Self Defense Gun Use Stories

April 20, 2006, Indianapolis, Indiana

DeAngelo Morrison felt lucky to be alive Wednesday, hours after he shot and killed a masked man armed with a shotgun who was chasing him into his Speedway apartment.

"He had a big gun," Morrison said. "We locked eyes. Honestly, I'm thinking this dude is coming to kill me.
"It was the craziest 30 to 45 seconds of my life."

Speedway police say Morrison, 21, was acting in self-defense when he fired his handgun at the two men rushing up the stairs at the West Wind Terrace Apartments, near I-465 and Crawfordsville Road.

The bullet struck DeShawn Givens, 21, in the chest and police said he died at the bottom of the stairwell. Givens and another man were planning to commit a robbery, police said. Givens was wearing a black mask and police found a shotgun near his body.

Givens' reported accomplice, Andre Washington, 19, faces initial charges of felony murder and attempted robbery. He is being held in the Marion County Jail.

Marion County prosecutors still are investigating the case and declined comment, but experts say Morrison may have been justified in his actions.

"At the end of the day, the law says if you have no other out and it appears you are about to get killed or seriously harmed, you don't have to send out a survey," said Scott Newman, the former Marion County prosecutor. "You can pull out a gun and defend yourself."

Just last month, Indiana became the third state to make clear that people have the right to use deadly force when threatened without first trying to back away. Indiana did not previously require residents to retreat before using a gun or other deadly weapon, but the new law clarified that point.

The reported robbers have lengthy criminal records, police said, while Morrison has a clean record and a permit to carry a gun. "All the evidence is basically lining up with what (Morrison) says," Assistant Police Chief Joel Rush said. . . . .

Thanks to Matthew Ledyard for sending me this story.

By the way, Eric Root sent me a couple of examples of self defense from his own life:

a couple of years ago, I encountered several drunk campers burning a picnic table at about 11:00 PM. I went a short distance from their campfire, called the police, and continued to track what they were doing. In retrospect, I misjudged the situation - thinking that it was more benign than it was. They ordered me to leave, and laughlingly said, "Good luck finding any evidence when the police get here." I remained where I could see them. Two men pursued me, eventually attacking me front and back. All three of us went to the ground, one on my back choking me and the other in front keeping my hands down and hitting me. After about a minute, I realized that this was not just about beating me up, but was a murder in progress - they were trying to kill me. There were other members of the group I was hoping would pull their buddies off, so there was still some possibility that I could get out of this without shooting either man. I cocked the pistol in my pocket and I began counting down to time the last moments to the point at which I would either take their lives or they would take mine. My patience was rewarded, their friends stopped the choking before I had to pull the trigger. They continued to hit me, but addressing that could wait for the police to show up.

Contrast that with another incident involving twelve weight lifters who I had earlier thrown off our property for inappropriate behavior. They had canoed downriver to another of our beaches where they were surrounding and threatening eight young women. When I arrived on the scene, about half of these guys were naked and it was clear to me that they were intending one or more rapes (the women confirmed afterwards that they thought the same thing on the basis of the obvious signs of excitement). I chased the nearest one off (the little noisy one I judged to be a coward), and shoved a second one into the water (the oldest one that I judged to be looking for an excuse to leave). Then the biggest of the men, who appeared to be the group's dominant member, came at me, demanding to know, "What are you going to do with me?' He was about 6' 3" tall, and weighed about 270 - almost none of which was fat. I told him that he was 35 pounds heavier and 30 years younger than I was, that I wasn’t going to fight him, I was going to shoot him. I also said that if his friends got behind me or did anything other than immediately leave, I was going to shoot him first. I was not bluffing, they knew it, they swore and threatened retaliation, but they left promptly. It is worth noting that the weapon involved was a derringer chambered for 45 Long Colt. I could not have wounded or killed more than two of them.

More Defensive Gun Use Stories can be found here as well as here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was a long hual trucker befor 2 strokes put me in a wheel chair but i hualed boats , on night i arived in this small town i think it was avon ab
and pulled into a abandoned store parking lot for the night because my dealer i was proping the 6 new bass boats and there 200hp crated outboards at was right there i just lay down in my bunk and after about 10 minets i felt my rig start rocking like some one was climbing up were the moters were stored i looked in the driver side miorrior and saw about 6 guy ranging from 20-30 years old trying to lift one of the moters off the truck i grabbed my shot gun loaded iy with 5 rounds or 00 buckshot put one dragongs breath up the spout to us to get there attchion and hit the gound the way i had been taught in the canadian army
i married a yankie and moved south ifired the dragons breth and told them if your packing drop them and run while jacking a ound of buck shot into the chamber 3 cheap .32 ravens got droped and the last i saw they were running south as fat as they could i borrowed the 30 ton press in the mornning from the place i unloaded at crushed thouse pos into srape
thou the strang thing was i had been feeling uneasy about my wife so i called here from the truck stop , she told me she had decided to camp out in here van on the beach beside cape canaveal to watch some launch during the night 2 guys had showen up with knives and told he to take of her pj's and spread her legs she told me she said i only do that for my husband reched under her pillow and pulled out a .45 colt auto the next thing she heard she tells was o s--t shes got a gun and 2 black faces turning grey as they ran
the funny thing is my wife is a quaker and that 45. only had flares in it
jim kennett va7gpd

6/20/2006 3:00 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Thanks, anonymous.

6/20/2006 4:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your blog on accident. I was looking for my little brother's website. He's in the Marines. Our last name is Ledyard. You credited one of your stories to Matthew Ledyard. I have another brother by that same name. By coincidence, I am a gun enthusiast. I firmly believe that guns in the hands of responsible citizens create a happy society. I taught my mother to shoot and recently purchased her first gun, a .380 auto. You have a great site.

7/17/2006 11:00 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Mr. Ledyard"

Thanks very much for your note. I am glad that you find the site interesting.

7/17/2006 11:02 PM  

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