June 24, 2016

"Fearing ex-boyfriend, woman installs security system only to find him under her bed."

WaPo headline. Some text:
As the [ADT Security] technician finished up the installation of the system on Tuesday, around 3 p.m., the woman went into her bedroom to grab her cellphone. But the phone had vanished from where she’d left it. If there was a mystery to where it had gone, the reason was immediately — and alarmingly — apparent. A pair of feet poked out from underneath her bed....

The woman drew a gun, shot Gunter in his left foot and told the ADT installer to dial the police. WZTV reported that she demanded the now-wounded Gunter give her back her phone, which he tossed to the woman from beneath the bed. She kept him there, weapon trained, until the authorities arrived. Police say he admitted to breaking into the house, and stole the phone to prevent her from calling for help....
So a security system was a good idea, and it's good to have a phone (if you can find it) to call the police, but the gun was important. That said, I don't see why she had to shoot him.

111 comments:

Rusty said...

Wait.
She had a gun?
Those things are evil.
She's very lucky the gun didn't turn on her and shoot her instead.

Amichel said...

Why shoot him? She was well within her rights to KILL him, I think a bullet in the foot is getting off light.

Humperdink said...

AA: "That said, I don't see why she had to shoot him."

Quoting the artcicle: "He did not take the news lightly. “I will kill you, you stupid c— ........ A pair of feet poked out from underneath her bed. They were Gunter’s. That was when the woman thought she might die: It was his life or hers, as she would later tell WKRN News reporter Jessica Jaglois.

Let's see, he threatened to kill her previously. Could he have had a weapon under the bed? He is fortunate to be still breathing.

Darrell said...

The fact that the gun saved her will never be reported on any official form. That's how the Left controls the narrative.

Michael K said...

I just don't believe the story as the CDC and many other government agencies have told us that guns are NEVER used in self defense.

robother said...

Tough to stand up and use your male upper body strength advantage when you've been shot in the foot. Also announces to guy under the bed that (1) you've got a gun and (2) are willing and able to use it.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why shoot him? She was well within her rights to KILL him, I think a bullet in the foot is getting off light."

Well, remember the security installment guy was present and would be a witness. The guy was down on the floor and I'm not reading that he made any move toward her.

Ann Althouse said...

I'd just like to hear details that make the shooting necessary before I fall in and celebrate the lady defending herself with a gun. I'm glad she had the gun and used it as a threat to immobilize the man until the police got there.

MayBee said...

I'm guessing she shot him for her future peace of mind.

MadisonMan said...

Why not just call the police? They'd have been there within 30 minutes! Easy enough to hold a strong crazy man at bay with a gun. (That's sarcasm, btw)

Why would anyone depend on the Security Install guy to help? He's there to do a job and was done. Is there a guarantee that he'll stick around if things go south? No. There is a guarantee that a shot through the foot will make a clear and convincing statement.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

He had assaulted her multiple times, violated restraining orders, and invaded her home..
Shooting him- smart.
Shooting to wound, not kill - dumb.
Talking to TV reporter - dumb.
All she should have done is tell the first policeman who arrived is, "I was in fear of my life, and I shot him to end the threat."
No other discussion until she speaks with her attorney.
She was lucky he didn't shoot back after the "warning" shot.

rhhardin said...

Ex boyfriend under the bed is a woman's worst fear. Always check.

MadisonMan said...

He's calling from inside the house!!!!

JCC said...

Without knowing more details, hard to say why she shot, but no doubt, shooting the creep did give her some instant credibility and gave him some incentive to remain passive until the cops arrived. I applaud the decision as preventative of further violence.

As for the presence of the alarm technician, had some struggle happened, do we expect that the alarm tech was going to pile in, maybe use his staple gun? For all we know, he would waited outside in his truck. sending texts to the Police Department's facebook.

Lauderdale Vet said...

I agree with West Texas on all points.

Michael McClain said...

When seconds count, the police are minutes away.

Johanna Lapp said...

I'm glad to see that techs practice Total Situational Awareness when installing an ADT safety system and aren't just mindless installer robots.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

She didn't have to shoot him. The legal question is, was she justified I shooting him? She didn't know whether he was armed. Shooting him in the foot limited his ability to chase her. I think the use of force was proportionate to the threat.

Rae said...

I am not inclined to second guess a woman who has previously been assaulted. I do admire her restraint however.

james conrad said...

That said, I don't see why she had to shoot him.

To let the idiot know that she meant business. Thing is, this woman may have saved his life by wounding him.

tim in vermont said...

She had to shoot him because he could still overpower her and there is no way she could be sure of the outcome if a struggle started. I think she acted with restraint and good judgement.

But if you find yourself in such a situation, you are of course free to wait until a more powerful person begins a fight with you before you take action. Especially when he has already run several legal and personal "red lights" to get himself into the situation.

