Re: cell phones, head sets, guns, and idiots

From: Matt Jensen (
Date: Thu Mar 29 2001 - 19:45:18 PST

On Thu, 29 Mar 2001, Chuck Murcko wrote:

> The sad part is
> "Homicide detectives plan to meet with state prosecutors today to
> determine whether the shooting was a justifiable homicide."
> I suppose it would be clearly justifiable if the carjacker shot the
> woman in the head, but maybe not. 8^(

I see what you're saying, but did you see this part:

"The suspect tried to escape the gunfire by diving under the SUV, but was
shot several times and died under the vehicle with his revolver a few feet
away on the pavement."

If the suspect was no longer a threat to the victim, he loses his
self-defense protection. I presume the relevant points would be:

1. how far away was the suspect's gun?
2. how long after he dove under the SUV did the victim shoot him?
3. how many times did he shoot him?
4. did the victim reasonably know that the suspect no longer had his gun?

If it all happened in a blur, it might still be considered justifiable
through self-defense (though IANAL).

> We've had one of those up here in Philly where the carjacker just shot
> the car owner anyway, after getting the car. Same as with some muggings,
> if you don't have enough cash to satisfy the mugger.

It's a terrible situation however you react to it. But my understanding
is that you have better odds if you just give them the car/wallet, and
that is why the police recommend that. Of course, the big unknown is how
the risk curve changes as your own abilities move from average citizen to
Dirty Harry supercop. You've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I
feel lucky?"

-Matt Jensen

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