Houston Gas Station Shooting: SYG or not? Break it Down with AOJ
Hungry for another claimed example of a deadly Stand-Your-Ground defensive encounter, the mainstream media has seized upon the gas-station shooting death of a black man by a rifle-armed woman, also black, this past Sunday in Houston.
Video of the encounter was captured by the gas station’s security cameras, both inside the enclosed portion of the station, where it seems the encounter began, and out by the pumps where the encounter turned deadly.
Much of the information available to date is from “news” sources, so the “facts” as described must be considered malleable. It appears, however, that the man made some unwanted sexual advances on the woman inside the gas station.
When the woman was standing beside her car near the pumps, the man–58-year-old Louis Daniel–who was killed can be seen circling around the rear of the car, in an aggressive predator-like fashion, then closing distance with her. He was holding what appears to be an umbrella in his right hand, and the news claims he was holding a knife in his left, although this is not discernible in the low qualify security footage. A knife was, however, recovered near his body.
The video then shows her standing by the right-rear fender of her car, the trunk open. Daniel is advancing toward her in a manner much like a fighting stance, shuffling forward with his feet a considerable distance apart, consistent with someone who wanted a firm balance in order to strike a powerful blow.
As Daniel continues to approach, the woman raises her left arm, shoulder high, pointing at him, consistent with her warning him to not come closer. He continues to close, now well within contact distance, and she removes a rifle (unidentified, but similar in size to, say, a Ruger 10-22). She points the rifle downward, and seems to be working the action, with Daniel standing directly beside her, apparently undeterred by the firearm.
Suddenly, Daniel lifts his left foot–this may have been when the reported first shot was fired toward the ground. When his foot rests once again on the ground he brings back his left hand (the one that may have held a knife) and strikes her across the face hard enough to send her–a robustly sized woman–staggering half the length of the car.
When she regains her balance she raises the rifle and fires at Daniel, killing him (this last part is presumed, as the video does not show the actual shooting).
Stand-Your-Ground, Lone Star Version
So, was this a Stand-Your-Ground self-defense case? In Texas Stand-Your-Ground is embodied in two statutes.
9.31. Self-Defense, covers the use of non-deadly force in self-defense.
Section (e) provides:
A person who has a right to be present at the location where the force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the force is used is not required to retreat before using force as described by this section.
9.32. Deadly Force in Defense of Person covers the use of deadly force in self-defense.
Section (c) provides:
A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the deadly force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used is not required to retreat before using deadly force as described by this section.
Gas Station Shooting Does Not Appear to Be SYG Self-Defense Case
While again urging caution given the nature of the “facts” we’re dealing with, it would seem to me that this case is not a Stand-Your-Ground.
As those of you who have been following along will by now have heard ad nauseam, Stand-Your-Ground simply relieves you of any generalized duty you might otherwise have had to retreat before using deadly force in self defense.
That generalized duty, however, only exists if there is a safe avenue of retreat available to you. You are never required to take advantage of an unsafe avenue of retreat, or one that increases your danger–like retreating across a busy freeway, for example.
If there is no safe avenue of retreat available, there is no duty to retreat, and if there is no duty to retreat then there is no need to apply Stand-Your-Ground to relieve of you of that non-existent duty to retreat.
Introduction to the AOJ Triad
So, was there a safe avenue of retreat, or was the threat so imminent that her defensive use of deadly force was imminent? A good way to analyze such situations is to consider the AOJ triad (discussed at length in Chapter 3 of “The Law of Self-Defense, 2nd Edition.”)
The AOJ triad is a conceptual model for evaluating whether a threat has achieved a degree of imminence warranting the defensive use of force. I first learned the AOJ triad while taking my Lethal Force Institute course from Massad Ayoob back in the mid-1990s. The letters of the acronym stand for Ability-Opportunity-Jeopardy.
Ability: Means to Cause Harm
Ability refers to whether your attacker has the means to hurt you. This involves some disparity of force to their advantage that can only be offset by you escalating the defensive force you use in response. So, if they possess a dangerous weapon, of if they are substantially larger, or if they are more numerous–those types of factors would create the kind of disparity of force needed to satisfy the ability element.
Opportunity: To Bring the Harm to Bear
Opportunity refers to whether your attacker can actually bring that means of harm against you. They may be armed with a machete, but if they are standing a block away they cannot (yet) use that machete against you. Were they armed with a gun, however, a block’s worth of distance provides very little comfort if they know what they are doing (or even if they are just lucky).
Jeopardy: Apparent Intent to Apply Ability and Opportunity to Cause Harm
Jeopardy refers to whether you attacker has conducted himself in such a way that a reasonable person would conclude they intended to use the opportunity to bring their ability to cause you harm to fruition. An armed guard standing quietly in a bank would not meet the jeopardy requirement, but a ski-masked man screaming for “all the money!” and waving a gun around certainly would.
Application of AOJ to the Houston Gas Station Shooting
So how does AOJ apply to the Houston gas-station shooting? Let’s take a look, a bit out of sequence.
First, it seems pretty clear that there exists a robust argument for jeopardy. The man was clearly the aggressor. He allegedly made unwanted sexual advances towards her in the gas station, then repeatedly verbally confronted her again, as seen in the video. He then followed her out to her car, where she was seeking to pump gas. Finally, his conduct became physically aggressive, and he closed distance with her despite her apparent protestations to stay back. Even when she displayed the firearm, he declined to cease his aggression and withdraw from the conflict he had initiated. It seems reasonable that such conduct by an aggressor would cause an innocent to fear harm.
Second, it also seems clear that he had the ability to cause her serious harm. He was armed with the potentially dangerous weapon of the lengthy umbrella, and allegedly also a knife. He was also strong enough to send her stumbling several feet with a single blow. This disparity of force would seem to justify his victim in escalating the degree of force needed to defend herself to the deadly-force level.
Third, he clearly had the opportunity to bring his dangerous force to bear during the physical encounter, and the moments leading up to it. At the moment Daniel struck the woman he was, of course, at arm’s length distance–there was no feasible way she could safety retreat should he choose to launch a deadly attack from that range. Even after he struck her and sent her stumbling back, he was still a mere six feet or so distant from her, and he made no apparent effort to increase that distance, so he still possessed the opportunity to continue his attack.
Knowledge of Tueller Drill Shows No Reasonably Safe Retreat Possible
Indeed, even during the earlier moments of the conflict by the gas pumps, he was never more than 21 feet distant from her (at least. As the Tueller Drill (covered in Chapter 5 of “The Law of Self Defense”) has plainly demonstrated for 30 years now, an attacker armed with an impact weapon can cross, from a standing start, a distance of 21 feet and strike a mortal blow in about 1.5 seconds–far less time than most people need to bring a firearm into play and get solid center-mass hits. Indeed, in the security video here shows, it was at least 5 seconds from the time the woman retrieved the rifle from her trunk to when the first shot was apparently fired (at the ground). So even during that earlier period when the man was confronting her from an ever decreasing distance, he was still much too close for her to have been able to secure the safety of the vehicle from her position at her rear fender before this aggressor could be upon her with a deadly attack.
So, it appears that the elements of the AOJ triad are met, and there existed an otherwise unavoidable threat of death or grave bodily harm against which deadly defensive force was warranted.
Further, there appears to be no time from when the man began confronting her while she was at the pumps that she would have had a safe avenue of retreat available to her. Without a safe avenue of retreat there is no duty to retreat, and if there is no duty to retreat, then Stand-Your-Ground has no place in lifting that non-existent duty.
So, no, this does not appear to be a Stand-Your-Ground case.
UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: There seems to be some misunderstanding that because I don’t believe this was a Stand-Your-Ground case, that I therefore do not believe this woman’s use of force was lawful self-defense. That is not the case. It certainly appears to be that this woman has a very strong self-defense claim. Most cases of lawful self-defense, however, do not involve Stand-Your-Ground–that doesn’t make the act of self-defense any less lawful, it merely means SYG is not a relevant issue in the analysis. That, I believe, is the case here.
Evidence of Consciousness of Guilt/Consciousness of Innocence
The whole scenario does, however, get very weird after the fatal shots are fired. Reports are that the woman apparently secured her rifle in the car, finished fueling her car, and took photographs of the dead or dying Daniel. She then simply got in her car and departed the scene, without making any effort to report the matter to authorities.
In the law there is a concept called “consciousness of guilt” evidence (covered in Chapter 9 of “The Law of Self Defense.”. This is typically evidence that suggests a defendant had a self-awareness of having done wrong, and had taken steps to avoid punishment for his misdeed. Often it involves tampering with evidence or inducing witnesses to falsify their testimony, as well as fleeing from the scene of a crime. Where such evidence exists, the Court will instruct the jury that they may consider these specific pieces of evidence as indicating a consciousness of guilt. Believe me, you do not ever want your jury given a consciousness of guilt instruction. Not only does it implicitly suggest that the Court thinks you’re guilty, it suggests that YOU think you’re guilty.
