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A 27-year-old Tulane University law student was shot dead by his wife this past weekend. The woman called 9-1-1 herself to report the incident and was taken into custody. Meanwhile, her husband was pronounced dead at the scene.

“This was not a random act,” said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto. “The person actually called and admitted to shooting her husband.”

After being questioned by law enforcement, the woman was released that same day with no charges filed: This homicide is being considered a justified defensive gun use. That’s because, according to the Sheriff’s office, the woman “provided a detailed and well-documented history of physical and psychological abuse.” Even though her friends and family had no idea what had been going on, she “was able to provide a significant amount of corroborating evidence to back her statements.”

The woman told police that on the night of the shooting, “another incident of physical abuse occurred through the evening…that included escalating altercations and attempted strangulation.”

“Fearing that the years of abuse would culminate in the loss of her life, she shot her husband,” reported Captain Jason Rivarde. “She displayed multiple physical injuries that corroborated her account.”

And such fears wouldn’t have been unreasonable. Violence prevention expert Gavin De Becker writes about this in his acclaimed book The Gift of Fear (makes a good gift). The longer intimate violence is tolerated, the more likely it becomes that it will escalate to murder.

As an additional side note, there are people who claim that women’s allegations of violence are dismissed or not believed in our society. Cases like this one, in which a woman uses a firearm to defend herself against a spouse without facing criminal charges, suggest that abused women are, in fact, increasingly trusted and believed by law enforcement.

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    • Just a quick question

      Would you say the same thing if an abused man shot and killed his abusive wife? Men are quite frequently the victims of domestic violence.

      Some scrawny dudes marry huge ladies.

      Also, some women intentionally engage in domestic violence knowing that they can and almost certainly will get away with it.

      Most men would be ashamed to admit that their wives abuse them. Furthermore, the police will almost certainly side with the woman if the man responds to her violence in any physical manner.

      See the Duluth model. The Dalrock blog has dealt extensively with the problems inherent in the Duluth model.

      There are both evil violent men and evil violent women in this world.

      • The difference between those scenarios is that by and large women aren’t physically powerful enough to kill or maim their male partner, at least not without using some sort of weapon. Meanwhile, nearly any man possesses enough strength to overwhelm and kill their female partner, armed or not. That’s not to say that women aren’t physically abusive, by rate they are more likely to physically assault their partner specifically because they know they are unlikely to seriously injure them, or that abuse of anyone should just be tolerated, but make no mistake, the only reason to shoot someone is if they threaten your life or physical wellbeing in a grave and imminent fashion, and most women (while unarmed at least) are practically incapable of presenting that level of threat to a male partner.

        • You fail to deal with the question.
          Some women are capable of causing death or serious bodily harm. If a wimpy dude shot his big strong abusive wife, what would you think about it?

      • Would you say the same thing if an abused man shot and killed his abusive wife? Where did that statement come from? This is not about any “what ifs”. The possible issue of a man being abused man is a topic for another day.

      • I would most definitely say the same thing. I don’t care what sex the abuser is and what sex the abused is. Same sex, married, siblings, who’s bigger, etc… None of that matters. Also none of the other things you mention apply unless you are suggesting that this woman manufactured the evidence that she has a history of abuse

  1. I wonder how she’d have fared with a tactical hockey puck, you know, like the anti-people insist is enough for school kids n the people protecting them?

  2. My wife and I got married 36 years ago. While we were dating she told me that she had been abused as a young girl by her father. She told me, “If you ever lay a hand on me, I will kill you”. Still married.

    • Her statement sounds violently unstable. A more reasonable thing to say would have been. “If you abuse me, I will immediately leave you, and report you to the police”

      • I agree. She sounds cocked and ready to go off at any second. She probably could have benefitted from therapy starting decades ago. The OP will almost certainly deny this, but I’d bet she has lived well below her potential all these years for being overladen with that unresolved childhood trauma.

  3. Oh, I know that a lot of people here think that an abuser has already forfeit their lives, why in the world did she not leave him. Perhaps she wanted him dead for his abuse, and wanted to get away with it. Looks like a good plan to do just that.

