“I come back and they see me with a gun, and they run,” 80-year-old Long Beach homeowner Tom Greer told nbclosangeles.com, recalling a recent home invasion. The male robber escaped, but Greer shot his female accomplice. She fell in an alley behind his house. “She says, ‘Don’t shoot me, I’m pregnant! I’m going to have a baby!’ And I shot her anyway,” Greer told the reporter. “She was dead. I shot her twice, she best be dead … (The man) had run off and left her.” You don’t have to be a prosecutor to see that Mr. Greer has given the state more than enough rope to hang him with. The threat was over when Greer fired his gun. And it seems Mr. Greer administered a coupe de grace to a pregnant woman pleading for her life. Now I’m not saying . . .

that Mr. Greer should escape prosecution for his crime. The laws on the legal use of deadly force are clear enough. And they’re based on common sense. However, I am saying that anything you say after a defensive gun use (DGU) that sounds even vaguely incriminating – to anyone – can and will be used against you in a court of law. An off-hand comment, a simple mistake in your account, could put you prison. Or worse.

Don’t talk to the police, the media, friends and (maybe) even family about a defensive gun use. Talk to your lawyer and/or a state certified psychiatrist (not a therapist, whose discussions and/or note could be subject to a subpoena). Following this advice cold be a matter of life or death.

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192 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: STFU After a DGU

    • Turns out she got what she deserved. Too bad the boyfriend wasn’t laying next to her.

        • It’s currently 04:33 where I live, and you just made me LOL. Not cool, bro.

      • This is correct. He executed her.

        He got badly beaten, got his gun, with his guns mere presence the perps began running away. That stopped their threat to him. Self defense lethal force is over at that moment. They didnt run away and point a gun back at him showing continued deadly threat and the articulatable new use of lethal defensive force. They just ran away.

        Instead, he chased and then executed the girl after she pleaded for her life. That is 100% vengeance and a clear cut case of execution murder because at that moment she provided ZERO new threat to him.

        The fact that she may have lied about her pregnancy is irrelevant. He provided no articulation when he shot her that she still posed a threat, she was producing a weapon, etc.

        Go directly to jail.

        I am a CHL holder and have been through Ayoob’s MAG 20 class. Based on the lack of threat at the moment of his shooting, he murdered her. Had he shot them during their assault against him, good shoot. That is NOT what happened.

        • Don’t be so sure about that murder term. It depends greatly on your local laws. I know that Illinois allows the use of deadly force against someone *fleeing* a forcible felony. I’m not saying that it’s your best option, but in this situation is may have been.

          Multiple assaults from the same people? Those idiots were coming back again – Now at least one of them wont be.

        • I agree with CArd, the TX constitution specifically allows deadly force against a retreating thief of more than $500. I also agree that these punks would be returning, he would always be in fear for his life, and he was when he fired. If I were on the jury, he would not be convicted. My bet is the DA will decline prosecution.

          BTW, I doubt an 80-year-old man “chased” her anywhere, and how far he was from her when he fired could also matter more than which way she was facing. If they prosecute him for murder, he will likely die of old age before the trial anyway, you’d think the justice system could find something better to do.

        • Amok!: I concur with your analysis. I too attended the Massad Ayoob class and your analysis conforms to his advice. There are circumstances where one may shoot a fleeing felon; however, they are so RARE that it hardly is worth remembering those circumstances.
          – – – For the benefit of other readers, this victim blew it. He will now – almost certainly – become victimized by the criminal justice system. His statement made it nearly impossible for the prosecutor to use discretion in not prosecuting him. (I express this opinion in the absence of any facts that I have not read that may give the prosecutor a pretext for refraining from prosecution.)
          – – – Ayoob recommends speaking to the police after a DGU confining one’s statements to a very narrow scope. First, what is it that precipitated the shooting?: These two people invaded my home. And, as a consequence, I was in fear for my life. Second, where is the evidence?: Probably not applicable here, but it might involve pointing out where the assailant’s weapon fell, where the shell casings fell, who the witnesses were. Third: a statement that the victim will sign a complaint. Finally, you will have my full cooperation after I’ve recovered from this traumatic experience and have been able to secure advice of council.
          – – – This victim unnecessarily spoke outside this narrow scope. Everything he said beyond the facts precipitating the shooting (that fact being that these two people invaded his home) couldn’t possibly do anything to help the victim’s case. Everything he said about the subsequent events could only be used to incriminate himself. He simply knotted his own noose and put it around his own neck.
          – – – Every reader of this forum ought to get himself properly and thoroughly schooled in the rules-of-engagement for self-defense. If he ever needs to defend himself he will need to know these rules and what to do in the aftermath of a DGU. Ayoob’s course is well worth the investment. If you don’t have the time or money, read his books and blog.
          – – – Those who believe their State laws allow them to shoot a fleeing felon need to read the SCOTUS decision titled Tennesee vs. Garner. This decision drastically narrowed the scope of the POLICE’s power to use lethal force on a fleeing felon. With the police so restrained from using lethal force on a fleeing felon, it’s hard to imagine that any civilian would fare well if he shot a fleeing felon. Under the best of circumstances he might prevail, but it would be a long shot. Everyone who keeps or bears arms needs to understand that the self-defense justification ends the moment the pretext of fear for one’s life (or grave bodily harm) ends. You are no longer standing on thin-ice; there is nothing much left to your defense.

        • Your right. Despite the fact that she and her accomplice may have beaten the tar out of him, she posed no threat after the first shot and he decided to be judge, jury, and executioner. I call that cold blooded murder. For all of you who want to defend him I challenge you to read “In the Gravest Extreme” by Ayoob. The murderers statements are all any good prosecutor will need. They are gonna lock this guy up and throw away the key.

        • I call that cold blooded murder.

          “Cold blooded”. You keep saying that. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          (With all due respect to Fezzik.)

          There was no premeditation here. If a crime was committed, it is a classic case of a crime of passion, committed in the heat of the moment. It is the exact opposite of a premeditated, malice-aforethought (i.e. cold-blooded) murder.

        • Do you think he was right to shoot her? His own words our condemnatory. He may have had some passion in him but this guy is going to go down and go down hard. Murder 1.

    • Well it shouldn’t matter if she was pregnant because Calif is abortionland and considered just a clump of cells.

      • Except when the pregnant woman does not. All arbitrary, all entirely up to how the pregnant woman feels at a particular instant, and no one else.

  1. I feel sorry for the guy, and I hope that at his advanced age, he is just confused about what he remembers. But if he really did what he claims he did, then the guy should be serving some serious time as a guest of the state.

  2. That’s crazy! Did she try to shoot him while she was on the ground? If not, then his DGU was finished, and they could have both lived. I’m not saying this just because she was pregnant, or even because she was a woman. She was a living, breathing PERSON, and he just killed her. Besides, you can’t use deadly force against someone who is running away from the crime, only if they are a direct and immediate threat to your life. And the fact that she was running away, and was shot while on the ground, he deserves to be prosecuted! Why would he “deserve to escape prosecution for his crime” ?

    • No, she deserved to be gunned down like the punk she is. I hope her loser boyfriend feels real cool knowing he got her shot. There was a time not to long ago when there was an unwritten rule that said “break into someone’s house, you get shot”. No sympathy for this woman. Glad this guy did what he did so these two punks won’t do this again.

      • Sure, go ahead! I mean, there’s 7 billion people on this planet, what does it matter if a couple of punks die? And that’s not even the whole issue! He just committed first degree murder, killing someone who doesn’t pose a direct threat to your life. It’s not just okay to be able shoot people with a gun, you need to have common sense, morality even! If he goes to jail, that’s another life destroyed by one event. Anyone who defends the actions of this man who has blood on his hands doesn’t care about that fact. And that’s just cold hearted.

        • We live in a cold hearted world, they would’ve killed him had they had the chance and they probably would have eventually, they robbed and beat him 3 times prior to this.

        • It ALMOST sounds like youre here trolling for the robbers.

          I agree with BoS, I am fairly sure if they wanted to break in, beating an elderly person wouldnt be too much of a stretch.

          Play stupid games ….

        • Exactly Tex, as the saying goes “play F around F around, one day you won’t be around”

        • She got what was coming to her. And I don’t mean that in a self-righteous, she-was-a-lowlife-criminal way. A difference of a few seconds either way and both she and her dumbass boyfriend were in store for a high caliber snack anyway. Causality, it’s inevitable.

          Also, 7 billion people on this planet. Including the people I’ve ‘met’ here that’s maybe 300 people I’ve had somewhat direct contact with.

          Can’t say I really give a damn about the other 6.9 billion, especially if they’re pulling this crap.

        • You break into my Texas home at night, you better run like hell and pray I waste time picking what caliber to use on you.

