I'm curious what explains a number of decisions to abandon all prosecutions in mass gunfights in the USA, e.g. Waco 2015.
While "mutual combat" has been sometimes used to describe these situations (including by the police), it seems like an abuse of the term given how it's actually defined in most state laws (although some state supreme courts have used vaguer wording of combat on "equal terms").
On the other hand, it seems to me that it's very hard to reject self-defense in a situation like:
X and Y hate each other. (This hate can be documented. The mutual hate may be simply because of the groups they belong to.) They both bring guns to an encounter.
X shoots a Y but misses. Y shoots back at X but misses.
Although X intended to outright murder Y on his first shot, he now has a self-defense claim if he kills Y on his 2nd shot, because Y just shot at him.
Further, even the first shot of X becomes debatable, because what he was supposed to do if e.g. he (claims he) saw Y raise his gun at him? After all, Y did fire his gun so that makes it more likely he might have fired first anyway.
Basically, is something like that that explains most prosecutorial decisions to abandon charges in such mutual gun fights, e.g. between rival gangs?