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There are lots of laws regarding the legal use of lethal force. They vary from state to state. Generally speaking, you’re OK to shoot another human being if he or she pose an imminent, credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm to yourself or other innocent life, and imminence is imminent (i.e. the threat is underway). In Texas, gun owners are justified in using deadly force “to protect land or tangible, movable property.” Other states, not so much. A Christmas tale from LA shows why this is an important difference . . .

Around 3:30 a.m. Thursday, authorities received a second call reporting a masked burglar inside a home located in the 900 block of Country Glen Way, which is about a half-mile away from the initial call location.

Police said the burglar allegedly assaulted the homeowner with a wrench during the fight, and proceeded to flee on foot as the homeowner followed with a shotgun.

“The resident fired one shot, and struck the suspect who continued to flee on foot,” said Lt. Bob Dunn.

According to, the cops caught their man, wounded by buckshot. Even so, this story may not have a happy ending for the unnamed homeowner, unfortunate enough not to live in the Lone Star State. He could be prosecuted in criminal and/or civil court for injuring the fleeing felon. [Note: under Texas law, the gun owner can only shoot the fleeing bad guy if he’s in possession of stolen loot.]

Our question is this: would you shoot at a fleeing felon? Under what circumstances? Before you answer know this: the wrench-wielding bad guy had attempted to burglarize a house before this one. If you let a burglar, rapist, kidnapper or other sort of violent perp escape, someone else may pay the price. [h/t BB]

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    • Yeah me either… wink wink…”I was terribly afeared officer….. having problems breathing… panic.. attack…. (no more statements)”

    • Got that right, if he was really fleeing. Not worth the cost of defending against an anti-gun prosecutor and a private “wrongful death” lawsuit.

  1. How are you supposed to know the perp is fleeing? What if he is going to get his buddy waiting in the getaway car so they can come back and gang up on you. What if he went to get a bigger weapon than a wrench? Or forget that what if he just ran away to wait a few minutes for you to put the shotgun down and call the police only to come back and try again with a renewed element of surprise? In the heat of the moment just because his back is turned to you doesn’t mean you are no longer in danger.

    • “I thought he was running down the street to the gun store, so he could steal a gun, come back here, and kill me. Wait! Why are you handcuffing me?”

      If he’s still in your home, you might be able to argue that he was heading towards a weapon, or towards your kids. But if he’s out of the house, especially running down the street like this case, claiming self-defense would be a challenge.

    • Tex300BLK,

      The situation simply depends on the attacker’s weapon and distance, not which way the attacker is facing or moving or how fast the attacker is moving. If your attacker has a bludgeon (fists, feet, wrench, club, hammer, pipe) or an edge weapon (knife, ax, sword, or machete), then you are in imminent danger if they are within something like 20 to 30 feet of you. If the attacker has a firearm, you are in imminent danger if they are within 200+ yards.

      As long as a “reasonable person” would conclude that you are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, you are justified to use deadly force.

    • You probably want to make sure that whatever it is that you do can be defended in court. Lots of KeyboardSeals will provide lots of conflicting advice with all manner of manly testosterone and lesson teaching force, but they won’t be anywhere to be found when your case comes to trial. No do-overs, no get-out-of-jail-free cards, and no unshooting the bullet. The moment you present a gun in self defense, your life course is dramatically changed, and not necessarily for the good. Your entire life including your self defense actions and motives will be under intense scrutiny, and all the protectors of a peaceful society may not be on your side. Don’t be an idiot and listen to all the bvllshlt bravado.
      Know the laws, get the appropriate permits, the training, the equipment, and then practice, practice, practice.
      Then carry everywhere you can.

  2. No, if they are not an immediate danger to me or another. If they are fleeing toward a victim and it can be reasonably believed that they are intent on harm, and I have a safe shot, then yes I would.

  3. If you can’t drag him over the doorstop or place a weapon in his hand and have him face you then that deer is gone.
    It’s not like the homeowner is a cop with full immunity or anything. Now they can unleash 30 rounds and not think twice about it.

