People Who Have Killed In Self-Defense Explain What Happened
Photo by Demidov Armor on Unsplash

Life is dangerous and creepy characters are lurking everywhere. Each day we live is actually a game of survival. We have to be prepared to do what must be done when it's you verse them.

Redditor u/Alechu-Akbar wanted to hear from those of us who did what needed to be done for survival by asking....

Redditors who have killed in self defense, what is your story?

The German Shepard. 

"An animal death warning for any readers ( I've noticed a couple people have posted stuff like this so thought I would pitch in my experience)"

"About 3 months after my family had moved to the Pennsylvania area all three interconnected streets were up in a roar over a German shepherd, now my mother and the owner of the dog were friends before the incident but not after. I had (or rather still have luckily) a golden retriever that is my best buddy, I had decided to go on a walk with the both of them when we came up to the German Shepherds house, pretty short story, the dog was supposedly filled to the brim with different diseases and possibly rabies which pissed everyone on all three streets off. So it isn't really surprising to you all to know that said dog ended up charging my dog, grabbed it by the neck and started to twist and pull to kill."

"I will admit I had history with fighting and rage issues (that have been worked out because of therapy before hand) but I let go of everything this one time. I ended up shoving my entire left arm into the German shepherds mouth, grabbed it by the ear opposite of the side I was facing, and twisted really hard, it released its grip on my dog when I put my arm in its mouth, and I can just remember hearing the crack of it's spine in multiple places as it died. The cops ended up getting called obviously but they didn't do anything drastic at all because one of their friends lived on the same street and was having the same problems with the dead dog plus they had been called in multiple times before because of the German shepherd. Now to better defend myself from anyone wanting to argue against me I shall list the factors below :"

  • "the dog was tested after death and had multiple illnesses that were infectious and deadly to dogs"
  • "it had a high chance of having rabies"
  • "it was overly aggressive""
  • "the owner refused to do anything about said owned dog and even gladly paid every fine that was issued"
  • "no one on any of the three connected streets were in good standing with the German shepherd"
  • "it was most likely endangering every other person on the street"
  • "it was "clinically dead" because it had multiple parasites that had ingested its brain"TheOriginalH1h

"You've brought this upon yourself"

"Almost killed someone, but managed to keep it cool."

"I've always been prone to provoking gangsters because of my tired eyes, always halfway closed. I've had some times that I talked my way through by showing them my eyebags, and we end up cool. This one time, I was with my friend cycling throughout the city and we were about to run down a steep road, so I advised him to walk down first. As I was sliding down on my bicycle, I saw him talking to a group of 4 people. As I slid down, I was screaming "WOOH!" In enjoyment, and stopped dead in front of them and said "Hey!" The first guy then approaches me and says "You want a fight?"

"Assuming that they were one of my friends' classmates, I smiled and said "Sure!" Then he kicks me off the bicycle. Instantly, I was provoked and noticed that they had small bags, and I know that those were filled with stones and used as weapons by gangsters. So in an impulse, I flung my bicycle at the guy who kicked me (I do 50 bench presses every night before I sleep) and then took his bag, ready to crush his skull when the other 3 screamed "Hey! Hey! Hey! Stop!" And then threw their bags away to show that they give up. I never noticed it, but my eyes were open at the widest they've been in my entire life, and my entire body felt hot in anger. I also dropped the heavy bag and still didn't keep my guard down just in case they had knives: they didn't. I helped the bloody-nosed guy who took an entire bicycle to the head up a taxi, paid for them as they apologized and said "He keeps initiating fights with everyone for no reason".

"As they left, I heard them mumbling "You've brought this upon yourself". Me and my friend continues on our way ourselves. There are only 2 cases of me provoking a gang with that particular friend, but both were terrifying for him. Anyway, I doubt that the others were actually scared of what I was capable of, but were more concerned for their mate being close to getting killed."WhitemanMC

Me v. Them. 

"I was about 17 at the time and I was in L.A. these thugs jumped me and it was a 7v1. I got my ass handed to me and had many bruises and broken bones. I found a medal rod and whacked a dude in his head, knocked him out instantly. Then I shoved it in the leader of the gang's gut at a upward angle piercing his left lung and heart. I watched the life drain out of his eyes. My attackers saw me kill their leader and ran, and I picked up the guy (maybe 250lbs in muscle?) And brought him to the nearest hospital which was down the street."

"I had a fractured jaw, three broken ribs, a fractured pelvis and femur, and a broken nose. They pronounced him dead about three minutes after I brought him in. Later that evening i was charged with manslaughter and went to court. My charges were dropped after one of the cams from the hospital caught the whole thing."

