Not Self Defense – Abilene, TX Dumpster Shooting (Graphic Video)

A disturbing video was released earlier this month showing Abilene neighbors arguing over trash in their alley.  In the end, one is dead and two are charged with murder.

I imagine this video will make its way into self defense and handgun carry classes in the future as a perfect example of “what not to do”.  A censored version is shown below:

You can view an uncensored and higher resolution version of the incident here (graphic warning) 

It is reported that this was an ongoing issue with these neighbors.  The deceased also had a history of social issues and poor behavior with neighbors and even the mail carrier.  However the armed father-son duo hardly have a case of “stand-your-ground”.

As the video shows, there was not a single attempt of de-escalation by either party.  In fact, quite the opposite.  John Miller (the older shirtless one) constantly makes threats and even challenges Aaron Howard (bright orange shirt) time and again to “take your swing”.

Howard repeatedly yells death threats and even antagonizes Miller to “point it at me again!”  While Howard is out of frame most of the video, after the Miller’s start shooting we hear a piece of lumber (maybe a baseball bat?) fall to the ground.  Perhaps Howard attempted to take a swing at the armed Millers, which of course was a very bad idea as well.

In the end Howard died at the hospital and both Millers are arrested and charged with murder.

We can take great lessons from even horrible incidents like this as “what not to do”.  I can only think of one correct action from this: going to the dumpster armed for your own safety.  Not retreating when you can is bad idea.  Brandishing a firearm when your safety is not in immediate danger is a crime.  Failure to de-escalate an incident like this will only get you charged with murder.  Antagonizing your attacker makes a self-defense claim impossible.  Even if someone did attack you in the end.

And finally – for the love of all of us on the internet around the world – TURN YOUR PHONE TO LANDSCAPE MODE.