  4. Depends on the felony. Even tho living in Texas I might be justified in doing so, I would doubtless have second thoughts about shooting a burglar making off with someone else’s TV set, and I expect I would opt to let the cops handle that one. If it was a bank robber dragging a screaming teller to his getaway car, I like to think I would take the shot if circumstances permitted. If it was a robber fleeing a bank and leaving several corpses or near-corpses behind, I expect I would definitely consider taking the shot. Just depends. I say all this with the usual caveat, I really can’t say how I would react for sure in the stress of the actual situation.

    • I read somewhere the aforementioned Texas law that allows shooting a fleeing suspect has not been tested in court. It depends on the jury. Not sure I would want to be the test case.

      • Rightio–hence my “second thoughts”. But if, say, the bank robber has left multiple corpses behind, I’m pretty sure you are safe to “reasonably believe’ that the perp represents an imminent danger to third parties. Not quite the same as dragging the teller to the car, tho, which is why my answer to the two scenarios was slightly different.

      • Bob I believe that it has been tested in court Per Se in recent memory two men were robbing a neighbors house and a man knowing them to be away he shot and killed one of the robbers in the back with a shotgun. The robber had some of the neighbors personal property on him and the grand jury never brought charges. Made it to the national news cause this was right after the law was passed. On the flip side there have been several cases of late where the police in TX have arrested and detained people for open carry in direct violation of the’re rights. Weird!

      • In Texas, the law is clearly written; if a thief is running away with stolen property AT NIGHT, the use of deadly force is justified if the victim reasonably believes the property cannot be recovered if the use of force is not used.

  5. Absolutely, and if that means taking my punishment due to insane laws, so be it. As far as I’m concerned it may be my own family I’m saving by taking that criminal off the street, either in jail, hospital, or the ground.

    • But……consider the fact that your punishment very well may keep you from protecting your family from retribution from the gang banger’s friends. Not saying your wrong with your response, but there are other things to be concerned about after the fact.

  6. With a shotgun? I might, depending on how much he hurt me with that wrench. But I would NEVER admit that to the cops. Esp. in CA. “I’m not answering your question, talk to my attorney, and no, you cannot search my home.” Good luck on your search for probable cause.

  7. Unless the bad guy sat down with me and truthfully laid out his plan for the confrontation, I am not going to chase him/her. Does he have an accomplice waiting to ambush me, or come in behind after I leave. Perhaps he is moving to a location where he will have a better advantage, and turn around to attack while I am in the open. He could have a more powerful firearm stashed. If at home, my advantage is my house, so why would I give up that advantage? I live in Arizona, and I am fairly sure the neighbors I like are all fairly well armed. What if the police or my neighbors confuse me with the bad guy? And, from a legal perspective, a court could easily conclude that he was no longer a threat after he started fleeing. Is it worth thousands of dollars in court costs even for a justified shoot? When I was a military cop, we were not allowed to shoot a fleeing felon, so why would the civilian courts allow it? No, if the guy wants to run, I am going to let him.

  8. There are defenses to any criminal charge, specifically, in California, a citizen is permitted to use deadly force to effectuate a citizen’s arrest for a felony committed in his presence. Just like the police.

  9. Anyway, our question is this: would you shoot at a fleeing felon?

    This felon is fleeing the scene of the crime that isn’t my property or involves my loved ones meaning, for example, he is fleeing my neighbors house? No, not going to shoot.

    This felon is fleeing the scene of the crime and is headed towards me and mine? Maybe, might shoot. Is that a weapon in his hand?

    The felon is fleeing the scene of the crime that is my property or involved my loved ones. Yes, shoot. And I will shoot to stop the threat even if that means multiple shots.

    I am sure there is a whole lot more space for the ‘grey’ in my answer. At the most basic of levels the answer is as simple as I answered, but until I am in the situation I won’t know for sure what I will actually do.

    I am in what seems like a minority position in that I would never fear hurting someone in a just cause. If someone tries to kill me I will not hesitate to try and kill them right back.

  10. Definitely not a simple “yes or no” question. It depends on what said criminal was doing or had done when confronted…

    • The General is right on here.
      Sitting here behind the keyboard where I can think logically without adrenalin, anger, fear, etc. clouding my thinking then my answer would be …
      If only property is the only issue then, no. However, if the perp(s) hurt, raped or killed someone (maybe even my dog) then most likely yes. I’d be willing take my chances with the jury on not letting that piece of scum go only to hurt someone else again.

