Was this shooter justified? PRS says, "No." What about you?
The short version:
- Girlfriend parks in handicapped spot at mini-mart. She does not, allegedly, have a "Handicapped" plate or permit on her vehicle. Boyfriend in the store.
- Guy approaches girlfriend and does not appreciate her parking in spot without permit. She initially remains in the car. As boyfriend exits store she begins to get out of car.
- Boyfriend forcefully (I mean, very forcefully) shoves guy to ground and walks toward him. Now it gets dicey.
- Guy pulls gun and points it at boyfriend. Boyfriend, and this is important, backs away.
- Guy shoots him one time in the chest. Boyfriend staggers inside store. He does die of the gunshot wound.
Pinellas County Sheriff opinion: Shooter justified according to the law and is not arrested or charged. Says State Attorney will have to decide.
My opinion: Shooter was NOT justified and should be arrested and charged.
Here's why...in my training, and understanding of it and the law, the word "imminent" matters. The idea being a person must have reason to fear imminent threat of death or bodily harm. Once the boyfriend shoved the man to the ground and then backed off once the firearm was displayed the threat ended. It's why you best not shoot someone running away after a confrontation, until, or unless, you see this person reach for or obtain a firearm, knife, etc. and return toward you.
That is my personal guideline...which I have rehearsed in my brain hundreds of times.
Look at the tape. Please note: You will see a man get shot. This is not easy watch, but I think this case is far from over. It is a tragedy on all fronts.
Should the girlfriend have parked in a handicapped spot? No.
Should the guy have confronted her? In this day and age, likely not.
Should the boyfriend have shoved the guy to the ground? No.
Should the guy have shot the man in this situation? I say, "No."
When it is all said and done...someone lost their life over a parking spot.