"To this day, I go to my attackers memorial as much as I can (L.A. took it down after ten years) to place down flowers because deep down through all that hate, I know that it's the right thing to do."DisIsMyGenital

I heard a bump in the night.

"Every time this question gets asked, the thread is much longer than it should be, undoubtedly, this story will be buried, much like in my life. Please forgive the poor formatting, as I wrote it on mobile device."

"As has most of these have started, I heard a bump in the night. I looked out my window, which overlooked a portion of the backyard and house. There were four dark figures at the back door, speaking in hushed tones. Three had backpacks, and the fourth was holding a 3' crowbar. I grabbed my Mossberg 590. I use it frequently for clay sport, and compete often, but when it isn't being used for sport, I keep it loaded with four rounds of 4-shot and two rounds of 00 at the end of the tube, just in case the 4-shot isn't enough."

"I grab my Ruger 22/45, my cellular phone as well, and quickly make my way down the hall. I rouse my sister from sleep, shove the phone and pistol in her lap and tell her we have uninvited guests, and to make the call and barricade herself in her closet. At the top of the stairs, there is a short wall I duck behind, overlooking the entrance to the door they're making their way through. When they get in, I wait. I hope to myself that they don't try to make their way up the stairs, as this is my threshold for action. After a few minutes of them searching the rooms downstairs, sure enough I hear the first one grab the creaky bannister and take the first step on the wooden stair. I stand up and take the shot and rack the slide. I hit him square in the chest, and he crumpled to the ground like a sack of potatoes. Five rounds left. The ringing in my ears is deafening. I can hear shouting, but not what they are saying. The two of them try to run up the stairs, I raise and fire, and rack the slide again. Four rounds left. Square in the chest, like the first. He falls into the man behind him. Take a shot for the man behind him, fire, hit high and to the right. Three rounds left. Hit in the shoulder. He staggers, and continues to try and make his way up the stairs. Fire again, he falls to the stairs like those before him. Two rounds left. The last man was the only sensible one."

"He made his way out the way he came. By this point, I have turned on the lights. I walk down the stairs to check for remaining threat to mine and my sister's lives. The first one is still breathing, but none of them appear to be in good enough shape to finish their attempt of making their way up the stairs. I take in the scene, the silence is roaring now. The blood is pooling at the base of the stairs. The place is a mess."

"I make my way to my sister's room. I announce my presence before opening the door, as I don't want her to shoot me. I come in, she is still on the phone with the operator. I communicate to her and the operator that we are now safe, but one of them left out the back door."

"The police show up about three or four minutes later. There are three dead men in our house. They take our statements. They catch the fourth man within 25 minutes. The police throw some tarps over the mess in the stairs, so my sister can get by. We stay at a friend's house down the road."

"I suppose I had some mixed feelings about it for a week or so. Nowadays, I don't think about it much, and I don't feel any guilt."Itwasprettystupid

Hard Facts. 

"Like for real, I'm not against coos shooting to defend themselves, and I'm very very skeptical of "police brutality" and "racist policeman" (I'm sure some exist, but I don't believe it's some systemic thing prevalent around the US). It's okay to shoot in self defense. But civilians should also get the same rights. You're in my house and you shouldn't be there? I'm warning you and if you don't get out I'm shooting you. Same for if I catch you breaking into my house; warning then shoot. If you do either of those things and I see you're armed, no warning, in shooting. Cops do this, why can't we? It's our home."TheEgyptianConqueror

I was 19.

"I was 19 and working swing shift in Santa Ana, CA, getting off work at 11:30 pm, Monday through Friday. The area was sketchy, high crime and all that goes with it so usually I made a point of not stopping until I got home or close to it, usually stopping for smokes or hitting the In 'n' Out by my house. A couple times I had a 'short' (lowrider) pull up next to me at a red light and got mad-dogged by the Vatos in it but that was about it."

"The company I worked for offered us overtime at another site, working graveyard and I needed the money so I took the opportunity for some extra cash. The other site was in Duarte, which back then was just as sketchy as Santa Ana, but I guess I had become inured to the possible danger. I went to my regular job the next night and when it was over I headed to Duarte. When I got off the freeway I thought I would grab a couple snacks and fill up the tank in my pickup."

