Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Suffolk Shooting

A convenience store owner shot and killed an intruder this weekend down in Suffolk; the local newspaper headline notes that the suspected burglar was not armed with a gun.

The store owner claims that he shot in self-defense and I won't speculate as to whether it was or was not; the comments below the article are pretty vitriolic as it is.

What I will say is that he is in a significantly better position if the self-defense claim is deemed credible by the Commonwealth's Attorney or, if things go that far, the jury. The Virginia Supreme Court has held that brandishing a firearm in defense of your property is assault; it follows that using lethal force to protect your property may incur serious criminal (and civil) liability.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely prefer Texas state law that not only allows use of lethal force to protect property but to recover it if that is the only way reasonable.

    I think breaking into someone's home or business is a violent enough act to warrant the risk of lethal force.