What Not to Say After a Self-Defense Shooting

Anything. Don’t say anything. Based on a concealed carry training class he attended, a user on reddit gave some wise advice for anyone who’s been involved in a self-defense shooting.


Our legal instructor went to great lengths to hammer it into our heads not to say anything besides:

Call 911 – ‘There has been a self defense use of force, I believe the assailant is in need of medical attention. Please send police and paramedics to [address or location].’ HANG UP.

Note that you do not even specify that you in particular were the person using self defense, or that you shot anyone.

When the police arrive – ‘Officer, I mean no disrespect, but I understand my rights. I have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. I have a right to refuse to consent to any search of my body and personal effects. I wish to exercise all my rights. If I am under arrest, I wish to invoke and exercise my Miranda rights and be allowed to obtain the advice of my attorney. If I am to be taken into custody, I request a reasonable opportunity to make arrangements to secure my own property. If I am not under arrest, I want to leave. If I am free to leave, please tell me immediately so I may go about my business.’

In the meantime while the police are arriving, contact a lawyer. Most people will have the urge to spill their guts to plead their case. Don’t! There are lots of political and other circumstances at play. It may mean the difference between being detained for a few hours and spending years in prison.

Image credit: soupwell