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Thread: Case Law on Number of Rounds Fired

  1. #1
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    Case Law on Number of Rounds Fired

    In the past three handgun classes I taught since the first of the year, at least one student inquired about being prosecuted if they fired too many rounds in defense of their person. Each student indicated they read "somewhere" on the internet that firing more than a few rounds to stop a lethal threat resulted in the person defending themselves being charged criminally and prosecuted. None of the students could be more specific about the source of the information.

    I am unable to find case law on this phenomenon. Have any instructors identified case law on "excessive" rounds fired when a person was otherwise lawfully justified in using deadly force? I am unable to identify specific case law, the name of the defendant or the county and state in which they were prosecuted. In the past I have driven to the county where there was case law applicable to material on which I am instructing and filed a Freedom of Information Request to review the case file and get copies of pertinent information.

    If you can provide a specific case cite, it would be much appreciated.
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    This one leaps to mind:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Amadou_Diallo

    The four NYPD officers were charged but not convicted.

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    No info on case law regarding number of rounds in a decision, of course it is brought up in the news in many shooting cases.

    If asked that question I would respond that they are justified in firing rounds until a reasonable person would believe the lethal threat no longer exists.

    I would also point out that forensic examination of the wound channels will give an idea of the relative position of the persons body when the rounds were fired just in case they've some cock-eyed notion about making sure the assailant is for sure dead.
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    I have never heard of a person being prosecuted on the basis of too many rounds fired. That said, the number of rounds fired might influence a decision to prosecute or the decision of a jury or judge at trial. If a police officer engages a Ku Klux Klan member in sheets who has fired multiple rounds from a "military-grade assault weapon with a high capacity clip", multiple rounds fired is unlikely to be an issue. On the other hand, if a homeowner fires a seventeen round magazine at a burglar who attacked with an edged or impact weapon, some prosecutors might be inclined to press charges, especially if the burglar were the wrong demographic. Sad world, not right, but what can one do?

    From a training and tactics perspective, my recommendation would to be not shoot faster than you can think or hit. That would actually be my recommendation regardless of legal concerns. Your ability to win the fight is more important than potential legal consequences. Legal issues need to be seriously considered, but not at the sacrifice f your life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeriousStudent View Post
    This one leaps to mind:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Amadou_Diallo

    The four NYPD officers were charged but not convicted.
    I thought the primary issue with this case was that the suspect was unarmed and the 4 LEO had difficulty articulating that the suspect was a lethal threat.

    Students have asked me if I was aware of the cases where a homeowner applied deadly force in defense of their person or a concealed carry holder applied deadly force. I cannot find any case law pertaining to non-LEO, or LEO for that matter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T2C View Post
    I thought the primary issue with this case was that the suspect was unarmed and the 4 LEO had difficulty articulating that the suspect was a lethal threat.

    Students have asked me if I was aware of the cases where a homeowner applied deadly force in defense of their person or a concealed carry holder applied deadly force. I cannot find any case law pertaining to non-LEO, or LEO for that matter.
    The only one I know of is the Jerome Ersland case, which has some but not a lot of value: http://www.oscn.net/dockets/GetCaseI...9&cmid=2476814

    It's pretty much a "Don't do this" primer for CCW. Tl;Dr: Two dindus enter pharmacy to commit armed robbery. Pharmacist begins shooting at dindus inside the business. One of his first shots domes dindu #1, who drops like a rock. Dindu#2 flees. Pharmacist chases Dindu #2 down the street, firing at the fleeing felon two more times. After emptying his primary, he walks back inside PAST prostrate Dindu #1, exchanges his empty gun for a loaded stashed secondary, walks over to Dindu #1 and pumps 5 more rounds into his torso.

    Post shooting, Ersland makes very bad decisions and one of the top CDL's in the state can't save him from a life sentence. Odds are high the initial hit killed Dindu #1, but the shooting video and his troublesome statements post shooting cooked his goose (rightly so IMO).

    Here are supporting videos if you want to extract any lessons learned, but they're all pretty much "Don't do stupid shit and STFU after."

    https://oklahoman.com/article/357058...rial-see-video

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljctb4KTJss

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h0Z3kXHwqE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P37d0HLHks

    As an interesting aside, a then prominent (R) state senator came to Ersland's defense after the conviction and stated: "I'm gonna spend the rest of my career, however long it may be, trying to right this wrong,". Well it wasn't that long because he caught a rap for child sex trafficking that put him in club fed for 15 years, proving that shitbirds of a feather do flock together.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...ile-in-office/
    Last edited by glocktogo; 03-10-20 at 13:11.
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    This is pretty much the response I anticipated. An attorney I know used their access to Black's Law Library, conducted a search on the issue and came up with nothing. I asked another criminal defense attorney with over 40 years experience about this issue and he was not aware of any case in which someone was charged and prosecuted based solely on the number of rounds fired.

    I would appreciate it if you would ask for a case cite if you hear an instructor make a claim that you will be prosecuted based solely on the number of rounds fired when you are otherwise lawfully authorized to apply deadly force.
    Train 2 Win

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeriousStudent View Post
    This one leaps to mind:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Amadou_Diallo

    The four NYPD officers were charged but not convicted.
    That was a clean shoot if you look at the details. In a nutshell Diallo refused to show his hands, then spun around quickly producing his wallet in a gun like gesture. That's also when one officer began falling backwards off the steps in an attempt to flee for cover. During his fall he fired 12 rounds(if memory) serves. Once he started shooting th other officer on the steps also began shooting. The two other officers who were curbside fired a few rounds each.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glocktogo View Post
    The only one I know of is the Jerome Ersland case, which has some but not a lot of value: http://www.oscn.net/dockets/GetCaseI...9&cmid=2476814

    It's pretty much a "Don't do this" primer for CCW. Tl;Dr: Two dindus enter pharmacy to commit armed robbery. Pharmacist begins shooting at dindus inside the business. One of his first shots domes dindu #1, who drops like a rock. Dindu#2 flees. Pharmacist chases Dindu #2 down the street, firing at the fleeing felon two more times. After emptying his primary, he walks back inside PAST prostrate Dindu #1, exchanges his empty gun for a loaded stashed secondary, walks over to Dindu #1 and pumps 5 more rounds into his torso.

    Post shooting, Ersland makes very bad decisions and one of the top CDL's in the state can't save him from a life sentence. Odds are high the initial hit killed Dindu #1, but the shooting video and his troublesome statements post shooting cooked his goose (rightly so IMO).

    Here are supporting videos if you want to extract any lessons learned, but they're all pretty much "Don't do stupid shit and STFU after."

    https://oklahoman.com/article/357058...rial-see-video

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljctb4KTJss

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h0Z3kXHwqE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P37d0HLHks

    As an interesting aside, a then prominent (R) state senator came to Ersland's defense after the conviction and stated: "I'm gonna spend the rest of my career, however long it may be, trying to right this wrong,". Well it wasn't that long because he caught a rap for child sex trafficking that put him in club fed for 15 years, proving that shitbirds of a feather do flock together.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...ile-in-office/
    I don't really see the problem with the death checking. To me, the scumbags made their decision which to me revokes their right to any mercy or legal support. However, that is isn't the world we live in.

  10. #10
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    I vaguely remember Ayoob talking about the prosecution bringing up number of rounds fired in several of his articles. But it was always tertiary to the case itself, not as a chargeable offense, or the driving idea behind the charges.


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