Could Alleged Super Bowl Parade Shooters Use Stand Your Ground Law Defense?

Shooting At Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Victory Parade Leaves Multiple People Injured

Photo: Jamie Squire / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Several legal experts believe that the two men accused of opening fire near the end of the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade could use Missouri's "Stand Your Ground" law as a defense, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Lyndell Mays, 23, and 18-year-old Dominic Miller have both been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly firing into the crowd, leaving one woman dead and nearly two dozen others, including 11 children, injured.

Both men told investigators that they felt threatened before the shooting. Mays said that he heard somebody in the crowd say, "I'm going to get you," and thought that meant, "I'm going to kill you."

He then scanned the crowd and started shooting at the person he thought said it.

When questioned by the police, Miller said he only fired several shots because somebody else was shooting at him.

Trial attorney Daniel Ross told the AP that many defense lawyers expect Mays and Miller to evoke the "Stand Your Ground" defense when they go to trial.

Ross explained that under the law, the prosecution must disprove claims that a shooting was an act of lawful self-defense.

"Collateral damage under Missouri law is excused if you’re actually engaged in lawful self-defense and there’s other folks injured," Ross noted.

However, Eric Ruben, a law professor at the S.M.U. Dedman School of Law in Dallas said the law doesn't mean people can blindly fire into a large crowd and claim self-defense.

"Even though Missouri has robust stand-your-ground laws, that doesn’t mean you can spray bullets into a crowd in the name of defending yourself or others," Ruben said.

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