Do Not Shoot a Retreating Assailant

The first part of the article, he allegedly assaulted Her, Stabbed a guy, she shoots him as he Runs Off and gets arrested. I’d like to be on that jury.


Damn it! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
I’d like to tell, he got what he was asking for… but that would be when emotions took over rationality. :zipper_mouth_face:

There is still not enough details for proper judgment, but how many times we have discussed that we don’t shoot assailants when they flee off. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:


Kind of like thoughts in the thread on shooting looters.

The gist of these stories for perps is commit the crime, get it done quickly, within limits, and then retreat, and it’s all good for them, because the law abiding victims will abide by the law.

No return fire if the criminal is running away, no stopping a fleeing thief. Add to that the growing pressure for no high speed police chases. What could possibly go wrong (for the criminals)?


Yep. Common theme across USCAA topics: lethal force is only authorized to protect your life or the lives of others. Someone always wants to know “Why can’t I just shoot bad guys?” Those people are in the right place, there are plenty of people here who can explain why not.


It is definitely never good to shoot at or chase fleeing criminals. I know the adrenaline can start to rush in situations like this, and that is why it is important to have good emotional fitness too.


I think mental and emotional control are vital skills needed to prevent unwanted legal and moral outcomes. Though I believe prosecutors and jurors also need to understand that self defense situations are fast, fluid and messy. Even if the person defending themselves has perfect reflexes and instantaneous threat processing skills it still takes time to see that the threat has turned and confirm they are no longer a threat and not just repositioning to further their attack or still firing as they flee. Not even a perfectly trained and practiced person with super human skills can override the 1/3 second or so it takes for the signal your brain sent to pull the trigger when the target was still a threat. A lot can happen in a 1/3 second. Even more in the second or likely more it will take for the vast majority of humans who were being attacked to observe and process that they are no longer under imminent threat.

At some point a reasonable person should become aware that they are no longer under threat. But until it can be proven that point has been clearly exceeded the benefit of doubt should go to the person who was innocently minding there own business before being threatened by a criminal.


I too would like to be on that jury, but you still can’t shoot someone retreating. You are NOT in danger at that point.

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I am glad you brought that up as that is what does happen in real life. Monday mornings always makes for perfect outcomes. There was a case many years ago in Richmond where a career felon robbed an ice cream shop. He pointed a firearm (turned out to be a bb or pellet gun) at the clerks and forced them into the freezer before he left. One of them, as the felon was leaving the store, gave chase, shooting him in the back as the felon was fleeing down the street. The grand jury did not indict and he was freed. Apparently when there are too many crimes like that, the citizenry begins to view the criminals as the predators, not victims, and themselves as the prey.


I would like to define “fleeing” exactly. Does the perp have to turn his or her back toward the victim? Does the perp have to be moving away from victim at a certain velocity? Here is a couple of examples to consider.

Michael Drejka -the attacker took a step back from him, still facing him. While there were other issues that resulted in murder conviction, shooting a retreating man had been mentioned (although a single step “retreat” could be preparing for a fatal kick)

BJ Baldwin -an attacker was fleeing AND shooting at the two victims. Mr.Baldwin was found justified in self-defense.


There is no fixed definition. Each situation can have a different definition, based on the moment of shooting.
Each incident is divided into time chunks and investigated separately.

As you mentioned - shooting somebody at the chest may not be justified and shooting somebody in his back can be justified. All depends on the single moment in time.


And potentially the decisions of LEOs, prosecutors and jurors who unfortunately may not be presented with a clear view of the circumstances that lead to and the events that occurred in that moment.


That is the true.
But if we, as shooters do everything in accordance with the Law we have more chances to justify our actions.


Good luck, even when one does, ala Rittenhouse, you will still go through the meatgrinder.


Perhaps you should look wider, not bringing tough cases only into our attention.
There are dozens cases when shooter goes free without single charge after good / proper shot.

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I am sure Rittenhouse did not expect what happened to him, either. As I stated, good luck.

So you’d better stay home, because you may be charged everywhere for everything.

I don’t need good luck from you, I have a happy and lucky life already… and it will stay this way for sure.
I’ll be still living with the Law, not thinking who is a DA, who is Governor, who is the President.

Smart, good thinking helps to deal with people who may not be your friends.

Just remember: Do Not Shoot a Retreating Assailant :+1:

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No, you do not. Good luck to the rest of us that are not omniscient. The rest of us know that if in the rare event we ever need to use our firearm, we are subject to the political agenda of the police and prosecutor.


Does your World contain anything more than politics?
Why you cannot accept others’ opinions and thoughts?
Does anyone who gets knowledge or experience need to be humiliated by you?
Are you jealous about me posting more that you?

There is no single person at this Community that is omniscient. We all share our knowledge, experience, opinions. We all learn from other’s knowledge, experience, opinions.
There is no need for hate.
Just stop dividing people at this Community and force them to think like you. Perhaps your World is Red and Blue… but there are millions of other colors we would like to enjoy.

If you don’t want to be a subject to the political agenda of the police and prosecutor, remember this:
Do Not Shoot a Retreating Assailant

As opposed to seeking out a situation that is expected to be literally lawless and out of control and exceptionally dangerous, to the point of taking a rifle with you and expecting to need to render first aid, over property that isn’t even yours?

That might be a good time to practice avoidance by staying home, absolutely…if you don’t want to be in a situation where you are lucky to be alive.


Of course “staying a home idea” is exaggerated.
As you have posted - common sense, awareness, avoidance and deescalation - these are the keys for safe life.

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