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Kansas City Shooting: Stand Your Ground Law Could Apply

Experts say that even though the Kansas City Super Bowl parade shooting left one bystander dead and two dozen people injured, the two men accused of firing the gunshots could make a case for self-defense through the state’s “stand your ground” law, reports ABC News. Missouri is among more than 30 states that have adopted some version of such laws over the past 20 years. While earlier laws allowed people to use force to protect themselves in their homes, some laws now provide broader self-defense rights regardless of the location.

The mass shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl celebration will test those expanded protections. Trial attorney Daniel Ross said the stand your ground law is a "formidable defense" that he anticipates will be used in the two men's cases. “Collateral damage under Missouri law is excused if you’re actually engaged in lawful self-defense and there’s other folks injured,” he said. But law professor Eric Ruben said there are limits to self-defense. Stand your ground "doesn’t mean you can spray bullets into a crowd in the name of defending yourself or others," he said. Probable cause statements suggest that both men felt threatened, with one claiming that one person threatened him and the other saying someone was shooting at him. The barrage of gunfire Feb. 14 outside Kansas City’s historic Union Station happened as the celebration that drew an estimated 1 million fans was concluding. A woman died while watching the rally with her family, and nearly two dozen others — more than half of them children — were injured and survived.


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