Lauderdale Vet said...

If the boyfriend had a weapon? Imagine a shotgun that he could have used on her ankles, and then her head once she fell.

He was in her house. Here in Florida, you can assume the intruder has ill intent and poses a lethal threat. You don't have to wait to figure out that he stole your phone so you wouldn't be able to call for help later.

Johnny Lanctot said...

You always hear how the second guessers say after a fatal self defense shooting, "They should have just shot him in the arm or leg..." Well, here she did just that, and the second guessers are saying, "She just should have held the gun on him."

tim in vermont said...

If they do charge her, she only need demand a jury trial.

MaxedOutMama said...

You HAVE led a sheltered life, haven't you?

What do you think his intent in breaking in was? He hadn't been restrained by the restraining order, he clearly was irrationally obsessed, he had broken in and was hiding with the intent to do something to her, and I don't think it was to negotiate conjugal visits with the gaming system.

You appear to be presuming that he would act rationally, but his behavior proves that he wouldn't. She shot the only thing she could shoot, and she was very wise to do so.

Once he believed he would be apprehended, he was going to try to break free and run, at a minimum, but these types generally blame the victim for the consequences, and want that victim to suffer if they do.

You think that the gun immobilized the man. I think you're crazy to think that!!! The man would not have broken in at all if rationality had anything to do with his behavior. He was going to kill her, Ann. And when he did, he knew the cops would know who had done it. He wanted her dead more than he wanted to survive outside a jail himself.

EMD said...

"That said, I don't see why she had to shoot him."

He was most likely there to do something terrible.

virgil xenophon said...

"Why shoot him?" Why not? Just on general principals..

Fred Rawlings said...

In the south, we know that you can shoot any invader in your home legally. I dont want to underplay that. EVERYBODY here knows that. It is as ubiquitous as right turn on red.
Verbally threatening to kill her is assault, a crime. He could have had a gun with him.
The other thing is this guy wasn't a stranger who might turn and run. She knew this guy intimately, and she knew that he was perfectly willing to kill her in the most memorable (to him) fashion possible, even if he were killed or spent the rest of his life in prison.
She might have wanted to 'tattoo' him to make sure he was corralled and had to be perused by law enforcement. A gunshot victim in a hospital gets police interview, no matter what. it is not he said/she said in an apartment where he screwed her for 2 years.
and she might have just panicked.

cubanbob said...

She should have killed him. Unless this guy goes away for a long, long time he is the kind of guy that will be out looking for revenge for whatever slights he thinks he has suffered. The guy is a career criminal-you know, total asshole.

EMD said...

From the article: "and stole the phone to prevent her from calling for help."

Shooting him was a good move, Professor.

n.n said...

A warning shot to the foot.

Birkel said...

The logic she applied before shooting him in the foot was "Fuck the person who is uninvited in my bedroom."

It is not hard to understand.

Bruce Hayden said...

She didn't have to shoot him. The legal question is, was she justified I shooting him? She didn't know whether he was armed. Shooting him in the foot limited his ability to chase her. I think the use of force was proportionate to the threat

In most states, shooting a stranger under the bed might not be self defense. But she did know him, he had a record with her of being violent, and it apparently happened in Florida. The problem with shooting him again, as long as he stayed under the bed, is that arguably, he no longer poses an reasonable imminent danger of loss of life or great bodily injury. Yes, you should neutralize the threat, but should also stop shooting when a reasonable person would believe the threat to have been adequately neutralized. If you keep shooting then, it may no longer be considered self defense, thus opening the shooter to charges of attempted murder, etc.

John said...

What kind of gun?

Was it a scary ar15?

Nope. Ahandgun.

John Henry

bagoh20 said...

Not the break up, security system, nor the police would keep an asshole like that out of your life, but shoot him, and I think the message final sinks in. She's just not that into you.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

These weapons of war shouldn't be in the hands of women who want to protect themselves from violent, crazy ex-boyfriends.

As our good friend put it here in a comment thread just yesterday, this woman was a "pussy" who was so paranoid she thought something like a firearm could help protect her.

A civilized nation (like those enlightened European ones) wouldn't have let this dangerous woman own a dangerous weapon--a weapon probably originally designed for the battlefield. Sad.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Shooting to wound, not kill - dumb."

-- I assume she shot the foot because that was what she could see.

"Police say he admitted to breaking into the house and stole the phone to prevent her from calling for help."

-- That's enough to convince me he planned to attack her. Besides the breaking and entering. And the previous threats to do so.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...
I'd just like to hear details that make the shooting necessary before I fall in and celebrate the lady defending herself with a gun. I'm glad she had the gun and used it as a threat to immobilize the man until the police got there.


