Tennessee D.A. praises woman who shot in self-defense: "likely saved her life and the lives of her children"

CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS / @CSI:cafe" by [puamelia] is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED.

A mom in Tennessee will not be facing charges after shooting and killing a man who “posed an imminent threat” to herself and her children, according to the local prosecutor


District Attorney General Chris Stanford was quick to announce that his office wouldn’t be filing charges against the woman. In fact, his press release hailing the woman for acting in defense of herself and her kids was the first time that the media had reported on the shooting as far as I can tell. While we don’t know all of the circumstances surrounding the shooting, it sounds like the armed mom was saving herself and her children from a domestic abuser.

Stanford said just before noon the Warren County Sheriff’s Department and McMinnville City Police Department responded to a shooting on Grandview Avenue in McMinnville.

Law enforcement determined that Maurice Malone, 38, had been shot in the chest and died due to the gunshot wound. Through further investigation, law enforcement said that the woman who shot him had an honest and reasonable belief that the then occurring and previous actions, threats and behaviors of Malone posed an imminent threat to [the victim] and her minor children.

The shooting death of Malone was deemed justified as self-defense and defense to third parties, according to the DA.

In his press release, Stanford went on to “commend [the victim] for her bravery as she acted under extreme pressure yet decided to protect herself and children from the imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death that she was imminently facing,” adding that “[i]t is never easy for victims of violence to stand up to those that are trying to hurt and kill them. However, [the victim’s] bravery last night likely saved her life and the lives of her children, and she is commended for her courage.”


Stanford also asked that the public give the family their privacy, noting that “it is never easy to take a life, even in the instance of a justified killing, such as this one.” I completely agree, which is why I’m choosing not to share her name here in the story despite Stanford’s inclusion of that information in his press release. This woman is the victim of a crime, not a perpetrator, and I don’t see any particularly good reason why she should be publicly outed just because she fought back in self-defense and in defense of her children. If she chooses to come forward and speak out that’s one thing, but for now we will do our part to respect her privacy.

Though I find it a little odd that Stanford released the woman’s name, I’m extremely pleased that he took the time to publicly commend her for her actions. Far too often we see law enforcement caution against fighting back, or to advocate for waiting and calling police even when they’re commenting on a justified use of force. Stanford’s praise of this victim’s actions is refreshing to see, and I wish that more law enforcement agencies would adopt his mentality.


The most important thing, of course, is that this woman and her kids are now safe thanks to her courage, strength of mind, and the means to protect herself and her babies from further harm. It’s terrible that she was put in that position to begin with, but it sounds like there’s no doubt in the minds of the law enforcement officers who investigated the shooting that she did the right thing.


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