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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had trouble deciding if this should go in the Legal section or this section, so here goes ....

I was talking with a guy at work the other day about CCW's and such, and he told me that he was planning on carrying a revolver in an ankle rig. I thought that sounded like a safe, reliable, form of carry. Then he tells me that he doesn't want to leave any brass behind. What?!?! I question him about his intent, since I think he's a decent person and not one to cause trouble. He explains to me that even if he has had to use deadly force for defensive purposes only that he doesn't want to stick around. He believes that too many law enforcement officers twist the facts and can come up with a story which can still get you in trouble. Yeah, we've all heard horror stories like that, but how often does that really happen? I agree with him that maybe if a fellow officer is involved in a shooting that the facts may get twisted to limit the liability to the department and parties involved.

So, I wanted to get your thoughts on this approach. Is it better to take your chances getting caught after leaving the scene, than to risk having to defend yourself after having the facts twisted?

My take is that it's better to remain at/near the scene and help the authorities piece together the puzzle.
 

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"Is it better to take your chances getting caught after leaving the scene, than to risk having to defend yourself after having the facts twisted?"

Definitely not.
In the eyes of anyone who later reviews the case, either flight or a stated premeditated intent to avoid being identified by "not leaving any brass at the scene of any shooting" will definitely prejudice police, magistrates and jurors to believe in your guilt and to possibly indict you on a higher charge than would have otherwise been levied.
 

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SAWBONES is absolutely right. In the eyes of the law, flight=guilt. The idea is that if one believed they acted legally, why would they flee? One could argue that they were frightened and panic set in, but this is a real uphill fight for a defense attorney. Also, your friend's prior statement would, if discovered, rebut the fright/panic argument.

Also, once one flees, they lose all credibility with the police, who will then seriously doubt anything that your friend might have to say, even if the shooting was justified. That poses a much greater risk than being "framed".

In any self defense shooting, it is essential to tell the truth. The chances are that lies will be discovered. If one has any doubts about whether a shooting is justified, it is best to assert one's Fifth Amendment right, and let a lawyer do the talking. Some would say that one should limit their statement to a simple "It was me or him" or "He was going to kill me", and leave the rest to a lawyer.
 

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Only a fool or a guilty man would flee. Most of the time, its a combination of the two. Your co-worker is an idiot.
 

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Ayoob addressed this mentality in a recent article about a NY stockbroker who shot a mugger in a completely justified incident, but was convicted and went to the pen because he fled the scene. I don't remember the case name offhand, but it was back in the late '80s...
 

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Oh, I see. You're going to stand around in hostile territory, staring into space, reading the copy of Playboy you picked up at the store, while waiting for the police to arrive. Good idea. Though it does raise a question: why'd you bother to defend yourself in the first place?
 

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TRB said:
Oh, I see. You're going to stand around in hostile territory, staring into space, reading the copy of Playboy you picked up at the store, while waiting for the police to arrive. Good idea. Though it does raise a question: why'd you bother to defend yourself in the first place?
Retreating to a safe location if you are still in danger while contacting authorities is not the same thing as fleeing the scene and trying to avoid contact with the police.

Dont try to muddy the water with meaningless BS.
 

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TRB said:
Oh, I see. You're going to stand around in hostile territory, staring into space, reading the copy of Playboy you picked up at the store, while waiting for the police to arrive. Good idea. Though it does raise a question: why'd you bother to defend yourself in the first place?
I don't recall anyone saying that. And you really don't either.
 

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For starters; unless it is impossible to do so - you'd better call an ambulance as well as the police as sson as possible. Secondly, unless you can come up with a good reason a grand jury will buy - it might be prudent to at least attempt to render some first aid to your charge if he or she is still alive but in an obvious state of decline. A third, and by no means last, reason not to leave the scene is to preserve all the evidence. This is especially important if there are other badguys still around and on their feet, or it is simply in an area where other third parties might alter the scene or physical evidence.
 

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LAK said:
For starters; unless it is impossible to do so - you'd better call an ambulance as well as the police as sson as possible. Secondly, unless you can come up with a good reason a grand jury will buy - it might be prudent to at least attempt to render some first aid to your charge if he or she is still alive but in an obvious state of decline.
Not sure if I would get down and give mouth-to-mouth to someone who just attacked me and tried to kill me. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
whoa there - I didn't say he was a friend, just a co-worker. Thanks for the thoughts. I agree that it is a bad idea to leave the scene. I'll take my chances with the legal system over what the legal system might think if I did leave the scene. The other problem I have with leaving the scene after using deadly force is how can you be so sure someone didn't see you or that the perp doesn't get killed and can testify that you tried to kill them!
 