She: Don't move, I have a gun and the police are on the way. Don't you move!
He: *wiggles a single toe*
She: Bang!

That's plausible, right? What would he have to have done to make it "necessary" in your mind, Professor? I have to think that in that situation any movement at all (on his part) could be/should be reasonably understood to be threatening. If he moves she would have to conclude he was trying to get out from underneath the bed and get up, and she really couldn't allow that to happen.

I mean, I guess I see what you're asking and why, but the bar for "reasonable" in that particular situation is so low I'm not sure what circumstances you'd take as evidence that her action (shooting him) was not necessary.

285exp said...

Some folks just need shooting.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

I'm not a lawyer, and of course our hostess is a lawyer, but I'm going to give this advice:
If you own a gun, make sure you know the relevant law where you live ( and carry).
In some jurisdictions, there is a duty to retreat if you can- probably applicable in this case.
In my West TX jurisdiction, instantaneous application of lethal force would be legal, justified, and expected, especially when she had a reasonable expectation that the feet belonged to her ex, who had assaulted her and ignored restraining orders.
Again, with her reasonable beliefs and expectations, she was IMO foolish to deliver anything less than lethal force, once she chose to not retreat. Shooting to wound, although successful in this case, was her worst choice- make him madder than he was when he broke in. If he had been armed, he could easily have justified (only) to himself that he should have shot back in self defense. If she had retreated, there is no assurance that he would not have shot her in the back as she ran, or chased her down, tackled her, and seriously injured/killed/raped her (assuming typical faster/stronger male).
Shoot to kill- it's your best and safest choice (in this circumstance).

Big Mike said...

That said, I don't see why she had to shoot him.

Because she was scared. Where's your empathy, Althouse? Do you think she was capable at that point of asking herself what a lawyer or, worse, a law professor would say about what she did in the next few seconds after she discovered a man who had threatened to murder her in her house? She was scared; she reacted.

I could equally well ask why a nightclub packed full of young men, many (probably most) of them very buff, did not rush Omar Mateen when he burst into the club firing a gun. If they had rushed him he would have gotten some of them before he was overpowered, but not 49 of them. And anybody wounded during the rush would get medical attention immediately, not slowly bleed out over three hours.

But they were scared. So they did what their nervous system said to do, which was to run to safety. But there was nowhere safe to run, and they died. There's a reason why the men who rushed the terrorist on the French train last August were trained -- they reacted per their training, not their fear, and others joined in.

Without training, people do what their fear tells them to do.

Ann Althouse said...

"What would he have to have done to make it "necessary" in your mind, Professor?"

I don't know. Maybe he did that. She didn't know that he didn't have a gun with him. I don't know the size deferential. He could have been bold enough to throw all his strength at her after leaping from under the bed. I just want to hear the details that justify the shooting. I think it belongs in the story, not just paraphrasing her saying it was me or him.

Curious George said...

She should have put a couple in his dome. Because this fuck sounds nuts, and eventually his foot will heal, and he'll get out of jail.

Birkel said...

Q: Justification?

A: He was under her bed, uninvited.

Bill Peschel said...

Now I'm on tenterhooks awaiting Ann's response.

Will she understand the woman's need to stand her ground against a man who abused her, attacked her, and threatened her? And snuck into the house and threatened her again, even with the security installer in the house.

I'm betting not.

Put it another way, if that woman was my daughter in the same situation, and she killed him, I'd make sure she get the therapy she needed for the trauma, and I'd also praise her for doing so. But I guess I know too many women who were abused by their lovers who didn't fight back and paid the price.

This guy crossed the line by entering her house, hiding under her bed, and taking her cell phone so she couldn't call for help. He clearly did not have her best interests in mind.

Rocketeer said...

I just want to hear the details that justify the shooting.

A lot of folks have said this in the thread but apparently it bears repeating: there were sufficient details in the story to justify the shooting.

Johnny Sokko said...

I suspect she shot him in the foot because she couldn't get a good shot off to his balls.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

That he was in her house uninvited is enough justification to shoot him. He is dangerous, irrational and unpredictable.

The Drill SGT said...

what West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

For the folks saying she did not have justification:

1. He had a long criminal record
2. He explicitly threatened to kill her
3. somebody broke in multiple times
4. he had 3 warrants out for violating the protective order
5. he was under her bed
6. he stole her phone to prevent her from getting aid.

she could not apparently see his hands. what convincing evidence did she have that he lacked a gun? was she supposed to look down under the bed?

I'd have emptied the magazine, reloaded, then asked the ADT guy to call 911.

then follow the West Texas Intermediate Crude script

1. He threatened to kill me
2. I was afraid for my life, he might have had a gun
3. I'm so upset. I don't want to talk any more about it, until I talk to my lawyer. (tear up)

Paul Snively said...

