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Although I can see where this situation could get strange in a hurry, I don't think you have would have been justified in presenting or shooting this gentleman based on the information you provided. Unless he was behind secured doors which would indicate he broke in, it seems like trespassing after you asked him to leave.

It sounds like he never threatened you or showed a weapon of any kind. Although he may have acted a little strangely, it doesn't seem as though he was even acting in a threatening manner. Distance is your friend.

I guess I would ask if/why your front doors were unsecured allowing anyone to walk in.
 

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Certainly if he had advanced as you were retreating and asked him to leave you have more reason for concern. One problem in that case is that it sounds like you were so close that accessing and presenting a firearm would be difficult if he got aggressive.

Further, unless he was a lot bigger or stronger than you, it limits your options against an the "unarmed" man. Especially knowing that you had students that would probably come to your aid.
 

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I think of five factors when I look at lethal force:

1) Is there an imminent threat of great bodily injury or death?
2) Does the threat have the ability and opportunity to cause great bodily injury or death?
3) Does the threat have the intent to do great bodily injury or death (usually manifested in a physical action . . . no mind readers here)?

In the situation you described, I would give you the benefit of the doubt on item 2 due to the male/female thing and size difference (disparity of force). However, I think it falls short in points 1 & 3.

On top of this, was the situation avoidable. Could you walk away from it or go in a room/business and lock the door? Finally, the issue of innocence comes to play. Did your actions escalate the situation to require the use of lethal force?

Although the law may make some of these less important in certain situations, I think they all play a role in the decision making process. Certainly if you can pass the litmus test on all these factors, my confidence that a jury will reach the proper conclusion is much higher.
 

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. . . There is no such thing as "brandishing" in Utah . . ."
Hmmm . . . based on a Utah Attorney's web site:

"In Utah it is illegal to intimidate, threaten or cause fear in another person by brandishing or showing a weapon to the victim. Here the offender attempts to imply that unless the victim complies with his demands, he may use the weapon. It is not necessary that the weapon be a firearm. It is equally unlawful to brandish a knife. It is also against the law to brandish an object to the victim intended to cause fear that the perpetrator is in possession of a weapon and could harm the victim."

I don't know the exact laws in Utah but most states have brandishing laws.
 

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yung1s#2 said:
Throughout our business there are no offices with locked doors. The classroom is far from the clinical area making it pretty much impossible to hear what is going on in the other areas of the office. All of the students were all in the classroom other than the one that had come to find me.

Is it breaking and entering when you go inside a closed business? The man had to of known we were closed. He walked through a dark reception area, several doors, through a few rooms and was in the very back end of the business. As I came down the hallways I was turning on the lights.

Although I took a few steps back I was still very close to him. Had he done something when I first came upon him, none of the students would have heard anything, and even if they had....there were only a few of them and each are smaller females than I am.

The area behind him was still dark. I didn't know if he was by himself or what to think. It took three times of asking him to leave before he finally did. There was no reason for him to be there and I made it clear the first time I told him to leave. So I felt threatened.....

1) He was in a closed business in a dark area.
2) He didn't leave when I asked him to.
3) He had his hands in his pockets.

I agree that I would not had wanted to escalate the situation by pulling my weapon too soon but for all I knew he already had his hand on his. There was no reason for him to be there and he was not responding to my demands for him to leave.

I think it is great advice that had I been carrying to have my hand on my weapon after he didn't leave as I demanded.

What are the differences since I was at my business and not my home?

Surely had you come across a man in a dark hall in your home, asked him to leave once, had pretty much no response from him, you would have pulled your weapon.
In my mind, this is a classic dilemma for a the use of lethal force--determining intent. I would venture to say that most of us would say if the man did almost anything that could be considered aggressive or moved towards you when you asked him to leave you would have been justified in presenting a firearm, perhaps even shooting. However, he was not compliant but he was not necessarily a threat either. It is hard to judge intent.

This is further complicated if mental illness, alcohol or other drugs are in play. Also, you can't always assume they speak english and understand your commands.
 

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GeneticsDave said:
. . . As far as drawing you weapon, it is a misdemeanor if you draw to the low position and a felony if you point the weapon at someone. Given that the person entered after hours, he might be charged with trespassing or potentially breaking and entering (usually connotes intent of theft or vandalism). In this type of situation I would recommend giving verbal information, "We're closed, come back in the morning." followed by "Stop! Stand back! You need to leave!" placing one hand on the weapon and the other held up in the universal stop sign. Finally, "Stop or I'll shot!" with the weapon at low ready. If the man ignores this and keeps coming, you stop the threat.

I'm not suggesting that you draw under any circumstance. But some people are so set in criteria that they might end up dead rather than in court. Granted you don't want either, but it's better to be convicted by twelve than carried by six. You would at most face a misdemeanor by drawing on this guy. And, to be honest, you most likely wouldn't get charged if you could call 911 quickly and explain that a strange man entered the premises and wouldn't answer questions and wouldn't leave. Unless you shot him without him attacking you, you would likely be fine. How can I say this? Think about it. You are a woman, all alone in a near vacant building with some strange guy that shouldn't be there. He's acting strange (who knows what he'll do) and you are not only smaller than he is, you are also a woman who likely is not as strong as this man. Nobody would charge you on something like this and even if they did, no jury in their right mind would convict you, and even if they did, it's always better to be fined and/or take minimal time than be dead.
I agree with your evaluation . . . I would be surprised if someone pursued brandishing charges in that situation with immediated follow-up with 911.
 
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