Judge Rules Man Acted In Self-Defense When Shooting Two Brothers

Bob Irwin highlights the latest self defense and other shootings of the week. Read them and see went wrong, what went right and what we can learn from defense with a gun.

Judge Rules Man Acted In Self-Defense When Shooting Two Brothers
Judge Rules Man Acted In Self-Defense When Shooting Two Brothers
Bob Irwin
Bob Irwin

Las Vegas, NV –-(Ammoland.com)- KLKY-TV 32 reported this week (8/12/2016) in Louisville, Kentucky the court results of a July 2015 incident.

Two men were rolling around on the ground, fighting over a gun in the parking lot of a Valley Station strip mall. While the two men were fighting, the owner of a nearby gun shop saw the two struggling over a gun on the ground. He yelled at them to put the gun down, leave the gun alone. Seeing the danger to shoppers nearby, he ultimately fired at the men.

One was killed and the second injured but survived. It turns out these were two brothers in their 20’s. After an investigation, the shooter was arrested and charged with murder in the death of one as well as assault charges for shooting the other.

This past Friday, a judge ruled the Louisville man acted in self-defense when he shot two brothers. The Judge ruled the shooter had reasons to believe his life and the lives of others in the area may have been in danger. She dismissed all charges.

“He was very pleased. He's glad that this chapter is over. And that's just it, this is just a chapter of it,” attorney Robert Schaefer said. The judge noted the two brothers were fighting over a gun with bystanders in the area. His client asked them to stop and drop the gun, and when they didn't, he fired.

“One of the questions I asked him, I said, ‘Would you do it again? Knowing what you know now, knowing what all you've been through, would you do this again?’ And he said “Absolutely, It's cost me a lot, but it was important for him to protect himself and others,” Attorney Schaefer said.

Schaefer said his client lost his gun business and personal relationships after being charged with murder.

But the family of the brothers said they lost a lot more. “You know, (the shooter’s) business, and his relationships that he lost can be rebuilt. My son's life can never be rebuilt and he can never be here again. I have to go every single day, every holiday, without seeing my son,” he said.

In her ruling, the Judge wrote the burden of proof was on the prosecution to show the defendant used excessive force. She wrote, in part, “It is not for the court (or the commonwealth) to say what ought to have been done, but only what is allowed under the law.”

The deceased’s parent disagrees. “By the judge dismissing this case, it kind of sends a message that it's OK to shoot whoever to diffuse a dangerous situation and that's not the message we need to be sending,” a parent said.

The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office is reviewing the judge's opinion to decide whether to appeal it.

Comments:

Really too bad the warnings didn’t work! The shop owner did what needed to be done to prevent injury to the nearby innocents. The judge made the legal decision correctly in the view of one of my YouTube show's guest attorneys who reviewed this case.

It appears an appeal may be coming on that decision and probably a civil lawsuit from the family on top of that. Hopefully the NRA or NSSF will come into this case financially to help the actual victim, the shop owner. Who actually won the gunfight? Was there really a winner? A tough decision…

Bob Irwin, The Gun Store, Las Vegas

About Bob Irwin

The writer is the owner of The Gun Store in Las Vegas and has a gun talk radio show “Fired Up with Bob Irwin” Firedup is now on KSHP 1400 am radio from 5 to 6 pm on Thursdays and at the same time also on YouTube “Fired Up with Bob Irwin.

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2nd AmenderWild BillIdadhoRattlerjakeTionico Recent comment authors
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Idadho
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Idadho

Don’t try anything like this in Idaho. Despite state statute that allows shooting in defense of self and others, few judges give it any credence. Four can attack one. The one pulls a gun and kills two. Life in prison. A vet is threatened to be beat by a drunk man as he charges. Vet displays a handgun. The attacker grabs for the gun. The defender shoots the attacker in the neck/jaw. He dies. The defender is arrested for 2nd degree murder. Gets scared by the judges comments and pleads to manslaughter and get 15 years, 5 years fixed. Judge… Read more »

Wild Bill
Guest
Wild Bill

@Idadho, “I’m going to make an example of you.” would be excellent grounds for an appeal if a judge were foolish enough to actually say it out loud.

Rafael Grullon
Guest
Rafael Grullon

Good job to the good citizen! Bad things happens when good guys do nothing about it.

