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Self-defense? Ewa Beach resident shoots man suspected of trespassing in back

An Ewa Beach man arrested in connection with a shooting on Christmas Eve has been released from custody.

The shooting happened in a gated neighborhood on Laaulu Street.

According to sources, a 51-year-old resident found two men that were wearing masks on his property.

He told the men he had a gun, and then shot one of them in the back as he was trying to run away.

Some wonder whether he really did anything wrong.

The man that was shot took himself to the hospital and was listed in stable condition.

Attorney Victor Bakke says Hawaii's self-defense law will protect you, but it depends on the amount of force used.

The shooting took place at the bottom unit of the home where crime tape still remains.

Bakke says a person needs to be in serious danger in order to claim self-defense.

In this circumstance where one of the trespassers was shot in the back, Bakke says the self-defense law could protect the resident.

"Absolutely shooting someone in the back can always be open to interpretation," Bakke explained. "If they were inside the house then it's pretty clear that they probably will get shot, and that would be justified."

"It does make me feel more comfortable that we are trying to defend our home and not let them try to come in," resident Marcus Rodrigues said.

"I have a three year old daughter and a wife. I will do anything to protect my family for sure," resident Kyle Palmer said.

Protecting property is not enough to justify the use of force. You also cannot claim self-defense if they can retreat in complete safety.

"The law says the homeowner has to believe that he is in immediate danger which means as soon as he's confronted he has to make that split second decision," Bakke explained. "Usually it's much better to make that decision on your side and be careful because it is better to be judged later by 12 than it is to be carried by 6 at a funeral."


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