Reasonable Force: ‘Did He Fire Six Shots or Only Five?’

Jerome Ersland Shooting

Courtesy KOCO News

By Richard Hayes

You probably recognize the memorable movie lines delivered by actor Clint Eastwood: “Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I’ve kinda lost track myself.” However, imagine a jury debating over the number of shots fired and assessing whether you acted with reasonable force or excessive force.

Let’s examine this very important detail that could mean the difference between a “not guilty” verdict and a prison cell.

Self-defense incidents are often over in a matter of seconds. Instinct kicks in and it’s all about survival. You’ll do what’s necessary to protect yourself and your loved ones.

When the attack is over, what will you be left thinking? Likely, you won’t be parsing through the number of shots you fired or the time it actually took to defend yourself. You may find it hard to believe, but those details could be how a prosecutor makes a case against you.

Defining a “reasonable amount” of force isn’t clear cut and varies widely across different states. However, under most legal frameworks the response to the threat usually has an element of proportionality in the reasonableness calculation (i.e., was the force used against the threat proportional to the amount of force used in the threat itself?). The outcome of any given case, though, is never guaranteed, and your act of self-defense may be hyper-scrutinized by a judge or jury on any number of situational factors.

How does a jury determine whether the force you used was “reasonable” or “excessive?” Do they examine the number of shots you fired? Do they look at the timing between your shots? Let’s look at a few recent incidents for some perspective on this issue.

Why Did Steven Fire Five Shots?

Take the case of Steven, who defended himself from someone attempting to run him over with an SUV. The perpetrator swerved the vehicle toward Steven during the attack, but Steven jumped just in time and shot at the tires, disabling the vehicle. In seconds and with 5 shots, Steven struck 3 of the 4 tires.

Unfortunately for Steven, the investigating officers and prosecutors only thought that the first four shots were justified and charged him with aggravated assault for the fifth shot. Keep in mind, you won’t find a law on the books that says four shots are acceptable, but five is too many.

Was this amount of force reasonable, or was it excessive? Unfortunately, this issue is often left to a jury to decide. The general legal framework calls for an analysis of how an ordinary and prudent person in the same circumstances as the victim would act. Then, juries look at the actual conduct.

Were the defendant’s actions consistent with what a reasonable person would do? If yes, then the conduct should be justified. But if not…well…that conduct would be considered excessive or unjustified.

In Steven’s case, after a four-day jury trial, he was found “not guilty.” However, this was only after a long investigation, arrest, and many court appearances. Steven’s case took place in Texas, but the same lessons ring true across the nation. In fact, reasonableness is the deciding question in most self-defense cases.

Examples Across the Nation

Not Guilty

Tony was found not guilty in Montgomery County, Tennessee, for charges arising from a self-defense incident at a night club. Tony admitted that he shot two men multiple times during the altercation. However, one of the hottest points of contention during the trial was an 11-second gap between shots.

The state argued the gap showed there was time for reflection and judgment amounting to premeditation. Tony testified that he believed he missed one of the attackers during the assault and they were a continuing threat. The jury agreed with Tony and acquitted him on all charges.

Pending

Kyle Rittenhouse is charged with multiple counts of murder arising out of an alleged defensive incident in Kenosha, Wisconsin. While some, such as Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) say that Rittenhouse exercised “incredible restraint,” prosecutors in Kenosha County disagree.

The criminal complaint alleges that Rittenhouse shot a total of five times during the incident; three times in quick succession during the first altercation, and then two additional shots when he was chased and attacked by a group of people as he was attempting to run away. Was Rittenhouse’s use of force excessive or a reasonable response to the threat posed to him?

There are strong opinions on both sides and the outcome remains to be seen.

Guilty

Jerome, an Oklahoma pharmacist, was convicted of murder after defending himself against an attempted robbery. Jerome claimed self-defense in response to the robbery, but the jury wasn’t persuaded. They heard testimony that after one robber was shot in the store, the second robber fled. Jerome attempted to chase the second robber, but returned to the store approximately 45 seconds later, when he grabbed another gun and shot the first robber five more times.

Was Jerome’s use of force excessive or reasonable? The issue of reasonable force is almost always intertwined with immediacy. Because there was a cooling-off period and the first robber was gone and no longer a threat. Ersland’s use of deadly force was considered unreasonable, excessive, and unjustified.

Will The Jury Say ‘Guilty’ or ‘Not Guilty?’

Whether it’s reasonable or excessive, the quantity and time issue figures into a jury’s assessment of the use of force. Keep in mind, the justified use of force or deadly force is not just a defense to keep yourself, family, and loved ones safe. It’s also a defense against a criminal charge. As a responsible gun owner, you need to be prepared for both.

 

Richard Hayes is an Independent Program Attorney for U.S. LawShield.

comments

  1. avatar Nickel Plated says:

    The last case with Jermoe doesn’t really seem to me like it had anything to do with how many shots he fired. He left the store to chase after robber #2 (first mistake) then after loosing robber #2 (I assume since he stopped chasing him) He came back to the store to finish the first guy. Why? He left the store, he was out of danger, call the cops and let them get the guy out of the store.

