A city commissioner in Lakeland, Fla., was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree murder after shooting and killing a man who was attempting to shoplift an ax from a military store.
Michael Dunn, the owner of Vets Army Navy Surplus store, fatally shot 50-year-old Cristobal Lopez, according to Lakeland Police Department.
Surveillance video shows that Dunn grabbed Lopez by the shirt and tried to pull him back into the store while he was attempting to leave, CNN reported.
Dunn was holding a firearm is his other hand and when he lost grip of Lopez’s shirt, he fired two shots at him, hitting Lopez in his upper torso and mid-back.
According to police, Dunn did not try to help Lopez after he shot him, and he died on scene. Police said Dunn was standing over Lopez and pointing his firearm at him when they arrived.
“I think he expired,” an affidavit says Dunn told police.
Dunn is being held at Polk County Jail without bond, and set to appear in court Saturday morning.
During a press conference, Florida State Attorney Brian Haas rejected the idea that Dunn’s actions can be justified under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
Regardless, Dunn’s legal representation claim he was acting out of fear and self-defense.
"There was a video, it clearly shows that the shoplifter was wielding an ax," Dunn’s attorney Rusty Franklin told a CNN affiliate. "He had no choice, but to protect himself, and that's what we hope that this trial will prove."