You’re filling up your car at a local gas station, when a man (who doesn’t seem to be quite right in the head) with an umbrella and a knife starts making sexual advances towards you. If you’re the 23 year old Houston, Texas resident pictured above, that’s the point at which you pop your trunk and pull out the rifle stashed next to the spare tire. Everything up to this point is pretty cut and dried “self defense,” but some of her actions have police asking some questions . . .

Naturally, the local Houston stations are salivating over the idea that this might be an applicable case of “stand your ground” laws being actually used in Texas to kill someone. And while we could argue all day long about whether she could have simply got in her car and rolled away (or whether that would have made her vulnerable to an attack from the armed lunatic) the fact is that she believed that her life was in danger and took the shot.

On that fact, I completely believe her. In the video, the armed lunatic in question was clearly aware of the fact that she had just produced a rifle form her trunk, and the woman had told him multiple times to go away. And yet, he lunged at her. That’s the third leg of the “deadly force” stool completed — means, opportunity and an overt act of aggression.

And yet, as always, the family of the victim maintains that the knife-weilding man in the video who clearly attacked the woman “is harmless, he’s harmless and he wouldn’t have hurt her. He wouldn’t have hurt nobody. She just didn’t know him, you know. Because if she’d have known my brother, she’d have known that Poochie wouldn’t have hurt nobody.” And yet…

Issues start when she grabs the rifle from the trunk. Reports indicate that she may have fired a “warning shot,” something that some people see as a necessity but is in fact very, very illegal. On that alone, she may be facing some criminal charges.

But after the shooting was over, did she stick around? Did she call the cops? Nope. She took a picture of the man, bleeding out on the sidewalk, with her phone. And then drove away.

I’m not advocating sticking around if you’re in bat country, but at least contacting the police is a good idea if you’ve just left someone rapidly approaching room temperature. In this case, the police had to track her down using her license plate from the security video.

Pro tip: if you kill someone, let the police know.

There are a couple things that make this a less-than-textbook case of self defense with a firearm, but at the end of the day that’s one less knife-weilding attacker in the city of Houston.

59 Responses to DGU: Don’t Bring an Umbrella to a Gun Fight

      • I’ll just assume you weren’t aware of this, but this man was an up and coming rapper. He might have had a bit of a checkered past, but according to those who knew him best, he was just starting to get his life together. It’s a real shame.

    • I have read two different versions on the net about her contacting police. One says that she was worried about freinds of the man she shot, went home and called 911 from there.

      The other says that she called her mother, and had her mother call 911.

      Either one would show an “innocent mind” on her part.

      At least one prominent author, Alan Korwin, says do *not* call 911, but have some one else do it (he recommends your attorney), because everything on 911 is recorded and can be used against you in a court of law.

      He says that most of the cases where the obvious self defend gets into legal trouble, it is with the information that was gathered from a 911 call.

      It would make sense to get a picture of the knife if she was worried about friends that might remove it from a crime scene. That sort of thing has happened in the past.

      With the Zimmerman trial in the news, the importance of preserving evidence has been made plain.

  1. Wasn’t this posted last week?

    She should have called the cops, and not taken a picture, it’s that simple. Not everything is meant to be shared on twitter/facebook/etc.

        • She’ll be fine as long as she says she shot him “for the children”.

          That ALWAYS works! It’s a flat-out “Get out of Jail FREE” card…

        • That is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long, long time! Thanks, I needed that.

    • She claims she took the picture as evidence the man had a knife. I don’t blame her, those things have a way of disappearing.

  2. Poochie’s got a knife in his hand and waving it around. Poochie gave up the right to be a friend at that moment. Poochie got shot for being stupid. Stupid should hurt. In Poochie’s case it hurt just a short while.

    I’m curious to hear the shooters side of the story. Did she run because she thought poochie had backup? Was she legal to own a gun?

    Ted Kennedy left a woman dead in his car for hours and when he finally contacted the cops it was thru a lawyer. And Ted was considered a champion of women’s rights and kept his place in the senate til his death.

    • “Poochie’s got a knife
      Poochie’s got a knife…”

      You’ve got a new hit on your hands! Call Billboard!

    • But jwm, The Kennedy’s are American Royalty! They are special! Rich, politicians. Heaven forbid they EVER face any consequences for their crimes. How many have gotten away with rape? (that’s an interesting google topic).

      Don’t forget, the press giving John a pass on his affairs during his time in office.

      Ted? Dumping Mary Jo in the channel is only one of his little escapades.

        • A. Nuran, You’re a bit of a one note johnnie yourself. Defending the clintons and the kennedys like you were on their xmas list.

        • & atleast one aborted fetus to his credit, or so the story of tell-all extramarital white House tabloid affairs are concerned.

