Texas has a stand your ground law that allows people to use deadly force against someone else under certain circumstances. Although this law may be essential for a criminal defense, it has complicated the investigation of a fatal shooting in Austin on July 25.
The shooting occurred during a police brutality protest in downtown Austin. A 28-year-old man was shot when he was carrying an Ak-47 rifle and pushing his fiancée and her wheelchair across a downtown intersection. He was permitted to openly carry the weapon under the state’s open carry law.
The shooter was a motorist and attempted to turn his car onto Congress Avenue. He honked at protesters in the crosswalk. The protesters and the shooting victim surrounded the car when it stopped after hitting a traffic cone.
There are conflicting statements on whether the shooting victim raised his weapon at the motorist who was also legally armed. The police said that the motorist shot at the victim, fled the scene, and called 9-1-1. He told police that he fired his weapon because the victim pointed his rifle at his vehicle first.
Stand your ground law
Texas law allows people to use deadly force against another person if they feel they are in danger. However, the shooter cannot argue self-defense if they provoked a threat from someone else.
The police should determine whether the person who was shot could have perceived the driver’s actions as a threat. The driver’s self-defense claim may not be effective if he tried to incite a reaction, argue, or try to harm pedestrians.
In another self-defense case earlier this year, Austin police said that an officer’s shooting of an unarmed man was justified. His attempt to drive away from police who just shot him with a lead-pellet bag was an attempt to use his vehicle as a deadly weapon against police.
Criminal cases may be complicated and have conflicting evidence. An attorney can help protect your legal rights in these cases and seek a just outcome.