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When can you protect yourself with deadly force?

Updated: Jul. 23, 2018 at 10:15 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - LPD is still investigating a shooting that happened at a U-haul location on East 50th on Saturday. An employee shot the suspect, who was said in the police report to be acting erratically, possibly on drugs.

While former Lubbock County DA and current Attorney Travis Ware couldn't comment on this specific case, he explained how Texas state law views the use of deadly force.

"If you're acting in self-defense then you have the right to use force, but it has to be reasonable force," Ware said. "You can't use deadly force unless you perceive that somebody is attempting to use, or has used, deadly force against you."

In this weekend's police report, it says the suspect picked up a large rock and began threatening an employee, saying that he was going to assault him. Because of the victim's age and health, he feared that if the suspect hit him with the rock it would cause him serious injury or death. That's when the employee drew his handgun and shot the suspect in the stomach, keeping the gun drawn until police arrived.

Licensed to carry or not, what does Texas state law say about having a gun for protection at work?

"You're allowed to have a gun in your home, you're allowed to have a gun in your place of business, and under certain circumstances, some people are allowed to carry a gun in their cars, even if they're not licensed," Ware said.

The U-haul employee told police that he was protecting himself and the owner of the business. He also said the suspect was waiting outside the office with the rock.

Ware said that the law often sides with those who are acting in self-defense if they believe someone is intending to use deadly force against them.

"It is from the perspective, from the viewpoint, of the person who shoots to defend himself or defend a third person that the law allows us to look," Ware said.

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