        • 1st degree murder, that’s what he’s gonna be tried for.
          Deny it all you want.

        • Yeah… The way I see it, a criminal remains a threat until they surrender or stop breathing. Standard rules of engagement apply, running is not surrender, it’s seeking cover.

        • First degree murder requires premeditation. It would be second degree murder at most, but likely plea-bargained down to some version of manslaughter. Either way, though, this will never go to trial. Public opinion is too far on the guy’s side. Society has gotten sick of all the thugs running around with laws protecting themselves so they can sue you if they get shot on your property while robbing or raping you. The people are just “over it”. They are tired of being victimized by people who choose to bring the fight to them.

          It would be a career ending move for the DA to bring charges against this man. If he does anyway, no jury, even in CommieFornia would convict him. Remember it only takes one member of the jury to stop a conviction, and judging from all the comments everywhere all over the internet about this, probably at least half of them would say not-guilty no matter WHAT the evidence or law was for this particular case.

          The law is the law, but in the real world there is sometimes a difference in what the law is and what is just. Most people “get this”. It really wouldn’t be just to imprison an elderly man who shot a felon (coming OR going) after he’d been burglarized 3 times already and beaten to within an inch of his life with a broken collarbone. It would be a gross misapplication of justice to convict in this case.

        • @John Doe: first degree murder? Really?

          So, to State is going to argue that he premeditated two people to commit a home invasion/assault and battery?

          Second-degree murder? I could buy that. It’s at least a potentially reasonable charge. Voluntary manslaughter might be more provable.

          But I think that the man might still have a very legitimate claim of justifiable homicide on self-defense grounds. There are certainly mitigating factors: the disparity of force, their physical battery of him inside his own home, and perhaps most importantly, the fact that this was the third time the couple had broken into his home.

          He can also argue both of California’s other grounds for justifiable homicide: defense of home/property against a violent felony, and citizen’s arrest/keeping the peace against a violent felony.

          The most difficult thing he’ll have to prove to a jury will be the reasonable belief in the imminence of the threat. But again: third time they broke into his house. He could argue that he reasonably believed they would come right back, armed.

          Even if they decide to prosecute, I think it won’t be difficult to find a jury who would believe he acted in self-defense.

          All in all, though: not really a good position to put oneself in. He should have followed Mas Ayoob’s sage advice regarding what – and only what – to say in the aftermath of a DGU.

        • “First degree murder!”, he shouts, without having even the foggiest notion of the statutory elements required for proving such a charge. Doe says that not from any serious understanding of what the law entails, but just for spasmodic emphasis, as with, “Murder in the first!”, “Cold blooded!” and other invective.

          JD, why don’t you just sit down, hush up, and let the grown ups talk?

        • Carrying on about “first degree murder” is just ignorant, if he’d planned this he would have been carrying, and shot them down while uninjured, not after being slammed around enough to break his bones, and disorient him so he was not sure exactly what happened. There is no case against him.

      • Dude, that’s not cool. The question is expediency; if the threat isn’t imminent and active you do not open fire. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but you’d likely get miffed about a cop or soldier executing a wounded enemy surrendering and pleading for their life.

        • Police officer? Yes. Just like any civilian.

          Soldier? Really, it depends on the context. War sucks.

        • THIS. Had this been a police officer that was overwhelmed and beaten, managed to draw his weapon, and shoot the fleeing perp in the back, this entire website would be in an uproar including your standard wailing and gnashing of keyboards. We would be hearing non-stop jokes about how it’s miraculous that a law enforcement officer was even able to hit what he was aiming at.

          This was a bad shoot. Individual human beings do not have the legal or moral authority to commit revenge killings. Were these people total scum bags? Of course they were. Would I be opposed to the eventual use of the death penalty against offenders of this nature? Absolutely not (edited, originally posted “of course”). But that would be after an arrest, charge, prosecution, conviction, and sentencing of said scum bags.

          RF is making a great point, and no one apparently is giving him the time of day: everyone here that is consistently blasting off about how they would “SHOOT NE OF THESE THUGS WHO CAME IN MY HOUSE MIRITE???? HOOYAH MURICA”? I certainly hope you don’t engage in a defensive gun use under even the most minor of questionable circumstances. I’m sure the “Ammo is in short supply, don’t expect a warning shot” bumper sticker on your car, coupled with your comments here and on other social media, which is extremely easy to acquire and use against you on a character basis during a criminal, much less civil trial, are more than enough to throw your rear end behind bars or at least bankrupt you.

          Pay attention to the purpose of the article: shut your mouth about your guns and your apparent willingness to commit murder, or set yourself up for a big kick in the ass by the ‘jack booted thugs’ hiding in your closets or whatever.

        • Jake, I essentially disagree with all of that. Whether it is accurate or not, the entertainment industry’s depiction of cops drawing on a perp and commanding him to stop, then chasing him down the street when he runs, just infuriates me. Just SHOOT the punk. Few times of that and when a cop says stop, perps will STOP.

          This guy was 80 years old, probably spends most of every day in fear of his life. These punks violently attacked him when they believed him defenseless, and you think he should have allowed them to go find a 90-year-old for an encore? They both needed killing, he performed a public service. Now he needs to reload, since the surviving punk will be turned loose within days, until his trial 5 years from now, and will probably come after him.

      • Not so long ago? I challenge you to find a time anywhere in US history where this would have been legal or considered moral. Even in Texas where one may kill to defend property this is murder.

        • I’m not sure, because I don’t care, but I think that is currently legal (not “understood” but codified) in TX “in the nighttime”, though I never understood why daytime is different. I don’t care, because day or night someone enters my home without permission and his ass is mine. Worry about the niceties later.

    • I think it sucks that someone gets assaulted and then the state expects that person to just make all the right and perfect decisions in the heat of battle. The thug who started the assault shouldn’t be given the expectation that his victim will make all the best decisions after getting his head beat on and a super adrenalin dump.

      With all that said, the guy is a dumbass for yapping, and maybe partially senile. Maybe that will be his lawyers defense.

      Jury nullification in LA probably wont happen.

      • State of mind is always a consideration and often a mitigating one. I find it amusing that you would use that idea in this mans defense while no doubt getting pissed at other less sympathetic murderers getting lenient decisions due to “temporary insanity” or emotional duress. It’s impartial opining like yours that makes our complicated justice system necessary. You like one person and dislike another and suddenly the concept of justice is thrown out the window.

    • So how is a normal (i.e. non-psychic) person supposed to know that she isn’t just trying to distract while attempting to retrieve a weapon or stall you until the accomplice circles around back of you?

      For that matter, when deciding whether to fire at a retreating bad guy, how do you know they’re not just running for cover from which to return fire?

      Why are the good guys expected/required to adhere to some code of reasonableness in the face of unreasonable acts against us?

      • Because that’s one of the qualities that sets us apart from animals and criminals. If you aren’t better than them, you’re one of them.

  3. I think he really no longer cared how this is going to play out. He is up there in age so might as well say what ever he wants.

    • He’ll get better medical care in prison than in hospice anyways. He’s freakin 80 COMMENT MODERATED.

  4. The impulse to continue the chase when one is getting the better of a confrontation is very strong, as millennia of infantry instructors would surely attest.

  5. Fun fact: old coot’s gun was a .22 revolver. Nobody really can say for sure now what the timeline was: no casings laying roughly where they were fired and no blood trail. Was she already fatally wounded when he hit her in the house? Reasonable doubt, anyone?

    • This is the second DGU I’ve read about in the past WEEK where one or two shots from a .22 killed a person. I think we should probably put to bed this idea that a .22 is a mouse gun that can’t stop anyone.

      • Remember, it was with the help of a “mouse gun,” a Walther P22, that Seung-Hoi Cho managed to dispatch 32 people at Virginia Tech back in 2007. In any event, though I will shed no tears over the death of the low life who had been in process of assaulting and robbing Tom Greer for the third time, I suspect that Mr. Greer is in a world of legal hurt, if, as accounts suggest, he shot the woman in the back as she was lying on the ground, when she was no longer in the position to pose a credible threat to him. Finally, it’s interesting to me to see how many people assume that because Mr. Greer is 80, his cognition must perforce be compromised. I know people well over 80 who can still think rings around folks a quarter their age.

        • I didn’t realize the Virginia Tech shooting was a Walther P22. Damn. I also can’t believe it was 7 years ago. It seems like it just happened.

          I don’t think he’s necessarily mentally compromised because he’s old. I know several elderly people his age and older that are sharp as a tack as well. However, there is a wide range of mental competence in that age category and I know people with dementia who are in their early 70s. It’s a credible defense that his attorney will probably explore in the event charges are brought.

