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A 71-year-old man was fatally shot in self-defense after allegedly threatening a family with a gun on their property, NBC News Yakima is reporting.

Officers responded to a report of shots fired on May 11 at 3:30 p.m. They found the 71-year-old man dead from a gunshot wound and located the 27-year-old shooter, who told police he acted to protect his family. A small pistol was found on the deceased man.

Witnesses corroborated the shooter’s account with video evidence and statements. The 27-year-old was released after speaking with the Yakima County Prosecuting Office, NBC News Yakima reported.

“In the state of Washington, the aspect of self-defense is always something that we as prosecutors have to evaluate,” Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic said. “When we’re looking at self-defense, we always look at the subjective facts.”

Brusic explained that for a shooting to be ruled as self-defense, there must be evidence that the shooter felt imminent danger to their life or the lives of others. The use of deadly force is justified if the person was threatened with a deadly weapon.

“The person that generally uses self-defense is a person in a place where they have the right to be,” Brusic said. “If you’re in your home, you have the right to be there. And that’s where people can stand their ground.”

While Brusic could not comment on the ongoing investigation, he noted that video evidence is crucial in proving self-defense. He added that law enforcement agencies gather surveillance footage from nearby businesses and homes.

The investigation remains active as the Yakima County Prosecutor’s Office continues to review the evidence before making a formal decision.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. My own, twenty -something year old so made the mistake of withdrawing and calling the police when our somewhat elderly, marijuana bootlegging tenant shot at him with a 12 gauge shotgun rather than a puny pistol. The imbecile judge and ignorant jury gave him a free pass.

    this is why I now advocate shooting, shoveling and shutting up.

    • Elmer Fudd,

      I understand your frustration and I totally understand how “the system” can go really REALLY sideways. (I have had involuntary interactions with “the system” and had both horribly unjust and outstanding outcomes.)

      My first recommendation: if you must go into a situation that you know could be contentious, bring one or two additional witnesses and have them record both audio and video of the interaction. And if you can position those witnesses somewhat distant from the encounter, that is ideal. (Putting distance between the witnesses and the interaction decreases the sense of those additional witnesses being part of your group to gang-up on the other party–you don’t want your witnesses to increase the other party’s anxiety. It also increases your witnesses’ safety if the other party becomes hostile.)

      If a contentious situation springs up on you without any advanced notice, I recommend withdrawing if at all possible until you can get “backup” (e.g. additional witnesses, helpers, and/or law enforcement) on scene. If that means your adversary has additional time to damage your property, that is the unfortunate price that you pay to ensure that your adversary doesn’t drag you into a situation where you could spend a lot of time and money on legal expenses and even spend a lot of time in jail.

      I realize that some people really despise the notion of that last paragraph. It basically means that you are “ceding the town square” and letting the bad actor “win”. Note that the bad actor has put you in a classic “lose-lose” situation. If you vigorously oppose the bad actor, you face significant financial and legal peril. If you withdraw until backup arrives, you face significant–although less significant–financial peril. Sometimes life deals you a bad hand and you have to minimize your potential losses.

      • Your advice is interesting, but you make some unwarranted assumptions. Although we were at the time in the process of attempting to evict, my son was not intentionally interacting with our elderly, marijuana bootlegging tenant. He wasn’t confronting the tenant or delivering an eviction notice.

        We own a lot of acreage in a rural area. My son and a friend were on one of our properties where he resided adjacent to the property that the tenant resided on. At the time we owned about 1,000 acres that included five houses on various lots that were already on the properties when we bought them. We had rented out the house to the tenant because we own more houses than we had adult family members.

        My son was about 100 yards away from the fence that delineates the area with the house and associated barn that the tenant resided in. We were involved in contentious negotiations to evict. Our attorney had recently responded to their scum sucking whore of an attorney with information that rebutted their bullsh1t. We had also presented an estimate for repairing the 3,600 square foot pole barn that they had converted into a massive, indoor marijuana grow without growers licenses, grow site permits, building permits, electrical permits or inspections much less our knowledge or consent. The estimated cost of replacing damaged and bent posts (heat and humidity from the grow rooms) was about $30,000. Needless to say, our tenant was cranky.

        Our tenant chose to become angry because my son and his friend were not only present but target practicing. My son had just purchased a steel target and was checking to see if it could stand up to AR-15 rodent rifles. He had destroyed steel targets that were rated only for pistol. This includes tank silhouette targets that had been given to me. Much of our property is in crops that you don’t drive on and it was early spring with wet weather. The steep road to our preferred shooting range was wet and muddy. My son had gotten his diesel Dodge 4×4 stuck the previous weekend while target practicing with his then girlfriend, now wife. As I was winching him out, I had teased him a bit with a joke alluding to erectile dysfunction. He wasn’t willing to get stuck again.

