Self-defense is one of those still nebulous areas of law that varies from state to state. And that's because it can go terribly, horribly wrong, like the dad who did not aim before he fired a shotgun at an intruder... or so he thought.

GeneralDoubt asked: [SERIOUS]Redditors who have killed someone in self-defense. How did you handle the aftermath of what you did?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

10. One of those 'good guy with a gun' stories.

My son shot a burglar after the man lunged at him with a baseball bat. I might have died that night if my son wasn't there.

EDIT (forgot the aftermath):He was upset for a long time, since the man had a wife and four kids. He wished he could've attended the funeral to give his condolences to the family.

Turns out he thought I was some woman that robbed his wallet earlier but he messed up addresses.


9. Excessive force or human nature?

My old boss's cousin had a guy kick in his front door while the family was asleep real late at night, he grabbed his pistol from his nightstand and went to confront the guy, he had a large knife and charged the cousin who fired 13 rounds of 9mm into the guy who obviously died.

He was arrested and charged with something crazy, I want to say manslaughter but I don't think that's right but it wasn't murder of any degree but the prosecutor basically stated that he went too far and used way to much force or some b.s. and the only thing that saved him was that the ballistics report showed that the guy was on his feet for every single bullet that hit him and was high on PCP.

So he whatever the charges were, were dropped but he had to pay a fine for discharging a weapon in city limits and then pay the sheriffs department $500 to get his gun back the whole ordeal lasted about 8 years it took place in Tucson Arizona on the Tohono Indian reservation.


It's weird how people who haven't been in a dangerous situation think people react calmly. That doesn't happen. Most people go full panic mode.


Exactly. So many people talk a good game or do the I would have been billy bad @ss if I was in that situation when in reality if you haven't been specifically trained to remain calm under extreme stress or danger you probably won't handle it as well as you imagine.


8. If I had shot someone at 15, it woulda messed me tf up.

A friend of mine shot (but not killed, although he bled a lot) someone who got inside his house. He is 15 and was home alone. He just was a little nervous after he did it but did not have a major reaction.


7. Fred is good. Be like Fred.

TL:DR at bottom

it wasn't me but my dad's cousin was telling me a story when we visited him.

My family used to live in chicago and my dad and his side of the family lived in the city. Fred (my dad's cousin) stayed there for a while before moving to Hawaii to carry on his deceased dads business.

One day Fred was walking home and he saw the girl that lived next to him outside crying. He asked her what was wrong and she said her boyfriend had been beating her.

Fred's birthday was in a few days and so he decided to ask her if she had ever been on an actual date. She said no so he told her he'd take her out to a nice restaurant in a couple days.

They went out and had fun but when they got back and he was dropping her off her boyfriend punched him in the face. Fred fought back and he said it was partly due to the booze that he was able to fight this dude off until he ran off. They called the cops and they really didn't do sh*t.

They told the cops to stay because they thought he was gonna come back but they left anyway. Fred went into her house with her for a bit to make sure she was safe.

Sure enough a little bit later they hear something in the bedroom and the boyfriend climbed in through the window. Fred ran to the kitchen to grab a knife while the boyfriend chased her down the stairs.

When Fred caught up with them he was banging her head on the ground so Fred stabbed him (I don't remember where).

The dude got up and they started fighting again while the girl ran up the stairs and locked them in the basement.

The boyfriend was trying to knock down the door and kicked fred down the stairs a couple times while he was trying ot stop him. Eventually the boyfriend broke through the door and started beating her again.

Fred's a gun enthusiast and even though it was illegal in Chicago at the time he had a pistol. He pulled out his gun and told him to stop but instead of stopping the boyfriend, Fred charged him.

He shot him twice in the chest and one bullet bounced off his belt buckel and went into the wall.

The cops arrested him and took his gun, they tried to arrest him for attempted murder (he didn't actually kill him just stabbed and shot him).

They dropped the charges the same night because he saved this girls life and he got to go home. He lost his gun but he didn't get arrested, there were more details but this story is long af already.

TL:DR fred helps out girl with abusive boyfriend and when abusive boyfriend gets mad he saves himself and the girl after the cops do jack sh*t.