          I don’t think charges will be brought though. The law is one thing, and you’re right, he’s definitely on the wrong side of the law in this situation. But good luck finding 12 whole people who will unanimously vote to punish him in any way for what went down. There is sometimes a difference in the law and justice. And there are so many factors here that would cause most people some level of pause before being willing to throw the man in prison. It’s not as if he went looking for trouble or hasn’t suffered enough for things he didn’t even initiate. When the adrenalin is flowing in that kind of situation, especially considering the past recent threats to him and his house, I really just can’t see how anyone would consider his behavior unreasonable.

          Though he probably shouldn’t have sounded so damn proud of it on the news. (Which of course is the point of this article.) Still, even with running his mouth, I’ll be seriously surprised if charges are brought. Society generally frowns on convicting elderly people of murder for shooting people who broke into their house, even with the facts what they are here.

        • I don’t think Mr.Greer is cognitively impaired because he’s 80….I think he’s cognitively impaired because he doesn’t understand how bad it is that he yapping to the media.

      • Dead “eventually” is one thing. Stopped dead mid attack is another. A gun being a force multiplier I will opt for the best math possible.

        • +1

          A .22 can indeed kill. But that is not at issue when you are defending yourself. The attacker dying four hours or even four minutes later might not do you much good. The relevant question is can it STOP someone right here and now, or will he continue to attack after shot by it? (This is assuming he didn’t decide, on merely seeing the gun, that on the whole he’d rather be getting a root canal than be messing with you.)

          I think it’s much less likely the attack will stop when using a .22 than with a more powerful round.

        • And yet, this woman didn’t get back up. And neither did the man in Georgia who attacked a woman coming out of the shower and she got to her .22 pistol. And neither do tons of people in hunting accidents. And neither did most of the people in the VA Tech shooting. (And I didn’t even realize a lot of those people were shot with a .22)

          close range, hitting a vital with a .22 will scramble up your insides. There is no such thing as a handgun with “stopping power”. We need to put that myth to bed. There have been people dropped and killed instantly with a .22 and people who got right back up and kept going after a .45.

          Also, in a lot of circumstances where the bad guy doesn’t stop, law enforcement is involved. In that situation a criminal doesn’t have the option of just leaving. Their freedom will be taken from them so they are more motivated to push past whatever.

          Most criminals stopping after being shot one time, it’s a psychological stop, not an actual incapacitation, no matter what round was fired. And most run at the sight of a gun or even if a round doesn’t hit them. In side by side studies of every major handgun caliber no caliber, including a .22 took more than 2.46 (so 3) rounds to incapacitate. You hit center of mass 3 times and they are going to be incapacitated in 99.999% of all DGU’s in which you might have to shoot, and most DGU’s you don’t ever have to do anything but draw your weapon.

          Sorry, this is a huge pet peeve of mine. My only issue with a .22 is that it’s rimfire and semi-autos can be very finicky and revolvers have more limited capacity. It’s trust my life to a .22 semi-auto if I trusted the gun, fed it high quality ammo, and had a revolver of some sort as a backup.

        • oh and the 2.46 rounds to incapacitation wasn’t a .22, it was a 9mm. (though there are reasons to believe that number might have been skewed a little due to some of the circumstances of the shootings… i.e. lots of law enforcement spray and pray situations.)

          The .22 incapacitated in 1.38 rounds.

          Hit something vital. 3 shots. Bad guy stops. In VERY rare circumstances, bad guy doesn’t stop. But in those rare circumstances bad guys don’t stop with ANY caliber… nothing short of a shotgun seems to take some people down. But they are very rare. Outside of the rimfire/jamming issue, really… .22’s are deadly and they will stop people, just like any other bullet.

        • And sorry for so many comments right in a row. The reason I’m so passionate about this is that there are a lot of women who are scared of bigger guns with bigger recoil (even a too snappy lightweight .380 is going to be hard to reacquire the target, particularly in a high-adrenalin situation). Then there are very old people and people with arthritis. Telling people a .22 won’t stop a bad guy in time discourages people who don’t have a lot of hand strength from carrying because they think “why bother, it’s just a mouse gun anyway.”

          I’ll say for myself, I would be way more concerned with rape than murder. If I shot a smaller caliber and the bad guy managed to kill me (which I still don’t think is likely given stories of things that actually tend to happen in these cases), okay, he’s likely dying later too so I can accept that outcome. But I have NEVER heard of a single rapist who managed to maintain wood with bullet wounds of ANY caliber. That’s all I really care about.

          It’s too easy to talk about “stopping power” and .40s and .45s, which usually aren’t practical for women either due to concealability or hand strength or ability to reacquire target after recoil, and frankly women just need guns more than men need them because of the huge disparity of force and things like rape. Most women would rather be killed than raped.

          A .22 is WAY better than holding your keys a special way, a taser, a rape whistle, even a knife. And I’ve never met a man willing to volunteer to be shot with one.

      • Until he moves from California to a sane state where the victim is not prosecuted for making sure his attacker is done.

        • Don’t come to Washington State. Only cops get to kill. Anyone else kills, they will take you to trial unless it’s a damn good shoot.

        • I would just like to point out that according to your own words this man is a murderer. You said above that the defensive scenario isn’t over until the perp surrenders. Fair enough, that covers the first shoot and even the chase. But when the assailant is on the ground disabled and unarmed begging for her life is that not surrender? If not what IS surrender? By your own standard this man passed beyond the bounds of self defense, how can you stand up for him other than his sympathetic standing as an old man and multi victim?

  6. I believe he said that the two of them had robbed him twice in the past and he knew what they looked like, not sure if/how that changes the circumstances. If the threat(s) are retreating but you reasonably believe that they may come back and attempt further harm, as in another robbery, you can shoot. That is my understanding, but I may be back asswards. Also, if that ‘harm’ is robbery, does that justify shooting under CA law? I ask out of ignorance (and because i’m on my phone with a slow connection and can’t be bothered to wait 10 minutes for a page that may or may not have an answer on it to load).

    • In answer to some of your questions,

      Yes, robbery is explicitly listed in the jury instructions for self-defense, and for justified homicide when performing a citizen’s arrest

      You may pursue your assailant, if reasonably necessary. Says so explicitly in jury instructions

      You may, if performing a citizen’s arrest, use deadly force to prevent escape, but it is an acknowledged but unresolved legal issue whether you also have to reasonably believe that in escape they pose imminent threat to self or others. The jury instructions gives options “In a footnote, Garner, supra, 471 U.S. 1, 16, fn. 15, noted that California law permits a killing in either situation, that is either when the suspect has committed an atrocious crime or when the suspect poses a threat of future harm. (See also Long Beach Police Officers Assn v. City of Long Beach (1976) 61 Cal.App.3d 364, 371-375 [132 Cal.Rptr. 348] [also stating the rule as “either” but quoting police regulations, which require that the officer always believe there is a risk of future harm.]) The committee has provided both options in element 4. The court should review relevant case law before giving the bracketed language.”

      • So he chased the assailants legally. The thing is the second shot the killing shot was taken at a not fleeing non attacking person. Where is the justification in THIS case?

  7. I can think of a scenario where this would be especially relevant.
    Someone breaks into your house. You both exchange fire, then the criminal runs towards the front door pointing his gun backwards at you.
    If you shoot him dead, you obviously have the right because he already attacked you with deadly force. If you admit outside of a court of law that was running away when you fired, it gives the anti gun media time to portray you as a cold blooded killer and make the jury that much more likely to question your self defense.
    Keep your mouth shut. Only tell the police the basics over the phone (so they don’t come in guns blazing), tell the rest to your lawyer later.

    • That’s not this case. The orientation of the attacker dose not matter. Their actions do and wounded dying and surrendered is not an action justifying follow up shots

  8. Stories like these compel me to install security cameras in my home just in case a situation like this happens.

    • Better have a likely excuse about how the tapes got wiped if they happen to catch you plugging a downed and non aggressive perp.

    • A disturbing number of people posting here seem to think this is exactly how you do it. I wonder if their comments here could be used in their future trial?

      • You dont need to wonder, absolutely. And I’m rather shocked at the number of people here who think it ok that this man decided to be judge, jury and executioner. This is bad news for all gun owners and ccw, not just this man’s actions but that he isn’t being called out by those with the most to loose. It speaks to the hatred people have for one another. I have little sympathy for people who die because they are stupid and/or thieving but this man’s use of his weapon was unjustified and guess whose gonna pay for it.

  9. Whatever was his reason/logic for the shooting, whether legally defensible or not-shooting off his mouth to the press was just plain stupid. The press will likely use his comments for their Anti-2A crusade. POTG take heed and STFU.

  10. It wasn’t intended to be murder.

    He squeezed the trigger the moment he saw them, however, due to arthritis, his finger took until she was on the ground to reach the back of the trigger guard. Problem solved!

