Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn Charged With Murder in Shoplifter Shooting

Earlier this week video was released showing Lakeland, Florida city commissioner Michael Dunn shooting and killing an alleged shoplifter on October 3 who was trying to leave his military supply store (see our original post here). Now, a grand jury has indicted Dunn on a charge of second-degree murder.

As the Orlando Sentinel reports . . .

Lakeland Commissioner Michael Dunn was taken to the Polk County Jail on Friday where he is being held without bond.

The media continue to try to use the case as yet another indictment of the Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

Polk County State Attorney Brian Haas said at a press conference he believes Dunn may use stand your ground as a defense.

“I have determined this case and the actions of Mr. Dunn fall outside of the protection of the stand your ground law,” Haas said.

We’d agree with Haas. This doesn’t appear to be a stand your ground situation at all.

From the video evidence, Cristobal Lopez appears to be trying to escape Dunn’s grasp and doesn’t present a threat of “imminent death or great bodily harm to (Dunn) or another (person).” You can read Florida’s stand your ground statute here.

Then again, we’re neither judge nor jury and Dunn is likely to face both in the not-too-distant future.

comments

  1. avatar Porridgeweasel says:

    Huh….
    I’d be interesting to see who’d be to blame if the thief used the axe on someone though.

    1. avatar Bearpaw says:

      What? Is Minority Report real?

      Actually your logic is exactly what fuels the flames of the anti 2A crowd. Just what could you do with your gun? Perhaps we can avoid that issue by taking it from you.

      Are you sure you want to go down that road?

      1. avatar Kirk says:

        There are plenty of lawyers willing to explore that path, however.

        Civil liability in this case would make for an interesting defense, especially if there was precedent for someone suing a store owner for the second- and third-order effects of not ensuring that dangerous implements/items were properly secured against theft.

        I vaguely remember a civil case lost when an underage drinker stole some alcohol from a store, got drunk on it, and then killed someone in a drunk-driving accident. The next of kin sued the crap out of the store because “…the liquor was not properly secured against theft…”, and the jury obviously agreed. So, the theory isn’t entirely insane, and some lawyer might try going after the owner for not doing everything he could to prevent that hatchet being stolen. However, without being able to show a reasonable threat, like there being a fight outside that the hatchet thief was likely to join with said hatchet…? I don’t think it would fly. Juries have done more foolish things, though.

        It’d have to be a defense made early on, though–The shooter would have to articulate that he shot because he feared being held responsible for the thief’s actions with the hatchet, and then present some credible evidence

        1. Yeah, Something similar like that in a New England state many years ago…Where a employee attacked another with a hammer taken from off the tool rack…What about a store that sells fire starting implements to an arsonist…Like say matches, lighters, and accelerants…? What about the sales of cars WITHOUT “universal background checks/waiting periods/permits to purchase” to persons who who WOULD, or WHO have used a motor vehicle in a criminal act leading up to the death or dismemberment of an innocent in the general public….?

        2. avatar Bob Jones says:

          Suits against bars and liquor stores and clerks/barmaids are becoming more common and will soon be standard fare in lawyer ads. “DWI ??? — Not your fault, that clerk shouldn’t have sold you that 12 pack of beer”.

          While I think the shooter shouldn’t have shot the fellow, the fact is that shoplifting is rampant and getting much worse thanks to the big box stores adopting a “Let them have it” policy. The USA is headed down the same path as Venezuela and a violent future awaits us as wrongdoers get bolder and bolder. The disarmed will be devoured.

      2. avatar Porridgeweasel says:

        I think you are projecting or something there Bearpaw.

        I’m not advocating, suggesting or in favor of anything you are interjecting into my comment.
        I see it as ” A guy was stealing a weapon from a store, got shot for his effort.”

        Maybe if I had worded it like this, “I wonder who the left/gov. would fault if the thief had killed someone away from the store with the axe he had stolen.” Cause you know, lawyers n’ such.

        1. avatar Binder says:

          I would not even think about that defense unless the hatchet was secured behind glass. Any bets one that one?

