Welcome to Aftermath, a portion of our First Line email newsletter where Attorney Anthony L. DeWitt walks you through a real-life self-defense incident and shares his key takeaways.
No Match for Mama
A Las Vegas teenager is alive because of her mother and a loaded gun. While babysitting her nephew, the teenager’s father flew off the handle during an argument and began strangling her. The mother tried to intervene but could not get the father to stop. When the fight with their attacker turned physical, the mother had to shoot to defend her life and the life of her daughter. Detectives determined she acted in self-defense. The nephew was unharmed.
What did the mother in this incident do right? Would you have done something different?
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The Mother acted appropriately. She first tried to stop the attacker physically which is defense of a innocent 3rd person. Then apparently the attacker escalated his attack by attacking her which is definitely self-defense, and I would also say deadly force in defense of a innocent 3rd person. I absolutely think this Mother has good and proper training in the use of a firearm and the local law and statutes of the State that this incident happened in.
As a former Corrections Officer in a maximum security prison for the state of Texas, I’ve had special training. In the mother’s place, I would not have shot the father in the head. Wound first, kill second in this case. If wounding the father would not stop the attack on his daughter, then deadly force would be the next step to save the daughter’s life. Just my take on this incident.
We don’t know details, but I doubt that was a “precision” shot. In close quarter situation it may be the only target to take a good shot at.
Anyway, as @Figmo1968 mentioned - head is the last resort… unless it is the only option.
I always use pepper spray first and only shoot if this doesn’t work. The situation was deadly but not deadly enough that shooting was the first option. A stun gun could have also been used.
Wowzers… Anyone who claims to be a man and would cause physical or mental damage to a woman yet alone a young girl… Is no man!! And a harm to society to boot! Good job Momma Bear!
Life/Death situations are usually over in a Nanosecond , that said I have come to the conclusion I carry two types of defense tools: gun and cattle prod . Not being there I can’t make a call which tool I would have used. Thank God the girl and her mom are safe.
I carry a cane and it can put you down in 5 seconds or less with a nice flow of electricity.
This is a really nice job of Monday morning quarterbacking. I wonder just how many times Erik has been in a position of fighting someone a lot stronger and apparently crazy made, trying to choke his own daughter to death? Ever use pepper spray inside? I thought not. I have inadvertently released pepper spray on two occasions and it will incapacitate you as quickly as the perp used indoors.
Seems like she did everything right.
Like you said we don’t know much about what started this. It seems to me that this was not the first time that this (man?) had shown to be violent. She did what she knew she could do. When someone is being choked you don’t have a lot of time to waste.
I can think of several different actions that could have been taken to stop the situation. However, they all would have taken more time than the victim may have had. Waiting may have caused more serious damage to the daughter, or even death. I do not like second guessers, but, if I could not stop the attacker physically, I think her actions were justified. She acted as best she could in the situation, KL.
I think mama did right in her decision. Remember hindsight is always 20/20 and you have a lot longer to make a decision.
Big guy, little girl, head shot was probably the only “CLEAR” line of fire where the girl wasn’t in the plane of fire.
@Charles530 Welcome to the community, we are glad to have you here.
I actually have been in this situation. I have also purposely released pepper spray indoors and it is not hard to fight thru it. If you noticed I also mentioned a stun gun. I might not have even used pepper spray indoors as a stun gun is more effective in this situation.
The father was strangling his own daughter!?! I would say this invokes the old line of defense that was used in the early days of Texas…" He needed killin’ " Good job Mom!!
We are all here to give our opinions this is mind >> You can kill a person very easily by crashing there larynx and numerous other ways. Once physical contact is made all bets are off. The mother also wasted time before stopping the assailant with appropriate action that could have cost the victims life.
PS: what you don’t know can easily kill you in seconds.