There is more than that... the above pertains strictly to "self defense" but doesn't go into (fully) when deadly force can be used. If you notice, that doesn't even go into the part of protection of property (theft/criminal mischief) at night. Was wondering if you'd get suckered in and you did. Thanks for playing. Here ya' go... from one of your "official interwebz lawyer sites" that goes into an easy to understand example. Instead of charging with a chair, replace threatening with a flame throwing device. And before you go "well, they didn't overturn his sentence", the pertinent part is And here from yet another attorney And here - from yet another attorney Oh, and it's either defense attorney or prosecutor. A criminal attorney typically would not be practicing in Texas (or probably anywhere else) as they would be disbarred, but I think we know what you were trying to say. That's why it's typically left to a judge/jury/grand jury to determine if self-defense was justified or not. The individual may be charged with an offense, but may skate on a self defense (3rd party) charge... whether you like it or not. The dismissal would depend on if the triers of fact determine that waving an item discharging a 2-4 foot flame is a deadly weapon or not and that a reasonable (ordinary) person felt that a 3rd party was being threatened by the use of said deadly weapon if they have found that it qualifies as such. Again, that would apply to Texas statutes - I don't know about where it occurred at as not all jurisdictions are so liberal in the allowance of use of deadly force for protection of property/person. The same ability (law) that gives a police officer the right to use deadly force to protect a 3rd party extends to civilians to protect 3rd parties. If law enforcement was not able to use deadly force to protect third parties then in many situations then an officer would have to sit and watch someone be murdered since they were not able to prevent it with the use of deadly force (think sniper in a hostage situation).