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.