Any reflection on the moral character of an action would have to take the environment into consideration, particularly the dominant norms. This principle should also remain valid if one does not regard them as absolutes, or even in the case one disagreed with their legitimacy (freedom of thought).
Hence you might want to divide the question into two distinct situations according to the environment: the state of nature and the state of society (a concept that traces back at least to Hobbes, but see also the Social Contract by Rousseau). This dichotomy might be useful.
In the state of nature1 where there is no police and no justice (and supposing that could really exist, since some state could still claim jurisdiction on the location) the decision would be in principle strictly personal, by definition; in other words down to the individual's own sense of ethics (or more likely, and at a lower level, survival instinct). This would, consciously or inconsciously involve weighing chances of survival when selecting courses of action; or in the extreme it would boil down to killing with one the various techniques animals use in nature (pursuit, ambush, face-to-face duel, poisoning, stealing food, etc.).
In the state of society the functions of police and judicial have been delegated to the state. According to the social contract, it is not up to an individual to make that type of adjudication. So a citizen who reasons like this would be in breach of the social contract and would undermine the rule of law.
In a state of society, this "thin line" you are contemplating is the laws of the land, specifically the criminal code, which explicitly forbids this kind of behaviour. On top of this, this runs against the dominant moral codes of most human societies, which consider killing bad per se.
Indeed, acting by pre-emptively killing someone would qualify as assassination, which carries among the highest penalties in criminal codes. Since those law codes are consciously written by people who carefully ponder a "scale of represession" (or whatever it would be called), this is an indication of the extent to which such a behaviour is considered a dangerous transgression for a society.
Going back to a similar situation in a state of nature, let us remember that an individual would also probably want to go back to "civilization" which (still and regardless of the specific conditions) enforces its dominant set of values. If the behaviour of the individual had violated those rules, the individual would also have to live later with it privately, or else need to justify themselves to their fellows; including (because of the practice of territorial claims, or even extraterritoriality) in front of courts.
And then the "thin line" would be back to the only admitted exception, i.e. self-defense. Perhaps with some allowances due to mitigating circumstances (due to the harshness of the conditions), as well as the presumption of innocence.
- "A primitive state of existence, untouched and uninfluenced by civilization or social constraints: when people lived in a state of nature." American Heritage