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Thread: Did this clerk have the right to shoot?

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    Did this clerk have the right to shoot?

    http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/R...133347893.html"Police say around 2:30 a.m. Monday, 20-year-old James Hensley walked into a Shell station, near I-75 Exit 59 in Mount Vernon, armed with a knife.



    Police say Hensley stole money and cigarettes from the clerk. Police say the clerk then chased after Hensley.

    "The clerk at that point pursued the suspect out of the store, and shots were fired," Sgt. Tom Atkin of Kentucky State Police said.

    Hensley was hit, and later pronounced dead."

  2. #2
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Authorities give a bit broader power of discretion if a business owner shoots a burglar, I think.

    Was it a righteous shoot. Heck, no going solely by your description.
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

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    Well the clerk, being an employee, had the legal justification for a PHYSICAL confrontation. If the thief then escalated it by trying to defend himself with that knife and if the clerk didn't have the gun already drawn, then yeah its a justified shoot

    This is of course a strict reading of the law and an ideal transpiration of events.
    Last edited by UnfetteredMight; 11-07-2011 at 06:02 PM.

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    Regular Member Johnburns15's Avatar
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    There are too many unanswered questions with the investigation still going on.
    Did the assailant say he was going to come back?
    Threaten to kill the clerk as he was leaving?
    Did the clerk shoot him in the back after the assailant had already put the knife away?

    There are just too many possibilities that only the clerk know about, or possibly other witnesses

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    Im not familiar enough with Kentucky law to give a legal answer, but my personal feelings are it was a good shoot.

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    OMG, the outcry of 'He was a sweet guy'. Yeah, I'm a sweet guy - I can tell because I ain't threatening to kill someone with a knife over cigs. He's a felon and a thief and was willing to take a life for cigarettes and ho-hos.
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

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    Retired cop told me this one..."It's always best when the DA has only one story to listen to." If the clerk was in 'reasonable fear of grave bodily harm or death' then yes he was justified. He may have followed the perp out in the hope of getting a vehicle discription and/or direction of travel to better help the cops apprehend the suspect and was turned on. Don't know, wasn't there. Not my place to judge another man's fear.
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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    From the little info that is given, I'd say once the perp was out of the store that's when he was no longer a threat to the clerk.
    Last edited by MilProGuy; 11-07-2011 at 08:53 PM.
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    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post
    From the little info that is given, I'd say once the perp was out of the store that's when he was no longer a threat to the clerk.
    I would argue that until the perp had a change of heart he would always be a threat.

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    I would argue that the clerk is a complete moron for chasing a single guy with a knife out of a store and shooting at him.

    1. Backstop?
    2. A knife is not a threat when the guy is out the door and running away
    3. The store is prob insured
    4. The knife guy and his family won't be gunning for you if you don't run out and shoot him in the back

    Now, if the guy was using a gun, the story is different - he's always a threat if he has a clear shot and can turn and snap-shoot you.
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

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    Regular Member Johnburns15's Avatar
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    Or it could have just been his adrenaline and emotions mixing, causing him to do something without thinking about what he's doing.

    But I DON'T like the responses from some of the citizens from his town, " he just had a knife he shouldn't have shot him". In my opinion, he threatened the life of another human for a couple dollars and a couple packs of cigarettes. He got what he deserved. The next time he tried robbing a store and the clerk told him he wasn't going to give up the money he could've stabbed the clerk.

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    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    I would argue that the clerk is a complete moron for chasing a single guy with a knife out of a store and shooting at him.

    1. Backstop?
    2. A knife is not a threat when the guy is out the door and running away
    3. The store is prob insured
    4. The knife guy and his family won't be gunning for you if you don't run out and shoot him in the back

    Now, if the guy was using a gun, the story is different - he's always a threat if he has a clear shot and can turn and snap-shoot you.
    I didn't say he was justified for shooting. I was saying he was still a threat. Maybe not to the clerk, but to someone. And it don't matter if the store is insured, he lost something that day that he would never have gotten back if he didn't do anything.

