Duty to render aid?

I see many people making claims that you have a duty to render aid and that failure to do so can be used against you.

This video from USCCA posted on Facebook clearly contradicts that, Kevin states you have no moral duty to render aid and gives good reason why.

Thoughts?

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I’m with Kevin on this one. I don’t know if the attacker has friends waiting for me to attempt to render aid or if the attacker is playing opossum. That person just tried to kill me, I don’t trust them. I will definitely request an ambulance when I call 911, but I won’t render aid.

Even first responders will not enter a scene that is unsafe, they may have to wait for the police to secure the attacker before they can render first aid.

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I agree. Scene safety is drilled into medical first responders more so than LEOs. After all, LEOs are trained to run into unsafe conditions.

My only obligation is to the safety of me and the innocents around me.

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The laying in wait to ambush rescuers is not a new concept. Not only is it a means to take more people down, it is a means to use up resources that could otherwise hinder the bad guys (enemies) in completing their escape (mission). This is a well known (for some of us) military tactic.

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Not only could there be more people laying in wait, but I always thought about what could happen if you try to render aid and the person you shot has Hepititis, HIV, AIDS, or some other disease? Now you’re in a legal fight, and a life long medical fight.

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Good point @James … you don’t know anything about them… except that they’ve been making some questionable life choices… not a good sign.

I also worry… what if you try to render aid and they die anyway… one more way to spin your intent and give family a reason to go after you civilly. Good samaritan laws should protect you, but do they if you’re the one who shot them?

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Missouri has strange laws in this area. If you are not a medically trained person and you cause further injury or make an injury worse you are open to civil liability. For that reason alone, I just call 911 and wait. I used to live in Montana where it is a crime if you dont render aid to an accident victim ( I assume that would zpp6to someone you just shot too). My thinking is to know the law in your area.

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The police do not LEGALLY have to render aid, in most cases.

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@chris If you watch video of police-involved shootings, it looks like very often they don’t try, sometimes for minutes… they just move about the scene letting them continue to bleed.
I find it pretty disturbing to watch.
I’m sure there’s protocol. And certainly the videos that go viral might not represent the LEO as a whole very well, but it seems to show up a lot.
Watching them just milling about after kicking a weapon away or cuffing the person and letting them bleed out is the stuff my nightmares are made of.

@Zee. Recent supreme court ruling is actually on the side of police in such situations or immediate harm.
Now, most all sacrifice and give 200%, but the public outcry in a case of inaction would be unbelievable. The biggest problem is people think police are obligated to help and that’s not the case.

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My two cents is if the unavoidable happens and you are forced to down a threat in your house or on the street if you have a CCW, follow the USCCA procedure, but when you call 911 operator, request medical help for the threat that is down, but don’t touch the person. I’m sure in the eyes of the law that will also look good…

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Are they looking for other threats or securing the scene?

I know if I ever have to shoot someone to defend myself the aftermath will be horrific. I ran over a squirrel this morning on the way to work (felt the bump, heard the crunch) and almost cried. :cry: I cannot imagine how horrific it would be to pull the trigger against someone else - even if they’re trying to kill me or my children.

I also believe that if I do have to shoot someone I will be torn about rendering aid as I am a compassionate person. However, I also want to preserve my life and know trying to render aid may cause me a bigger threat.

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In the videos I’m thinking of they are definitely not securing the scene or looking for other bad actors - they are walking around, talking to other officers, clustered around the squad cars or walking back and forth past the person bleeding out on the ground. In one I remember they had handcuffed him and then were standing 6 feet away in a group, periodically one would walk across the street, or go over and look at the guy then go back to the group. :unamused: I actually don’t remember what was said about why the guy was shot, if he was fleeing or attacking or what, but the milling about after and not doing anything to assist blazed a pretty clear mark on my brain.

I get it about the torn as to help or don’t-help if you’ve been attacked and shot your attacker in self defense. I think as long as the adrenaline is burning, I’d probably be pretty clear about what needed to be done, or not done… if the LEO response takes a while, and in the country where we are it could, and the adrenaline wears off, I don’t know how I’d feel.

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If they were all standing around, that’s pretty horrible. The police see the worst in people all of the time, I can only imagine why they would let someone bleed like that.

Continuing to protect yourself is key when it comes to the immediate aftermath of a physical self-defense incident, IMO.

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In all of the tactical defense courses that I have been involved in, once the initial threat has been neutralized, you clear/secure the scene by first making sure friendlies are safe. Then evaluate your position and the surrounding area. You need to understand that your adrenaline has been running extremely high and you need to be rationalize (as best you can) about your next move. By this time the authorities should have already been called, so if there is ANY doubt, hold your ground and wait. I would not endanger myself or anyone else by thinking I am doing the moral thing by giving first aid to the bad guy.

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We not only have no moral duty, we have no legal duty to render aid to someone we’ve shot in lawful self defense.

Lawful self defense is not an accident and any attempt to treat them could make you subject to criminal charges for tampering with evidence and open you up to a massive civil suit as well.

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First on the list after determining the subject is no longer a threat is to secure their weapon if they are armed. This ensures nobody can pick it up and use it on you or anyone else and preserves evidence for arriving investigators.

The last thing you’d want to do other than have a “dead bad guy” pick his weapon up and use it on you or someone else would be for that weapon to disappear from the scene.

Do what you can to preserve DNA and fingerprint evidence but make sure you secure it one way or another.

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First Rule of Rescue-“Don’t Become a Victim!”.

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Unless you’re kicking it away from them laying prone on the ground, I would not touch their weapon. Even then, You should know exactly where it was before it was moved.

Massad Ayoob suggests having them face down, arms and legs splayed out, palms toward the sky and face turned away from you and their weapon. And you keep your firearm aimed at them until the police arrive. That way, any movement is easily seen by you as you wait for the police.

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Yeah, going with @Dawn on this. I might go as far as putting a foot on it if I was feeling it was safe to remain there and it was sufficient far from the bad guy (and if it wasn’t, kicking it away would need to happen first). Anything else looks like tampering with evidence at a crime scene and that’s a crime I don’t want to give them a chance to come after me with.