RidgeRunner51
Guest
RidgeRunner51

Self defense? DEFINITELY! I would have don the same thing. It’s the gun nuts advocating for “Open Carry” whom I’m most afraid. Grown men still playing Cowboys & Indians. Thinking they are in the Old West. Walking down main street, ready for a shoot out. If any of them would take the time to read history, In most Civilized Towns, weapons were NOT allowed within city limits. Some people need to calm down, lower that blood pressure & stop seeing bad guys behind every tree that they see.

ExGob
Guest
ExGob

I, personally, cannot see any reason why anyone would want to carry any kind of weapon openly. That borders on just asking for someone to make a comment, which could build into an argument and/or altercation with deadly consequences and legal/criminal action. Granted, ‘open carry’ might provide a modicum of speed in weapon presentation, but it’s probably just an ego thing more than anything else. We aren’t obligated to take positive action on everything the law allows. With reference to gun carry laws, when municipalities started enacting their own laws, for whatever reason, and enforcing them by punishing offenders, it… Read more »

Colonialgirl
Guest
Colonialgirl

As usual the anti-gun liberal idiocy from sandbox crawler. 1st off; The “Old West” was a polite peaceable Society DESPITE what all the liberal left winger fantasies called movies would have you believe; Men were polite to each other and to women; They were NOT “always ready for a shoot out” and MANY of NOT most of the cities did NOT ban firearms in the city limits. It was ONLY a few where you had Hooligans come into town and raise hell, MUCH LIKE Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit and other democrat run hell holes. IF YOU took the time to read… Read more »

Rattlerjake
Guest
Rattlerjake

Well said!

H.K. Latham
Guest
H.K. Latham

Thanks for your comments. I do not prefer open carry for myself, but great for those that want to. It doesn’t mean they are doing anything but exercising their rights. They aren’t deranged like some who write comments.

Hill
Guest
Hill

I researched this incident after reading it here and as it turns out other facts exist. Amazing ! As a retired LE officer I’m glad there are responsible citizens out there who obtain training both in the law & training in the physical use of their firearms , get their concealed carry permits and legally carry a firearm. It has been my experience that unless the victim and police are very lucky and the police just happen to be in the right place at the right time then we (The Police) were there in time to conduct an investigation AFTER… Read more »

Rattlerjake
Guest
Rattlerjake

I have news for you, paying a fee for a permit to carry does not make it legal. We have the God given right, backed by the 2nd amendment to carry for self defense and no state or federal government has the right or authority to force us to pay for that right.

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

Sounds like one of the brothers was trying to kill the other. The family wouldn’t see one or the other on holidays or birthdays if they were left to finish the fight. Now they have someone to blame for there kids being a couple of assholes.

Ken
Guest
Ken

If people followed the news they would realise shots were fired, and people’s lives were in jeopardy. The shots are what drew the shop owners attention to what was happening in the parking lot, and seeing people hiding behind cars. I live in Louisville and followed this shooting closely, I feel he acted appropriately with what he saw going on.

Don
Guest
Don

Thanks, Ken. I thought that there was probably more details to this story in order for the man to have the charges dismissed.

Pistol Pete
Guest
Pistol Pete

Some of you according to your statements are pure stupid!!!

Skyviking
Guest
Skyviking

Have No idea why the gunshop owner got involved. He certainly could have walked over to pick up the weapon on the ground that the guys were fighting over. (Yeah, right)The gunshop owner himself could have been shot by another person believing him to be a random attacker. The prudent action would have been to call the police and let them handle it. Barring a rape in progress or some maniac shooting/slashing people at random, unless you and/or one of your immediate family members are being assaulted, it is better (and cheaper) to simply be a good witness. Ammunition and… Read more »

2nd Amender
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2nd Amender

Seeing the gun, seeing two men fighting over said gun should be enough input for 99.9% of people to seek safety and call police. Exercising the Right to Self Defense for self and others is a primary concern. I don’t see here that the gun being fought over was discharged by either of the two men in their attempt to possess it! If not fired at, is any one’s safety in danger? The gun could have been unloaded, or a toy replica. An interesting dilemma!

Don
Guest
Don

So, you feel that you don’t have the right to defend yourself until AFTER you are shot at? Really?!

Evidently there was not enough evidence to prove that this man’s life or the lives of bystanders was not in jeopardy.