If you're having security installed to prevent being attacked by an ex whose propensity for violence you're already aware of, and you discover that the ex is under your bed, and you have a gun handy, you shoot... his leg. Unless he manages to get out from under the bed, in which case you go for a chest shot. If you only puncture a lung, good; if you hit the heart and he dies, that's unfortunate (for him).

exhelodrvr1 said...

Seems pretty obvious, based on the history, that she was reasonably in fear for her life.

Assuming that the security technician would be able to save you? Silly.

Laslo Spatula said...

I was in the house but I meant no harm. I was just there to sniff panties in the panties drawer: I was just there to sniff panties.

Then I heard her come in, so I hid under the bed, the smell of fresh panties in my head. We had problems before, but that was all in the past: this was just about the panties.

I don't know what it is about me and panties; probably some childhood trauma that even now I can't remember. Maybe a therapist could help me, I don't know. I sure hope it doesn't have anything to do with my mother.

Now, I go into strange women's apartments, and what do I do? I sniff panties. At the laundromat when no one is looking? I sniff panties. At a party? I go into the bedroom and sniff panties.

Some people look in other people's medicine cabinets, I sniff panties. It's not like I steal them or anything: I am not a freak.

Anyway, I hid under her bed, not harming anyone, and then she shot me in the foot. That fucking hurt.

So now I will probably always have a limp, just because I like to sniff panties.

I knew you wouldn't understand.

It is so unfair. I was just there to sniff panties.


I am Laslo.

Bob Boyd said...

She didn't have to shoot him. She decided to give herself a little treat.

tim maguire said...

That said, I don't see why she had to shoot him.

So he'd know she would? By shooting him in the foot, she may have saved his life.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

That said, I don't see why she had to shoot him.

Because that's the only way you can get a point across to some people.

Tony Joe Gunter appears to be one of those people.

Ron Snyder said...

That said, he deserved to be shot.

Fred Rawlings said...

Its interesting to discuss the situation, but he will get out and stalk her and kill her.
Maybe he will get sidetracked, but she will want to see men and he will not like that at all.
Hopefully it won't work out that way.

Darcy said...

She shot him because she could.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

A question for our Law Professor:
Knowing what you know now (and only what you know from the news reports):
If you were on the jury, would you vote to convict her of battery, reckless endangerment, or any other crime?
If he were to sue her for shooting him, do you think there is a preponderance of evidence that would justify an award?
You comments thus far indicate to me that you would consider these. Maybe I'm reading too much into your comments, but I would rather be governed by the first XXXX people in the local phone book than the faculty of the university (a paraphrase of Wm Buckley, and more true now than when he said it).

PB said...

He deserved to be shot. After being castrated, tarred, and feathered.

The Gold Digger said...

Better to be tried by 12 than lowered by six.

But at least with the six, the security guy could be a witness.

Todd said...

Ann Althouse said...

"What would he have to have done to make it "necessary" in your mind, Professor?"

I don't know. Maybe he did that. She didn't know that he didn't have a gun with him. I don't know the size deferential. He could have been bold enough to throw all his strength at her after leaping from under the bed. I just want to hear the details that justify the shooting. I think it belongs in the story, not just paraphrasing her saying it was me or him.

6/24/16, 8:35 AM


There was sufficient justification in the story for anyone that cares. For others, there could never be enough justification (in the story or real life).

Due to the politics of some (not saying you Ann), they would rather have women raped and killed than use a gun to defend themselves.

She had been repeatedly assaulted and traumatized by this man. He already was braking multiple laws.

Ann, if this situation were not enough in your mind for her use of force via a gun, what would be?

If she had shot him while he was killing her, would that have been OK? How about while he was raping her, good enough then? How about if he was just knocking her around some? Talking harsh to her? Glaring at her? What would be "clear and present" danger in your mind on this spectrum of actions?

Thank God this did not happen in NY or NJ for if it had, this would likely have been an obituary instead of a news story.

Bruce Hayden said...

West Texas is correct - if you have a gun that you might use for self defense, you need to know the laws of the state that you are in. Texas may still have a Retreat Doctrine, but that appears to have become a minority position around the country. In Ohio, you have to prove self defense by a preponderance of the evidence, while most other states require that the state disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt. In CO, I'll intent by an intruder in your house almost assures you of the required intent to harm, in its infamous "make my day" law. FL has nifty immunity provisions that provide for attornies' fees in civil cases after proving SD by a preponderance of the evidence. Not only can you not be sued (or tried criminally), but the other party has to pay your costs if you are. Etc. The best source I have seen is The Law of Self Defense, by Andrew Branca, who blogs on self defense issues over at Legal Insurrection. He covers the laws in all 50+ states, and does so in the structure of the legal elements required for self defense.

