A man from Yoakum Texas was released Oct. 11th when a Grand Jury ruled self defense after overwhelming evidence was brought to light.
Dakota Wayne Kirkman, age 19, was held in jail for 55 days instead of posting the $500,000-dollar bail, for the shooting death of 36-year-old Manuel Martinez III.
Kirkman had driven to pick up his girlfriend at her sister’s house, who was married to Martinez.
According to District attorney Rob Lassman, Kirkman didn’t want his girl friend hanging around the couple.
DeWitt County, Sheriff Carl Bowen said after the incident occurred in August:
“There’s been an ongoing tension between (the two men.) They had bad blood.”
That bad blood boiled over the night of the shooting and alcohol played its role in escalating the argument between the two men.
Martinez and Kirkman had been arguing around 2:30 a.m. in the morning, when Martinez pulled two guns, a .40 caliber handgun, and a .223 AR rifle, and began pumping bullets into the Kirkman’s truck where he was seated at the time.
15 rifle casings and 12 pistol casings were recovered from the scene of the shooting. 11 bullet holes made by the rifle and 2 from the pistol were discovered in the body and frame of the truck.
One of the bullets passed through the frame of the truck near where the drivers head would have been if Kirkman had not been crouched in the cab of his truck at the time of being fired upon.
Kirkman then returned fire with the only weapon he had. An antique, bolt action, .22 caliber rifle. He struck Martinez once, killing the man.
The reason the Grand Jury decided to rule the shooting in self-defense, other then the fact that Kirkman’s truck was riddled with bullets, is that Kirkman had driven to Martinez’s house with only a single .22 bullet chambered, and no other ammunition on his person or in the truck.
The court decided he clearly did not come to the scene of the shooting with the intent to shoot Martinez. He’d only done so after being fired upon by a man who outgunned him significantly.
Kirkman had one chance to save his life from the onslaught, and he made it count.
This brings up that saying coined by the legendary gunfighting instructor, Clint Smith,
“Beware the man who only has one gun. He probably knows how to use it.”
Obviously a .22 caliber bolt action rifle is not the optimal choice to get into a gunfight with. But as we can see from this situation, it’s better then nothing. Read here for the Physiology of Stopping the Threat.
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