The right to defend yourself is not predicated by an actual attempt at your life. If you think that safe, responsible gun handling includes wrestling over a gun, then you seriously need some training.

2nd Amender
Guest
2nd Amender

“Exercising the Right to Self Defense is a primary concern”.

US Army Combat Infantry, 1st Inf Div., A 1/28th Inf, RVN ’68 – ’69…….trained and proven trained!

Wild Bill
Guest
Wild Bill

@2nd.” If not fired at, is any one’s safety in danger?” You are betting your own sweet life, so it is up to you. If you can articulate that your fear of death or great bodily harm was reasonable, then you are justified in exercising your right to use deadly force to defend yourself or a third party. You are not required to review all the possibilities or potentialities, but you are required to articulate why your actions were reasonable.

MiamiNice57
Guest
MiamiNice57

This is a prime example of why in NYC most pedestrians would not flinch and keep walking. “Mind your own business comes to mind” had he called the cops and the cops would have shot them both dead we would be reading about police brutality and over use of force. I’m deeply sadden by the loss of life and consequences to the gun shop owner. In the heat of an arguement it’s difficult to hear the voice of reason. My simpathies to all involved. I for one would not have done that I’d get out my first aide kit and… Read more »

Tom R.
Guest
Tom R.

Don’t get involved in other peoples stupidity and you won’t lose your business and relationships!

JoeUSooner
Guest
JoeUSooner

Tom, your point is valid… IF the circumstances involve ONLY the stupid people themselves. By all means, leave them to eliminate each other from the gene pool! But when their stupidity results in creating danger to others (innocent bystanders), some remedial action – from evacuating innocents to physically disarming the idiots to shooting – will definitely be required.

[PersonalIy, I could not justify allowing preventable harm to innocents through my inaction…]

wake_Up_America
Guest
wake_Up_America

Unfortunately, it is not worth it to get involved in a situation like that. The man was charged with murder, lost his business, will surely be sued civilly, etc, etc. I’m glad he was found not guilty but much damage has already been done…Not for me!

Wild Bill
Guest
Wild Bill

@wake up, The “loss of his business” is a typical set up for the defense in the coming civil suit. It is called being judgement proof.

Bill
Guest
Bill

It is very dishearten to know this citizen lost his business over this incident. My question is, whatever happened to “Liberty and Justice for all?” Are we now saying that American Citizens will get fair and equal justice only if they can afford it and are willing to lose everything they have worked for in the process?

Tionico
Guest
Tionico

the murder charge pending is disabling…. no guns, no how till its resolved. THAT is the injustice. Until PROVEN guilty the man is innocent. He lost his business because of a charge later dismissed as groundless. The laws are too quick to “disable’ persons. Further, “justice” turns far too slowly. WHY does it take a year and a half to grind the machinery enough to settle a matter such as this? And now, perhaps an appeal?

Rattlerjake
Guest
Rattlerjake

the only reason for the appeal is that the state hates to lose and they have unlimited funds, tax dollars, so they can further ruin this guy.

John
Guest
John

I am 100% for being able to defend yourself or others! However, 2 guys wrestling for a gun on the ground when you have no idea of the situation or if there was an initial single aggressor, doesn’t seem like a situation where I would feel the need to preemptiy fire my weapon. I would however, approach the situation and attempt to further diffuse it. Then if nessesary defend myself… But I am willing to risk my life to save others. I do feel for the shop owner who is certainly a victim but I can’t say that I 100%… Read more »

BC
Guest
BC

Guaranteed a cop would have done the same thing

Gil
Guest
Gil

Apparently the law is getting looser on the definition of “self-defence” nowadays. This precedent instead give guns owners the right to shoot others gun owners on the grounds they might shoot others. Gun owners complained about a Leftie who called 911 on a gun owner who “crime” was simply legally carrying a gun but the Leftie felt threatened anyway.

Wild Bill
Guest
Wild Bill

@Gil, No, the law of self defense includes the defense of third persons. See Robinson on Criminal Law Defenses. This altercation is, however, a strong warning about the consequences of exercising our Civil Right to make such a defense.

Jim
Guest
Jim

Yeah, I would not have even displayed my firearm.

Wake_Up_America
Guest
Wake_Up_America

Me either…and this poor guy is an example of why not to get involved…his life was not in jeopardy…..