(VitalNews.org) – A Florida man who went to the aid of his sister will not face charges after shooting her attacker dead. The 23-year-old man received a text from his sister asking for help after her 26-year-old ex-boyfriend reportedly broke into her home by smashing down the door. After gaining entry, he is alleged to have physically assaulted her. She was able to use her cell phone to send a plea for help to several family members in the nearby area via text message, one of whom was her brother.
Upon reading the text, the brother rushed to her home at the Silver Lake Mobile Home Park, in Escambia County, Florida. He was armed, as was his 24-year-old sister’s ex-boyfriend. Once the brother gained entry to his sister’s home, her attacker threatened him with a handgun, according to the Sherriff’s Office. He got as far as cocking the weapon before the brother shot him twice and killed him.
John Molchan, Florida’s Assistant State Attorney, told reporters that due to Florida’s amended ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws, the unnamed brother was within his legal rights to shoot the intruder. Mr. Molchan explained that the state’s self-defense law was amended in 2005, in a move that “expanded the area of the Castle”, referring to what was known as the Castle Doctrine. The Castle Doctrine meant that if a person was in their own home, referred to in this doctrine as their castle, they had the right to defend themselves within its boundaries. This self-defense rule allowed a person to use lethal force against someone who threatened their life or who otherwise had committed a forcible felony.
The expansion of the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law meant that the concept of self-defense shifted to include defending yourself outside of your home and removed the need to retreat safely wherever possible instead of using deadly force against an attacker. As such, the 23-year-old man who came to his sister’s rescue was entitled to use deadly force against her attacker once the attacker pointed and cocked a gun at him. County Sherriff Chip Simmons was happy to clarify this in his press statement, emphasizing that an individual is permitted to use deadly force against an assailant, should that assailant aim and cock a gun at them.
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