Okay so this is another one of those two part articles meant to teach us something. First we have the news as it has been reported by someone who is an actual journalist (not me) at an actual newspaper (this is important as we'll see below).
Then we move on to what we can learn from the entire debacle.
First the news:
Pembroke Pines, Florida — A naked man was shot after walking around and knocking on residential doors, apparently offering up some lewd comments to the people at each dwelling as he pointed to his genitals. He asked residents specific questions that we won't address here.
The incident took place on Wednesday at about 8:45 in the morning, outside of the Sunshine Garden Apartments. The man who shot the naked guy called police to “surrender himself to police.”
The naked man did not live at the apartment complex, and it is unsure why he was there or if he was on drugs. No names have been released at this time, and the investigation, last we heard, is ongoing.
The naked man was in the hospital in critical condition.
What can we learn from this?
One of the main things we can learn is that each one of us needs to be aware of what we're saying after the defensive use of a gun because anything we say can be used against us.
Now we don't know all of the details of this story, like was the shooter a prohibited person (we assume not because he called police right away, not something criminals generally do), what led up to the incident, etc.
Nonetheless, there are important things we can learn from this story. Those things come directly from how the story was reported on at the newspaper.
Here is a quote from the Pembroke Police Major Al Xiques as reported by the Sun-Sentinel, as well as additional commentary offered up by the journalist that is … interesting-
“He wanted to surrender himself to police,” Xiques said of the self-confessed suspect. “He was detained by police and is being questioned.”
The quote comes from this source, the emphasis on bold words is mine. There is so much wrong with the above quote that I almost don't even know where to start.
But if you look closely at the quote it implies guilt on the behalf of the shooter. And this is key, because the man might have originally said something, either to police or reporters, that implied guilt.
Usually, people who act in self-defense don't “surrender” themselves or “self-confess” things or are “suspects” because they usually only resort to violence as a last resort. That language is usually reserved for criminals who use violence as a first resort.
So one of a couple of different scenarios likely played out here. The first and most likely one (because criminals generally don't call the cops), is that the shooter acted out of self-defense but may have said something he shouldn't have to the police.
He may have said something like this: “I didn't mean to shoot him,” or something similar, which may imply to police that you didn't actually act out of self-defense.
The second possibility, is that this could have been a justified shooting that was not reported on correctly. Journalists get things wrong all the time as they go on facts that are still developing, and who knows if the above-linked story is filled with the most recent facts.
Finally, it could also be that the shooter saw the naked man and just shot him.
The truth of the matter is that we just don't know and because we don't know exactly what happened, we're going to treat this as scenario #1, which is to watch what we say after the defensive gun use incident.
We don't know what happened beyond what is reported, except that on the Pembroke Pines PD Facebook page, they stated that there was an altercation. It may have been a physical and/or a verbal altercation but we don't know which because it doesn't say.
I'm not on the upside of Florida self-defense law, but can say that there are usually a few requirements to utilizing deadly force: A reasonable person must believe that deadly force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury, kidnapping, death, or rape.
If there was a physical altercation of any sort with a naked man, I'd assume that at least one of those requirements are met in this instance (again, not a lawyer).
Based on that alone I think this is a self-defense case. Again, I don't have all the facts.
The most important thing to remember after you defend yourself is make sure you don't say anything that may incriminate you to the police when you're on the phone with them or in front of them.
Anything you say that is wrong, like you didn't want to shoot him, or something along those lines, can be used against you.
If you get nothing else from this, just remember to only give the police the info they need for the apprehension of a suspect. Avoid incriminating yourself by divulging too much. And always have an attorney on hand, just in case.
And as always, I'd like to remind you that I am in no way, shape, or form a lawyer and nothing I say should ever be construed to be legal advice.
I urge you to check out our concealed carry insurance chart and find a company to represent you just in case you ever need to pull the trigger out of self-defense.