Ed is not morally justified to kill the 18 years old man who has intruded his house to steal. The main reason why Ed should not have shot the man is that he retreated or rather, ran away after Ed asked him what he was doing there. Based on the law, it is reasonable to shoot an intruder in the event that they pose an immediate danger to them of their family (Cheng & Hoekstra, 2013). In such a situation, the resident will justify their actions using the concept of self-defense. Self-defense is applicable when there is a reasonable conviction that force is necessary. As for Ed’s case, the thief ran away after he confronted him. In addition, the robber was not in possession of any weapon. As such, Ed did not shoot the man out of self-defense since the thief was not threatening him. Therefore, killing the thief was wrong as per the law.
The law permits a homeowner to make a fire shot to scare away a thief who intrudes their premises but not with the intention to kill them. Additionally, if the intruder does not heed the warning, the resident can fire at the robber but not with the aim of killing them (Cheng & Hoekstra, 2013). Ed was wrong since he did not make a warning shot but he aimed to kill him.
However, Ed’s move to kill the robber might be accepted under the castle doctrine. It supposes that one is entitled to defend their castle of property (Cheng & Hoekstra, 2013). The castle doctrine in various states permits the use of deadly force which is warranted if an intruder is illegally in your premises. As such, based on this principle, Ed acted lawfully but based on self-defense, he was wrong.
Cheng, C., & Hoekstra, M. (2013). Does strengthening self-defense law deter crime or escalate violence? Evidence from expansions to castle doctrine. Journal of Human Resources, 48(3), 821-854.