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.
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.
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.