Post Instructions For Discharge Of Firearm In Self-Defense

Attorneys Serving Gun Owners In Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo & Paw Paw

If you have been involved in a shooting incident, the following steps should be taken but only after you are completely sure there is no longer a threat.

  • Secure the weapon assailant used, try not to touch it with your bare hands. Check yourself for injuries. Make a complete check of the scene, however, don't tamper with any evidence. If the person shot is no longer a threat try to help him. Do not talk to him or use abusive language. Don't touch the assailant if he or she appears to be dead. Don't let anyone else handle any evidence in any way.
  • Call the police as soon as possible. Tell them there has been a self defense shooting, and your location. As for emergency medical assistance. Don't give any details of the incident over the phone, just the location. Put your firearm away, and keep it out of sight. Innocent people have been shot by the police because they were holding firearms when the officers arrived. Try to spot them first and attract them in a non-threatening manner. At first the police may treat you like a suspect, especially if you have a firearm. Do as you are told. Do not question or argue with them, but also do not speak to them or give any statements about what occurred, you can point them in the direction of the assailant.
  • Call your lawyer. Make no statements to the police or anyone else, until your attorney is present. He should meet you at the scene if possible. Tell him exactly what happened and let him do the talking for you. If you must meet the police by yourself, be sure not to make any statements. Explain to the police politely, but firmly, that you don't want to talk until your attorney arrives. Keep in mind that anything you say can, and will, be used against you. Follow the business card instruction, indicating to the officer the following:
    • I assert my right to counsel.
    • I do not consent to any searches or seizures.
    • I would like to be treated for shock.
    • I assert my right to silence. (Then SHUT UP until you have a chance to speak to your lawyer)
  • When the Paramedics arrive get medical treatment for shock for yourself and any other person involved whether physically injured or not.
  • Stay away from the news media or anyone else. Never talk or make any sort of statement to the news, friends, family or neighbors. Let your attorney make any statements for you. Remember, the news media has ZERO authority. You do not have to talk to them. Talking to the news or others only creates multiple versions of your story, tell your story only once, and to your lawyer.
  • Legal actions. You are justified in using lethal force only if you "feared for your life" or that of another person with no reasonable means of escape. Don't apologize for defending yourself. Avoid statements such as "I'm sorry I had to shoot." "I regret the incident happened." Such statements are equated with feelings of guilt. You are remorseful therefore your actions were inappropriate. Or, avoid statements such as "he had it coming", or "he or she deserved it", this also imputes wrong doing on your part. Such statements can cost you later on in a court of law. Best again to SHUT UP, until you speak to your lawyer.

Stress. Persons involved in shooting incidents face a great amount of stress and will likely put you into a state of shock. Psychological problems sometimes appear, and even physical ones such as sleeplessness, headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, upset stomach and heart problems. These problems are common and affect even trained first responders and officers. You should seek professional help for shock or any of above following a shooting.

Call Attorney Shaun Willis: 800-424-5048 (CELL PHONE), (888) 461-7744 (OFFICE), or 269-382-1868 (HOME)


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