We spend countless hours training, shooting and researching the right guns and ammo for ourselves and yet we spend very little time thinking about our plans for the aftermath of a self-defense shooting.
Certainly the likelihood of such an event is minimal, however it’s a possibility for anyone with a concealed carry permit.
What you do and say after the event can have a significant influence on what happens to you when it comes to charges levied by the police and the state of affairs when you enter a courtroom.
Getting access to counsel (a lawyer) is of paramount importance after a shooting, preferably a lawyer who has previous experience dealing with citizen self-defense shootings. You don’t want someone who is still learning on your case.
This is an excellent reason to spend some time researching quality criminal defense attorneys in your area. Learn their names, get their business cards and memorize a few phone numbers just in case. If you are being booked at the jail, you won’t be given access to a computer and Internet to perform your research. Do it beforehand.
Become a student of courtroom battles involving citizen self-defense shootings. There are many books, news articles and videos available of both successful and failed citizen self-defense trials. Analyze them and learn what to do and what not to do.
All of this will help prepare you mentally to make the right decisions in what you do and say after the fact.
There are many schools of thought when it comes to speaking with police and what to say after the event. Some people will tell you to clam up and say nothing at all. Others will recommend talking to the police to establish your position as an innocent person who was attacked.
There are certain things you must remember after a shooting. Massad Ayoob, in his article “Five Lessons From the Courtroom for Armed Citizens” on USConcealedcarry.com, wrote:
“This man attacked me.” (Or whatever the active dynamic was that led to the shooting.) It helps establish that you are the victim/complainant Good Guy, and the guy on the ground was the crime-perpetrating Bad Guy.
“I will sign the complaint.” This confirms from the outset that you are the Good Guy, and the person you shot or captured at gunpoint was the Bad Guy.
Point out the evidence! Police investigators can’t be expected to find things they don’t know to look for, and evidence tends to quickly disappear at shooting scenes that are being trampled by fast-responding emergency services personnel. (Read more about how to handle yourself after any shooting incidents here.)”
With all of this in mind, it is important to remain cool. Do not use this information as an excuse to discharge your weapon when the mood suits you. Information such as this is important, yet it is there so you may hope you never need to use it.