"I pulled into a 'U-Totem' and went inside to get my snacks and pay for gas. When I got back out to the pump there was a purple and blue metallic Lincoln short parked on the other side of the pump I was at and a black guy was there pumping gas into it. I waked around to get the nozzle and discovered this other guy had accidentally grabbed my nozzle (Back then the pumps had the nozzles on the sides so this happened occasionally)"

"I pointed out the guy's mistake but he just looked back over his shoulder into his car still pumping. I was about to repeat myself when two other black guys got out of the car and more or less surrounded me. I suggested he give me $10 and I would just use that to pay for my gas, simple solution to the mistake. Instead he 'suggested' I give him $10 and everything would be right. I laughed at which point one of the other guys grabbed my bag of snackerings and began digging in. I made to grab it back and received an blow to the side of my head that sent me reeling, to the delight of my new 'friends'. Rather than push it any further I counted my losses and went to work."

"All was well the next few times I worked that second shift but then one morning, heading towards the freeway to go home as I was waiting a light and next to me rolls up the purple and blue lowrider from the night before. A quick glance showed me there was only two of them, the driver and a guy I didn't recognize as being there the night t the gas station. It also let me know the driver probably recognized me because he was staring hard my way."

"The light turned green and I pulled away without incident. Luckily traffic is so dense I let them behind and was soon on the freeway. I made it home after stopping for a Double-Double, and went straight in to take a shower before eating. When I was done showering I threw on some shorts and walked out of the bedroom to eat my burger."

"There is nothing like walking into a room of your home to find a pair of strangers there waiting."

"The driver of the lowrider was sitting at my little table chowing down on my Double-Double. I just stood there freaking out still not sure this was real. He looked at the burger and pulled out the onions "I hate me some onions" he said t his friend who was sitting on the other side of my table rolling a doobie out of my stash. I don't know why, maybe it had nothing to do with anything more than timing, like the situation caught up to me, or maybe eating my Double-Double and smoking my weed was the trigger, who knows?"

"I turned and ran into my bedroom straight for the far side of the bed, making it there just as both intruders ran in behind me. They both had something in their hand but I wasn't waiting to see what it was and quick as I could reached under my bed grabbing my shotgun, a pump action 12 gauge. The new guy had started to come around the bed towards me and I reacted by pointing and firing. I only winged him and he turned to run... I remember the screaming and the threats to kill me but it sounded really far away... the driver, the one who was the instigator for all this, in trying to get out of the way shoved him back as he raised his arm towards me. I had chambered another round already and just fired…. Then it was the quietest time I have ever experienced, dead silence."

"I just stood there in a daze for what seemed like an eternity."

The silence was broken by crying, not crying like from pain or anything, it was the driver who was pissed off crying he didn't just kill me while I was in the shower... That was a mind mess that messed me up for years."

""Cops came and arrested me and the driver, who was injured (Had to walk with a cane and shi* in a bag the rest of his life). The other was dead, my first shot evidently hit a major artery in his leg and he bled out."

"After a lot of legal battles, some time in jail and some negotiating I was given 3 years summary/unsupervised probation, had to give up my guns and paid $600 because of firing my gun a second time, even though they had both still been armed."

"All in all it was a horrific situation and one I wish had never happened. I won't argue I was defending myself but taking another life isn't something I ever want to experience again, ever. I cried when I was told the other guy was dead and had nightmares for a long time... back then no one knew about PTSD or anything like that."

"I have a lot of anger still, but it's directed at the driver who was responsible for it all."Master-of-Sparks

Not so Scooby. 

"Some people don't learn lol. My parents adopted a GSD, didn't bother training him beyond basic obedience or keeping him engaged. Started to get aggressive. Got to the point where I wasn't allowed to walk or be around him because he would lunge at me."

"Told my dad we should go to the vet or do something because something was seriously wrong. Instead, the dog attacked me while I was home alone. I held the dog off by the throat and eventually managed to push him off. He bit my shoulder and leg (glancing) and I ran."

"Nothing was done to the dog. I moved out three days later without telling them (told them I was going to visit a friend in another state, did not come back). Found out that a week later he attacked my stepmom. Still didn't do anything until he attacked my brother another month after that."

"They hauled him off to the pound and got a puppy. :\ i feel real bad for the dog -- he was real nice at first and I feel like with good attention he would have done fine but. Hah."ashstriferous

Just Is. 

"Iraq - but I don't think that counts."

"At home - a guy broke into my house and I shot him a few times."WhyNotANewAccount

"A regular customer at my mom's old job told us a story... he was at home in his backyard having a fun out doors day with his 2 young daughters. 2 guys came in the back yard with guns and started demanding whatever the hell it was. The guy was able to take both guys on. Took the gun from the first guy and shot him, killing him. The second dude fled and the dude chased after him, shot him and killed him on the sidewalk in front of his house."

