LOS ANGELES, CA – Two suspects attacked an armed victim as he was unlocking the door to his home in California. The attacker had the drop, but as the homeowner tossed his drink at him, he pulled his gun and fought them off.
The homeowner was tacitly in a terrible position, and his wife and kids were indoors. The threat retreated but went out of view from the victim’s vantage point, and the homeowner went after the attacker.
Could they have charged the victim with anything? If the attacker turned and fatally shot the homeowner, would the attacker get charged with murder?
Could it have changed the DA’s decision if the attacker retreated and the homeowner knew where he went?
And right now, you’re all thinking I’m nuts for proposing these possibilities. You’re saying they absolutely shouldn’t charge the victim, and for sure, they would have charged the attacker!
Guess what? It happened before.
A district attorney in Antioch, California, didn’t charge an attacker with murder last year when the victim was killed. The victim chased his attacker out of the door to the store and fired his gun at him as he fled. The “attacker” returned fire and killed the man, but the DA said the “attacker” was acting in self-defense at that point because he was running away.
The DA said , “The legal distinction is clear: when your property and life are being threatened, an individual is legally justified in using deadly force in self-defense,” she said. “However, once the threat of harm has dissipated, the victim of a property crime cannot then use deadly force to reclaim stolen property.”
For those of you who want to really break this down for training, look at the victim’s grip, or lack thereof, when he fires. I’m surprised he didn’t drop it or have a malfunction. Folks, this is where even dry-fire training can pay off.
Kelly Reeves, a CCW instructor in California, said , “I am certainly not giving the intruders a break here. They still approached the homeowner at gunpoint. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in court, especially considering that this occurred in the very gun-unfriendly state of California and the more liberal County of Los Angeles.”
The entrance to that house with a long hall is a “fatal funnel” and not the place you want to be in a gunfight. Running out and firing rounds is not good because you have to account for each round you fire, and you will empty the gun. After all, those shots have got to hit somewhere.
Plus, in California, they limit how many rounds you can have in your magazine to ten. He fired eight rounds, and if he had a ten-round magazine plus one in the chamber, that’s eleven total. That left him with three at the most in the middle of a gunfight.
Rick Hetzel is a retired law enforcement officer and instructor who pointed out that the rounds are going somewhere. “The self-defense shooter needs to keep in mind he is responsible for each round fired and where it ultimately impacts. The criminal did not appear to be hit, so where did all of the stray rounds land? As a law enforcement firearms instructor, I stressed to my agent and officer students that I do not believe is given much attention in 1-day concealed carry classes. In a tight urban and populated setting like this self-defense shooter was in, he needs to remain hyper-aware of his stray rounds and where they will stop. I am not being critical, just making a point about training and liability.”
You have to consider all the possible outcomes of how you react because you never know how someone else will interrupt what you do. Don’t “shoot” the messenger, folks. I’m just pointing out alternative universes.
Read the original story: Homeowner Distracts Suspect with Hot Tea to Draw And Fire at Home Invaders