Re: my post:
In an analogous situation in the modern world, that would be termed "justifiable homicide in the defense of another." There probably wouldn't even be an arrest made. In other words, it is something considered by legislators, judges, and police to be potentially within the scope of lawful activity.
Others have responded:
It might be. Or it might be termed 'excessive force', if the investigators and the court think there was a way to prevent the rape without killing the rapist. I would guess that shouting "Freeze, malefactor!" would have been enough to prevent the rape, and that the force was excessive, and thehomicide therefore unjustified. That makes it murder in the second degree.
You're making a big assumption with that word "justifiable." In most places, for lethal defensive force to be legal, it must be apparent that there is no alternative.
I'm an attorney in the gunslinging state of TX.
If there are reasonable alternatives to using deadly force in defending yourself- such as an easy escape route-you may in fact have to go to trial. And a peace officer is usually required to identify himself before using deadly force unless there are exigent circumstances.
But the law is a little bit different for civilians, especially those acting in defense of another. Since the average citizen isn't trained in law enforcement techniques, they aren't held to the same standard as peace officers. And here, we have a PC who, while a shining beacon of Law and Order, is not indicated to be an actual Officer of the Law. He is a citizen. He is not required to assess the various possible outcomes and options to the same extent as one trained in law enforcement. "Excessive force" is used almost exclusively a landmine for officers, not civilians.
Tx penal code
Section 8.05. of the Texas penal Code.
(a) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that the actor engaged in the
proscribed conduct because he was compelled to do so by threat of
imminent death or serious bodily injury to himself or another
Serious bodily injury can be any flavor of assault. from an beating to sexual attack. Note, no wording of "no alternative" or requirement of taking other actions.
In fact, on a flow chart of the Model Penal Code (enacted with minimal variation in most USA jusrisdictions, Tx included), under Justification as a defense against a charge of any kind of homicide, it reads:
b. Deadly Force
i. Must believe it is necessary to protect against death, serious bodily harm, kidnapping or sexual intercourse
ii. Unavailable if self-provoked or can retreat
(a) not obliged to retreat from dwelling or place of work
Other sections note that you can't use it when resisting arrest or in defense of property.
In modern Texas, the Paladin might go to jail for carrying an illegal weapon, but probably not for what he did with it in this case.