        2. avatar paul says:

          I think you are missing the point. Shooting someone because of something they may or may not do with a hatchet is not a winning defense. Hatchets can, and almost always are, used for things others than hacking someone to death.

          Let him go and call the po-po; they can deal with him. That way, you don’t go broke defending yourself and quite possibly going to jail.

        3. avatar Bearpaw says:

          Gun companies are shielded from your kind of logic. Should that defense be used, and adopted, then gun companies as we know them today will be a thing of the past. Same with gun stores, ammo makers and Magpul.

        4. avatar Porridgeweasel says:

          Ok, so….try two didn’t seem to get through.
          I’ll give it one more try but if this doesn’t get my view of this situation across I don’t know what would.

          I don’t think this guy’s shoot was too good based on the requirements of SYG. However, I don’t know the circumstances that led up to the shooting or what was said during the crime. I wasn’t there.
          I’m not sorry that the perp is dead either. He was stealing an axe, not a teddy bear. How is the store owner supposed to know what he was going to do with the deadly weapon once it was in his hands?

          I believe that with the current environment in this country and the rabid attitude of the “left”, that the store owner was damned either way. There would be an outcry by some group or another if he had not acted and then the bad guy axed someone. The government is at this point of a belief that he went too far in attempting to stop someone from stealing a deadly weapon. It is a no win for the store owner. IE: A bad thing from any angle for the guy who felt he needed to shoot the thief.

          I’m not implying thought crime law, advocating murdering candy thieves or removing the right of gun companies to not be sued by people who misuse their products.

    2. avatar paul says:

      Its a reach. But this guy was in the wrong to be sure. Shooting a fleeing man who poses no imminent risk of death and/or severe bodily injury is a mistake pure and simple. Had the thief made any threatening moves or actions than yes, but you holding onto him (also a tactical mistake) while he tries to flee and then shooting him as he breaks free and is out the door is well, going to be be a huge problem every time.

      1. avatar Scoutino says:

        “Had the thief made any threatening moves or actions than yes, …”

        Maybe something like reaching for some deadly weapon? How many times we heard that shooting was in order because of some furtive movement, reaching to the waist etc.
        Yeah, he didn’t do that, that’s true, because he HELD THE DEADLY WEAPON IN HIS HAND ALREADY. At arm reaches distance. Do you have to wait for the hatchet to swing against your head to be in reasonable fear for your life?

    3. avatar Alfonso Alfredo Rodriguez says:

      Is that how you would justify the taking of a life, to prevent future crimes? Do you believe in policing thoughts as well?

    4. avatar SoBe says:

      That thief isn’t using any axe anytime soon, but that does not make the shooting legal, at least not in Florida.

  2. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

    We have an update on this from the Lakeland ‘Ledger’:

    “Judge orders Michael Dunn held without bond”

    “BARTOW — Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn will remain in jail without the chance to post bail following his indictment Friday on a charge of second-degree murder.

    Dunn, 47, had his first court appearance Saturday morning before Judge Bob Grode at the Polk County Courthouse in Bartow. Grode ordered Dunn to be held without bond.”

    https://www.theledger.com/news/20181020/judge-orders-michael-dunn-held-without-bond

  3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Not a surprise to me.
    Looked like the dude was just trying to get away.
    My thought after watching the video… “ nope. Wouldn’t have done that. I woulda let that guy go and simply report it to the police. If the dude later went axe on somebody, I woulda felt bad, but not my fault.”

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      I am a bit surprised at the no bond – He has a lot of local roots and is from some money, I was expecting a half-million bond…

      1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

        Just speculation on my part, but I’d guess the judge is thinking no bail is for the defendant’s own good, not because he’s a flight risk or a threat to witnesses or evidence, but possibly to himself. I bet they place him on a suicide watch. This is a guy whose entire life just got flushed down the toilet, no matter how this case turns out. He has lost everything and that reality should start sinking in soon. It can be difficult to predict how someone will react under those circumstances.

        1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          Good point. I did not think of that.

  4. avatar daveinwyo says:

    DA might be over-charging. Man-slaughter (whatever version/=) Heat of the moment no intent IMO, not a head doc tho. I agree w/Tom in ore.