        • Well, usually they yell Allahu Akbar before they start killing everyone, so in that case I don’t think they’d actually be fleeing anyway. Shoot him before he starts hacking someone’s head off.

  11. I would shoot a fleeing felon if the following conditions are met:

    1. Suspect actually committed or attempted a violent and atrocious felony – ie rape, murder, att murder, kidnapping, ADW with vehicle, etc.

    2. All clear down range

    3. All other means reasonably exhausted or unavailable – ie may try Taser or pepper spray first if available, etc.

    The violent felon who escapes will prey on someone else.

  12. Screw Texas. California has 120 years of strong stand your ground laws
    that not only does not require I retreat but allows me to pursue a threat until it stops being a threat.

    All culture war bullshit aside, California self defense law blows most states’ out of the water.

    And “may issue” hurdles aside, our CCW law is some of the best in the nation. My permit allows me to carry anywhere but jails, airports, certain govt buildings, and that’s it. No force of law for “no guns allowed” signs. Unlimited PreK-college carry. Etc.

    Ignore the FUD and leave the legal opining to people who actually know the laws they opine on.

    • I’ve made those same points regarding CA firearm and self-defense laws in the past. Yours will be met with silence, same as mine.

      I left CA about five years ago and don’t miss it for a moment (aside from the food… I miss the food) but I always point out how good their gun laws actually are once you get through the wait period and permitting horseshit.

      • I agree there are notably few restrictions on where permittees can carry in CA.

        They have few restrictions on licensed concealed carry because they make sure that few people get the licenses. I expect more restrictions, MANY more restrictions, to the point where it will be like Illinoise, will be passed if the court cases (peruta, et. al.) do force them in a “shall issue” direction

  13. What if the burglar was fleeing with stolen guns? The argument might be made that the shooting was necessary to keep ‘dangerous assault weapons’ off the streets.

  14. Depends on your states laws.
    Fleeing, not so much for me even if legal.
    Hurt a family member no question shoot.
    Have law officer order me to help?????
    Nah. Sort of been there didn’t do it.

  15. Rule # 1 Shut up and get a lawyer.

    There are many justifiable reasons to pursue someone and shoot them… they may have just stated they they were coming back to kill you.

    The point is that you need time put all this together clearly in you mind. Filter all your statements through a lawyer.

  16. Are cops allowed to shoot that suspect during his escape? Do the citizens have different rights than the police? Do the police have super rights? Of course, the actual defense will depend on how much of a lawyer you can afford.

    • It not a matter of rights for the police, it is a matter of duty and authority. All this talk about the police being mere citizens is bull. They are agents of the state that are authorized by law and policy to do things that a non police officer can’t do.

      For example, officer Wilson could leave his vehicle after Michael Brown fled the scene and pursue him even to the point the use of deadly force if necessary. As a private citizen your right to use deadly force in the same situation ends when Michael Brown flees from the scene. If you get out of your car to pursue you become the aggressor and then Michael Brown could have turned on you in self defense. If you do not understand this difference it is unwise for you to carry weapon for self defense.

  17. No I would not. Because we don’t kill people over blu ray players.

    It is true that he may not be fleeing, but instead trying to attack my from another direction, but alas I live in California and do not want to be prosecuted. Once his back is turned towards me, the chance of being prosecuted for shooting a fleeing man is greater than the chance that he is coming back to get me.

  18. If somebody was pounding me with a wrench and decided to haul butt when I pulled a gun, I would do my best to terminally ventilate. Merely seeing the gun doesn’t constitute a come-to-Jesus moment…the meeting must be arranged. The person will just set about to locate a sheep more willing to take the stealing/beating/raping/killing they desire to dole out. It’s about as outrageous as flushing a toilet.

  19. Honestly I can’t give a definitive answer. Probably if the scum struck me. But most break ins around here are teens. Any attack on the wife would mean 00buckshot-i also have a baseball bat, knife,ax,machete and pepper power at the ready…

  20. If the threat is over, then so is the time for shooting. If the threat persists, a defender may keep shooting until the threat is over. The threat can persist even if an armed felon is in flight, although it’s less likely.

