Time and time again, we read stories about people in self-defense encounters firing warning shots. And every time we report on these, we state that it is never a good idea to fire warning shots. And this is precisely why.
A 26-year-old man got into a confrontation with a 22-year-old man on May 13, 2020, over a woman they had both dated. Reports state that the 22-year-old instigated the fight, punched the other man in the head, and swung at him repeatedly. The 26-year-old then shot the other man claiming self-defense. But then he fired three more “warning shots” as the wounded man attempted to flee the scene. There were also at least two pedestrians in the direction the man was running.
The man who shot the other man was acquitted of murder and felonious assault for the death. But he was then convicted of another count of felonious assault for firing those three extra shots. He will spend nine to 12 years in prison for firing those three extra shots.
We often report on people firing warning shots, but they aren’t arrested or convicted. But you should never fire warning shots. Last week, a homeowner fired warning shots at an intruder before shooting him. He wasn’t arrested for it, but that still doesn’t mean it is a good idea.