    Also, the fact of the matter is that the second they made the decision to commit their crime their lives were already void.
    You don’t gain something without sacrifice. They bet their lives, she lost.
    The End.

    • No. That is bull and you know there isn’t a law in the history of the nation to back you up. You are a s#it talking wannabe gangster talking about retaliation over common sense and giving the rest of us a bad name.

      • Drew, the first part was a joke.

        As for the second part, at no point did I refer to any law or the legality of the shoot.

        The part about their lives being void the moment they made their decision was in reference to the pity posts near the top, about how ‘sad’ it is and how she didn’t have to die.

        Feeling pity for someone who gets shot for a criminal attempt, whether successful or not, is like crying over someone who got their head bitten off for sticking it into the mouth of a crocodile.
        If they hadn’t done it, they’d still have a firmly attached head.
        If she and her gallant knight hadn’t tried to rob the old guy, she wouldn’t have been perforated. Or at least, not by him.

        That was the point.

  11. There’s what the law says and there’s what a moral society’s laws should say.

    Thugs should be afraid to invade homes for fear of getting shot and killed without due process. That’s what a moral society should say.

    But this was in California, not a moral society.

  12. If, God forbid, I’m ever in a defensive gun use situation…these kinds of posts long ago convinced me to say NOTHING, other than, I will not be talking about this without my lawyer present.

    One could however make the case that the ONLY thing other than that to be said, is, “I was in faar for my life and did what I had to do.”

    • Screw that! You NEVER have to talk to the police…EVER and it’s best not to. If in six months after all the investigations are complete and there are some lingering questions, if your lawyer feels they can be answered, then the lawyer can handle that. Otherwise, DON’T TALK TO COPS…..EVER.
      Unless it was a video taped, absolutely no questions you saved the day type of gun use, you will not do yourself a favor talking to the cops. There is a reason lawyers ALWAYS SAY, DON’T TALK TO COPS.
      Naturally the cops want you to talk to them and they are professionals at being your friend and it’s OK to talk to us, and you will be helping yourself and BULL SHIT! Cops lie. Don’t talk to cops.

  13. I read this on some news site. I really do not feel too sorry for the punks as I think they may have killed the old man if they had gotten the upper hand. But… this may end badly for the 80 year old as legally he is going to be hosed by the prosecutor and the court.

    • Good point…
      If they were carrying weapons it would make the situation different, but not that much.
      EDIT: I mean that the article wasn’t detailed enough to say whether or not they were. Not implying that they weren’t armed or carrying a knife.

      • They don’t need to be carrying weapons in this case. There is disparity of force on several levels: They are stronger and fitter than him. He’s very old while they are young, and there is two of them and only one of him. Whether or not they had weapons added to the mix wouldn’t make a difference here, IMO. If they had had weapons and were fleeing, it would really be the same situation. Legally, he’s in the wrong here. But adrenalin, various primal urges, fear for life, serious injury, possibly including head trauma, his age, disorientation, no time to think, etc. etc. No jury in the world would convict, and if the DA is smart, he won’t even bring charges. It would be too much of a public backlash. Too many people are on this dude’s side. He was terrorized. He fought back. If he hadn’t done what he did, those two would be around to terrorize another day. As it is, one of them is dead and the other will face much higher charges due to being involved in a criminal act that progressed this far. That old guy could have saved an actual innocent person’s life, and he doesn’t have to go to bed afraid of these two showing up AGAIN. (they’d been there 3 times already.)

        • The difference between shooting a fleeing target and attacking a threat is if they have a ranged weapon.
          Of course, if they were still inside his house it makes absolutely no difference. Likewise if his state has stand your ground laws.

        • I’d vote for community service…hose off the blood stain in the alley…. if it doesn’t rain in the next 2 years.

        • @Scrubula oh, I don’t disagree with you. He’s acted outside of the law here. I was just pointing out that disparity of force already exists and them holding weapons wouldn’t change the circumstances of the case if they were running away like they were. He’s still wrong, though I don’t think the DA will press charges.

  14. we dont execute non threats. You would expect a senior citizen to have a little sense of proportionality.

    • Well, it may have been the pain from his broken collarbone or the other injuries that he had just received that caused him to lose his sense of proportionality. Two 26-year-olds physically attacked him. They threatened to kill him. They had broken into his home twice before. How exactly to you think they were non-threats?

      • A person lying wounded unarmed and begging for his/her life is a non threat in any legal or moral sense. He shot her again out of spite or anger. Justifiable anger sure but not a justifiable action. He had the moral high ground til that moment. He also had the tactical high ground with the ability to kill either assailant should they turn around and resume the assault.

        • How do you know the 80YO had the tactical high ground? Maybe he heard the other bad guy running back with a bigger weapon.

  15. I have no empathy for any criminal who breaks into another person’s home. To me it is as equal a violation as rape or murder considering a b&e has the potential for both. It should be law or common knowledge that a bullet in the head is the repercussion for breaking into another’s home.

    The man was beaten and attacked by two people, the idea that we are all commandos and experts in tactical situational awareness is hogwash. You have never been in a situation like this before, your adrenaline already through the roof, your senses and awareness already fazed by the beating you took and now you want to do the PC thing and hold a gun on two stronger and more agile predators until the cops arrive … potentially anywhere from 5-20 minutes. Screw that, the best CHANCE to SURVIVE is to eliminate the threat before things escalate, before one your attackers sees that opening and TAKES YOUR GUN and ends you. There is no dishonor there and thinking anything else is truly foolish.

    • +1000

      It would be one thing if he was some vigilante running around looking for criminals to shoot but they brought the fight to him. They started it. He ended it. And it was hardly premeditated on his end. He’s not a commando. He’s just a normal person behaving in a normal person way after being terrorized one too many times by thugs. I can’t really see this scenario playing out any differently given all the factors that are there.

      • I can, hell there are countless versions of this story reported here on ttag. One assailant is shot the other flees. Defender takes strong position til the cops and emt team get there. Happen often enough.

        • were all those people 80 years old, already been robbed by the same people 3 times already, and were beaten nearly to death with a broken collarbone in a life and death struggle until they got to their gun and started shooting?

          Because I’m talking really specifically. I don’t see how THIS specific situation with all the paremeters involved could have played out any differently.

          I just think it’s different if you’re that old, in fear for your life 30 seconds ago, adrenalin pumping, broken bones, maybe even some head trauma from being beaten, life or death fight with two thugs who have already been to your house stealing from you before. Who would act much differently than this in all those circumstances?

  16. It’s the same as the guy who shot the two teenagers to death on Thanksgiving Day (although he was more deliberately heinous about it than this old gent). Mr. Greer’s first shot was probably a legitimate DGU, but the second one was murder. She was down and probably wouldn’t have got anywhere before the Police arrived, but he “shot her anyway”. Then Greer apparently goes and blabs to some reporter thereby incriminating himself.

    So, the first learning is, don’t take the second shot unless under direct, provable attack and, under California Law, inside your home – not in the alley outside the home. Then the second learning, STFU until you have told “your story” to your Legal Counsel and been properly advised.

    Turning a low-life scumbag into a murder victim is all too easy if you cannot keep your wits about you. I don’t think there’s any provision in the law excusing 80 year olds from murder charges because they “might” be mentally impaired. While I have very marginal sympathy for the “victim”, I have none for Greer. He was just wrong and needs to be held accountable for it.

    • Why should the thugs expect an 80YO to make all the correct decisions after they just got done whomping his ass?

      I’m voting not guilty on any charge that would bring prison time.

      • Looking for a jury of 12 who would actually convict this guy would be a fool’s errand and a further waste of taxpayer dollars.

        • I would absolutely bet serious money on it. Just wait. Odds are, the DA won’t press charges. If they do, it’ll be a media circus and in the end, he’ll walk. Take the temperature of citizens with regards to violent crimes right now and the way laws often favor thugs more than citizens minding their own business. The people are fed up.

        • It’s California. Have your salt shaker handy when you eat those words. If you believe it is acceptable to deliberately shoot a person you have already wounded to the point of collapse, you probably should not own a gun.

        • Don’t put words into my mouth. I never said it was ACCEPTABLE to shoot someone who is running from you. I said in this set of circumstances with the age of the victim and all the other things that happened before and during, MOST compassionate not heartless people would not punish an 80 year old guy that had already been aggressed against enough just because he didn’t stop shooting someone who committed felony assault on him in his home.

          Good lord.

          And I don’t care if it’s California. Human nature will always be human nature, and no matter the official right or wrongness of what he did, nobody will convict him. I’ll stand by my words and of course I’ll be happy to say “you were right, I was wrong, I’m a moron” if I turn out to be wrong. But I won’t be.