    All we can do in such a situation is employ our best judgment and survival instincts to make a life or death decision.

    • Of course laws regarding those circumstances vary considerably regarding that. For instance, my checklist above was a paraphrase of on duty policy. The rules for shooting on duty are similar to off duty, and a compliant with the CA penal code. Mostly. As always, it helps to SHTF and have a great lawyer. Or union. Or both. That person (or people) can assist you in explaining your mindset to a group of folks who aren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.

      • As always, it helps to SHTF and have a great lawyer.

        Words to live by — although I think you meant to write STFU, not SHTF.

        It always astonishes me that POTG will obsess over which gun to buy, which ammo to use, which tactical courses to take and yet they will completely ignore a critical component of self defense, namely, which lawyer to call.

        You may be able to use your gun to defend yourself agains a BG — but not if the BG is the prosecutor who wants your scalp on his or her belt. Self defense does not end until you are not charged, no-billed or acquitted.

        • If you are a white guy or a “white Hispanic” who shoots a black guy, it might not ever end. It would simplify matters greatly if we judged by facts instead of race.

  21. Well let my qualify this by saying I’ve not looked hard into the laws for that possibility here in WA as I’m still a bit new to this state. But as a generality I’ll say ‘yes’ with caveats. First off any person that pulls anything like a home invasion get’s dropped if I’m home. These are the kind of people that don’t have a problem hurting or killing you so I don’t feel there’s justification to hold back. Especially if I see any visible weapons.

    Basic robbery that I walk in upon? Well I will pull on them and order them to freeze while I call the cops. If they run though I’m not inclined to shoot them anyway. Not without good reason, such as trying to steal guns.

  22. If he was fleeing after hurting my child. He would’ve been shot. Repeatedly. I’ll take my chances finding a sympathetic juror or two. Any harm to me or my property, if a threat no longer exists, I would not shoot.

  23. Robert, you have a mistaken understanding of Texas law. You can use deadly force to retrieve property being stolen from you only if you reasonably believe that it cannot be returned to you otherwise. That is, if you a jury reasonably believes that you could have gone to the police, explained the situation and have your cattle returned to you, then you can’t use deadly force. This will probably be the case in most circumstances. If your property is easily consumed or fenced, and can’t be readily identified as yours later, then you might convince a jury that deadly force was warranted.

    You have to be careful when deciding to use deadly force. My law professor taught this criminal law and concluded that the law meant that no deadly force was ever allowed in any situation regarding property. The thing is that law means whatever people want it to mean. When this law professor was a district attorney in Dallas, that’s how he read it and prosecuted it. Someone defending his property with deadly force may be up a local court that has their own interpretation of the law. Since there is so much “discretion” in enforcing laws, make damn sure you act very carefully when seeking refuge in this statute.

    • I have a bit of a different reading of the law. As I see it, I have the right to chase the guy down and try to get my property back. I can use deadly force to do so if I reasonably believe that attempting any other means would exposed me to a threat of death or serious bodily injury. I don’t believe the law contemplates letting the perp go on his merry way on the assumption that the cops will be able to find him and get your stuff back to you–or whoever the stolen property may belong to. That would make the whole law pretty much a nullity. And I’m pretty sure even folks not smart enough to get out of jury duty realize that once any portable property is successfully carried off, the overwhelming odds are it is gone for good, anyway.

    • Sort of my response as well. If you are going to shoot a fleeing felon, then he or she had better be an immediate dangerous threat to people in the direction that he or she is fleeing. Somehow, your going to have to convince the cops, prosecutor, and jury that the perp was still an immediate life endangering threat to people. Fleeing felon running off just with property is going to be a tough sell. My take from talking to attorneys. Your mileage may vary.

  24. Man, a bunch of you guys aren’t being realistic or aren’t being honest. Some scumbag breaks into my house and assaults me with a wrench??? You’re damned right I’d want to shoot his arse, “fleeing” or not. Who’s to say he was there for burglary? I’d go American psycho on anyone breaking into my house with my girls and assaulting me with a wrench. Also, what happens if he is not caught and decides to come back? I live in CA and this is such BS. These criminal scumbags don’t deserve to have more rights than their victims.

