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Discussion Starter #1
Police are not releasing the name of the victim in the shooting but tell FOX13 he was breaking into Alfred Kirkham’s car when he took notice. The teen tried to run, but the owner chased him and shot him multiple times.
Police say Kirkham is charged with Second Degree Murder. Legal experts say it should raise questions to the public about Stand Your Ground Laws.

Mark Mesler is a criminal attorney at Rosenblum and Reisen. He says the case of Alfred Kirkham is one that’s caught the attention of legal experts throughout Memphis.

“This is a situation where a person was defending their property and unfortunately used deadly force to defend it. In the state of Tennessee, you can’t use deadly force in order to protect property,” said Mesler.

Mesler says it’ll be difficult to argue the Stand Your Ground Law in this case. Memphis police say the 15-year old shooting victim didn’t have a weapon during the car break-in, but the shooter believed he was reaching for a weapon as he ran.

“It’s not illegal for you to chase someone. If someone was stealing your property, you can chase them. That’s not the problem. The problem is if you’re firing shots and the only way to justify that is if you reasonably believed they were reaching for a weapon,” Mesler explained.
I wonder though strictly from a Tenn law standpoint if chasing someone who attempted to steal property (in this case a car) is the same as actually successfully stealing and possessing the property? (this is assuming of course the teen didn't steal something out of the car before fleeing, not mentioned in article)

I spend a lot of time in Tenn but never considered chasing after someone who either successfully or unsuccessfully stole something from me, unless it was something potentially dangerous to others, like a firearm. Then again, I rarely take long guns to Tenn, which would be the only guns ever left in a car temporarily. On the few occasions that I have the long gun is secured in a container, the container is hidden from view, the car locked, and usually parked where I can keep an eye on it. If someone were to try to break into my car and they run off without being able to steal my car or stuff inside it, problem solved IMO.


 

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In Lubbock, we had a car burglary gang that posted a sniper. A car owner was killed. Keep yourself fully aware before charging after someone burgling your automobile.
 

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What a difference a state makes. A very similar incident, totally different result:

While there are some similarities, there is a lot more than location that is different between these two incidents.
In the first story the car prowler was running away and the car owner chased him down to shoot him.
In the second story the car prowler advanced on the car owner and his family before being shot.
Shooting someone who is coming towards you and is a threat to you and your family, vs. shooting someone who is running away from you are two entirely different things.
 

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Well, that's one future career criminal who won't get the chance to fulfil his potential as a carjacker, murderer, drug dealer, etc... such a waste. :rolleyes:
 

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This doesn't have much to do with stand your ground laws. It has everything to do with common sense. If your life isn't in danger, and it doesn't sound like they actually stole anything, although they tried, let the scumbags go and keep yourself out of the judicial system.
 

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The only way you can shoot someone running away is 'in the back'. ..... This guy is toast.
 

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In Texas, if he's running away empty handed without ever offering a fight, and particularly if he has already managed to get off your property, it's not going to be ruled self-defense. You're going to be tried for murder.

If he's still on your property when you shoot him even though running away, you might get a stand-your-ground self-defense argument, depending on all the other variables. But your run-in with the legal system will not be pleasant.

If he's still got your property in hand while he's running, you can chase him and catch him to recover your property...if he then fights back you might get a self-defense argument depending on all other variables. But your involvement in the legal system will not be pleasant.
 

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In Texas, if he's running away empty handed without ever offering a fight, and particularly if he has already managed to get off your property, it's not going to be ruled self-defense. You're going to be tried for murder.

If he's still on your property when you shoot him even though running away, you might get a stand-your-ground self-defense argument, depending on all the other variables. But your run-in with the legal system will not be pleasant.

If he's still got your property in hand while he's running, you can chase him and catch him to recover your property...if he then fights back you might get a self-defense argument depending on all other variables. But your involvement in the legal system will not be pleasant.

I sense a theme here...;)
 
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If someone is breaking into my car, I'm reaching - for a bat.

If someone is running away while screaming threats, I'm standing still and my hand is on my handgun.

If someone is running away while reaching for a weapon, I'm standing still and my hand is on my handgun.

If someone is running away and pulls a weapon and keeps running, I'm moving to cover and I'm drawing, but not shooting until I see them take action that implies they may shoot.

This perp was running away. I do not see any reasonable justification for taking aim, much less pulling the trigger. Murder 2 seems right.
 