The woman’s conduct here, while thoroughly bizarre, does not quite seem to meet the threshold of consciousness of guilt evidence. The leaving of the scene, if done at, say, high speed, would qualify–but the fact that she finished gassing up and took a photo suggests she did not depart from fear of imminent arrival of the authorities.
Her conduct, however, certainly does not comport with the inverse legal concept called “consciousness of innocence”–that is, evidence that suggests a defendant believed his conduct had been lawful. For example, calling the authorities immediately after having shot someone in self-defense to report the incident. A guilty person tends not to do this.
Not every jurisdiction formally recognizes the concept of “consciousness of innocence,” arguing that every defendant already starts the trial with a presumption of innocence until disproven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Conduct Seemingly Inconsistent with Innocence is to Prosecutors as Blood in the Water is to Sharks
Regardless of its official status, however, I can assure you that every good prosecutor makes all the hay he can out of any conduct that is inconsistent with an apparent consciousness of innocence. Any and all acts you may have committed in the aftermath of a shooting that doesn’t appear to be as white as the driven snow–and even some that do–will be held before the jury as absolute proof of your guilt as a murderer.
In this case, the prosecutor would argue that a woman who has just had to kill an aggressive and dangerous sexual predator in the middle of a gas station simply does not act as this woman did if she were innocent. The innocent person rushes to call the police, even an ambulance for the victim. (Recall during the Zimmerman trial the State prosecutors asking witnesses if there was any evidence that Zimmerman had tried to provide medical assistance to Trayvon Martin, suggesting that an innocent defendant would have done so). The innocent person does not simply finish gassing up their car, take a picture of the dead body, and drive on home to watch Falling Skies that Sunday evening.
Such circumstantial evidence, however, is usually powerful only when layered upon direct evidence of wrong doing. In this case the underlying act appears to be consistent with lawful self-defense, and therefore the conduct after the shooting would appear inadequate to warrant a prosecution.
Take-Home Message: Keep Conduct Utterly Consistent with Consciousness of Innocence, At ALL Times
Of course, the Zimmerman prosecutors brought their case with far less evidence than here. The take home message is that if these Houston prosecutors do not bring this woman to trial based upon her post-shooting conduct, it is not because they can’t try to do so, it’s because they’ve chosen not to do so. The power and authority is in their hands, not hers.
This can have substantive implications with only small changes in the fact pattern. What if, for example, the person shot was a teenaged black “child” and the shooter was a 48-year-old lawyer from Boston? Might a Houston prosecutor with aspirations for higher office seek to leverage such an opportunity at the lawyer’s cost? They certainly might, and the choice would be entirely theirs.
For this reason it is always, always, always essential to conduct yourself in a manner entirely consistent with consciousness of innocence, before, during, and after a self-defense conflict. Doing so preserves your lawyer’s ability to conduct a compelling narrative of innocence for the police investigators, for the prosecutors, for the Court, and for the jury. And it’s that compelling narrative of innocence that is the only thing standing between you and a life time of jailhouse joy.
NOTICE: “Law of Self Defense” Seminars are now being scheduled for the fall.
Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition” now available at www.lawofselfdefense.com and also at Amazon.com as either a hardcopy or in Kindle version, and at Barnes & Noble as hardcopy or in Nook version.
You can follow Andrew on Twitter on @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
The ironies abound…again.
Quanell the Tenth…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quanell_X…is a NBP/Black Muslim race pimp of the lowest circle of hell, who has a documented history of preying on the people of Houston like the proverbial wolf.
He has led the local “just us for Trayvon” civil unrest, and is ALSO the principle advocate for the young lady involved in this shooting.
Q10th probably justifies his hypocrisy in his own mind by dancing around the issue by saying that she prominently displays her weapon whereas GZ kept his concealed thus inviting TM to pummel him senseless until just that right moment.
I vote we create a new anagram to reflect spin doctoring. DOI = dance of the ignorant/ironic.
I think there is a bigger motive at play:
Her criminal past does not bode well for her in a trial and she might be an intentional “losing cause”.
If she wins, he gets more black community cred. If she loses, he gets more black community outrage.
Quanell was the $%^& who led marches in Joe Horn’s neighborhood, agitating for his prosecution.
You’re in Texas. The media is out of its league.
Meanwhile, it seems someone else is also caught by the camera(s), unperturbed, oviously, that a shooting is going to take place.
As I said, You’re in Texas. If you were in NYC, and the fight was over a parking spot, lots of new yorkers would be seeking safety, just to get out of the way.
Hell, in NYC they’d be maneuvering for the parking space 🙂
I’d love to hear how this plays out when more details come out. Was there no attendant at the station in a bulletproof cage who would be the one calling the police? Is this a high-crime area where it’s too dangerous to stay to call the police and it’s wiser to do so elsewhere? Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂
I have an idea! Michelle should go on TV and say she sympathizes with the 23 year old “who got out of her car. Because women shouldn’t have to lock themselves in their cars waiting for the gas attendant.”
Oh, and just like trayvon paid for his own skittles, this woman was inside, paying the attendant for her gas. When, unprovoked, she was sexually harassed. How many law suits can be rung out of this story?
Who called local law enforcement first? Will there be a 9-1-1 tape? Lucky, the lady didn’t run into her car and drive away with the hose spraying gasoline. Somebody (innocently) could have dropped a match? You know, the media was there. They carry extra matches.
In video, the bystander is SMOKING!
You must not live in the south. That’s SOP here. I cannot begin to count the number of times I’ve pulled up to the pumps only to see someone with a lit cigarette.
Usually, if they look to be leaving soon I just hold back (or pull through) and wait. But if I’m feeling ornery I’ll park, remove the handle from the pump, flip it on, then turn and face the smoker (with the nozzle pointed directly toward him/her) and say “would you mind putting that out?”
That usually wakes them up.
if you sprayed gas on them it would just put the cigarette out, which would be a good think in my opinion. but not because it’s a risk of fire; it’s not. Just like a cell phone won’t cause a jumbo-jet to crash. stupid govt regs put in place for stupid reasons.
Oh, PLEASE… In the South, our normal summer temp. is WELL over the vapor point of gasoline.
It’s just we ain’t skeered o’ no “immolation”. We livin’ on the edge, baby…
her actions afterwards did bug me but I had not had much of a chance to research.
I had been wondering if she was a prior rape victim and had a psych break after stopping him.
She likely told herself he needed killing.
8 out of 10 African American women have either been raped or molested as children.
It is actually hard for me to even imagine a more justified shooting that this one. If there is even a chance that this woman could actually be convicted in these circumstances, then I would say that effectively a right to self defense is no longer protected.
As for all that analysis and consciousness of innocence etc; are you kidding me? What about common sense? Attacking someone with a loaded gun pointed at you is tantamount to suicide. He struck her first and very hard. How are her actions after the shooting relevant? They aren’t. Hindsight and armchair analysis for lawyers is easy. Besides after, stressful situations like this one how could you expect someone to act in what you would consider a normal manner? Most people probably wouldn’t. As far as your advice goes…well yeah…assuming she wasn’t so freaked to not be thinking straight.
No. She will not even be indicted. No grand jury would return a bill in Texas. Not going to happen.
I believe that the same laws that provide no penalty when using lethal force to defend yourself against great bodily harm or death from an attack by a single attacker, also applies to each member of a group or a mob that threatens an individual similarly.
So, if you are attacked by multiple Trayvons, you can legally defend yourself against “them all,” except the ones that are running away.
You should consult an attorney before taking such action. I believe that in Houston, there is a requirement to post “stand your ground laws” in every gas station, right next to the Federal Minimum Wage and Anti-Discrimination posters.
While this might not be a SYG case, couldn’t the existence of SYG law or case law make a difference? Without it, a prosecutor could go into the weeds claiming the shooter could have retreated, and she’d need to present to the jury the Tueller Drill and that she had knowledge of it, or the like from general life experience, and so on.
Another 16 months of courtroom drama and media hysteria? He came after her, she warned him, he kept coming, she shot him. I’d give her a medal and move on.
My money is on a no-bill…IF it is every presented to a grand jury in Harris County…which I also doubt.
No. A black woman is a higher order of victim than a black man. Therefore, it isn’t possible to achieve critical mass in this case. The woman’s behavior after-the-fact makes it interesting, but not explosive.
Had the woman been white, it might have been good for a freak-out. The media would have called her a “masculine woman”, the gender version of “white Hispanic”.
Since it’s two black persons, the racist, Sharpton, won’t care.
I’ll pass on giving her a medal.
That said, even less-than-upstanding citizens have a right to defend themselves, with deadly force if necessary, against attack by less-than-less-than-upstanding citizens.