    Choosing to continue the engagement instead of getting the fuck out of there as soon as you have bought yourself a safe opportunity to do so seems to be the more deciding reasons behind why some of these self defense cases are found guilty. Even in states with castle doctrine and stand your ground, you’re better off just retreating as soon as you have a safe opportunity to do so. Atleast from a legal standpoint.

    1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      In the required handgun course in Texas, our instructor told us that the carry license does not make you a cop. Do not chase someone down etc. The purpose of the permit ( permission slip ) is for self defense. Good advice.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        Unless you are part of a mob of Marxists, then your mob membership allows you to chase down and murder anybody you suspect of a crime. And if they shoot you in self defense, they will be prosecuted, not you.

        References: Kyle Rittenhouse, Gaige Grosskreutz, Michael Graveley.

    2. avatar Anymouse says:

      I’m not familiar with the Steven or Tony cases, but I have seen the Jerome video. To exercise lethal force, you need to believe that you or others are in danger of death or serious injury. When the second robber retreated from the pharmacy, he wasn’t a threat, and Jerome had no right to continue to use lethal.force unless he, as a reasonable person, believed the robber was an imminent threat to others, because he definitely wasn’t a threat to Jerome. When Jerome returned to the pharmacy, he walked past the downed robber, turning his back to him. If he really thought the robber was still a threat, he would have either kept facing the threat, or he would have sprinted to the weapon. It’s really hard to make the case that a reasonable person would feel threatened by someone lying unmoving on the ground, which is why he’s in prison.
      Firing an extra round after a threat is neutralizing is easier to justify as not recognizing that the bad guy was in longer a threat. Having several seconds to evaluate the situation means you’ll need a good reason to justify them as continued threats.

    3. avatar Austin is not Texas says:

      Jerome should not have left the store to chase the other kid, but as there were two other, unarmed, employees in the store he was right to return as the kid that was shot was still alive. Where he made his worst mistake was shooting kid on the floor after he was down and neutralized.

    4. avatar doesky2 says:

      I would have voted Jerome not guilty.

      Jerome was a victim of an adrenaline dump caused by the two robbers.
      Jerome was only in that state due to the two robbers.
      Because Jerome acted non-ideally is not his fault, it was the fault of the robbers who put him in that position.

      If Jerome had waited 45 minutes to re-shoot the first guy I maybe would vote Guilty. But not 45 seconds.

      1. avatar Purity of Essence says:

        If Jerome had waited 45 minutes, he would have been abusing a corpse, not committing a murder.

    5. avatar GS650G says:

      There is video of the event I’ve see but cannot find a link to it. He basically executed the guy as he sat wounded on the floor. Not good. Bad shoot.

      1. avatar Ned Pepper says:

        Bernard Goetz

    6. avatar Daniel Hoover says:

      Three things that are dangerous to all humans.
      Discipline
      Adrenalin
      Anger

      He lacked the capability to control all three.

  2. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Apparently, the response of the “reasonable person” should be, “Give them what they want, don’t make things worse.” As in, the “reasonable person” wouldn’t be owning/carrying a gun in the first place.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      No, that is not what the article is saying at all. You stop shooting when the threat ends, period, end of story, full stop.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “No, that is not what the article is saying at all.”

        Not addressing the article directly, but the general culture of “the reasonable person” that will be the jury members.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Sam. You’re talking to a phony jwm.

          I’m over here. Seems I’ve drawn the trolls attention for defending Geoff PR.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Sam. You’re talking to a phony jwm. ”

          Yeah, masquerading screen names are a pain sometimes.

  3. avatar StLPro2A says:

    “reasonable” and our old friend “Common Sense” largely depend on whether the person is Libtard or Conservative. Common sense is not very common today.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      StLPro2A,

      Common sense is not very common today.

      I resemble that remark.

    2. avatar Rod says:

      Common Sense and Reasonable Force are euphemisms that mean whatever the speaker wants them to mean. Stop using euphemisms and directly elocute your thoughts.

  4. avatar Cliff H says:

    You know, there have been a LOT of videos of Kenosha and a lot of lawyers commenting on them.

    There was one that analyzed the video that the New York Times had produced and included a sound track under the video. This is the one that discovered the first shot fired several seconds before Kyle shot Rossenbaum. The lawyer narrating says, more than once, that Kyle fired three shots at Rossenbaum even though the sound track identifies FOUR sound spikes and listening to the video you can clearly HEAR four shots. Followed soon after by what appear to be three additional pistol shots.

    How is this even a controversy?

    1. avatar A says:

      It’s not. The left hates gun ownership and gun owners esp if white. If Kyle was a black he would be hailed as a hero

  5. avatar Eric says:

    Gun owners should be spreading knowledge of jury nullification.

    https://fija.org/welcome.html

    1. avatar Mercury says:

      Careful, people have been charged with jury tampering for informing passersby on the street of that.

