Hero kills fugitive rape suspect... but since it's New York, he's been charged with murder

David Carlson shot and killed a wanted rape suspect after heavily-armed teams of police chased the violent cirminal out of the woods near his home. Witness Carmine Ferrera saw the shooting, and said that what she witnessed wasn’t murder.

New York State, of course, doesn’t have a Stand Your Ground law, and so instead of giving Carlson a key to the city for his service to the community, he’s being charged with second degree murder.

The shotgun killing of the fugitive, though, is something that has to be prosecuted, according to Bernard Brady, a long-time veteran criminal lawyer in Orange County.

“New York is not a ‘stand your ground state.’ There is a duty to retreat, especially if you’re armed and the other person isn’t. You can’t walk away from a dead guy when there’s a shooting involved,” Brady said.

But it isn’t just a shooting; it’s an act many here consider to be heroic — a defense of the community. It has now set the stage for a trial that could help define the limits of deadly force when an armed citizen is facing a fleeing criminal suspect.

Under New York’s pro-criminal laws, Carlson was supposed to turn his back and flee into his home with a rapist in pursuit.

Does that make sense to you?

May 16, 2021 11:30 AM ET
May 16, 2021 8:30 AM ET