        • ” I never said it was ACCEPTABLE to shoot someone who is running from you.” Correct, you never said that. You implied it was correct to shoot a person already wounded and lying on the ground pleading for their life. My problem was never with the first shot. It is with the second shot, deliberately fired with the intent to cause additional harm, and resulting in the needless death of the woman. THAT is where Greer crossed the line between self-defense and deliberate excessive force. He may not have intended to kill her, but that is the result he produced.
          As far as the first shot is concerned, if Greer shot her in the back as she fled. that’s just the chance happenstance of the situation. I would not deliberately shoot a person in the back, and, apparently, neither would you. Good for both of us. Greer may have fired as she turned to flee and the shot hit her in the back. So it goes.
          I have no need to have you say you were wrong, no matter how this turns-out, it is completely unnecessary, so please forget about that. Neither, do I have a need for Greer to be convicted and sent to jail, but I do have a need for it to be understood he was wrong to shoot her the second time under the circumstances HE described. I would never apologize for, nor have any regrets over, the position I have taken on this matter in this particular case. Greer’s behavior only feeds the anti-gun agitprop meme that all gun owners/self defenders are secretly bloodthirsty killers, and I will not/cannot give any support to that lie under any circumstances.

        • No, I didn’t even imply it was correct to do that. At ALL. EVER. I said I understand this 80 yr old guy’s reality and the adrenalin-charged life-or-death situation he was faced with.

          And I also said, given the political climate and people being so fed up with how often violent criminals are slapped on the wrist in this country that they would never be able to convict him. A jury of his peers simply won’t put this man in prison. (I Know I wouldn’t vote to convict.) Good luck finding 12 people in ANY state in this country who would do it. Even CommieFornia.

          It seems like you think that because I’m not blubbering and crying that this little miscreant died that this somehow means I condone the behavior or think it’s correct/okay/ethical/whatever. I don’t. I didn’t say it. I didn’t imply it.

          I never said nor implied that he didn’t cross the line. I said that in spite of that it won’t go to trial and even if it did 12 whole people won’t be willing to convict him given ALL the surrounding circumstances including his age, his injuries, that these same thugs had already broken into his house before and there was no reason to believe they wouldn’t come back again armed with their own guns since they now would know he had one. There is just no reality in which putting this man in prison is “justice” given all the facts. IMO. That is in no way saying what he did was right/moral/ethical/whatever. I’m saying it doesn’t deserve the forfeiture of the rest of his life behind bars.

          I’m at least glad that you recognize I wouldn’t shoot someone in the back. If I ever have to pull out a gun in a DGU the criminal has two choices with me… RUN or get shot. But I will let them rethink their choice to aggress against me.

          And nah, I’ll cop to being wrong and a moron in this instance if I do turn out to be wrong. It’s not like admitting to being wrong causes physical pain or anything. I’ll survive it. I just don’t think I’m wrong. But we’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.

          I agree with you it was wrong for him to shoot her a second time under the circumstances. I just don’t think, under ALL the circumstances, that it’s wrong enough to warrant a murder charge against him. What he did is orders of magnitude away from aggressing on a total innocent, which was what he was when this situation started.

          Someone else upthread said that they didn’t think he had diminished capacity because he was 80 but because he spoke to the media like he did about it. I’m inclined to agree. I think if he was as “cold-blooded” as some would like to attribute to him, he wouldn’t have said a word to the media. His “bragging” to me came across more as a “I’m 80 but I’m not letting anybody hurt me. NO more. I’m done being a victim.” (A lot of the elderly in this country feel pretty disempowered right now, so I can empathize with what he may be feeling.)

          Did he overstep? Yeah, but he’s not Rambo or some high-level military operative. He’s just a normal person and there are a lot of factors here that perhaps caused him to do something that under different circumstances he never would have done. I think in true justice, those things are considered. And if they are, no charges will be brought.

          I also understand where you’re coming from with regards to Greer’s behavior making it look like everybody fancies himself a weekend assasin. And I can’t say I disagree with you on that point. I just don’t think the old man should go to jail over this. And I don’t believe he will.

      • It’s not THEIR call it’s HIS call that counts. Greer will be the one who suffers for bad judgement, and being 80 years old, or any other age, deliberately shooting another person to death is no excuse, either ethically or legally. Greer might have a chance to get away with this if he can prove he suffered a traumatic head injury as a result of the beating.

  17. It’s “coup de grâce” not “coupe”. “Coup” is a blow or strike. “Coupe” is a kind of car.

  18. I have heard friends say I will shoot someone in my house following confirmation they are not friends or family (obviously). If they had no gun or threat object once dead, they will have by the time the police arrive. The guy could just say she was hiding her hands from me and I felt threatened based on what had already happened.

  19. If they prosecute this man, I urge gun owners and freedom loving citizens to hold silent protests in front of the district attorney`s and the arresting officers homes. Shame these people and let their neighbors know that they are criminal apologists. We need to using the criminal apologist/ criminal sympathizer narrative. Its going to be hard for police and district attorneys to shake that accusation off and will create a PR nightmare.

    • Something tells me they are NOT quaking in their loafers. LA public officials as a general rule have no shame.

    • Cuz murder isn’t murder if we don’t like the person. It’s no wonder democrats got away with murdering so many negroes back in the day! You would be in good company with them.

  20. A long, long time ago me and a large number of other people got in a lot of trouble.

    I shut the fvck up from the moment shit went south until the very end. Everyone else did not.

    I walked away unscathed. Everyone else got screwed.

    Don’t. Talk. To. The. Police.

  21. The fish that knows when to keep his mouth shut is never caught.

    If Bernard Goetz would have kept his mouth shut he would have been elected mayor.

  22. 1. He may well be guilty of a crime. Justice is not yours to serve. Whether or not they “deserved” it is irrelevant.

    2. She was not pregnant, just a liar

    3. Those saying never to say anything at all to the police, not a good idea. Better is to 1) tell them where the gun is 2) Say how many shots were fired and in what direction. They need to know in order to check on possible stray bullets, neighbors. 3. That it was self defense

    Indeed you are better off if, instead of just clamming up, you say “I was attacked and feared for my life. I fired 3 shots in that direction. I am unarmed now, the gun is on the coffee table.” And then shut up and say that you want to talk to a lawyer before discussing any other details. This a) sets up that you were the victim…I was attacked. Those are the first words said to those evaluating what happened. It does affect their perception. b) it complies with needs of officer safety c) and is cooperative as far as their duties in determining damage.

    If you are completely silent that can hurt you

    ETA: Also they were armed. After all they were prying open a safe….so maybe a crowbar or something like that

    • I fired 3 shots in that direction.

      Really bad advice.

      Mr. JoshuaS…..why did you lie to us, you in fact fired 4 shots?
      …….Well maybe I was confused due to stress of the incident.
      Mr. JoshuaS…what other areas of your statements did you lie to us?
      Members of the jury, we now know Mr. JoshuaS is a proven liar and with that as a basis we can conclude….

      • Talk to a lawyer who has dealt with this and he will say the same thing. Do otherwise, and you are making trouble for yourself. Remember that silence can be incriminating

        DO call 911 first.
        DO State that you were attacked/victimized
        DO tell them if you re holding a bad guy at gun point

        When they are there

        DO tell them how many shots were fired and in what directions
        DO tell them where the gun is now
        DO tell them that you were attacked, feared for your life, etc

        DON’T tell them anything more at that point

        That is sound advice. Roberts v. United States, e.g., upheld a stiffer sentence that was given a criminal who remained silent during his interrogation due to his failure of cooperation, rejecting his 5 amendment claims. Further, as Salinas v. Texas stated: “To be sure, someone might decline to answer a police officer’s question in reliance on his constitutional privilege. But he also might do so because he is trying to think of a good lie, because he is embarrassed, or because he is protecting someone else. Not every such possible explanation for silence is probative of guilt, but neither is every possible explanation protected by the Fifth Amendment.”

        Other court cases have allowed such actions as calling a lawyer and not reporting it yourself to be used as evidence of “awareness of guilt”

        The advice you are giving is BAD. Look up “pre-Miranda silence” (remember you must explicitly invoke your right) and “Adoptive Admissions”

        Also look up “Public Safety Determination” It is an exception to Miranda. You MUST, or you will be charged with a crime, state how many rounds were fired, in what direction and if there are any outstanding suspects. It is considered necessary for the imminent public safety and constitutes a Miranda exception

        Anyone who advises pure silence is a fool. A brief statement, situate yourself as the victim, and give the public safety info. Then explicitly advise them you want a lawyer if they have further questions (thus subsequent silence is protected by Miranda)

  23. He should claim he’s a pre-op transgendered lesbian…so when he goes to prison, it will be full of women.

  24. I will never understand the indifference of some of these commenters. Justified or not, someone died. Celebrating and pleasuring in the death of a human being is disgusting and gives us a bad name. We can debate his justification in shooting, but the facts are not fully clear and seem open to interpretation. What should not happen here is a bunch of chest thumping about “if she’d come in my house bla bla bla… I want the chance to kill someone.” Killing isn’t fun, nor should it be treated as special club.