    But than again, we don’t have all the details. Screaming at someone until you get them to hit you is one thing, them stopping you from leaving is another. And one thing is always true, domestic violence is just nasty.

    • And NON – domestic violence is somehow better?
      That’s the danger of the ‘liberal’, ‘progressive’ spin. In all the confusion, ones not in possession of much logic or reason somehow lose track of the fact that beaten(or killed) by a stranger is not one iota better than being beaten(or killed) by a spouse(or a govt sponsored thug).

      • WTF? The topic is domestic violence. Nobody is denying or minimizing stranger violence. That just wasn’t the topic here.

    • Many, if not most, abusers are also stellar manipulators. They convince you you’re worthless, isolate you, make sure you don’t have access to money. There are myriad ways they weave what seems to be an unbreakable web.

      Leaving is not as easy when you are in the midst of the gaslighting and pain. Then you get away and realize you turned into a broken person you do not recognize. And hopefully you learn and grow from it.

      I will add I get quite frustrated when someone leaves an abuser only to return. But it is highly unlikely this was some mastermind plot on her part.

      • No, but if she decided she wanted him dead, it’s not to hard to get away with it. That is one thing any abuser better be mindful of. You are giving you spouse a get out of jail free card if they decide to kill you.

        • I’m cool with that.
          Easy solution. Don’t abuse your spouse, and your chances of getting killed by them drop drastically.

          We always complain that people nowdays do whatever they want because there are no real consequences for it. Well, here’s some consequences to consider.

          Don’t be a dick to people.

      • Marriage is a sacred sacrament. I would say part of that is NOT MURDERING YOUR HUSBAND. That supersedes castle doctrine. To be clear, I support the castle doctrine. You have no duty to retreat when a MS-13 gangbanger breaks into your house. But please, let’s no be so attached to our talking points that we support murdering your spouse.

        I was sexually abused as a child by my mother. I own guns and support 2A. Abuse is a complicated issue- it’s not always crystal clear. Killing your family members is not the answer. “Forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who tresspass against us.”

        • No, marriage is a contract. Beating your spouse is generally a breach of that contract. Marriage null and void. At that point, he’s just some guy beating a woman. Perforate as needed.

          When someone is threatening my life, I’m not required to

        • Sorry, that last part was supposed to go into another comment. Now I can’t edit. Seriously, how is TTAG STILL (after how many years) having problems with this basic stuff?
          There are literally dozens of places to get essentially a shake and bake blog or any other website that will work just fine. It’s just a standard comment system. Fucking up one of those is like making a Glock-clone that can’t get through a single mag without jamming. You guys suck and need to hand this site over to someone who knows how a keyboard works.
          The admins here look like they’re still trying to figure out how to internet.

          Hey I think I just popped my “bitching about the comment system” cherry. Gotta say, feels pretty good.

      • First try filing a restraining order would get him out of the house. But from what I am gathering she took no steps to remove her husband short of lead.

        • A restraining order is just a piece of paper. It allows for criminal charges to be filed after it has been violated. Key word being “after.” That piece of paper is likely little comfort while you’re being assaulted or killed by a vengeful ex.

          • spot on, in fact I would not be surprised if the number of women killed after a restraining order has been put in place exceeds the number killed when one has not been put in place

        • Toni is correct. They become quite angry after being served.

          But I do agree with filing it. Without taking those steps there’s no legal foundation to lock them up later. But yeah it is definitely just a piece of paper along the lines of “I’ll give you a paper cut” in physical usefulness. People misunderstand and think those orders are for protection. Nope. It’s to get the legal paperwork rolling for a potential arrest and charges. Better be able to protect yourself.

  4. If I were the decedent’s family, I’d be a little pissed that he’s been convicted and executed without a trial while she’s been exonerated without one. I hope that was some compelling evidence they had.

    • Yes, for abuse that was never reported, and totally unknown to friends and family, to be suddenly described as “well-documented” to the point of avoiding a murder charge, it’s got to be quite something to behold.

