LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

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RSX11
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LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#1

Post by RSX11 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:41 am

I was reading a news article about a recent armed robbery in Houston, and it made me wonder about a point in the law. A guy was loading groceries into his hatchback when he noticed an armed man was standing next to him. The robber pointed the gun at him and demanded his wallet, which he handed over. The gunman then took off.

Use of deadly force law says you can use deadly force to prevent the imminent commission of an armed robbery. If the victim chose to pull out a gun and shoot the robber in the back right as he was leaving - does that occur during the "imminent" part of the armed robbery? Or would it be considered to be part of attempting to recover property after the commission of the armed robbery? I figure he'd be good one way or the other, but I wondered which part of the law applied in this situation.


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Re: LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#2

Post by extremist » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:49 am

RSX11 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:41 am
I was reading a news article about a recent armed robbery in Houston, and it made me wonder about a point in the law. A guy was loading groceries into his hatchback when he noticed an armed man was standing next to him. The robber pointed the gun at him and demanded his wallet, which he handed over. The gunman then took off.

Use of deadly force law says you can use deadly force to prevent the imminent commission of an armed robbery. If the victim chose to pull out a gun and shoot the robber in the back right as he was leaving - does that occur during the "imminent" part of the armed robbery? Or would it be considered to be part of attempting to recover property after the commission of the armed robbery? I figure he'd be good one way or the other, but I wondered which part of the law applied in this situation.
The law is clear, "The robber pointed the gun at him and demanded his wallet" constitutes an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the actor. He would be totally justified in responding with deadly force.

Now the bigger question is - hmm, how was his situational awareness? Uh, non-existent. Was it smarter to do what he did? Probably. Once the guy ran off, the imminent threat is gone. Thus it would be hard to justify shooting the robber in the back as he fled. The time to shoot him was as he was going for his wallet to hand to him, or to shoot him as he handed it to him. But we can't second guess the actor's behavior since we were not there.

How much training did he have? Where was he carrying his gun? Could he have drawn and put two round center mass on the robber? Who knows, we don't. Maybe he did the smartest thing based on what you have told us.

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Re: LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#3

Post by joe817 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:53 am

RSX11 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:41 am
I was reading a news article about a recent armed robbery in Houston, and it made me wonder about a point in the law. A guy was loading groceries into his hatchback when he noticed an armed man was standing next to him. The robber pointed the gun at him and demanded his wallet, which he handed over. The gunman then took off.

Use of deadly force law says you can use deadly force to prevent the imminent commission of an armed robbery. If the victim chose to pull out a gun and shoot the robber in the back right as he was leaving - does that occur during the "imminent" part of the armed robbery? Or would it be considered to be part of attempting to recover property after the commission of the armed robbery? I figure he'd be good one way or the other, but I wondered which part of the law applied in this situation.
Interesting question. I'm no lawyer, nor a student of one. This is only my opinion. Shooting the robber in the back as he was fleeing...well I don't think that is a justifiable use of deadly force in this instance, since he no longer poses a threat. I'm not sure that shooting the actor in the back in order to recover your property is justifiable as well. Just my opinion. YMMV.
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Re: LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#4

Post by priusron » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:10 pm

It has been a while since I dissected the laws. Isn’t there still a part that says if the bad guy is fleeing with your property that you have a reasonable belief that you will not get it back, that deadly force is authorized. If someone is fleeing with my wallet I won’t get my money, Medicare card, license, ltc card or anything else back. My wallet is one of a kind, made in prison, that I wouldn’t get back.


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Re: LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#5

Post by montgomery » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:16 pm

joe817 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:53 am
RSX11 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:41 am
I was reading a news article about a recent armed robbery in Houston, and it made me wonder about a point in the law. A guy was loading groceries into his hatchback when he noticed an armed man was standing next to him. The robber pointed the gun at him and demanded his wallet, which he handed over. The gunman then took off.

