srothstein wrote: ↑
Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:50 pm
This is an interesting case for us to study. Latest reports are two LTCs (yes, the media did use the term CHL) involved. The driver turned to drive into a street blocked by the protest. No mention from the police yet if the street was closed for the protest or not, which may make a difference. Some people are saying the driver tried to run down the protesters, so others surrounded the car and started banging on it. While I am tempted to want to run down protesters just for blocking the street, I am pretty sure it isn't legal. This again may make a difference to the legal case. As the people started banging on the car, the deceased came over and is reported to have pointed the rifle at the driver. We do not know his intent, but it is reasonable that, based on national media reporting the driver honestly believed he was going to be shot or attacked (crowd banging on the car combined with man coming over with a rifle and pointing it at him). Driver fires a string of shots at the armed man, causing a lot of the crowd to scatter. Driver speeds off and as he does so, another LTC in the crowd shoots at his car to try to stop him). Driver gets to a safe spot and calls the police to report the shooting. Driver cooperates with APD in investigation and is released pending further investigation. Second LTC also is identified and picked up for questioning by APD. He also cooperates and, I believe, is released by APD pending further investigation.
My call is that the driver will not be charged unless there is evidence he was deliberately trying to run down protesters. If he was driving on a closed off street or trying to run down the protesters, he will be charged with murder. If no evidence of that, he is freed based on self-defense. Second shooter will probably be set free based on defense of others (stopping person fleeing after an assault). But the second shooter may be charged with agg. assault or deadly conduct anyway. His defense is the weakest in the bunch, IMO. I think most people on this board have already state that the best thing to do if you are not directly threatened by a crime is to simply be the best witness possible. His actions confirm that as a good idea to me.
I have said before that people should never confuse issues by bringing in extraneous issues. The deceased was absolutely within his rights by carrying a rifle at the protest. What good did it to, though? His carrying now leaves his disabled girlfriend on her own. He might have thought he was helping people, either other protesters or the driver, but it did no good at all. The second LTC was also within his rights to carry at the protest. He thought he saw a crime and tried to stop the person from leaving. Now he stand a good chance of facing criminal charges and a trial. Even if he wins, he is going through a stressful and possibly expensive process.
Excellent analysis. I believe the second shooter would face no charges if no one was hurt by his shooting.
More facts that I can see relevant
1) The Road was not blocked for the march. In the videos, cars were at the intersection crossing and moving. The dash cam video shows that traffic was moving.
2) Was a legal march on that street, if so why APD did not block the roads and re-routed the traffic?
3) The car came to a full stop, and no one was hurt by the car, meaning the driver did not try to run over anyone.
4) The driver honked many times to warn the protestors.
5) The car get mobbed
6) There was an armed person in the crowd with AK pointing his rifle at, or at low ready toward the shooter
5) and 6) can be a defense for the shooter under Texas Penal code.