Her actions afterwards speak to her state of mind which could have been affected by many things. To ascribe what happened afterwards to what she was thinking during the incident is simply not logical. Do lawyers even get trained in elementary logic? Cause and effect? Even if she fled the scene that is in no way relevant to whether or not she was justified in the shooting when it happened or even whether she thought she was justified at the time.
You’re free to believe that a person’s actions in the immediate aftermath killing someone are irrelevant to the killing, but that’s NOT what the law says, nor is it how the law will be applied.
Conduct yourself however you think best, but don’t be surprised when the criminal justice system takes little interest in your legal misconceptions.
Fair warning and all that.
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
As I said, it’s elementary logic; cause and effect-type stuff we all should have learned in grade school. (Time doesn’t flow backwards, etc.) In cases like these, I would hope the defense lawyer should remember to point that out. And the jury should give the so-called evidence the consideration it deserves which is what I suspect most serious juries would do. From what I’ve seen, it seems many trials these days are filled with a whole lot of fluff, just dressed up and called evidence. In the Zimmerman trial for example, they brought up a whole lot of information not relevant to the case, thereby making it more work for the jury to sift through everything and come to the right decision.
It would also seem to me easy enough for anyone, even if they were perfectly justified at the time, to have second thoughts or doubts afterwards or have another type of adverse emotional response (e.g. shock) and so therefore act in a manner that someone months later sitting safely in armchair could twist to make sound suspicious. We are not perfect beings. It’s surely possible that person might even come to the temporary but erroneous belief that they were at fault and act accordingly (e.g. flee). Please remember though that those actions came AFTER the shooting and so cannot possibly have any bearing on the guilt or innocence of the shooter.
In the case of not reporting the shooting; that might actually be a crime in some places but it does not (cannot) have any bearing on whether or not she committed murder.
As far as planning for these things in advance, while I completely agree that is always a good idea and keeping a constant situational awareness even better; there will always be a chance of something unpredictable happening. In those cases an instant decision must be made; a decision which very well might have been different where there more time to think about it. Of course this is also something the defense lawyer should point out to the jury (again and again and again, if he has to).
In my opinion that woman waited far too long to shoot. She should have fired before, not after she was flung staggering half the length of the car. She’s lucky to be alive.
CHL instructors are taught by DPS to teach their students that LEAVING THE AREA may be in their best interest. It depends on the SITUATION. If they just shot a gang member, the other gang members may shoot them. The DPS says leaving the area is OK! I was in the first CHL instructor class DPS taught and I would be happy to testify to that for this woman.
I would argue her conduct after the shooting was totally consistent with someone who was in a state of shock, and had a vague sense that the incident might not be over.
She left. That is not the same a “fleeing”. She finished her business, had a tank of fuel to evade others, and took a picture to preserve evidence.
NOT my idea of ideal conduct. But I have never had to kill a potential rapist who attacked in a public place.
Not calling the police to report the shooting is problematic.
Sure, that’s the angle I’d take, as well.
But how would that same story fly if it was coming from a 48-year-old white guy, like me, and the person who’d been shot was a teenage “child”? I doubt then the police and prosecutors would think it was just fine that I photographed the dead body, cooly gassed up my car like I didn’t care, and then drove off and made no effort to report the killing to the authorities.
No, I think they’d be quite upset with me, indeed. Zimmerman did none of that kind of thing, and look how they demonized his conduct afterwards.
That’s the point. The exculpatory story one can come up with on these facts might well be effective for _her_. But that’s because of the very specific facts of this situation, not because she’s particularly protected by some facet of the law of self-defense. Put two different people in exactly the same fact pattern and you’ll likely find the police and prosecutors not so understanding.
As for whether or not she “fled”–the only way to ensure leaving the scene of a body you’ve killed cannot be characterized as fleeing the scene is to promptly report events to the authorities as soon as safety permits. I’ve seen lots of cases where someone resolved a confrontation by merely displaying a firearm, bad guy departs, good guy goes home thinking it’s all wrapped up, and a few hours later the police are at his home arresting him for aggravated battery. If he’d only been the first to call the cops, he wouldn’t have been labelled the likely wrongdoer by default. Instead, bad guy called, told story and good guy’s plate number, and grabbed the title of “complainant”. Now the bad guy looks like he fled for safety, called police as soon as he could, and the good guy simply fled, never contacted the authorities. Who does it look like was trying to hide something?
The game’s got rules, and they aren’t all written down–well, at least they weren’t until “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition.” 🙂
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
But how would that same story fly if it was coming from a 48-year-old white guy, like me, and the person who’d been shot was a teenage “child”?
You would be microwaved. I mean…lawyer…
Everybody wants US cooked, and quick…!!!
Of course, you wouldn’t have shot him with your .22 automatic rifle, either.
No, of course I wouldn’t have shot him with my .22 rifle, I would never have been in that situation in the first place. First sign of a red flag, my immediate move is to vacate the area, if at all possible. Works just about every time.
But I’ve thought about such matters quite a long time, and in any case that’s a tactical argument rather than a legal one (and these days I try to leave the tactical arguments to the actively teaching tacticians–lots of good ones out there, today).
For the person who hasn’t given such things much thought, it’s a lot easier to suddenly find they’ve become enmeshed in a difficult-to-escape situation–surprise!–and that now only a substantial degree of force can save them (if anything can save them).
Pays to have thought about it beforehand. 🙂
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
Again, absolute, total agreement. The thing to do is PRO-ACTIVELY leave.
Which is something you should THINK OUT and TRAIN yourself to do LONNNNNNGGGGG before hand.
Believe me, it is NOT my first impulse to NOT stand and fight when challenged. I am Scots-Irish, and it really seems part of the genetic code.
Leaving is the right thing to do. Damn it…
Rags? Please be careful of using “automatic” in relation to firearms. The current synonym is “machine gun”.
Yes, at one time “automatic” meant what is currently “semi-auto”. Language shift is a PITA.
ZMOG, you are RIGHT! I said AUTOMATIC.
You NEVER go full AUTOMATIC, man…
I am semi-corrected…
I mostly agree, Andrew (and up-thumbed your comment).
But you gave away the game when you pointed out that a 48-year-old white guy would be demonized for doing as this black woman did.
It ain’t about right or wrong, and neither was the Zimmerman trial. It’s all about race, and stoking the race-hate fires.
Agreed. I’d accept shock. It’s interesting that the actions of all the characters was bizarre, or at least surprising. The assailant was not at all deterred by the gun and the attendant made no effort to avoid potential danger. Seems to me a reasonable reaction to someone waving a loaded gun around would be to seek cover. Would it be wrong of me to suspect that the assailant was on drugs or mentally impaired?
Of course, if GZ were there he would have tackled the assailant!
Personally, I’d bet a Guinness that EVERYBODY on the scene was high or drunk. That’s entirely speculation, of course, but it better explains her driving away and not contacting the police than almost anything else I can think of, if she needed time to sober up. And the witness (clerk?) just standing there a few feet away as if he were bulletproof was astounding.
Certainly if I see two people arguing nearby and one of them pulls out a gun, I’m diving for the nearest bit of hard cover I can find. I’ll be happy to watch the fireworks on the surveillance tape later, just like everybody else.
Bullets are mindless little things. 🙂
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
LOL! Look at the perps … they definitely appear to be high or drunk. Welcome to inner city Obozzoworld USA, where food stamps are plentiful, Section 8 keeps the rain out, and Obamaphones let you conveniently order your ‘supplies’ for free.
No, I’m not politically correct …. just correct.
Maybe she went home to get more bullets.
Lawyers have plenty of training in logic and commonsense. They also have extensive training in the law, which is what distinguishes them from laypeople. Mr. Branca above is 100% correct when he describes how the law will treat conduct subsequent to a potential crime.
Conduct directly following a crime is generally always admissible. The weight attached to such conduct will be up to the trier of fact.
I respectfully disagree that lawyers have ANY training in “common sense”.
In fact, our trial advocacy training is in persuasion, and is often TOTALLY at odds with our training in the kabuki theater of the law, including the rules of evidence. Most lawyers I know HAVE no common sense.
The law…including the criminal law…is a clumsy hammer. We, as lawyers, have to fit complex human behavior into the ill-suited cubbyholes the laws provide.
I certainly have no bone with Andrew’s excellent pieces on the law of self-defense. He is perfectly right, in the sterile venue of providing advice to people who may ONE DAY have to use deadly force in defense of themselves or others. That is FAR DISTANT from looking at the conduct of people who…lacking any specific training or preparation…HAD to act, as did Zimmerman.
I certainly agree that law school didn’t provide me with an iota more of common sense or logical thinking than I had going in. Might argue I lost some common sense in the process and had to re-acquire it.
There may be worse ways to learn the law than the traditional 3-year law school, but it’s hard to imagine what it might be.
We could probably reduce our output of lawyers by 90% and lose less than 10% of the collective quality advocacy. There’s a lot of bad lawyers out there taking up space and becoming politicians.
