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?

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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I would have told her to call 911 as I confront the guy coming through the door with gun drawn identify myself that I am armed. Telling him to go to his knees, and not to move. The next step is going to happen fast, and you better be prepared to do what you have to do. If he does not comply with your orders, and advances toward me, I would have shot. If it all possible, you never let the aggressor get to you.

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First I wouldn’t get mixed up in someone else’s marriage problems and second, Where or how did the officer meet this woman with the troubled existence?

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Hello and welcome @Tim204 and @Tom176

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Some situations one cannot but simply react to protect life. Give quick demands and stand your ground.

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Hello and welcome @Jeff252

The officer was invited to the home by the lady which says that he didn’t go in there with his gun drawed but he has the right to protect his life

Do not get involved with women that have marriage issues.

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Hello and welcome @Stephen263 and @Gary461

I’m going to bring some real to this conversation.
Until an individual is in that or any situation I don’t believe that anyone knows what exactly they WILL do.

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There are more than a few unknowns in this case such as was the woman an acquantance, a friend or something more which in the eyes of the attacker could make a big difference. It was said the man wouldn’t leave the woman alone which, in and of itself, isn’t enough to dial 911. The question posed to us is what we might have done differently (and not with 20/20 hindsight). In talking with a “friend” whose husband “won’t leave them alone”, I’d ask if she felt threatened, and if so, is there a friend or relative she could stay with until a restraining order could be put in place. Discuss with her the possibility of having a gun for self defense. As this conversation is going on, the door gets kicked in by the soon-to-be-corpse. No one kicks in a door to have a polite conversation, they are already violent, I would have drawn and shot to stop the threat.

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Frankly, I’m trying to understand why the officer was arrested in the first place. I suppose the arresting officers were only doing this to ensure that some investigation occurred post incident. The circumstances, I’m sure, appeared obvious at the time. The officer was severely beaten, according to the story. Only one shot was fired. There was obviously history of harassment by the ex-husband. Nothing here points to an actual crime being committed.

I hope I would have her call 911 and had my weapon drawn right after the forced entry … but until one has been in that situation , it’s hard to say how one would react … but i am speaking for myself …

I would have had a sheriff deputy meet me on site before getting that involved. ???

Based on this statement!!

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

This was a complete setup by the estranged Wife!! She used the Off-duty Customs and Boarder Protection Officer, as leverage against her Husband. The Wife used her Jezebel talents and played both male parties against each other. This form of extramarital control caused a Husband to engage in a negative manner, and an Officer of the Law to be placed in a disturbance that he should have never been involved in!!! I’m curious to know if the home that the Wife was residing in, is the home both parties reside in? If the Husband, was that big of a threat!! Why didn’t the Wife utilize the 911 state your emergency call!! If there’s past or present concerns within there marriage!! Why wasn’t there a retraining order issued between both parties. I can’t say this loud enough!! If You’re in a relationship, marriage where there’s a Person seeking additional outside attention!!! It’s not worth damaging your life, dealing with an Attention Deficit Disorder Person!! Get out of the Marriage, Relationship, and build a Greater YOU!!!