Yet another shooting has gone done at a night club here in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The details of the shooting are presently unknown, but five people were shot after a fight ensued late Thursday night.
So far no arrests have been made.
The injuries of the five victims range in severity from minor to critical. One man is said to have gone home and collapsed in his shower, prompting him to seek treatment at a local emergency room.
Luckily no one has died, as of yet. Regardless, odds are this case will result in prosecutions for those involved. Charges may range from attempted murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, or even first degree murder, if someone dies from their injuries. Because guns were used, those people who are charged will surely be subjected to the very stringent 10-20-LIFE laws.
Therefore, it would be a good idea for anyone involved in this shooting to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. At the very least, knowing your options and having someone to speak on your behalf could make a big difference.
These types of cases are unfortunately very common and cops are always eager to place the blame on someone. When it comes to gun violence, law enforcement rarely has any tolerance for excuses, even when those excuses are legit - such as self-defense.
However, the truth is that these incidents usually involve alcohol, young men with hot heads and weak egos, scantily clad party girls, and night club parking lots. The story is an old one, only the people change.
According to crime scene technicians, seventeen shell casings were identified. The area is riddled with bullet holes and the club's store front window was shot out. Therefore, any lawyer used by those involved should be someone who understands the meaning of forensic evidence and the role it plays in the courtroom.
There are many possibilities as to what happened here. First, one shooter may have unloaded a handgun like a Glock 17 which is known to carry exactly seventeen 9mm bullets.
In the alternative, "seventeen" may just be a random number of shots fired and may represent the aggregate of different shooters firing in the same gun fight. This possibility would be obvious to investigators if shell casings of different calibers are recovered from the crime scene. The diameter of bullet holes in walls and other objects can also be used to gauge the caliber of the bullets.
To a lesser extent, shell casings of the same caliber, but of different manufacturers may also be used to identify different shooters. However, it is equally possible that one shooter had different types of ammunition in his gun, although of the same caliber.
By mapping out the location of shell casings and bullet holes, crime scene investigators are able to make a very crude estimation of how the gun fight unfolded. However, such analysis is wrought with many problems. First of all, the shell casings were certainly moved around the crime scene as the mob of people fled the area. Second, gun fights are extremely dynamic events and nothing happens in an orderly, laboratory like fashion. Just because a series of casings landed on the ground in a certain manner or direction, does not mean we are able to figure out what happened. It would be like figuring out what caused a car accident by looking at a car flipped over in a canal. Sometimes it just cannot be done.
However, by taking statements from witnesses on scene, police will be able to give context and meaning to the forensic evidence recovered. Depending on the willingness of witnesses to come forward, which in these cases is usually very skimpy, cops may be able to determine how many shooters were involved, what prompted the shoot out, and who exactly was involved.
Interpreting forensic evidence will be a central issue in this case because prosecutors will certainly be looking to this evidence for proof that crimes were committed. At the same time, this evidence may be relied upon to prove that a shooter potentially acted in self-defense.
The fact that five people were shot, does not prove that the shooter acted unlawfully. For example, if the shooter was being attacked by a group of thugs because he asked someone's girlfriend to dance, and in his own self-defense he drew his gun and had no choice but to shoot at the group to preserve his life, we can understand why one person may have shot five people.
In the alternative, there may have been an exchange of gun fire between two groups where one group was the aggressor and the other group was the defender. While they may all be hoodlums, the defenders may have acted well within their right of self-defense when they returned fire.
At the end of the day there is no doubt in my mind that this case will come down to young men, fragile egos, alcohol, and girls.
Thankfully, no one has died, although this may change as time progresses and victims succumb to their injuries.
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