Rusty said...

"Because that's the only way you can get a point across to some people."

There it is.

But just so you know. Guns in the hands if civilians are bad. You should never have access to guns. Ever.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...Ann Althouse said...
"What would he have to have done to make it "necessary" in your mind, Professor?"

I don't know. Maybe he did that. She didn't know that he didn't have a gun with him. I don't know the size deferential. He could have been bold enough to throw all his strength at her after leaping from under the bed. I just want to hear the details that justify the shooting. I think it belongs in the story, not just paraphrasing her saying it was me or him.


I agree she didn't know he wasn't armed (gun, knife, stun gun, sharp stick, whatever).
I'm not sure why you mention the size deferential [sic]--if she was 6'2" and he was 5'4" what difference would that make? I don't expect anyone to risk getting into hand-to-hand combat with another adult who has illegal broken into their home and can reasonably be assumed to be there to commit additional crimes. Big guy, little guy, who knows--life isn't a movie! Maybe he's a lil' fella but he "knows kung-fu!" He's a threat just by being there and it's reasonable to conclude he's a threat.

I understand that you're asking for details and I share your frustration with Media accounts of shootings/violent encounters (they very rarely give good info nor the kind of detail the story actually needs) but I'm still not sure what specifically you're looking for as a justification.

To me (and I'd bet to many of the other posters here) the answer to "what would justify her shooting him in this situation" is "damn near anything--if he yelled loudly or made any kind of move or did anything else that might make her think he was trying to get up (to attack her) then she was justified." That is an admittedly low bar, but given the circumstances (as reported) a very low bar seems, well, justified. No?

Birches said...

"Not the break up, security system, nor the police would keep an asshole like that out of your life, but shoot him, and I think the message final sinks in. She's just not that into you."

Ha!

Clyde said...

Not "gun control," Gunter control.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

Bruce- not only does Texas not have a Duty to Retreat law, but it is lawful to use force, and in some situations deadly force, to prevent someone from getting away with your stuff. So, if you catch Mr X running off with your TV and you reasonable believe that there is no other way to to stop him, it's legal to take a shot at him if necessary to "prevent... imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery..., theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief."
Again, I'm not a lawyer, so don't rely on this as a recommendation, but it's in TX Penal Code 9.42.

Big Mike said...

I will endorse what West Texas Intermediate Crude said. The laws vary state to state. Here in Virginia the woman would be exposed to a lawsuit by Gunter, and he'd have a decent chance to win damages.

It gets back to training. One's instinct may be to shoot first but a trained response would be to tell him to stay where he was while the ADT guy calls 911. If he starts to slide out before the police get there, then as soon as his torso starts to clear you shoot him twice in the chest and tell the police that you thought you saw a gun and you were afraid for your life.

But that's the trained response. The woman did what her emotions told her to do.

Terry said...

If you find someone in your home, hiding under your bed, you should shoot that person.
This is doubly true if the person hiding under your bed is with law enforcement.

JAORE said...

Why did she shoot him..... only one time?

I can tell you that if I were substituted for the security guy and substitute my daughter for the woman that had been so treated by this guy I would have had (in my mind) more than reasonable suspicion that she/we were in danger.

If someone needs shooting, they need shooting HARD. Miss the foot, and he's armed?

Feh.

Terry said...

Blogger Rusty said...
. . .
But just so you know. Guns in the hands if civilians are bad. You should never have access to guns. Ever.

Some on the right have noted that, if civilians are not allowed to own firearms, the only people who will be allowed to own firearms are the police. The police are usually described by the Left as being agents of a brutal, white supremacist regime.
The solution to this problem is extensive police retraining and education, so that armed police will only shoot or otherwise abuse white people.

Virgil Hilts said...

In Phoenix many of the worst murders are disgruntled exes, and sometimes they kill a while bunch of ancillary family members as well as their ex.
What happens if the guy under the bed has a gun (maybe a shotgun) and she waits and lets him crawl out. What happens then? Ann, if this were your daughter would you want her to take that calculated risk or (as she did) shoot the guy in the foot so that she can run out of the room without fear of rapid pursuit. I have two daughters and I hope that in this situation they would do what this woman did instead of rolling the dice.

Expat(ish) said...

Possibly I missed this, but I personally wouldn't want to try to fire a handgun accurately through a mattress and box spring. I'm not 100% sure a .45 would do it, and she was probably carrying a lot less than that. I also use 'stopper' type rounds and I am pretty sure that mattress might reduce the bullet to something akin to a .410 rat shot at distance.

Plus, have you priced sheets and mattresses lately?

I think the foot, especially if you have wood floors that are easy to clean, is the way to go.

-XC

Bruce Hayden said...

