On New Year’s Eve of 2013 Michael Simpson, who was legally carrying as concealed weapon, had finished some midday shopping in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was on his way to his car when he was confronted by a gunman who demanded that he “give him everything or have his head blown off.” The robber held a gun to Simpson’s neck.
Simpson complied and the robber took off at a jogging pace. Game over. At least, it should have been but Simpson decided to follow the robber. When the robber spotted him, he pointed his gun at Simpson and fired. Simpson took out his gun and returned fire.
A total of ten shots were fired in a busy Milwaukee intersection that resulted in the robber being wounded, apprehended and charged. Simpson was not charged and declined to talk to the media. Following is my common sense opinion of this confrontation. I am not a legal expert.
When Simpson was confronted, that was the time to make a choice to fight or be a victim. Understandably, with a gun to his neck, he chose to be a victim. It should have ended there with exception of calling the police. As soon as the assailant left the scene he was no longer a threat to Simpson. He became a threat, again, only because Simpson pursued him.
Of the ten shots fired, seven of them were from Simpson’s weapon. Had any stray shots from either firearm injured or killed a bystander both men would have been culpable. If the prosecutor did not find a case against Simpson as well as the robber, then I expect that a civil lawyer for the victim(s) would have.
There are three parts to a crime from the victim perspective. They are confrontation, decision and action. Then the game is over.
You are confronted by a criminal. You chose to fight, flee or be a victim. You act on that choice. When the threat is gone or neutralized the game is over. For the victim to initiate another confrontation, after this fact, may well label him the criminal when the game is over for the second time.
Once the criminal shows his back as he flees the scene there is no threat to the victim’s life and no reason to pursue or confront the criminal. Anything that the victim does that may or does result in injury or death of an innocent bystander may, and likely should, make the victim a criminal also.
Simpson did do one wise thing. He declined to talk to the media. Anything in such of a discussion could be used as evidence if he was charged later.