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
Tell it, my brotha…
” Most lawyers I know HAVE no common sense.”
Haha, I do IT support in a legal department and I’ll gladly second this assertion. 😀
Hell, I AM a lawyer and I agree!
“Common sense” means sense that we have in common. If it’s something which requires training, then it’s not something “in common” unless all us commoners have the same training.
Put simply, what you believe is relevant or irrelevant will have exactly zero impact on what evidence the jury gets to see. Think of all the “evidence” that was not allowed in the Zimmerman trial. Now think that the prosecution pounded on Zimmerman’s actions directly after the shooting. Grab a copy of Andrew’s book, it will do you a world of good. I am only on chapter 9 and it has already divested me of a couple of thoughts that I considered to be truths. Well worth the read.
Thanks for the kind words, Gremlin. We always appreciate a testimonial, by the way–a short sentence about how you like the book, first name, last initial, that kind of thing.
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
It is not uncommon for people to continue with normal activities after a horrible event to keep themselves together mentally. She was not in a safe place to “loose her shit”. It was for her own self protection. This is a rather seemy part of Houston. She is probably thinking does he have friends around who are going to come kill me in retaliation. So she leaves for her own safety. While I see some would think this odd it really isn’t.
It’s not the leaving that’s problematic. It’s always OK to leave for purposes of safety.
It’s the failing to report that you’ve just killed someone that’s generally frowned upon.
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
I’m confused as to why thats problematic. Lets assume for the sake of argument that kill a man in self-defense and there is 100% proof that would convince 100% of people that I acted lawfully. Why do I need to report it?
So you don’t get charged with felony littering.
For quite a number of very good reasons, when you kill someone, people WILL get excited.
Call it a flaw. But whatever you call it, if it ever happens, you WILL be involved with the criminal law. To one degree or another.
Haha, that’s awesome, you should try that, let us know how it works out.
I also like your 100% proof that would convince 100% of the people. That’s an interesting world you live in.
As if it needs to be said: society has an interest in not having people going around killing each other without good reason. The default position is NOT “hey, that’s cool, no worries”. The default position is, “Well, that’s odd, wonder what the justification for THAT is. Questions are asked, explanations are (or should be) proffered.
That’s HOW society determines how much proof there is one way or the other, and we assign specific people–in the form of investigators, prosecutors, judges, and juries–to look at that “proof” and come to determinations of whether they are convinced the killing was justified. In any case, as the Zimmerman case amply demonstrates, you needn’t win even 1% of the population over to your side if you’ve managed to convince the small number of people on the jury.
When you kill someone and refuse to provide an explanation it appears as if you are attempting to exempt yourself from the normal societal process–the criminal justice system–of ascertaining whether the killing was justified.
Neither the criminal justice system nor society in general is accommodating to such an approach, nor should they be.
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
No you should report it. I’m not arguing that. I’m saying whether you report it, is not relevant to the case of self defense because it happened after the fact, could have many causes and time travel is not possible.
Steve D, believe what you want, I’m not being paid to change your mind, it’s fine. If you want to believe that no one in authority will consider your actions following a shooting as relevant to the shooting “because time travel isn’t possible,” good luck with that. It should be a fun ride.
We all learn in different ways, don’t we.
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
Andrew: “I also like your 100% proof that would convince 100% of the people. That’s an interesting world you live in.”
Hey Andrew, why the snark? I said “lets assume for the sake of argument” so that people like you wouldn’t get wrapped around the axle on whether it was justified, so you could focus that legally-trained mind on the relevant question.
Geez. Have a fricken Snickers man, you’re behaving like a little bitch.
Because there is NEVER 100% proof that will convince 100% of people. One may as well propose that the unicorns will solve global warming–it’s fantasies, all of it. It might make for a fun BS session at the frat house, but it’s not the stuff of adult conversation.
Or more simply, it’s just boring.
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
What you do and say following a fatal shooting can easily determine where you spend the rest of your days on earth.
You have the right to remain silent. But you better contact law enforcement most ricky-tick.
George Zimmerman did just about everything he could possible do to assist the cops and look what happened to him.
Yes. Assume “impossible” as a predicate.
Start with that, and let’s have a rational conversation…
Really…??? (To quote a great trial lawyer.)
No, if you read what I wrote you will see that I was careful not to remark on what people in authority might or might not believe.
The point I was making was the logic (not the legality) of the ‘consciousness of’ concepts, which no one has yet justified in this string. They were simply stated. My use of the phrase time travel was indeed wild rhetoric, but meant to force logical deduction onto this concept and see where that takes it.
For example, you stated that a guilty person does not tend to report the crime. I agree. But I would suggest that most innocent people in emotional distress would probably not report the crime immediately either (especially if they weren’t certain they were innocent) – maybe drive away and report it later after they calmed down (or sobered up or told a friend etc). Is there actual scientific data on this to prove it one way or another?
Because, we can all go along stating what an innocent or guilty person would do afterwards all day long. I for one would like to see some suggestive evidence or better still proof.
Get the incident officially recorded and documented so you don’t face a murder charge at a later date, after the evidence and witnesses have vanished.
Actually we know very little about this incident, so little that speculation about the woman’s “state of mind” is totally fanciful. If the two parties were known to each other beforehand, the situation will be radically different. Maybe he was her bookie trying to collect. Maybe he was her ex! We have no idea at all, and won’t find out by studying the video only.
If DA’s need votes to get elected to office. And, you’re in Texas. Not Floriduh. Isn’t it possible that the video tape shows this 23 year old lady was being attacked?
She had a rifle! Hard enough to pull a gun. But she shot the big black bear and he done fell down.
Perhaps, Dr. Bao will do a “freebie?” He could come in and at least tell us if the guy’s penis was unremarkable. Or not?
A pump action rifle? Which she kept in her trunk?
Attacked while she was still pumping gas?
What if, in real fear, (and no weapon), all she could do was get into her car. Start her engine. And, slam on da’ gas?
Wouldn’t that have brought the attendant out immediately?
Just goes to show you black 58 year old children are being hunted by young black women too. Unless she is a white-black woman or a woman who self describes as a black. I suppose it also matters who has more political connections the dead child or the woman. In this case it was male vs female so thats in the woman’s favor add in he made sexual advances the women looks to be safe against feminazi accusations. Her full racial makeup will decide if she’s safe from the BGI. If she’s lesbian that’ll be a twofer, female and gay.If she 100% black a threefer and she’ll be golden.
What if she’s a he ?
No issues in Houston. The mayor is a “married” open lesbian.
She’s a big customer of the Hill-larry line of “roomy” pant-suits.
(OK, that last was harsh…)
She looks black…..
A lot of proggies would love to take away this woman’s right to carry any firearm and defend herself (assuming that is in fact what she did). They would advise her to assume the fetal position and defecate in her pants in order to make herself undesirable to a sexual predator.
So I ask, who is prosecuting a ‘war on women?”
I demand that the DOJ file a lawsuit against perpetrator–
“US Taxpayer vs “The woman at the Pump.”
Should Eric Holder discover that Louis Daniel received any benefits, federal or state, then “the woman at the pump” has deprived the American taxpayer of the benefit that the now-bloated and rotting Brother Daniels could have provided to our nation. Did we send him to school? Buy his lunches? Send him for medical care? Send him to a university? ALL of these things are investment in a better future for all of us and the “woman at the pump” callously cashed out that investment at a total loss with a flick of her murderous forefinger.
Now we know that she took pictures of Brother Daniels while he was screaming like a little girls and thrashing about in the driveway like a stuck pig, so she obviously has insurance, probably “PROGRESSIVE. We could recover at least some of our investment. I demand an indictment and a civil suit!
If we allow frigid, man-hating, angry black women, like “the woman at the pump” to go around gut-shooting our precious investments in humanity, we might as well forget ever thinking about an ROI on our social welfare programs.
Looks like self defense to me conduct notwithstanding. She had plenty of reason to fear for her life.
As details emerge, I would support this women’s claim to a fair trial and presumption of innocence just as vigorously as I did George Zimmerman.
FYI, I just added to following update/clarification to my post above:
UPDATE: There seems to be some misunderstanding that because I don’t believe this was a Stand-Your-Ground case, that I therefore do not believe this woman’s use of force was lawful self-defense. That is not the case. It certainly appears to be that this woman has a very strong self-defense claim. Most cases of lawful self-defense, however, do not involve Stand-Your-Ground–that doesn’t make the act of self-defense any less lawful, it merely means SYG is not a relevant issue in the analysis. That, I believe, is the case here.
May the angry emails and comments now cease. 🙂
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
Andrew the CCTV footage seems to show a situation that is 90 degrees from the Marissa Alexander situation (I still want it to go to the grand jury so I am a hold out on the self-defense angle for now).
This case is a better comparison to the Alexander case, than the Zimmerman case. The reasons should be obvious and I am not talking skin pigmentation.