@West Texas

Self defense is a defense against all those ther crimes. Could they prosecute her for any of them? Sure - we are watching State Attorney Marilyn Mosby and her office prosecute six cops for alleged crimes, some of which charges were completely devoid of probable cause (notably the claims of false arrest, etc, based on the assertion that Grey's knife was legal under MD law - except that he had been arrested for violating a Baltimore knife ordinance, and not MD law). But I doubt that they would be successful. Which is why they filed charges against him, and not her. She had enough facts to show a reasonable fear of imminent loss of life or great bodily injury. Three violated restraint orders does that, along with his continued threats. Could he sue her? Sure. But I don't see him winning, because the force she used was probably legally justified.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

HoodlumDoodlum, our hostess, and others including myself are wishing for more information about the situation- the size differential specifically, and any other details that would help to justify her shooting him in the foot. We are sitting comfortably at our computers, sipping coffee, eating breakfast, taking a break from whatever we are supposed to be doing, to speculate on this news report that we have read about.
This woman had, at most, a few seconds to realize the danger that she was in, assess the situation, come up with a plan to minimize the danger to herself, and put that plan into action.
Whether by shrewd reasoning, instinct, or pure luck, she came up with a plan, and effectuated it, that worked very well for her, at least in the short term.
We all may profit by learning about what happened that day, and we will all benefit from doing the thought experiment of what we would do in a similar situation.
We should all remember that she had seconds to Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act (with h/t to COL Boyd).

Bruce Hayden said...

@West Texas - I always look it up, and have learned not to trust even a lot of LEOs. Not that they are trying to steer me wrong, but rather, that they just sometimes don't know any better. They aren't lawyers, and it sometimes shows. I do have a lot more test in Andrew Branca and his books. He is an attorney who has worked and lectured in this area for a long time. And is a long term concealed carrier in the People's Republic of MA. I do need to buy his new edition though, because self defense laws change over time. Luckily, in most of the country, self defense laws are getting more liberal, and not more restrictive.

grackle said...

That said, I don't see why she had to shoot him.

That could have been a nice ironical epitaph on her tombstone.

If I find someone uninvited in my home who has assaulted me and has threatened my life they are DEAD.

If I find a stranger unexpectedly in my home they have just a few seconds to explain their presence before I shoot. To kill. At any sign of a weapon, any aggressive move towards me and they’re going to be shot instantly.

If I am mugged on one of my downtown walks I will take out my wallet, show it to him and toss it a few yards away. While he goes for the wallet I will run the other way. I’m not going to shoot someone over a wallet.

If he chases me he better hope he doesn’t catch up because a nasty surprise awaits him at the end of that chase.

I’ll take my chances with the mugger on the street and not shoot unless physically assaulted. But I have to assume that if they are in my home my life is in obvious danger. Any other assumption could be fatal.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

WTIC said... the size differential specifically

Honestly that's the part of the question I understand the least--what possible difference could their relative sizes make given what we know of the situation?
Like--if the question was "what was the distance between the two of them" or "what was the layout of the room (did she have access to a door out of the room, etc)," or "how/from where did she get the firearm (did she leave the room and come back in, etc)" or something like that I could at least see how that info might change one's opinion of her action...but "what are their relative sizes" just adds nothing of value as far as I can tell...and does sort of imply that the person asking it might have a flawed framework for evaluating the situation (ex post, as you mention).

Big Mike said...

Now I have to disagree with you, West Texas. Size differential has nothing to do with anything. There is nothing in the law in any state that requires you to face a home intruder on even terms. You've been watching too many hokey action movies where the hero has the drop on the villain but throws his gun away so the two of them can go to fist city.

If a home intruder has a knife then the home owner does not have to put down his or her gun and run to the knife drawer in the kitchen. If the intruder has a hammer then the homeowner does not have to put down his or her gun and run to the toolbox in the garage. What if the intruder is unarmed but takes a martial arts stance? Should the homeowner put the gun down and run to the nearest dojo for karate lessons? What if the intruder is unarmed and shorter, but is experienced in fighting while the woman is not? Should she put herself at a disadvantage?

The woman's home was invaded, she had means of defense, she used it. End of story.

I also disagree with the OODA loop; I think the woman reacted instinctively. This time it worked. In Orlando people's instincts cost 49 of them their lives.

Levi Starks said...

The reason you don't see why she had to shoot him is that you were not in her shoes, he was not in your house, not under your bed.
She had a unique perspective based both on experience with this person, and current circumstance.
He should be thanking his lucky stars that he wasn't hurt worse.

Unknown said...

I'm with Expat(ish), mattresses are expensive & a kill shot is probably not worth it.

Wilbur said...

