What I Would Do After A Self Defense Shooting


What Would I Do After A Self Defense Shooting?

This is not a question to be taken lightly. My only advice to you is to spend considerable time and resources thinking about the answers to this question before you decide to carry a concealed or openly visible firearm. I highly suggest consulting a lawyer for developing your own plan for what you would do after a self defense shooting.  I am not a lawyer so please understand that as you read the following.  But since this is Self Defense Week on RealitySurvival, I thought I would share with you what I personally would do if I was in a self defense shooting. Please understand that I am not trying to provide you with legally advice.  I am only sharing with you what I myself would do in this situation. Obviously there are a wide variety of scenarios that a situation like this could play out; but because it is the most commonly thought of, I will use the example of a convenience store being robbed by a violent armed gunman.

There is a judgment call that has to be made by any person who is confronted with a situation like this and that is this.  Should you just be a good observer/witness or should you get involved and act to neutralize the threat?  Most people who read this blog will go with the latter.  But this article is not going to cover all of the pros and cons of that decision and its possible consequences.  This article is going to assume that I have decided to engage the threat and that the threat has been eliminated.  Now what will I do?

15 Things I Would Do After A Self Defense Shooting15 Things I Would Do After A Self Defense Shooting Click To Tweet

  1. Make sure my weapon is re-holstered when the area is secure.  If I keep my firearm in my hand it may be threatening to the bystanders and the police when they arrive on scene.  I don’t want to accidentally get shot. So back in the holster it goes.
  2. I will not touch the criminal’s weapon with my hands if possible, but will kick it safely away from his body.  I will also make sure that no one else touches the criminal’s weapon.
  3. I will personally call 9/11 (even if someone else already did). I will let them know that I just witnessed an armed robbery and the criminal has been shot and an ambulance is required. I will not provide too many details to the 9/11 operator. I will tell them that I can’t answer additional questions right now. I will be very short and concise.  I understand that I am not required to answer the 9/11 Operators questions.  But I will be sure to let them know that the threat has ended and people at the scene are no longer in immediate danger. I will be sure to tell them that the scene is safe and secure.  I will do this so that the police will hopefully be a little less amped up when they arrive on scene.
  4. I will do my best to make sure that no witnesses leave the scene. I will not force anyone to stay but I would try to get their picture or their license plate if they are trying to leave. I want them to be an official witness to the crime on my behalf.
  5. Before the police arrive I will try to make sure that everyone is gathered up in an area near the front of the store or just outside of it with their hands visible so they are not assumed to be a threat either. Someone will need to be in control after the chaos and since I will have the most to loose, it will be me. At least until the police arrive.
  6. When the police arrive I will make sure my hands are out and visible, I will comply with all of their instructions. I understand that they may handcuff me until they figure out what is going on, I expect this to happen. 
  7. I will notify them that I am a legal concealed carry permit holder and that I am armed. I will be ready and willing to surrender my firearm. I will not expect to get it back for several weeks or months.
  8. I will provide a short verbal statement to the police.  I will probably record my verbal statement with my cell phone camera (if possible) so that my attorney will know exactly what I say to them. My statement would likely be something to the effect of “I am willing to cooperate with you because I am the victim here, but I would like to speak to an attorney before I provide a written statement or answer any of your questions. But I do want you to know that I was the victim/witness of a crime that that person committed (point them out) and that I was afraid for my life and I felt that if I did not defend myself and the other people that the he was going to kill me or the other people. I had no choice but to act in self defense or I would be dead right now. Please understand that I do want to assist you further with this investigation.  But because the issue is so serious I would like to consult with my attorney before I answer any additional questions. I hope that this statement will be sufficient for the time being.”  I will keep my verbal statement very very short and concise. Some people might say that I should not say anything at all.  I disagree with this.  I think it is important for me to let the police know three primary things. First, I want an attorney. Second, I was afraid for my life and had to act in self defense. Third, I do want to cooperate with the investigation since I am the victim of the crime. If I don’t provide at least those three things I am going to bring a lot of unneeded scrutiny and suspicion upon myself. The police on the scene need some information to be able to determine what happened and by giving them those three things I am helping them understand what happened and that I am a victim not a murderer.
  9. Next I will point out the other witnesses who saw the incident, especially if they have not appeared to speak with all of them yet.
  10. I will show the officer any evidence of the crime, weapons of the subject, injuries I sustained, other people who were shot or attacked, etc.  I won’t go into details but I would just say something to the effect of “This is the gun that he pulled out” or “this is the person that he shot”, etc. I will not offer any additional details. They are not needed and if misconstrued could be used against you later on if there is a misunderstanding.
  11. If I am able to do so I will take pictures and or video of the crime scene without getting in the way of the police (or perhaps before they arrive). I will not disturb or move anything in or around the crime scene.
  12. I will be ready and willing to surrender my weapon as evidence, I will make sure to get a hand receipt for it.
  13. I will also make sure to get the all of the officers names and badge numbers and a police report number if it is available before I leave the scene.
  14. If I am arrested (may be possible depending on department policy and how things unfold) or read my Miranda Rights, I will make sure that I do not provide any information and I will ask to speak with my attorney before I provide any further information. I will not resist the police or argue with them, because I understand that they are just doing their job.  I will keep my mouth shut.  My attorney will be able to get me out of jail very soon.
  15. I will not speak with anyone about the incident other than my lawyer and possibly my spouse. The statute of limitations for murder is forever.  Plus I may have to deal with a civil lawsuit from family members of the criminal or the criminal themselves if they are still alive.  I will not make any youtube videos about it or post on Facebook or anything like that.  I will keep it to myself even after the event is over and done with. Anything I say could be misconstrued and used against me in a later lawsuit. So I don’t want to feed that fire.

