Law school professor explains castle doctrine - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Law school professor explains castle doctrine

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

An armed robbery at the Coastal Gold Exchange on Eisenhower Drive has people asking questions about Georgia's Castle Doctrine.

According to a police report from Thursday's robbery, a man was chasing another man outside the business and somebody started shooting.

People working nearby say it was an employee at the Gold Exchange shooting at an armed robber.

Savannah Law School professor Elizabeth Magale doesn't know the specifics of the case, but says if the employee was protecting themselves, the castle doctrine could apply.

"Once that person stops the unlawful entry or starts running away...that chain of events of unlawful entry has really stoped. The law is not clear about whether you can still claim that you are protecting yourself under the castle doctrine," Magale said.

She says if you are in your business, you car, or your home it is within the law to defend yourself if someone attacks you.

But if you chase someone outside, she says legally it becomes tricky. It could be argued the outside area of your home or business is an extension of your castle.

"Here we have someone who actually leaves this sacred area of the castle in pursuit of a dangerous person or someone who has attempted to harm them. So the timing question in this case is going to be particularly interesting," Magale said.

Police are still not confirming who pulled the trigger during the robbery.

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