The differences between the two cases are to my untrained eye and mind quite obvious. Marissa Alexander was not a resident in the house where she discharged the gun, meaning that she drove there that day. This woman is seeing walking to her car and the man is following her. That is harassment.
The part of the footage that I do not understand is where she goes to the vehicle gets the gun, probably warns him that she will use the gun, then shoots at his foot.
However, the next part is where the man slaps at her, probably with a knife. Then she stands up, steadies herself and shoots. This woman is used to using firearms.
The inconsistency in the Alexander case comes down to the fact that she walked out of the house to fetch the gun, and then she uses as an excuse for her actions “abuse”? In this footage we actually see the man attacking the woman.
Now I have no problem with the woman claiming self-defense because Daniels did in fact attack her.
In the Alexander case, the witnesses were the children. I assume they supported their father’s version of the incident. Plus Alexander had a duty to retreat and she failed to retreat but instead returned with a gun.
So when do we get to see the junior-high school pictures of this poor innocent man minding his own business of assaulting someone, who was heartlessly murdered by this obviously racist White-African-American?
Give MSNBC a few more hours.
[…] Branca has more on the legalities at Legal […]
Is it just me or was he wearing a hoodie?
Just as an aside, that was not directed at you, posted same time…
What NO HOODIE!
I guess’Cause it happened at the TRUNKIE, STUPID!
Her “junk in the trunk” was not as expected…
Does anyone here do their own research before drawing a conclusion, or does everyone here just consume what other people’s opinions are as absolute fact(s) and simply run with that? Louis Daniels, the “58 year old sexual pervert” assaults an innocent black woman in Houston. Um, yeeaaaa right!
A cursory search for information tells me that the woman is a drug dealer, the man owes her money. A look at the video shows her pulling her gun casually as the man exits the store. The video has no sound, so her claims of sexual nonsense cannot be confirmed. But she threatens him by pointing the gun at his feet. She fired (watch the video closely as she fires and he lifts his left foot in reaction), perhaps hitting his foot or perhaps the bullet ricocheted and hit him or perhaps he was not hit; but he THEN defended himself by striking at her and then fleeing. She shot him at least one more time as he fled, killing him. She took photos: as proof of him having a pocket knife or as a trophy for herself – we will soon see and know more.
It looks like she shot him in the foot, he struck out at her and fled, and then she went after him and murdered him; and then she casually went over to take photos, unarmed and unafraid of anyone else there.
Oh no! I just had a terrible thought… Maybe she read your book Andrew. 😉
Your “cursory search” presented no citations for your wild allegations.
Rags how is it that my allegations, actually my observations and comments, are any more “wild” than those posted by the Sheeple’s posts above mine?
This incident could have been avoided if the shooter had only read your edifying fable of the suspicious looking hippies.
Definition of low IQ:
Approach female while drooling, continue pressing her space and for damn sure smack her ass WHILE SHE IS HOLDING A LETHAL WEAPON.
Look it up. 😉
Not to quibble…there are any number of ways to reach a low IQ…
but I’d say Mr. Daniel met the definition of “highly effed up, in the nth degree”.
He was able to connect a left-handed haymaker, which could be the saving grace of Ms. McDonald.
looks like self-defense… he has a clear window of opportunity to back off her… more than a few times. why he continued to go at her especially after he saw her bring a gun out of the back of her trunk was just retarded.
he also looks like he’s walking around acting as if he’s her pimp.
then he bitchslaps her… when one can see he knows she brought a lethal weapon out of her trunk to deter him. um… yeah, not too smart.
he learned his lesson a lil too late…
(or maybe that’s a knife slash… doesn’t look like a knife in his left hand tho. looks like a straight bitchslap – if he had slashed her… she would be bleeding
(but he may have been pointing an knife at her several times before he put it away then bitchslap her
but why would you bitchslap someone with a gun?
…really… he don’t expect to be shot after that?
…what’s worse about this, is… replace that black woman…
with a light skinned russian female, asian, white, japanese, or mexican… and al sharpton would be protesting racism from her… she just happens to be black so the left can’t do anything about it. …other than be mad, that she used a gun.
You certainly could be right, it was likely a slap in retaliation for her shooting him in the foot or shooting at his foot. Maybe he pulled out his pocket knife as he was running away from her, and then she murdered him, took her video/photos and later saw the knife. Earlier in the video he pointed down the street (screen left) and he had no pocket knife in his hand.
This story sucks! And no one here is right because no one here has any facts other than Shanequia’s bullsh*t story, the video (which no one here can watch without blinders on), and what looks to me like a cold blooded murder.
The victim’s daughter –
“He was a smoker, he owed her thirty dollars. She axed for her money, he said, “I anit got it yet, I’m on pay it to you when I get it, she didn’t want that answer.”
The shooter, Shanequia –
“He from aroun dis area, but personally I don’t know him…”
Well, I watched your videos.
That was not a “bitch-slap”, bitch. Did you see him “running away”? You are simply a liar and a troll.
Now, it could be that McDonald was a drug dealer. We will know soon enough.
But I know you are an idiot right now.
Rags have you started smokin’ that weed already today? And nigga please, knock it off with the name callin’.
Love teh ebonics, btw…
GAWD, I’ll be glad when school starts back up this autumn and the junior high kids disappear from here and go back to classes.
Really, in Texas, I doubt that.
Sharpton might try it, but it would not gain much traction.
Go to the TDPS web-site. Look up the stats on the demographics for who is taking out CCP. One of the interesting things you’ll note is the five-year trend in black women as CCP applicants.
Women in Texas know being armed is good, and using arms in self-defense is justified.
He was a psycho off his meds. Probably has a serious history of violence. And, hospitalizations. Medications. And, releases.
Hope the 23 year old sues the hospitals and/or doctors who let this nut run loose.
A long time ago there was a joke about a kid in journalism school who was sent to the scene to report on a rapist. He came back with a very long article. He was told to cut it.
In the final version, here’s the article: NUT, BOLTS & SCREWS
Andrew this Australian sees the shooting at self-defense.
However, I want to discuss the events after the actual shooting and the possible state of shock of the woman.
What I am looking at here is the actions immediately before she pulled the trigger. She was attacked. In my view that would have triggered something deep inside of this woman such that she was acting more an an automaton than anything else.
Based upon my own experiences as a young person, I am going to recall the fear that comes when a young woman is up against a predator. The moment that this man approached her, that woman would have felt fear. He was making sexual advances and she was having none of it, but he was not giving up. Anyone who has faced that kind of situation knows the feeling of panic when the predator refuses to give up. She grabs the gun and he is not deterred. He lunges with the knife in his hand at her head, and she reels backwards. Panic has given way to survival and she prepares herself to use the gun.
I have already outlined my own story and how I have felt that fear when I was approached by what I believe to have been a sexual predator (on more than one occasion). I am very much aware of the panic. In my situation I was able to retreat even though the man had followed me in his car. So yes I understand that this woman would have been in fear and shock when she was approached by that man.
In my view she showed presence of mind when she managed to pull the trigger. Her behaviour after the event though, is quite odd. Perhaps she was bleeding from a wound and she needed medical attention? Just not sure.
This case should at least go before a grand jury so that it is examined. After that she should be considered as innocent of a crime.
She may very well have excellent and completely understandable explanation for why she simply left the scene (rather leisurely, actually) and never bothered to report to the police that she’d been compelled to kill someone who attacked her.
I’m merely pointing out that if you find yourself compelled to kill someone who attacks you, and you then leisurely leave the scene and never report the matter to the police, and they somehow catch up with you, you’re really going to NEED an excellent and completely understandable explanation for your conduct.
Because the expected norm is that you WILL report the matter. Perhaps not until you’ve secured a position of safety, but as soon as safety allows.
If you want to make absolutely certain to attract as much police and prosecutorial interest as possible, create the impression that you’ve attempted to avoid being held legally accountable for the taking of another human life. That’ll do it just about every time.
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
Andrew, I agree and I must admit that her driving away leaves me with an uneasy feeling about what took place.
It is the witness to the incident who says that the woman was being sexually harassed. Her attitude is a bit strange.
I am a non-gun person. I do not carry anything with me to use as a weapon. Umbrellas are useless because they bend too easily…. oh yeah I did learn that when a neighbour approached too close on his bike (and I was about 12 at the time)!!
Vid link above says BOTH have multiple priors for assault and drugs.
One can guess at seeing in the vid that she takes the gun out quite calmly, walks around him a bit with it, pointing it down towards his feet, then his left foot pulls back – anyone reminded of Eddie Murphy to Della Reese in Harlem Nights ‘I’m gonna have to shoot you in your pinky toe’ ?
Did he THEN swing at her, and THEN she shot aggain, killing him ?
It will be interesting to see what the forensics say.
I’d put even money this is just a routine ‘black on black drug related shooting’.
Luckily, Shazamm Shaka Quantell the Xth is on the scene with his little bow tie top keep it all straight. Uh huh.
