|Pedro "Pete" Cain|
Our time to aim and fire was .03 and .06 seconds slower that the officer’s best-case reaction time in the Force Science study. To put it in perspective, according to the Harvard Database of Useful Biological Numbers the average duration for a single blink of a human eye is .10 to .40 seconds. Additionally, we were not under adrenal influence as Hill undoubtedly was experiencing so his movement was likely faster than our movements in the experiment. Our hits were reasonable as well (see picture below).
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* Lewinski, Hudson, & Dysterheft (2014). Police Officer Reaction Time to Start and Stop Shooting: The Influence of Decision-Making and Pattern Recognition. Law Enforcement Executive Forum 14(2), 1-16
Ability: Ability is most commonly associated with some kind of weapon. In this case, Hill’s possession of a pistol met the ability requirement. Hill had the power — or ability — to cause serious bodily injury or death.
Opportunity: The person with the ability to attack you with deadly force must also have the opportunity to do so immediately. Hill’s immediate proximity to Cain met the opportunity requirement. If Cain had left the door closed and locked, Hill would not have had an opportunity unless he breached the door—then he would have.
Jeopardy: In order to fulfill the jeopardy criteria, Hill would have had to clearly indicate that he was going to carry out an attack. Jeopardy speaks to the attacker's intent. This is where the totality of the circumstances could have come into play. Hill arriving at the apartment with a pistol immediately after a woman had been there acting suspiciously could clearly have spoken to jeopardy, particularly of he had broken through a locked door.
Preclusion: An additional factor that occasionally comes into play with AOJ is preclusion. Preclusion speaks to the unavoidability of your use of deadly force when analyzed under the Reasonable Person Standard. Under preclusion, Cain would have had to demonstrate that as a reasonable person he saw no way to avoid having to employ deadly force against Hill such as running away or employing some lesser level of force other than deadly force.
Always know your local laws—this is not legal advice. Some state statutes have a duty to retreat if you can safely do so before using force.