Once everything was wrapped up at the scene of the crime I would immediately call my attorney and speak with them.  Perhaps even get them to come to the scene if that is possible so that you could explain exactly how everything happened. Then I would go home and relax and as I thought about the sequence of events I would jot down notes to my attorney (I would make sure the paper is labeled that it is notes to my attorney so that it stays a privileged communication and cannot be used against me later).

Well that is pretty much it.  That is how I would handle a self defense shooting.  After all of that has happened everything else that would happen to me will be on autopilot and my attorney will take care of the situation and make sure that I am aware of the rest of the process, court appointments, police interviews, etc.

What would your actions be after a self defense shooting? Let us know in the comments below!


8 thoughts on “What I Would Do After A Self Defense Shooting

  1. In addition to everything mentioned about personally calling 911 to report the shooting – all great points & info – HANG UP AFTER THE CALL …

    If shooters don’t learn anything else from the Zimmerman Case – they’ll be using absolutely everything and anything to screw you over – that includes filtered & amped up cross talk in the background ….

    Take a notice from the Baltimore DA – it’s not about justice – it’s all about revenge …

  2. I was really enlightened by this article. Have had my c.c. for two years now and carry when I am outside my house. First time I carried was to church and I know this church has concealed carry men all around and in the church. They had in the past eastern looking men taking pictures of the church! Any way I must say it is very humbling to think of the responsibility of carrying!

  3. Awesome! Glad you liked it. Thanks for the feedback. It is great you have your concealed carry permit. I would recommend carrying as often as you can! It is becoming a crazy world out there! Take Care and stay safe and God Bless!

  4. IF, you are engaged in a shooting.. one, the people around you will try to leave as soon as they can. They will be glad you had a weapon to help them, but they will also say, I am outa here.

    It will be your word and maybe a video of the shooting from the store or Resturant that is on your side.

    Say I was in fear of my life and my Family’s life. Do not mention the other people around. YOU are NOT a COP…. you had no business trying save the by standers from the bad guy… It was between you and him.
    After you say I was in fear of my life, I want my attorney…SHUTUP… If you are cuffed , go along but still say nothing. Only speak to your attorney. Only speak to your Attorney..

    If you want the weapon back, some may say you are wanting a Trophy of the shooting. Be prepared to say I do not want the weapon back.

  5. Interesting take. Obviously I don’t agree with all of it but much of it is exactly what I laid out as well. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  6. Greetings Admin,

    Forgot to mention… Thanks for the article. Always a good thing to test our procedures and learn new things. Carry on and look forward to another article.

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