  25. Were I to have shot, my answer would be:
    “I tripped and the gun just went off.”
    That seems a common excuse in many ND cases.

  26. 1. California jury instructions state

    A defendant is not required to retreat. He or she is entitled to stand his or her ground and defend himself or herself and, if reasonably necessary, to pursue an assailant until the danger of (death/great bodily injury/ ) has passed. This is so even if safety could have been achieved by retreating.

    Now that may not be enough to shoot a fleeing suspect, but then (this is where a good attorney comes in),

    PC 197. Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in any of the following cases:

    When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving
    the peace.

    The jury instructions for homicide/attempted homicide etc in the course of citizen’s arrest does raise Tenn. v. Garner, which ruled that police officers may not shoot a fleeing felon unless they also believed that he posed an imminent danger to the officer or others in escape. The jury instructions note that the applicability of this to citizen’s arrest has not been decided, and notes some legal issues, and leaves that condition bracketed (iow not a mandatory part of jury instruction).

    So it is possible, depending on the lawyer and the circumstances and the judge that he gets ff, if he is even charged. (Last case I read about where a home owner shot at a fleeing suspect, in Los Angeles, no charges were brough… but that was a celebrity…)

    • And that the citizen’s arrest jury instruction is based on a statute (Penal Code), not common law, and further that a citizen, unless acting at the direction of the police, is not a state actor, and thus not subject to liability for section 1983 civil rights violations under the US Constitution.

  27. Laws vary from State to state.. the people who educate themselves to the laws that pertain to lethal force are enjoying their freedom.. the ones that didnt are locked up making license plates for the rest of us.. or are just waiting their turn..

  28. Someone commented “Absolutely”. There are no ‘absolutes’. I’d call that “premeditated manslaugher” … (especially if you determine that the bad guy deserved it).

  29. Note that in People v. Crouch, the Court ruled that Garner was a civil case involving a claim against the state in violating the 4th amendment. It further ruled that SCOTUS could not require states to criminalize an act nor did SCOTUS rule about the criminality of shooting a fleeing suspect.

    While this was a Michigan case, that ruled a private citizen may use deadly force even against a nondangerous fleeing felon, the logic is similar to bits and pieces in California’s case law, which admittedly is a bit divided on the issue.

    The law as written would likely justify the shooting (under the fleeing felon rule). The whole case would hinge on how the trial court understands the applicability of Tenn v Garner. If they understand it as Michigan, then the shooter is justified. If as Nevada, he is not.

    But I would suggest the same issue would be raised with TEXAS law. He had stolen loot? So what. If Tenn v Garner means I cannot shoot dead a fleeing felon unless he poses an imminent threat to mself or another, then stolen loot is irrelevant and Texas law unconstitutional. If Michigan is right, then the act is justified (in the context of citizen’s arrest) in California law, and police may shoot fleeing suspects dead without any criminal liability, and only a civil liability of violating the 4th amendment.

  30. IMO. And I would have to check my State Law first.
    If the BG drops his weapon and is running away, NO. He is no longer a threat to anyone at the time.
    If the BG still has his weapon and is running away, YES. He is still a threat to others.

    • Geoff,

      Remember that attackers kill more people with their hands and feet than they do with rifles and shotguns. Thus attackers always have weapons — their hands and feet. The key is their distance from you. If they are within 20 to 30 feet of you, they are an imminent threat by default because they always have their hands and feet.

      Note: I qualified the imminent threat distance at 20 to 30 feet because an attacker can cover that distance faster than most people can recognize that someone is attacking them and begin defensive action.

      • Yeah. Right. I’m holding a gun, he has dropped his weapon and is FLEEING. No shoot.
        Like he is going to turn and attack me with hands and feet against my gun?
        Or run off looking for people to beat up? I don’t think so.
        More like run home to change his underwear!

  31. Within the bounds of my property? Yes, no doubt about it. Whether he’s coming towards me, away from me, to the left, to the right, up, down, or through a dimensional portal, if he’s on my property and meaning to do harm, it’s go-time.