      • Have you guys even been around women? Women talk. I find it very very hard to believe that friends and family didn’t know that this supposed abuse was going on. I hope the DA does a better investigation than the police.

        • I’m sure the cops have been around women, too, yet something convinced them this was legit. I don’t know exactly what that was, and neither do you, all I’m saying is it had to be a doozy. Like a “greatest hits” reel that would make Mike Tyson look like Mister Rogers.

        • No. Women do not talk about everything. Shame keeps many battered women from talking to anyone about it. Shame, fear, and Stockholm.

        • Yeah…sounds reasonable until you see it.

          In graduate school a guy we knew beat his wife (body only – never the face).

          Nobody was aware until he got tight at a party and punched her in the chest and knocked her into a fireplace.

          She was taken tomthe emergency room over the protests of the husband.

          The emergency room doctor called the police and had the guy arrested when saw the other bruises and evidence of broken bones ( mostly ribs).

          Everyone was gobsmacked. Nobody knew until it escalated to prime time.

        • “Everyone was gobsmacked. Nobody knew until it escalated to prime time.”

          That’s all to frequent…

        • This is a generalization of women and a dangerous one. Women don’t always talk and many do not speak of the abuse they suffer at the hands of a spouse due to a complicated structure of fear and shame.

    • Sounds like the response of the family of the “dindoonuffins”.

      One violent attack is plenty for self defense.

      Should you be mugged 3 times before you defend yourself? 4 times?

      At least one incident was documented. Due process is all that is left.

  5. I don’t know all the details, but we in the gun community need to be vigilant about giving power to women claiming abuse. Many men’s lives have been ruined and have had their guns taken away by women falsely claiming abuse. Just ask any man who has been through divorce.

    I mean seriously- if your son’s wife was cheating on him, and he slapped her, and then she shot him- would you really keep harping on with this “lay a finger” nonsense that we’ve been taught by Hollywood?

    And even if this man’s actions did meet some ever-changing definition of “abuse”- did he deserve to die?

    • Looks like 5-0 thought so.

      Doesnt sound like he slapped her, but was more abusive than than that.

      Strangulation is intent to kill as far as Im concerned.

      If a 300 pound meat grinder tried to choke me, i would not hesitate to shoot them.

      Most cases of domestic abuse I am personally familiar with were calculated, violent, and brutal.

      All ended in use of deadly force, usually the wife being killed. Very few outside the family were aware of the abuse as the children were steeled to it and often threatened with the same abuse.

      If i had witnessed that level of violence in a public setting, i would expect use of deadly force.

      So…..sound like thr police thought he “needed shooting”.

      • Dont know where you get the TV crap from.

        Most incidents come down to “my word against yours”. Same as it ever was.

        Not for me to judge since I wasnt there.

        Not for you either but it seems like you have the idea that what you think matters more.

        The law guarrentees due process….not justice.

      • Specialist38 I have to say i agree, most abuse is not seen by those around. I myself have been in a couple abusive relationships and most people do not see it till it is too late and one or the other is dead. In australia where guns are locked away if people even have them self defense for the weaker party is not possible unless they turn around and do it when the other is asleep which while that would be viewed as murder with the current laws and given one case i have seen i would not view it as such. That case the woman suffered years of abuse before finally being almost killed and left in a wheel chair for the rest of her life. The guy perpetrating the abuse had a lock on the phone, she was locked in the house all the time and only allowed out with him and had heavy security on the house (all windows with security screens). she is lucky to be alive. Most of the abuse i have faced has been verbal and mental. It still leaves scars. Most men that face that from their female partner end up committing suicide. No one will listen to a guy that is claiming to be abused, and often his mates will ridicule him if he opens up to them. At least with the last one who almost turned me physically violent towards her i had friends who saw what was going on and i had a place to go to at least for the interim.

  6. Is it not true that the only person responsible for your safety is you? Then why do we empathize with and fail to prosecute woman who choose not to accept that responsibility and get out? All one must do is leave. But all too often we read about women like this who choose not to be responsible and stay around for some more until something snaps. I just don’t understand. It’s as easy as get in the car and GO>

    • Same thing for a bad job …..right? Just quit.

