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Upstatetiger 11-03-2009 03:14 PM

Self defense from hostile neighbor
Hi, I have been lurking around this forum for the past year or so and only have posted a handful of times. I have a question about personal safety. I have a female friend who lives in Charleston, S.C. She goes to a local college down there and she lives in a apartment. For those of you who have never been to Charleston, there is a ghetto right outside of the city where a lot of drug addicts live. With her being a college student she lives right outside of this ghetto and has a drug addict that is a neighbor. He gets high and harasses her. He beats on their door and talks through the mail slot in the door calling them female body parts (a word that starts with a "c") and tells them they he is going to slit their throats. This all happens for no apparent reason. She has called the police on him several times and by time they get there he has gone and passed out from whatever drug he is on. She has pepper spray and I told her I wouldn't use that b/c it would probally wouldnt do anything but just piss him off even more, especially if he is high. I am going down there to visit her over Christmas break and I always carry my S&W .38 spl J-Frame with me when I travel. I do not have a CWP but I plan on getting one. My question is if he somehow enters the apt while I am there and I feel that my life is in danger could I shoot to kill? I never want to kill anyone but if its either my friends and my life or his it's going to be the drug addict that gets shot. Would it be wise to just shoot to disable him and wait for the poice? I have always heard from my poilce friends that you should shoot to kill because a dead man can't talk and can't sue you. Final question is since it is not my property would that be considered defending myself and my property? Sorry this is so long but I figured it would be easier to give an answer if ya'll knew all of the story.

CA357 11-03-2009 03:24 PM

If a person had to shoot an intruder, they shoot to stop the threat, not to kill.

dunerunner 11-03-2009 03:29 PM

What CA didn't mention is that as long as they are talking and moving, they're a threat!

Upstatetiger 11-03-2009 03:30 PM

Ok I got that. Don't misunderstand me. I never want to kill anyone. I'm just worried about her situation and while I'm down there I feel I need to be prepared to defend ourselves if the situation arises. God forbid.

dunerunner 11-03-2009 03:33 PM

Check your local laws, it can usually be done online! Don't make yourself a victim of the legal system!!

mpd8488 11-03-2009 03:50 PM

Here's how it generally works (I'm not a lawyer though, so this is just my opinion. Also be sure to check any specific laws in your state):

If you (as a reasonable person) feel that your life or the life of another is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death, you have the right to use deadly force to stop the threat. Deadly force in this case means using your handgun and shooting for center mass until he is no longer a threat. This may mean that he is dead or it may mean that he is lying incapacitated on the floor. If you shoot to maim or wound, then that implies that he was not an imminent threat that justified the use of lethal force.

Using a gun is always using lethal force. Trying to use it any other way is probably illegal. Either you have the justification or you don't.

orangello 11-03-2009 04:35 PM

It looks like you've gotten some good advice on how to handle it if he (neighbor) enters the apartment screaming for blood & such, but i find myself wondering if your friend has considered some surveillance of her hall and or door area as evidence to allow the local LEO's to find this guy a more interesting place to stay? I ordered an inexpensive, video-only camera that is about the size of a celphone & records on SD memory cards for about $50; i used it for car-related goofiness. My sister used it to watch her chicken pen for a mistery predator. I would think such a device, perhaps in concert with some video/audio recordings from your friend's celphone would provide the cause needed for the local LEO's to enter duder's apartment for a chat; once inside, they will probably notice some things (doesn't sound like a neatfreak type) that will allow them to help dude get over his problem with your friend and probably some other neighbors.

I recently ordered a small, wireless, nanny-cam for about $50; it is small enough to be easily concealed.

Bigguns911 11-03-2009 05:00 PM

All around good advice, I like Orangello's idea a lot. The more evidence you have that a person is doing the alleged crime the better off you and your friend would be. not only in prosecution of this a$$hole but in the case that you do use force on him.

One thing I will point out (same as above I am not an attorney) is expect to be arrested, your gun taken as evidence and you and your friends to be questioned for some time. That is just how it goes, it is not like in the movies were you get a high five from the cops and then go back to you move. Also, it sounds like this a$$ has made statements of cutting your friend. This is good stuff but you need to keep in mind, shooting an unarmed person can be problematic.

Like others have said, look up the laws, know your rights and know what you can and can not do to protect your self and others. All states are differing in some ways with this. Also make sure you are legally carrying the gun in question. Last thing you want is to be unlawful and get hung up on that. Be safe.

One more thing, don't talk a lot of shi! about shooting this butt head. The cops will do an investigation and the more you have said about "killing him" and more it will sound like you went to the friends to take this sucker out.

Jpyle 11-03-2009 05:35 PM

Not being a lawyer I may be way off base here but asking that question on an open forum such as this may put you in jeopardy by some overzealous prosecutor. Arguing the merits of traveling to another state to possibly have to shoot a friend's neighbor just may fall within a premeditation criteria. Just my opinion.

mpd8488 11-03-2009 09:32 PM

If it comes to it you should also shut up when the police get there. Especially if you're innocent, making a statement without a lawyer present could be the end of you. You have the right to remain silent even before they read you your Miranda rights (which they don't have to do until they arrest you and are interviewing you). USE IT!

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