118
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How slow is he approaching once he dropped the knife? Say the speed of a steam roller?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr9qX9k1Y98

"Look! It's K-K-K-Ken, c-c-c-coming to k-k-kill me!"

Possibly my favorite scene in all of moviedom, and oddly appropriate here...

He's advancing to me in spite of my threats to shoot if he continues. He has shown intent to kill me with the knife. No reason to suspect that's changed. Now he's coming to try to take my gun. Once he can grab it, we're in a deadly confrontation.

Its no different than someone pointing a gun at me. I'm in no imminent danger just having it pointed at me. I mean, maybe its empty? Maybe he won't pull the trigger? I think not. Do I need to wait until I actually see bullets coming out of the muzzle before I respond with deadly force? No.

Do I need to wait until he actually puts his hand on my weapon to attempt to wrench the gun out of my hand before I shoot as he approaches? I say no here as well.

If I can retreat, I would perhaps be wise to try, even in a stand your ground state, IMO, it would add to your defense that you tried to avoid shooting an unarmed man. Obviously an unarmed man is going to be a more difficult case to articulate than an obvious threat in hand like a knife. But the case can be made. He's made it clear as day.

People have an aversion to shooting an unarmed man, as they should (including people on juries). Moreso than an armed man. As they should. That does not mean than an unarmed man is not a deadly threat once he's just about close enough to arm himself with your weapon and showing no signs of stopping before he tries. Its no different than if he's moving toward the knife he dropped. He's trying to arm himself, whether with the weapon he dropped or the one he's wants to take from you.

You are under no obligation to allow him to make it a fairer fight if his intention is clearly to use deadly force against you. You may use deadly force to prevent an imminent deadly threat as well as stop one in progress, can't you? If not, why not?

Randy

Last edited by steveksux; 08-26-2011 at 21:55..
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Old 08-26-2011, 21:47   #119
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Many very interesting points and insights. In my opinion, perp showed intent to begin with. Criminal mindset, he's intent on harming you. He gets the air let out of him.
Whether or not he's armed anymore does not matter to me. He's already shown that he's got the intent to rob me or rob and kill me. I am not going to shake his hand and thank him for putting his weapon down. I am not going to fight over my weapon. I am not going to what if, if he's off his meds or whatever. I'm not sure what a body does when shot, where his weapon was after his intent, that's for a jury to decide. I'll say nothing and won't be volunteering anything. He attacked, he's dead. I'll go to therapy for PTSD. End of story. Gene pool gets cleaned a little. I'm not leaving Texas.
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Old 08-26-2011, 22:23   #120
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And he has also demonstrated a willingness to de-escalate the issue by dropping his weapon AND now is attempting to try to get you to do the same by moving slowly and talking to you, according to the OP.
You are making some BIG assumptions here. First, that he has no other weapon. We don't know that. Secondly, that he is trying to de-escalate by moving towards someone with a handgun pointed at him. The only logical conclusions I would come to in this scenario are:
1. He is insane or beyond, so don't kill a crazy man if I don't have to (crazy enough to kill me, though)
2. His talking and moving towards me is a ploy to slow my reaction time enough so he can deploy his other concealed weapon that I haven't seen yet, or make a lunge for my weapon once in range.

Why do I think I can shoot him and why a cop shouldn't? Well, first off, if I were a cop I'd be retired collecting my pension. I have bad knees now and don't run well, so I could (and would) retreat only if he was walking and that would be OK. But if he ran at me, I may not be able to outrun him, especially since his initial action would take away most of my distance due to my reaction time. Also, I don't carry things like a baton or asp, or OC spray, taser, or a protective vest, so the cops have other non-lethal and very handy weapons. If I were 15-25 years younger, it would make a big difference, too.

Actually, this is the perfect scenario for carrying OC spray, just be able to deploy it with the weak hand while keeping your gun ready.

So let's say I am willing to holster my gun and have a restart scenario. Let's assume this guy, who seconds ago possessed a deadly weapon with intent to do me serious bodily harm, has now "disarmed." He's an honest felon, and only wants a little hand-to-hand action on a Saturday night. Let's assume even if he "gets the best of me", that because he is an honorable felon, he won't try to take my gun and use it to kill me. But, things don't go well for me in the fisticuffs that ensue, and I'm lucky enough to come out of my coma 6-12 months later, with brain damage and permanent disability from being repeatedly kicked in the head after I was already unconscious. I've lost my job and my disability has run out, so my home is in foreclosure and I have no income to pay my medical bills. Fair enough. At least I'm still alive and not in jail. That's only one possible outcome.

A better solution is a strategy to win in court. Here's some things that will help you with that.

- Bad guy disarms but continues to advance. Continue to shout loudly Drop your weapon or I'll shoot! Drop your weapon! Then shoot him when he has closed to within your comfortable point of no return. This has two advantages. First, it puts serious doubt in the bad guy's mind that you haven't seen him disarm, or haven't acknowledged his disarming. He may change his strategy. He may even think you're crazier than he is. Secondly, your lawyer can claim that you never saw the assailant actually drop his weapon (maybe under the stress you got tunnel vision) and witnesses will hear your shouts right up to when you actually start firing shots.

- Cameras are everywhere now, so if you're in a public or semi-public place, be aware that you may be on candid camera. So don't tamper with evidence after the shooting. At a later date, if there is no video or eyewitnesses (your lawyer will know before your trial due to disclosure laws), your lawyer could claim that after the shooting you moved the weapon a safe distance away from the assailant so it couldn't be used by him if he regained consciousness.

- Never say anything to the police after the shooting, other than "He was going to kill me for certain...I didn't have any other option", "I'm very upset now, I think I'm having a panic/heart attack, I need a doctor" and most importantly, "I don't want to make any statements until after I have talked to my lawyer". Be aware that the police are not necessarily on your side. They may act like they are, and say things to draw you into making self-incriminating statements..."Nice shooting Mr. TDC, I'm glad you took care of that scum". Just don't say anything about the shooting. You will probably be locked up for 8-24 hours, so the interrogation could involve sleep deprivation and threats. Keep your mouth shut. Don't lie, don't tell the truth, don't agree or disagree with anything. Keep asking for a lawyer. Remember, pretty much anything you say will weaken your defense if you are charged with an unjustified shooting. You and your lawyer will have months to get creative with your defense.

Everyone here knows what the guy's intent was in this scenario by walking towards a drawn gun and ignoring commands to stop. This isn't a case of murder, it's a case of self-defense. The most important thing is surviving, the second most important thing is being found not guilty of whatever you might be charged with.

Be safe.
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