      Easy to say unless that job stands between you and destitution.

      A spouse who has been battered and fears for her life (and the life of her children) may not be quite so bold and cavalier as a sturdy armchair commando like you.

      I can the cops asking someone who has just fefended themselves against an armed robbery… should have just left…walked away. You could have left the situation and walked away. And then arrest you for shooting them.

        • Thanks for showing yourself incapable of rational thought.

          Reading comprehension is a skill not a gift.

        • Sorry specialist38 but your analogy of a bad job, and an abusive spouse is a poor one.

          It would have to be more than just a bad job. It would have to be a job where you had a credible fear of death or serious bodily injury.

        • Don’t ever go to a city where anyone has been mugged, then. If you knowingly do so, it’s your fault if something happens.

          The analogy is, if you have a bad job, just quit. If you live in California, just move. If you have an abusive spouse, just leave.
          Terrible advice given by people who do NOT have to live with the aftermath.

          In any scenario, if someone is attempting to strangle you- then yeah, shooting them is probably legal, moral, and ethical.

          Seriously, did all of you miss the strangulation part?

        • Art out west.

          Please read. My point was if it is tough to leave a job due to financial contraints how much difficult is it to leave a home where you are being threatened and controlled by an abuser.

          In no way did I suggest that a bad job should lead to homocide.

        • Specialist38
          You are right, and do make a good point, that leaving is often easier said than done.

    • Gman,

      To be sure, there are plenty of instances of spousal abuse where the abused spouse was/is fully capable of simply up and leaving.

      Equally sure, there are plenty of instances of spousal abuse where the abused spouse literally has no resources available for escape. The abusive spouse literally keeps the car keys hidden/locked. The abusive spouse may even have keyed locks on all external doors and provide no key to the abuse victim, making a literal prison. And, almost universally, the abusive spouse keeps all the money and credit cards — which means the abuse victim has no money to even call a taxi cab or other form of transportation, much less to buy any food or pay for any lodging. And then there are coercive measures where the abusive spouse promises to murder the abuse victim spouse as well as the victim’s family and/or close friends if the victim tries to escape or call for help.

      The real key to being able to leave an abusive relationship with relative ease and a high degree of success: leave the FIRST TIME that the abusive spouse strikes you or attempts to imprison you (whether verbally or physically).

  7. I’ve been with my present gorgeous for 32 years. She’d kill me if I ever struck her…leave the bum immediately if he’s violent.
    Everyone does NOT believe these gals.

      • Well buddy TTAG has a big problem with editing…perfection is required before posting. I do address my honey with “hey gorgeous”😄

  8. It’s possible she planned this, to murder her shitty husband and cry out abuse after to stay out of prison. I know lots of people will freak out over me saying that but it’s true. Her word is the only thing we have, pretty easy to shoot your hubby then then give yourself a black eye and some tears and say “He was a woman hitter! He deserved to die!”

    • Possible, but pretty unlikely.

      Hopefully the evidence was as conclusive as the police seem to think it was

    • “Her word is the only thing we have”
      You might want to read the story again. Especially the “corroborating evidence” part.

  9. Sorry, but I have seen a lot of abuse(by the woman in a relationship). A good slap could be what she needs(and wants – because daddy slapped her when she was bad), it may not make it right, but there are all types of relationships.

    If I slapped my wife, I would be lucky to be able to pull back a bloody stump or be able to get to the car to get away. If I did get away, there would be no coming back for me.

  10. This woman may or may not have been justified in shooting her husband. But none of us know all the facts, so none of us have any basis for an opinion as to her guilt or innocence. So please suspend judgment and wait for the authorities to complete an investigation.

    I don’t know if it is true or not, but her story is certainly plausible. I have some experience in this area. I’m an attorney. I have assisted approximately 40 victims (all but one were women) to obtain Permanent Orders of Protection from abusers. I do it pro bono through Legal Services of Northern Virginia.

