Not long ago, we had Crime Prevention Research Center executive director Nikki Goeser on Cam & Co to talk about stalkers and how best to protect yourself from them. Goeser, whose husband Ben was murdered by a man who’d been stalking her, has been a fierce advocate for stalking victims, and one of the things she spoke about during our conversation was the fact that even though she has taken out a lifetime order of protection against her husband’s killer, she’s also never defenseless and unable to protect herself.
An order of protection can be a useful tool for those who are being stalked, but it’s not a suit of armor, and if someone decides that they don’t care what that piece of paper says, those being stalked need a backup plan. In a recent case out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, that Plan B involved having a gun in case an angry ex showed up uninvited and unwanted.
A man whose ex-girlfriend recently filed a protective order against him was fatally shot early Thursday after police say he kicked in her door and confronted her current boyfriend.
Officers responded about 2:15 a.m. to a shots-fired call from a midtown apartment near 12th Street and Erie Avenue. They found Christian Holdman, 21, inside with bullet wounds.
According to Tulsa Police Lt. Brandon Watkins, Holdman had kicked the door open and confronted his ex-girlfriend, who was living there with her current boyfriend.
“Holdman was armed and came at the current boyfriend, who fired at him, killing Holdman,” Watkins said in a news release.
According to authorities, Holdman had been told to stay at least 100 yards away from his ex and had also been ordered by the court to surrender any legally-owned firearms earlier this month, though he apparently decided to ignore that part of the restraining order as well.
Police say the woman’s current boyfriend was questioned by detectives, but was released without charges. Based on what’s been reported, this was clearly a case of self-defense and defense of another, and I can’t imagine that police or prosecutors would try to bring a case against the current boyfriend for shooting an armed intruder who had a restraining order against him.
As for that restraining order, while it can’t prevent an abusive ex or a stalker from trying to carry out their violent plans, they do have a purpose. As Goeser explained during our conversation, if you ever are forced to act in self-defense, having an order of protection against your attacker goes a long way towards establishing that you were the victim and not the perpetrator of a violent crime.
In some states an order of protection may also help you break a rental agreement or lease if you need to move to a new location without suffering penalties or a hit to your credit rating, so obtaining an order of protection if there’s a real threat to you can be of benefit.
I just don’t believe it should be your only layer of protection, and I’m thankful that in this particular case the couple had a firearm to protect themselves. Having a gun isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be able to walk away unscathed from an attempt on your life, but being able to shoot back definitely improves your odds of surviving an encounter with an armed assailant, and in this case it may very well have been the difference between a justifiable homicide and a double murder.