PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A shooting in Dormont Thursday that left a robbery suspect dead was the third incident in Allegheny County in the past seven days in which an intended victim shot and killed their alleged attacker.
The number of people who have applied to carry a concealed weapon has skyrocketed in recent years. An average of 12,000 permits have been issued in Allegheny County in the past three years.
Stacey Lang is a health care consultant in the North Hills. She says she has become so concerned about crime in the region that she got a license to carry and bought a gun for protection.
“I feel like I have a responsibility to protect my family; and frankly, I feel like it’s my right to do that,” said Lang.
She’s not alone. On Thursday, the owner of a Dormont repair garage took matters into his own hands when officials say a gunman entered his business.
Earlier in the week, authorities say a Sharpsburg man tussled with an assailant, and shot and killed the man with his own gun.
Last Friday, a Munhall woman did the same to a teenager who she says held her up at gunpoint.
Police say she was “able to disarm the robber and ultimately fired the gun at him and struck him in the chest.”
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala is reviewing all three cases, but hasn’t charged anyone with homicide.
In a statement, Zappala said: “It’s difficult to speak in general terms about cases involving self-defense because each case has different facts and circumstances. All three of the recent cases are under review by this office to determine what, if any, action is appropriate.”
State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe believes all those people were within their rights to use lethal force. He is sponsoring the so-called Castle Doctrine, which would expand a citizen’s right to shoot a suspected robber or burglar in their home, car, business or even on the street.
“When people are out and about in a legal, law abiding manner, and somebody comes upon to do them physical harm, they should have the right to not have to try and retreat, but to stand their ground as the Castle Doctrine would provide for and not put their lives at risk,” said Rep. Metcalfe.
The Castle Doctrine passed both the Pennsylvania House and Senate, but Gov. Ed Rendell vetoed it.
It’s expected to pass again early next year, and Governor-elect Tom Corbett says he will sign it into law.