A woman who was allegedly menaced by a man at a Houston gas station open fire with a rifle and killed him according to police.
The woman claims the man, identified as Louis Daniels, 58, was making sexual advances toward her and she was acting in self defense. In the video (see embed above), the man lunges at her with what is said to be a knife. The video appears to shows him holding an umbrella in his other hand
The woman, Shanequia McDonald, 23, said “I’m very hurt and I never meant for anything like this to go on. I just went to the gas station to get gas. I didn’t go to hurt or harm anyone and I was just protecting myself,” KHOU reports.
Reportedly the man was struck when a least one bullet riocheted off the ground. McDonald reportedly fired three or four rounds into the ground after pulling the rifle from the trunk of her car. The victim’s daughter claims that this was actually a dispute over an unpaid debt.
After the shooting on Sunday night, McDonald took a cell phone picture of the man, and left the scene before police arrived. Officers later located her, and the incident has been referred to a grand jury to consider possible charges, if any.
The confrontation could be a situation where the Texas version of the stand-your-ground law might be invoked. The controversial law that has come under a lot of attention recently states that a person is justified in using force in self-defense if he or she has a reasonable belief of an unlawful threat. Although the George Zimmerman defense team did not rely on the law during the criminal trial in Seminole County, Fla., it was the stand-your-ground law that at least in part convinced police to initially dismiss Zimmerman as a murder suspect
Andrew F. Branca, the author of The Law of Self Defense, explains the stand-your-ground law in these terms: “Traditionally, it was required that you take advantage of a safe avenue of retreat, if such was reasonably available to you, before using deadly force in self-defense. This was what is referred to as a generalized duty to retreat. It always had exceptions, such as the Castle Doctrine which lifts the duty when you are in your home.
“The ‘stand-your-ground’ law expands the scope of the Castle Doctrine beyond your home to every place you have a right to be. So, even if there were a safe avenue of retreat reasonably available to you, you no longer have a legal duty to attempt to make use of it before using deadly force in self-defense.
“The duty to retreat itself, however, only applies where safe retreat is possible. If there is no safe avenue of retreat, there is no duty. If there is no duty, the ‘stand-your-ground’ statute that relieves you of that duty is irrelevant.”