Self Defense Or Murder? Here Is What Washington State Law Says - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Self Defense Or Murder? Here Is What Washington State Law Says

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SPOKANE, Wash. - It's one of the most divisive cases we've had in Spokane in recent memory.

According to police, 25-year-old Brenden Kaluza-Graham was driving away in a stolen vehicle Monday morning when he was shot and killed by the car's owner, Gail Gerlach.

Gerlach says he was defending his property, but according to Washington State law, it could be murder.

Many gun owners are now wondering where that line is drawn, and why this particular case may not be self-defense.

According to state law, (RCW 9A.16.020) use of force is lawful if you are about to be injured, if there is a malicious trespass or other malicious interference with your real or personal property.

In those scenarios, the use of force is not to be more than necessary.

State law defines justifiable homicide (RCW 9A.16.040) when someone has a design to commit great personal injury to yourself or another person in your immediate presence.

Detectives are now charged with sorting out all the details surrounding Monday morning's incident.

No one has been charged yet with any crimes.

Ultimately it is up to prosecutors to determine if the shooting was justified and necessary.

To read Title 9A in its entirety, CLICK HERE

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