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Arizona Self Defense Laws: Defense of a Third Person

A father in Mesa, AZ walked outside of his home around 5:30AM last week to witness a man beating up his son in his front yard. The man then fired a gun at his son’s attacker; the gunshot was fatal. While police say that the man’s son knew the attacker, it is unclear why the fight broke out. Whether or not any charges will be filed against the Mesa man remains unknown pending an investigation.

According to A.R.S. 13-406, an individual is justified in using physical force or deadly physical force against another to protect a third person if that individual is acting reasonably and he or she believes that threatening or using physical force or deadly physical force is necessary to protect the third person from the unlawful physical force or deadly physical force used or threatened by an attacker.

In the case of the Mesa man, he may have thought that his son’s life was in danger because of the attacker’s use of physical force. If that can be proven, the man may be protected from prosecution under Arizona law.

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