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It's just stuff, it's not worth risking your life over and going to prison for. I don't get how people get so carried away they shoot someone running away from them. I know someone who beat a guy to death with a baseball bat over $200 the victim owed. The killer never got the $200, went to jail for manslaughter (Not what he should have gone to jail for, IMHO), and lost pretty much everything when sued by the victim's family. He got out way too soon, like 3.5 years and has for the most part kept out of trouble, but I always think I'm going to see him in the news again, and it won't be for something good.

Almost all the real lowlife's I've dealt with I came into contact with via some commercial property I own with a family member. A thief who electrocuted himself steeling wire, "bat boy" above, a religious fanatic A/C repairman who showed little to no signs he was a Christian, except he claimed he was, he was one nasty guy to deal with, snow plow idiots who crashed into fences and denied doing it, even though it's on video, a renter who stole light fixtures, and made major alterations to the building without permission, and more. Lately, they all seem too sane, and I keep waiting for a call, "Hey, did you hear about XXXXX?". For over 10 years, the kooky guys that worked for us, with the exception of the Mexican born masonry guys, were just time bombs waiting to go off to jail for a while, or we just had to stop using them because the hassles we got working with them were too much.
 

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It's a simple property crime and I have no wish to kill anyone. Call the police, assuming we still have police, and let them handle it. Protecting property is a job for the police, protecting lives is my job. I don't want to be judged for having murdered someone and I'm not talking about an earthly judge.
 
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It's a simple property crime and I have no wish to kill anyone. Call the police, assuming we still have police, and let them handle it. Protecting property is a job for the police, protecting lives is my job. I don't want to be judged for having murdered someone and I'm not talking about an earthly judge.
I have to disagree. It's not the police's job to protect anything. They are law enforcement, meaning they enforce the law once it has been broken. They are not responsible for preventing crime. This has been established by the highest courts in the land. (This is why you will no longer find a single police force in America with "protect and serve" emblazoned on their cars.) We are all responsible for protecting our own property and lives. That is why the gun grabbers' efforts to disarm us are so reprehensible. They don't want they only person responsible for your protection, you, to have to means to do so.

What steps we are each willing to take to protect and defend our own property is a personal question. Obviously, we should know and remain within the law, and we should avoid unnecessary risks to our safety and our freedom. Chasing down a fleeing thug who has nothing that belongs to me is not, in my opinion, worth the risk to either my life or my freedom. That was the mistake made by the shooter in the article referenced by the OP.

However, if some cur decides to risk his life to steal my car and ends up bleeding out in my driveway, that was his choice to risk life and freedom in order to steal my property. If either were important to him, he should have chosen not to try to steal another person's property. I would have no qualms ending that misbegotten career path, and would feel I had done my fellow man a service by preventing a car thief from reaching his full potential and murdering someone for their car.
 

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I am just curious why all this chasing a bad guy down??
I mean i am much to old, frail to be trying to run a bad guy down, specially a young person?
I guess i just don't get it myself?
We should all learn as we age and get some experience on what has or has not worked for us in the past.
I mean this is my method--LOL
Wile.E-Coyote-Holding-Gun.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Here is what someone sent me regarding Tenn law on the subject.

"...A private citizen, in making an arrest authorized by law, may use force reasonably necessary to accomplish the arrest of an individual who flees or resists the arrest; provided, that a private citizen cannot use or threaten to use deadly force except to the extent authorized under self-defense or defense of third person statutes, §§ 39-11-611 and 39-11-612." T.C.A. 39-11-621, Use Of Deadly Force By Private Citizen.

So if I'm interpreting it correctly, (I'm not a lawyer) a person making a citizens arrest can chase or use non lethal force but cannot use or threaten deadly force unless it's authorized under the statute of self defense or defense of third person, like for example you're chasing someone and they stop and then attempt to use a deadly weapon against you or an innocent third party. So far I've seen nothing in the story that mentions anything like this but will wait for all the facts to come out.

Regardless of whether someone might be legally allowed to chase someone to do a citizens arrest, IMHO I think it is a bad idea in general, even if someone is getting away with a mere piece of property. Besides, in this case the thief didn't even get away with the car. If there was something particularly special about the property that would justify chasing the person then maybe.
 

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It's more than just stuff. How many hours are you going to spend away from your family at work to pay for the car you have right now? Not saying its okay to chase down and shoot thieves, but they are stealing hours of your life.
 

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Sorry, there's no "freedom from inconvenience" clause in the constitution. Or any sane system of right and wrong. You're darn right it's not right to chase down and shoot thieves.
 

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What a difference a state makes. A very similar incident, totally different result:

TN state law says that once the bad guy is running away the threat has ended. This has nothing to do with stand your ground. If you chase and wound or kill the fleeing criminal, you are wrong and can be prosecuted.
 
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