    1. avatar Binder says:

      No, after reading the Florida statute, the charges are correct. Premeditation has nothing to do with it. If a felony act result in death you have 2nd degree. Shooting someone intentionally is felony. Self defense is a defense against a second degree charge, but I don’t think that is going to fly with this one.

  5. avatar Shire-man says:

    Grab hold of a fleeing person and shoot him?
    There was so much time for Dunn to make a better choice. So much time.

  6. avatar RA-15 says:

    Who knows what the thief intended to use the hatchet for , once gone from the property. He certainly was not threatening the owner in any manner , he was trying to get away , probably to trade it for drugs . in any case , what happens after the fact , has no bearing on what did happen : he was caught stealing ,tried to get away , and was shot. Not stand your ground if the so called threat is running away ,where is the reason to shoot him 3 times ? Now if he raised that hatchet to threaten the owner it would be a different story. This gives the left more reason to try & disarm ccp. More bad publicity is not what we 2nd supporters need.

  7. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    From what I can see in the video, this looks like a long prison sentence for this guy. I suspect his lawyer will be trying to negotiate whatever deal he can and the DA won’t offer much.

    1. avatar The Rookie says:

      I was thinking along the same lines. The DA might throw him a bone in exchange for a plea deal, but this guy is almost certainly going to be doing a long stretch. If I read my Florida statutes right, the “10-20-Life” law means he could be facing a minimum of 25 years.

    2. avatar doesky2 says:

      Guy walks if I’m in the jury pool.
      Just because.
      Also the bad guy set this all in motion.
      It’s not the shooters fault if he faltered under the stress initiated by the thug.

      1. avatar Maggot4lyf says:

        Doesky2, “Guy walks if I’m in the jury pool….”
        Amen!!

  8. avatar tdiinva says:

    First rule of SYG:. If the bad guy is running away don’t shoot the guy.

  9. avatar Other chris says:

    This isn’t proof that gun owners are bad. But that politicians are astoundingly unintelligent.

  10. avatar pwrserge says:

    Am I supposed to feel bad that a criminal lowlife in the process of committing a crime was lit up? Here’s a wacky idea… if you don’t want to get shot, don’t break the law.

    1. avatar Binder says:

      Ok, so you have managed to get through the week without being shot? Oops I meant committed a crime, sorry.

      What would be your list for death penalty crimes? Looks like daytime shoplifting would be high on that list. Even the Hebrews figured out that would not be the best idea in the world thousands of years ago. Exodus 22:2–3

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Yeah yeah… cry some more for some criminal vermin. The way I see it, this clown had a chance to surrender or give up the things he was stealing, he chose not to. Bad choice. If I was on the jury… Not guilty all day.

      2. avatar Evey259 says:

        Serge is an idiot who believes everything from wearing a Che shirt to petty theft is worthy of execution. He might have left the commies, but his ideals sure didn’t.

        1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

          Are people who say “thats a good shot” when the police (in Florida) shot and kill an unarmed police car thief, are they, GOVERNMENT BOOT LICKERS?

          So its ok for the government to commit justifiable homicide to defend government property?

          But you can’t kill some one who steals from your business, destroying your ability to make as a living?

          Is this how Libertarians think? I already know how Liberals and the Left think.

      3. avatar CZJay says:

        Life, liberty and property. If someone messed with those…

        Keep in mind that a third party administering punishment is different than a victim defending life, liberty and property in real time. Your personal decision is yours to make and shouldn’t be forced by an outsider that is not affected by your victimization. No one is advocating for the government to have the power to kill people for anything less than murder, even then, a lot of people are not for the death penalty for unjustified homicide.

        You are advocating that a human has no right to defend life, liberty and property. That they must be forced to go through another entity to possibly make things right. They need “insurance” to get back what they lost, they must call for a service of protection, require the community to fund imprisonment, depend on a lawyer to help get them justice, call on dozens of citizens to be forced into service for judgment of their case and so on.

        If detectives are not solving most of the murder cases, what makes you think they will solve the theft cases?

