You might remember the shooting that was caught on a Fox News studio surveillance camera a year or so ago. Quite a number of people thought this looked like a legitimate case of self-defense. Gerald Ung’s trial for attempted murder is now underway.
Assistant District Attorney Jan McDermott told the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court trial that the evidence will show that Ung, a native of Fairfax, Va., became infuriated when DiDonato and his three friends appeared to be flirting with Ung’s female companion.
“Don’t . . . me off,” McDermott said, quoting Ung. “What he was saying was, ‘I got a gun, I’m a man and I’ll show you.’ “
Gun people need to watch this trial carefully, because this is going to be instructive about what you can expect to go through if you shoot someone who doesn’t have a weapon.
Already we have a key mistake on the part of Ung. Verbal command should be telling them to back off, not “Don’t piss me off.” If they don’t respond to verbal commands, you should have some kind of less-than-lethal option to go to. If they produce a weapon or start to attack you, go to the gun. In Ung’s case, from what can be seen in the video, he did not produce a firearm until he was being attacked, and it appeared to me he was in the process of retreating.
Force disparity should be easy here. Multiple attackers on one person doesn’t leave you with a lot of choices if you don’t want to end up in a hospital. The key question will be whether Gerald Ung created the circumstances that lead to him having to use deadly force. I would imagine the testimony of Ung’s girlfriend is going to be key in this, because it’s hard to imagine a jury is going to convict someone of attempted murder if he was trying to protect his girlfriend from unwanted harassment by a group of drunken men.
UPDATE: Much more information here.Â I still don’t see anything yet that defeats the self-defense claim.
UPDATE: Prior link has been updated with more testimony:
â€œThe defendant resisted handcuffs and wouldnâ€™t give the gun to the police. They had to pull their guns to get his gun. Use every day common sense and watch and listen.â€
Bad move. This will greatly complicate Ung’s defense.