Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Man Who Killed Father in Self-Defense Shares Story With Online Audience

.44 Magnum revolver firing. Photo: Niels Noordhoek

A man who in 2009 shot his drunk father dead to protect his mother answered questions about his case in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything.) According to a brief AP article, Justin James Evans, 20 at the time, shot his father in the stomach at their Spartanburg, S.C., home. The father, Kenneth Evans, 45, died later at the hospital. Evans told police that his father was holding a knife to his mother’s throat at the time of the shooting. He was never charged.

Under the username Zumbert, Evans described that fateful night in July, 2009. His father had been drinking heavily — “18 beers in about 2 hours” — and became aggressive. After some arguing, said Evans, his father grabbed a .22 revolver but was prevented from firing it by his mother and uncle. Then, Evans explained, his father “decided he was leaving and he got his keys and went outside. He came back in 3 minutes later muttering about him leaving was what we wanted him to do. He then made a B-line for my room which contains many assorted knives and weapons. My mom ran into the room and tried to wrestle the knife away from him and he grabbed her hair with one hand and had the knife in the other (kinda like a human shield) and as soon as I saw that I knew I had to do it. So I reached into the drawer and pulled out my .44 mag and shot him in the liver/stomach area.”

Evans said he was never charged and did not even have to go to the police station after the shooting. Police did confiscate the knives and two guns from the home, and Evans had to pay a lawyer to get them back. Despite having avoided criminal prosecution, Evans says he still feels the weight of the incident: “It’s been a few years so I don’t have nightmares anymore (Mom still does). But yeah it deeply effects you, someday’s you just feel like everyone looks at you and knows what you’ve done. I’m also constantly paranoid and keep a gun with me everywhere I go.”

Evans described his father as a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” adding that he “was a great dad most of the time” but “with alcohol though he was a monster.”

You can read the AMA in its entirety here.

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