Florida Man Claiming Self-Defense After Jumping Over Fence to Shoot 21-Year-Old Wearing Hoodie

1085328_10152176631287489_1014624617_nGun violence in America – it’s so rare, isn’t it?  But of course, guns have nothing to do with it, right?  I’m sure if the Florida man who’s claiming self-defense, after jumping over a fence to shoot his victim, didn’t have a gun – he still would have pursued the young man and killed him.

Because that’s what happened.  Basically 32-year-old Claudius Smith decided to play police officer while pursuing 21-year-old Ricardo Sanes who had jumped from his yard, over the fence and into a neighboring apartment complex.  Apparently that’s where Mr. Smith claims Mr. Sanes was peaking in windows, looked suspicious, and decided to confront him.

He then allegedly pulled out his gun (again, this wasn’t on his property) on Mr. Sanes, prompting the hoodie-wearing man to walk away.  Which then prompted Mr. Smith to grab Mr. Sanes by the hoodie in an attempt to drag him back to his house so he could call the police.

Which is what this idiot should have done in the first place.

Well, as you can imagine, grabbing someone by the hoodie after you’ve just pulled a gun on them probably isn’t going to go too well.  Mr. Sanes then allegedly punched Mr. Smith in the mouth and reached for his gun.

I’m pretty sure you can guess what happens next – Mr. Smith then shot the victim.

Police report finding the 21-year-old victim lying dead in the grass surrounded by six .45-caliber shell casings.

Oh, and according to the early police reports all six shots appear to have entered the victim’s back and neck.  Apparently, Mr. Smith is claiming those had to be “exit wounds.”

For the record, a gun was found hidden in the crotch of the victim’s pants.  Something Mr. Smith admitted he wasn’t aware of.

So, is this a case of “mental health” leading to gun violence?  Doesn’t sound like it to me.

To me it sounds like this guy felt “brave” owning a gun, identified someone he felt was suspicious and instead of calling the police (like someone who doesn’t have a gun might do) he decided to “play cop” himself.  It sounds to me like he confronted this individual with his gun, grabbing him as he tried to walk away (if that’s even accurate considering the bullets appear to have entered the victim’s back) then when the victim supposedly attacked the guy – he shot him six times.

I sense a possible “stand your ground” defense coming.  Though I find that incredibly hard to believe.

Look, if someone is on your property (or especially in your house) by all means defend yourself.  If they’re not, call the cops.  Owning a gun doesn’t give anyone (outside of law enforcement) the right to track down and confront someone they think might be a criminal.

This is similar to the Trayvon Martin case where Zimmerman tracked, then antagonized the young man into attacking him before finally fatally shooting him.

By all accounts, crime in the particular area where Mr. Smith shot his victim was an issue.  Evidence seems to point to the victim indeed being on Mr. Smith’s property.  But once he left, Smith should have called the police instead of taking the matter into his own hands.  Something I don’t believe he would have done if he hadn’t owned a gun.

So don’t tell me all gun violence is a result of mental illness just like I won’t tell you guns are the only things causing gun violence.  It’s a combination of many factors that are systemic in our society.

And this case of Mr. Smith shooting Mr. Sanes is a perfect example of just that.  Ordinary citizens aren’t meant to be judge, jury and executioner of people they feel might be threatening them.  There seems to be far too many people who are getting away with murder because suddenly “self-defense” is allowing people to chase down their victims because loopholes are being made that allow for such behavior.

If we keep going down that path, we’re pretty much headed straight back to the days of the “wild west” when citizens walked around with guns holstered ready to “deal out justice” whenever they felt it necessary.

It’ll be interesting to see how this case plays out.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • john

    Peaking? what drug was he taking at the time? How about the more appropriate “peeking”?

    • paul

      That’s what you got? Misspelling of the word peeking? Geez! I hope this guy has more assets than just the house and fence because Ricardo’s family is going to OWN Mr. Smith for the rest of his life after the wrongful death lawsuit that is filed. On the other hand, this is Florida we’re talking about so I guess being critical of the misspelling of the word peeking is in order.

    • Stephen Barlow

      Where and upon whom was the dead guy ‘peking’? @ a crispy duck?

      Were there six “entry” wounds on the FRONT of the corpse? To match those or did the rounds mysteriously and magically all enter the same hole, and then dance through the body of the victim, one round cloning itself into 6 AND spinning backwards to appear they entered heel first. (As opposed to pointy tip first)

  • Edward Krebbs

    If the victim had left his property and the bullets entered the victim’s back, how can any reasonable claim be made that the shooter did so out of fear for his safety ? Or does Florida law specifically allow a “minority wearing hoodie” defense similar to how LA has a penalty for Driving While Black ?

  • Edward Krebbs

    Don’t have access to the historical weather data for the location, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this happened while the nation (including Florida) was under unusually cold weather. In other words, the hoodie may have been perfectly reasonable.

  • white trash religious teaparty

    another GREAT republican white trash regressive LAW in my home state——–
    Im gonna start shooting all the rightwing trash I find that are tea party scum; I will toss them a real pretty knife to look at; then blast them til dead and claim,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ” standing my ground”– I promise no one will be available as witnesses
    luv 2 start with glenn beck

    • Shane Randy Lee Burlech

      As against the Republican party as I am… I don’t condone thoughts of attempted murder, joking or not. Do not go down to their level, lest you become the evil you seek to fight.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        some cases warrant further review
        ………………evil? naaaah

  • The Green Devilish One

    Fuck Florida. Bunch of white-trash gun toting dog fucker retards.

  • Maribeth McPherson

    Only problem with this piece is that “the wild west” never existed. Our warped view of armed citizenry gunning each other down in saloons and high noon street duels is a creation of “Hollywood”. Sure there were occasional gun deaths, but that time frame was nowhere near as “wild” as we all have been led to believe. In fact, I’d wager there are more gun deaths today than then (adjusted for population growth and other factors, of course). – TREE

    • Pipercat

      He’s referring to everyone going around heeled. All this open carry stuff going on these days. I’d rather not see us go back that time…

      • Stephen Barlow

        I would much rather have an “on the hip” law than a concealed weapon law.

      • Pipercat

        Well, these guys are packing rifles in Starbucks. Bit of overcompensation by any measure.

  • Pipercat

    Deja vu, all over again…….

  • Stephen Barlow

    SYG = legal racist murder.

  • MLR

    Gun violence and gun laws will change when parents get sick and tired of fearing for their children’s lives and with shootings becoming more frequent and at schools and universities you have to wonder what is our breaking point? Isn’t that how MADD got started? Is there a difference between your child getting killed by a car or a gun? I’m hoping parents will wake up and realize the level of gun violence in this country is not acceptable. I’m all for responsible gun ownership, I grew up around guns. My dad would take me shooting often when I was a teen, but he also made sure he taught me gun safety and to be responsible.

  • Beth

    Oh Florida… Why do you do this? I still get weird get weird looks when people realize I’m from around Sanford.
    Don’t get me wrong, I actually approve of the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law but use some common sense people. I approve the law because I have a strong sense of self-preservation. Which also means I think you should use the telephone. You know, those nifty communication devices that allow you to call for help. They’ve been around for over a century. You should know how to use one by now.

  • Dan Enlow

    So “Stand Your Ground” allows me to chase someone down verbally and physically assault them then kill them if they try to defend themselves. It seems that something is just not quite right about this. Although I’m not certain what.. (He said sarcastically).