A Florida disabled veteran who shot and critically injured two men who were attacking a pregnant woman was justified in his actions and will not face criminal charges, WPTV (West Palm Beach) is reporting.
Joshua Anderson of Port Saint Lucie was fishing underneath a bridge late Tuesday night when two homeless men, Brett Jowers and Zachery Sly, began fighting. At one point during the fisticuffs, Jowers pushed Sly’s girlfriend, who is pregnant.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder says that’s when the veteran stepped in to the fray.
“He saw a woman being attacked at night, and he went to her aid. In my opinion I think he did the right thing.”
The two homeless men then turned their attention toward Anderson, threatening and shoving him. The veteran warned the men that he had a gun, but they didn’t back off. He shot each of them once, both men in the torso.
Under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, the disabled veteran was within his rights to shoot the pregnant woman’s assailants. Sheriff Snyder puts it as follows.
“You don’t have an obligation to allow yourself to be attacked.”
Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, like similar laws throughout the country, has been the subject of heated controversy. As Think Progress notes, such laws have allowed people to beat murder raps on some rather spurious claims of “self-defense,” and are not applied equally between whites and minorities. It was Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” defense that also allowed George Zimmerman to beat murder charges in the Trayvon Martin shooting, according to this Inquisitr report.
As far as Sheriff Snyder sees it, Anderson clearly acted in self-defense, and will not face any criminal charges, unless more evidence emerges in the case.
“Due to his disability, he would not be able to fend off an attack from both males, especially considering that one was somewhat larger than he was. Barring unforeseen additional evidence or witness statements, Mr. Anderson will not be charged with any offense to this incident.”
Sheriff William Snyder announces no charges filed in double shooting on causeway citing Stand Your Ground. pic.twitter.com/YNIsDmv4gk
— MartinCountySheriff (@MartinFLSheriff) March 18, 2015
KFOR (Oklahoma City) reports that the two men the disabled veteran shot are both in critical condition at an area hospital.
As of this post, it is not clear if either, or both, of the men shot by the disabled veteran will face any charges for attacking the pregnant woman if they survive.
[Image courtesy of: David McNew/Getty Images]