Looking for deep dive information about aiding your attacker after self defense incident. Aside from the aspect of if the threat has been neutralized thoughts on this please
Need to be careful. A threat may be neutralized from 5 feet away, but could become a real threat again if you get within touching distance. If you watch a lot of police videos, you’ll see them pause before rendering aid. This isn’t because they want their suspects to bleed, it’s because they need to really secure the area and analyze the threat before moving in.
But if you can render aid safely, you should do so. First, because it’s the right thing to do. No one here wants to harm someone; we only do so to protect others. So it only makes ethical sense to assist someone who is no longer a threat. Second, it may be required where you live (check state and local laws). And if nothing else, it may persuade a jury that you were acting properly.
Good question. For last 15 years I’ve seen several controversial situations and my judgment is: call 911 and let them handle it.
I used to work in hospital in 1990’s and my first choice would be help the attacker if he was not a threat anymore.
Unfortunately US system showed me NOT TO DO this ! You can be sued because you tried to help. Nope, thank you. It’s wrong, against my mental rules, but lawful here.
Thanks good advice
That’s a good point. Don’t go beyond the limits of your own competence. I can try to stop the bleeding, but if someone is going into shock and I do the wrong thing, I can make matters worse.
The flip side is that you could potentially be sued if you could help but did nothing. So no matter what you do, you need to be able to explain it. Like the USCCA teaches, talk to an attorney first.
EDIT: If you’re the person who calls 911, know that your call is being recorded. Explain the current situation as best you can to the dispatcher and be prepared to follow instructions. If your call gets the police and EMTs on the scene, then you have rendered aid.
Wow, this is a great question. I am looking forward to some of the answers we’ll get here.
Part of me wants to save them, but the other part of me wants to ensure my safety. I don’t know if a perp has back-up on the way, or if he has a weapon still available.
The good thing is most people I’ve seen shot in a home invasion run away (on the bad side it’s also what leads to some of them dying, when they could have lived by staying put and putting pressure on the wound.
I never want to shoot anyone, but if I’ve shot you to protect myself and my family, you were a serious threat, and I’m more concerned about my family than the assailant. If I had shot someone, I probably would stay out until help arrived rather than jump the gun to help.
Not because I want them to die, but because I know I’m safe from my current location, and I’m not leaving it until help arrives.
Maybe, if it’s possible I could throw a towel or some cloth over without moving position so they can put pressure on the wound.
Sorry for the rambling, thinking through a good question!
Wouldn’t the 911 operator be able to advise on the legality of your medical aid?
Ha ha… we think alike. Your reply went in at the same time as my edit.
The 911 dispatcher won’t give legal advice, but following the dispatchers instructions could demonstrate your good faith efforts.
Sure but what if you asked the dispatcher if you should help medically…what do you think they would say?
This is a great question and the answer can be hard for a lot of us to do. We’re protectors and defenders and don’t want to see anyone lose their life.
When we’ve had to shoot in self-defense, we do not know how many attackers there may be. Was the person who was shot the only attacker? We do not know. Are they truly injured or are they playing “opossum”?
While many states do have good Samaritan laws to help protect someone from assisting an injured person, how will a jury know that we were trying to help and not further hurt or even “kill” the attacker when we render “first aid”?
What do medical responders do when arriving at a scene that has not been secured? They wait for the police to secure the scene before rendering aid.
After you’ve had to shoot to defend your life, call 911 and request police and medical assistance. Be sure to describe what you are wearing so the police might know what you look like and that you were the victim who defended themself. Watch the attacker who is down for any signs of playing opossum and watch your surroundings. Asking for an ambulance is the safest way you can render aid to an attacker.
When I was in Boy Scouts, I was pretty expert at the kind of First Aid we might need to use on a hike or camping trip. These days, I know the location of the nearest bandages and emergency room. I would not attempt to assist someone who is injured. I wouldn’t know what to do without making it worse.
If myself, or my family, is being attacked and I am forced to defend with deadly force, the best I can do for ‘em is request an ambulance to get there as fast as they can. The safety of my family and myself is top priority.
don’t even try to ask… it gets you into more troubles…
Excellent points thanks
The first aid tips I was taught back in my Boy Scout days are now highly discouraged.
Heck, even the life saving techniques I was taught 10 years ago have been replaced. Every time I get new training, they tell me to forget what I was told the last time.
I think this speaks to what @Jerzy mentioned about getting sued. You might do everything right based on what you were taught, but unless you’re getting the most up-to-date training like EMTs and paramedics do, you could be doing more harm than good without even knowing it.
Good point…I was an emt…but that was in 2000. And I can see where someone could say you were trying to do more harm. Sad but true in today’s world
Lots of good discussions on uscca. That’s what’s great about this organization
The 800lb gorilla in the room that nobody want’s to talk about is that in the effort to stop the attack we have stopped the attacker (read into that what you may). Part of my defensive strategy in a shooting situation is to break contact and get safe. Safe means I am in a position to protect myself from additional threats and ensure my attacker is not going to attack me again. It also means that NOW I can call 911 and report the situation, location, crowds, give descriptions and all those other things we hope to be able to do in the comfort of our keyboards. Reality is rarely what we envision in a worst case scenario.
In general if I were to approach a shooting victim (mine or someone else’s) to render aid I want to protect myself FIRST. I don’t carry hand cuffs or zip ties in my walking around clothes and it is generally frowned upon if you do. So what do you do? IMHO the call to 911 is your best bet EVEN and ESPECIALLY if you are medically trained.
The first rule of First Aid is: SCENE SAFE - Don’t become a victim/part of the problem. That is defensible in court.
There are 10,000 what if scenarios that you can play out and 10,000 more if you think about it for a minute. The reality is if you do render aid you are now defenseless and at least 270* of your world is no longer being monitored for additional threats and you may or may not be able to deal with the threat at the end of your arms which is now also at the end of their arms.
I’m a trained trauma medic and though it may sound callous I have to agree with @Craig6. The scene has to be safe first. But for a scene I was involved in. I would have to provide security for that scene until law enforcement arrived.
Only place or time I could see this changing is at a mass shooting event. I would be willing to render aid there even if the scene wasn’t as safe as I would like it to be.