      “Freedom of speech” my foot.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Coupla things:
          – the last article was dated Oct19, indicating that the Michigan SC would review during its “current session”. ?????

          – what is wrong with government deciding what one may or may not do inside, or in general view of a government courthouse where government police, government prosecutors and government judges own the jurisdiction ?

          – what is the point of having power if you cannot use it to your advantage ?

        2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “…jury-finds-man-guilty-of-jury-tampering-by-passing-out-juror-rights-pamphlets/”

          “The Michigan Supreme Court vindicated Keith Wood’s exercise of his right to hand out educational pamphlets on a public sidewalk in front of the courthouse in Big Rapids, Michigan. Government authorities arrested Mr. Wood in November of 2015 for simply handing out the pamphlets on a public sidewalk discussing the power of jurors to vote their conscience in any case, as permitted by Michigan’s Criminal Jury Instructions.”

          https://greatlakesjc.org/cases/people_v_wood/?portfolioCats=75%2C74%2C76%2C71%2C72%2C73

          2015 conviction overturned by state supreme court…

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “2015 conviction overturned by state supreme court…”

          Thanx for the update. Too bad the trial level judge, the bailffs and prosecutors weren’t subsequently charged.

  6. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    I read a Masaad Ayoob article several years ago where he pointed out that when a cop uses his weapon they’ll ask him how many rounds he fired and it’s pretty common to get an answer like ‘3 or 4’ when they actually did a full mag dump. It’s kind of revealing of the mindset you’ll be in if you ever use your weapon.

    As someone who favors revolvers I often hear the remark that nobody ever wished they had fewer rounds in a gunfight, however this may not actually be true once the local DA gets through with you.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      Paul Harrell has made this point when talking about how much capacity is enough. Your typical DGU is over in 3-5 seconds and it is very unlikely that you will get past 5 rounds so it doesn’t matter if you are carrying a 5 shot revolver or a P320 with 21 rounds. I think the reason that few gun owners want to say that out loud is that they fear that it will be used against us when it comes to magazine capacity restrictions

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Civilian DGUs and even law enforcement DGUs almost never need more than 5 or 6 rounds. We do need higher capacities however if we ever need to use our weapons for what the 2A was designed for.

        I might add that it’s my philosophy that if you’re going to limit your round count you might want to use a more potent round and inversely the opposite is true. If you can stop a fight with 3 rounds of .357 magnum as opposed to 6 of 9mm it might put you in a better legal situation.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          And it is why the 1911 is still relevant after 100+ years.

        2. avatar Hush says:

          Gov said: “If you can stop a fight with 3 rounds of .357 magnum as opposed to 6 of 9mm it might put you in a better legal situation.”
          Then the left will argue why did you carry a gun with such powerful ammunition. And the rounds were hollow points too!
          There doesn’t seem to an end. Sad part is the prosecutes, juries, judges et al have never been in a self defense situation nor do they know you(the defender of property and life); yet, they pretend to know how you should have responded in every way including the number of rounds you used to defend yourself.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “…yet, they pretend to know how you should have responded in every way including the number of rounds you used to defend yourself.”

          That is because the starting point is the firm belief that an individual should not be armed at all. No gun, no bullets, no bullets, no injury/death from gunfire, no injury/death, no arrest and trial.

          Simple logic.

          For simpletons.

        4. avatar enuf says:

          tdiinva says:
          September 27, 2020 at 11:25
          And it is why the 1911 is still relevant after 100+ years.
          ——————————————————————————————–

          True! In addition to being a vastly superior design to Gaston’s “Cop Shoots Self Holstering His Own Gun” Toy Shop Specials!

        5. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Hush, you are correct, which is why I said .357 instead of .44 mag. I think it would be a hard sell to the jury that the round cops quit using 35 years ago for something ‘better’ is unreasonably powerful for self defense. But there are no guarantees when dealing with the ignorance of others.

        6. avatar No one of Consequence says:

          Almost never isn’t never.

          You almost never need a gun when you leave your home in the morning. You almost never need a fire extinguisher. And so forth.

          It’s that time when “almost never” becomes “right now” that those extra rounds can make the difference between your life continuing and ending.

        7. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          True enough, no one. However your only considering one side of the debate. The counterargument would be that the first 5 or 6 shots are more reliable in a revolver than a semi-auto. One of my biggest concerns is the contact shot. You’re going to be completely hopped up on adrenaline and your natural inclination will be to shove the barrel hard into the ribs and you won’t be in the best state of mind to realize why your gat didn’t go bang and how to rectify the situation.

          Subsequently, I’ve wondered for quite a while why other arms makers never adopted the Beretta 92’s protruding barrel which eliminates the problem. I do carry a 92 compact from time and I don’t feel undergunned with it. But if I only have time to get 6 shots off I’d much rather have the 6 Double Tap .357s I carry in the revolver.

      2. avatar jwm says:

        I’ve argued for years that 99.9% of the citizens defensive firearms uses would be handled quite well by an old school service .38 and a pump shotgun. Own those two and you have no need to say you’re outgunned.