From a BurtTC commenting on Ace of Spades HQ:
“Maybe my eyes are going bad, but I could swear I saw George Zimmerman curled up in the back of her vehicle, handing her the rifle.”
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
Muttering ‘These too shall be’.
She shot him 4 – 5 times before casually, and unarmed now, walking up to his dead body to collect her trophy video/photo.. Clearly self defense…
‘He was harassing her inside the store’ ? Really ? Then why did she walk out so calmly, at a very leisurely stroll, and walk directly to him, stop to converse, hike up her pants, walk calmly to the pump, then he goes BACK IN THE STORE, comes back out, etc ?
Look at the 29 – 35 second marks – she gets the gun out very calmly, he makes no more against her. She walks BACK to him, as he stands there, turns side by side to him (34 seconds) and they both look down towards the ground together – where she is pointing the gun, and where his foot is.
She appears to be stalking his left foot, walking around him to do it.
THEN his foot jerks back, THEN he belts her.
Also, LOOK AT THAT ‘RIFLE’ – in the last frames after the shot before she gets beside her car – that’s a sawed off looking grip on that thing ! Look at the 40 second mark on this version
10-22 my ass !
Why do Democrats want women to be raped and murdered?
Because if you let a few get raped and murdered, it is easier to keep the rest in line…
Damn, did I say that out loud?
Why did she leave and then return ? ‘Fear of his friends’, she says ? What friends, the ones off camera ? And even with a gun, which she PUT BACK IN THE TRUNK ?
Let’s see what OTHER reasons can we think of for someone to leave and then come back a minute later ? Could it be …..
Or to get rid of something on her or in the car ? Gee, I wonder …..
Rags where are you? There is another Bitch, Idiot, Troll here that has a brain and independent observational skills and he/she is in need of some good old fashioned Texas name callin’ and such! Hurry up and post something!!!!
Right here, lil’ sister.
When does he “run away”, again…???
Seriously, one troll at a time.
At about :32 in this video:
BTW, I used to think you were smart and sometimes funny. But after this idiotic attack by you, well, it just shows that everyone, including me, can be wrong about people.
OK, he starts staggering away when she starts shooting him.
“Running”? We’ll stretch a point in your favor.
You are trolling.
I never thought you were smart. Or funny. I was never wrong about you.
I don’t think this is SYG.
I may be seeing things, but I believe she shot first, and then he attempted to punch her. It’s right before he raises his left foot. There appears to be a plume of hot air/smoke at his left foot.
Hmmm….I see that others have noted the shot by the foot as well.
Thanks for writing about this incident Mr. Branca.
I got into a mini-fight on Twitter about this as I didn’t think this was SYG either.
She could have stopped her fueling, got in her car, locked the doors and waited for the nutter to LEAVE – but instead of doing this obviously rational course of action, she chooses to calmly retrieve her weapon and shoot. When she pulls out the rifle – THEN the man lunges towards the rifle as it to avoid getting shot.
Funny how everyone on the internet is a legal expert these days though, eh.
Keep up the good work Mr. B – always enjoy your comments and writeups here!
cheers from NZ
[…] Charles Cooke and Legal Insurrection, which has the relevant Texas statutes. […]
WTH? I agree with Mr. Branca’s legal opinion – which earns me a thumbs down.
PFFFFFFFT back at ya
Most likely you got the thumbs down from the resident Driveby troll.
Lisa I hope you are safe and nowhere near Wellington.
we’re in Auckland so we don’t feel those Wellington or S.Island rumblings… but I’m sure the quakes will continue (rim of fire and all that)
Auckland has about 50 dormant volcanoes – if any of them blow, I’m in deep doo doo…
Lisa my son’s outlaws are in Wellington 🙂
Try not to worry about it.
There are a surprising number of people here who can’t distinguish between “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” and click the wrong one.
I gave you a thumbs up for that one.
There were multiple guys right? That’s why I think she left. But she should have called 911.
Bottom line: if you show someone who is physically harassing you that you have a gun and their response is to attack you, you shoot them. They are obviously irrational and pose an unknown but extreme threat. Facing a jury is not the worse possible outcome.
This attack at a gas station is NOT an isolated incident – a family was attacked in Louisiana and told they were in the wrong neighborhood:
In certain areas, you are vulnerable just trying to fill up your car, purses stolen, cars stolen, carjacking, etc.
You do NOT, however, walk up to them in a casual manner, with the gun pointed down, converse with them nose-to-nose, walk around them while they stand there doing exactly nothing to you, and THEN shoot at their foot, then back away, then shoot them again, (even after they smacked you for shooting at their foot).
[…] Andrew Branca has up a post about a shooting at a garage in Texas. Like Andrew, I do not believe that the shooting meets the criteria to be a case of SYG. However, I will let you decide whether or not this is SYG or self-defense or manslaughter. […]
Here is a video with more of the murder. You can see the man hopping off on his injured left foot at about :30, and see him running away from her at about :32.
The witness to the murder says that the woman shot 4 – 5 times. Since he was running away after her first shot and he ended up dead by the front door of the store, the other bullets she fired must have hit him in his back.
Enjoy the video!
she won’t be charged
Grand Jury to decide?
Seems to me she exhibited He Needed Killing Conduct. Therefore, she finished refueling her car, took a picture of the body, and drove off without reporting the shooting because she disdained him.
Forgive me, but, what kind of dumbass just stands there toe-to-toe with someone holding a rifle and then looks down at the rifle while the shooter chambers a round? Why not grab the gun and take it away from the shooter, who obviously isn’t skilled at using it?
More than the Stand Your Ground law, THIS one qualifies for a DARWIN AWARD.
What’s the guy’s name, anyway?
I want to TRADE MARK it!
This is what Southerners used to call a typical Saturday night HonkyTonk shooting, just without the music.
Which means they were both under the influence and one had a gun.
The video proves the young lady did “fear for her life”. Anyone swinging a knife at you within 21 feet, in Texas, is considered to be using “deadly force”. That is per the DPS expert on “deadly force” that taught me in the first CHL instructor class in 1995. BUTT, in her “press conference”, the young lady says she “didn’t mean to shoot the guy, she was firing a warning shot and the ricochet killed him”. Duh. Well, that is manslaughter, voluntary or involuntary. Using deadly force to protect yourself is justifiable under Texas law. “accidentally” killing someone is not. I hope she gets a lawyer and not a “community organizer” before she spouts more BS that will put her in prison.
Here is a more complete video of the murder: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=458_1374533818
What murder? I saw a justifiable homicide.
That’s always a necessary qualifier these days.
if you pull the gun, might as well shoot it. otherwise, it might be turned against you. i’d get my gas at a different place. Dang!
[…] This makes no sense to me. […]
If the shooter was a low level drug dealer and known as such in the neighborhood (she has a prior arrest record for drugs and violence), if she had in her possession illegal drugs at the time of the shooting, drugs held with intent to sell, if those drugs were in her car, the shooter’s actions make sense.
1) The shooter needed to leave the scene of the shooting and get rid of the drugs so as not to be taken into custody in the possession of drugs held with the intent to sell.
2) The shooter needed to refuel her car so that she could leave as in #1 above.
3) The shooter needed photographic evidence that the decedent was armed so that she might demonstrate self defense if or when apprehended.
Andrew, what this person said because it is the most logical explanation about how it went down.
Will it turn out that she dumped drugs somewhere?
Not that anyone owes you anything Troll-by but I want to point out that many, myself included, have said that we support her right to a fair trial and the standard presumption of innocence afforded to every American citizen in this country.
That means wait for more details to emerge before jumping to any conclusions either way.
“Police said a pocketknife was found in the dead man’s clothing.”
That article and the police statement regarding the knife [in the dead man’s clothing] was posted MONDAY, JULY 22, 2013, 3:44 PM – two days ago!
He had a pocket knife? Define pocket knife. I have folding pocket knives whose blades run from one inch to five inches in length. There is not a single critical organ in the human body that cannot be pierced by a four inch knife.
Anyone who thinks a pocket knife is not a lethal weapon is an idiot.
Actually, a one inch knife can kill you. Saw pictures of a guy who was killed by one in a criminal justice class.
The 9-11 terrorist used box-cutters with similarly small blades to murder stewardesses on the doomed passenger jets.
Wait…what? No classes down here in Florida? I think we could use one. Besides….if you had it in Jacksonville, I would gladly hand calligraph some invitations to Corey, BDLR, Mantei, and Guy for ya!
I’ll be as close to Jacksonville as Atlanta, so a half-day’s ride (then a half-day back to get back on my route).
I’ll be glad to wrap Jacksonville into the tour if someone down there can pull together 20 people to attend. Just need some hosting group to step up. Let me know.
And if you can get Corey, de la Rionda, Mantei or Guy to show up, I’ll do it for free. 🙂
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
she should have stuffed the body in the trunk of car before leaving.