    If he’s running past the line, I’ll stand down, but remain vigilant until and even after LEOs show up. If he’s still out there, he’s still a threat until he’s killed or the cops bring him down.

    I’m not a lawyer, but my general feeling in most 2A-friendly states is that PD will generally go easier on you if it’s on your property.

    But woe be unto doing such activities in an anti-2A state. You’re proper f–ked any way you slice it.

  32. Since I don’t live in Texas I will not fire at fleeing felon because I will be prosecuted. This should help explain to those gun owners who think police offices are no different the private citizens why they are. Police officers are authorized by law to pursue a felon after he leaves the scene of the crime, outside of Texas you are not. Even in Texas if the felon is fleeing without your property then you can’t shoot him either.

    • No. You are wrong.

      1. California jury instructions allow you the pursue

      2. Citizen’s arrest also allows even deadly force under similar, if not broader, rules than as for police.

  33. >”…would you shoot at a fleeing felon?”

    Absolutely, unequivocally, positively, NO.

    >”…If you let a burglar, rapist, kidnapper or other sort of violent perp escape, someone else may pay the price.”

    So what? That’s their problem. If I can defend myself, they can defend themselves. I’m not going to spend my time and scads of my money to defend myself in court, and perhaps end up in jail, in order to defend some hoplophobic nut.

  34. No question, NO. Otherwise you are perusing, no longer in the position imminent danger. You may find yourself sharing a cell with the person you shat at.

  35. Legal cases are pretty thin on the ground in New Zealand, but there are a couple. A really dense dude tried to rob a gun shop with a shotgun, but the store owner’s son shot back with a .45 ACP pistol, and the perp died. The Police eventually dropped charges, but the legal bills must have been horrendous.

    In an earlier case, a pistol owner heard break in sounds next door and (knowing the neighbour was out of town), he patrolled the grounds, found the miscreant and shot him once, fatally, with a .32 ACP. Again after many dollars to his lawyer, he was declared safe from prosecution.

    We cannot obtain a firearms license if we state an intent to use firearms for self defense, so each situation is taken on its merits. Violent break ins are rarely defended with weapons, but unless you’re an active drug dealer, they are very unlikely to happen in the first place.

    In point of fact we are unable to have firearm and ammunition in close proximity, they have to be locked separately, so reacting with arms to a burglary is difficult in itself.

    Saying that, once an offender stops offending and flees, it would be foolish to pursue him with a volley of lead. Unless he has murdered someone in your household, in which case you might be able to plead temporary insanity, shooting at another person is a quick way to the jail house.

    Morally, a hardened criminal who has deserted the human race and will continue to prey on innocent victims, has lost the right to any further oxygen. If there will be legal consequences, it is better to let him go. If not (only you will know) then the better angels are on your side. In the quiet countryside, a lot of things can happen unnoticed.

    • As I understand it, England is pretty much the same way when it comes to using firearms in self defense. That said, I don’t understand how it can be illegal to defend oneself from a violent assault with whatever weapons are available, and that one must indeed risk one’s life to whatever insult rained upon it by the miscreant. To me, it is no different than saying that the people do not have a right to life. Why is there any logic to this at all?

  36. I probably would try to if we were at the ranch, where the bad guy could hide on the property and be a continual danger, and the deputies might be an hour or more away. If any of the kids were around, I’d be more aggressive.

  37. Shoot him while he is running away, no. Watch him and make damn sure he doesn’t change his mind and bring some friends back absolutely. Then call 911. Your mileage may vary,never know for sure until it happens

  38. Oh no, don’t shoot him in the back, that’s not right. Instead, make him back up onto the linoleum, because getting blood out of carpet is a pain in the backside. lol

  39. Absolutely not, under any circumstances. I would only shoot if I perceived an imminent threat of grave bodily harm to myself or my loved ones. I don’t do my family any good if I am arrested and/or sued, even if I eventually win in court. The fact that the felon may hurt someone else is not on me. I’m not a cop, I’m not a vigilante and I don’t aspire to be a hero. I’ve gone in harm’s way in the military. I have nothing to prove and everything to lose.

