A few people are second-guessing the off-duty policewoman who shot two suspected robbers inside a supermarket Thursday night, after one of them died in the hospital the next morning as a result of bullet wounds he sustained. Some wonder whether the officer should not have ordered them to surrender or even fired a warning shot first, while others suggest it would have been less risky to wait until they left and confront them outside.

For starters, it’s hard to judge without witnessing or being informed exactly what took place, including details such as what kind of weapons were brandished by the alleged culprits, in what position they had these, etc. One must keep in mind that without intervention such assaults frequently end in violence against the victims and/or bystanders as well.

The officer had to think of her own safety too, because a split-second of hesitation could have given the assailants an opportunity to injure or even kill her instead. In those kinds of situations, it’s often “them or me.”

Of course, the incident is being looked at by the National Detectives, as is the case any time a service firearm is used against citizens. However, the Prosecutor’s Office said on Friday that while the investigation was still ongoing, the available evidence suggests the officer was compelled to take the action she did.

It is sad that a young life was lost in this tragic manner, but hopefully what occurred will send a strong message of deterrence towards delinquents and would-be criminals. They need to realise that not just their freedom but also their very lives are in jeopardy.