    • Maybe it’s to offset the people who think 80YO John Q Public should respond perfectly like Mr. Tactical Commando after he got his ass whomped.

      • This. Exactly this. I haven’t once said “Yay, bitch got killed”. And if anybody has said such a thing, I skimmed over it and didn’t notice it. But probably nobody is crying over her death just like we wouldn’t cry over a mass murderer’s death, a rapist’s death or the death of anyone who is actively causing serious harm to innocent people. Sorry, but I’m not going to shed tears over the deaths of felons. That doesn’t mean I think anybody should have a license to kill or that what Mr. Greer did was “right”. I don’t think it was “right”, but I UNDERSTAND. And I also don’t think he should be charged because what purpose toward justice would it really serve? Whether one believes he “murdered” her or not, she brought the fight to him. She broke in. she committed felony assault on him. She’d been in his house before stealing things and likely would come back again. He couldn’t feel safe after that night with her and her little boyfriend on the loose, free to commit crimes to their little hearts content.

        I don’t understand the level of sympathy for felons. Seriously, nobody forced them to aggress against innocent people. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

  25. I thought that if a group of people were in the process of committing a felony, and one of then dies, the others of the group were charged with the death.

    I know it applies when they use it to screw people over…. Why can’t it apply to save this guy?

      • See my post above. He has been charged already, and agreed about the homeowner. Unless the media reports are woefully inaccurate, he was not justified.

  26. If this was the way it seems that it was……well, it’s not good. My thoughts:

    1: Executing a fallen and non-threatening opponent is both illegal and immoral. It is, however, psychologically understandable. This doesn’t obviate the need for prosecution.

    2: I have little sympathy for the victim in this case, though I do believe she deserves justice. Bad people are still people. But I’m not required to feel sorry for people who set themselves up for failure like that. In any case, any amount of prison time is likely to be a life sentence for the homeowner.

    • Actually, depending on the jurisdiction, the homeowner could be just fine legally. Morally he might be wrong, but you never know what the rest of the story is.

      Illinois, for instance, has a law allowing you to use deadly force against a person *escaping* after the commission of a forcible felony. So this guy would probably be A-OK legally (at least in IL).

        • If she was “mortally wounded” then she’d already been killed, another bullet did her no harm. Also, do you have some evidence she was NOT escaping?

  27. The only way to tell the bad guy from the good guy in battle is how they treat the helpless, powerless, defenseless and the predators that have surrendered.

    Once they have surrendered and there is no more immediate threat, to shoot the bad guy(girl) is murder. And makes you the bad guy. It’s simple.

      • Well fugue; it really is about context; there was obviously a report of some crime perpetrated by the guy that got out of the car; was it for a violent robbery?, shooting? Did the guy have a reported gun along with a knife in hand? The guy had a knife, at least by the cops radio transmission; it looked like the guy was reaching back into the car; for a gun?

        Then when the shooting starts, the fog of battle descends and often the shooting doesn’t stop until the gun is empty, the last shot seemed to be a an ND. Now if the cop had gone up to the guy, kicked the knife away from his hand and put a bullet in his head; then yeah, I would agree it was murder.

        I’m not forgiving of no knock raids and the thugs of the ATF, but this cop I would give the benefit of the doubt until all the facts are in.

  28. If a police officer had shot her this way…..just imagine the howls of protest and anti-cop abuse that would be heaped on him, and rightly so in this case.

    But here we see people defending the man who shot her in cold blood after she was no longer a threat.

    Consistency….you don’t has it people

    • Eh, I’m on the fence until I find out for sure that he really executed her on the ground. However, in the meantime, an 80 year old injured man who’s been burgled by the same people three times isn’t quite the same as a fit young cop with the power of the government behind him.

      In Texas, or least Dallas, assaults on people over 65 are treated more seriously than assaults on younger adults, because they’re at much greater risk of death from broken bones, stress, etc.

    • How many times does he have to be beaten almost to death before losing it? I think that he may be suffering from brain injury due to the beatings and/or temporary insanity due to the beatings and/or he may feared that they were going to come back with guns to finish him off. They may be able to charge him with excessive force since shooting her the final time was excessive but given the fact that the beatings of could be charged as attempted murder since a simple beating may be enough to easily kill some elderly people and as such he was the victim of multiple attempted murders from the same group and a reasonable person would believe that they will keep doing it and that he should not be forced to wait until next time they try to kill him before reacting.

      • They may be able to charge him with excessive force since shooting her the final time was excessive…

        Has this actually been established? If he shot her once, approached her while she was down, and shot her again, that’s pretty damning (i.e. second-degree murder damning). But if he fired two shots at her when she fled the garage, and then she ran and fell, that’s something else entirely. And from what I’ve gathered so far, the latter scenario is just as likely as the former, at this point.

        As usual: it’s really difficult to assess the situation when so many “facts” remain in flux.

      • If she and her punk had attacked, robbed and beaten a cop several times, and broken his bones, I really doubt that.

        And cops ARE civilians.

    • For once I agree with you. This guy shot her dead in cold blood, she posed no threat to him and the same standards should apply regardless. All these fools defending this guy should read “In the gravest extreme” by Massad Ayoob. I am betting that they will pin this guy to the wall to make an example of him. It is California…

      • Except “in cold blood” doesn’t apply, in the legal sense.

        The (80-year-old) man interrupted a robbery in his home, and suffered an assault and battery at the hands of the intruders, that resulted in a broken collarbone (according to reports).

        Even if he is 100% in the wrong, there’s no way, legally, that this rises above second-degree murder. “In cold blood” – i.e. premeditation – simply does not apply.

        • No. His own statements are damning. “I shot her anyway” is going to put this guy in the slammer for the rest of his life. He made himself judge jury and executioner at that point. She was down and posed no threat. I call that murder.

        • Note the number of times I’ve said that the facts very well may show that the man committed a second-degree murder, or perhaps voluntary manslaughter.

          Where we disagree is your insistence of misapplying the term “in cold blood” to what happened.

        • I heard you the first time. Your not listening. I am saying that when he shot an unarmed person laying on the ground begging for her life, (despite whatever came before) he MURDERED THAT WOMAN. It does not matter the extenuating circumstances. My bet (which you obviously don’t agree with) is that this is murder one. Read Ayoob, if you still disagree then will talk.

        • @Joseph Quixote:

          I am saying that when he shot an unarmed person laying on the ground begging for her life…

          Has this been established as fact? Is it known that his two shots came at two different times, rather than both at the same time? As far as I know at this point, you’re assuming a fact not yet in evidence.

          …(despite whatever came before) he MURDERED THAT WOMAN.

          Second-degree murder is, well: murder. So, yes: we agree. If the facts fit the charge, and he has no affirmative defense, then yes; he murdered her. A voluntary manslaughter charge is the most likely (based on what is known at this point), with the possibility of second-degree murder.

          It does not matter the extenuating circumstances.

          The “extenuating circumstances” are what separate the various degrees of a homicide charge. I’m not sure your basis for asserting that they don’t matter.

          My bet (which you obviously don’t agree with) is that this is murder one. Read Ayoob, if you still disagree then will talk.

          Do you understand the concepts of premeditation and malice aforethought? There is ZERO chance of the state attempting to prove that the shooting was premeditated with malice aforethought – because it is impossible for that to have happened.

        • @Joseph Quixote:

          Let’s cut to the chase, and see what CA statutes actually say:
          http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=00001-01000&file=187-199

          I’ll copy/paste the relevant bits:

          189. All murder which is perpetrated by means of a destructive
          device or explosive, a weapon of mass destruction, knowing use of
          ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor, poison,
          lying in wait, torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate,
          and premeditated killing, or which is committed in the perpetration
          of, or attempt to perpetrate, arson, rape, carjacking, robbery,
          burglary, mayhem, kidnapping, train wrecking, or any act punishable
          under Section 206, 286, 288, 288a, or 289, or any murder which is
          perpetrated by means of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle,
          intentionally at another person outside of the vehicle with the
          intent to inflict death, is murder of the first degree. All other
          kinds of murders are of the second degree.

          And some definitions:

          As used in this section, “destructive device” means any
          destructive device as defined in Section 16460, and “explosive” means
          any explosive as defined in Section 12000 of the Health and Safety
          Code.
          As used in this section, “weapon of mass destruction” means any
          item defined in Section 11417.
          To prove the killing was “deliberate and premeditated,” it shall
          not be necessary to prove the defendant maturely and meaningfully
          reflected upon the gravity of his or her act.

