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Thread: Property owner fatally shoots attacker on his property (S Kitsap)

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Property owner fatally shoots attacker on his property (S Kitsap)

    (Yes I intentionally ommited from the title the occupation of the property owner)

    Seattle Times

    Off-duty state trooper fatally shoots intruder at his South Kitsap home

    An off-duty trooper with the Washington State Patrol shot and killed a man who allegedly attacked him with a steel rod after coming on to property at the trooper's South Kitsap County home Saturday night, the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office said Sunday.
    By Amy Martinez
    Seattle Times staff reporter


    Related

    An off-duty trooper with the Washington State Patrol shot and killed a man who allegedly attacked him with a steel rod after coming on to property at the trooper's South Kitsap County home Saturday night, the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office said Sunday.
    The confrontation began at about 11:30 p.m. when the trooper learned "of an unknown vehicle and person on his property and went outside to investigate," the sheriff's office said. The trooper identified himself as a law-enforcement officer, the sheriff's office said.
    The suspect, who's described as a 30-year-old South Kitsap man, then struck the trooper in the head with a piece of steel rod, according to the sheriff's office.
    "The victim managed to get up onto his feet and issued verbal commands to the suspect," Detective Lt. Earl Smith said in a statement. "When the intruder refused to comply, the homeowner resorted to the use of lethal force."
    The incident occurred in the 8000 block of Southeast Nelson Road in the Olalla area of South Kitsap.
    Patrol officers with the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office responded and found a neighbor performing CPR on the suspect. He was taken to Tacoma General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
    The trooper was taken to St. Anthony's Hospital in Gig Harbor for his injuries.
    A sheriff's office investigation is under way.
    Officials did not release the names of the suspect or the trooper.
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    (Yes I intentionally ommited from the title the occupation of the property owner)
    Why? You're creating cyber-drama, which is even worse than real drama.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanf View Post
    Why? You're creating cyber-drama, which is even worse than real drama.
    Yeah, he was on his own property. If the guy didn't want to get shot, he shouldn't have been there. I don't see any opportunity for LEO-bashing here.

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanf View Post
    Why? You're creating cyber-drama, which is even worse than real drama.
    Nope, you are intelligent enough to translate the scenario from that of an off duty trooper to that of a civilian property owner.

    We have had several recent discussions regarding defending your property outside the home versus defending your home. We have had several recent discussions of leaving and going outside to inspect a noise or intruder.

    And at the same time we have had several in the line of duty police shootings of civilians. Which this is not.
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    This is one of the first officer involved shootings I have heard about lately where I have no doubt that the shooting was justified. The intruder attacted the homeowner with a weapon and was on thier private property. Anyone should be justified to use lethal force in this situation.

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    This finally answered a long standing question for me. I have always wondered at what point can you use lethal force when you feel your life is in danger and what constitutes your life being in danger. I have always wondered if a just a verbal threat was enough, or if someone charging at you was enough, or if someone with their fist up ready to punch you, or if they and you had to have weapons of equal threat, if they pull a knife, then only you can defend with a knife? I have also wondered how injured you have to be (just one smack, or life threatening injurys) before you can defend yourself with a firearm? Now we know that it takes at least one good smack with a steel rod, before a shooting is justified (actually I guess we will be waiting for an investigation, to see if it was justified). I do have to say that this would have looked better in my eyes, if the cop would have shot the guy BEFORE being struck with the pipe. Seems like it would have been a smarter decision. What if the one whack would have knocked him out? What if...?
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    When a lethal (or potentially lethal) threat has been presented to be used against a citizen, that citizen does not have to wait to get struck/stabbed/etc before defending themselves. (or a cop, for that matter...sorry gogo!)

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    GOOD Post Gogodawgs +1

    We discussed this in length at the meet Saturday. It seems even the Off Duty LEO goes outside to investigate. I know, I know, he's an LEO, but he's at his property. No LEO bashing here. Off Duty = man to me, so a man protected his home.