        Mind you. I’m not saying your choice of firearms should be restricted. But for the overwhelming majority of folks interested in simple protecting themselves as they go about their daily lives that combo works.

        1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          I have never carried a spare mag on my person. In the vehicle is another matter.

          Argued with folks on here about the zero times a non-cop has done a mag change during an incident.

          However, 2020 being what it is and the riots/burnings/shootings, my position has changed. Don’t get me wrong I carried a J-frame airweight for a year, nice but like I was saying……riots/burnings/shootings ect

      3. avatar strych9 says:

        “Civilian DGUs and even law enforcement DGUs almost never need more than 5 or 6 rounds.”

        The truth is we don’t know this about Civilian DGUs we use certain statistics from LE as a proxy.

        Further, I question the LE numbers. The NYPD used to keep this statistic. Those numbers said that back in the day, when cops carried a six gun, the average number of shots fired to score a hit on the BG was 5.7. They emptied the gun to hit the target. When they moved to a 17 round semiauto the number of shots fired on average to score one hit jumped to 16.4. Again, they emptied the gun. Then the PD stopped keeping track.

        Why did they shoot this much? No idea. I can toss out a bunch of viable hypotheses that go in multiple directions but there’s no real way to know at this point.

        The best gun you can have is the one you do have when you need it, the best gunfight is the one you avoid and the right amount of ammo is the amount that ends the fight that picked you.

        Carry whatever you want. Ya pays your money and ya takes ya chances. Same as it ever was.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          The police are far more likely to haveca high round count because once someone decided to get into a gunfight with the cops it becomes a dual to death so to speak because the cops can come after you. Your usual perp bumps into an armed citizen takes off because you can’t come after him. That is why the round count is zero most of the time.

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          Maybe. Maybe not. There’s no way to actually know this because we don’t have actually have the data we often claim to have. Cops ≠ Civilians is about what we can say with any degree of certainty.

          It’s not my business what bets other people are willing to place when the ante is their life nor is it my business what safety strategies they employ any more than it’s my business when they change the batteries in their smoke detectors.

          Ya pays ya money and takes ya chances. That’s it. If five or seven rounds gets it done, great. If all you have is seven and you need eight, well, you’re SOL.

        3. avatar tdiinva says:

          Perhaps the reason that we don’t see any reports of non LEO DGUs turning into extended gunfights is that they don’t happen? I can’t imagine that in the world of 24/7 news that CNN, et. all, would not cover a wild shoot out that goes 20 rounds per side. As has already been pointed out Kyle Rittenhouse only fired 7 rounds in riot situation.

      4. avatar RedOwl says:

        I would have agreed with you prior to all of these riots. Magazine capacity gets really important if you are faced with 3+ attackers. Prior to 2020 I would have thought “that’ll never happen.” Now, not so much.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Yeah, Kyle alone changed a bunch of my assumptions. I’m sorry, but I must admit I would NEVER have imagined that a guy with a skateboard would deliberately attack a guy with a AR. Nobody could be that stupid. And immediately after Kyle shot the stupid fuck dead, here comes somebody else wants him some of that? I would have bet a good deal of money that could not happen. I don’t know where it’s coming from, but my assumptions may have to give way to me carrying my 13+1 or 19+1 XDM rather than my 8+1 Ruger. Figuring that you pop a couple and everyone else will leave the area does not look like such a smart bet any more.

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Yes, I too have had to work out a new riot philosophy. Step 1 – avoid any city with a population greater than 50k. Step 2 – if you break rule 1 carry a .357 and a double stack 9 and carry a knife. If you’re on the ground getting kicked and beaten slash hard at muscles and tendons. Grab the leg and slash the hamstring. Slash the patella tendon (just below the kneecap) and your assailant will fall flat on his face and won’t get back up. Don’t forget the knife.

        3. avatar jwm says:

          Gov. If I’m on the ground and using a blade I’m going straight for the femoral and the balls.

        4. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Harder target and could lead to unwanted criminal charges. Slice his hamstring or patella tendon will take him out of the action for months and he’ll remember you every time it rains.

    2. avatar RGP says:

      Revolver guy here too. Most commonly a big bore single action, no less. For anyone who prefers mag dump and 18 rounds of pipsqueak, it might also be a good idea for them to remove that sign that says trespassers will be shot and survivors will be shot again before the policia arrive.

      1. avatar Jerms says:

        Probably a good idea to go ahead and take that sign down right now before anything actually happens

        1. avatar RGP says:

          True, and everyone I know who has signs like that seems blissfully unaware of the potential ramifications of having it shown to a jury, and there’s nothing you can say to them to convince them otherwise.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        That’s not my sign, it was there when I bought the house, 25 years ago. That will work, right? Ahh, I suspect the cops would pull it out of the ground and toss it over the cliff into the lake.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “That’s not my sign, it was there when I bought the house, 25 years ago. ”

          Replace the one sign with a two signs, each pointing left/right at the neighbor houses, indicating gun free zones?