6. All war is a crime.

I'm still sort of dealing with it. Every day that goes by it gets a little further away but there are days it hits me. Days I see myself holding him in my lap. I still cry those days.


Are you comfortable with telling us what happened?


Sure why not.

I was on patrol with my squad in Iraq (first deployment, very green) and we set up a check point.

I was on the ground in front of the Hwmmv as lookout on our side and my best friend was the .50 cal gunner in the truck.

I saw headlight coming towards us. It was pitch black so I took out my mag light and flashed at it to slow did not.

I waited as long as I could and had to fire. Aimed center mass of the driver window....unfortunately not all cars in Iraq are left hand drive. When I fired my gunner fired too and the car flew past us and into a ditch.

When we ran up to the car we saw it was two of the newly recruited Iraqi police one was fine....untouched through the hail of gunfire. The passenger though, where I was aiming was hit in the head and his brain was swelling out of his skull.

I'd never shot anyone before so I freaked out and held him in my lap until he died. Turns out he was the police chief's son.

I went through an investigation and was found that I did everything right....sure doesn't feel like it though. I can't remember his face anymore but I sure do see his lifeless body just laying on me.


5. Check your targets.

A family in my grandparent's neighborhood had a few people break into their home. The dad held the 1st armed intruder at gunpoint at the front door.

He asked the intruder if he was alone and the guy said no, to which the dad heard a sound behind him. The dad whipped around and fired.

It was his son coming to back him up. He pumped him square in the chest with a 12 guage. This is why you always check your targets people.

The kid died on scene. The robbers left. And the dad was left devastated. My grandparents don't like talking about it since they knew the family so my knowledge is limited. But I'm pretty sure the dad ended up commiting suicide.

Always have a family plan Incase of a break in. Tell people to hide themselves or stay in their rooms. Always check your targets. Don't repeat this tragedy.


4. In the coldest of blood.

My dad's friend, used to be on WW: Steve Hay, stone cold killer. Steve Hay loved to fight, loved it more than anything, it got him kicked out of the WW, not to mention he was a terrifying person.

Anyways, Steve had recently been broken up with by his girlfriend so he went to a bar she was at to talk to her about it, and the bartender thought he was harassing her.

Bartender attacked Steve with a knife, i don't remember what kind. Steve turned the knife on him and killed him.

It was not the first time he's done serious damage. In Portland, Maine in like the 80's a bunch of people were trying to get gangs going.

One was in order to get in, you have to jump a body builder. My dad was one at the time and he had heard from other cops who worked out at their rat gym that if they saw a bunch of 4 little Asian guys, to watch behind you because they'd tabletop you and kick your nuts off.

My dad's a big guy with huge legs, 23 inches on his calf and 28 on his thigh and that's with him being 57 right now. So when this happened my dad just let it happen but as they started walking towards him, he turned around and booted the kid behind him and the rest scurried off.

Steve Hay did much worse in a similar situation except nobody knows what really happened, other than the fact all 4 of em were sent off to the emergency room in ambulances


3. No shame in it.

I ran.


Name does not check out.


Not back then it didn't. This happened years ago before I had purchased my first pistol. To clarify, some tweaker tried to rob me on the street.

The guy was so far gone that he didn't realise that I had a 14 inch bowie knife on my side. He swung at me when i refused to give him my wallet, and I proceeded to duck under his punch, unsheath my knife, and turn him into a "f*cking ka-bob."

It was at that point that I didn't wish to remain around to wait for the authorities. Ergo, I ran.


2. Ahh we see what you did there.

Slept like a f*cking baby as it was either them or me... I would imagine.


So you never killed anyone.


1. Something doesn't add up.

I knew a guy who killed a guy for stealing his TV and only did 3 years cause he was a Vet who helped his platoon servive in the desert by eating stray dogs or something.

He was sort of a friend but I told him he should still be in prison . It's very wrong to KILL someone in response for stealing or even breaking and entering.

That's not the same as self defense and never should be mixed up with it. I had a friend barely over 18 who killed truly inself defense and went to prison and was very messed up over if met the guys mom in court and apologized she forgave him and everything but it was ruled excessive force cause he stabbed the guy multiple times. I get that. Sad for everyone.


Image by Yerson Retamal from Pixabay

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