WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— Gun rights continue to be a topic of intense debate and discussion across the nation.
Included in those debates are the legalities of when a person can use deadly force.
June 3rd, a man shot a woman as she left a nail salon at the Pittston Township Shopping Plaza. Investigators say 37-year-old Christopher Carmona shot the woman when she confronted him as he was rummaging through her car. The initial 911 calls came in as an active shooter in the area, but detectives later learned more information.
“We then learned throughout the investigation an armed citizen who was in the nail salon with his wife and daughter exited the salon and confronted the gunman,” said Sam Sanguedolce, the Luzerne County District Attorney.
District attorney Sam Sanguedolce said the citizen was licensed to carry the weapon, he did not hit Carmona who fled the scene and was captured a short time later.
Sanguedolce told the I-team that man had the right to take action.
“That raised of course the issue of stand your ground which is an extension of the castle doctrine, which most gun owners and most citizens have heard of,” explained Sanguedolce.
Sanguedolce said there are parameters guiding the use of deadly force under “Stand your ground.”
“So if you’re on the street and you’re legally allowed to be and you are confronted with a person who has a lethal weapon or a replica of a lethal weapon you can presume he intends to use deadly force; therefore, you’re authorized to use deadly force to defend yourself or someone else the person may be assailing,” Sanguedolce told Eyewitness News.
But Sangeudolce said ‘stand your ground” does not come into play under certain scenarios.
“Those rights are eliminated if you’re legally in a place” when you are at the time used your weapon. If you break into a store and are confronted by the store owner then your rights are alleviated, also if you are the aggressor you can’t start an incident then use deadly force and expect to be defended,” Sanguedolce said.
Sangeudolce said each case is fact-specific, there is no blueprint when it comes to “Stand your ground.”
“I don’t encourage anyone to engage in gunfire with anyone under any circumstance but sometimes it’s necessary to save your life or a family member or loved one,” Sanguedolce explained.
Sanguedocle encouraged all gun owners to educate themselves on “Stand your ground.”
Carmona is locked up and will have a hearing next month.
The victim of the shooting is still recovering from her injuries.