(FOX19) - Following a shooting in Lockland, where a man with a concealed carry license shot three robbery suspects, a controversial topic was raised.
When is it okay to pull the gun and shoot? It's a difficult question with a simple answer.
"When a person is in imminent fear of death or great bodily harm," said Fox19 Legal Analyst, Mike Allen.
He says "Imminent" means just that.
"Right now. Right at that very moment. It can't be something five minutes from now or even probably 50 seconds from now. It's got to be imminent. It's got to be right now for it to be a justifiable shooting".
What constitutes fear in someone's mind who may be ready to pull the trigger?
"It's what's going through the shooters mind at the time," Allen added. "I've had cases that have dealt specifically with this issue. What is going on in that shooter's mind at the moment is what's important to a judge or a jury".
Allen is a former prosecutor and judge, but prior to that, he was a Cincinnati police officer.
He says every time a cop is forced to shoot someone, the debate comes up: Why couldn't the cop shoot the guy in the leg or arm? Why did he have to kill him?
"No one is trained that I know of, either law enforcement personnel or people getting their CCW, to shoot in the leg, in the arm, in the foot or anywhere else. If you have to pull that weapon and use it, you should be in fear of death or great bodily harm, which would justify you shooting to kill and that's what you are trained to do," said Allen.
He says the bottom line is simple. "If you're not in imminent fear of death or great bodily harm, don't take the weapon out. Don't shoot it."