    And if I was the clerk I would sleep well knowing that I did the right thing, no matter if I got sued.

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 09jisaac View Post
    I didn't say he was justified for shooting. I was saying he was still a threat. Maybe not to the clerk, but to someone. And it don't matter if the store is insured, he lost something that day that he would never have gotten back if he didn't do anything.

    And if I was the clerk I would sleep well knowing that I did the right thing, no matter if I got sued.
    I can tell you've never shot and killed anyone. If you sleep well then you're a sociopath. HTH.
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

    Hi, I'm hypercritical. But I mean no harm, I just like to try to look deeply at life

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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    I would argue that the clerk is a complete moron for chasing a single guy with a knife out of a store and shooting at him.

    1. Backstop?
    2. A knife is not a threat when the guy is out the door and running away
    3. The store is prob insured
    4. The knife guy and his family won't be gunning for you if you don't run out and shoot him in the back

    Now, if the guy was using a gun, the story is different - he's always a threat if he has a clear shot and can turn and snap-shoot you.
    Ah...the voice of reason...

    Thank you.
    Last edited by MilProGuy; 11-07-2011 at 09:52 PM. Reason: edited for clarity
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    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    I can tell you've never shot and killed anyone. If you sleep well then you're a sociopath. HTH.
    You're right, I have never shot anyone. But I'm a sociopath for my sense of justice? Then are we all if we think that people need to get what they deserve? When someone pulls a weapon on you, and takes something from you, you lose more than what they got. You will never be the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post
    From the little info that is given, I'd say once the perp was out of the store that's when he was no longer a threat to the clerk.



    So he wasnt a threat to the clerk anymore(that night) but what happens tomorrow or next week when he needs more money or runs out of cigarettes? He will do the same thing. so he would have been a threat to someone else. i know i would sleep a lot better knowing that he wasnt going to come back or do the samething to someone else. Because they always do once they know they can get away with it they have no problem doing it again. and you never know by the clerk shooting that guy he might have saved someone elses life.

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    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brekay View Post
    So he wasnt a threat to the clerk anymore(that night) but what happens tomorrow or next week when he needs more money or runs out of cigarettes? He will do the same thing. so he would have been a threat to someone else. i know i would sleep a lot better knowing that he wasnt going to come back or do the samething to someone else. Because they always do once they know they can get away with it they have no problem doing it again. and you never know by the clerk shooting that guy he might have saved someone elses life.
    You could sleep knowing someone shot that guy, a guy with little reguards to the law and fellow humans??? What a sociopath!!! My opinion, thats just the cost of doing business for him. He knew what he was getting into before he pulled that knife, and deserved what he got. Was it in the confines of the law? No. Could he have let it be? Yes. But I don't want to only have what others don't want to take from me, I would rather have what others CANT take from me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 09jisaac View Post
    You could sleep knowing someone shot that guy, a guy with little reguards to the law and fellow humans??? What a sociopath!!! My opinion, thats just the cost of doing business for him. He knew what he was getting into before he pulled that knife, and deserved what he got. Was it in the confines of the law? No. Could he have let it be? Yes. But I don't want to only have what others don't want to take from me, I would rather have what others CANT take from me.


    I could sleep just fine knowing that another bad person was off the street. thats one less thing good people have to worry about. Maybe if enough people start standing up for themselves and what they have the world wouldnt have so many criminals. becaue putting them in jail for a few days does not make them change.

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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brekay View Post
    So he wasnt a threat to the clerk anymore(that night) but what happens tomorrow or next week when he needs more money or runs out of cigarettes? He will do the same thing. so he would have been a threat to someone else. i know i would sleep a lot better knowing that he wasnt going to come back or do the samething to someone else. Because they always do once they know they can get away with it they have no problem doing it again. and you never know by the clerk shooting that guy he might have saved someone elses life.
    Back in the 1970s, a store owner shot a fellow in the back and killed him as he was fleeing down the sidewalk on Main Street after stealing a roll of rag bologna from his store.

