There is a distinct difference between self-defense, murder, and manslaughter. Many times, the difference between the three is the context that can change within seconds.
By now, a great many of you have seen the video floating around social media that shows a masked man who has been identified as 30-year-old Eric Eugene Washington armed with a handgun robbing a taqueria in Houston. During the process of the robbery, a yet-to-be-identified man can be seen reaching for his own concealed firearm while the masked man took possession of the patrons’ property. When the robber walks past the man, presumably to leave the scene, the pistol-packin’ customer pulls his gun and fires on the robber multiple times, some at point-blank range directly in the head. The man fired so many shots that many asked the question, “Isn’t this a murder??”
Like all things, a huge debate was sparked about when and when you cannot use righteous deadly force against a violent criminal. Also, how many rounds can be fired before a self-defense shooting becomes cold-blooded murder? The answer isn’t as black and white as some may want or expect. Like many things regarding firearms, the most realistic answer is “it depends.”
The shooter’s lawyer has released a statement via KHOU on his client’s behalf speaking to the man’s current state of mind while a Texas grand jury decides whether or not to bring charges against him.
“This event has been very traumatic, taking a human life is something he does not take lightly and will burden him for the rest of his life,” the statement, released by Juan L. Guerra Jr., said.
Meanwhile, the robber’s mother Corine Goodman thinks that the shooter acted excessively.
“I don’t hate him. I can’t hate him. But I want to know why didn’t you stop?” she asked according to Fox26 Houston. “If you had to kill him, I can deal with that. I can come to grips with that. He did something wrong. I understand that. But for him to be shot four times in the back leaving, and when he falls down, he shoots him four more times? You abused him. He was dead already. And that hurt. That hurts.”
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