Gun Stories Juan Rivera Vs Victim Weekly Edition 8/24-30/2020
Self-Defense cases often come with twist and turns. Along with attacks by the media, and far reaching prosecutions. This case has none of those things. I normally wouldn’t even write about it. I only decided that it would be worth writing about due to justice being served. There are some things that are unclear in this case. Along with early reporting that makes it look like it was going to go the other way. What I am asking the reader for here, is to comment on how the situation could have been avoided. This is the case of Juan Rivera Vs Victim
Juan Rivera Vs Victim
Juan Rivera who is 28 years old. Decided on August 08, 2020 that he and an unknown friend would rob someone. The victim at the time of the robbery was working his stereo in the back seat of his vehicle. Which was located in the parking lot at the rear of his apartment complex. He was facing towards the rear and did not see Mr. Rivera or Mr. Unknown approach.
The two approached the vehicle, one on each side. They proceeded to point their weapons at the victim and demanded his belongings. Mr. Rivera took it one step further and went into the victim’s apartment in an attempt to rob the people in the apartment.
Mr. Unknown then struck the victim in the head and pulled him out of the vehicle. During the struggle Mr. Unknown dropped his firearm. At which time the victim picks up the weapon and Mr. unknown ran off. Mr. Rivera then left the apartment and proceeded to engage the victim. As a result, they both started to exchange shots while running around in the parking lot. Mr. Rivera was eventually hit and escape the scene. He was then dropped off at the hospital minutes later by two unknown friends. He died within minutes of being dropped off at the hospital.
The Initial Reports
After the autopsy it was determined that Mr. Rivera’s death was a homicide. The police have been reported as calling it a “suspicious death,”. What is unclear is if the victim immediately or at anytime called the police to report it. What makes this case interesting is the homicide determination. If you are not familiar with self-defense cases or how they are handled. It is important to note than any case involving the death that is caused by another person will be labeled a homicide.
It is only later that a determination will be made as to charge the person defending themselves or to declare it justified. There are two determinations in self defense that will allow the defender to walk away without charges. Depending on the local laws a jury may have to make that determination. The first is excusable homicide, this were it is determined that the attacker shouldn’t have been killed. Although a reasonable and prudent person (as stated by Massad Ayoob) would have likely done the same thing in those circumstance.
The second determination is justified or justifiable homicide. Where the defender did the right thing in defending him or herself. By the initial media reports you can see how the general public would jump to the conclusion that this was a wrongful death. The perception of “suspicious death” and homicide could easily make people believe that Mr. Rivera was the victim in this case.
Luckily for the victim the whole incident was caught on video. The District Attorney’s Office ruled this was a justifiable homicide based on the self-defense laws. My point to this story was the foundation was already laid to go after the victim and to start the crucifixion we often see in these cases. While it is normal to see self-defense, deaths labeled as homicide. The general public is usually unaware that this happens. I did not know that it happened until my own research led me to multiple cases of justifiable homicide.
It is extremely hard for a victim to shake the stigmatism put on them by the press. Especially after charges are filled. Look at the case of George Zimmerman. He was torn apart by the press and yet when the facts came out at trial, he was acquitted of any wrongdoing. The Prosecutor in that case bypassed the Grand jury because they knew they couldn’t get an indictment. The family led a media assault on Mr. Zimmerman and ruined his life before even hearing the evidence.
Unlike the Zimmerman case. The DA in this case had the groundwork already being laid out in the event he would have brought charges, which was no fault of the DA’s. Luckily for the victim that did not happen and because charges were not filled, his name will not be released. Another possible problem would have been that the victim never intended on being in a self-defense situation. As a result, he would likely of not had legal protections that many firearm owners are now pursuing. This just goes to show, it doesn’t always go bad for the victim, once in a while, you will find a DA that believes the victim has been through enough trauma and listen to the evidence.
For the rest of us, it’s imperative that we have and maintain our legal coverage because not all DA’s are going to side with self-defense. Just like not all cases are going to have video clearing our name. Based on the facts we found in this case, we cannot make any judgements as to guilt or innocents of Mr. Rivera. We can only go by what the DA’s office as publicly stated. Because there was no court documents, we were forced to go off media reports of this incident.
We are asking our readers to think about what training they have received or that they believe should be incorporated. In order for future victims to avoid being caught off guard like this. For example, even if the victim would have been trained and armed himself. It is unlikely he would have been able to respond. Due to the fact he was already at gun point by the time he noticed the two assailants there.
So how do you believe a person could respond or force an opportunity that would allow them to respond without being shot in the process. Leave your comments below and let’s hear your thoughts on the matter.