To shoot or not to shoot? One California homeowners fate is being decided.

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posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:29 AM
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If you catch people in your home, what do you do?

Do you disengage or do you attack? If there are two of them and one of you? What if you walk in unaware and find yourself overpowered and terrified? Do you shoot then?

Well, I don't know on the questions so far because there is more to it. That's the whole problem in this case. There is A LOT more to it.

Lets get to what makes this story something special and unusual, even for US defense shooting standards.

What happened:

This past Tuesday, Tom Greer came home to find the situation described above and himself an unwilling part of it. Mr. Greer is a 80 year old man with a home in Long Beach California and he'd been a victim of burglary before. In fact, the story details, he believed these two had likely been the same ones doing it. Now so far, we have an old man and two burglars finding each other in a most unfortunate way. Anything can happen after that point...so what DID happen here?


He returned home shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday to find the pair in his home. Both suspects attacked him, hitting him with their fists and ultimately "body slamming" him to the floor, breaking his collar bone, McDonnell said.

Miller continued to hit him, McDonnell said, while Adams moved to a safe and begin trying to pry it open.


They proceeded to beat the man. They broke his collar bone and it's hard to say how much more may have happened. Personally, I'd take an open handed slap across the face of a man at this age to be a vicious and direct assault...let alone what they did. The homeowner wasn't in the mood for becoming a statistic though, and so....


The homeowner was able to get to another room where he grabbed a gun and returned to open fire on the suspects.


THERE is where I want to stop for the first question.....

Question #1

At THIS point, was he justified in shooting to kill? One male, one female and both young with strength have beaten a 80yr old man to the ground with enough force to break bones, and didn't seem inclined to care or stop any time soon. He got his gun in a free moment and turned it on them. Do you shoot now?

----

Now lets see what the homeowner actually chose to do, and lets see if IT was justified? (This is a crazy case, and there is a reason I'm laying it out this way)

It seems he starting firing on them from inside the home, to be fair in how I am reading this. That ought to factor in for where and how the lethal force engagement began....but this is how it evolved.


They fled through the garage and into an alley, and Greer gave chase, firing at them again outside, McDonnell said.

Miller was hit, collapsed in the alley and died at the scene, McDonnell said.

"The lady didn't run as fast as the man, so I shot her in the back twice," Greer told the TV station. "She's dead ... but he got away."
Source

Question #2

IF he was justified in opening fire within the house, were his actions justified after that, when the suspects fled and he somehow managed to give chase? (I am imagining this 80yr old trying to follow with broken bones and all.. Wow!) Could he have been justified in fear they were returning criminals and would return again if he didn't pursue them out?

At least two other recent cases have looked at a situation similar to this. First was in Oklahoma with a pharmacist who responded to a robbery. He shot one, chased the other out and then returned to calmly fire more rounds into the one on the floor. That last action cost the man a murder conviction where he'll likely die in prison. The other was a recent case of a homeowner setting a trap within his garage for a thief, and firing on the first idiot to step into it. That was in Montana. Neither case was viewed well by the public, nor should they have been, IMO.

How does this one figure? Factors to consider: Ages on both sides, degree of injury inflicted in an ongoing situation, terror of past and future victimization and sense of right to defend....as well as yes, the girls claim she was pregnant. Should that have mattered? Should someone assume it's even likely to be truth in those conditions?

This case is currently being decided for charges to be filed...so if you were the Southern California D.A. on this very general thumbnail and source to read more ....would you throw the book at the guy, give him a medal or just agree a tragedy occurred and pursuit of a conviction on the homeowner wouldn't be appropriate?

WSY, ATS?
edit on 7/25/2014 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:37 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:39 AM
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There is no real way of knowing if he had heard her when she shouted that she was pregnant. This wasn't just a break in, he had also been beaten and thrown to the ground, at that point human instinct starts to kick in, and it's fight or flight. I do think that had he the presence of mind, he would have avoided shooting her, as she was running away, with her back to him.

This was allegedly a repeat crime from these offenders, something like the 3rd time they broke into this man's house. That can make a homeowner paranoid and defensive.

