Ex-boyfriend Gets Shot in Leg Trying to Break Into Apartment

Ex-boyfriend Gets Shot in Leg Trying to Break Into Apartment

A 19-year-old woman’s ex-boyfriend tried to break into her Mt. Oliver, PA apartment about 8:30 AM after he damaged her car. He was met in the apartment by another male who shot him in the leg. The ex drove off but was later found by police and taken to a hospital in fair condition.

The other male who fired the shot was taken into custody and questioned by police. The young lady is also cooperating with the police.

The question raised in these kinds of cases is, “was the use of deadly force justified?” The universal answer to pretty much any legal question is “It depends” on the totality of the circumstances surrounding the incident.

There was no mention that the intruder had any kind of weapon. It does appear that he forcibly broke into the apartment. That act alone in many states, but not all, grants the occupants the legal presumption of being in fear of death or great bodily harm, but that does not automatically mean that they are justified in shooting the intruder. However, the male that fired the shot was a guest in the apartment and not the legal resident, so that presumption may not apply to him, only the female resident.

Many times concealed carry students ask the question about when is it Ok to shoot someone or perhaps when are they legally justified in using deadly force? Valid questions to be sure, and it’s imperative that we all know the law regarding the use of force in self-defense, but the real question should be not can I shoot but rather do I have to.

The male guest is now caught up in the criminal justice system. We don’t yet know how that will turn out, but it’s a place to be avoided unless we have no other options.

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Mark Ehlen is a USCCA certified firearms instructor, a MN DNR Firearms Safety instructor, high school trap shooting coach and a writer. As one of his uncles ran Federal Cartridge Corp for many years and his father retired from there, firearms and ammo are second nature to him. His firearms instruction is aimed at helping new shooters have a positive experience as well as understanding the practical and legal side of concealed carry. Mark can be reached at Marksmanship Firearms Training.
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Given that it is PA and NOT in Philly or Pitts (though it happened just outside of Pitts) it’s unlikely the shooter will actually be charged (unless there are other circumstances that we aren’t aware of) – The article state he “tried to break in” and then was “met by another male IN the apartment” – did the other male invite him in? Did he (or the female who lived there) go to the door to see what the noise was about or tell the ex he needed to leave at which point the ex pushed his way in? If invited inside it would be more difficult to justify the shooting, if he pushed his way in, then not so difficult.

Last edited 5 months ago by Bobo