The Aftermath: Relationships Complicate Things

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.

An off-duty Customs and Border Protection officer was visiting a woman in Laredo, Texas, who received multiple text messages and a phone call from her estranged husband. The woman told her husband to leave her alone, but he arrived at her location and kicked in the door. He then attacked the officer and assaulted the woman when she intervened. The husband injured the officer’s left hand before throwing the officer to the floor and striking him multiple times in the head. The officer drew his weapon because he feared losing consciousness and having his firearm taken. He ordered the estranged husband back and fired one round only when the man advanced again. The attacker died. The officer was arrested. A grand jury refused to indict.

What did this person do right? What would you do differently?


If he had time get the woman to a safe location. Identifying him self as an officer. Ordering the man to leave.


Given this was a ‘real-life’ incident and not a hypothetical, I don’t know that I would have done anything different other than not allow him to punch on me so much. As for the defense of the woman, he couldn’t have known what was really going on with them, so his concerns were right, as stated.


Clear cut self defense. That’s why the grand jury refused to indict. The story (report) says it all. :man_shrugging:


There are no details about what actually happened at the house other than he attacked the officer and assaulted the woman.
I would be hoping to not got injured, but once it happened and with all the circumstances described, nothing more than using deadly force for self defense could be done.
Fully justified shooing and great example of proper self defense action.


Definitely this :point_up:t4:

Also, i would have the woman call 911 as soon as ex kicked in the door—with clear instructions to relay info that I’m armed.