    +1 to the property owner
    -1 to the BG (He loses a level of thief)

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    I agree, being an officer in this situation has little to do with lethal force. In fact in this story it may have hampered the property owners reaction. The property owner announced that he was LEO (a civilian property owner would not have to) and the bad guy was able to get close enough to strike the property owner in the head!

    If a civilian (who can't announce he is LEO) goes outside and fatally wounds the trespasser what would the outcome be?

    What allowed the BG to get close enough to strike the property owner in the head?

    Did the property owner have a holstered weapon or was it in his hand at the ready?
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    amzbrady, read this.

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    So weird... last time I recall a trooper on private property.. it was the other way around. Seems like the troopers just always have the one-up.

    Joe~

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    We can speculate, but let's see what comes out. Mayhaps he got close enough to establish intent on just WTF he was doing and the BG tried the hands at side "I ain't doing anything" routine. Mayhaps the LEO looked away at something. Either way, establishing he was an LEO may have hindered what happened next. Does he HAVE to announce he is an LEO if not acting in an official capacity, or mayhaps the announcing was to cover his own arse? I don't know.

    Either way, Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0. This game is over. Let the War Room in Toronto mull over this for a while. (I'm a hockey fan, sry for reference)

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    Regular Member Ajetpilot's Avatar
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    The sirens woke me up...

    This occurred just down the road from me.

    More info: http://tinyurl.com/2bsdjqb
    Last edited by Ajetpilot; 09-12-2010 at 09:35 PM. Reason: More info.

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    Regular Member Ajetpilot's Avatar
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    If I had just been hit in the head with a steel bar...

    I wouldn't be issuing verbal commands. The time for any verbal communications is over! Thank you, trooper. That's one I won't have to deal with!

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    ok time for me to go off on one of my "devils advocate" rant type thingies here:

    I PERSONALLY believe that if a "civie" had done this they would have spent AT LEAST the night in lock-up pending further investigation, as well as had their firearm confiscated until the investigation was over with and all charges were dropped.

    Is that fair and equitable? No not necessarily.

    I also understand that we cant turn the poor trooper (who from initial reports at least did nothing wrong except WAITING too long to shot the punk) loose on the streets without his firearm. What about EVERYONE else right to self defense after a shooting?

    Anyways I think that just about covers my $.02
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    Regular Member Tomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajetpilot View Post
    If I had just been hit in the head with a steel bar...
    I wouldn't be issuing verbal commands. The time for any verbal communications is over! Thank you, trooper. That's one I won't have to deal with!
    Hear, hear!

    In my humble opinion, as soon as that initial swing started, all need to further communicate with the aggressor ceased.

    At that point, lethal force in self defense may commence.

    (For many civilians, not necessarily as well trained or practiced as a State Patrol Trooper, even having a potential aggressor step forward after being told to stand down or otherwise warned is sometimes enough, depending on conditions, to make lethal force in self defense legitimate.)

    BTW, thanks for popping up that link again, deanf. Every time I follow a link to that article I read the whole thing again. A lot of good information concentrated there.
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    Interesting over here in Spokane LE is making a big deal out of Pastor Creach leaving the safety of his home to investigate a suspicious car on his property. Of course the suspicious car was an unmarked police car and Creach ended up dead. Kind of a double standard again so I got to agree with Devildoc5. I am not faulting the trooper here just pointing out difference between the perception of a civilan and a LEO that should not be.
    Last edited by Jeff Hayes; 09-13-2010 at 12:05 AM. Reason: caint speall

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    The trooper identified himself as a law-enforcement officer, the sheriff's office said.
    Did not the trooper cease being a civilian when he declared himself a law-enforcement officer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orphan View Post
    Interesting over here in Spokane LE is making a big deal out of Pator Creach leaving the safety of his home to investigate a suspicious car on his property. Of course the suspicious car was an unmarked police car and Creach ended up dead. Kind of a double standard again so I got to agree with Devildoc5. I am not faulting the trooper here just pointing out difference between the perception of a civilan and a LEO that should not be.
    Of course the LE is going to try to rationalize their union brother's actions and place the blame elsewere.

