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Action in defense of others

Discussion in 'Tactics and Training' started by BamaTrooper, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. BamaTrooper

    BamaTrooper Retired

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    Other threads on "what would you do if..." have often fallen into battles between two firmly entrenched schools of thought. On one side, there is Don't Act Unless it is You and Yours, on the other side, For Side of Right.

    My question- would you hold at gunpoint a person breaking into your neighbors car?



    Read on:

    Man nabs Texas suspect who allegedly shot 5
    A suspect in the shooting deaths of five people was held at gunpoint by a neighbor until police arrived.

    Associated Press



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    BELLVILLE, Texas — Five people who lived in a small home in an isolated area of southeast Texas were gunned down, and a man who lived with them was being held for questioning, authorities said Monday.

    Sgt. Paul Faircloth of the Austin County Sheriff's Office said a 69-year-old man, his 54-year-old wife, a 25-year-old woman and a child who was about 3 years old were found shot to death inside the small brick house over the weekend. An adult male was found shot to death in the woods just behind the house, Faircloth said.

    Investigators are still determining how many times each person was shot and what the motive may have been.

    The 20-year-old man being held for questioning was arrested after trying to break into a nearby car and house at about 3 a.m. Sunday, after the slayings, Faircloth said. The man was held at gunpoint by a neighbor until authorities arrived, Faircloth said.

    The man is charged with burglary and attempted burglary, and the district attorney's office is reviewing the case to see if capital murder charges will be brought against him as well.

    Four of the victims were identified as George T. Washington, 69; Debra Washington, 54; Kiana Shree Thearse, 25; and Khalilah Masse-Chambers, about 3. The fifth person found in woods behind the house was identified as Cedric Thomas, 19.

    Faircloth said the sheriff's office received a call Sunday afternoon from a person who had gone to the home and discovered the crime scene. Deputies arrived and found four bodies inside the home.

    The victims and the man in custody were living together, but the relationship between them hasn't been determined, Faircloth said.

    The bodies have been sent to the Travis County medical examiner's office for autopsies.

    The home, an aging single-story home, sits on a large lot off a two-lane farm-to-market road across the street from a large plot of pasture land. The closest neighbors are several hundred yards away, and the home backs up to thick woods.

    Several sheriff's department and Texas Department of Public Safety vehicles were parked in front of the home early Monday.

    Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    Bellville is a town of about 4,000 people located 55 miles northwest of Houston. The area drew attention in August with the shooting death of a physician at his ranch. Two suspects were arrested days later and charged with killing Dr. Jorge Mario Gonzalez of Houston.


    I, for one, am glad the neighbor acted.
     
  2. swotivated

    swotivated

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    Absolutely retarded. You're going to take human life to prevent burglary?????

    This is one of the many reasons why many people think gun owners are nutjobs.
     

  3. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

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    and they quite ignore the possibility that he'd be caught in a burglary just BEFORE he killed 5 people. That's a shade too realistic for progressive realism. And they wonder why we vote in Castle Doctrine, and don't fire warning shots.

    They ought to each and every one view the crime scene.
     
  4. PhoneCop

    PhoneCop TeleDetective

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    Here in Texas we think the people who don't shoot to prevent burglary are the nutjobs.
     
  5. MilitantBEEMER

    MilitantBEEMER

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    I hope you are being sarcastic!
    The bad guy was not shot. He was held for the police.
    Did you not catch the part that the BG may have taken the human life of 5 people?
     
  6. krush777

    krush777

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    The danger with this situation is that all people have their own unique perception. What a person views as "suspicious" can be so varied as some older people view younger people as "suspicious" just for being young. And I wont even touch on the race, color, and nationality issues. That it why, in my opinion, other than an immediate and obvious threat to someones life - being a good witness is the safest choice in the case of "protecting property".
     
  7. BamaTrooper

    BamaTrooper Retired

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    He didn't use force. He stopped the guy with threat of force, although someone from TX will have to chime in about the legality of deadly force to protect property.

    Had the BG decided to bring force into it, the homeowner was ready (so it seems).
     
  8. BamaTrooper

    BamaTrooper Retired

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    The guy that caught him was a good witness. He told the police he saw someone breaking into a car and he provided the perfect description of the felon.

    Reasonable articulation of the facts. What would a reasonable person do in the same situation. If someone is banging the windows out of every car on the block and working their way to my house, do I need to retreat in my own yard, after the police are called, do we wait until they get there and see how many more cars get damaged? Do we yell, "I called the police!" and 'scare' the guy off?
    Race and color and national origin weren't mentioned in this article. I am willing to bet the guy with the gun knew his neighbors and knew this guy wasn't one of them.
     
  9. karlsmith

    karlsmith

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    If we let the bugler get away, he will continue the same thing. when he doesn't get enough money, then he will go big, such as bank robberies which includes murders too.
    So it is very good thing to punish the buglers. we can shot at his legs without killing them.
    That way he'll never do burglary again.
     
  10. rohanreginald

    rohanreginald Novice

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    I would imagine that there is a little more to the story then we are reading. First off, the nearest house is "several hundred feet away". I would bet that the neighbor probably heard gunshots first and then saw the suspect trying to steal the car. Hearing the gun shots first he probably ran to get a firearm for self defense before investigating the situation.
    In the state I live in you can not use deadly force to protect property. However, you can to protect the life of your neighbors. All of this is on private property so no laws broken by the neighbor. I think the neighbor acted appropriately, there just seems to be some important information left out of the article.
     