She is cold blooded, no doubt. I cannot believe what is on that video and the utter lack of anything even remotely approaching outrage by anyone, including me, after seeing it. Very cold.
But I guess in these times and seeing these people, that most others cannot identify with in any way, it could be said that he brought an umbrella to a gun fight, and she zimmermaned his ass and stood her ground!
Rather the decedent brought a knife to what he intended to be a fistfight (with a women). Sadly for him, as in the adage, it turned out he brought a knife to a gunfight (with a women).
It has been reported that both the shooter and the deceased had prior arrest records involving illegal drugs and violence.
Let’s hypothesize that the shooter was a low level drug dealer and known as such in the neighborhood. Let’s also hypothesize that she had in her possession illegal drugs at the time of the shooting, drug held with intent to sell. We can assume that those drugs were in her car.
That might explain why the shooter refueled her car, took pictures of the decedent and his knife, and drove off straight away so as not to be apprehended by the police with drugs in her possession?
Also, might it be likely that the shooter was illegally possessing a firearm?
How would that influence your opinion and analysis?
Further, the decedent’s daughter claims the decedent owed the shooter money and the decedent was a smoker. We can expect if that is the case the decedent owed the shooter a debt for drug purchases.
How would that influence your opinion and analysis?
What if the decedent knew the shooter was a drug dealer and in the possession of a large amount of cash and/or drugs and he was attempting to rob her?
How would that influence your opinion and analysis?
How about we stick to the facts in evidence, m’kay?
she could have sprayed him with gas, then lit a match…poof! my guess is she didn’t like him much. zimmermaned his ass is lame,try gunsmoked…….whew
LOL! Shame on me for that.
Huh, Killed someone, left the scene, and did not report it to the police? Obviously this woman has a potential future political career as US Senator from Massachusetts!
she pops the trunk and gets a rifle, loads it and the creepy ass mf is still wanting some? she says, “all i wanted was gas.”
He was 58 years old, riding the bus, just buying a pack of cigarettes; that is all that has been reported. The “sex” thing comes across as a manufactured claim by the shooter to justify what she did. I do not buy that. Her “after shooting” acts speak volumes.
We have video of him attacking her, and you’re arguing for his innocence?
Who are we to believe: DriveBy or our lyin’ eyes?
the talking heads say if zimmerman were black and trayvon were white, there would have been an arrest. there would have been an arrest because no black man would have done what zimmmerman did and walk the police through the whole ordeal. you claim self defense you better back it up or you will be arrested. if zimmerman had clamed up . he would have been arrested that night.
Except that the “no arrest” is a myth.
The Traybots are extremely dumb. They have viewed the footage taken at the police station as Zimmerman was in handcuffs and yet they proclaim he was not arrested. Idiots!!
I’m thinkin most of Detroit succumbed to a “Duty to Retreat” in the face of unions and racists that told citizens … “this is our town”.
I’m not sure what SYG would have looked like there … and don’t have the energy or competence to perform the Detroit autopsy, or to examine the crime scene. But it seems those that didn’t retreat remained and Detroit was “murdered”.
There’s a good analogy there somewhere … maybe later. 🙂
upon further review … it was the productive, capitalist auto industry that was murdered. They could not retreat.
Witnesses fled the scene, and those remaining are complicit or afraid to speak up. Or they’re just oblivious to much of anything.
smoking is a bad habit. it never made sense to me to put something in your mouth and light it.
It works OK if you don’t light your mouth.
She’s in the store, and goes to the driver’s door.
She starts from about the driver’s door, and moves to open the trunk, while he starts from near the station building and moves towards the car.
Viewing it on the full screen, he never puts his hand in his pocket, so he must have already had the knife out(if it wasn’t in his clothes the entire time). They have words, she gets the rifle out, points it at his chest, drops the barrel, and gets in kissing range.
That is a real stupid thing to do if you are in fear for your life. You don’t intentionally get close enough for him to cut or stab you with a knife without even having to lunge.
They circle, and she either shoots near his foot(and he is hit by spall), or she shoots him in his foot- notice that he lifts his foot before he hits her. After she backs up, and he is moving away- while she apparently shoots him a few more times- he is LIMPING.
She puts away the rifle, and closes the trunk.
Then, without the rifle, she puts gas in her car. After that, she calmly walks over to take pictures, before getting into her car and driving off.
Nothing is said about her calling the police “from a safe distance”, they catch up with her 2 hours later, because someone got her license plate.
This is mutual combat. They argued about something (let’s assume it is because he made unwanted sexual advances as claimed), and I think she decided she wasn’t going to take any crap from him. If she was afraid of him, she would have left, or at least not gotten into kissing range.
She told police that she grabbed a rifle from her car when the man continued to threaten her with the blade.
McDonald said she fired at the ground, hoping to scare the man off.
“She never intended to shoot directly at him,” Quanell said. “She didn’t know the bullet actually ricocheted and hit him.”
McDonald then went home to tell her mother what happened. Only then was the Houston Police Department notified.
“She left for her own safety. She was afraid that some of those who were sitting with (Daniel) were going to harm her,” Quanell said.
She felt threatened after shooting him, so she put the gun away, finished filling her tank, and walked over, unarmed except for her camera, approaching the people she was afraid of, to film the body next to them, and then left the scene… For some reason I don’t buy her “fear” after the fact. I think they had words, and she decided she wasn’t going to take any crap from him.
You are presuming that either or both of the male and female involved are rational, upstanding citizens, with functional brain synapses, and an informed moral conscience, who possess a normal valuation of human life.
Another assumption you and others may make is that this 7/11 store is an up-and-up honest business, when some of these stores make a killing turning food stamps cash, selling skittles, tea, under the counter cough syrup, cigars, and drugs like synthetic heroin.
The brains of persons who imbibe in these substances are damaged and their behavior becomes irrational, aggressive and inhumane.
You may also believe this woman thinks like a typical suburban Mom, rearing her children like your normal suburban housewife, but in fact that is the opposite of true.
The woman and/or her daughter may have done hard time, had 4 or more abortions, have several living children and think nothing of using their food stamp and government benefits money for drugs and beer and operate a brothel of sorts turning other people’s food stamps into cash.
All of these factors destroy the human soul and mind.
I’m not talking about all African-Americans, but about the denizens of the deep dark dangerous hood that most of us have no desire to be caught in day or night.
These people are also who Obama and the social engineers want to be your neighbors…through spreading Section 8 HUD housing into apartments and condos in ‘non-hood’ areas of town.
That is what happened in Sanford, FL when 5 of the 6 ‘projects’ closed due to poor maintenance and age.
The Retreat at Twin Lakes and other residential complexes were bequeathed a number of these Section 8 housing beneficiaries, whose moral and mental processes were not congruent with those of the hard-working, law-abiding residents.
Suddenly, there were drug dealers, fights, burglaries, rapes, children being intimidated and violated on the playground, etc.
That is why so many Neighborhood Watch groups were being formed in Sanford. Enter George Zimmerman and the Sanford PD-sponsored NW program.
Tomorrow, this woman or man could be your neighbor or the neighbor of your young adult daughter and her room mates.
Obama wants to take away your right to self defense when these people move to your neighborhood.
Other reasons for ‘social engineering’:
– to establish their thugs and enforce NBPP style street justice, voter intimidation, etc.
– to diminish the authority of the state and local law enforcement.
– to force law-abiding middle class blacks, whites, hispanics subject to their will, amorality, justice and enforcement.
– for spite, to punish non-conformity to PC dictums.
– to punish the middle class for the pain/anger of the denizens of the hood.
It has been reported that both the shooter and the deceased had prior arrest records involving illegal drugs and violence.
If the shooter was a low level drug dealer and known as such in the neighborhood, and if she had in her possession illegal drugs in her car at the time of the shooting, the shooter’s odd behavior could make sense.
Clearly the elderly aggressor step by step approaches what appears to be a vulnerable woman. Several possibilities come to mind:
1) The elderly aggressor knows the women is a drug dealer. She appears vulnerable to him. He knows or expects she is carrying cash and/or drugs. He is attempting to rob her.
2) Or the elderly aggressor’s daughter says he owed the shooter a debt. Let’s say it is for drugs. The two have had run ins before as the shooter has tried to collect that debt. The elderly aggressor is bitter and angry. He approaches her with bad intent.
3) The elderly aggressor approached the woman with umbrella in right hand to be used as a foil or to distract. His knife is in his left hand to be used when he closes in on her to very close range. He puts the knife in his pocket when she displays her weapon…
4) The shooter is in a public place, she is a drug dealer, she can’t be seen fleeing a drug client. That would mark her as unable to protect her turf. So she warns the elderly aggressor and then she shoots him in the foot so as to maintain her street cred.
The shooter demonstrates why it is unwise to bring a knife to a gunfight.
It’s ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for the attack on self-defense that EVERYONE killed in self-defense be portrayed as the underdog.
