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At 3 a.m., A is walking home from a late shift at work. Across the street, A sees movement in the mouth of an alleyway. A very disheveled woman, B, steps out of the alleyway, panting. B’s shirt is torn, spotted with what appears to be blood. A moment later, B looks over her shoulder and screams as a large figure, C, emerges from the shadows. C is wielding a large knife and wearing a white paper mask across his lower face. B tries to run away from C, but trips and falls.
Observing these events from across the street, A believes that B is facing an imminent threat that C will stab her. Seeing no police officers around, A pulls out a gun he had concealed in his jacket pocket and shoots C’s right leg. C collapses, and A sprints across the street to check C’s pulse. C is alive. A turns to comfort B, but B is already half a block away screaming, “You’ll never catch me!”
A is still confused when the police arrive, but he soon learns, much to his dismay, that B was a robber attempting to steal cash from C’s burger shop. Earlier, B had entered the shop’s front dining area brandishing a knife. At the time, C was flipping burgers in the kitchen. B’s arrival caused a commotion. C walked out to learn what was happening and, seeing B, quickly pounced upon her before she could steal any cash. As B and C wrestled with each other, they burst open a carton of ketchup, whose contents spattered all over B’s shirt. This is what made the shirt appear bloodstained.
C proved a formidable foe, so B had a change of heart. She dropped her knife, dove through an open window out onto the street, and started running down a nearby alleyway. C snatched up a nearby steak knife, yelled “I’ll kill you!” and then followed B in hot pursuit. He was still clad in his white food-safety mask as he followed C, flourishing his steak knife. A then shot C.
In a common-law jurisdiction, A is arrested and charged with one count of battery.
Assume the prosecution can prove the above facts at A’s trial.