Yes, sometimes you deserve prison for shooting a guy "in self defense."

It does not matter that you have a concealed weapons permit. It doesn’t even matter if you tell the other person that you are armed. If you draw a weapon and shoot someone without being in legitimate, immediate fear for your life, you are going to go to jail.


Harryman and William Young, the man he shot, met in August 2012 in while waiting in line at the Clackamas Fred Meyer store. Harryman was directly behind Young and Young’s wife, Dorothy, who was having difficulty using a credit card.

Young said Harryman was too close to Dorothy Young. The men exchanged obscenities and Young quickly circled around the check stand and confronted Harryman. During the brief struggle, Harryman pulled a .380 semiautomatic pistol and shot Young in the lower left leg.

Harryman is hard of hearing and had a scruffy appearance at the time of the shooting and looked like a homeless person, Lynch said. But he was no threat.

“Mr. Harryman is not the bad guy I this,” said Lori Amato, who witnessed the shooting.

Amato said the Young was “flipping out” and started the fight, yet it is Harryman who is going to prison.

Harryman was licensed to carry a concealed weapon. “What good is having a concealed handgun license if you can’t use it,” Amato said.

That William Young is the aggressor is not in dispute (at least it isn’t by me).

To legally use a firearm in self defense in most jurisdictions, you must be in imminent fear of gross bodily harm or death. You aren’t going to convince many prosecutors that a pudgy 60-year-old man is that sort of a threat. Further, as a concealed carrier, you have a duty to deescalate the situation. Instead of doing so, Jerry Thomas Harryman “flipped off” William Young, escalating the situation.


To answer witness Lori Amato, Harryman became “the bad guy in this” when he escalated the situation by flipping of Young, instead of backing down and away from Young’s wife. His decision to then introduce a deadly weapon into the mix is what put him in prison.

I feel pity for Harryman’s wife (who has Parkinson’s) who will be without her husband as he serves his time, but perhaps he should have thought of her condition before he pulled his gun.

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