Mr. Crawford, what part of “aggressor” do you not understand?
Yes he was elderly. In my view anyone over 55 is elderly. The decedent was 58 when he died. Besides the fellow is dead and it seems a good thing to show some minimum of respect for the dead even an aggressor (GHMonHS).
Just think I could have disrespectfully gone-off on the decedent and called him a [email protected]$$ crackhead and thereby further poisoned America’s public discourse. Instead I chose to view the aggressor as a person.
It seemed to me that the decedent knew what he was doing. He seemed likely to have had experience and success with this tactic and women before. The decedent deliberately closed the space to his target like a pawn moving across a chessboard. I have little doubt he intended to brutally ‘mess-her-up’ once he got into her personal space. I wouldn’t be surprised if he would rob her after he drew enough blood. … just my guess about what the decedent was up to.
regardless of how you see the law SYG or self defense, if there is a death and you clam up and decide not to to give a statement, you will be arrested. police cannot read minds and take witness accounts with a grain of salt. say your getting robbed and give everything up, the man has a gun and turns away as if to leave, but you heard words to the effect ”
give me the money or i’ll kill you.” And as he is leaving you pull your gun and shoot him in the back because you just never know how bad things can get. what if the robber decides not to leave any witness? what’s good sense?
“For this reason it is always, always, always essential to conduct yourself in a manner entirely consistent with consciousness of innocence, before, during, and after a self-defense conflict. Doing so preserves your lawyer’s ability to conduct a compelling narrative of innocence for the police investigators, for the prosecutors, for the Court, and for the jury. And it’s that compelling narrative of innocence that is the only thing standing between you and a life time of jailhouse joy.”
Did not Zimmerman behave as an innocent for a long time by refusing to lawyer up, by cooperating with several police interviews, by not invoking FL’s arrest immunity statute when he was arrested the night of the shooting in the absence of probable cause of a crime being committed by him, and by voluntarily surrendering to police upon his second arrest? Look at how well that worked out for him!
Would he have been better off by lawyering up from the get-go, thus looking not so innocent, so as to deprive prosecutors of minor descrepancies in his version of events?
I suspect that this woman’s behavior deprived a potential prosecutor of evidence: illegal drugs in the woman’s possession.
Demonstrating felony possession with intent to sell will now be difficult if not impossible.
I suspect that the woman has in effect plead down to a weapons charge by depriving the prosecution of key evidence. She knew she could lawyer up after she got rid of the drugs.
That would be one of my GUESSES.
You do realize that unsupported accusations of criminal acts are libel per se, right?
You do realize GUESSES are speculation, and speculation (so labeled) by the writer is by definition not libelous?
it boils down to this…..if your in a tight spot, you have to get urself out of it. remember that it’s better to be alive and in court than dead. split second decisions are made very seldom and are life changers. i believe that story of gz’s. that man didn’t want to shoot anybody. i think trayvon did not see the gun, he just heard the shot and said, “You got me”.
You are making broad and unsupportable assumptions.
You are creating a fantasy scenario/script of your own liking with your constant ‘I think.’
Yours is a scenario/script that you have no way of proving.
Maybe he should apply to the Sanford DA’s office?
I think she is a racist who profiled a young black man.
This woman seems so nonchalant walking to pay her bill that either this is business as usual for her, she’s high or mentally troubled. Strange.
If the shooter were a drug dealer it would all be business as usual for her.
Or if she we an ALIEN!
she was sick and tired of it all.
She had to pick up her kids?
She had to get rid of the drugs in her car?
Maybe she had to pick your mom up at the airport.
[…] UPDATE: Andrew Branca analyzes. […]
[…] A Houston woman shot a man who attacked her at a gas station last Sunday. There’s already a lot of talk about “Stand Your Ground”. I, along with Andrew Branca at Legal Insurrection, think it’s Self Defense. […]
I agree with Andrew’s analysis. With all due respect to Mr. Ayoob, I think of it as a two-step analysis involving Intention and Capacity. In this case it appears the decedent had both the intention and the capacity to inflict serious bodily harm.
While some of this woman’s actions raise questions, from what we see on the video, the shooting itself was justifiable use of force. The decedent’s actions do appear to be threatening, and it is very disturbing that he does not back off when she arms herself, as if he does not believe she will use the rifle, and continues to threaten. Any reasonable actor must consider his failure to retreat as very threatening behavior. Nevertheless her first shot appears to be aimed at the ground and likely intended to convince him she means business. But, apparently struck by bullet fragments or spall, the decedent reacts with anger, not fear, and strikes her with a powerful blow. At this point, at this range, the risk of serious bodily harm is tangible and retreat would place her at even greater risk. Her response with potentially lethal force is justified.
Her later actions do raise questions. She displays remarkable calm, finishes gassing her car, takes pictures, and leaves. Both actions are rational if she had to have gas to clear the area, and she wanted to have proof the decedent was armed to protect herself from being Zimmermanned by prosecutors. While the others at the station were likely deterred for the moment by what they had seen, there is no reason to believe they would have remained so for very long. Her remarkable presence of mind suggests the woman has seen some things go down before. This wasn’t her first rodeo.
In the immediate aftermath of a shooting, the first thing to do is to secure your own safety, which may well mean clearing the area as soon as possible. But the next step should be to notify the authorities, advise them briefly of the events and ask for law enforcement and ambulance response. They will want you to surrender directly, and you should do so. These actions are consistent with a consciousness of innocence, and difficult to portray in any other way.
She will have some questions to answer, and emerging faccts may alter the analysis, but it seems unlikely those facts will invalidate the basic analysis.
I am going to have to go against the tide here and say that I think this woman is going to have some difficulty claiming self defense here.
Admittedly, there is not enough evidence yet to support a conclusion either way, but it appears to me she has some issues to overcome…
1. She just doesn’t act like someone in fear of great bodily injury or death. She very casually gets out gun, she then approaches the man and stands toe to toe with him while she points the gun at his feet. She then shoots him in the foot, or it ricochets into him. At least it appears that way.
2. It could be argued that the man’s strike against the woman was actually in self defense, if the woman’s first shot is not deemed to be justified.
3. The woman’s post shooting actions are not going to bode well for her if this goes to a jury.
Again, not saying it isn’t self defense, simply that I see some problems with that claim that are going to have to be cleared up.
While it seems true that the woman could have done some things better, the alternative is to conclude that her attacker was justified in attacking her.
Are you willing to make that leap?
Well, I think it will hinge on the first shot she made into his foot or the ground.
I think that is the key element one has to look at (assuming that shot did indeed take place).
For the woman to be justified in that first shot, she had to be in reasonable fear of imminent great bodily harm or death. Now, if the man did have a knife in his hand, you could certainly argue that she had that reasonable fear, however, her actions seem to give evidence to the contrary.
I just think her actions leading up to the first shot toward his foot, give one doubt as to her fear.
Now, if you conclude the first shot was justified, then I think it is a clear case of self defense. If, however, you do not conclude that she had a reasonable fear of great bodily injury at the time she took the first shot, then the man’s blow toward her would actually be viewed as a defensive blow, not aggressive, and then the fatal shots would be unjustified.
Not picking a side yet. If I did, I would have to acquit the lady as I certainly believe there is a reasonable chance that she did act in self defense.
I am just saying there are issues she is going to have to address.
This is certainly not as clear cut as the Zimmerman case was.
Before y’all get turned inside-out analyzing this, Harris County grand juries are pretty sympathetic to the folks standing their ground or protecting their property.
To wit, Joe Horn: http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/pasadena-news/article/Joe-Horn-cleared-by-grand-jury-in-Pasadena-1587004.php
She’ll get cited for leaving the scene.
“I’m hunting burglwers that are wunning away fwom me.” “Fweeze you pesky burlwers!”
Joe Horn must be a huge fan of Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny!
I found the concept “consciousness of innocence” to be interesting. Certainly Mr. Zimmerman, by making the non-emergency 911 call to summon the police, exhibited that. His instructions to his neighbor to not call 911 (because he had already summoned the police) but to instead help him make sure Mr. Martin was secure was also consistent with that. His obvious relief when he was told a video existed was consistent with that and his repeated cooperation with the police was consistent with that.
If you like that legal concept, you should consider getting the whole book, it’s got >200 pages more stuff like that. 🙂
Use the Legal Insurrection coupon code LOSD2-LI at checkout for $5 off and free shipping.
–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2
[…] Houston Gas Station Shooting: Stand Your Ground or not? Hungry for another claimed example of a deadly Stand-Your-Ground defensive encounter, the mainstream media has seized upon the gas-station shooting death of a black man by a rifle-armed woman, also black, this past Sunday in Houston. […]
[…] Read the rest of the story by clicking – https://legalinsurrection.com/2013/07/houston-gas-station-shooting-syg-or-not-break-it-down-with-aoj/ […]