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After a defensive shooting, should you talk to the police?

A concealed carry holster. (Alian Gear Holster/WikiMedia)
November 17, 2017

Imagine a situation where you used your firearm to protect your life. You were trained for a moment like this and were confident that you could justify that your life was in danger and/or in great bodily harm.  

In most cases, the moment happened so fast when it was least expected. The perpetrator presented a weapon and you had no choice but to defend yourself with your firearm. As your muscle memory taught, you quickly drew your gun, fired a quick double tap and eliminated the threat. Then as you shook uncontrollably, you thanked God that you had a gun and know how to use it.

You performed exactly as you were trained. There was not a shadow of doubt that this was a justified use of your firearm, as 911 was called and the police hurried to the scene. The people in the area who witnessed what happened fled the scene. These people had valuable information but by the time you needed their statement, they were gone. All the sudden, you find yourself in a situation where it is your story versus the criminal’s story – and then suddenly doubt and uncertainty kicks in.

The police arrive without understanding what happened. They simply responded to a shooting scene with one man injured and another holding a gun. Then they arrest you as an ambulance carries the “victim” (or better yet, criminal) to the hospital.

You have a burning desire to tell the truth. You want to say your side and defend your actions. You want everyone to know that a weapon was drawn on you and to understand that you had no choice but to shoot. You then recall your firearm trainer telling the class to keep your mouth shut after a defensive shooting.

Once arrested and jailed, an officer gives you the opportunity to make a statement. Deep down, you want to talk. You want to let them know that you were accosted and your life was in danger. As your mind races and your heart is rapidly beating, you want to shout at the top of your lungs “I am innocent” as they treat you like a criminal.

The question is, should you talk to the police after a defensive shooting? The answer – a resounding NO. You simply say: “My life was in danger and I will cooperate fully after I speak with my attorney.”

In the video, I speak about five myths that people think will help them after a legal defensive shooting. These myths speak about law enforcement’s role in your case. It is common to think the police will understand and help you against prosecution. They are there to protect and serve, remember?

This is not an anti-law enforcement article. There have been several cases where good guys served jail time because they talked their way right into the hands of the prosecution. As tempting as it may be to share your experience with the police, it is critical to remain silent until you receive counsel from your attorney.

Watch the video below and share your thoughts and experiences on this topic.  

All opinion articles are the opinion of the author and not necessarily of American Military News. If you are interested in submitting an Op-Ed, please email [email protected].