A 26-year-old Dallas man was walking through a parking garage when he was approached by two suspects who intended to rob him. The confrontation got physical, and one of the suspects shot the victim. As one of the suspects ran toward a vehicle, the victim drew his own gun and fired toward the suspect.
He apparently got into the vehicle, but as it approached the garage exit, the front passenger was let out of the car and was soon picked up by police. That 23-year-old man had been shot and was taken to a hospital, as was the victim of the robbery.
The extent of both men’s injuries is unknown, and three other accomplices are thought to be at large.
Parking garages are a great place to be ambushed by criminals. The best defense is not to allow anyone to approach you, but there are usually so many hiding places that can be tough to do.
Since this victim had been shot, a deadly force response would normally be justified. But where it is possible he could get into legal trouble was the fact that he shot his attacker as he was running to escape in a vehicle. Presumably, though not reported, he likely shot his attacker in the back. That in and of itself is not always unjustified, but in this case, it would be evidence that his attacker was leaving the scene.
At issue could be the legal element of imminence. While facing the suspect’s gun and ultimately being shot during the robbery, the window of imminence would be wide open as the suspect would be clearly defending himself against a deadly threat that is occurring at that moment. But what about when the suspect is fleeing the scene? Is he posing a deadly threat at that point? Could it be argued by a prosecutor that he shot the suspect out of revenge rather than self-defense?
Can you see how what looks like a totally justified shooting to the average person could actually be grounds for charges depending on how a prosecutor may choose to look at it?
It can’t be emphasized enough that the legal gun owners must know the laws regarding self-defense just as well as know how to handle their self-defense weapon properly.