Backyard Story.

"Claims no charges for the first kill but since the other guy made it off his property before he was killed he got prison time for that. Sickening to hear he got prison time at all, if the story was true. Totally awesome dude. Only guy I know who works as a handy man making 6 figures a year. Tattooed his entire face because he wanted to make sure he never worked a regular job." danieljay691

Hearing Shots.

"My best friend and me were at our favorite pool hall playing some games and we hear shouting and commotion. I look up and see this big 6 foot 4 230+ lbs guy dragging this small girl outside."

"My buddy, who grew up watching his dad beat up on his mom, ran out there to help. I followed right behind him and when we got outside the guy was punching her on her back while grabbing her by the back of her neck."

"So my friend has a conceal carry permit and was carrying his glock .45. He starts screaming at the guy to stop and then grabs his arm. Dude immediately let's go of the girl and starts wailing on my friend. Starts beating his butt bad. I tried to intervene but the dude was in a rage and he threw me to the ground, hard. He goes back at my friend and starts trying to shove him into a alley beside the pool hall and my bud pulled the gun and shot him 5 or 6 times in the torso."

"We called an ambulance and the police but the dude bled out on the pavement in minutes. The police took us in, not in handcuffs or anything but just to get our side of the story. We were released in hours and the gun was given back to my friend."

"Shook us up pretty bad. I still remember hearing the shots and how the guy fell. How fast blood was pooling around him and how it was so much darker than you think it would be. Crappy situation."umbrella_CO

In 1983....

"Not my story, but my uncle's."

"1983. I was at a frat party, and I had a really good hand of cards. Threw down a royal flush and won the game and about $500. This one guy got really upset about it, and when I walked away he followed me, saying that he 'was going to kill me.' Disregarding the threat, I just went back to my house and crashed."

"About two hours later, I'm woken up by glass shattering. I grabbed my pistol and snuck to the entryway. The guy had followed me home and camped out for an hour and a half, and he had just broken the window next to the front door and was climbing in. I panicked and fired. The bullet pretty much tunneled right through his aorta, and he bled to death in my foyer."

"He was sentenced to ten years for manslaughter and did five."PhoenixFlame989

Before I was born....

"Before I was born, my parents lived in a somewhat sketchy part of Chicago. There was a rash of break-ins going on, luckily my parents weren't targeted because they had a very shouty dog. A retired cop who lived in the neighborhood figured he would be targeted eventually, so he spent time in his house armed. Eventually the burglar kicked his door down, saw the cop, and charged him, cop pulled out a gun and shot the burglar dead. It was a 16 year old kid. The cop was taken to jail that night, it was ruled self-defense, and he was let go the next day." thenuke777


"I didn't kill a person, but my neighbor's dog. (Animal death warning for anyone who's bothered by that stuff)"

"It was one of my neighbor's retired police dog (German Shepherd) and had been having issues with ptsd. It became very aggressive towards other neighbors and actually broke my elderly neighbor's arm by chasing her down and using her forearm as it's own personal rag doll. The community wanted it put down after that incident but the owner just said she'd muzzle the dog. I straight up told her if that dog ever attacked anyone in my family (I had young siblings), I would kill it."

"All was good for about 2-3 months until one day when my two little sisters (8yo and 6yo) we're outside playing and I heard them start screaming. I ran outside and this dog had them trapped on the play set in our front yard. It was a wooden castle type of structure and they had climbed up on top of the roof so the dog couldn't reach them. I grabbed my older brother's aluminum baseball bat and went over to confront the dog. It didn't have a muzzle on and seemed very angry. I yelled at it and it charged me. So as it jumped at me, I just swung at it and made contact with it's head. That killed the dog immediately. Dog's owner was mad, cops were called, my parents and other neighbors backed me up, nothing more happened. We moved away a few months later after she adopted another dog."JasonWKing6598

From the Bridge...

"My great-great grandfather was an Italian immigrant. During the Great Depression, he had a job on the railroad, and made enough money to get by. One night walking home, someone tried to mug him. My great-great grandfather grabbed the guy and threw him off the bridge they were standing on. The police found the body next to the railroad tracks the next day. My great-great grandfather never got caught."Keeks15

Bye Dixie....