      4. avatar Zhang says:

        I absolutely believe theft should be a crime punishable by death. I don’t care what holy book says otherwise or not.

        Theft is a sickening crime. It revolts me as much as rape and murder.

    2. avatar Scoutino says:

      I would add …and if you are caught commiting a crime and someone is aiming a pistol at you, drop the weapon you are holding in your hand like it’s hot and raise your arms slowly.

  11. avatar Jose Garcia says:

    I’m a CCW holder in the “Magic City” (Miami) and this was a bad shoot. Even if the individual prevails in criminal court he probably will not be so lucky when the family of this “upstanding citizen” brings a wrongful death suit in civil court. That is a lot of trouble, money and loss of freedom for an axe.

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:

      Hatchet = Deadly weapon. This wasn’t a pack of cigarettes deadly though they may be.

  12. avatar el Possum Guapo Standartenfuher " they think we're making pizza's Oberst von Burn says:

    Lopez was stealing a hatchet. For chopping firewood I suppose.

    1. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      Well, at least SOME kind of limbs. I would have trusted the dead man as far as I could throw him.

  13. avatar DaveDetroit says:

    I’m encouraged by the near universal opinion expressed here that this seems like a bad shoot. We cannot give up rights because of “what might happen”. The “what might happen” argument is what Democrat KKK used to justify hanging blacks; what the NAZI’s used to justify atrocities against Jews; what ANTIFA and indeed the modern leftist media and “Democratic” party use to justify violence against innocent citizens. Punishing people for crimes that haven’t happened are anathema to justice and fairness.

  14. avatar Slow Joe Crow says:

    The left wing press are screaming “stand your ground” because it’s an ingrained reflex like blaming the NRA. They want laws protecting self defense repealed and they want may issue CCW brought back so only the “right people” have guns. They don’t want to be confused by facts. From what I see this was a bad shoot and this guy deserves an IGOTD.

  15. avatar Timothy K. Toroian says:

    Shooting someone who is getting away is really dumb if you aren’t in imminent danger. I get a copy of my state’s criminal code every year so I can keep current on any changes and offer proof for those who insist on arguing incorrect points of law. The idea of holding a storekeeper liable for the use of something stolen from him because he didn’t kill them is nuts. Where would you draw the on which objects would constitute a danger? Would a hammer count? A screwdriver? A vegetable peeler, they have a sharp point?

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:

      Wasn’t a federal law passed to give gun manufacturers immunity when firearms legally manufactured and sold were used to commit crimes. The idea being that as long as they followed accepted safety practices and followed the law regarding sales and distribution they shouldn’t be held liable for the illegal and criminal use of their Product. Another consideration is the prevalence of dram shop laws which make businesses selling alcohol responsible for the damage and injuries caused by their patrons.
      If a thief walked out of a gun store with a gun, walked down the street to a school and started shooting, does anybody doubt in the least that the owner of the shop wouldn’t’ be sued? I didn’t like what I saw. I would rather not shoot somebody over a pack of cigarettes, tools or even an expensive watch if I were a shopkeeper. But shopkeepers can’t stay in business if people can simply stroll in and take what they want. Insurance companies won’t offer coverage at affordable rates. So the adage that insurance will cover it really isn’t true.
      This guy was stealing a deadly weapon. That he had the propensity to commit serious felonious acts is an irrefutable fact. He committed armed robbery. The video is graphic, undeniable, documentation at that very moment in time. He was leaving that mans shop with a weapon considered deadly in all fifty states. Would the shopkeeper have shot him over a six pack of beer? Yes or no. Would he have the right?

    2. avatar Huntmaster says:

      There will always be the lawyer and the jury who would monday morning quarterback this and decide he should have kept it secured until a purchaser shows id or even a hatchet permit. Ridiculous? You have to have an air compressor license in California for any serious compressor.

  16. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    In Texas, you can use lethal force even against a fleeing individual, if they’re attempting to escape with stolen property. Simple theft is sufficient, if it’s taking place at night.

