Dec 5, 2012 6:47 PM by Lorraine Rivera

Mother says she fired in self-defense

TUCSON - Tucson Police are investigating a shooting that may have been in self-defense.

Channing Sydes says two men came to her midtown home Sunday afternoon demanding to speak with her fiance, "he was telling me I'm going to kill you, I'm going to kill your kids. I'm going get you, I'm going to get your family. As soon as he started coming at me I felt like I just had to stop him."

The 25-year-old is pregnant and has two young sons. She says she grabbed her gun to protect her family, "I fired three shots and as soon as one of them hit him I just stopped. I didn't want it be an overkill situation. I wasn't like, 'oh you know I want to make sure this person is dead.' I just wanted him to stop coming at me. I didn't want him to kill me or my children."

Tucson Police arrested two men in the case. They have been identified as brothers Melvin Elam, 30, and Larry Elam, 32. Both are charged with aggravated assault and a drive-by shooting. One of the brothers was hit by the gunfire. He was treated for non-life threatening injuries. Police say both were armed and one of them fired a weapon at the home as the pair drove away.

It's unclear if Sydes will face any charges but the case will be forward to the Pima County Attorney's Office. Kellie Johnson the Chief Criminal Deputy would not comment on specifics of the case but said, "if the person is found to have been protecting herself and her children from other people's use of force there would be no likelihood of criminal charges being filed against her."

According to Johnson, Arizona's laws are clear when it comes to self-defense. "If they are outside your home or not yet engaged in the process of trying to enter people can use force to protect themselves against another use of deadly force such as armed robbery, aggravated assault and if you are about to become the victim of one of those crimes the law allows you to use force to protect yourself."


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