Should you shoot? Fight in the neighbor's yard

Things go bump in the night all of the time. But what happens when those bumps are a fight in your neighbor’s yard and someone might get killed?

After reading the scenario in the blog post, what do you do?

  • Call the police and watch
  • Call the police and step in
  • Call the police and go back to bed
  • Go back to bed

0 voters

What tips do you have for dealing with those unexpected middle-of-the-night situations?

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I have a question. Based on the scenario listed, after making the initial call to the police and before they escalated the fight, why wouldn’t one of the options be, yell out the window that the police are on the way?

In Kentucky, deadly force can be used in defense of self or defense of others. There was clearly a situation where one of the people was in imminent danger of serious injury or death, making it a possible deadly force encounter. The rest of the response would need to be based upon what actually happens next. We know the bat wielding assailant took a step at me. If he rushed me, I would seriously consider shooting. At the same time, I would want to try to re-position myself to eliminate any danger to whoever was behind him, may be a few steps back and to the left or right. And, I would absolutely comply with any orders from the police.

In Illinois, deadly force can be used to aid others. Now, I’ve seen this almost unfold. A neighbor, lost his temper over a dead puppy, because his daughter didn’t tie up their adult dog. The adult dog was an aggressive dog, that ultimately ended up destroyed by the county, after attacking the owners daughter. He proceeded to beat a van with a crowbar. On hearing the commotion, I watched form the window. Mind you this was in broad daylight. He then turned his attention to the daughter, and raised the crowbar. At this point, I had him in the sights of my .357, through my living room window. He through down the crowbar, and walked down the street. My thought was not leaving the safety of my home, and leaving my family exposed to a potential maniac. So, I would call the cops, then watch what was going on, from a window. What if there was another aggressor, and that is where the backlight came from?

I would have called 911 with an update that fight had escalated and one of the participants now had a weapon. I would then let operator know I had a permit and was going to help the one in danger. I would place operator on speakerphone and give description of self. I would ask operator to inform me of police arrival at scene. Then I would follow instructions received from law enforcement.

I have to agree with @MikeBKY here. At the point of decision presented I think I would back up a bit and move laterally, if possible in a direction which would make another swing at the guy on the ground more difficult. All while continuing to issue commands to step away and drop the bat. As long as he doesn’t swing the bat, I won’t shoot. If he winds up for another swing to the grounded man I might shoot, depending on the variables. If he advances in me I most likely will shoot, again depending on the variables.

In this situation I think it’s just about a given that you’ll be going down to the station. After I call the USCCA hotline, or course.

I would sit on the phone with 911 and be as good of a witness as I could.

Mean, cruel, heartless? Maybe. Let me ask you something. How many times have you watched Cops, where the jerk husband was beating his wife, then they were hugging and saying how much they love each other as he was being hauled off to jail?

From my window, I don’t know who these people are, who is good or goblin, and who started what with whom. No way in hell I am interjecting myself into that s storm of stuff. Now, if we are talking kids being beaten, or something I might actually be able to tell who is good or goblin, maybe.

My guns are to protect myself, friends and family. I am not saying I would never help anyone, but not in a situation I have no clue on who is in it, or how it started. You would, in my opinion, be interjecting yourself in a possible lethal encounter, with total unknowns.

In my thinking, this situation is exactly why we have the police. They have lights, radios, numbers, and are trained for this type of situation. I am not.

Slowly stepping to the side, and putting my flame suit on. :grinning:


No flames, @Fred_G. A perfectly reasonable response to the stated situation.

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Fred G. I agree with you. If your life is not in danger(or your family) then let the cops handle it and be a good witness.


@John150 How do you know the bat is the only weapon? How do you know the one in danger was not trying to stab the person with a bat 3 housed down the road?

Not putting you down at all. Just asking, as the situation was described initially as a nighttime disturbance you saw from a window. What I am thinking is as this scenario was described, we have no real idea how long this dispute has been going on, or what started it, or what has happened before we looked out the window.

And not putting down the police either, but I don’t want to be holding a gun if there is a fight in progress, and weapons are reported. When officer Friendly gets there, on a fight with weapons, they will most likely secure the armed folks first, and it might not be pretty. Again, not putting cops down, but they have a job to do, and they have no idea who is who.

That is why I am the guy in my house, or maybe on my porch, taking to 911 operator.

Just to preface, I really enjoy these types of thinking drills. We can sit in our comfortable chairs and opine on what the ‘best’ thing to do is, and nobody gets hurt. And sometimes we might learn a little from it.


I think to if you know them plays a factor as well. This is really tough because if it’s a neighbor vs a stranger, you feel the pull to help. If it’s neighbor vs neighbor, and you know both, you want to try to stop the fight and mediate. Two strangers, you just be a good witness period.

And in my response, I did not call my neighbor… 2 sets of eyes are better than one.

Me, my preference is to watch. My thoughts are what one wants to do. My thought is more if I go out do I cause the situation to escalate. Do you call 911 back because now a weapon has been brought into the fight? Do you ask eta of law enforcement? Too many factors. What if you ask eta of police and it’s 10 minutes, what then?

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I chose to watch and not step in because in the scenario it didn’t seem that I knew either individual. however I know all my neighbors and if I recognized one of the parties I would be much more likely to approach.

Why not let the fight continue so the cops can catch some of the bad guys?

@Frederick3, clarification please, not sure if your question is sincere, rhetorical, sarcastic, or something else all together?

@Frederick3, if it appears that there is an extreme risk of serious physical injury or death, and I can intervene in relative safety, I would intervene.

I’m serious! Let the fight continue and when the cops get there maybe they can find some of the people who they have been looking for.

I would think it depends on the severity of the fight and if it’s an even fight, @Frederick3. A fist fight with two evenly matched guys might be something to watch until the police get there. A huge disparity of force or weapons involved, not sure I’d let that go.

If there’s any way my family will be in danger, I’m going to intervene.