When it comes to gun owners defending themselves, I think they need to go above board showing restraint, when you have a suspect apprehended or driven off, do not resort to exacting revenge with your gun. At that point allow the police to do their job. When you go out of the way to "finish them off," you're no longer defending yourself.



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:50 AM
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it was cold blooded murder how many times do I have to say it...



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:53 AM
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Never pursue.

When he gave chase it became murder.



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:54 AM
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a reply to: Blackmarketeer

You are correct this is a really hard one.

When we are attacked our brain goes into survival mode and temporarily turns our rational brain off and we go into pure neanderthal mode. Kill or be killed. His brain was in overdrive survival, witness the adrenaline that allowed and 80 year old to chase despite broken bones. That can only happen when the "rational" part of the brain shuts off and pure animal instinct takes over.

(I'm a retired college prof who taught PSY and so realize what happened to the elderly man in this circumstance)

Given his age and the circumstances, I'd not give him actual jail time, but give him a long sentence, then reduce to time served with lifetime probation, or perhaps given a choice of moving into a supervised "living facility" or if he refuses to go into a senior living facility then he'd have to go to jail.
He did kill people running away with their back to him, but he was not in his rational mind, nor would anyone in his circumstances be in their rational mind. So a stiff sentence with strong leniency is what I think would be justice here.














edit on 25-7-2014 by grandmakdw because: clarification
edit on 25-7-2014 by grandmakdw because: highlight
edit on 25-7-2014 by grandmakdw because: clarify



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:54 AM
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He should get aggravated manslaughter for killing the girl and murder-1 for the unborn child.



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:56 AM
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"The lady didn't run as fast as the man, so I shot her in the back twice," Greer told the TV station. "She's dead ... but he got away."


Yeah, don't do that. At that point it's murder. A reasonable person is going to realize that when people are running away from you they are no longer a threat.



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:57 AM
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originally posted by: Blackmarketeer
There is no real way of knowing if he had heard her when she shouted that she was pregnant. This wasn't just a break in, he had also been beaten and thrown to the ground, at that point human instinct starts to kick in, and it's fight or flight. I do think that had he the presence of mind, he would have avoided shooting her, as she was running away, with her back to him.


Actually he is quoted acknowledging her pregnancy:




Seeing the gun, the couple ran out of the house and started down an alley.

“The lady, she couldn’t run as fast as the man, so I shot her in the back twice,” Greer explained. “She’s dead, but he got away.” “She says, ‘Don’t shoot me, I’m pregnant! I’m going to have a baby!’ And I shot her anyway,” Greer said.


Seeing how he has already stated this should seal his fate. Kind of hard to reinterpret "yeah I heard she was pregnant but I shot her anyway. Now the man will always think twice." (Paraphrasing)

Collective punishment......war crime.
edit on 25-7-2014 by Rosinitiate because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:58 AM
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a reply to: Blackmarketeer




There is no real way of knowing if he had heard her when she shouted that she was pregnant.


Oh?


"She says, 'Don't shoot me, I'm pregnant — I'm going to have a baby,' and I shot her anyway," Greer told KNBC-TV outside his house.


It shouldn't matter if she was pregnant or not though.



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:59 AM
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Chasing makes you the criminal. Remember, the law allows them to get away so they can be armed for the next crime spree.
edit on 7/25/2014 by roadgravel because: (no reason given)


+6 more 
posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 11:00 AM
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a reply to: Wrabbit2000

Logic vs emotional.

Logic.
He should have stopped when his life was not in immediate threat.

Emotional.
He should have first blown out their knee caps and then gone up from there. Making these miserable pieces of offal suffer for as long as possible. These pieces of slime deserve none of the protects afforded to law-abiding people.



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 11:03 AM
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originally posted by: Domo1

"The lady didn't run as fast as the man, so I shot her in the back twice," Greer told the TV station. "She's dead ... but he got away."


Yeah, don't do that. At that point it's murder. A reasonable person is going to realize that when people are running away from you they are no longer a threat.


He was not and could not be a reasonable person at that point.

His brain was in survival overdrive, which shut off the rational part of his brain.

He was in pure kill or be killed brain mode. The evidence is the adrenaline that allowed him at 80 to pursue with broken bones. (It's like the instinct that allows mothers to lift cars off kids, rare but when it happens the rational brain is completely shut down)

He deserves severe punishment, but also extreme leniency in sentencing given all the circumstances.