    I saw the store owner cleaning up the blood about an hour after the police left, and I've always been haunted by the sickening smell and sight of all that unnecessary bloodshed and the taking of a man's life who was no threat to the store owner, and whose crime did not match the punishment.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post
    ...crime did not match the punishment.
    When punishments start to match crimes, there will be a LOT less crime.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    OMG, the outcry of 'He was a sweet guy'. Yeah, I'm a sweet guy - I can tell because I ain't threatening to kill someone with a knife over cigs. He's a felon and a thief and was willing to take a life for cigarettes and ho-hos.
    I agree with you on this one Badger! If anyone's willing to rob, steal or kill anyone else with a weapon; they have foregone their Right to live! As for this specific case, there are really too many unknown's at this point to safely say one way or other.
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    Sure, it's the world is a better place without him. However, I doubt anyone here can tell me with confidence that a man with a knife that turns tail and runs is still a threat. Would he end up committing the same crime and threatening someone else down the line? Probably. But you can't kill someone because you think he'll probably do something in the future. In KY, if you or someone else is in imminent mortal danger or sexual assault you may use deadly force. Doesn't look good for the clerk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by langzaiguy View Post
    Sure, it's the world is a better place without him. However, I doubt anyone here can tell me with confidence that a man with a knife that turns tail and runs is still a threat. Would he end up committing the same crime and threatening someone else down the line? Probably. But you can't kill someone because you think he'll probably do something in the future. In KY, if you or someone else is in imminent mortal danger or sexual assault you may use deadly force. Doesn't look good for the clerk.
    I will argue against that too. http://wvgazette.com/News/201109192975. I know its not in Kentucky but it is right across the river. People are getting tired of having what they have worked hard for taken away from them. They can't stand that the laws protect the crooks and the theives over them. People getting only 3 years for murder, probation for hard drugs. If I was caught kicking my dog I would serve more than what most POS would serve in their life.

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    Krs ch.503.050

    A victim has a right to use deadly physical force in protection of self or anOther when, they fear death, serious physical injury, forced intercourse, Kidnapping, FELONY WITH USE OF FORCE. This seems justified under Ky deadly force law. If they are found to have acted within the law they are safe from criminal and civil suits. Krs 503.055 and 503.080 cOuld also apply. Ky allows you to protect yourself in more cases than just fear of death or rape and the fact that a felony was committed, and Ky has no requirement to flee if possible, I say this will certainly be justified under law.
    Last edited by KYGlockster; 11-08-2011 at 08:33 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KYGlockster View Post
    Krs ch.503.050

    A victim has a right to use deadly physical force in protection of self or anOther when, they fear death, serious physical injury, forced intercourse, Kidnapping, FELONY WITH USE OF FORCE. This seems justified under Ky deadly force law. If they are found to have acted within the law they are safe from criminal and civil suits. Krs 503.055 and 503.080 cOuld also apply. Ky allows you to protect yourself in more cases than just fear of death or rape and the fact that a felony was committed, and Ky has no requirement to flee if possible, I say this will certainly be justified under law.
    Sorry, but the Felony With Use of Force was over before the clerk shot. These are examples of imminent danger.

    Folks need to understand that the law looks at a crime as having a clear beginning time and a clear ending time. This crime ended when the BG exited the store. There is no question that a crime was committed and the perpetrator needs/ought to be found, tried and if convicted be punished for his misdeed(s). But there are a lot of folks who seem more than happy to skip all that "justice" and "due process" stuff - most likely only until it comes their turn to be accused of a criminal act.

    I probably would be up front leading the cheering if the clerk had gunned the perp down when the guy was standing in front of the counter waving his knife around. But once the perp left the store the clerk changed from being the victm to being the aggressor/instigator of a new crime. As such he deserves, in the book a lot of you seem to be reading from, to be shot down like a dog himself.

    stay safe.
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