When is shooting an unarmed man almost certainly legally justified? When he is coming for you, and you’re just this fragile.

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a woman said she shot her husband Sunday morning.

A spokesperson for SCSO said the woman called and said she shot her husband in the chest at a home in Cordova.

The woman told deputies that her husband was not supposed to be in the home; they are separated.

Robert Jackson was taken to Regional Medical Center in critical condition.

His wife, Ashley Jackson, said she shot her husband in self-defense.

Jackson said her husband lunged at her after an argument and she pulled the trigger.

“It happened. I don’t want anyone to get hurt, but I had to protect myself,” Jackson said.

Jackson said she is in a vulnerable state from a car wreck earlier this summer; she has a back brace, a knee brace, and a broken spine.

We got into an argument just like every couple does, except it escalated. He lunged forward and I shot,” Jackson said.


Ashley Jackson’s broken spine in on the mend, but she’s still in a back brace and in a much more fragile state than a normal, healthy adult. There is a history of domestic violence in the relationship according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, and so Mrs. Jackson knew her estranged husband was capable of violence.

In most circumstances shooting an unarmed spouse is more than likely to result in charges, but as Mrs. Jackson  is severely injured as a result of her prior car wreck and stands a much higher risk of permanent injury due to having a broken spine, she has more leeway in using deadly force than she otherwise would under the law.

This does not give her a free pass to shoot Robert Jackson for no reason whatsoever, but if she can reasonably articulate why she felt he was a threat, I suspect that she will not face charges in this incident.