A city official in central Florida has been charged with second-degree murder after a fatal shooting at a military surplus store he owns, reported the Washington Post.
In indicting Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn on the murder charge, a grand jury effectively rejected Florida’s “stand your ground” law as a possible defense for the commissioner’s actions, though the argument that Dunn acted in self-defense will probably appear again in court, officials said.
On Oct. 3, police responded to Dunn’s business, the Vets Army and Navy Surplus store in Lakeland, where Dunn said a man had attempted to steal a small hatchet, according to a statement by the Lakeland Police Department.
That alleged shoplifter, 50-year-old Christobal Lopez, was found at the entrance of the store with gunshot wounds and pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
According to police, Dunn said Lopez had come into the store with his father, then attempted to take and hide a hatchet while the father was making a purchase.
“Dunn stopped Lopez asking him if he was going to pay for the item and a confrontation ensued,” police stated. “Dunn then fired his weapon, striking Lopez, who was still in possession of the hatchet."
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