From CBS News:
Authorities in Lakeland, Florida, released surveillance footage Monday showing a city commissioner fatally shooting an alleged shoplifter earlier this month outside a military supply store he co-owns. Michael Dunn, who took office in January, fired a gun after seeing a customer taking a hatchet and trying to leave without paying, the Lakeland Police Department said.
The seven-minute video from inside the Vet Army Navy Surplus store Oct. 3 shows Christobal Lopez, 50, attempting to exit the store with an object in his right hand as Dunn confronts him with a gun. Dunn grabs him by the shirt before apparently firing the weapon and striking Lopez, who was later pronounced dead at the scene.
CBS naturally attempts to make this incident about Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which, from the video evidence, doesn’t appear to apply at all.
The fatal shooting comes amid scrutiny over the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law, which says a person can use deadly force “if the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force.” In August, a man wasafter he shot and killed a father of three who shoved him in a parking lot.
The Lakeland Police Department has issued the following statement:
“We have received multiple requests for comments, reports, surveillance videos and evidence regarding the shooting at the Vets Army Navy Surplus store. Please understand this is an ongoing criminal investigation. We are working with the State Attorney’s Office and the Medical Examiners Office, two wonderfully reputable agencies, to ensure this investigation is done in the most transparent, professional way possible. Until the investigation is complete, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
At this time, in the interest of transparency, although the criminal investigation continues to be active, we at the Lakeland Police Department have requested and received the approval of the State Attorney’s Office to release all the videos which show the shooting that occurred on October 3rd. Raw files of the videos have been submitted to the State Attorney’s Office and media. The clips shown here have been shortened for the sake of time, showing only when activity is occurring.
Though citizens may have strong feelings about what is depicted, we ask you to remain patient as our department continues to work with the State Attorney’s Office to investigate.