  7. avatar Texican says:

    Jerome didn’t have a good attorney.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      Alan Dershowitz could not have gotten him off. He shot and killed a non threat.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        Which I’d be willing to forgive him for, if I were on the jury. (what he did was illegal, but there was no benefit to society in imprisoning him for it)

        The robbers didn’t give him a choice of whether to enter the fight, so it’s only fair if he didn’t let one of them choose to stop the fight.

      2. avatar Texican says:

        Are you sure? The video I saw when this event happened did not show the state of the perp when Jerome fired upon him the second time. There was no video camera looking at the perp. Jerome said the perp tried to shoot at him which is why he fired again. There were other innocents in the pharmacy and he was protecting them as well as himself. Perhaps he did execute the perp, perhaps not.

        1. avatar Anymouse says:

          From all on-screen video evidence, the deceased robber didn’t have a gun. While the robber who fleed is holding a handgun as soon as he enters, the other one is putting on a mask and is shot while still adjusting the mask. If he was wounded, concious, and able to retrieve his weapon by the time Jerome returned, why did Jerome turn his back to him and casually walk to get the other gun? It doesn’t make sense. You would either keep an eye on the threat or run to your gun. Let’s assume the robber on the floor was motionless and didn’t get his gun until Jerome re-armed. Jerome returns and walks up to the downed robber and stands over him before firing. If you see a guy with a gun, would you start shooting immediately or expose yourself for a second to get closer? The only way this could have possibly gone in Jerome’s favor is if he’s walking up to the guy on the floor and only notices that he’s armed while he’s standing over him. I don’t recall there being any evidence that the dead robber ever had a gun in his hand.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Well, clearly he SHOULD have been armed, it’s not my fault he was not!

        3. avatar John in AK says:

          “You just shot an unarmed man!”

          “Well, he should have armed himself, if he’s going to rob my store with his friend.”

        4. avatar RidgeRunner says:

          “He should’ve armed himself.”
          –Bill Munny

    2. avatar jwm says:

      Is he the one that shot the dude after the dude was down on the floor just laying there?

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Well, yeah, but only a few times.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Well, if that’s all he did. 🙂

    3. avatar Delta795 says:

      It had nothing to do with his attorney. Ersland sent himself to prison because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He repeatedly embellished his military service, at one point claiming that he was a platoon sergeant in the 1991 Gulf War and “killed a bunch of people” when USAF records show that he was working in the pharmacy at Altus AFB for the entirety of ground combat operations and had left the Army in 1989 and subsequently joined the USAF Reserve.
      Once in prison, he convinced his son to smuggle narcotics to him. He is a dirtbag with very poor judgement, proven by the fact that he shot an unconscious man in the back as he lay prone on the ground after Ersland disabled him with his first barrage of gunfire.

  8. avatar simobros says:

    In rabid anti-gun states like mine (MA), a person can (and has) been accused of “overkill” for using either a “large caliber” gun or firing too many rounds. Any round designated as “magnum” can leave you open to scrutiny in court related to your actions under extreme duress. Even +P ammo can be considered “too much” by a zealous prosecutor in a state where self-defense is not necessarily sufficient to explain your actions. I guess you’re supposed to use a .22lr but don’t use too many rounds.
    I’ve always carried revolvers, pretty much. I stick with standard pressure .38spl 110gr hollow points and have to make the most of the five rounds I have on board. I’m not going to save myself or others and be prosecuted for “overkill” if I can avoid it. Every EDC person should think about this possibility, especially in heavily anti-gun jurisdictions. I’d carry around my Ruger Alaskan in .44mag, but i don’t dare just because of this reason.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      God, it is good to not be you.

  9. avatar Sam I Am says:

    The discussion of round count, and such things, is curious. The predicate is that the defendant will do the talking with the police, and at trial. Then we see articles/comments about saying nothing to police/prosecutors without an attorney present (to keep us from talking).

  10. avatar enuf says:

    It depends on who you are and the clothes you wear. If those clothes include a badge of a police agency, there is far more latitude given to you for how many shots you fire and if you kill the innocent person.

    On the other hand, there recently some shifts in this.

    Such as a current case prominent in the news where an officer has been charged for all his shots that missed the innocent victim, but has been declared justified for the bullets he fired that killed her.

    Like the saying says, some animals are more equal than others.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      If you’re talking about Taylor, that is not even close to accurate.

  11. avatar FedUp says:

    If this is acceptable (more shots than I would have fired but not something to punish a guy for when he’s in a defensive shooting match), then an extra shot or two on the end of the string shouldn’t land anybody in prison:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2GlvtBYIbw

    In other news, after 2 months of investigation, it has been determined a Michigan Deputy acted in self defense when a guy tried to gut her after carving up a customer in a convenience store.

    https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2020/09/deputy-cleared-in-fatal-shooting-of-man-accused-in-stabbing-over-wearing-mask.html

    1. avatar Anymouse says:

      That video showed a clean shoot. At around 9:45 you can see Omir fully. He’s standing for all shots I heard. Once he was on the ground, there were no more shots.

