Texas Church Shootings

Muppet

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Nope, Texas laws are quite clear. 100% justified.
He was stopping a criminal action, and deadly force is authorized. They will go through the motions, but this never sees a Grand Jury.
Texas also has a loser pays policy for civil suits, i.e. the loser pays the other parties legal bills. It has really cut down on the number of nuisance/SJW lawsuits.

Great to hear....
 

policemedic

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Here is where the concern lies.

Yes, this is pretty much a textbook justifiable homicide and he should not be charged criminally. That's clear. Laying criminal charges requires meeting the probable cause standard, which is a high bar. There are multiple levels of review before this happens (agency and jurisdiction dependent). Conviction, of course, requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt--an even higher standard.

The thing to understand about civil suits is that there is no gateway mechanism. You don't need probable cause and a win only requires a preponderance of the evidence, or 51% wins. The truth is, anyone can be sued for anything at anytime. Something you did, something you didn't do...doesn't matter. It's not uncommon for a suit to begin with a demand letter, which is exactly what it sounds like. Pay us $x or we will proceed with a suit. Often this is enough to generate a payment (hence, why it's done).

While it's true "loser pays" helps, you'd be surprised at how many attorneys are willing to take a shot at a settlement being offered. Depositions, meetings, prep...this all takes time and money. And you're out of pocket for it, even if you're eventually reimbursed.

Keep in mind that the family of the shooter is not the only potential plaintiff. I can think of several others.

Speaking of settlements or jury awards (a jury being twelve people who were too stupid to get out of jury duty), who pays? If you're acting as an individual, you're on the hook for everything. If you're a volunteer security dude at the church, you'd better hope the church and its insurance carrier have agreed in writing to represent and indemnify you. Insurance policies that specifically cover shootings are a good thing, and if you carry you should have one (I do), but they may not cover you if you're volunteering (read: working) to do armed security. My policy only covers me out of state where I don't have police power.

My point with all this is that it is bad mojo to encourage civil action by making reckless statements.
 

757

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@policemedic is right from a legal perspective. Just find a non-profit law firm with an axe to grind and next thing you know...litigation hell. I am not sure if such an organization exists, however, remember that the ACLU is representing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the four other 9/11 conspirators...anything is possible.

That said, the optics for the pro-2nd argument are stellar. Plus, even if he was sued I have no doubt the man would become a millionaire overnight from donations. The man struck while the iron was hot...hopefully he doesn't reap any negative consequences.
 

Devildoc

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Ordinarily and in just about every other case I can imagine, I agree with @policemedic and @Ooh-Rah and their well-formed and lucid arguments in this thread. I just think this case is different, for a lot of reasons. If there was any case where all the holes in the Swiss cheese align, it's this one.
 

DA SWO

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Here is where the concern lies.

Yes, this is pretty much a textbook justifiable homicide and he should not be charged criminally. That's clear. Laying criminal charges requires meeting the probable cause standard, which is a high bar. There are multiple levels of review before this happens (agency and jurisdiction dependent). Conviction, of course, requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt--an even higher standard.

The thing to understand about civil suits is that there is no gateway mechanism. You don't need probable cause and a win only requires a preponderance of the evidence, or 51% wins. The truth is, anyone can be sued for anything at anytime. Something you did, something you didn't do...doesn't matter. It's not uncommon for a suit to begin with a demand letter, which is exactly what it sounds like. Pay us $x or we will proceed with a suit. Often this is enough to generate a payment (hence, why it's done).

While it's true "loser pays" helps, you'd be surprised at how many attorneys are willing to take a shot at a settlement being offered. Depositions, meetings, prep...this all takes time and money. And you're out of pocket for it, even if you're eventually reimbursed.

Keep in mind that the family of the shooter is not the only potential plaintiff. I can think of several others.

Speaking of settlements or jury awards (a jury being twelve people who were too stupid to get out of jury duty), who pays? If you're acting as an individual, you're on the hook for everything. If you're a volunteer security dude at the church, you'd better hope the church and its insurance carrier have agreed in writing to represent and indemnify you. Insurance policies that specifically cover shootings are a good thing, and if you carry you should have one (I do), but they may not cover you if you're volunteering (read: working) to do armed security. My policy only covers me out of state where I don't have police power.

My point with all this is that it is bad mojo to encourage civil action by making reckless statements.
Agree with laying low after a shooting, this guy is running for office and runs/owns a shooting range/school. Business is business sometimes.

He has some protections (Texas law) though. He was acting as an agent of the church, so any lawsuits have to include the church.

That said, here is a short summary of the Texas Stand Your Ground Law:

In Texas, individuals have no duty to retreat when they have a reasonable belief they are in danger of bodily harm or death if they’re threatened in their home, in their vehicle, or at their job. To raise the Texas stand your ground law defense, the person must be able to show that they didn’t provoke the person who attacked them. They must also be able to show that they weren’t breaking any laws at the time of the incident.

This will qualify.

Further more, you can not file a lawsuit if a shooting is covered under the stand your ground provisions.

People have tried, and the suit gets thrown out with the person filing getting hit with the other guys bill.
Any Lawyer filing a suit for SYG shooting opens him/herself up for bar action, or a malpractice claim by their client or the defendant.

Slowly, surely our laws get better.
 

Gunz

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Why is there even a question about this? Of all the stand-your-ground cases that have garnered publicity, this one is the poster child of open and shut. Christ, if you have to shoot somebody, this is the way you want it to be: video evidence of legal and justifiable self-defense.

Texas loves this kind of shit. (Except maybe in Austin.)
 

policemedic

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Agree with laying low after a shooting, this guy is running for office and runs/owns a shooting range/school. Business is business sometimes.

He has some protections (Texas law) though. He was acting as an agent of the church, so any lawsuits have to include the church.

That said, here is a short summary of the Texas Stand Your Ground Law:

In Texas, individuals have no duty to retreat when they have a reasonable belief they are in danger of bodily harm or death if they’re threatened in their home, in their vehicle, or at their job. To raise the Texas stand your ground law defense, the person must be able to show that they didn’t provoke the person who attacked them. They must also be able to show that they weren’t breaking any laws at the time of the incident.

This will qualify.

Further more, you can not file a lawsuit if a shooting is covered under the stand your ground provisions.

People have tried, and the suit gets thrown out with the person filing getting hit with the other guys bill.
Any Lawyer filing a suit for SYG shooting opens him/herself up for bar action, or a malpractice claim by their client or the defendant.

Slowly, surely our laws get better.

Yet another reason to live in Texas.

I’m trying to speak generally, though.
 

Grunt

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Although not specifically Castle Doctrine, we have the right to use deadly force in our home if it's reasonably believed you are in danger of "great bodily harm". We're not a stand your ground state, you have a duty to retreat. The statute has potential to leave you legally exposed.

Here's our statute on use of force:
Sec. 609.06 MN Statutes

It's sad that there are states like yours that don't have a "Castle Doctrine" statute on the books. But then again, it's sad that we don't have Constitutional Carry too....
 
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