Teen is Shot in the Head During Robbery, Family Intends to Sue
Florida is fairly renowned across the country for its controversial Stand Your Ground law. Essentially, Stand Your Ground removes the duty to retreat when you feel your life is in imminent danger. In other states, you are only allowed to use lethal force if you can show that you exhausted all other options. In Florida, the prosecution must prove that you did not feel your life was in danger when the shooting occurred.
On December 13th, a teenager who tried to make off with three gold rings was shot in the head by the store’s owner. According to the owner, the teen asked to try on three gold rings. Barbara Dacey, who owns the store with her husband, said that the teen could only try on one ring at a time. The teen then bolted with the rings in his hand when her husband, Michael Dacey, opened fire on the teen, shooting him in the head. He was dead immediately. Now, the getaway driver (who is 16 years old) is being charged with his death.
The assistant state attorney assigned to the case said that the shooting was justified because the young man was committing a felony at the time.
Stand Your Ground vs. You Can Shoot People During a Felony
Technically, the Stand Your Ground law requires that a shooter feel that their life is in danger. However, at the time of the shooting, the young man was fleeing the store as opposed to brandishing a weapon. That, in fact, makes it difficult to prove that the store owner felt as though he was in fear for his life. Most people are not afraid that those who are fleeing their store will simultaneously turn around and somehow threaten their life.
That being said, the teen was in the midst of committing a felony. However, it remains unclear legal terrain as to whether or not civilians can randomly shoot individuals who are committing felonies. For instance, you probably won’t hear about an investment banker being shot dead while committing wire fraud. Indeed, you won’t hear police saying that the individual who shot him is in the clear because the victim was committing a felony at the time he was shot.
Will the Wrongful Death Lawsuit Hold the Couple Responsible?
You don’t have to be committing a crime in order to be sued for negligence in a civil action. But when it comes to “intentional torts”, it does help. Here, there is a case of law enforcement claiming that the homicide is justified, so the prospects of a civil jury holding the shooter accountable for wrongful death aren’t as good as they should.
Nonetheless, no one should lose their life over a few hundred dollars in property and the owner should not have shot the boy in the back of the head as he was attempting to make a getaway.
Talk to a Jacksonville Wrongful Death Lawyer
Gillette Law in Jacksonville has successfully recovered damages for grieving families who have lost loved ones to another person’s negligence. Give us a call or talk to us online to set up an appointment.