Use of Deadly Force - When?

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by Car 2217, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. In my state, you may use deadly force if at the time of its use, you held a good faith belief based on objective facts, that you were in imminent fear [danger] of serious bodily harm [or worse]. The threat does not have to be real, only that you believed it to be so.

    There are a few exceptions like those mentioned above. For example, you must have a legal right to be where you are. If you are party to the confrontation/escalation, you must retreat until you can no long do so safely while telling your assailant that you do not wish to fight.. to leave you alone. When you can no longer retreat safely, you regain the veil of innocence and may use deadly force if necessary.

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    #21 SouthernBoyVA, Jan 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  2. I've lived in or adjacent to Harris County my entire life, and have been in the Criminal Justice system (on the right side of the grey bars) for a portion of it. My previous statement stands, whether or not these guys SHOULD have pursued the criminal. They'll sooner get a key to the city than a grand jury indictment. There's an overall dim view of violent criminals around here.

  3. I said I wasn't going to keep responding but since this post was directed to me personally, I have to make an exception.

    I live in a very conservative state with probably the most permissive deadly force laws in the nation. I am slightly to the right of Attila the Hun politically. I do not believe in the victim philosophy nor do I believe in coddling criminals. I am a retired LEO. I've been shot at and I've discharged my weapon in the line of duty so this is not an intellectual exercise for me.

    If you employ deadly force, even when justified, you may have to defend yourself in court depending on the circumstances and the district attorney's mindset (even if you are a LEO). If you are a private citizen, the odds go up that you will need an attorney. If you are pursuing a bad guy as a private citizen and you kill him, you are almost certainly going to need an attorney and that costs money. And one more thing: until you get an attorney, STFU.

    Don't let some gang banger harm you or yours but don't go looking for trouble. Be a good witness and allow the LEOs to do their job.

    That was what I was trying to get across when I told the story of the guys in Texas as a set up for citing how the core deadly force statues tend to read in virtually all the states.

    I see now that I should have left off the story and just cited the core statutes and ask for comments but I didn't do that. My bad.

    Now, unless someone directs something to me personally again that requires a reply, I really am going to stop responding.
  4. Florida-The case law and court case rules and jury slant in Florida is very different from the written law that can be printed from the website. Now in Florida you should not use deadly force unless your own life is at risk, you did not start or engage in the fight and there was no other option. The physical evidence must back you up. Your actions prior and after the shooting will be closely examined.

  5. +1 couldn't say it any better myself!
  6. This specific case may very well fall under "Protection of Property"... and not "Defense of a Person" If the media report is to be believed, the victim was robbed at gunpoint, and gave up personal property (wallet, phone, bracelet).


    A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

    (1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and

    (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

    (A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

    (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and

    (3) he reasonably believes that:

    (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or

    (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.
  7. I wanted to add this involving my state law(s):

    TCA 39-11-611 - Self Defense (applicable part of it)

    Now I only mention those above statutes because I believe an argument can be made that if the citizens were effecting an arrest they can use the degree of force necessary to effect an arrest, up to and including deadly force. Obviously this hardly ever happens becaue of the huge amount of liability involved if said citizen who did the shooting was wrong. Given the limited facts by the OP, I think the argument could be made that they were chasing the guy to effect an arrest and obviously if he had a firearm a reasonble person could assume that while effecting the arrest it's likely deadly force might be warranted.

    What's the difference in his scenario versus LEOs who chase an armed felon (aside from the fact we get paid to catch him)? It's pretty likely that when the LEOs catch up to the armed individual and he refuses to drop the weapon deadly force is likely justifiable.
    #27 SgtScott31, Jan 14, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  8. Glockrunner

    Glockrunner HOOYA DEEPSEA

    After the robber fled he was shot at by the good Samartians. Sounds like the writer wanted to make the Felon out to be a victum at that point in the story.

    Not being there I could assume the robber pointed the gun at them as they chased him, thus causing them to protect themselves.

    The robber was captured by LE so I can assume they the LEO's that arrived know who the good guys are.

    One point for the good guys for coming to the aid of a citizen in distress!
  9. Gallium


    Here is my opinion:

    1. Don't start threads lacking in facts, with a shallow understanding of the law as it applies to deadly force for where the issue has taken place, soliciting a discussion and then turn tail to say you are done playing when your REAL education begins.
    2. All of #1 above was meant in a respectful tone as if you were sitting across a desk from me.

    - G
  10. Gallium



    Nothing important....

