Scenario ends…

With everyone having said their piece and given supporting reasons, it’s time to end the scenario.

Sorry Arthur, but you don’t have time to access the shotgun. You have to use your handgun and engage the suspect (points though for the thought!).

As he sprints towards you, you fire 2 rounds center mass, striking him twice in the chest. He crumples and falls backwards. You cover him with your handgun while you approach him. In the light, you see he has a recent neck wound. He gasps, “He’s still inside…”

You shot the Fiance, not the Perp.

It’s all over, isn’t it? Nope…

The Fiance’s family sues you civilly for killing him. It gets appealed all the way up to the US Supreme Court.

The US Supreme Court says that due to the ‘totality of the circumstances’ leading up to the shooting, any reasonable, well-trained officer would’ve done the same in that given situation, and says the Deputy (You) was justified in using deadly force, even though it was against a victim, and not the suspect.

This case furthered the thought that Law Enforcement Officers have to make split second decisions, based on what they know at that time. In this case, the Fiance could’ve easily been the Perp (the ex-Fiance) and killed the Deputy (You). Yes, we do know that we shot the wrong guy, however, we can’t use the identity of the person we shot as a judging factor in determining justification of deadly force because we did not know his identity until after he had been shot. We can only look at the facts leading up to the point the Deputy (You) pulled the trigger. This goes back to ‘totality of the circumstances’, and not the more common armchair quarterbacking “view with 20/20 hindsight”.

But, there is another important fact that we wrongly assumed. The Other Deputy was not shot. The round that was shot at him never hit him. When the Ex-fiance pointed the gun at him, he took a step back and tripped on something as the Ex-f shot at him. Him tripping caused him to fall back. He did lay there while this transpired, which lead us to believe he was down and out, when he really wasn’t. But again, give the circumstances, him falling back at the time of the shot and not immediately getting up, would lead an officer to believe he had indeed been shot.

So, in a nut shell, we killed the wrong guy but was cleared of all wrong doing, because it was justified.

This story doesn’t end well, sadly. The Ex-f killed the woman inside, then committed suicide.


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