  12. avatar Paul says:

    Needs more seriousness. We’ve (almost) all of us praised Kyle Rittenhouse for his superb trigger discipline. The young man delivered enough force, on target, to end the threats to his lifel. Then, he got the fek out of Dodge. This 17 year old kid is worthy of all the hero worship directed at him.

    Kyle epitomizes all the reasons cops should be despised when they fire upwards of 100 rounds at some poor slob who may or may not be armed.

    I’m no cop hating liberal pinko commie fascist, but police need an overhaul. Starting with an end to that “qualified immunity” bull.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      The purpose of qualified immunity is to protect good cops from lawfare. It’s the cop equivalent of the Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act.

      So how about this: If a cop relies on qualified immunity, he loses his job. If he waives qualified immunity and takes his chances with the courts, he keeps his job.

      1. avatar Paul says:

        I don’t really know where we need to go with qualified immunity, to be honest. I know that it is abused far too often. It seems that ‘a cop can do no wrong’. And, all of us who are even half honest knows that cops CAN do wrong. Wearing a badge should not be a ‘get out of jail free’ card.

        Remember, qualified immunity also protected Kamala Harris when she suppressed evidence that would have freed some of her brothers in jail or prison. Kamala Harris belongs in prison herself, for having falsely imprisoned people.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          How about when she laughed about it?

      2. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “The purpose of qualified immunity is to protect good cops from lawfare. It’s the cop equivalent of the Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act.”

        Not quite. Law enforcement is never legally empowered to violate established law. Doing so puts LE outside their authority as agents. If a LEO violates established law, they are no different from any other citizen violating the law. Beneath the notion of “qualified immunity” is the vicious concept that LE is not required to really know the law, but non-LE persons are responsible to know all law, all the time (no “good faith effort” escape hole for non-LE). LE not being responsible for the prudence required of other citizens is a prime example of tyranny. It should be more difficult to act as an agent of government than to act as private citizen.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          QI protects the police from civil liability only.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “QI protects the police from civil liability only.”

          That would be good to know. Is it uniform across the states? Any references?

      3. avatar Anymouse says:

        I’d predicate an officer’s civil QI on an operational body cams during the incident, and a department declaration that all actions were consistent with policy and training. The department could still be liable for poor policies and training.

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “I’m no cop hating liberal pinko commie fascist,…”

      Being suspicious of armed agents of a government is no vice. Being trustful of armed agents of a government is no virtue.

  13. avatar Ralph says:

    If I ever have to shoot a bad guy, I’d rather hit him too many times than too few.

  14. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Jerome is an idiot who still to this day can not stay quiet. Say nothing afterwards. Let your lawyer talk.
    Y’all stay safe.

  15. avatar Red says:

    Stay away from bars and nightclubs. Don’t go looking for trouble. Fire until the threat has been neutralized.

    Simple, really. This article tries to make everything really gray.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “This article tries to make everything really gray.”

      That’s because “it” is. Individuals involved in a DGU do not determine if it was “a good shoot, or not.” Therefore, the entirety of a DGU falls into a government proposition that “it depends”. “It depends” is pretty gray.

      1. avatar RGP says:

        Thenceforth, it is necessary to argue whether gray is a shade of white, or if gray is a shade of black.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Thenceforth, it is necessary to argue whether gray is a shade of white, or if gray is a shade of black.”

          That is settled science, already: they are.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Who did you vote for?

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Who did you vote for?”

          Odie Cologne and Biggie Rat.

          Actually, I voted twice, under different names. My second ballot was for Boris Badenov and Natashs Fatale.

  16. avatar strych9 says:

    One of the interesting things I’ve noted about Kenosha is the lesson that most POTG seem to be ignoring.

    There’s a prevailing wisdom that “the bullshit stop when the hammer drops” which is usually taken to mean that all the BGs are gonna skedaddle when you skin that smokewagon. Usually you’ll never even need to fire and if you do X>10 shots will get ‘er done.

    Kyle Rittenhouse had a rifle an SBR (Scary Black Rifle) in fact. Yet the attack continued. A certain percentage of this attackers apparently had zero fear of him or that rifle even after he put one of their buddies in a body bag. In fact, Bicep Bro continued the attack after TWO of his buddies got blasted into the hereafter and later lamented not finishing the job.

    So, how many rounds do you need? Well, I guess that depends on how many enraged skateboarders and Glock toting Paramedics you’re dealing with, huh?

    1. avatar RGP says:

      Excellent point.

    2. avatar FedUp says:

      Most of the thugs ran away after he tossed two bullets in the general direction of the young black guy who tried to kick his head off. (including a group of five dressed all in black, it would have been very dangerous for Kyle if he hadn’t scared them off quickly)

      Huber and Grosskreutz were determined to kill him or die trying. A few others, one of them holding a baseball bat, hung back and looked for an opening to attack. That was all ended quite effectively by the very visible disarming of Grosskreutz. All of this was known to the DA, Associate DA, and Assistant DA when they decided to charge him with murdering Huber and attempting to murder Grosskreutz.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Percentages don’t matter if you get beaten unconscious by one guy with a skateboard or your brain gets splattered by a single pissed off “Paramedic”.

