A 19-year old Floridian who was attacked in his car while parked in a driveway will not be arrested for shooting the 60-year old who choked and assaulted him, according to authorities.
The local prosecutor will ultimately decide if any charges are filed, but deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office says the case appears to be one of self-defense. The bizarre attack took place on Sunday afternoon, when the 19-year old and a 22-year old friend pulled into a driveway of a home where the 22-year old was living. The 60-year old, suspecting the pair were trespassing, then blocked the driveway with his own truck and approached the car. Once he spotted the two men, he began arguing with them and demanding they leave.
The 19-year-old man then asked the 60-year-old man to move his truck because he decided it was best to get out of there. The 60-year-old then moved his truck but he came back just before the teenager left and started chocking him through the car window, according to deputies.
The 19-year-old then fired shots killing the 60-year-old man. Both of the younger men tried to render aid but it was too late.
One eyewitness says it looked like the situation was de-escalating before the older man returned to the car.
The woman — who didn’t want to share her name or show her face — said the man pulled up to the home, blocking the driveway.
She says he then went up to a car with young men in it and started arguing with them. She couldn’t hear exactly what they were saying.
The woman says he then pulled out into the street — only to run back to the car, screaming at them.
“I was looking to see if he had something in his hands, you know, for a weapon,” the woman said. “And he didn’t have anything in his hands. And they put the window down in the car, and he had his arm in the car — and then I heard [two] shots.”
The woman says the man fell down to the ground and her first thought was to go help him. But she knew it was too late.
It sounds like the 19-year old tried to do everything he could to avoid violence, including attempting to simply leave his friend’s driveway because of the aggressive behavior of the 60-year old. Because the older man had blocked him in, however, he had no opportunity to drive away.
Since the man who attacked the teen was killed in the shooting, we’ll likely never know what prompted him to turn around and attack the 19-year old instead of just driving away in his vehicle. It also sounds like the 60-year old never tried to call police, though he was allegedly worried about the pair trespassing.
This is a tragic situation that needlessly escalated into violence because of the actions of the 60-year old, but it also is clear evidence that adults under the age of 21 should be able to legally acquire firearms for self-defense. A federal judge in Florida recently upheld a state law barring gun sales to under-21s, reluctantly ruling that existing Eleventh Circuit precedent gave him no other option.
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, meanwhile, ruled earlier this week that young adults should be able to purchase handguns from federally licensed firearms retailers, though federal law currently prevents them from doing so. The Second Amendment isn’t a second class right, declared Judge Julius Richardson, and young adults aren’t second-class citizens either.
It’s not clear from the news stories how the 19-year old acquired his handgun, but even if he wasn’t old enough to purchase a pistol from a gun store he was legally eligible to own one. It’s a shame that he had to use it in self-defense, but it’s also completely reasonable for someone who’s being choked by a stranger to believe that his life is in danger. As I said, it’s a tragic situation, but once it turned violent, the teen had every right to defend himself.