    During daytime, the suspect has to be in the process of fleeing after having just committed burglary, robbery, or aggravated robbery. Even with that leeway, the defense in this case would look shaky in Texas. Yes, the thief supposedly had a hatchet, but he’s holding it well up on the shoulder near the poll, not holding it by the grip and threatening anyone with it.

    Florida’s laws are different, of course, but basically this looks like murder and he’ll probably be convicted; in my non-attorney, personal opinion.

    1. avatar Binder says:

      There has been some fairly BS uses of Sec. 9.42. A incident like this would not help to keep in the books for very long. I’m surprised it is still on the books after that one idiot shot and killed an escort for refusing to have sex with him or give the money back.

    2. avatar Don from CT says:

      what is legal and what is right are two different things.

      Its wrong to kill someone over a simple petty property crime.

      I would not be able to sleep if I killed someone who was simply trying to flee with a 12 hatchet.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Who ever said it was “wrong” to kill a criminal? You know what you should feel when you shoot a thief? Recoil.

  17. avatar Hannibal says:

    Not a big surprise that he was indicted. Better get a good lawyer. This one’s going to come down to complexity of Florida self-defense law AND shopkeeper’s law… if they want to fight it instead of plea.

  18. avatar Don from CT says:

    Hang him.

    It was petty theft. The guy was trying to escape with his $12 axe. He had showed no violent intentions.

    Murder plain and simple.

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:

      Did you even watch the video? In what universe is armed robbery not violence? That he decided not to use that weapon to split the shopkeepers skull wide open does not mitigate it.

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        You continue to embarrass yourself.
        Look up the legal definition of armed robbery.
        It’s one thing to be ignorant. It’s another thing to stubbornly insist on being ignorant.

        1. avatar Huntmaster says:

          The definition? Maybe you think all shopkeepers set up a law library next the till so they can consult it next time some thug or druggie decides to run off with their merchandise? Maybe they should post a process flow chart on the wall to make those decisions easier. You are embarrassing yourself.

  19. avatar former water walker says:

    Overreacting for sure but I don’t see murder of any degree. The perp was carry a hatchet. Then again they covicted officer Van Dyke in Chiraq after shooting a punk brandishing a knife on a crime spree while high on pcp. BTW as an antique dealer for 25 years I’ve had a few thefts while selling. One boy stole some vintage nekkid lady playing cards. I chased him but I certainly wouldn’t have KILLED him!

    1. avatar Binder says:

      If the “perp” had a hatchet, why would you grab him from behind? The “perp” did not elevate the situation, the shooter did.

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        Golly Binder are you serious?!? On camera thief with a hatchet. At the very least you get to protect your inventory. Dead Spanish dude “elevated” it by STEALING. I don’t agree with shooting him. Happy or are you just trolling?

        1. avatar Binder says:

          Not trolling.

          The shop owner used deadly force to prevent a petty theft. If the shop-owner felt threatened by the ax, why did he engage and grab the guy? That is the danger with trying to hold anyone at gunpoint, if they run away, you just can’t grab them and then claim self defense they try to break away, and in this case, the “perp” did not even swing at the guy. Now if he came in an was threading the shop owner, all bets are off, but unless new evidence is out, I don’t think that was the case.

          Texas’s law is closer to what you want, but even their Exodus 22:2–3 (and that is EXACTLY where that law came from) needs a lot of work when a john can shoot a escort over refusing a refund The only reason he got away with it is it happened at night. Kid you not on that one.

        2. avatar Huntmaster says:

          He did not drop the weapon until he was shot multiple times. That is an irrefutable and documented fact.

    2. avatar Don from CT says:

      That’s ridiculous. The was turning away trying to flee. The shooter was holding onto the perp. If the shooter was backing away from the perp and the perp brandished the axe while advancing, then yes.

      But seriously??? Are you watching the same video as me?? He was clearly trying to flee.

      Roast him. He gives the rest of us a bad name. No risk, no threat, no justifiable use of deadly force.

      1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

        The police shoot People in the back all the time.

      2. avatar Huntmaster says:

        He was trying to flee but he didn’t drop the weapon until he was shot multiple times.