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 11:03 AM
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originally posted by: beezzer
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

Logic vs emotional.

Logic.
He should have stopped when his life was not in immediate threat.

Emotional.
He should have first blown out their knee caps and then gone up from there. Making these miserable pieces of offal suffer for as long as possible. These pieces of slime deserve none of the protects afforded to law-abiding people.


All though I agree to an extent, I don't know there situation or what brought a pregnant couple to this point. As Romeo said: "tempt not a desperate man"
edit on 25-7-2014 by Rosinitiate because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 11:07 AM
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originally posted by: Wrabbit2000

The homeowner was able to get to another room where he grabbed a gun and returned to open fire on the suspects.


Question #1

At THIS point, was he justified in shooting to kill? ...Do you shoot now?


Probably, I shoot, but to kill?. My only question is, could the homeowner have gotten away? Probably not - with a broken collar bone - but if he could escape the burglar, get the gun and return to the scene, he wasn't doing too badly... When he went to grab his gun, could he have escaped out the back door with it? If so, that would be my choice. I wouldn't have returned to the scene to shoot the burglars. If I were trapped in the house? Absolutely, I would have shot them... To kill? Were they armed? If so, absolutely. If not, I probably would have shot to injure.



It seems he starting firing on them from inside the home,


If I had started firing in the home, I wouldn't have missed.



Question #2

Could he have been justified in fear they were returning criminals and would return again if he didn't pursue them out?


Not justified, IMO. If the homeowner is CHASING the burglars, he is the aggressor at that point.

Both of the other stories were clearly NOT self-defense.

In your first story, I don't think age, injury or past burglaries have any influence. He has a right to defend, as long as they're in the house and being aggressive. Once they leave or run, the old man should have backed off. His injury didn't prevent him from getting away, going to another room and getting a gun. The girl's pregnancy has no impact.

I would have to know more details to make a decision about it. Mainly, could he have gotten away?



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 11:08 AM
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a reply to: Wrabbit2000

He was justified in my opinion but knowing California they will probably send him to jail because the government there is stupid.

Also pregnancy should not make a difference unless the fetus/baby was at stage where it could live separately from woman's body on it's own(say she was set to give birth next week). Otherwise it is a part of her body up until the point of individuality.

As far as him pursuing the attackers to me that is a natural reaction if you've been attacked at a disadvantage. The reason for that is that if you are 80 year old dude and had the # beaten out of you, what is stopping those attackers from doubling back around. Natural human response to such a situation is to make sure the asshole is dead.

I think law states though that if you pursue it's murder. So basically always make sure you shoot them in the front if you are attacked.

Either way it will be interesting to see how this case is handled. I think he will be sentenced for manslaughter due to his age.
edit on 25-7-2014 by OrphanApology because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 11:13 AM
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a reply to: Wrabbit2000

By law, he should have stopped when they were fleeing.
He was defending his life until that happened.


+3 more 
posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 11:20 AM
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a reply to: Wrabbit2000

When in todays society does anyone have to accept responsibility for their actions? They made the decision to break into a home, then they made the decision to beat the man to point of broken bones. Then ran from an 80 year old man that was seriously injured. Did they call 911 for him, did they even know if he had died? They acted like animals and surely should be treated like one.

Why should it be murder for the unborn child? Again accepting no responsibility for your actions, abortion is completely legal, and totally acceptable. To prosecute the man for killing the baby says it's ok for the mother to kill the baby but not the old man. That means its ok to kill a baby based on a decision of the mother, not the life of a child. If this isn't cheapening the value of life nothing is. She made the decision to rob a home while pregnant no one else.

This old man shouldn't go to jail. It's time for people to accept responsibility for their criminal actions.

Knowing long beach someone will come for him anyway.



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 11:21 AM
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a reply to: Benevolent Heretic




If not, I probably would have shot to injure.


You never shoot to injure (though I probably would) at the point where you are willing to shoot you have to be concerned enough to kill. Shooting to injure is Hollywood. It's easy to miss, easy to hit something vital etc.



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 11:23 AM
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a reply to: Domo1

Yeah what's the saying...first shot is to kill, second is to warn.






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