One correction I must offer: In many states, mere words (threats of violence) do not alone comprise the crime of assault. In Florida, e.g., the threat of harm by word or act must be coupled with an apparent ability to do so, AND doing some other act which creates a well-founded fear that such violence is imminent. A verbal of written threat may fall under other criminal statutes, but not assault.

That said, no prosecutor in their right mind would charge her based on the facts presented here. The creep would get loaded.

Real American said...

don't know why she shot him? reread the story.

Static Ping said...

I always love the application of "reasonable person" tests to situations that rarely ever happen, almost no one is trained to handle, and require quick decisions.

"My crazy violent ex-boyfriend is under my bed. He's taken my phone. I have no idea if he's armed. I don't know if he wants to kill me or rape me. Adrenaline is coursing through my veins. I'm at some level of freaked out and afraid. Let me ponder this for several days, read up on the relevant law, consult with at least three subject experts and my preferred clergy, have a session with my psychiatrist, and then I'll know what to do."

Frankly, people who think that there is a "reasonable person" test for such a situation should not be judges or lawyers. They are not "reasonable."

It is almost as good as the "rational person" test which seem to rely heavily on the judge's personal prejudices being "rational" assumptions.

hombre said...

"That said, I don't see why she had to shoot him."

Somebody's probably said this but, "Why not?"

Owen said...

I think the dirtbag ex-BF should get Laslo on retainer, stat. It's his best chance, and he may score some good post-incarceration benefits for that mental condition.

Owen said...

West Texas Intermediate Crude: making a lot of sense, thanks. Everybody in her shoes faces the same problem: how to control the situation. Submit to his (known bad) attentions after he crawls out from under the bed he never should have been under? Run away, maybe faster than he, in her own damned house? Hope the ADT tech will go all macho for her?

Or disable him in a painful but really pretty merciful way? In the 2-3 seconds before things break loose?

I'd like to think I had such presence of mind. On these facts, she handled it about as well as any of us could hope to.

Joe said...

"Well, remember the security installment guy was present and would be a witness" to her being raped and murdered.

That sentence may be the dumbest thing you ever said.

There was a mass shooting!
Don't worry, we have lots of WITNESSES!


James Pawlak said...

Shooting hims made him be more worried about what she would do to him than the reverse. Security systems, like retraining orders, do not stop (Often deadly) "domestic violence"; Effective use of firearms do.

Michael K said...

"All she should have done is tell the first policeman who arrived is, "I was in fear of my life, and I shot him to end the threat."

I had a discussion on these lines years ago with a homicide detective. That was before so much nonsense about guns had been said but his advice was to shoot an intruder to kill him and, if he happens to be outside the house, drag him in before calling the cops.

james conrad said...

I just want to hear the details that justify the shooting.

Gee Wiz Ann, you have led a very sheltered life dear, not that THAT is a bad thing. You are not in a classroom or courtroom where everything is calm & rational when an incident like this goes down. It's like war, where long periods of boredom are interrupted by moments of violence & fear. You REACT instinctively, often violently, to events in front of you that are a threat. It's only after the threat is neutralized that any reflection takes place.

Todd said...

Michael K said...
"All she should have done is tell the first policeman who arrived is, "I was in fear of my life, and I shot him to end the threat."

I had a discussion on these lines years ago with a homicide detective. That was before so much nonsense about guns had been said but his advice was to shoot an intruder to kill him and, if he happens to be outside the house, drag him in before calling the cops.

6/24/16, 12:21 PM


That may (MAY) have been resonable advice at one time but is now one of the absolutely worst things for someone to do. With modern forensic science, moving the body WILL be discovered and the person defending themselves will look all the worst for it.

Dave in Tucson said...

> The guy was down on the floor and I'm not reading that he made any move toward her.

Well, except for break into her home, hide under her bed, and steal her phone. Honestly, Althouse, exactly when is the line crossed for you?

james conrad said...

Honestly, Althouse, exactly when is the line crossed for you?

I don't think Ann has ever been in a situation where she felt her life was at stake so i cut people a lot of slack in that circumstance. I am guessing it's similar to women trying to explain giving birth to men, until you experience it, words just can't describe what it's really like.

james conrad said...

The bottom line is, you either fight or run, there are not many options in that kind of situation.

Rusty said...

james conrad

Our host is a uber rational person. Her first instinct is to ask a question. She has never been taught to assess a dangerous situation and just react. It makes her a great law prof. It also makes her one of the last people you go to incase of an emergency. Neither in and of itself is a bad thing.
Bottom line. You have a right NOT to be a victim. The woman exercised that right.

GRW3 said...

Hard to attack if you are hobbled.

whitney said...

She didn't have to shoot him. She GOT to shoot him

eddie willers said...

That may (MAY) have been resonable advice at one time but is now one of the absolutely worst things for someone to do. With modern forensic science, moving the body WILL be discovered and the person defending themselves will look all the worst for it.