  20. avatar H says:

    Shooter didn’t immediately call 911 or administer First Aid or CPR. That makes it look callous.

  21. avatar Michael says:

    Like it or not, when the bad guy turns away, a new clock starts. If you chase him, the law says you become the aggresor, and in this new time line, you are. Once you become the aggressor your right to self defense is GONE. If, at this point, you get shot, the law will not charge the shooter. The shooter is acting in legitimate self defense because you have put THEM in bare fear of their life. You have discarded what common law has always held to be the Mantle of Innocence. Shooting a person under those circumstances is totally wrong. You’re not protecting anything, you’re punishing. That is, and always has been, the right of the state and for good reason. You can’t punish someone when your blood is up. All you can do is dig yourself a hole and jump in. I’ve had to let bad guys go when I wish I could have shot them. Do I regret it. HELL NO, Kept me from ruining my life, is all. If you are the least bit interested in carrying any weapon legitimately, before you put ANY faith and credence in any of the B.S. that surrounds this subject, study the firearms and self defense laws of your state. Start out by getting and READING, “In the Gravest Extreme” by Mas Ayoob. Then, read it AGAIN. Yeah, it was first published in 1980. Yeah, at first, you won’t like what it says very much. It will show you how much better firearms owners have it now. Read it until you UNDERSTAND what the law IS, not what you think it should be. Get and retain a good criminal trial lawyer with a good track record. Pay his retainer, it’s cheaper than bail money. Listen and practice what the lawyer tells you whether you agree with it or not. Learn to keep your mouth shut. Get and document the best training that your money can buy. Live by it, whether you like it or not. When you carry the power of life and death anywhere, you voluntarily surrender your opinions and must comply with the the same laws we all live under, otherwise, you are just a vigilante and you deserve whatever happens to you. There are no VICTIMS, only VOLUNTEERS. If you don’t like the current firearms law, change it. If you can’t live under current firearms law, don’t carry a firearm. LIfe is simple, unless you are stupid. Don’t mess it up for the rest of us, this is real life, not a John Wayne movie. Let the hate begin. -30-

    1. avatar Matthew says:

      Just a point of note; you don’t have to have a firearm to “carry around the power of life and death.” A punch to the head by a normal full grown male can kill easily between the initial impact and possible secondary impact with the ground. So to add to your correct statement, we should ALL at ALL times consider the results of our actions, not just when we are carrying a firearm. Not-so-common-anymore morality and decency would go much further toward correcting our society’s nosedive than just considering one’s actions in light of the law.

    2. avatar SoBe says:

      That is why I had commented in the original post that this could have been a Stand Your Ground case, for the thief. Though he was involved in criminal activity, he retreated and he was threatened with deadly force by the owner. Now the thief regains innocence (in what the law sees as a second independent altercation) and the right to defend himself from a deadly force attack. That is how Stand Your Ground really works in the state of Florida. The owner never had any Stand Your Ground rights under Florida law. He might have had Castle Doctrine rights had it been a forcible entry into his place of business or had he been facing an imminent threat of great bodily injury of death. Unfortunately, for the owner the thief was in a place in which he had a right to be (he entered as a potential customer) and per the surveillance video, the thief never presented such an imminent threat.

  22. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    The law for us citizens goes:
    – You don’t get to shoot them as they’re fleeing.

    – You do get to do what you have to do to protect yourself and others from immediate death, or immediate grievous bodily harm.

    – If you choose to stop an assault, you don’t have to justify, in a kangaroo court years later, vs. an opponent with unlimited time & resources, looking to rack up scalps (yours), that the choice you made in a surprised instant was the *only possible* way to *maybe* stay alive. You have no imposed duty to retreat at any cost and risk to you.

    Yet I am surprised not at all that *commissioner* there felt empowered to administer a little summary justice on the fleeing thief, after all, Our Florida Betters get to do what they like. (So says Sheriff Lyin, for example, who cares not at all for the opinions of sheep(le.))

    The flip side of their restricting and controlling our ability to secure our own lives, is their right to do as they will with them. Our lives are really theirs, after all.

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      The police have the government and their union to protect them.

