A Lawrence man was the victim of a carjacking earlier this afternoon in Lawrence, Massachusetts. According to the Lawrence Police Department, the man was carjacked by two men known to him, and after the attack, the victim tracked the men down, whom he apparently knew.
When Police found the vehicle, occupied by the two carjacking perpetrators, they discovered the driver, one of the suspects, had been shot in the stomach, allegedly by the victim of the carjacking. The victim of the carjacking is to be charged with Assault with Intent to Murder, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, and Possession of a Loaded Firearm.
Meanwhile, the two carjacking perpetrators are to be charged with Carjacking and Assault with a Deadly Weapon. All men are expected to be arraigned tomorrow morning in Lawrence District Court on their respective charges.
If nothing else, this incident illustrates that police and District Attorney's Offices will not tolerate citizens' taking matters into their own hands, particular where a victim of a crime allegedly retaliates with deadly force.
Where Defense of Property is Lawful in Massachusetts:
The law in Massachusetts does recognize a person's right to defend his property, but that right is limited.
A person may use reasonable force, but not deadly force, to defend his lawful property against someone who has no right to take it. He may also use reasonable force, but not deadly force, to regain lawful possession of the property where his possession has been momentarily interrupted by someone with no right to the property.
In circumstances where a person uses force to regain possession of his own property, how much force is reasonable depends on the situation. A person who uses what is clearly excessive and unreasonable force becomes an aggressor and loses the right to act in defense of his property.
In Massachusetts, 'deadly force' is considered to be that force that is intended to, or likely to, kill or seriously injure someone. It refers to the level of force the person used, not to the degree of injury, if any, to the alleged victim.