In some jurisdictions one has an “obligation to retreat” from a fight. In other places the castle doctrine allows one to stand their ground. However, generally the firing of a “warning shot” or shooting someone to “wing” them or wound and not kill, is a confession of violating the law. While there may be moral and ethical reasons to do so, most of the time there are no legal reasons.
If deadly force is required then you must shoot to kill. If you shoot to wound or fire a warning shot, that just proves that deadly force was not required. So even if a gang is shouting at you that they are going to kill you and your babies, the question is are you afraid for your life and have not reasonable choice, but to use deadly force to protect your life or the life/safety of another?
The homeowner would have had a better chance of staying out of jail if he had yelled at the top of his lungs that he was afraid for his life (a dozen times), taken several short steps back to prove he had “retreated” from the confrontation, then shot a dozen or so of the gang members.
The LAW has little to do with either common sense or justice, it is about rules and technicalities. If you own a firearm, you better learn the rules and technicalities or be prepared to go to jail, when you violate the LAW.
Sad, but that is the way things are in our lawyer dominated country. The home owner also brandished his weapon, when the "gang members" had no visible weapons, which in most situations nullifies a claim of self dense and makes the homeowner the person who escalated the confrontation to the deadly force level. The homeowner did many common sense things, but unfortunately violated so many laws that the he will spend lots of time in jail, unless a jury nullifies the LAW. Judges really hate that.
I come from LI. You seem to know a lot about the law there, are you involved in that regard?
I can tell you in the area where I lived on LI, the police can show up in a matter of a couple of minutes. They are very fast there. So if you have the time to go outside, and fire warning shots, the POV of the jury might be that you didn’t conduct yourself properly.
Years ago a friend and I were on the porch and heard a woman scream. (On LI) We called the cops, and I swear they were there in 60 seconds. So even conservative Long Islanders may be a little more intolerant of situations like this.
Where I live now you can wait hours for police to arrive. So juries are much more likely to side with the homeowner.