Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has charged Marine Corps veteran Daniel Penny with manslaughter over the death of Jordan Neely, a homeless man with a long history of violence.
While some say this shows self-defense has been criminalized in New York, other jurisdictions take a different approach. According to The Denver Post, a Colorado man walked free after shooting two armed teens in his backyard.
The incident took place this past October when a Northglenn resident was fired upon after he confronted the pair in his shed.
"He saw muzzle flashes aimed in his direction and heard several gunshots come from inside the shed," a joint statement from Adams County District Attorney Brian Mason and Northglenn Police Police Chief Jim May was quoted as saying.
"The resident then returned fire. The two male teens were inside the shed when this exchange of gunfire occurred," the statement continued.
Mason and May went on to call the situation "tragic," adding, "Two teenagers are dead, and their loss is heartbreaking."
"The District Attorney’s Office and the Northglenn Police Department must follow the law and the evidence, however, and the evidence clearly shows that the resident of the home acted in self-defense when he returned fire after being fired upon multiple times," they stressed.
"Therefore, the resident will not be arrested or charged in this incident," Mason and May went on to conclude.
CBS News Colorado reported that one of the deceased was identified as 16-year-old Ismael Cordova, and his family denounced his killing.
"They were kids." Celestina Cordova is Ismael’s grandmother, and she told CBS News, "It’s senseless. He didn’t have to lose his life over this, he could have given them a warning."
Ismael’s stepmother, Natasha Rodriguez, expressed similar sentiments, saying, "I don’t know what he was thinking that day.
"I don’t know if he’d intentionally made the wrong choices, but he didn’t deserve to die. He didn’t deserve to be shot. Neither did the other child," she insisted.
Shirley Gallegos is Ismael’s great-grandmother, and she complained, "If you tell somebody to leave your yard and they don’t, then you don’t do drastic measures like that."
"It’s just not right, especially these young kids, you know, they’re just beginning their lives. Now, at 16, he’s gone," Gallegos declared.