        Our tenant opened fire on the boys as they were inspecting the steel target after shooting one, standard capacity, thirty round magazine at it. As our attorney observed, their fire must have been controlled and deliberate because all of the bullets had hit the target from a range of about fifty yards. Our tenant opened fire with a Remington 870, Tactical Express shotgun from a range of a out 125 yards to perhaps 200 yards, depending on where he was shooting from. The boys didn’t hear the characteristic sound of a swarm of birdshot or buckshot passing by. They actually observed the effect of a singular projectile impacting the ground about ten feet from them.

    • Elmer Fudd,

      In my response above, I did not address situations where a bad actor basically ambushes you and presents an imminent credible threat of great bodily harm or death (e.g. situations where you literally do not have the ability to withdraw until backup arrives). In those situations you simply do the best that you can.

      If such a situation occurs, consider the following. If you have a contentious history with your adversary, you should have historical evidence of your adversary’s propensity to be difficult and your propensity to be reasonable. Also, you probably have no arrest/criminal records and your adversary probably does. Finally, evidence at the site of the adversarial encounter will usually support your righteous defensive actions (assuming that your defensive actions were indeed righteous). And you can even enlist your own advocates to investigate the site and witnesses if you doubt the will/ability of local law enforcement. Finally, if the evidence at the site is ambiguous and provides enough wiggle room for an overzealous prosecutor to charge you anyway, the ultimate outcome boils down to “his word against yours”–and you, being an upstanding individual who faced-off against a scumbag will be more credible to a jury.

      Last thought: while police chiefs/commanders and prosecutors can be very anti-self-defense, the overwhelming majority of rank-and-file law enforcement officers are reasonably pro-self-defense and anti-scumbag. I have to think that most law enforcement would give you a reasonably fair shake.

      In light of the above, if a scumbag/s ambush you and you absolutely must defend yourself, I would call law enforcement immediately and preserve as much evidence and keep as many witnesses on site as possible.

      • Just FYI, Yamhill County then Deputy now Sheriff was great.
        Yamhill County Judge Ladd Wiles presided over the case concurrently with the proceedings by the Oregon Bar against his wife for committing perjury about her prolonged and flagrant extramarital affair with a subordinate at the US Attorneys Office. Google “Amanda S Marshall.”. The Justice department report reads like a bad pornographic story complete with the invocation of the Bill Clinton defense that she was only performing oral on him. This was refuted by the subordinate.

    • Elmer Fudd,

      Last thought on this topic. Seasoned law enforcement officers are very good at discerning scumbags from good people who found themselves involuntarily dragged into a self-defense event.

      Case in point:

      When I was about 20 years-old, I had a close friend who spent a lot of time at my home. One day when he was over we saw a young girl run across my back yard into my woods. I thought nothing of it and left for work about 30 minutes later to get my paycheck–expecting to return fairly soon so my friend stayed at my home. Upon returning I was surprised that he had left although I thought nothing of it. He came back a couple hours later and mentioned that he saw some guy wearing camouflage and a ski mask walking in my woods when he left. We briefly investigated and found no trace of the mysterious trespasser.

      Another couple hours went by and a deputy came to my home about a lost girl. I described the young girl that I saw run into my woods and within two minutes there are five Sheriff patrol vehicles in my driveway along with a K-9 unit. Deputies then inform me that a man overpowered the girl, sexually assaulted her, kidnapped her, and then dropped her off miles away. My immediate reaction was genuine righteous anger and a zeal for justice which was obvious to the deputies. I assisted their K-9 unit to track the girl and her attacker’s footsteps. After several hours deputies determined that my close friend was the attacker. I was stunned and had absolutely no inkling whatsoever that he would do such a thing. At that point they arrested him and took him away. And they all left and never contacted me again.

      Several years later I realized that I was on a knife’s edge (legally speaking) that awful day. First of all, law enforcement must have initially thought that I was an accomplice and I would have had no ability to refute such a charge. Second of all, law enforcement and the local prosecutor could have come after me for obstruction or similar. Third, the girl’s family could have sued me and my parents. And yet none of that happened. Why? I firmly believe that that the police sized me up: they determined that I was genuine, I was not involved, and I was keenly interested in true justice. In other words seasoned cops are pretty good at knowing when someone is bullshitting them and when someone is a scumbag.

  2. Defensive Shooting: “Elderly Man”,,,,, then I
    read futher and wasn’t as happy.
    Pedo4presi dent

  3. “When we’re looking at self-defense, we always look at the subjective facts.”

    Subjective?

    I’d prefer investigators and prosecutors look at the objective facts.

  4. biDiem, you mean like, uhh , he has a private army( batfeirshlsfbiciagoogle,ect) #9#9#9
    No, not here, only over there.

    • ^
      I don’t care. Some gunm company should make a single shot break open Shockwave type blaster.
      $289.57.
      Ohhhh,,, in 10 gauge , Sheeeeot yeah,,, Yee Yee

  5. Obama Judge: “White Landowners Should Only Have Guns & Why Can’t 5 Year Old’s Buy Guns”… WTF.

  6. Gun Control Senators DEMAND “Gun Shot Detecting” Microphones Be DEFUNDED Because They’re RACIST.

    • Judge says “Second Amendment doesn’t exist here” and gives man 10 years for “ghost gun” offense.

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