He changed his story, could have driven away, or could have gone inside his home. It is self defense, not stuff defense. This doesn’t meet the litmus test of “life threatening circumstances” in my opinion. Very bad decision in this case. If I was on the jury, I’d vote guilty.
The timing I believe is his downfall. Had he just pulled up, and then a light was in his face, that would be different. Illinois doesn’t have a duty to retreat. That said, he sat in his car, and waited. Why would he not seek safety, or simply drive off? When he called 911, he was not in any imminent danger.
I won’t argue that in some states you can stand your ground and have no duty to retreat - but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Weaver was sitting in his car in front of his home and someone shown a flashlight in his car. A flashlight sweeping or aimed in your car is not imminent, unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm.
If he felt threatened and drove away, he wouldn’t be in the situation he is in now. If his family was home and that’s why he didn’t drive away, I can understand that. But shooting without seeing a weapon or threatening behavior besides a flashlight flashing on you isn’t self-defense.
Part of the self-defense legal defense is that you were in imminent, UNAVOIDABLE danger of death or grave bodily harm. This situation was avoidable. If he had time to call the police, he had time to leave the situation.
The evidence at the scene will show that there wasn’t an imminent, unavoidable threat of death or grave bodily harm. Wouldn’t have been an easy defense, it wasn’t self-defense IMO.
Man! Ain’t that the truth!
Personally, had I pulled a gun and fire at everyone who has shined a flashlight at me…Be under jail house.
I think everybody makes valid points, as well lesson learned for any of us. Also, what you would “do” in that moment is all that you would do. So. the only way one can avoid a zero on the test of life and death is…STUDY!
The article said he had an FOID, it did not say he had a conceal carry license so I wonder if it was even legal to have a firearm accessible in the car.
Also from his statement: “Weaver stayed in the car and took his Glock 9 mm from the center console and loaded it with a magazine clip from the glove box. Keeping an eye on the street, he said it seemed that Howard crouched behind a car whenever someone passed, according to the court document. Howard eventually made his way to Weaver’s orange Dodge Charger and shined the flashlight into the car.”
I think a lawyer could make that sound an awful lot like an ambush.
He laid in wait of the man with a flashlight and shot him.
There’s nothing in my car worth killing over or spending the rest of my days in prison over.
That’s exactly what it sounds like to me.
There is no duty to go inside and hide, but he obviously thought something wasn’t right and he didn’t try to get to safety.
The guy’s story changed a couple of times from what it sounds like.
Was he a criminal? Did Weaver see him breaking into different cars or just looking into them? Even if he saw the guy breaking into cars, we are not police officers because we have a firearm. Weaver didn’t even have a concealed carry license (from what the article says).
*Imminent AND unavoidable. And if we apply the reasonable person test, most reasonable people would have left the situation or gotten into their home to protect their families. He didn’t, he waited for the guy to come to his car.
As responsibly armed Americans we should be advocating doing the best we can for our safety, both physically and legally. No matter what, the situation could have - and should have - been handled differently.
How about readying your firearm and using you phone’s camera to be a good witness? Once the guy sees he’s being filmed, he’ll probably boogie.
Or video him as you’re driving out of the area. That way you’re doing your best to stay safe.
The whole point of self-defense is getting home to your family safe and sound. To me, that includes not ending up in jail for something that I could have avoided.
Good point–you’re right. I just have a problem leaving my neighborhood to thugs.
I understand that and if my family was home, I would go in the house to ensure they’re protected as best I can. But if they’re not, I’ve got home owners insurance and with my pictures being digital now, I don’t have to worry about them, everything is replaceable.
I just need to make sure my family and I are safe.
Most reasonable, responsible people want to avoid trouble when possible. While there may not be a legal obligation to remove myself from potential danger, I still want to avoid it if possible. I’ve never been one to run from a fight, but it has to be immediately and unavoidably upon me. I have no desire to be in a kill or be killed scenario; there’s another mindset that welcomes a fight and those folks usually find it.
Or he hid in his car from someone acting suspiciously and prepared to defend himself.
This is a tragic incident, I don’t know if the gun owner was a USCCA member,I’m thinking not…because one of the first books I received when I became a member was titled"Should I SHOOT?",this book has helped to shape my decision making by giving various examples of when and/or if I should get involved in a situation…listen family…we are not vigilantes or neighborhood watch or officers of any kind!!! Just because we carry doesn’t mean we should walk around just hoping and waiting for a chance to shoot someone…We Are Not Police!!! I do believe in standing one’s ground once confronted with a fight situation but even then I must always be mindful,I am only to shoot as a last resort!!! and even then I have to ask myself…“Should I SHOOT?”
To be clear, I did not say this:
It was a quote from someone else that I referred to. However, it does sound like he was waiting for the man to get to his car. It doesn’t sound like he was trying to escape or avoid the man at all. There was no mention of him trying to drive away or get away from the man with the flashlight.
If he was concerned for his safety, he had plenty of options to get out of the situation. That’s one of the biggest things we train - if you’re not there you can’t be attacked. So if you can avoid the situation, avoid it. By being situationally aware we can avoid having to defend ourselves. Not getting into a confrontation is the best way to stay safe. And it sounds like he had ample opportunity to avoid the situation.
I didn’t read anything about the guy with the flashlight burglarizing anyone’s vehicles. He might have been thinking about it, or not. Maybe he thought one of his neighbors borrowed something from him and was looking for it? We don’t know.
What we do know is that the guy who was in the car had the opportunity to leave the situation and didn’t.
What would you have done in this situation?
Would you have stayed quite in your car? Drove away? Went in the house? Laid on the horn? Called the police and describe the guy?
Driven up the block, turned around, and turned on all the lights, while I called 911, and laid on the horn. Criminals don’t like the attention
How do you know that he didn’t feel the need to arm himself to make it safely to his house?
How do you ever know when someone feels threatened?
Media reports are no more accurate than what you read on the Internet!
I don’t know what he was feeling, @Glenn24 and I cannot 100% say what I would have done in the situation. However, I do know that if I see a way to get away from a possible dangerous situation safely, I will do my best to get away so I can get home safely to my family. I will not wait for the possible dangerous situation to come down the street to me on foot if I’m in a car and can drive away.
What would you have done in this situation, @Glenn24?
I don’t know that it matters if WE read anything into it or not. What will happen when the prosecutor tries to convince people on the jury that he had ‘laid in wait’?
That’s really all that matters, isn’t it? How will he prove he didn’t?