Purse Snatching Victim Opens Fire on Fleeing Suspect

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A woman shot at the man who stole her purse. It happened Monday night at a west Amarillo sports bar.

Police were called to IDK after a woman reported she had her purse stolen in the parking lot.

Investigators say the woman pulled out a gun and opened fire on the thief as he was fleeing. But, was she in the right in doing so?

This kind of action does not fall under Texas’ Castle Doctrine law because there was no so-called castle involved.

Castle generally refers to a person’s home or vehicle.

Sgt. Brent Barbee didn’t want to talk about the specifics of this case to us, but he would take in generalities. He says there’s a thin line between when you can and cannot open fire on a criminal suspect who has stolen your property.

“That’s only if the property can’t be protected or recovered in any other way and the use of force other than deadly force would expose the actor to what the law calls substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury,” Barbee said, quoting the law.

It’s unknown if any of the shots fired at the purse snatching suspect actually hit him. If they had, we would likely hear about it because hospitals are required to notify police when they get a gunshot victim.

As far as charges against the woman? They’re possible but unlikely.

Experts say grand juries are less likely to indict someone in cases like this, especially since no one was injured.

Even if the suspect had been hit, there’s a good chance she would not be convicted.

But, if an innocent bystander had been hit, that’s a different story.

Police say the crime was already over when the woman chased the suspect down an alley and fired at least four shots at him as he was fleeing with her purse.

Another question may be whether the purse snatching victim was carrying the gun while inside IDK, or if she was planning to carry it inside.

Because 51% of their sales involve alcohol, it’s illegal to carry a gun inside the establishment, according to an IDK employee who spoke with us.

 

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