CBS News reports that a Florida official has been charged with murder after shooting an alleged shoplifter. In Lakeland, Florida, a city commissioner faces a second-degree murder charge for fatally shooting an alleged shoplifter who visited his military surplus store on October 3.
Michael Dunn is serving a four-year term as a commissioner and requested bond today in court. He was arrested on Friday night after being indicted for the murder charge. This happened just days after surveillance video was found that showed Christobal Lopez, 50, shopping with his father in the surplus store that Dunn owns and runs.
Lopez hid a hatchet under his jacket and was approached by Dunn, who asked him to pay for it. The hatchet then fell down Lopez’s pants and he declared he would pay for it, but instead left the store.
Dunn then grabbed Lopez by the shirt and fired his gun at him twice. Lopez was later declared dead at the scene.
Lopez did not make any verbal threats toward Dunn, and he admitted to shooting Lopez in an interview with police. In addition, Dunn didn’t try to help Lopez after he shot him.
Florida has a “stand your ground” law that says someone can use deadly force when they believe it is necessary to defend themselves from unlawful force. The state’s attorney says the Dunn shooting doesn’t qualify under this law.
*Photo credit Lakeland Police Department