        A “mostly successful DGU” is still a failure.

        What would that mob have done if that skateboard shot to the brainbox knocked Kyle unconscious? Nothing to his benefit, you can bet on that.

    3. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      At the time I watched the video I thought the people chasing Kyle were farm animal stupid. Still do for that matter, but you bring up a valid point.

      It reminds me of the protesters, chasing on foot, a car that goes through them. Also the protesters who will put their hands on a car and physically try to stop it from moving. You can watch them being pushed back and still they don’t seem to understand.

      Must be a kind of a weird reality where physics isn’t a thing….

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Must be a kind of a weird reality where physics isn’t a thing….”

        The mindset of the mob is, “You wouldn’t dare.”

      2. avatar RGP says:

        That’s because they are farm animal stupid. Hell, farm animals are smarter than they are. I’ve been wondering if Antifa (or BLM) hands out free mind altering drugs to their assortment of ratbags.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Rage is like panic insofar as it’s unthinking.

          Both can be lethal to the person under the effect of the emotion and those around them.

        2. avatar Ing says:

          I’m pretty sure they do.

          Plus, antifa is chock-full of people who are already contstantly coked up. Meth heads love them some anarchy. Having seen the nightly arrest records and mugshots, I’m pretty sure that most of Portland’s drug-addicted lowlifes are, as a certain murderer among them recently said, “100% antifa.”

    4. avatar jwm says:

      Apples and oranges, S9. Kyle did not experience a dgu in the classic sense. He was in combat. A whole other world. His opponents were hostile combatants of a power trying to destroy this country. His and their motivations were entirely different from those of folks in a run of the mill dgu.

      How many in the mob even knew that he had already killed one? There were fires, fireworks and gun shots going off and it was night.

      If you’ve never experienced it it is hard to fathom just how chaotic a battle really is. You are not in a ‘big picture’ situation. You see what is in your immediate area and react to it.

      Comparing the situation that Kyle was in to a ‘normal’ dgu is way over simplyfying it. IMHO.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        The thing is that at this point in time I think limiting the discussion to “a dgu in the classic sense” is kind of out the window considering the goings-on these days. One could argue, rather convincingly I think, that people have in fact experienced a similar thing in previous times too. Rare, sure but doesn’t change facts for you once you’re knee deep in grenade rings.

        In “normal times” you can take someone, shoot them up on some meth, let them down a quart of booze, give them a knife and they’ll go buckwild on your ass. They’re in the driver’s seat and you’re just reacting. That’s combat too under the definition that you offer right here because ain’t no one coming to help you and all you’re going to see is that guy in front of you when he comes around the corner hell bent on murdering whoever he comes across, so you better have your shit together or you’re not going home other than in a bag or a box because this dude will NOT stop until you MAKE him stop. Ask me how I know. Or ask that guy… er, wait, you’ll have to go with me because I’m breathing and he’s not.

        My overarching point here is that these are not “normal times”. There is a much, much higher chance these days that you can run into an enraged mob where some percentage of these people are not going to stop until you make them. You can call that situation whatever you want but it’s not going to matter to you or your family if you get killed. And while “avoid stupid places and people” obviously still applies that’s harder to know these days. I mean Kenosha isn’t Portland or Austin or LA or NYC. And we know that there were caravans of cars with no license tags pouring into the city that night. What if that’s your town? Well suddenly “normal” is upside down, yes?

        And this kind of thing can happen quick. Remember the people we were discussing getting trapped by mobs on the freeways back during 2017? (Damn, that seems like a lifetime ago… and not just because I nearly died in the interim.)

        I’d point you back to this article: https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/ttags-armed-intelligentsia-sound-off-on-civil-war/

        Not just because it’s a shameless plug since Boch quoted me but look at where I was right and where I was wrong. Race has been injected and society has tolerated one hell of a lot more than I thought they would.

    5. avatar Hannibal says:

      In this case he fired, what, 4 rounds? Maybe 5 (missed one guy)?

      It’s true that there were some people stupid enough to keep playing, but it’s still true that even this situation did not turn into the situation people seem to fantasize about where you’re performing tactical reloads and pulling your two backup guns to take apart a platoon of ninjas.

      I think the biggest takeaway is that, especially with a rifle, being able to hit what you’re aiming at under stress ends an encounter quickly.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        My point is that we often have this conversations that revolve around 1) the intimation factor of a gun, any gun and 2) limited use of the gun means ammo capacity is irrelevant.

        Kyle’s experience brings those assumptions into question in the current environment where mobs are shockingly common.

        It doesn’t much matter to someone who lives where I do but many people don’t live where I do so maybe they’d want to consider the lesson here that a sufficiently enraged mob may not be deterred by 4-5 shots and two dead bodies.