          So, the criteria for first degree murder:

          1a. Perpetuated by means of a destructive device (not applicable)
          or
          1b. Lying in wait (not applicable)
          or
          1c. Torture (not applicable)
          or
          1d. any other kind of willful, deliberate,
          and premeditated killing
          or
          1e. murder committed during the commission of a felony (not applicable)

          So, the only possible grounds for first-degree murder are “willful, deliberate, and premeditated”

          For the sake of argument, I’ll give you willful. But you’re stuck on “deliberate and premeditated”, which California defines as:

          …maturely and meaningfully reflected upon the gravity of his or her act.

          The concept is further expounded upon in the jury instructions for first-degree murder:

          If you find the defendant guilty of attempted murder [under Count ______], you must then decide whether the People have proved the additional allegation that the attempted murder was done willfully, and with deliberation and premeditation.

          (The defendant/ ) acted willfully if (he/she) intended to kill when (he/she) acted. (The defendant/ ) deliberated if (he/she) carefully weighed the considerations for and against (his/her) choice and, knowing the consequences, decided to kill. (The defendant/ ) premeditated if (he/she) decided to kill before acting.

          [The attempted murder was done willfully and with deliberation and premeditation if either the defendant or or both of them acted with that state of mind.]
          The length of time the person spends considering whether to kill does not alone determine whether the attempted killing is deliberate and premeditated. The amount of time required for deliberation and premeditation may vary from person to person and according to the circumstances. A decision to kill made rashly, impulsively, or without careful consideration of the choice and its consequences is not deliberate and premeditated. On the other hand, a cold, calculated decision to kill can be reached quickly. The test is the extent of the reflection, not the length of time.

          Not provable. Not even close to provable.

        • I’m with Chip on this one. Extenuating circumstances absolutely matter. It’s why one can shoot someone in self-defense and it be ruled “justifiable homicide”. You killed someone in that case. It is a HOMICIDE, but it is ruled as justifiable because of the extenuating circumstances of you protecting your own life from an aggressor. Without extenuating circumstances there could be no such thing as a DGU.

          Not every set of extenuating circumstances is that clear cut which is why there are different types of charges and all “killing someone” isn’t charged the same.

          Extenuating circumstances also color the judgments and opinions of normal people who are not obedient robots. i.e. if something strikes enough people as unjust, the law can say whatever it says but good luck getting a jury of 12 to convict.

          In this situation, yeah, it’s wrong that he kept shooting her. But there are a LOT of extenuating circumstances, which would make it immoral to lock this old man away for the rest of his life. I get the feeling that when people think of this situation they are imagining that somehow if this old dude isn’t charged that it means a 20 year old fit guy wouldn’t be charged in the same situation. But it’s apples and oranges.

        • Will have to disagree. I am going to read you a couple of paragraphs from Ayoob’s book. “In the Gravest Extreme.”
          Pg 12 “A major legal consideration will further prevent the private citizen from shooting: once the threat of assault has passed, and the felon is no longer jeopardizing him. the civilians shooting of the felon will no longer be considered self defense.”
          Pg 12-13 a little further down. “But there is still another tricky legal doctrine waiting to trap you if you chase a thief or erstwhile opponent. Your quarry could not claim self-defense if he had hurt you in the initial struggle, since he was in the wrong and self-defense is a privileged reserved for the innocent. But after he made an obvious attempt to desist and escape, that conflict ended. Now, as you pursue him, remember that when you catch up you will not necessarily be continuing the initial confrontation, but in the eyes of the law, opening a new one—opening a confrontation in which the criminal will be blameless since you are now the aggressor. He is trying to avoid the combat, and you, not he, are now the aggressor.”

          Look, I don’t think this woman was doing the right thing whatsoever, but this guy obviously lost his marbles. Whether she was down or standing does not matter. You don’t blow away someone begging for their life in a country that supposedly follows the rule of law, if we start doing that we are no better than the butchers of the past. Our country has never allowed self-appointed juries (except for maybe a little while with reason in the old west) I still think that they will go after him for murder 1 and don’t be shocked if they get him with it. Like you said it is still murder even if they can’t get him on the premeditated. Finally I would hate to someday face the big guy upstairs and be asked about that day in the alley and that woman……

        • Nothing you quoted from Mas said anything about premeditation.

          At this point, you’re just willfully ignoring the legal significance of premeditation is differentiating first- and second-degree murder.

          For the umpteenth time: I’m not arguing that the man may have legal liability, up to and including voluntary manslaughter or second-degree murder; rather, I’m arguing that there is absolutely no grounds to charge him with first-degree murder, because there is simply no possibility to prove premeditation.

        • @Joseph Quixote:

          You don’t blow away someone begging for their life…

          At this point, you’re still assuming facts not in evidence. From what I’ve heard/read, all the man admitted to was shooting the woman twice in the back, as she fled from the garage, and that she said, “don’t shoot me; I’m pregnant.”

          Given that the woman was not, in fact, pregnant, it is far more likely that she merely used that as a ruse to engender sympathy while she attempted to flee. To say that she was begging for her life injects a whole lot of subjectivity and emotion into the altercation, where none has been proven to exist.

          There are two very different scenarios here, that have potentially significantly different legal ramifications:

          1. In the heat of the moment, the man fired two shots at the woman, from the garage, as she attempted to flee while saying, “don’t shoot me, I’m pregnant.” He hit her twice in the back, and she stumbled and fell, dead, in the alley.

          2. In the heat of the moment, the man fired one shot at the woman, from the garage, as she attempted to flee. He hit her in the back, and she stumbled and fell in the alley. As she said, “don’t shoot me, I’m pregnant,” the man walked up to her and shot her in the back a second time, killing her.

          As far as I can gather, based on existing facts as we know them, either scenario is possible.

          Based on my own inference of the man’s statements to the reporter, I think that scenario #1 is much more plausible. He stated that he took two shots at the woman (who was running more slowly than the man), and then took one or more shots at the man – all while standing in his garage. The woman was closer at the time he took his shots, and he hit her. The man was far enough away that he missed him.

          I’m guessing that forensics (bullet angles of entry, paths, depth of penetration) and physical evidence (locations of the casings) will provide a more accurate indication of what happened.

        • “I shot her anyway” I think that that statement sums it up. It expresses that he consciously knew that she was asking him not to shoot. I think that qualifies as begging for her life. I guess we will have to see when more facts come out.

        • I wonder if the old guy had begged her for his life just a few minutes before while she and her boyfriend were breaking his collar bone. I’m personally not that sympathetic to the begging of felons while they are in the middle of committing or fleeing from their felony.

  29. If the events transpired as related, he shot a fleeing person in the back who was no longer a threat, then he did the wrong thing in the heat of the moment. Only cops are allowed to do that.

    I think they will charge him with something, and he should be, if events transpired as said.

    Carry on.

  30. I am not a saint nor devil but that was plain wrong. You don’t execute someone, for that you usually get court-martialed (or however it is spelled). Sure, there are some exceptions (war criminals and people who wronged you personally) but executing some two-bit thug is not really okay.

  31. This man has definitely embarked upon a difficult road for himself by his actions, under California law.

    Now, it Texas, this would go to the Grand Jury, as it should, and he’d be no-billed (G.J. would refuse to indict). Texas law allows, among other things, the use of deadly force to protect property and to prevent someone from fleeing after their having committed burglary, among other things.

    See Joe Horn: In 2007, 61 year old man witnesses a burglary of a his neighbor’s home, calls 911, then goes out and confronts the two little darlings (both felons, illegal aliens and druggies), subsequently shooting them both to death with a shotgun (maybe in the back, maybe not, accounts vary on that point). A plainclothes, early-arriving police officer witnessed the shooting. No indictment, and Joe Horn walked.

  32. Maybe he can use a crime of passion defense? It’s a viable defense in CA, where for example if you come home from a year long combat tour and walk in on your whore of a wife getting railed by the unemployed neighbor guy, while your kid is in he next room, then you can kill them both on the spot. If you wait and do it later, then you had time to cool off and plan which shows premeditation. If he, as a scared old man, can show that this even ignited defensive instincts from some old traumatic stress and he wasn’t in control of his actions, then maybe he has a defense, but he really screwed himself by opening his mouth. Maybe that shows senility, like john mccains warmongering rants. Maybe senility and PTSD can defend him.

    • Is that really the law in California? Not saying it isn’t, just that I’m surprised. We have the “sudden passion” defense in Texas, butvit operates a little differently.

      First, if the defendant can prove during the punishment phase of the trial that the murder he’s just been convicted of arose from his sudden passion at being provoked, as by a scenario like you mentioned, then he gets dropped doen to second degree murder from first. He doesn’t get probatin or acquitted outright, just a downgrade in the major felony punishment.

