Sunday, November 22, 2015

AZ: "School Shooting" May have been Self Defense

If you look closely at the photograph, it is clear that Steven Jones likely suffered some blows to the head.  His lower lip is swollen, and you can see abrasions on it and one to the his right below the lip.  There is also a abrasion just to his left and above his left eyebrow.  It appears that Jones had legal possession of the handgun.  It would have been legal for him to have carried it in his car in Arizona.

Jones, 18, claimed he and two friends were first attacked and beaten outside an apartment complex in the Oct. 9 incident and then chased to his car by another group of students who shouted obscenities and threatened to kill them

But the surviving victims and other witnesses told varying stories that corroborated some of Jones' statements and contradicted others.

Jones, who wept during police interviews, claimed he got his Glock pistol from the car and told the pursuers, who were then surrounding his friends, that he had a gun. He said he shot two of the attackers, again saying they would kill him, when they charged him.
Blows to the head can easily be lethal, as can attacks by multiple assailants.  If Jones version of events is correct, or if he can show a jury that it was reasonable for him to believe that his version was correct, he could easily be justified in his use of deadly force to defend himself and others.

 Jones cooperated fully with police; he even sought their protection when they came to the shooting scene.  He does not fit the profile of a rampage shooter.  He is not a loner, nor did he attempt to shoot people randomly.  There is testimony that his version of events is correct.  Without his glasses, he may have been visually impaired.

The testimony that disagrees with his, is largely form the people that he shot, who he claims were attacking him.   It is not clear how much police investigation has been done.  From the article:
In Piring's version of events, he was not standing with Brough but saw him fall and then was shot as he walked toward him. Piring said he didn't see any fighting. Piring said he saw Brough fall as he was running toward him and did not realize at first he had been shot as well.
With all the surveillance video available today, with numerous cell phones, I hope the police have been diligent in searching for evidence.  Even placement of the cases ejected at the scene would be important;   Jones said that he fired again, in an upward direction, as several men knocked him down and attempted to disarm him. It should be easy to determine if Jones were attacked before he fired, about how far he was from the people that he shot at, and how many people were involved in the initial attack, how many were involved in the chase that supposedly followed, and how many attempted to disarm him.  Blood should have been drawn from Jones and the others involved to determine blood alcohol levels or the presence of other drugs.


Jones has plead not guilty.  At a court appearance on 24 November, 2015, his lawyer made clear that he was attacked and then chased.  From
Jones told police that he shot them after he was hit in the face. He said the shooting was in self-defense.

"I don't think there is any doubt at this point that he was attacked outside that parking lot and then chased into that parking lot," said Jones' attorney, Burges McCowan.

Jones was a pledge with the Sigma Chi fraternity.  All of the men shot were from Delta Chi Fraternity.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

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