  3. This story to me has two parts to it: the shooting, and then her actions after the shooting.

    As Nick pointed out, she may have fired a warning shot (ILLEGAL). Other than that, the shoot appears justified. A large, angry man making sexual advances while she was just trying to fill her car with gas. She pulls a gun, probably to scare him off, fires a warning shot, and then after he swings at her with a knife, she shoots him. Other than the warning shot(s), a justified shoot.

    After the shooting, taking pictures of the body and then fleeing the scene, then the police having to track her down using her license plate? Bad news. You should always be the person calling the police first. Its one piece of the puzzle to paint you as the victim.

    Overall, I think she may receive some blowback for the warning shot/not calling the cops, but I doubt she serves jail time. I could be wrong.

    • A good defense lawyer could even get a jury to give her a pass on the warning shot, assuming she can afford one.

      “Your Honor, I know I shouldn’t have fired a warning shot, but I was trying really REALLY hard not to shoot him. If it could have scared him off and saved his life it would have been worth it.” Choice of evils doesn’t just mean “I filled out the checklist. Now can I shoot someone?”

  4. Now all the 20 / 20 hindsighters come out.

    A DGU is seldom perfect, and in her “hood”, her reaction may be the “cultural” norm.

    • Oh my, don’t you sound all “street” and “ghetto”. Do you know anything about her background, or are you making assumptions about her based on the color of her skin?

      • @ A. Nuran
        No “street” or “ghetto” intended at all.

        Based on her reactions during the confrontation and her actions after the shoot, she may simply be reacting in a manner she learned from living in an environment where her reactions would be considered a normal response to the encounter she just had. That kind of culture might very well be prominent in the “ghetto” or the “hood”; and yes, I am assuming her actions are reflecting of her background. I seriously doubt they were staged!

  5. I’m sure that the world was deprived of a great man in Poochie, a man who would have cured cancer, healed the lepers and raised the dead.

    A great light has gone out in the world. I’m taking up a collection so that Poochie can be interred peacefully with his favorite chew toy at the Bit of Heaven Dog Cemetery in Houston, next to Fluffy, Muffy and Rex the Wonder Dog. Requiescat in pace, Poochie.

      • I don’t know if he was chasing the car, but he was doing something icky on one of the wheels. That’s why he need the umbrella.

  6. If there was a warning shot she may have trouble (though a more ridiculous law is hard to fathom). The picture actually makes sense if she was trying to document the knife in his hand. Unless I’m misinformed she was in ‘bat country’ since this miscreants brother was next door at the carwash. Knife wielding attacker at close range suggests to me that trying to get into a parked car is a poor idea, so SYG may not apply. As for not calling the cops. . . now there is the rub. However if she was just trying to get in touch with her attorney first perhaps not as bad as it seems. In any case I think that’s a very minor issue in the face of a DGU. Based on the available evidence so far (and that isn’t much) this looks like a good shoot.

    • I want to know how long it took police to find her. I’ve heard stories of DGUs where the cops show up and there’s only a dead bad guy laying there and they can’t figure out what happened. The next day, the victim’s attorney contacts the police.

    • I doubt it, and if memory serves “Death by misadventure with cause” was an option for a coroner’s inquest, not a criminal Court if it ever really existed. But “He attacked me with two weapons after I refused his sexual advances. He wouldn’t stop. He kept attacking after I got a gun and told him to back off” lays the groundwork for a pretty good self defense case just about anywhere

  7. As a Houstonian, myself, I’m watching this case particularly closely. I can confirm, that Shell station is in bat country, as in F&L in L.V., can’t stop there.

    Her taking video and leaving the scene part aren’t necessarily a crime; but they don’t look good. She claims she just wanted video evidence that the man did indeed have a knife. OK. She also claims that the man was not alone at the station, but had been with a couple of other men. So she departed to avoid any further confrontations. OK. Still would have been nice had she called from a safe location, instead of hoping this would just blow over and no one would look into it. Less OK.

    Where it starts falling apart is that she took the time to finish pumping her gas after the shooting and the filming, not to mention that none of the deceased’s associates made any move toward her, menacingly or otherwise.

    Her public statements will come back to haunt her, too. She claims she didn’t know him. She claims she only went there to pump gas. Now there are reports that not only did she know him, but that she had been pressuring him around the neighborhood for repayment of a $30 loan her owed her. Hmmm.

    Factor in that BOTH the suspect and the deceased are reported, by KHOU, to have prior convictions BOTH for drug and assault offenses. Hmmm. Depending on those circumstances, she may be a prohibited possessor of a firearm.

    Howsoever it turns out, I agree, this isn’t the text book type of case you really want to hang your hat on.

    • Not a problem, Pencotron. The address is 6802 Cullen Blvd., Houston, TX 77021, near Ward St.

