Warning Shots

From here:

I am a resident of Minnesota and live in Minneapolis with my wife. On the evening of August 1st, 2004, we witnessed 5 males assualt an unknown male in front of our home. The time was 2:00am. We chased the males away and rendered first aid. The victims head was cracked open and he was out cold.

About ten mintues later the males returned. As my wife, friends and I sat on our porch the males returned and began threating us with death. They made motions as if they had weapons in their waistbands and proceded to flank our porch. The lead male made a straight line to the steps of our porch, already some 15 feet onto our property. My wife had been on the phone with 911 since we first saw the males on the corner. We demanded that they leave. They refused. At that time I retrieved my 870 Remington from just inside the door. I stood under the porch light so they could see that I was armed. I demanded they leave again. They refused. I racked the shotgun..still nothing. I then fired a warning shot into the ground. At that time they retreated. 18 mintues later the police arrived.

Long story short. I have been charged with two felonies. Reckless and Intentional discharge. Trail starts March 1st.

I don’t know about Minnesota law. I can say that even under the liberal defense laws of the great State of Texas, this guy did some things I wouldn’t have done.

I disagree with Joel Rosenberg (again, under the context of Texas law) about retrieving the shotgun and defending the porch. After dark in Texas, you can defend all of your property (not just the dwelling) and the porch counts as part of the dwelling any time. The fact that they intimated that they had weapons is enough for Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Texas (the threat is the assault.) However, I would never have fired a warning shot.

I would have pointed the shotgun at him, and if he moved his hand to his waist or pockets or continued advancing, I would have blown him away. If any of his friends did anything but turn and run, they would have been next.

Warning shots are always a crime. Sometimes, it is better to shoot the goblin. In Texas, even with these exact circumstances, I would be confident that he wouldn’t be convicted. I don’t know Minnesota juries well enough to predict that one.


  1. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    If you are bad enough to threaten someone with death then you are bad enought to get shot for it….

  2. The "D" says:

    Oh Hell No!!! See the problem is that the guy should have had a handgun and just waited until theyactually stepped on the porch. Then blasted the guy into the house. Now there is no jury in the world that would not understand that. Warning shots are what people do that don’t want to shoot someone. It is just like the old gangs in the “D” that were real weak. Their premise for fear was always— wait right here I’ll be back to get you. Oh Hell Naw!! i would rather whoop the dawg crap out of you now and threaten your mother to ensure I will not have to see you again.

    This only works with the Sudo thugs. Never pull a gun unless you plan on shooting someone that is my motto. Think about this. If you see the gun in a guys pants and he is running his mouth. If I know he is going to shoot me I am going for it. I weigh 250 and 6’1. You have to shoot me before I bow down like a little girl. If I get the gun loose I will definitely shoot. There is no justice in injustice!!! you have to shoot it when you see it!

  3. Mexigogue says:

    The “D” said:

    There is no justice in injustice!!!

    You should send that one in to Farakhan. $20 says he’ll use it!

  4. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    take a deep breath and count to 10 “D”

  5. Al Sharpton says:

    The injustice line was all right but it didn’t rhyme.

  6. The "D" says:

    That was pretty good huh?

  7. skh says:

    There is, indeed, “justice” in “injustice.” I see it plainer than Paris Hilton without make-up. See, what you want to do is look for repetition of letters…j-u-s-t-i-c-e…those letters are in both words. There is justice in injustice. QED.

  8. Mark says:

    My understanding of Oklahoma law is that it’s simple: if you are justified in using lethal force- firing a shot- you should be firing it into the threat, not firing warning shots.

    Also, I believe that in most places the rules are different with multiple threats. What would not justify lethal force with an individual does justify it when you have several attackers threatening you.

  9. Rob Carlson says:

    Yeah if he admitted it was a warning shot, he cooked his own goose. It’s hard to plead self defense when you believed that the imminent threat of deadly force could be dissuaded by anything less than a deadly response. In this case he obviously did. He should have hit the closest guy square on and been ready for the next one.