Woman shot and killed man trying to break into her home with tire iron
Although, to date, no charges have been filed against the homeowner, the woman’s actions are not recommended.
In the state of Florida, for the use of lethal force to be justified, the victim must have the reasonable belief that his or her life, safety or well-being is in imminent danger. In fear for his or her life.
The woman (women) inside the house may have believed her (their) safety and well-being were in danger. But, it is hard to justify the the use of lethal force against a would-be intruder outside the house.
It has been reported the would–be intruder was “armed” with a tire iron and had actually used it to break a bedroom window. However, he was still standing outside the home. The shots fired that killed the man were fired through the window from inside the home.
It is appreciated the homeowner has not been charged for her actions in defending her life and that of her companion. However, it is not recommended that anyone repeat such actions. In another Florida county or in another state, such action may not be viewed as leniently.
It should be understood Florida’s “Castle Doctrine” dictates an occupant of a dwelling, structure or vehicle is justified in the use of lethal if that occupant has the reasonable belief the use of force or deadly force is necessary to prevent an imminent threat to life, safety and well-being.
How does a person qualify for “Castle Doctrine” protection? Florida law requires that two conditions be present:
- The person against whom deadly force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or they had removed or were attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, and
- The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.
There is no doubt the deceased victim made some bad decisions that cost him his life. And, it is appreciated the two women in the home were not harmed by an intoxicated irate man who, by all appearances, had ill intent.
The proper action to take in such circumstances and that taught in the NRA’s ‘Personal Protection In The Home Course‘ is to:
- Arm yourself
- Retreat to a “safe room”
- Lock the “safe room” door
- Call 9-1-1 and inform law enforcement of your situation
- Maintain an open phone line with 9-1-1 until law enforcement officers arrive
- Be prepared to defend yourself against anyone who enters your “safe room”
- Neutralize any threat that forces entry to your “safe room”
- Maintain your firearm trained on your threat until law enforcement arrives
- Do not leave the safety of your “safe room” (Flee your safe room only in the event of fire.)
- Explicitly follow the instructions/orders of the 9-1-1 operator and law enforcement officers upon their arrival
- Keep in mind, you are a suspect until proven otherwise