  11. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    Vermont is pretty lenient. Just about anyone can CCW. Those convicted of felonies or certain misdemeanors cannot own firearms.
    #31 SCmasterblaster, Jan 14, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  12. Lord

    Lord Senior Member

    Chasing is more a bad idea than good. But there are several things that TX allows for that I didn't see covered in any of these posts. First, from what I read, this occurred at night. That alone allows for the use of deadly force in TX during a robbery. Further, we also have something called "fresh pursuit". If you are robbed, you have the right to pursue the individual(s)/bad guy(s) (however bad an idea it might be) and what is called the defense of a third person. During this fresh pursuit, if the need arises to use deadly force, then it is authorized. All of this came from one of the Bexar County district attorneys who taught part of one of my classes.

    So the breakdown is this. you have two good samaritans who, in defense of a third party, engaged in the fresh pursuit of a BG who had just committed an aggravated felony at night against a victim. that's all legal and what they call " a defense to prosecution".

    Now they did shoot first and the BG returned fire, but a further defense to prosecution would be that if they saw him brandish their weapon and were of the belief that he was about to fire and cause them great bodily harm or even death, and so preemptively fired upon him.

    Once again, while pursuing may not be the best idea, under TX law they did not break any law. Lucky for them, it turned out for the best.. for them. Bad guy shoulda stayed home that night. Shot and attacked by a dog... damn. Kind of lacking in the brains department too since he had a freaking gun! He could have shot the dog too!

    in either case, as I read it, bad guy was the only law breaker in this situation.
    #32 Lord, Jan 14, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  13. Look at the way the law is written.... the only limitations to night time is

    "imminent commission....theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime"; or

    "to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing... theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property"

    Everything else listed is not limited by day vs night.
  14. Lord

    Lord Senior Member

    I see your point, but they did commit during night time, so I'll ask the Asst DA his take on it.
  15. Duplicate - Deleted
    #35 Car 2217, Jan 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  16. Quote From a Sam Spade Response above:

    .....your quote above shows that you really don't understand how things work, and for some reason are adopting an attitude that is distinctly un-American.

    (Snip of quote - see full post above)

    Quotes from Gallium Responses above:

    Here is my opinion:

    Don't start threads lacking in facts, with a shallow understanding of the law as it applies to deadly force for where the issue has taken place, soliciting a discussion and then turn tail to say you are done playing when your REAL education begins.
    All of #1 above was meant in a respectful tone as if you were sitting across a desk from me.


    Statement by Sam Spade and Response by Gallium from posts above:


    You might have said so. What else have you left out?


    Nothing important....

    (Snips of quotes - see full posts above for clarity)


    As you will see if you read the entire thread, I said there may be other things in the Texas law other than just the Deadly Force statute I cited that do allow for pursuit.

    Both of these members focused on the Texas incident in their responses when I said numerous times that the point of the post was to generate a discussion of when you can use Deadly Force, not to discuss the Texas Incident.

    I contributed to the misunderstanding by quoting Texas Penal Code on Deadly Force and pursuit of a fleeing felon, (but I also said there may be other points of local law that allowed pursuit.)

    Later, after previously trying to disconnect the Texas incident from the reason for the post, I said that I regretted having ever used the Texas case as a lead-in for the discussion and said to have done so was my bad.

    None of this seems to have made any difference to these two members.

    So, since this thread has degenerated into an uncivil, personalized discussion, here is my response.

    Sam Spade and Gallium are Lifetime Member and Charter Lifetime Member of this board respectively.

    I am a newbie. But being a newbie means I have read the rules of this board recently and all members are supposed to treat one another with respect.

    You can't disparage someone, intentionally phrasing a response in a way that does not disguise your contempt for them, and then say you "mean it in the nicest possible way" (Sam Spade) or you "mean it as respectfully as if you were sitting across the desk from me" (Gallium).

    Both of them crossed the line and disregarded the spirit and rules of the board.

    Refute errors so all of us can learn. But do it without sarcasm and personal attack.
  17. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    You got that right, brother.
  18. Gallium



    Without any condescending attitude, what I said before still holds true, and I would have said it exactly the same way, and possibly even more forceful, if you had been sitting across from me. It is those forum rules that you cite which got you the muted, toned down response you did.
    Until and unless a moderator tells me my conduct is out of line, I'll keep whistling and riding.

    If you feel you are being treated below that threshold required by the owners and mods for the site, you are always free, and encouraged to report posts that offend you.
  19. Gallium


    ...For starters, the article says the two observed the victim being held at gunpoint. There is already enough justification for deadly force in ANY state of the union. But you said they chased the dude, then exchanged gunfire with the dude. You also said the robber did not physically harm the victim. Guess what? The law does not mandate someone 1st inflict physical harm before you can use deadly force - that gun pointed at the victim was enough justification to immediately shoot the robber if the situation called for it.

    We don't know if the robber pointed the gun at the other two, but it does not matter.

    I am not sure what (else) you would like to discuss...

    and hey, I am out of this thread.
  20. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    He may even live in VT(!)


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