Skip to comments.VA: How to provoke a Shooting
Posted on 02/17/2015 8:29:25 AM PST by marktwain
Benn has claimed he acted in self-defense during the altercation with Ramon Colorado in which investigators say both men had guns and began shooting at each other.Watching the video, I cannot help but believe that there were many opportunities for both men to break off the encounter and avoid the gunfight that finally ensued. It appears that after the pepper spraying, both men actively sought each other through the aisles of the store.
During a jailhouse interview with WAVY.com after his August 16 arrest, Benn said Colorado jumped ahead of him in line that afternoon.
I said Excuse me, sir. Im in line to get my blood pressure medicine. said Benn, explaining what he said to Colorado. [Colorado] said, Im in line too, bro.
Benn said at that point, Colorado pepper-sprayed him. Both of the men reportedly had guns on them and investigators say they shot at each other. They were both injured; Colorado died and Benn was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
They were probably both being aggressive verbally, looks like Colorado definitely assaulted first with the pepper spray. However, once he had him running away from him Benn should have let him go. On the other hand, hard to second guess a guy that was assaulted with a chemical agent. He might have had blurred vision, was in pain, afraid the guy would come around and get a drop on him. Unless there was some evidence otherwise I’d have a hard time voting to convict the guy.
Virginia law about tear gas and pepper spray.
That establishes that unless there was a genuine risk, the use of pepper spray was unlawful.
However, after that time, both had the opportunity to disengage, but didn’t. So the mitigation of the pepper spray attack is minimized. The rest will have to be hammered out at trial.
I kind of agree. You can’t pepper spray someone over a verbal altercation and being walked in front of doesn’t pass my threshold for a threat. Once attacked Benn was legally allowed to do what was necessary to stop the threat and were I on a jury I would consider the argument you present.
In a way this was a modern day duel in my opinion. Either man could have de-escalated this but both men wanted it, both men got it, and one ended up dead.
Looks like another case of “When A-holes Collide”...
Some of us are allergic to pepper spray. If someone sprays me, I will shoot them in self defense as that spray is a threat to my life.
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