When can I shoot? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

When can I shoot?

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

November 7, 2008

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Still no charges in a Thomasville shooting in which a homeowner shot a man he says broke into his car.

Clay Campbell shot 22-year-old Jonathan Samuel in the buttocks outside Campbell's Warren Avenue home about one am yesterday.

Samuel has a history of burglaries and entering autos.

Campbell said he had two guns inside the car. He told police he tried to detain Samuel but felt threatened when Samuel made a sudden movement.

Samuel is still in the hospital. Police and G-B-I agents are still investigating.

That shooting again raised questions about when it's okay to use deadly force. Georgia law states using deadly force is justified if you feel like someone could cause great bodily harm to you or to someone else.

There's also a provision that says if someone breaks into your house and puts you at fear of harm, you can use deadly force.

"What the court looks at is, what did that particular person do, at the moment, based on all the facts that they had available, in a split second. And was that a reasonable decision that they made," says Capt. Mark Scott with the Thomasville Police Department.

Georgia law also says you don't have to retreat. If someone is putting you, someone else in danger, you have the right to stand your ground and use reasonable force. Feedback