Man Shoots Another In Butt, Claims Self-Defense


Cincinnati, OH – One man is being held on a $100,000 bail after shooting a different man in the butt. Ryan Riffle, facing a charge of felonious assault, is claiming self-defense for the shooting.

This past Sunday, police were called after the shooting took place to find the victim bleeding from the rearend with two gunshot wounds.

Riffle's lawyer in court said that Riffle shot the man because he “may have been robbing Riffle.” Riffle informed police that the other man may be seen on ATM surveillance video.

Riffle's attorney said:

Our hope is when all that pans out the reality will be my client is actually the victim in this matter.

However, the assistant prosecutor told the court that Riffle was witnessed chasing the victim down, shooting him twice in the butt.

Here is a video from our source article:


We don't know much about this story, as usual. Because we don't have all the details available to us it's hard to draw solid conclusions to say with certainty what we'd do different.

However, we can make some conclusions on what would be preferable for us to not do if presented with a similar circumstance.

Namely in this situation, is the shooting of someone as they're running away. If we take the witness' word as truth that the man was in fact running away with Riffle running after him, in most states that's a no-shoot scenario unless your life is still in danger.

We can surmise here that since he was running him down, chasing him, that his life was in fact no longer in danger and the self-defense claim goes right out the window.

More often than not it is not okay to chase someone down and shoot them. To be honest, I'm surprised that he's just being charged with assault, when I think a different charge would stick, depending on the circumstances. Then again, this could just be the prosecutor grasping at straws. Again, we don't know.

But, in order to keep yourself in as much of the clear as possible after a defensive gun use, don't shoot at a fleeing suspect unless there is still danger. And, if there is still danger, running after that danger won't usually make sense.

I also wanted to talk about ATM usage for a moment. If you find yourself at an ATM, this can be a prime spot for a robbery. Think about it, your back is turned, you're a lot of the times backed into a corner, and you're getting something valuable that you didn't have a moment ago.

This is prime time for a robbery, and care should be taken to pay attention to your surroundings.

We always say you should have your head on a swivel and this is true even at the distracting ATM machine. When I'm using the local machine that isn't the drive-up type, I always blade myself to the side so I can see behind and to the sides as much as possible.

You'll have to take your own scenario into account when and if you're ever presented with it. Leave your thoughts on this story in the comments below.

I also touch more on this topic in this article titled: Is It Ever Okay To Shoot Someone In The Back As They Flee?

About Joshua Gillem

Josh is a lifelong practitioner and student of the gun. He grew up shooting/hunting with his dad, and was given his first gun, a 12 gauge shotgun, when just a small boy. After high school, he joined the Marines where his love for firearms blossomed as he qualified with an M16A2, an M9, and a 240G. Josh has been writing about firearms and tactics for several years, owns the blog Gunners Den, is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and believes that each individual person has the right to self-defense by any means necessary. Currently residing in gun-friendly NC, he carries a concealed gun on a daily basis, even in his own house.


  1. Xaun Loc on August 31, 2019 at 8:55 am

    I don’t live in Ohio so I’m not 100% certain, but I don’t think Ohio is one of the few states where you can use lethal force to protect property.

    IF this was in one of the states where defense of property is legal justification for lethal force AND IF the man had already robbed Riffle and was running off with his money, then this shooting might be legal — but that’s a lot of IFs.

    • Kirk Olsen on September 1, 2019 at 5:53 pm

      I would tend to think the shooter would be lucky if he isn’t charged with attempted murder.

    • Matthew Maruster on September 4, 2019 at 2:55 pm

      Xuan, Ohio (like most states) allows reasonable force to be used to protect property, but does not allow deadly force to be used to protect property alone.

  2. Jennifer Stuart on September 1, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    What if the person has killed someone a friend or Relative and has turned and is running away should you try and stop them before they kill someone else.

    • John on September 1, 2019 at 8:35 pm

      Possession of a concealed carry permit does not deputize us as police officers. A fleeing felon is a police responsibility. If the subject shot a cop, you MIGHT get away with shooting him as he flees, but maybe not. Bottom line: If he is not threatening you, or someone near you, with imminent death or grievous bodily harm, don’t shoot him. Take pictures. Shoot video. Call 911. But don’t fire your weapon.

    • Ed on September 1, 2019 at 8:59 pm

      Great Question

    • Mark Dandeneau on September 3, 2019 at 7:36 pm


  3. Bob Scott on September 1, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    What does “blade yourself to the side” mean?

  4. Albert Tullis on September 1, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    to Jennifer,
    I was trained as a law enforcement officer , that once the suspect turns and flees he is no longer considered an immediate threat. You cannot shoot at that point, however if he turns back to fire again it would be considered reasonable to fire.

    • Clyde Banks on November 2, 2019 at 3:42 pm

      Actually Albert your statement to Jennifer is incorrect, as L.E. Officer with over 27 years experience and a recognized Subject matter expert in the use of force ( in the State with the most restrictive gun UOF). Shooting a fleeing armed offender is justified in LE. Under public safety and the obvious threat to the public. Civilians are much more restricted, but still can be justified as reasonable under the totality of circumstances.

  5. David on September 1, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    Texas is the ONLY state that allows the use of deadly force in defense of mere property. And even then, it’s generally ill-advised just because of the headache and legal jeopardy it can still put you in.

  6. Richard Nardone on September 2, 2019 at 5:41 am

    I’m an OTR truck driver and I carry. In Feb I was almost robbed and beaten. If I didn’t have my S&W 40 with me I could have ended up in the hospital. The two guys were mugging and beating truckers. They put one guy in the hospital in serious condition. I showed my weapon to the two guys and they took off running. I didn’t aim the gun at them I just showed them I was armed. Maybe this guy in Ohio was robbed and chased they to recover his money. There are so many variables that could have caused this.
    All I can say is good luck to him.

  7. Laurence Almand on September 2, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    If a suspect is fleeing, then they are no longer an imminent danger, therefore the use of deadly force is not justified in most cases.
    However, there are some instances where the use of force is justified. On the internet there is a case where a fleeing suspect turned and pointed a pistol at a police officer, so the officer was justified in shooting.
    It all depends upon the circumstances, and the factor of imminent threat of injury or death.

  8. Gary Boham on September 4, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    This posting is an excellent example why someone with no education or experience as an attorney should be prohibited from offering legal advice.
    Your bio says you carry every day, even in your own house. Or is it still your mother’s house?
    You need to get out more and talk to people who know things, not just people who can sit in the dark and type.

    • Matthew Maruster on September 5, 2019 at 8:08 am

      Gary, it’s always preferable to cite specific things about the article you have an issue with, instead of generalize something as bad advice, and then lob baseless ad hominem attacks. The latter technique is used by trolls, those with a baseless argument or those with no value to add to the conversation. I am sure as a firearms instructor that’s not how you want to be portrayed. It seems like you have a strong opinion that this article not be used as advice. I imagine that if you present what specifically you have issue with, the author and even other readers can exchanges ideas and maybe you can enlighten others.

  9. Gary on September 10, 2019 at 10:25 am

    I try to avoid using ATMs, but when I do, I often ask someone I trust to ‘watch my back’ – technically, they are to watch sides and around corners and for other vehicles. After all, I already have enough to do – just to remember where I put my card last time. I also use the same technique at gas stations. Even an unarmed, trained child can serve as lookout.

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