Section 197. Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in any of the following cases:
1. When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,
2. When committed in defense of habitation, property, or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein; or,
3. (Deleted because it’s irrelevant to this case and we need the column space) or,
4. When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.
According to the news reports, Leo Lopez, 37, shot and killed Richard Pareno, 27, the man who carjacked him.
Investigators have stated that Leo was stopped in a Rite-Aid parking lot to use his phone when Pareno hopped in, robbed him at gunpoint, and started to drive off in the van.
Leo, a law-abiding citizen from all accounts, responded to this violent, felonious assault on his person and property by firing multiple rounds at his assailant.
Pareno was found dead in the van a short distance away.
As a result of his actions, Leo was arrested and charged with Self-Defense…uh, wait, no…Murder. He was charged with Murder. Because killing your assailant when he’s pulled a gun on you is somehow illegal, despite CA Penal Code 197 (listed above).
After rotting in a Contra Costa County Carcél for three days on these bogus charges, Leo was due to be released with no charges.
Pareno’s accomplice, Timothy Jones, 26, will also not be charged.
You, the lawfully armed citizen, need to be aware that this can happen to you, especially in murky circumstances in an anti-gun/anti-self-defense political environment. The police will arrest everyone still breathing and sort it out as information becomes available.
Unfortunately, that sometimes means an overnighter in the pokey. Unless you’re REALLY unlucky. Then you get to spend a while in the clink until the cops decide to believe your 9-1-1 call.
As a well-prepared person, we at Interritus believe that you should ensure that you always have a responsible person who can be counted on to feed your pet and bring you your life-saving medication. This can come in handy for more than just the random unlawful arrest by an overzealous constabulary; it also works for unexpected hospitalizations or other unplanned life events requiring an extended stay away from your home.