    I feel lucky to have Elfo and his deputies sometimes. Several have told me they are not allowed on my property except if invited,to go to my front door if I don't have a gate, or if they see or know a felony is taking place.

    This trooper was acting as a civilian he was off duty and on his own property, LEO's are more restrained by our RCW's in the use of deadly force and I wonder if this training is what deterred him from taking action sooner.

    Also (I gotta learn to multi-quote) Thomas there was the case in Stanwood where the civilian took a BG's life and is not being prosecuted. I bet this trooper will actually have a harder time than this civilian, his bosses and the brass and union will probably make hime go to a physcologist, and some time off.

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    I wonder if highway patrol are considered on the clock 24/7...I know in Utah they are, but am not sure about Washington State--anyone know?

    Regardless the double standard, this civilian/LEO was justified to pull the trigger before he was even struck, IMO.

    Back to a response in this thread about LEO's getting the upper hand in all of these shootings. LEO's train to pull the trigger, while civilians do little training...I think there is a danger for civilians that do not go shooting at least a couple of times a month, and practice as if they are shooting a perp.

    Hesitation is and can be a killer. I have let a person get in to close, and in retrospect I would never let that happen again. I think when you are a decent person you try to give the perp the benefit of doubt, bad idea!

    In theory civilians have more latitude than LEO's, in theory! A civilian is involved in a shooting, you are going to be arrested 99% of the time, unless the perp had a gun on them, then you might not be. An LEO is allowed to go home to their family, and decompress. Civilian decompression involves being handcuffed, interrogated, and thrown into a jail cell (in some cases isolation) for at least 72 hours.
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Do you have to wait for the swing?

    Or, if you see someone with a steel bar should you be in fear for your life? Let's say there is an unknown car in my driveway and I go out to look. Walking towards me a man has a steel bar and he is within 15 feet of me or so. It is 11:30 at night. I would be in fear for my life I am almost sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomas View Post
    Hear, hear!

    In my humble opinion, as soon as that initial swing started, all need to further communicate with the aggressor ceased.

    At that point, lethal force in self defense may commence.

    (For many civilians, not necessarily as well trained or practiced as a State Patrol Trooper, even having a potential aggressor step forward after being told to stand down or otherwise warned is sometimes enough, depending on conditions, to make lethal force in self defense legitimate.)

    BTW, thanks for popping up that link again, deanf. Every time I follow a link to that article I read the whole thing again. A lot of good information concentrated there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Orphan View Post
    Interesting over here in Spokane LE is making a big deal out of Pastor Creach leaving the safety of his home to investigate a suspicious car on his property. Of course the suspicious car was an unmarked police car and Creach ended up dead. Kind of a double standard again so I got to agree with Devildoc5. I am not faulting the trooper here just pointing out difference between the perception of a civilan and a LEO that should not be.

    Exactly! The perception in these two cases seems to be widely different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky_Dog View Post
    Did not the trooper cease being a civilian when he declared himself a law-enforcement officer?
    Good question. Does an off-duty LEO ever cease being a civilian when he encounters this type of situation?
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    snip

    Good question. Does an off-duty LEO ever cease being a civilian when he encounters this type of situation?
    An off duty LEO will identify themselves IMMEDIATELY to sway the outcome if they think it will. I'm not saying this is the case here, but where does the law state they must, can, can't, or what capacity they are acting under? Great thought

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goose View Post
    An off duty LEO will identify themselves IMMEDIATELY to sway the outcome if they think it will. I'm not saying this is the case here, but where does the law state they must, can, can't, or what capacity they are acting under? Great thought
    You raise a good question. I wonder if the officer yelling "police" if he is not on duty is as legal as a civilian yelling "police."
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    Regardless the double standard, this civilian/LEO was justified to pull the trigger before he was even struck, IMO.
    Of that, there should be no doubt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky_Dog View Post
    Of that, there should be no doubt.
    If the facts are as described in the story, of this I am totally in agreement with.

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