James Nesler, 61, is charged with murder in the death of J.A. Nesler about 3:45 p.m. at CR450, according to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said the elder Nesler told investigators his son had an argument with a friend who was visiting the home. After the brief disagreement, Nesler said he also had an argument with his son. His son started toward him and Nesler said he opened fire on the younger man with a .357 revolver to “warn” him, attempting to wound him in the shoulder to stop the confrontation.
We have long said that “warning shots” are a bad idea and they are not legal. This incident highlights one of the reasons we aren’t fans of “warning shots.” Let’s start with the fact this man admits he is using “deadly force” as a “warning.” By that, I mean he aimed with the intention of attempting to shoot someone non-fatally by hitting them in the shoulder. Folks, getting shot is like getting pregnant, you don’t get shot just a little bit. You either get shot or you don’t. If you cannot articulate an imminent threat of serious injury or bodily harm to yourself or a third person, there is no justification for shooting someone. But this story has a tragic conclusion in that a man managed to kill his own son while firing a “warning shot.” As much as I want to defend him and say that losing his son is a high enough price to pay, I can’t. As they say, the road to Hell is often paved with good intentions.