There was an interesting thread on the Florida Concealed Carry Forum today that asked:
What to do after a self-defense shooting?
Here’s what I came up with:
- Calm down, take a deep breath, collect yourself for a second.
- Assess the condition of the bad guy. If no-longer an obvious threat, restrain, search, and re-holster; then render first aid if you are so trained and safe to do so.
- Call 911, establish that you are the victim. Do not get into specifics.
- Call Attorneys (I know Friday, Buckley, and Fast). Hope that one of them pick up. * You have someone on speed dial right? *
- Tell the truth about why you fired. * Defense of life and limb, stopping a forcible felony *
- 6. If questioned further, invoke the 5th Amendment (I invoke my right to remain silent, I demand that my lawyer be present for all questioning.) and then shut up, wait for legal counsel.
A self defense shooting does not require a lawyer. I have been involved in a shooting here in Florida and unless you have done something wrong there is no need for a lawyer. I spent less than 6 hours in police custody before being released. If you know the law and are a legal gun carrying citizen then you know where that fine line ends and lead flys
Alan Korwin has a book on just this subject: http://www.gunlaws.com/AYS.htm
As a former lawman who toted around a federal badge, I had occasion to see how citizen-shootings were handled in a number of different states.
Thank God for Texas, the South and the West–with the notable exception of California and coastal Oregon and Washington.
It is a damned good idea to at least know a lawyer you can call and to have that number in your wallet or purse. Bear in mind that today’s law enforcement is NOT, I repeat NOT getting more citizen friendly and, as an institution, classifies us “good guys who carry guns” as the lesser of two evils (versus the bad guys who carry guns).
The first cop you deal with may be a pretty good guy–right up until his penis-wrinkle sergeant or lieutenant shows up. Then the grilling starts.
My advice, having had to draw and use my weapon on well more than one occasion, is to be “rattled” and maybe even a little incoherent initially. Trust me–your first shooting, it won’t be hard. The adrenaline will be pumping like a firehouse water pump on a five-alarm call.
Make it very clear to the questioning/investigating officer that you were scared to death you were going to die. IF. . . IF the questioning even begins to get the slightest bit uncomfortable, request that they call an ambulance for you and state that you are feeling very bad and having a hard time breathing and thinking straight and you simply do not trust anything you might say from this point forward–and therefore, right after the hospital doctors check you out, you’re going to contact an attorney.
I’ve seen several police departments all but entrap civilians who shot to protect themselves. Philadelphia is notorious for it, as is Chicago. Believe it or not, New York City isn’t too bad–but they WILL nail your ass for a “gun crime.”
Anywhere in California? Flip a coin. Seattle? Watch your step and call an attorney.
It’s important to keep in mind that most cops today did not grow up in the city or township they are “serving and protecting,” especially in big cities or populous states (like Florida and Texas). A lot of them are yankees who grew up in locales where gun laws were pretty strict.
In other words, they are from a different planet than us. And even though they’re now on OUR planet, they still have the badge.
Never forget that.