When you consider that a Marine recently shot an unarmed man in the back, killing him, you might assume that the Marine would be headed to prison, but you'd be wrong.
According to District Attorney Ernie Lee's account of the incident as presented by The (Jacksonville, N.C.) Daily News, 22-year-old David Darling's own actions contributed to his death. Therefore, no charges will be filed against the unidentified Marine who shot Darling. The following is a summary of the events that led to the April 8 shooting, as outlined by Lee:
Darling, a civilian who was married to a Marine, was walking up and down Fieldcrest Drive in Jacksonville naked, shouting that he was high and that he did not want to kill himself or "her" -- it was not clear who else Darling was referring to. Darling, who lived at 113 Fieldcrest Drive, ran to 111 Fieldcrest Drive when someone at that residence turned on the porch light. When a female resident opened the door, Darling asked her for a cigarette and a lighter.
The female, who was the wife of a Marine and mother of two small children, who were asleep inside the residence, was understandably concerned for the safety of her children. She closed and locked the door and someone from her residence called 911.
Darling yelled for the Marine at the residence (whom he apparently did not know) to let him inside. The Marine armed himself with his 45-caliber Model 1911 pistol as Darling began trying to force open the front door to the residence.
The Marine told Darling that he had a gun and ordered him to leave. In response, Darling said that he wanted a gun too. When the Marine went to a window to attempt to communicate with Darling, Darling ripped through the window screen and dove head first through the open window, into the living room.
Obviously, fearing for his safety and for the safety of his family, the Marine shot Darling three times in the back as Darling dove through the window. Despite the Marine's efforts to render aid to Darling, Darling died.
Lee summed the incident up by stating, "Based upon my review of the facts in this case, the occupants of the residence were justified in using deadly force against Darling because the actions of Darling caused the occupants to reasonably believe it necessary to use deadly force to protect their lives."
Despite the fact that this case involved the defender shooting an unarmed man in the back, it was perfectly justified in light of all the facts and circumstances. Would a reasonable person legitimately fear for their safety and the safety of their family based on Darling's actions? Absolutely! Can you imagine what the outcome might have been had the Marine not been armed?
Despite the fact that the intruder was unarmed, his actions and the actions taken by the Marine and his wife clearly illustrate the judicious use of deadly force. What are your thoughts?