According to the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, police have not filed charges against a Florida woman who allegedly shot her boyfriend in the leg after firing two warning shots. Police said that the relationship had a documented history of domestic violence, and the deputy who responded to the shooting scene observed both old and new injuries on various parts of the woman’s body.
According to the deputy’s report, the woman alleged that her 18-year-old boyfriend became aggressive during a dispute and made her feel that a violent confrontation was imminent. Reportedly, that was when she retrieved a gun. The woman told the deputy that she fired two warning shots to no avail, the report says. The 18-year-old man allegedly struck her multiple times after the shots. The woman then attempted to flee the residence but was caught by the boyfriend, whom she subsequently shot in the leg, according to the report.
While the Sheriff’s Office did not cite any specific reasons for not charging the woman, a pending law germane to the circumstances in this case may have been a factor. The Florida Legislature recently approved a so-called ‘warning shot” bill that would protect people with no criminal record from prosecution if they threaten to use deadly force, such as with warning shots, in self-defense. The bill has been sent to the governor’s office for approval.
The apparent intent of this new piece of legislation is to provide victims of domestic abuse with another legal recourse for protecting themselves. Domestic violence victims who are married may seek a family law attorney to apprise them of further recourse available under the law. For example, the attorney may help abused spouses file a restraining order against their violent partners.
Source: Highlands Today, “Woman fires warning shots then shoots boyfriend“, Jay Meise, May 13, 2014