What To Do If You Witnessed A Homicide
Homicide seems to be something we’re seeing more and more of in the news every single way. While witnessing a murder can be an extremely scary and stressful thing to experience, it’s important to know what you can do to assist. If you ever find yourself as a witness to a homicide, here are the steps you need to take:
1. Call 911 immediately
After a homicide, you have to ensure your own safety in a dangerous situation. After all, the perpetrator could still be loose, and might target those trying to help the victim. It’s also advised that you call someone close to you, like a family member or friend, after you’ve called an emergency hotline. Therefore, someone will know where you are in case of another emergency.
2. Stay in the area
Once the police arrive, they will be blocking off the area to conduct a criminal investigation. If you were the one who called an emergency hotline, or were a witness to the event, it’s important that you stay in the area, or somewhere safe nearby, so that you can give the police your full statement when they are prepared to take it down. It’s crucial to only tell them what you know and what you can recall. Naturally, the more details you can provide the better chance they have at solving the investigation and find the persecutor. Don’t try and add in your own, vague details. Just be as honest and cooperative as you possibly can, seeing as none of this can be used against you.
3. Don’t try to protect the perpetrator
Similar to the advice above, do not try and protect the perpetrator. If you happened to know who committed the homicide, you might feel as though you’d need to protect them for whatever reason. Not only is this ill-advised and rather immoral, it will complicate the investigation and ultimately, complicate the case itself.
4. Contact an attorney if you have questions
Find legal assistance for yourself if you don’t trust what’s going on. For instance, if you are asked to provide a DNA sample to the police, be sure to contact your lawyer before giving them any samples. They can protect you from wrongful accusations if the situation ever came up.
5. Talk to a mental health professional
Speak with someone about your experience. Not only is witnessing a homicide a traumatic event, it can impact your life in ways that you can’t begin to imagine.
Be sure to follow these tips if you’ve ever been witness to a murder-homicide. If you think you’ve been wrongly accused of committing a homicide, contact us immediately.