Bob Irwin highlights the latest self-defense and other shootings of the week. Read them and see what went wrong, what went right and what we can learn from self-defense with a gun.
In March 2016, an individual was a shoplifting suspect at the Pacific Quick Shop and trying to flee from the store.
This was a month after the owner’s wife was wounded by an armed would-be robber when she and the robber exchanged gunfire. Those robbery suspects were caught.
Now a month later, the owner was the one dealing with people trying to steal from his store. He told KOMO News back then it was a struggle for his gun and he shot the suspect in self-defense.
“I was down and he was on top of me and he was trying to reach my gun,” the owner said in a March 26, 2016 interview.
The prosecutor however said the video showed a suspect who was unarmed and hands up. After a brief scuffle, the suspect tried to get away, that's when the owner fired shots.
“I did not have the right to take (the suspect’s) life” the owner said in court on Friday. “I feel terrible that I did so and will have to live with that for the rest of my life.” “I was shot by a robber and after that my husband struggled in fear of losing me,” the owner’s wife told the court.
Judge John Hickman agreed it was a tough situation, but said deadly force was not warranted.
The convenience store owner was sentenced to eight years in prison. He told the judge he accepted responsibility for what he did and apologized for his actions.
No one was in court on behalf of the deceased.
The shooter asked the judge for permission to write a letter of apology to the shoplifter’s family. The judge granted that request.
Washington State has some of the most criminal friendly laws in the country. No doubt this was a poorly thought out use of defensive gunfire, but eight years? Perhaps a Washington State Attorney can respond to this question to help readers understand the sentencing.
Hopefully, with good behavior etc. he will be out in less than that. No doubt a civil suit for wrongful death will take whatever funds the owner had left after this trial.
Bob Irwin, Las Vegas
About Bob Irwin
Bob is retired after 30 years of ownership of The Gun Store & Indoor Range in Las Vegas. He continues his 2A issues show “Fired Up with Bob Irwin” on YouTube and on KLEY 1230 AM, The Nevada Talk Network on Saturdays.
As a firearm instructor of Concealed Firearm Applicants, Armed Security Officer and Law Enforcement Academies over his career, Bob appears frequently as an expert witness for firearm & use of force cases in Federal, State, and local courts.