  40. I read a story, true I assume, of a SIG employee who was the victim of a road rage attack that ended at the very door of the SIG factory. The hapless employee, who was accompanied by his then fiancee, was fired at multiple times from a pickup truck, and when the chase ended, the pursuing driver exited his vehicle with knife. The employee had possession of an M4 that he’d picked up for SIG’s evaluation. He fired a three round burst, the lat round of which entered the attacker’s back. The DA, believing that this proved that the BG was fleeing, sought homicide charges. Ultimately, charges were dropped, but it cost the man his job, his money, and his fiancee.

    Moral of the story: Being right can be very expensive, being wrong even more.

  41. The person in the story hasn’t been charged as of 12/27, and a Sherrif in that department told me that it would be extremely unlikely that he’d be charged.

    By the way, my concealed carry instructor, a former policeman, told us that one could shoot a fleeing assailant, because a person can’t know if that person is really fleeing, or if they are attempting to secure another weapon, or if they are taking cover to plan another attack. No, I’m not a resident of Texas, yet.

  42. Having seen the possible implications of shooting someone (better hope they’re the same race as you or that Al Sharpton is otherwise occupied) I don’t think I have material goods that would make it worth it to spin that wheel.

  43. Here in very rural Northeast Oklahoma our Sheriff’s office is 17 miles away and sometimes we only one Deputy “on call” for the entire county and, we don’t even have a 911 system. Many times a nearest neighbor may be a quarter mile to more than a mile away. We live by a very simple rule: “You are your own 911 system, take care of your @hit, help your neighbors do the same and call the Sheriff when you can.”

  44. First, I am fortunate enough to live in Texas.
    Second, it kind of depends on the situation. Is he running away with my microwave, or did he just rape my daughter. While the law justifies me in the first situation, is a microwave worth a mans life. In the second situation dude has signed his own death certificate.

  45. Impressed by the generally very thoughtful responses here to what seemed to me to be a pretty dumb question. In the extremely unlikely event that any of us would be in a position to confront that situation, who wants to be on record in a public forum saying “Yes, I would shoot a fleeing felon”?

  46. i live in MI where its legal to kill a fleeing felon regardless if they are in possession of stolen property. commit a felony against me or someone i care about and at my discretion i may or may not shoot you.

  47. on a personal level i would depending on detials that are far too complex to mention. on a legal level i would not. i would though have a real hard time not staying up all night with gun in hand untill the bad guy was caught.

  48. In the State of Texas, it indeed is legal and within the law in many cases; no so in many others.

    Practice all you want, preferable at a “Combat” or “Stress range, even if you are a Veteran; you will be amazed at how much you REALLY don’t know and should learn. But above ALL else; KNOW THE LAW OF YOUR STATE!

    …AND, you are a Complete “Village Idiot” if you think that you can “Tamper” with evidence; and get away with it. It’s not difficult to tell, if a “body” is moved, repositioned or “handled” in any way except to check possibly for “Vital Signs”. THAT is Sooo much of a “Wives Tail”… drag him back inside your home…??? Do you really think investigators can’t see a One-Way “Blood-Trail” going back over your door-step?! It still amazes me every time I hear that.

  49. ^
    Welcome to real law.

    Criminal Law
    508. Justifiable Homicide: Citizen Arrest (Non-Peace Officer)
    The defendant is not guilty of (murder/ [or] manslaughter/ attempted murder/ [or] attempted voluntary manslaughter) if (he/ she) (killed/attempted to kill) someone while trying to arrest him or her for a violent felony. Such (a/an) [attempted] killing is justified, and therefore not unlawful, if:

    1. The defendant committed the [attempted] killing while lawfully trying to arrest or detain for committing the crime of ;

    2. actually committed the crime of ;

    3. The defendant had reason to believe that had committed ];

    4. The defendant had reason to believe that posed a threat of serious physical harm, either to the defendant or to others [or knew that had committed ];


    5. The [attempted] killing was necessary to prevent ______’s escape.

    A person has reason to believe that someone poses a threat of serious physical harm when facts known to the person would persuade someone of reasonable caution that the other person is going to cause serious physical harm to another.

    The People have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the [attempted] killing was not justified. If the People have not met this burden, you must find the defendant not guilty of [attempted] (murder/ [or] manslaughter).


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