CAMDEN, SOUTH CAROLINA — On the surface, some folks will tell you it’s a clear cut and dried case. A teenage boy was attempting to steal from a man’s truck and he shot him. Kershaw County prosecutors are alleging this act is defined as manslaughter. For those of us who have ever been repeatedly targeted for theft and vandalism, we may see it a bit differently. Regardless, folks in the neighborhood have created a public outcry on behalf of their neighbor who shot that teenage boy. They all know their neighbor to be a valiant, upstanding person of good moral character. And as ABC reports, crime in the area had gone up prior to the night of the event.
KCSO says in the past six months, the neighborhood where this incident took place has been hit with several vehicle break-ins as well as larcenies and burglaries. The KCSO has one report of a vehicle break-in at Methe’s residence in which two firearms were stolen.
It sounds like two boys had figured out a pattern-of-life on Methe and knew they had him. For anyone that’s ever been repeatedly targeted, you know just how annoying it is locking everything up and dealing with the vandalism of failed attempted break-ins. And, in one case, firearms were stolen.
This is one of those hard moral cases. I personally don’t feel bad that this kid was shot. However, as a concealed carrier, I know that it’s against the law. I also know that if I decide to take the law into my own hands and ignore my state’s definition of authorization of deadly force and/or justifiable homicide, I pay the price.
The Sheriff of Kershaw County made a statement that mirrors my own emotions on the topic.
“Jimmy Methe and his family went to bed last night with no idea that a few hours later he would shoot and kill someone who had tried to steal from him and his family. Brandon Spencer may not have even gone to bed last night, planning with his buddy to steal from an innocent homeowner. He certainly had no idea he would end up dead.
The law states that you can use deadly force to protect yourself, your family or someone who is in immediate danger of death or great bodily harm.
The law does not allow you to shoot and kill someone who has stolen from you and is fleeing.
Unfortunately, Jimmy Methe made a split second bad decision and will now face criminal charges.
Law abiding citizens are frustrated with the failure of our criminal justice system that really does not deter crime. Situations like what occurred early this morning are more and more likely to be the result of that frustration.”
It would have been different if they were trying to break into his house or attempt to hurt someone. For those out there that worry there may be some criminals routinely stealing your belongings: get a series of security cameras. We live in a great technological age where you can have security cameras conveniently installed and you can take high quality video of these folks in the act.
It works. More importantly, it keeps you from facing down the wrath of your local county prosecutor.