Concealed Carry

U.S. Law Shield: Florida Good Samaritan Analysis: Licensed Carrier Saves Deputy

U.S. Law Shield video cover of two police officers wearing tactical gear

Earlier this week, a good samaritan possessing a CWFL came to the rescue of a Lee County Florida deputy. The deputy had pulled over a suspect. Before the deputy could exit his vehicle, the suspect exited his vehicle, ran to the deputy’s car, and dragged the officer from his cruiser. The suspect then started violently attacking the officer and trying to get his gun while punching him multiple times. This good samaritan saw what was going on and decided to intervene. He approached the fight, drew his firearm—which he legally possessed—and ordered the suspect to stop what he was doing multiple times. When the suspect didn’t, the good samaritan shot three times, resulting in the death of the suspect.

Was this good samaritan justified? Based on facts that I have viewed on the news and read on the internet, I believe so. Florida Statute 790.012 allows a person to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes such force is needed to either prevent death or great bodily harm that is imminent to either himself or to another person, in this situation the officer.

Also under 790.012, a person is justified in using deadly force if he or she reasonably believes such force is needed to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. In this situation, the forcible felony would have been the attack on the law-enforcement officer.

So, based on the facts that I have reviewed, I believe under 790.012, the good samaritan was absolutely justified in his actions.

Do you agree with the lawyer’s assessment? What would you have done differently? Share your answers in the comment section.

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Comments (45)

  1. Really shawn Really I would think twice shooting some one to protect a officer I been laying my life down since I was 14 years(cant do it now at that age)I was a fire fighter30 and for 2 years a part time cop I seen what the police go threw dealing with some people my son in law is also a full time cop there out there protecting us and I would think twice taking a low life who is tried to hurt a cop or kill them screw the family they should have raised the kid better. what ever happen to respect for one another and or law enforcement? (yes there are some bad police) but soon or later they get caught also!!

  2. For those interested, there were more statutes than Law Shield mentioned that not only protected the Samaritan’s lawful right to shoot, but also obligated him to shoot as well:

    When the officer repeatedly yelled for the Samaritan to shoot the perpetrator, the following Florida statute obligated the Samaritan to do so:

    “901.18 Officer may summon assistance.—A peace officer making a lawful arrest may command the aid of persons she or he deems necessary to make the arrest. A person commanded to aid shall render assistance as directed by the officer. A person commanded to aid a peace officer shall have the same authority to arrest as that peace officer and shall not be civilly liable for any reasonable conduct in rendering assistance to that officer.”

    If the Samaritan had instead chosen not to follow the officer’s commands to shoot, the Samaritan could have been prosecuted under the following Florida statute:

    “843.06 Neglect or refusal to aid peace officers.—Whoever, being required in the name of the state by any officer of the Florida Highway Patrol, police officer, beverage enforcement agent, or watchman, neglects or refuses to assist him or her in the execution of his or her office in a criminal case, or in the preservation of the peace, or the apprehending or securing of any person for a breach of the peace, or in case of the rescue or escape of a person arrested upon civil process, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.”

    As always, glad I could clear this up for you folks.

  3. Taking a life is more than a notion. Did he consider the legal ramifications if his family sues or tries to retaliate? What if the officer was harassing him and he was actually protecting himself from a crooked cop? Who’s to say/prove he actually yelled for the victim to stop? What the hell is wrong with a warning shot?

    1. Warning shots are generally not legally allowed. Plus that shot will go somewhere and it may injure someone.

  4. If in this case a concealed carry permit use is not legal, then concealed carry permits are useless and will get you prison time. It is for instances exactly like this that we have concealed carry.

  5. Reading all of this is why I would have to think a second before shooting him. Yes in Texas I have an obligation, however it immediately puts me and my family in danger as a result not to mention the financial considerations. No one is going to protect me or mine including the Police Union from prosecution it is on me.

    With what was shown, yes I probably would have stopped the perp. Then I would have immediately put the gun down and called my attorney, no comments or anything other than complying with the requests of the LEO personnel until I had representation. That unfortunately is the world that we are living in today, I would have stopped it because I couldn’t have lived with myself otherwise, but it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t be trying to ensure that I protect myself as well from the aftermath.

    Any bets whether the perp’s family tries to sue the citizen and that person is on their own against them?

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