I recently saw a post on a forum by an expert witness about a case out west where a person noticed someone stalking his car in a parking lot and he told them to leave. Then as he was getting into the seat of his car another man came at him with a knife and told him to get out of the car. The first person he had instructed to get away from his car also then closed in on the driver’s door. The person getting into the car was a concealed handgun permit holder and when it became clear the two assailants were not going to let him leave and meant to do him harm he shot them both. They both fled the scene and he called the police. Later he was charged in that state with shooting the “unarmed” man. After the expert spoke with the prosecutor the charges were dropped.

The take away from the incident was to not shoot anything which does not present an immediate threat and that is excellent advice. In the end he was justified in his actions for that state, but it was an expensive process to demonstrate his actions were justified. It involved lawyers and expert witnesses.

Now let’s move the same scenario to North Carolina. In NC the general statute § 14-51.2 would have allowed the CHP holder to shoot the assailants because of the threat of deadly force with the knife and the fact they were attempting to remove him against his will from the motor vehicle.

§ 14-51.2. Home, workplace, and motor vehicle protection; presumption of fear of death or serious bodily harm.

(b) The lawful occupant of a home, motor vehicle, or workplace is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily harm to another if both of the following apply:

(1) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a home, motor vehicle, or workplace, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the home, motor vehicle, or workplace.

(2) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.


So under NC law he would be justified in shooting both assailants, but IMO it still would be prudent to eliminate the demonstrated threat, the person with the knife, and then decide if the second assailant was a threat which needed to be eliminated.

Note: Both assailants went to the hospital after they were shot and both recovered from their wounds.