"Somebody broke my window in the backyard and alerted my dog, I hear someone in my house and my dog is going crazy and hear a whimper and my wife and kid started crying and ran to my mom's room and barricaded themselves in and I had a Glock 26 and looked downstairs and said the cops where alerted and saw somebody run to the base of our stairs and I didn't think twice and started shooting down the stairs and just heard somebody yelling, I went downstairs and saw this person had stabbed my dog in the neck and the intruder was pretty badly wounded. He was taken to the hospital and passed before a trial. Rest in peace Dixie 2009-2013."TehSquidsGunk

At a nearby park....

"I was there but it was a friend, at a friends house and two got in a fight outside at a nearby party and came back into the house. Soon followed by an angry 30ish year old approx 6'4" and 250lbs (we were all 15-17) swinging a knife, 3 of our friends including the two who were outside stopped him at the door, one almost losing a thumb and getting slashed in the face and another stabbed in lower back. He ended up getting the knife turned on him while I was looking for some form of self defense as there was a large gang of people outside trying to get in. That when a friend at the door yelled for me to hold the door as he needed to check on his girlfriend."

"I held the door with a large group trying to kick it open on the other side as this 30 something guy collapses while holding in his intestines asking for help, I told him there was nothing I could do and he shouldn't have come in. I still to this day don't know and didn't ask who actually turned the knife on him and was clear on the witness stand that while I am not sure exactly who stabbed him, they saved our lives that day. Two of the friends (the two who were in the fight outside) ended up going to jail for manslaughter, but I can honestly say, not sure that I would be writing this had they not."EhhEhhRon

We'll call this kid Bill. 

"Didn't happen to me but I was there. We were doing karate and the teacher sent the higher belts to the back of the room to practice. One of the kids back there is actually my friend and we get along really well but he has temper problems and they were especially bad when he was young. We'll call this kid Bill. One of the other kids must have said something to piss off Bill and Bill jumped on him and started beating the crap out of him. The teacher had left to make a phone call and we didn't know what to do since we were like 6. Bill's Gramma had bad legs and she was trying to get over there as fast as she could."

"The third kid at the back of the room pried Bill off of the other kid and held him until Bill's Gramma got there. But the kid who had gotten beaten was scared because Bill was screaming death threats at him. By this time our teacher had come back to see what was going on. Bill broke free from the other kids grasp and tried to jump back onto the other kid. In self defense this kid kicked Bill's face sending him down and splitting his head open on the floor. The rest is a blur but I remember hearing Bill had gone into a coma and his heartbeat had completely stopped a couple times in the hospital."sprucee_goosey_96

"Excess of Self Defense"

"I was walking home after a night of drinking. I used to be a welterweight semi-professional MMA fighter."

"Suddenly three guys walked up to me and demanded that I give over my wallet and cell phone. If I had been sober, I would just have given it to them."

"Material things can be replaced, and it doesn't really matter how well you are trained, three against one aren't good odds and you never know if they are armed, which isn't too uncommon with robbers."

"But as I said, I was drunk and wouldn't take it. One of the biggest regrets of my life. I thought "Pick the biggest guy". I did. Can't exactly tell what it was that killed him, but when he went down I stomped on his face multiple times. I guess that was it."

"It all went down pretty fast. The other two guys attacked me and pulled knives. Then I just ran for my life. The next day, I read the police report. They were already looking for witnesses."

"I turned myself in and was released immediately after I made my statement. I was initially charged with manslaughter, because they denied they tried to rob me. But since they were already registered offenders and convicts, the story that I attacked three men out of the blue didn't really hold, and when they were about to be sworn into oath, they changed their statements. Charges were reduced to what we call "Excess of Self Defense", but I was acquitted because the attack continued after I had killed him."

"My attorney later said to me that I could have killed the other two guys as well and still probably would have been acquitted. The only problematic point was that I hit first. But since self defense follows the rule of "The law doesn't have to give way to crime", I was within my rights of protecting my property and life."

"Being acquitted didn't really help. Families can be vengeful. The aftermath wasn't easy."DoctorFlamel

Getting Aggressive. 

"Not my story, but a friend's. When he was younger (like 15ish) Anon went on a fishing trip with his brother, a family friend, and the friend's dad. The rest went out to set up food, clean fish, and whatever. Anon stayed to clean up rods and such on the boat. Some homeless (by the sound of him telling the story, possibly drugged out) woman got aggressive when asking for money, and started climbing on the boat. He started it and tried to drive off but she was already on. While trying to push her off he ended up knocking her to the back, she clung on and he ended up drowning her."Blargathas_mom

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact
the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

These are some harrowing stories.

Do you have similar experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below.