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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A man wearing a skin-tight leotard is obviously unarmed.
He opens your unlocked window and climbs into your unoccupied house.
You arrive home and, still in your yard, you notice the window open. You are still outside, looking in.

You go to the window and look into your bedroom and see him rummaging through your wife's jewelry box.

"HEY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" you challenge.

"I'm stealing jewelry." He replies. "I'm a burglar, can't you tell?"

"STOP. I'M AN ARMED CITIZEN, AND I WILL USE DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT MY HOME!"

The burglar retorts "Consume feces and expire! I've taken this big diamond necklace, and now that my mission is successful, I will leave. I'm too fast for you to catch me, and you can't shoot me!"

You say: "YOU'RE A DUMBASS EXCUSE OF A JEWELRY THIEF, TOO. THAT'S COSTUME JEWELRY. CUBIT ZIRCONIA. WORTH SEVENTY-FIVE BUCKS, TOPS!"

He says: "Well, I like it, and my sweetie will love it. Bye!"

With that, he opens the window on the opposite side of the room, farthest from you, and begins to step through it.

If he gets out that window before you can run around half of the perimeter of your house, ---and he almost certainly can because it's a long way around--- he will easily be able to escape in the thick woods bordering your property on that side.

Can you shoot him?

Legally, I mean.

Would shooting him to stop him at this point be legal under the castle doctrine / defense of habitation law, Code section 16-3-23?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Text of the relevant Code section:

A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to prevent or terminate such other's unlawful entry into or attack upon a habitation; however, such person is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:

(1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner and he or she reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person dwelling or being therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence;

(2) That force is used against another person who is not a member of the family or household and who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using such force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred; or

(3) The person using such force reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.
 

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Why was lead not going down range as soon as you see said homosexual jewelry thief? What would have casual conversation?
 

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Man of Myth and Legend
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It would be. I would shoot him on sight.

Officer, he had broken into my house and I felt threatened.

Nemo
 

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"STOP. I'M AN ARMED CITIZEN, AND I WILL USE DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT MY HOME!"
Case closed:

The homeowner erred when he didn't turn the gun on himself for using such cheesy language.
 

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I'd say in that hypothetical, if you shoot him, it mainly depends on the cops that show up, and what they do. And then the prosecutor. If things don't go your way in either case, then you are going to spend an assload of money on a good lawyer, and then there is about a 50/50 chance (but I may be off on those numbers) that you will get to walk. You will still likely lose your job and be out at least many dozens of thousands of dollars.

No visible weapon, no verbal threat to you, he did not break anything to enter, the house was unoccupied when he did, and he is about to leave.

I'd probably take my chances just beating the living sheatt out of him, in this scenario.
 

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The conversation would never take place. No words would be spoken. I see someone in that getup in my house without permission, I'm assuming they are dangerously under the influence of a mind altering substance or otherwise mentally unstable and therefore a threat to my life and they will be dead before they know I'm in the room.
 

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Man of Myth and Legend
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No visible weapon, no verbal threat to you, he did not break anything to enter, the house was unoccupied when he did, and he is about to leave.
Cops get my side. I came home and went inside. I heard noises that sounded unusual and checked on them. I did not know who else was home and someone could have been hurt or something.

I checked my bedroom and found him there. He made a suspicious movement and I felt threatened. I fired until he stopped

Nemo
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow. Nemo tells the world he will lie to the cops following a deadly force encounter.
Let’s hope it doesn’t happen to you, followed by the authorities reviewing your online history.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The conversation would never take place. No words would be spoken. I see someone in that getup in my house without permission, I'm assuming they are dangerously under the influence of a mind altering substance or otherwise mentally unstable and therefore a threat to my life and they will be dead before they know I'm in the room.
That's a ridiculous amount of speculation about their intentions and drug use, and you're ignoring the fact that you were OUTSIDE the house when you saw this unarmed intruder in it.
How's that an imminent danger to you again?
Do you have some other law or part of a law to justify shooting?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What if the thief is ex-navy seal or martial arts master? You do not know what that person is capable of doing to you if they change their mind while attempting to exit. I would probably shoot then on sight upon confronting them in my house without my permission to be there.
You're going to speculate about ninjas?
Why not speculate he planted a bomb in your front yard and has the detonator clenched between his sphincter muscles?

You know the burglar is unarmed.
You're not in danger. That's obvious in this fact pattern.
They are trying to avoid you, not attack you.
Are you going to ignore that and pretend it's not relevant? Or area you going to tell the cops that you don't give a s*** about law the law; that you just wanted to kill him for being in your house ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Seems a lot of references to entry... nothing about exiting.
I think you just lost your cubic zirconia.
Thoughts?
How about shooting just to stop an unlawful "forcible entry" (opening a window and climbing in) by a person not a member of the household?

Or... is it too late for that once he's fully in?
(You can't stop an event that has already taken place.)
 

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Not many people answering the question, which was the point of this thread (unless I am mistaken), of whether or not a shooting would be legal. Not if you would or wouldn't shoot. I still think a shooting leans more toward illegal than legal, and I listed the reasons why, above.
 

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Gunsmoker,

You really shouldn't leave your goat laying around where anyone can get it. You just got played. Nemo just gave the EXACT statement many LEO give after shooting someone. "suspicious movement", "I felt threatened". The ony thing he missed was "I thought I saw a gun". Unfortunately, not being a King's Man, those magic words probably won't work.
 

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Member Georgia Carry
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If the scenario was in Texas and at night, the shooting would be legal under Texas law, regardless what the thief was stealing or if he was about to leave. He's there, he's dead.

I wouldn't shoot him under those conditions, even in Texas. I get what gunsmoker is saying. Use deadly force only if reasonable to do so under the law. I don't believe he had Texas in mind, however.
 

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If the scenario was in Texas and at night, the shooting would be legal under Texas law, regardless what the thief was stealing or if he was about to leave. He's there, he's dead.

I wouldn't shoot him under those conditions, even in Texas. I get what gunsmoker is saying. Use deadly force only if reasonable to do so under the law. I don't believe he had Texas in mind, however.
I agree, on all points. However, I would be very prepared to pull the trigger, at the slightest hint of any threat.
 

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Stuff is stuff and insured, family is irreplaceable. Unclear if this is exclusively an issue of stuff or if it possibly involves family.

“That stone is mine!” and “Her soul is mine!” sound freakishly similar at odd hours in the dark.
 

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"HEY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" you challenge.

"I'm stealing jewelry." He replies. "I'm a burglar, can't you tell?"

"STOP. I'M AN ARMED CITIZEN, AND
BANG, BANG, BANG. His friend in a clown suit pops out from the kid's bedroom and shot you in the back. The costumes and conversation worked well as a distraction, just as planned. Now they can wait for the wife and kids to come home.
 
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