The type of police/detective that the good Doctor is talking about, will say that forensics "showed that the perpetrator was shot in the house, ran out the door, then turned around and reentered the house where he then expired"

We in the jury box will [wink-wink] buy his testimony and let the poor miss go with our blessings.

Donna Pence said...

She shot him in the foot to keep him down. Clear that she didn't want to kill him. In life and death situations things happen very fast, and she had to have an upper hand just in case. I probably wouldn't have been so nice myself.

smitty said...

A stalker, hiding under your bed, hiding your phone, shooting him in the foot was a very rational response.

Beach Brutus said...

Why did she shoot him?

He had threatened to kill her - she found this threat sufficiently believable to contract for an alarm system. He broke into her home (an overt act in furtherance of the threat) to kill her, he took her phone so she could not call for help (another overt act), he hid under her bed to lie in wait until the alarm guy left (yet another overt act). His plan was interrupted when she discovered him, at that instant she had a very momentary tactical advantage, she could use or lose it by letting him out from underneath the bed. He continued to threaten her - all that was exposed was his feet so she shot one. If I was her I would have gotten down on my hands and knees and shot him in the head. The world would an incrementally better place with him gone.

james conrad said...

It makes her a great law prof. It also makes her one of the last people you go to incase of an emergency.
OH DEAR! Say it ain't so! Yeah, it was kinda obvious the way Ann was posting that she had very little experience with this type of incident, thankfully, most people don't have to go though what this lady in the article did. She met a guy, had a relationship with him for a couple years, found out he had a criminal record and tried to end the relationship. It didn't go well, she got a restraining order, changed the locks on her doors, no go. The guy breaks into her house a couple times, violates the restraining order 3 times with 3 warrants issued for his arrest. At that point this woman is living in fear for her life and, it's also become clear that she is on her own for protection.
Thank god for the 2nd amendment! Without it, this lady was destined to become just another statistic. She decided to make a stand and try to get her life back and, she did, GOOD FOR HER!

Wilbur said...

"I had a discussion on these lines years ago with a homicide detective. That was before so much nonsense about guns had been said but his advice was to shoot an intruder to kill him and, if he happens to be outside the house, drag him in before calling the cops".

Respectfully, did it occur to you that this is intrinsically deceitful? And that someone pledged to uphold and enforce the law suggested it?

pvanstyn said...

She could have killed him. Arguably should have. Give her points for restraint and compassion.

JCC said...

There is so much poor advice seen concerning the use of force in self-defense.

All such use of force is considered and judged fom the point of view of the person using the force. Would a (hypothetical) reasonable individual under the same circumstances feel fear of death or bodily harm under the same circumstances? Can the person using the force articulate this fear? (The answer better be"Yes.") If a reasonable fear can be articulated, then the use of force is justified, assuming the person is lawfully in whatever place the use of force occurs.

Some states demand a duty to retreat, but I do not think a single US state enforces that requirement when one is within one's own domicile. Had this occurred on a public street or even the curtilage of the victim's home, there may - emphasize "may" - been a duty for the victim (the woman) the retreat or try to retreat before shooting.

Under any reasonable set of rules, what the lady did is justified, as long as she says "I was in fear." If, on the other hand, she said something like "Nope, I wasn't scared but I wanted to teach him a lesson." then she probably was not (legally) justified. Morally, I find her actions quite commendable regardless, although as a practical matter, one might have suggested a head shot rather than a foot shot. But then, not everyone is prepared to deal with self-administered mortality.

So, forget all about that old saw of dragging some body somewhere or lying about anything. Just tell the truth, which better include "reasonable fear for life or safety of myself or others" while lawfully in my home. Something like that. You really need to know the laws of your state.

And this is a case of not listening to some lawyer and remaining mute. You'd better be prepared to affirmatively defend your actions, or you probably will get charged.

Harold said...

Expat(ish) sort of had it. As to why she had to shoot him the foot- very simple. There was an obstacle between her and the center of mass where she would also have been justified in shooting. Therefore, she couldn't be sure of the target. The foot was a visible target within range, and she practiced good gun control, hitting what she aimed at.

As for the alarm tech- does she know all of her ex's friends? She doesn't know which side the alarm tech will take.

Too bad she wasn't in position to take a taxpayer relief shot.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

Under the authority allowed by law and our hostess, which is zero, I hereby declare that Harold, by introducing the concept of "Taxpayer Relief Shot," has won the thread, and this discussion is now closed.

Freeman Hunt said...

It may turn out that the mistake was not getting a bullet into the other end of him too.

james conrad said...

It may turn out that the mistake was not getting a bullet into the other end of him too.

Yeah, this creep will eventually get out of jail but, it's more likely he will search for a new victim as this one didn't turn out so well.