    6. avatar strych9 says:

      I just noticed this typo in my OP: that “X>10” should be “X<10" (or whatever number you'd like, really). I've seen this argument for 5 rounds, 6, 7, 10, 12… whatever.

      The simple point here is that the deterrence factor that many usually assume to be present, in some situations, isn't necessarily what's often claimed even after bodies hit the floor and that this is a consideration people living in certain areas or finding themselves in certain situations should consider because this isn't limited to a single location these days.

      1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

        That being said…how bad does it get to be until the authorities/gov/police/militia make the decision, since other methods have not persuaded the rioters.

        If display of a firearm in an individual vs individual scenario has little effect and individuals, as witnessed on Kyle video, chased a person carrying a rifle that had allegedly just killed a person has little or no effect… what then?

        Are we to see video of the authorities warning rioters “Disperse or we’ll open fire.”

        This is the stuff of nightmares.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          I have no idea. I’m surprised what’s gone on thus far has been tolerated.

          I wrote a lengthy comment about it three years ago when this kind of thing first popped off. I said that if race gets injected all bets are off but that society wouldn’t tolerate things past a certain point.

          I assumed that “a certain point” wasn’t “very far”. In that regard I was dead wrong because we’re well past where I assumed there would be a serious backlash and have been for some time.

          It never occurred to me that local politicians and governors would essentially issue standdown orders and/or that if that happened the police would actually follow them while cities burned.

    7. avatar LarryinTX says:

      You are correct, at least so far as I am concerned, that changed my outlook.

    8. avatar Ing says:

      Key word: USUALLY. Kenosha was definitely not “usually,” nor is any kind of mob action (unless maybe you’ve been on the front lines in Portland for the past four months).

      The criminals we usually see, in their twos and threes, are usually sane people who have a calculated tolerance of risk. Mobs are a gigantic, insane blob full of feral, rabid bipeds, to whom the usual limitations on human behavior don’t apply.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Usual is usual right up until it’s not and, I hate to say this, but we’re sliding continuously towards what used to be not just unusual but assumed to be nearly impossible.

        Do you usually shoot people when you leave your house? If not, why do you carry a gun? In case you have to, right? Which would, by definition, be unusual, correct?

        So why, given current circumstances, would you restrict your thinking to what was “usual” six months ago when “usual” has most certainly changed to some degree and may continue to do so? Is updating your SOPs to meet the current situation somehow wrong?

        And as I said, if you live somewhere like I do then you probably don’t care but we know that TTAG readers and commenters live all over the place. Someone living in downtown Austin has seen some crazy shit and, if they’re smart, adjusted to that new reality. Just ask Colion Noir about that.

    9. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “Kyle Rittenhouse had a rifle an SBR (Scary Black Rifle) in fact. Yet the attack continued. A certain percentage of this attackers apparently had zero fear of him or that rifle even after he put one of their buddies in a body bag.”

      A prime example of why magazine capacity limits are evil and should be unconstitutional. They know that there are more of them than there are of us. They have no problem sacrificing a few of their own if it results in victory for them at the end. Hell, they will be martyrs for their ‘revolution’.

      It’s not surprising, really. There’s some historical evidence of that type of battle strategy in modern times. The cold war, actually.

      The Aegis battle management program. It was designed to handle something like 100 inbound threats at a time, considered far more than needed at the time. What did the Soviets do? They changed their battle strategy to overwhelm the Aegis system. If Aegis can handle 100 inbound threats at a time, attack with 120 with the same time-on-target. Game over.

      You can bet your ass if there ever a military conflict with China or Russia, the old saying of “Quantity has a quality of its own” will be demonstrated with lethal effect at our expense.

      We had better be smart and not engage Antifa with at least equal force…

  17. avatar possum says:

    In most DGU’s an inexprienced person usually emptys the gunm, revolvers clicking on empty chambers are the norm.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      Another reason why Possums are better than people – They always have sharp teeth and claws at the ready, while we have gunms that can run out of ammo.

      (And maybe rabies, as well. Attack a Possum at your own risk.. 🙂 )

  18. avatar Sid says:

    This article needs to be reworked. The cited examples are poorly chosen. Worse, the issues involved in most of the examples have little to do with the topic.

    Each person has to be readily aware of the jurisdiction and current laws that preside over any encounter. Where you are standing has more to do with your legal protections or vulnerabilities than your choice of weapon or number of shots fired. In some states, you can be interviewed, detained, arrested, or prosecuted for the exact same actions. The difference is local and state government.

    As many have noted in the “Jerome” case, the actions of the pharmacist were justified until he left the store and returned to shoot the first robber. He could legally defend checking outside to ensure robber #2 or other co-defendants were not attempting to come in the store to assist robber #1. However, that was the limit of his legal ability. When he returned to the store, he killed robber #1 who no longer posed a threat.

    Good shooting instructors spend time explaining to shooters that you only shoot until the threat is stopped. How that is defined is determined by local laws.

  19. avatar Daniel Hoover says:

    Three things that are dangerous to all humans.
    Discipline
    Adrenalin
    Anger

    Lacking the ability to control all three.

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