Richard Rizal McGee, third-year law student at Whittier Law School, was shot and killed last week in another case involving a mistaken shooting under “Castle Doctrine” laws. McGee appears to have been drunk and banging on the wrong door in Las Vegas when the occupants warned him and then fired through the door four times. The shooter is unlikely to be charged in the killing.
McGee had been drinking all night after starting at the Hyde nightclub inside Bellagio. They left the club around 2:30 a.m. and took an Uber to the Crazy Horse, a strip club about 3 miles away. McGee had left a strip club with one friend but they had apparently forgotten the third friend at the club while he paid the bill. They took Uber to the complex and somehow were separated. McGee had only been to the apartment once and appears to have been very drunk and very confused on where the apartment was. He went into the wrong building and tried to get into an apartment. He kept pounding on the metal door despite the occupants telling him to go away and that they were armed. They called the police before the shooting. When he kept trying to get into the apartment, one fired through the door and hit him repeatedly, including in the neck and torso.
Here is the Nevada provision:
NRS 200.120 “Justifiable homicide” defined. Justifiable homicide is the killing of a human being in necessary self-defense, or in defense of habitation, property or person, against one who manifestly intends, or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against any person or persons who manifestly intend and endeavor, in a violent, riotous, tumultuous or surreptitious manner, to enter the habitation of another for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person dwelling or being therein.
[1911 C&P 129; RL 6394; NCL 10076]-(NRS A 1983, 518)
Just this year, Nevada expanded the Castle Doctrine law to include the use of lethal force in vehicles and not just dwellings. It also added protections from civil lawsuit.
So long as the occupants can claim a reasonable fear that McGee was trying to break into their home, the shooting is treated as justified. Moreover, Nevada like some other states allows for the use of the power not just in the home but around its immediate exterior or curtilage.
This is a terrible loss for McGee’s friends and family. There was a “paddle out” for McGee by his grieving friends in California this morning.
Source: Review Journal