      The citizen has the jury of their peers and nullification. However, most Americans don’t know what liberty and justice is.

      1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

        Sadly you are so correct.

    2. avatar huntmaster says:

      This was’t simply a person defending themselves. If the fight is over and an assailant is fleeing you may not pursue. That is generally the law. But this was not simply an assault. It was an armed robbery. The thief did not drop the goods which in this case also constituted the deadly weapon that made this an armed robbery and a felony. He held onto the weapon while trying to get away. If he had dropped it and ran, it would be a totally different story. He didn’t drop the weapon until he was shot multiple times. That is clearly shown in the video.

  23. avatar John says:

    Sad the same people who were commenting in the previous article about how this was a justified shoot are nowhere to be found now…or changed their names to save face.

    And boom goes the dynamite.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      Don’t jump the gun. Or dynamite.
      The shop owner was indicted. Not convicted. Who can say if the shooting was justified? Only jury.

  24. avatar Mater says:

    Maybe the guy shouldn’t be a damn theif then he’d be alive… just that simple…

  25. avatar GS650G says:

    Their armed himself with a deadly weapon. If he hacked someone to death they would be upset with him as well.
    But in light of the fact he was halfway out he door I think it a bad shoot.

    1. avatar huntmaster says:

      So the shopkeeper while in a fight with an armed thief who dragged him out of the shop is supposed to say “Oh wait, the guy stealing a deadly weapon from my shop just crossed the line to immunity”?

      1. avatar john says:

        Its called no longer presenting a threat. Just because someone wronged you, it doesn’t justify you killing them. What a concept!

  26. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    Its thing’s like this and the Bump Stock that show who really supports Liberty and who really supports slavery.

    Only the government gets rapid fire weapons. And the instant DEATH PENALTY, by an armed government agent, to anyone who steals government property.

  27. avatar TomC says:

    I wouldn’t be shocked if this ends up with a hung jury (assuming that it gets to a jury instead of a plea bargain), but from what video is available it looks like a bad shoot – the thief was not a immediate danger to the shooter or to any other person when shot.

  28. avatar Model 31 says:

    Is this the only video of Lopez in the store or is this the only video leaked by the DA’s office?
    Somehow I have a feeling this doesn’t show the whole story of what went on inside the business, but ya’ll go on and convict the guy cause ya’ll have all the evidence.

  29. avatar Wayne M. says:

    The criminals are winning. Many Walmarts will not call the police if the theft is under $200. They are winning and know it.

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:

      And that is the start of anarchy.

  30. avatar Killers says:

    All those who side with the shooter are prime, real life examples of what the Left fears: Members of the gun community (who supposedly know better than the average gun owner) want to play judge, jury and executioner despite what the law allows. I sure as hell would take away Stand Your Ground laws if these numbnuts were the majority of gun owners.

  31. avatar Dan says:

    When comparing what occurred on video to the law it would appear that this shooting would be a criminal act. However we do not know what occurred off camera or what threats may have been offered to the store owner by the criminal during this event. This event and the murder charge against the store owner are as much an indictment of the law as written and the “justice (sic) system” as is it is an indictment of the store owners actions. While there is a federal law protecting firearms manufacturers from civil liability from sale of their products there is NO such protection in place for the owners of businesses that sell legal products for when said products are used illegally or irresponsibly and cause harm. Ultimately this case is going to rest on the rationality….or lack of such….on the part of a jury. This may be a case where the
    use of “jury nullification” may be the best hope for actual justice. And never forget…..the DA is a POLITICALLY MOTIVATED PERSON. This charge is based as much on political aspirations as it is on the
    actual facts involved.

  32. avatar Bugs says:

    Killed a man over a $15 dollar piece of crap surplus hatchet. No moral high ground there. Lock his ass up.

  33. avatar Kyle says:

    All this “what if” gray area BS is because we dont allow use of lethal force in defense of property. As we once did “Horse thievery” just as an example.

    I’m not saying shoot the kid stealing candy from the store, I’m saying that by monday morning quarterbacking these incidents endlessly, we spend an inordinate amount of time and money putting otherwise law abiding citizens in jail and protecting petty criminals.

