Thomas Greer gained fame in July of this year by making some imprudent statements to the media. He had shot one of a pair of burglars who had assaulted him in his home. At the time, he was quoted as saying, “The lady didn’t run as fast as the man, so I shot her in the back twice. She says, ‘Don’t shoot me! I’m pregnant, I’m going to have a baby!’ and I shot her anyway.” Greer is 80 years old, and suffered a broken collar bone during the assault . . .
The statement did not hold up against forensic analysis. Mr. Greer fired three shots, two of which struck Miller, once in the left side of the chest, and once in the right knee. She wasn’t shot in the back. The shooting happened inside of Greer’s home, not outside, as was implied by early reporting. After being shot, Miller fled the home and collapsed in the alley outside.
‘Thomas Greer is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury,’ according to the report signed by Deputy District Attorney Janet Moore.
‘Greer exercised his legal and legitimate right of self-defense when he shot and killed Andrea Miller.’
The results of the investigation make it seem likely that Greer was just “tough talking” to reporters, rather than clearly stating the facts of what happened. Presumably, Greer told prosecutors a different version of events, one that was consistent with the physical evidence, probably on the advice of counsel.
The incident serves as an example of why it’s a bad idea to talk to the media after a self defense shooting. While you have no legal obligation to tell the media the truth, you will be tried in the court of public opinion. Greer was widely accused of being a cold-blooded murderer because of the ill considered statements that he made. He would have been better served by refusing comment.
I have to give the prosecutor, Janet Moore, credit for thoroughly investigating this case and making the right decision. It would have been politically correct to take the old guy’s braggadocio at face value and prosecuted him to the full extent of the law. It would not have served justice, it would have been a waste of taxpayers money, but it would have been politically expedient.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.