Arizona Father Fatally Shoots Man Attacking His Son

Yesterday, we covered an incident wherein a father brought a shotgun to bear against a young man who was harassing his 17-year-old daughter. The father refrained from pulling the trigger, which earned him a few blows to the face. No good deed goes unpunished, so they say. The story sparked a small but respectable debate in the comments section about whether or not the father should have fired his weapon. As coincidence would have it, there was a nearly identical shooting this week wherein a father fatally shot a man beating up his son.

On Monday in Mesa, Arizona, according to reports, 31-year-old Kyle Chipley and his brother attacked another man who lived nearby in a sleepy suburban community. The age of the victim is unclear, but it’s somewhat reasonable to infer that the man was at least a teenager because he and Chipley had gotten into a physical confrontation two months earlier. Chipley was sentenced to three years of probation after that fight.

Then why was Chipley at the home of the other man at 5:30 a.m. on Monday? We can’t say for sure, but it may very well have been to pick another fight. A scuffle did break out, but this time the man had some parental backup. His father came to his son’s aid, saw that a man was attacking his son, and opened fire on the attacker. He fired several shots at Chipley, striking him at least once. Chipley’s brother loaded Chipley into a car and he was taken to a hospital were he was later pronounced dead.

The son did not receive any major injuries. He, a girl he was with, and Chipley’s brother were all arrested on outstanding warrants. The father, on the other hand, was not arrested. Authorities are currently investigating whether or not any charges should be filed against the father, but it is still “way to early at this point” for the police to make that determination, said Det. Steve Barry of the Mesa Police Department.

So, there you have it. In this story you’ve got a father who fatally shot a man attacking one his children. Yesterday’s story covered a man who had an opportunity to do the exact same thing, but he opted for the non-lethal route. This is the perfect opportunity to take a look at these two opposite choices under a microscope and discuss the difficult decision of when to pull the trigger.

It is worth pointing out that the minutiae of the cases are slightly different. Chipley brought his brother, so a two-versus-one fight is slightly more dangerous. Yesterday’s story also had a stereotypical maiden in distress moment. Still, the basic facts of these two cases are similar enough that we can put them side-by-side and examine the events.

Are there any readers out there who participated in yesterday’s debate? What do you have to say about this shooting? New contributors are also welcome to weigh in: from your perspective, which of these fathers made the right decision? There’s also the possibility that both parents made either the right or the wrong decision. Some people might assert that yesterday’s father should have pulled the trigger and the father from today’s story shouldn’t have, or vice-versa.

What do you think?

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