    In Virginia, victims of family abuse can obtain a Permanent Order of Protection by going to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations General District Court and presenting evidence of abuse. The PPO is in effect for two years, but may be renewed if there is still a credible threat of abuse. Those of you who think that these kinds of orders are issued on slim-to-no-evidence are simply wrong. I have a lot of graphic pictures (mostly taken by police) in my client files — strangulation bruises, bruised and bloody faces and bodies. I needed that kind of evidence in order to get the court to issue the order. “He said, she said” cases do not succeed. There has to be additional corroborating evidence.

    Most of my clients were afraid to leave, or couldn’t afford to leave (lack of income is a problem for many of those women), or stayed because “she loved him”, or somehow thought the abuser would change, so it usually took a long time and a particularly brutal incident of abuse to get them to leave. Some even underwent multiple strangulation events, before they decided to leave. One got out because her husband left her on the floor choking while he went to get the family pistol to shoot her, but she had moved it so while he was looking for it she managed to stagger out the back door.

    It is not at all uncommon for people outside the family to have no clue as to what is happening. It is only when there is a slip-up of some kind that these things become known to third parties. For example, sometimes a friend or coworker will notice particularly heavy makeup on one eye — an attempt to cover up the black eye he gave her the night before; the friend asks what happened, and gets a story about turning around and hitting the edge of the open freezer door. Asked directly, the victim will typically deny any abuse. If the abuser finds out about the friend’s inquiry, two things happen — first, he blames the victim for not covering it up properly, and second, he learns to hit her in places that are not normally visible.

    • Porkchop,

      While you might need significant evidence of abuse before courts will issue personal protection orders in Virginia (or at least your area in Virginia), other states do not. My brother-in-law did absolutely nothing to his wife prior to or during their separation process. Of course that was irrelevant because all she had to do was say the magic incantation, “He threatened me,” and the courts issued a personal protection order against him. There was ZERO evidence that he ever threatened her. And it was obvious that he had not ever hit her. That did not matter. His fate was sealed when she decided to petition the court.

      And why did his wife do that? Out of spite. Nothing more and nothing less. She knew that he was/is an avid hunter who spends several days every year hunting for ducks and deer. And she knew that he would have to dispossess his hunting firearms — and could not possess anyone else’s firearms — which means he could not hunt. Yeah, it was that simple and that obscene. And she simply did it to punish him for doing nothing. And the courts were all too happy and willing to oblige.

      • yep same thing goes on here in australia. A simple “he threatened me” from the woman is enough for one to be issued, no physical evidence needed. For some guys, including ones that under normal circumstances would not normally harm anyone, let alone their ex wife, that bit of paper being issued could be enough of a trigger to set them off when unjustly accused with NO evidence whatsoever other than the words the ex said. sure even if he had said it in the heat of an argument and she had taped it without his knowledge then it is evidence and most would accept that even though it was said in the heat of an argument when both are hurling nasty words at each other. The courts simply accepting a statement as fact with no evidence is not justice especially when nothing has been said or done on the part of the person being accused. How many, being so falsely accused, would then take matters into their own hands, then gladly accept the consequences of those actions. I have come across a few

    • I have no idea why that came through that way.

      There should only be ONE “scared wife” in my post….

  11. Before my wife and I got married I explained to her that she will NEVER have to worry that I will hit her and she NEVER has to fear physical violence from me, it’s not how I was raised, it’s not something I believe in and it’s not an avenue I will ever explore. HOWEVER, that fact did not give her a blank check for dealing out physical violence in my direction and the second she tries to assault me will be the second she finds herself knocked to the floor.
    I wanted to make it very clear that she will never be assaulted by me and I demand the same respect in return because I will NOT be a punching bag (women are VERY MUCH capable of hurting a man, especially if he is chivalrous enough to ‘never hit a woman’. I’ve seen it first hand with my brother and his psycotic ex).

    Spousal abuse is an ugly thing.
    My personal opinion is that any man who beats his wife is no man at all and deserves a good old-fashioned lynching.

  12. My sister just contacted me and our other brothers regarding her husband and the way he has treated her for years. First we have heard of it. We believe her. Does anybody know a good hitman?

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