Expert explains proper steps before using deadly force

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An accidental shooting in Greenville County claimed the life of a young woman at the hands of her father. 

Greenville County deputies say Nadeja Jermaniequa Pressley, 23, arrived home early Sunday morning. She was trying to enter when the homeowner thought she was an intruder and shot her through the door, according to detectives. 

The man discovered moments later the intruder was actually his daughter. 

“My heart goes out to the man that lost his daughter at his hands,” Jim Braziel told 7News. 

Braziel is a retired training sergeant and SWAT team leader for the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. He’s now general manager of Sharpshooters Gun and Club Range on Rutherford Road in Greenville. 

Braziel says the accidental shooting could have been prevented. He says as part of a course offered at Sharpshooters experts train gun owners about proper home protection. 

“One thing that we do hit heavy on is that you don’t fire a handgun at any sound, shape, movement, whatever… until you have positively identified what that potential target may be,” he said. 

Braziel says if you believe someone is trying to unlawfully enter your home there are steps to take before pulling the trigger. 

First, identify what the person is doing. 

“Is somebody just rattling the door and knocking on the door. That’s one thing,” he said. “But if somebody is trying to kick that door open or maybe they’ve got some kind of sledgehammer or something trying to be it open… I mean that becomes quite obvious they are trying to force their way in.”

Next and probably the biggest deterrent to preventing a tragedy is to identify the threat. 

“So how do you do that? Cut a light on, take a flashlight [and] shine it in their face. That way you know for a fact that that person is not supposed to be there,” Braziel told 7News. 

Braziel says if you take all those steps and realize it is, in fact, an intruder warn them that you are armed and will shoot. Then call 911.

“Never pull the trigger on anything you haven’t positively identified,” said Braziel.

Pressley’s autopsy is scheduled Monday. 

No words on if Pressley’s father will face any charges. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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