Cops: Homeowner fatally shoots suspected burglar hiding in truck in driveway
By Audrea Huff, OrlandoSentinel.com
11:02 AM EST, November 28, 2009
A homeowner shot and killed a suspected burglar this morning who was hiding in his pickup truck in his driveway, the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.
Russell Conrad, 70, fatally shot Steve Hilson, 32, when Hilson, according to the homeowner, approached him in a threatening manner, the Sheriff's Office said in a news release.So far, Mr. Conrad is within the law.Conrad was awakened just before 4:30 a.m. by the sound of the horn of his truck, parked in the driveway of his home on County Road 561. Armed with his handgun, Conrad went to investigate. As he walked outside, the horn sounded again, and Conrad realized someone was inside the truck.Warning shots are a BIG no-no. Where did the shot go? In the ground? Up in the air?Conrad fired warning shots and ordered the suspected burglar out of the truck. But the suspect locked himself inside.At this point, Mr. Conrad is back within the law.With his keys, Conrad unlocked the truck, then backed away, again ordering the suspect to come out.According to Florida Statute 776.012 Use of force in defense of person.--That's when Hilson came toward Conrad, who feared for his life and shot the suspected burglar, fatally wounding him, the Sheriff's Office said.IMHO, Mr. Conrad will face no charges on the shooting in self-defense of Mr. Hilson.http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/ind...20012#0776.012
CRIMES Chapter 776
JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE
776.012 Use of force in defense of person.--A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or
(2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.
History.--s. 13, ch. 74-383; s. 1188, ch. 97-102; s. 2, ch. 2005-27.
He may have a problem with the discharging of the warning shot, depending upon where and how he did it.