BRANDON, MISSISSIPPI — The Rankin County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating the fatal shooting of a man by his girlfriend within the girlfriend’s home. As WMC 5 reports, the man had a history of domestic abuse and violence against the woman. While the conditions of the shooting remain unclear, preliminary investigation by the sheriff’s department depicts a self-defense scenario.
According to sources, the man forcibly entered the house and got into a physical altercation with the woman. She managed to secure hold of a firearm and shoot him. By the time emergency services had arrived on the scene, the man was declared dead. At this point in time he is being labelled a victim until a final ruling can be made. But, as Sheriff Bailey of the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department has said, it appears that this may be a straight shot to self-defense.
“We do have a history of calls related to the suspect in domestic-type situations. We’ve got more evidence to collect, interviews to conduct, and everything. And as of right now, I don’t see any charges being filed at this time,” Sheriff Bailey said to WMC 5.
Neighbors also reported to WMC 5 that they knew of a long, previous history of violence and domestic abuse occurring between the man and woman. Both the victim and the woman will remain unnamed until next-of-kin are notified and a final decision made by the county prosecutor whether to proceed with charges. The sheriff believes, at this time, that charges will not be pursued.
As we’ve discussed many times before, a self-defense shooting is rarely a clear-cut thing legally. While the county prosecutor may not decide to go forward with a criminal investigation and press charges, in many instances the defender may lose his or her firearm through a process of civil forfeiture. We’ve described the process of regaining your firearm if it is taken away due to civil forfeiture. If the case is carried by the prosecutor, District Attorney, or even the Attorney General of the state – then that firearm may be held near indefinitely until charges have been dropped or case overturned. At which point, it goes back to civil forfeiture and there is a process of legally retaining your firearm.
Last but not least, even if criminal charges are not filed, the family of the shooting victim may still proceed with civil charges — where the onus of burden is a lot less in order to obtain a favorable ruling by a judge. We will discuss civil charges in a bit more detail in a future article.
Needless to say, the ability for a woman to defend herself from a man who had a history of abusing her is truly a great thing to behold. As absolutely terrifying as it must be to be placed within those circumstances, it’s far better to be able to defend yourself than simply be subject to whatever abuse your opponent wishes to dole out.