‘If You Act in Self-Defense, I’ll Back You 100 Percent,’ Says DA After Road Rage Shooting

Asheville, NC via Wikimedia Commons

A 58-year-old North Carolina man named Joseph Harrison just found out that he will not be charged after shooting another man in self-defense.

According to reports, Harrison was driving on U.S. 70 before exiting onto Main Street in Valdese, North Carolina. While on the highway, Harrison was being tailgated by 21-year-old Max Barnes, who also continued onto Main Street without giving Harrison any more space.

Harrison decided to pull over and let Barnes pass him. Instead, Barnes exited his vehicle, went to the driver side of Harrison’s car, and started punching him through the window. In response, Harrison shot Barnes once in the shoulder. Witnesses corroborated that sequence of events.

Now, about ten days after the October 4 incident, Harrison got the official word that he won’t be charged with any crime. Barnes, on the other hand, is being charged with assault and battery.

“This man acted in self-defense,” District Attorney David Learner said to the press. “I want the public to know that if you act in self-defense, I’m going to back you 100 percent.”

We applaud Mr. Learner for this affirmation of his fellow citizens’ rights. And for Harrison demonstrating, yet again, why so many of us choose to carry a firearm.

comments

  1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

    That’s about as clear-cut as it gets.

    Good shoot…

  2. avatar MLee says:

    Being punched through the window is cowardly. Now if he had cordially invited the man to exit his car to engage in mutual combat and the guy did then shot him, that would be different.
    I take a rather dim view of people punching people as they sit in their car. Glad he got penetrated.

    1. avatar Anymouse says:

      And he’s probably going to get penetrated some more.

    2. avatar Jon in CO says:

      Trying to get in a fist fight (or more) with a 57yr old man is cowardly. That’s some serious bitch moves on the young guys part. Especially over some driving incident.

  3. avatar jwm says:

    Some people are just too stupid to live. Unfortunately this one did. Maybe a court ordered castration so he doesn’t spread the stupid?

  4. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I’m not surprised that a DA in a Red southern state would publicly support the armed deadly force used by an ordinary person. This is the southern culture that so many on the west and east coasts have hated for decades.

    1. avatar R D B says:

      Incidents and statements like the one made by this District Attorney are also one of the many reasons people have been moving to the wonderful state of North Carolina for decades now. Politics aside, it’s a lot better than some of the other states I’ve lived in. Our metropolitan areas do lean left but thankfully the rest of us are all pretty much god, guns, and country – style… no matter how we vote.

      1. avatar luigi says:

        that’s all fine and good until they start to change our local culture, treat us like hicks, and vote for the same crap they moved to escape from. a lot of northerners are alright though. takes a few to ruin it for everyone, i guess

      2. avatar Geoff says:

        The problem with North Carolina is you have to ask permission from your County Sheriff to BUY (Permit to Purchase) a handgun and you have to have references and other requirements and the Sheriff can deny for any reason or no reason and the same goes for a carry permit, but if you get one that will substitute for the “permit to purchase”. Here in South Carolina we walk into the LGS, fill out the 4473, pay our money and leave with the firearm if NICS says proceed and a CWP substitutes for the NICS and SC is a “Shall Issue” State.

        1. avatar xtphreak says:

          NC CHP serves as the NICS check as well as the Permit to Purchase.

        2. avatar LazrBeam says:

          Looks like SC and Alabama are on the same page. Pick your gun, fill out the BATFE form, show your CCW permit and ID, pay your money, collect your firearm, and go your merry way. If a buyer doesn’t have a CCW they just have to wait for the OK via a fonecon between the FFL and the NICS. I wonder if SC and AL have reciprocity? I THINK we do. We do with FL, GA, TN, and MS (bordering states) and SC is just on the other side of GA from us.

        3. avatar luigi says:

          It really sucks. there are only a few things that suck about the South, but outdated Jim Crow-era gun control laws are one of them

  5. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    I try to shoot at least one mag each time I go to the range while seated as if I was sitting behind the wheel. We have small benches and wooden firing positions for each lane (pistol range) At about the right height for a car window.
    When I started practicing I did research and came across Paul Castle (Rip) and his Center Axis Relock grip.
    Seems to work well for certain situations such as being seated in a car.
    YMMV

  6. avatar Jon in CO says:

    Too bad he didn’t kill that moron. I really hate people in road rage. There’s no reason to get out of your car and beat on someone. I get yelling inside your vehicle (I do it often) or throwing a bird up for someone, but goddamn, calm down and get to where you’re going.

  7. avatar GS650G says:

    Lucky it was a shoulder and not under the chin.

  8. avatar ATTAGReader says:

    For the sake of clarity, Valdese is in rural western NC. That photo looks an awful lot like the Woolworth/Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro, a horribly liberal jurisdiction if there ever was one. Yes, state law requires CHP’s to be shall-issue, and local gun stores do sell AR’s, but if the overwhelmingly D local politicians ever got their way, Greensboro would become San Francisco east in a heartbeat. If this incident had happened in Greensboro, I guarantee that Harrison would be prosecuted for assault with a deadly weapon, maybe even attempted murder, and probably convicted by a hoplophobic jury of welfare-dependent types.

    1. avatar Erik Weisz says:

      Photo is of Asheville, which has more liberal elite-types than G’boro, which is downright ‘urban’.

      1. avatar luigi says:

        i don’t know, asheville seems to have more hippie bernie bro types than elitists

  9. avatar Erik Weisz says:

    Valdese ain’t all that rural, now. Interesting place, it’s where the Waldensians (a Christian sect, pronounced “Valensian”, thus Valdese) settled after fleeing Catholic persecution in Europe centuries ago. I live in Drexel, so close to Valdese my next-door neighbor has a Valdese mailing address. We have 2 stop lights. Open carry is quite common around here, and there are yard signs advertising concealed-carry classes on every corner. On the other side is Morganton, which has a full-blown town square and everything, including a Walmart AND a movie theater. Oh yeah, that’s right. You may remember hearing about Morganton in the news a couple of years ago when some deranged young man stole his elderly neighbor’s rifle and killed his neighbor with said rifle as part of his grand plan to join ISIS. Seems he killed someone else, too, his own mother maybe? Anyway, I met D.A. Learner about 3 weeks ago to deal with a speeding ticket, very nice and fair man.
    What’s weird is this is the first time I’m hearing about an incident that happened about 3 miles from my house, in an area that has almost no crime at all.

  10. avatar Darkwing says:

    I live in Burke Co., NC and there was nothing on the news on this, NOTHING

  11. avatar Tt78 says:

    NC’s castle doctrine extends to one’s vehicle (and workplace) so the DA didn’t have a leg to stand on

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