In this fourth video of the series, Mike and John Risenhoover, Critical Response Coordinator for CCW Safe, talk about the role of the victim in a self defense shooting case, and the importance of identifying yourself as such. Now, with all the physiological effects and confusion that is produced from them, it would not be advised to give a full interview or statement directly after a shooting. But by simply stating that you are the victim, identifying the suspect, and that you had to use deadly force to defend yourself, immediately identifies you as the victim. As we have seen in other cases, such as the Christian Gunter case in Sarasota, Florida, not doing so might result in spending a few days in jail. Many will tell you that if you shoot someone in self defense you are going to go to jail, but that simply is not true in most cases. One of the main reasons why Zimmerman was not initially charged was the fact that he cooperated with police and even did a walk through the next day. That is not what I would have done in his case, but his actions did identified him as the victim to law enforcement. It wasn’t until months later that he was arrested due to pressure from special interest groups and media. Here is a timeline of that case up to the trial.
If you are a involved in a legitimate self defense incident, you are a victim! That’s the one thing that gets lost in translation. You’ve been attacked. That within itself may be a significant critical incident, then add on top of that, you had to shoot someone. Another critical incident…The problem is that within the criminal justice system, the fact that you were just attacked, sometimes gets lost in the latter investigation of a shooting, or homicide if the attacker is killed. This is why we say to identify yourself as the victim.