On Wednesday, Fla. man Michael Dunn pleaded not guilty to murder for opening fire on a group of teenagers, killing Jordan Davis.
Dunn’s attorney, Robin Lemonidis, told First Coast News his client acted “as any responsible firearms owner would have,” referring to an incident that took place on the evening of Nov. 23 at a gas station near Jacksonville.
Dunn is invoking Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law” in the shooting, as his attorney claims he saw a shotgun in the SUV in which the teens sat. The law allows an individual to use force—even deadly force—if a threat is perceived that may lead to death or great bodily harm, The Huffington Post reports.
Lemonidis claims the teens were yelling, “Kill the mother******, that mother****** dead, you dead b****, and then he (Dunn) sees… the shotgun coming up over the rim of the SUV…” She added that Dunn saw “at least four black men in it (the SUV). And he doesn’t know how old anybody is… but he knows a shotgun when he sees one,” according to the Post.
NBC News reports that Dunn and his girlfriend were in the area for his son’s wedding and pulled their car up next to the teens vehicle. Dunn’s girlfriend entered the store, while Dunn told Davis and his friends to turn their music down.
Words were exchanged and Dunn began shooting at the teens with a handgun, Jacksonville Homicide Lt. Rob Schoonover told NBC, saying their music was “loud,” but that was “not a reason for someone to open fire.”
Although the teens’ SUV was reportedly hit by gunfire eight or nine times, only Davis, 17, was shot. He was hit twice while sitting in the back seat, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Schoonover said Dunn and his girlfriend left the scene and spent the night at their hotel. Witnesses took down Dunn’s license plate and he was arrested at his home on the morning of Nov. 24.
According to Lemonidis, Dunn left after the shooting because he was afraid the teens would call their friends and have him killed, reports The Huffington Post.
Dunn’s girlfriend faces no charges in the matter, as she was in the convenience store when the shooting took place. Schoonover told NBC when she returned to the vehicle, she asked Dunn what took place and he told her he fired upon the teens, but was unsure if anyone was struck.
“The next morning, I guess when they work up in the hotel and saw on the news that someone was killed, that’s when they got in their car and fled,” said Schoonover.
Davis’ mother told First Coast News the fact that Dunn drove off after the shooting is “unconscionable.”
His father, Ron Davis, told the local news media outlet that he will now miss out on seeing his son get married and “being there when he found love. All the things that I’m not going to be able to do is what pains me.”
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