Use of deadly force law says you can use deadly force to prevent the imminent commission of an armed robbery. If the victim chose to pull out a gun and shoot the robber in the back right as he was leaving - does that occur during the "imminent" part of the armed robbery? Or would it be considered to be part of attempting to recover property after the commission of the armed robbery? I figure he'd be good one way or the other, but I wondered which part of the law applied in this situation.
Interesting question. I'm no lawyer, nor a student of one. This is only my opinion. Shooting the robber in the back as he was fleeing...well I don't think that is a justifiable use of deadly force in this instance, since he no longer poses a threat. I'm not sure that shooting the actor in the back in order to recover your property is justifiable as well. Just my opinion. YMMV.
Fleeing felon is the legal situation being discussed here ... and it is highly complex for the legally armed citizen. Recommend y'all take a Massad Ayoob class, do some research, or talk to an attorney experienced in affirmative defense cases.


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Re: LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#6

Post by RSX11 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:38 pm

I should point out, that I wouldn't have shot the fleeing robber in this case (I decided a long time ago that I'll pretty much only fire if me or my family is in direct immediate danger), nor do I recommend it. The news article just made me wonder what the law says about that situation.


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Re: LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#7

Post by rotor » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:49 pm

A fleeing BG with a gun does not mean the threat is over. He can easily turn around and shoot on the go.

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Re: LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#8

Post by oljames3 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:02 pm

Attorney Andrew Branca (author of The Law of Self Defense) explains this well in his blog. Go to https://lawofselfdefense.com, join at the FREE bronze level, and review his blog for the Walmart Shooting: Retribution Is Not Self-Defense. Andrew discusses the elements that make a good self defense claim, one of which is imminence.
Imminence: Deal-breaker
A second major issue in this case has to do with the self-defense element of imminence, in the context of the timing of when Ms. Alston actually fired shots in purported self-defense.

The element of imminence requires that a use of force against another can only be lawful if the attack being defended against is an imminent attack—one either actually taking place or about to take place right now.
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Re: LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#9

Post by philip964 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:11 pm

I thought it was a daytime, nighttime thing. Daytime No. Night time Yes.

Key here is leaving with your property and time of day or night.

My understanding as a non lawyer.

Do I think it’s a good idea to fire your gun and your or your families life is not in danger - No.


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Re: LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#10

Post by apostate » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:39 pm

If something already happened, it's no longer imminent.


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Re: LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#11

Post by RSX11 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:00 pm

If something already happened, it's no longer imminent.
Well, that's the crux of my question, though - when is the imminent armed robbery over? When the wallet is surrendered? When the guy turns to leave? When he's a dozen feet away? Tomorrow?


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Re: LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#12

Post by howdy » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:54 pm

This is why I enjoy this forum. There is not a single "hot head" reply to this situation. All replies are well thought out and not full of testosterone. The vast majority of us realize the gravity of shooting another person, whether justified or not.

One of the 4 gun rules is knowing your target and whats behind the target. A parking lot is full of unknowns. What would I do? I might wet myself and whimper like a little child. I have never been in this situation. I would hope I could think clearly and do the right thing but we see situations where Police Officers fail to respond appropriately and get hurt or hurt some innocent person. I will train and think through scenarios and try to avoid stupid people in stupid places, not join a gang and not do drugs. No guarantee, but that should help keep me out of most bad situations.

My last duty station in the Marines was as an Advanced Jet Flight Instructor in Beeville, Texas. We had to grade "situational awareness" on every flight. This was a very important grade for the student and consistent bad grades on this would not be good for his future in flight training. I think the same applies to carrying a weapon. You must keep your head on a swivel and stay alert to your surroundings.
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Re: LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#13

Post by RSX11 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:36 pm

I thought it was a daytime, nighttime thing. Daytime No. Night time Yes.
Daytime/Nightime applies to theft. This is armed robbery - no daytime/nighttime limits there.

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Re: LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#14

Post by 03Lightningrocks » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:50 pm

There was a thread here a few years back that was addressing the shooting of an armed robber fleeing with your wallet. The point I remember most was pointed out by someone who said if the property was irretrievable, shooting to stop the armed robber was justified.


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Re: LAw regarding armed robbery - what does "imminent" mean?

#15

Post by cirus » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:51 pm

I wouldn't have shot the fleeing robber because of the legality of it. That's the only reason.

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