HONOLULU(KHON2) — Tuesday’s fatal shooting in Waianae has many in the community on edge. Some neighbors said they are tired of being victimized by criminals and are standing up for themselves, but one legal expert said there’s a fine line between self-defense and being a vigilante.

KHON2 asked what is considered self-defense and what needs to be proven in order to claim it?

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The legal expert said it’s not that cut and dry. It’s a fact-intensive inquiry, and all the evidence needs to be considered for self-defense to apply.

Some residents have said enough is enough.

Waianae resident Peter Atai said he and his neighbor, one of the victims in Tuesday’s shootout in Waianae, were burglarized three times in the last two weeks.

“We thought that by calling cops, and they come in, and maybe somebody will see all this action and they will not come back, but I guess they were not worried about it,” said Atai.

Atai said they decided to protect themselves and their property.

“We have to have something to make sure that these guys understand that they can’t be doing this anymore,” Atai added.

Police are still investigating Tuesday’s fatal shooting but said it started when the suspects arrived at the victim’s home to discuss a gun allegedly stolen from the victim.

According to police, one of the suspects fired at the victim first. The victim returned fire, killing him.

KHON2 asked could the victim claim self-defense?

Attorney Doug Chin said it’s an intense inquiry.

“They have to convince a judge or a jury, that a reasonable person in the same situation, faced with all of the input and all of the different things that the suspect is experiencing, gave them grounds to be able to employ the use of force that in this case was deadly,” explained Chin.

According to Chin, there’s a fine line.

“Self-defense is just not that far away from revenge or from someone who is themselves acting as the aggressor,” said Chin.

He said they also consider whether the person was intoxicated, how long it took for them to act and other factors.

“Sometimes people will say, ‘I needed to do this in order to be able to protect my property, and to be able to protect my life, because I didn’t see anybody else coming to help me,'” Chin explained. “Being a vigilante isn’t necessarily a reason to be able to claim self-defense, it’s a different kind of motivation.”

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KHON also reached out to the prosecuting attorney’s office. They declined to comment