  11. krush777

    krush777

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    BamaTrooper:
    An armed response to a property crime is not legal in my state of residence. And my reference to race, color, and national origin did not imply that those factors were mentioned. Perception and the decision to act are going to be affected by those and many other factors. When a citizen acquires a permit, there is nothing to remove or temper biases and/or a lust for violence. However, when you brandish a firearm in response to a property crime, if the suspect does not acknowledge your presence or doesn't stop his actions ie: suspect is irrational as in high on PCP - what have you accomplished. In my state, if you fire at that person without there being an imminent risk of harm to you or another person - you are now a criminal. Windows can be replaced, but the life of that 18 year old who tried drugs for the first time is not. If someone knowingly attempts to take a life - they will get nothing from me but 239 grains of sympathy. But property will never be more important than people. I value the life of some people more that they themselves do. And that is after 16 years as a LEO.
     
  12. BamaTrooper

    BamaTrooper Retired

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    Someone walks in your house, starts taking your stuff, tearing other stuff up, you let them walk away? Do you grab them, they grab you or pick up a knife? Do you have the time to lay out their options or do you cut to the chase? Don't misunderstand, I am not advocating kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out violent response. I do know that doing nothing feels wrong...obviously some other people feel that way too. They don't get paid to do it like I do, and you did (or do), but they did what they thought as right.

    I am not a rookie...I value life (most of the time) and I MOURN those I feel were UNDESERVEDLY deprived of life.

    Be safe, be smart and if you are still doing the LEO thing, PM me.
     
  13. David Armstrong

    David Armstrong

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    Yep. I've got insurance that covers that kind of stuff. As long as he does not pose a danger to me and mine I see no need to use much force. I'll let him know I am armed and that the police are on the way, and he can decide what he wants to do from there.
     
  14. BamaTrooper

    BamaTrooper Retired

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    OK, different strokes I guess. But to further stretch this conversation, if he made your wife or daughter strip while you were gone, and you came home and he was there, I mean, all he REALLY did was take their clothes, is this the same thing. You tell him, "I have a gun!" and he says, "No problem" and leaves. Sound like a good resolution to the problem?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  15. David Armstrong

    David Armstrong

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    Sounds like a better resolution than shooting him, IMO.
     
  16. BamaTrooper

    BamaTrooper Retired

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    point of view<---------------------------------------------->point of view I suppose.
    In the end, it is whatever you can sleep with at night.
     
  17. David Armstrong

    David Armstrong

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    Let's see if I have this right, Troop. You come home (same situation), you say I have a gun, the BG says no problem and starts to leave, He apparently has no weapon, is not threatening you and yours in any manner any more, and you will shoot him in the back?
     
  18. Sweet17

    Sweet17

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    (quote)
    Someone walks in your house, starts taking your stuff, tearing other stuff up, you let them walk away?

    You do in PA. The use of deadly force in a non-life threatening confrontation is a no no. If you can extend and escape you are expected to do so. What we have here is known as a "Weak Castle Law". If all they are doing is ransacking your belongings,don't off them. Extend and escape. Or, go to your safe place,call 911,and take a defensive position. If you see a weapon on the other hand, it's on! Like Donkey Kong!

    Pennsylvania 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 505 on the defense of self says there is no obligation to retreat from the home or workplace unless the actor was the initial aggressor or, in the latter case, set upon by a co-worker; however, "surrendering possession of a thing to a person asserting a claim of right thereto" and "complying with a demand that [one] abstain from any action which [one] has no duty to take" are listed in addition to retreating as avenues which, if open to the actor but not taken, invalidate justification for the use of deadly force. Deadly force itself is not justifiable unless "the actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat." 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 507 allows the use of deadly force if the actor believes there has been an unlawful entry into his or her dwelling and believes that nothing less than deadly force will end the incursion; if the person on the receiving end of the deadly force is "attempting to dispossess [the actor] of his dwelling otherwise than under a claim of right to its possession;" or if deadly force is the only thing that will prevent a felony from being committed in the dwelling. In any of those cases, the property owner must first ask the interloper to desist — unless the owner believes that doing so would be "useless," "dangerous," or would result in the property being defended coming to substantial harm before the request to desist could be effectively communicated.

    In a nut shell, you can't use deadly force unless you believe a felony is imminent.
     
  19. BamaTrooper

    BamaTrooper Retired

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    You made a tremendous leap from start to finish there.
    I come home from work and some dude is standing there making my wife or daughter, if I had a daughter strip, he doesn't get the option to leave. He tries to leave, we get physical, if he gets upper hand, now being a violent felon, might get shot.
    Point is, I am going to try and stop him from leaving. That is IF I provided him the option of surrendering. Some guy in my house...in the middle of the night...making my family the subject of felonious sex crimes? Hmmmmmm...
    It is not a far leap from that to me coming home and a guy walking out of my door with my stuff in his hands. I am going to try and stop him. if he bolts and runs, I am chasing him. If he doesn't surrender and starts to fight and needs shooting, he may get shot.
    Is he shot over stuff? No.
    Did he cause himself to get shot? Yes.
    Was trying to stop him from committing a crime the principled thing?
    The legal thing?
    For the last two, I say yes.
     
  20. David Armstrong

    David Armstrong

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    No leap, it was the scenario you gave. The leap seems to be the additions/changes to the scenario you have now added to try to justify your position.
    But again that changes things. What if he is just running away? He is not fighting at all. Still going to shoot him in the back?