One would-be armed robber is dead and his accomplice is in jail following a shootout in a Northwest Jacksonville seafood shop last week. Police told the Florida Times-Union the owner started firing after two masked men came in, pointed their guns and demanded money just after 6:30 p.m. last Friday. A store manager, however, told police it was the employee the suspects confronted that shot at them. Neither the manager nor police have said who fired first, the suspects or the people who work at the store.
Regardless of who fired first, Florida law now protects people who feel their life is in danger. The so-called “stand your ground” law allows for victims to use deadly force if they are simply trying to protect themselves.
In this case, employees say two men tried to rob the store at gunpoint. A manager told the newspaper the employee who fired started carrying the gun after a robbery just a month ago.
In similar cases, the State Attorney’s office will close the case and consider it a “justified homicide.” It is still homicide, simply because someone died, but prosecutors choose not to file charges because they feel the person was “justified” in his or her actions, according to what the law allows. Juries, and prosecutors, both understand that it isn’t reasonable to expect someone to just stand back when someone puts a gun in his or her face. But it also doesn’t mean you can retaliate with a shotgun if you’re neighbor puts his finger in your chest about your dog pooping in his lawn.
Our Jacksonville criminal defense law firm is well-versed in the “stand your ground” law and other aspects of self-defense. This law applies when you are anywhere you have a right to be, such as an open restaurant or just walking down the street. If someone threatens you or another person and you believe that you or the other person is in imminent danger of great bodily harm or death, you can meet that force with force.
If you need a self defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call Mussallem and Associate, PA at 904-365-5200 for a free consultation.