    Its a bad deal.

  34. avatar George from Alaska says:

    He fucked up and has hurt all gun owners and carry people. You don’t use or need a gun against a tool thief unless he advances on you close enough to strike you and is going to crush your skull by actually swinging at you. I was a firefighter/cardiac medic and sometimes the acting Police Chief (never went to the academy or was sworn) and I defended myself from half a dozen drunks and crackheads swinging fists, tire irons and 2×4’s without ever drawing a handgun I was allowed to carry. Rest assured if someone, drunk or psycho or not, pointed a gun at me or slashed at me with a knife at close range I would have defended myself. Heroin addicts are pathetically slow and need help.

    1. avatar Model 31 says:

      Umm, he hasn’t hurt me at all. Perhaps you may stick to speaking only for yourself.

  35. avatar pwrserge says:

    Clearly we should all engage criminal vermin under the Marquis of Queensbury rules… Or… you know… we could acknowledge that someone who commits a crime takes their life into their own hands and is the one ultimately responsible for whatever happens to them. You know… like rational people who care more about the victims of a crime than the vermin carrying out said crime.

    1. avatar Gralnok says:

      ^ This. Why do people get their panties in a twist when someone uses deadly force in order to detain a criminal and keep them from making off with property? If more people did this, there would be a lot less crime out in the world. The guy should have considered the consequences of his actions before he went to try and steal the surplus.

      1. avatar Huntmaster says:

        I watched the video several times. Each time it made me wince when I saw the shopkeeper shoot the criminal. My initial reaction, Bad Shoot. But before jumping on the keyboard and after reading and much thinking I changed my mind, but not the feelings.

        The shopkeeper absolutely had the right to detain a criminal making off with his property. Bodily if necessary. I don’t believe many dispute this. In this case the criminal was armed. The video didn’t show any propensity on his part to use the hatchet. But he had it in his hands. He could have dropped it and fled. He did not drop the weapon even when physically detained by the shopkeeper. I believe, had he dropped the hatchet and fled he would still be alive.

        A shopkeeper who is in the act of physically detaining a thief attempting to flee while still holding a weapon, must be permitted the use of deadly force, regardless of how sickening the video. The thief did not drop the weapon until shot multiple times.

        1. avatar Scoutino says:

          When I watched the video first time, my first reaction was also – “oh shit. That’s bad shoot if I ever saw one”. Then someone pointed out that the thief didn’t hold loaf of bread in his hand, he held a deadly weapon at bad breath distance. He didn’t drop it when challenged with aimed firearm. Maybe because he was getting ready to use it to attack the shopkeeper? (Or maybe he just got so used to docile sheep who let him fleece them without resistance he couldn’t believe he might get shot for real?)
          How long does it take to swing a hatchet? Would I be able to stop the deadly blow in time if it came to it?
          Now I’m not so sure.

          Let’s wait for all the facts before we burn the shooter at stake, shall we?

  36. avatar Cody says:

    I think what’s most interesting about this situation is that had it happened in Texas (maybe only after dark, it’s been awhile since I’ve read the statutes) the guy would be walking free. Instead he may die in prison. What would the people crying murder say in such an instance? I’m very confident I wouldn’t have shot the thief in this instance, but I do believe we should give a fair amount of leeway to the original victims in these types of cases. There’s no telling what kind of day this guy was having or what was going through his mind at the point of time he was intruded upon. Maybe I’d feel differently with a lesser charge, say maybe 1-3 years. Either way, if I was on this jury and the outcome was a minimum sentence of 10+ years, I’d be voting not guilty.

  37. avatar adverse5 says:

    The man wanted to kill. He did. It was not “stand your ground”, it was murder.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      How do you know what the shopkeeper wanted? Mind reader? Or did he mention he is looking for someone to kill?

  38. avatar Djh says:

    Guys an idiot. Prosecute him. He gives responsible gun owners a bad rap. The guy was shoplifting,posed no threat and was leaving. More for the super liberals to pounce on. Way to go jerk.

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