      Here’s the google maps view:

      https://maps.google.com/maps?expflags=enable_star_based_justifications:true&ie=UTF8&cid=3003253022098460355&q=Sunmart&iwloc=A&gl=US&hl=en

      Here’s the HPD press release giving the specific address:

      http://www.houstongovnewsroom.org/go/doc/2155/1857390/

      The more I watch the video and her very casual demeanor while retrieving the rifle, the less I’m seeing imminent danger and justification. I’m still undecided. Remember, the justification for threatening deadly force is identical to employing deadly force. Verbal provocation alone isn’t sufficient. When she threatened with the rifle, she may not have been justified at that instant, which would be illegal. Then she fired the “warning shot”, hitting hit his leg, which is even worse.

      If there’s no such legal thing as a “warning shot”, then perhaps HIS knife swing was the legitimate self-defense action against HER being the aggressor wielding unjustified deadly force.

      Viewed in that light, an affirmative legal defense on her part of self-defense might not stand, if she’s regarded as the instigator. Could be an interesting case.

    • His friends didn’t make a move on her because they were smarter than dumb ass P, and they saw what could happen if you pissed her off. She also needed to fill the tank so she wouldn’t run out of gas, and the video was for proof that he was armed. Anyone could have made the knife disappear and then she’d be screwed.

  8. “He wouldn’t have hurt nobody…Poochie wouldn’t have hurt nobody.”
    I think the double negatives are his way of secretly admitting that Poochie was trying to cause her serious bodily harm.

    As to the photograph, departure, and non-existent call to the police.
    * The photo was actually a good idea: she has proof that he was armed when he attacked her.
    * You are not required by law to report a shooting to the police; such a requirement would violate the fifth amendment. Nor are you required to remain at the scene. Unless there is a traffic collision involved, you do not have to remain at the scene of the shooting.
    * And the shooter should never call the cops. Never. The 911 system records everything. It is admissible as evidence. And the operators are specifically trained to get confessions out of callers. After shooting somebody, people tend to be in an abnormal mental state, which might cause the shooter to say something that can mean the difference between a friendly goodbye and a pair of handcuffs, or between an acquittal and 30 years in an orange jumpsuit. Ask GZ if he wishes he hadn’t been on the phone with the cops before the shooting, or talked to them so openly afterwards.

    Every lawyer I have talked to on the issue has said:
    1) Get to a safe location, if the shooting took place in an unsafe one.
    2) Call your lawyer. Tell your lawyer the basic details (location, number of assailants, description, etc.).
    3) After your lawyer calls the police to report the shooting, meet your lawyer to go talk to the cops (if necessary).
    4) Talk to your lawyer before talking to the cops, so he can clean up your story.

    If you’re not there when the po-po shows up, the detectives don’t get that extra time to question you, without a lawyer, while your brain is still hopped up on adrenaline. If you can avoid saying anything at all, and only communicate through the lawyer, and a written statement (proofread by the lawyer before the cops see it): even better.

    If you don’t have a lawyer to call (get one now, put him on speed dial, and carry his card in your pocket, in case your phone breaks), tell a witness (preferably a friend or family member) to call 911 for an ambulance and the police. If there are no witnesses, call a friend and have him call 911 for you, while you get to a safe location. They can’t coerce a confession out of your friend.

    If you can’t leave the scene, because you’re injured, it’s your home, etc. When the cops show up, have your DL and CPL/CCW handy. Hand them to the cops, with your hands away from your body. If they ask if you’re armed, tell them where your gun is (if your state requires you to inform the police of your firearm immediately, do so). If you are injured demand medical attention. For any other question, point to your ID cards (if it’s on there), or politely say you choose to not answer questions without your lawyer present. Do not admit that you shot anyone, or that you even own the gun. Do not say you were in fear for your life (leave that for the official statement with the lawyer present). Say absolutely nothing else. They may choose to handcuff you, while they sort things out. Don’t resist, and don’t complain.

  9. He looks like a typical crackhead off his rocker. If I drive up to Wilmington DE at the right time of day it can be hard to avoid them in some parts of town. They’ll come up to your car at a gas station or fast food drive thru and try to sell you stuff. Sometimes they don’t even seem to know what it is, but man do they want you to buy some. I could tell story after story of what I’ve seen and the exchanges I have had with these people time and time again. In many ways, the bottom rung of Americans are a nation apart. Nobody I’ve met hates these junkies more than working black women but they can also be some of the worst enablers.

    These men walk the streets, get the crap beat out of them over some Lord Of The Flies shit, build up their hate and resentment toward society every day. They drink and get high whenever feasible… I’ve seen it first hand. Crackheads and pill seekers are probably the most common threat in the USA right now and they are so messed up in the head on so many levels that they really think they can get away with some shit. They usually have very little to lose and their numbers are only increasing.

  10. Forget the spelling. It’s pronounced “Pukey” according to Mofo B. Smokenkrak, a local resident and highly respected umbrella dealer.

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