      Also, the sudden passion must arise at the time of the offense and not soley from prior provocation. This man had been robbed several times before and may have directed that accumulated anger at just this one person. He may have had so much passion stirring nonstop, that even an innocent meter reader in the back yard could have gotten shot, let alone a fleeing burglar. At least, that’s how the prosecution might spin it.

      I definitely want to give this guy as much leeway as I can, but even under California’s laws, the law is the law, and viewing the facts in a friendly, favorable light only goes so far.

      • Nowhere is the law the law, period. Try this; has anyone reported this guy is under arrest? Because I’ll bet he is not, because no one has any interest in prosecuting him. In which case he will not be prosecuted, REGARDLESS of the law.

  33. This story is wrong on so many levels. Both the police and local news media took unfair advantage of an old man who’d just had something awful happen to him. Sure it’s easy for a cop or reporter to get someone like this talking. The guy’s an 80 year old victim. He was easy meat for them. This is shameful.

  34. QUESTION…they beat the s##t outa’ an 80 year old. How can ANYONE think he overreacted? I’ve worked with the elderly and I can assure you bleeding hearts the girl DESERVED DEATH. I hope he skates.

    • Not even victims have the right to be judge, jury and executioner.

      People are mentioning extenuating circumstances. A comment just below you urges a suspended sentence. You could argue that, epikeia and all that might apply.

      But let us turn it around. What is the woman was coerced into the robbery? And then upon surrendering, rather than being given the opportunity to have justice and epikeia, she was simply executed? I am, of course, not claiming anything about this case (she doesn’t appear to be coerced), but as far as the old man knew?

      Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The old man’ s victimization might urge clemency in that forum, it doesn’t justify denying the rule of law. The consequence of your argument is anarchism. And that is disgustingly contemptible.

      • What specifically makes it morally okay for the govt. to kill people? The govt. is just a group of individuals. What supreme moral authority are they granted to murder people who have committed a crime in the past? Why do they get to play god and determine the value of somebody’s life? Really, if this old dude isn’t justified in killing this person, the state wouldn’t be either, even if she’d killed the old dude.

        From where does the state’s moral authority to kill people come from? Just asking, because it seems like people are very content to allow states to execute murderers but someone who is actually the victim can’t kill felons aggressing against them in the heat of the moment without being “terrible people”. Somehow adrenalin and primal survival instincts are supposed to shut down the instant someone turns away from you. (Even when these people had already been in his house and would likely just come back again the next night, possibly armed.)

        In nature, there is no court of law that stops a bear from killing another bear that starts crap with him. We like to pretend we aren’t animals and that we are somehow civilized. We invent all sorts of convoluted laws and reasonings to convince ourselves that baser instincts don’t kick in in these situations. Only human beings are troubled by natural behaviors carried out by every other species, because we think we aren’t animals, too.

        But we are, and it leads to this ridiculous notion that there actually is some higher moral purpose being served in executing someone who killed someone 2 years after they did it, just because an agent of the govt. carried out the killing.

    • If I witnessed this beating as it was happening, I am fully prepared to engage perpetrators with deadly force to protect third party elderly (women/children as well).

      If perps are beating an elderly many badly like this guy (grave bodily harm/crippling injury articulation), but they stop when they see me/hear me with my gun – The threat is over when they stop. I cant shoot them at that moment. There MUST be a new articulatable threat of grave bodily harm, crippling injury or death. I know those signs. Do you?

      If they re-engage old man with beating, kick, etc….I can then employ deadly force and burst fire perp into the ground to stop the threat. Perp now wants a piece of me and closes distance on me? I burst fire him into the ground to stop the threat as another of a few more examples.

      While it feels good to teach the guy a lesson for gravely beating an old man, there is no legal basis for it. Its called assault in its various forms and potentially with a deadly weapon which could result in some form of murder charge if perp (now your victim) dies.

      This issue is an enormous legal and tactical fail for good guys. You go to jail.

      • But back here in the real world:

        * dude is 80.
        * He’d just been in a life or death altercation where they committed felony assault on him where they did him serious bodily injury (broken collarbone) and he could have suffered a head injury.
        * The fear and adrenalin was going.
        * He’s not a robot.
        * Possible diminished capacity. (Not because he’s 80 but as someone mentioned upthread it’s sort of hard NOT to think he has diminished capacity if he’d say on camera the things he said. Given that the media could so easily manipulate him to talk and incriminate himself in this situation, it’s a tough sell for me that he’s not in some way diminished here.)
        * These were repeat offenders in his house and they would likely have returned, only now they would know he had a gun. So he should just sit and wait for them to come back to finish him off? If a woman can beat the crap out of him (even aided by her boyfriend), what chance does this old guy really have if he waits around for an event that he KNOWS will happen, given their repeated B&E’s at his house?

        The letter of the law says he’s wrong. The basic fact of shooting a fleeing person in the back is both legally and morally wrong. HOWEVER, all the very specific circumstances I just listed tells me that this man won’t be convicted of anything, because in the real world we aren’t robots. In the real world most people have enough sense to feel more compassion for innocent people violently assaulted than for violent felons who have the tables turned on them.

        It strains credulity for me to believe that within 60 seconds this man went from being a completely innocent victim of violent assault to a felon who deserves to be imprisoned.

        Holding this viewpoint in this very specific situation does not mean that I or others holding this position suddenly think everybody should have a license to kill or that it’s suddenly okay for everybody to do this. (or even that it was “okay” for him to do it) It’s just that she isn’t an innocent victim here. She’s just not. And anyone with even the smallest amount of intellectual honesty can admit that.

        Given her extreme lack of innocence, why does this old man deserve prison?

  35. The homeowner was definitely in the wrong legally and morally. Given the totality of the circumstances surrounding this incident a charge of 2nd degree manslaughter should be brought, but the homeowner should be offered a 10-15 year suspended sentence as a plea bargain, i.e. no jail time. Its called the criminal JUSTICE system for a reason and there would be no justice in sending an 80 year old man to prison for the rest of his life simply for defending himself.

    • freaking thank you!

      I’d sooner lock up the moron aiming a gun at his cat in a facebook photo than this 80 year old guy that had been assaulted/abused and robbed 2 or 3 other times before this by the same people. It’s like the phrase extenuating circumstances means nothing to people and people like this old guy are supposed to be robots who think robotically in high-adrenalin life-or-death situations and the direct aftermath.

    • I would refuse that plea bargain, and go with a jury trial, rather than surrendering my firearm rights for life. There is no chance he would be convicted.

  36. Boy, it sure didnt take long for the Mas Ayoob card to be played in all this…a legend in his own mind. Remember, Mas Ayoob is Sam Booya spelled backwards.

    • Have you ever read any of Massad F. Ayoob? Do you even know why we are referencing him? Give me a break.. The guys’ resume speaks for itself. More so than anyone here. (myself included)

        • Larry, he is one of those good guys that put self defense back in the eighties to the forefront, that and a whole lot more. Most classes that deal with concealed carry in some way use him whether they know it or not. Just Google him and see.

  37. “If”, for a valid and provable reason, you “fear” a return of the threat (to life, limb, etc) then you ‘can’ use force to stop that (potential) return of the threat. I happen to think this man’s comments are inappropriate and he should have thought long and hard before opening his mouth but I don’t think they will prosecute.

    • LOL! I made an impassioned set of comments to this effect further upthread. Aside from the issue of rimfire and how finicky semi-autos are with this caliber, I would trust a .22lr with my life (though .22 magnum might be slightly better). I’ve just read too many DGUs that involved .22’s. .22’s have also been used by some crazy killers, by mob hitmen, kill a LOT of people in hunting accidents. I think people put way too much stock in “stopping power” and simply don’t realize that most criminals who get shot (or even get threatened to get shot) are going to run like little manbabies so they can live to rob/assault/rape another day. They also don’t know what caliber that gun is when it’s in their face and even if they do, they know that if they continue in their aggression against you there is a chance they can’t go to the hospital without going to jail. It’s just not worth it.

      And in the case of rape, I’ve just never heard of a single case where a guy shot with ANYTHING maintained wood. So… good enough for me. There are obviously precautions to take so you don’t have crappy ammo getting jammed: keep the gun really clean, practice with it enough so you know you can trust it, feed it very high quality ammo, maybe have a back-up mini-revolver in worst case scenario, but yeah… .22’s, people shouldn’t look down on them or scoff at anyone carrying one.

  38. A good lawyer could argue that he acted within the law by trying to prevent the escape of someone that committed the forcible felony of attempted murder. In ILLINOIS the law specifically allows deadly force against someone that committed a forcible felony or is about to commit a forcible felony or is fleeing after the commission of a forcible felony which means according to the law in ILLINOIS he would be protected by the law allowing defense against forcible felony as well as the law allowing citizens arrest powers.

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