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"... you'd better call an ambulance as well as the police as soon as possible. "

Agreed. This is reasonable and humanitarian.

"...it might be prudent to at least attempt to render some first aid to your charge if he or she is still alive but in an obvious state of decline."

No obligation to do that, and might be dangerous. This person just attempted to do you grave bodily harm. Even as a physician myself, I wouldn't attempt to personally render medical aid in this circumstance unless my perception was that I was not placing myself at further direct risk.

Best.
 

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If you attempt to render first aid, you could also risk liability if something you do goes wrong, and the BG dies, or is further injured by your help. In such a case, you would have to rely on your state's Good Samaritan statutes as a defense. Yes, I agree, this is totally ridiculous, but if you are sued for shooting the BG, his lawyer would probably throw this in as well. Besides, very few of us know enough emergency medicine to do much good, and as SAWBONES noted, you really don't want to expose yourself to the BG's bloodborne pathogens, particularly when you don't have the proper equipment to protect you.
 

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Secondly, unless you can come up with a good reason a grand jury will buy - it might be prudent to at least attempt to render some first aid to your charge if he or she is still alive but in an obvious state of decline.
Even firefighters & paramedics won't attempt to provide first aid to someone that violent until they are restrained and the scene is secure. Around here, they won't even enter the area until the police have things under control. This is for their safety. Why would you risk your safety (again) by getting that close to someone who's already demonstrated their homicidal intent?

One of the first steps taken by anyone providing medical aid is to have the subject lie down. This reduces the effects of shock and lets their blood pressure stabilize. It's not uncommon for gunshot victims to get shot, fall down, recover somewhat and decide to get back into the fight.

Stay at the scene (unless it is unsafe for you to do so) and call 911 to summon the police for yourself and medical aid for the suspect. Don't approach the suspect and don't alter the scene in any way. Try not to let anyone else alter the scene, but if they do, make a note of who did what so you can give that info to investigators.

Cops are not generally inclined to invent charges and alter evidence to frame innocent people. Chances are the guy who attacked you is someone we've dealt with more than once. We'd much rather see the right folks go to jail. You'd be surprised at how many cops are glad to see honest citizens defend themselves.
 

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That old adage about "just shoot, shovel, and shut up!" is from a LONG time ago, in a land with a LOT less laws and so-called civilized places, ain't it? ;)
 

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Brian Dover said:
That old adage about "just shoot, shovel, and shut up!" is from a LONG time ago, in a land with a LOT less laws and so-called civilized places, ain't it? ;)
That and almost no forensic science. Some of the things people have been convicted of murder like soil analysis or fiber evidence is so insubstantial that its amazing they can even get convictions. And just because they dont have the technology to catch a murderer in a certain way now doesnt mean they wont have it in 15-20 years. See the Green River Killer for example.
 

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To those who commented..

I did not suggest giving first aid to someone who was still a potential danger or actively aggressive.

The reasoning behind rendering first aid is that it is humanitarian - and secondly, regardless of the fact that deadly force by it's nature can result in death, the defensive intention is generally expressed as something less than that. Deadly force is generally defined as ".... likely to cause death or serious bodily harm". This is aside from instances where (for example a headshot) inflicting what will almost certainly be death might be supportable and warranted.

Personally were I in a position to, and made the decision to, render aid the idea of any "liability" in the absence of a paramedical crew would not phase me at all. It is far more likely to affect the decision of a Grand Jury in my favor. You can not count on your charge being the only witness against you (if they live). A story may be concocted against you claiming reversed roles in the incident. Being on the receiving end of such an accusation anything that conclusively demonstrates your intentions before during and after the fact is going to be very valuable.
 
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LAK said:
To those who commented..

I did not suggest giving first aid to someone who was still a potential danger or actively aggressive.

The reasoning behind rendering first aid is that it is humanitarian - and secondly, regardless of the fact that deadly force by it's nature can result in death, the defensive intention is generally expressed as something less than that. Deadly force is generally defined as ".... likely to cause death or serious bodily harm". This is aside from instances where (for example a headshot) inflicting what will almost certainly be death might be supportable and warranted.

Personally were I in a position to, and made the decision to, render aid the idea of any "liability" in the absence of a paramedical crew would not phase me at all. It is far more likely to affect the decision of a Grand Jury in my favor. You can not count on your charge being the only witness against you (if they live). A story may be concocted against you claiming reversed roles in the incident. Being on the receiving end of such an accusation anything that conclusively demonstrates your intentions before during and after the fact is going to be very valuable.
Only provide first aid if you are qualified to do so. Pesonally I am not qualified, secondly if the person was a threat I am not approaching. (PERIOD) He might be playing possum!!!! Call 911 and let the Police and the Paramedics take it from there.
 
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