(Opposing Views) A Florida police department said on Thursday that it likely will not press charges against a disabled veteran who shot two men in self-defense.
On Tuesday night, Joshua Anderson, a Port St. Lucie resident, was fishing underneath a bridge when he heard a commotion behind him, WPTV reports.
According to reports, he turned to see two men and one woman — Brett Jowers, Zachery Sly, and Sly’s girlfriend — fighting.
Anderson saw Jowers push the woman, who is pregnant, to the ground and intervened in the altercation.
“He saw a woman being attacked at night, and he went to her aid,” Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told WPTV.
The two men pushed and threatened Anderson, and witnesses said they heard Anderson tell the pair he had a gun in his possession. When the pair did not leave him alone, Anderson reportedly shot both men in their torsos. He called emergency services immediately after the shootings to report the incident.
Snyder said he thinks Anderson responded to the fight in an appropriate manner.
“Due to his disability, he would not be able to fend off an attack from both males, especially considering that one was somewhat larger than he was,” Snyder said.
The sheriff did not comment on the nature of Anderson’s disability.
Jowers and Sly are both in critical condition at a local hospital.
Synder said he thinks the police department will not charge Anderson with attempted murder because additional evidence and witness statements show he was acting in self-defense.
“You don’t have an obligation to allow yourself to be attacked,” Snyder said.
Florida law states that an individual can use deadly force against another if there is an imminent death treat to either themselves or another person. Twenty-two states, including Florida, have similar pieces of legislation, commonly called “Stand your ground” laws.
—Courtesy of Opposing Views