Young Teen Trying To End Domestic Assault Shoots Both Parents

Young Teen Trying To End Domestic Assault Shoots Both Parents

This one is a real heartbreaker. A 13-year-old boy in St. Louis witnessed his father trying to strangle his mother during an argument when he obtained a firearm in the home and attempted to stop the attack by shooting his father. He succeeded in ending the attack but regrettably also shot his mother in the process.

The father was taken to a hospital in critical condition. His mother made it there in stable condition.

The young man was arrested. His case will go to a juvenile court.

This is obviously a tragic situation and, if I may speculate a bit, probably not the first time this young man had to witness a fight between his parents. Usually, domestic dispute situations don’t start with attempted strangulation.

From a legal standpoint (remember that I’m not a lawyer), the usual self-defense rules should apply. It is legal to come to the aid of another facing a deadly force threat. So, could the father’s attack reasonably be considered an imminent deadly force threat? Was the mother innocent (enough?) to be justified in using deadly force in her own defense? Did the mother have a reasonable way to retreat from the attack?

If the evidence shows that the son’s actions were reasonable given the circumstances, his use of deadly force against his father should be justified. This may largely depend on the mother’s testimony of the incident. Will she make excuses for the father (you know that whole co-dependent thing) or be grateful for the son’s help?

Some may argue that the son shouldn’t have had access to a firearm in the first place, but many that age in more rural parts of the country have their own firearms that they use for hunting and pest control or just for plinking fun, so that question would have to be answered by the son’s level of maturity and his training and experience with the gun he used. The report didn’t say what type of firearm was used.

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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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