POSTED DEC 29, 2015 07:24 AM CST
A third-year law student was shot and killed last week while banging on an apartment door in a tragic misunderstanding, his friend says.
The student, 31-year-old Richard Rizal McGee, was visiting Jonathan Wade in Las Vegas when the incident occurred, the Las Vegas Review-Journalreports. After a night of drinking, McGee began pounding on the wrong apartment door in another building in Wade’s complex.
McGee may have been lost, or he may have been searching for the apartment of another friend in the complex, Wade told the newspaper.
The couple inside the apartment called 911 and warned McGee they were armed, police said last week. Before police arrived, one of the residents fired multiple shots through the door, killing McGee.
McGee had been out drinking with Wade and another friend before he separated from the group. McGee had been visiting from Huntington Beach, California. The article does not identify the law school he attended.
Police Lt. Dan McGrath told the Review-Journal that audio on the 911 tapes showed McGee was “forcibly trying to enter the apartment” before he was shot. Based on that call, along with a neighbor’s statement and evidence at the scene, it is unlikely charges will be filed against the shooter, McGrath said.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas law professor Addie Rolnick told the newspaper that in Nevada, a resident “can claim self-defense as long as one reasonably fears that someone is about to break into one’s home.”
California has a similar "stand your ground" law (as Nevada), which presumes that a homeowner is subjected to the fear of death or great bodily injury when confronted by an entering intruder. Deadly force is permitted in such confrontations BUT, as with any PRESUMPTION, it may be rebutted.