A Florida grand jury has indicted Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn on charges of second-degree murder after he shot and killed a shoplifter who tried to flee his store. Dunn argued that he shot Christobal Lopez in self-defense under Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law after the 50-year-old homeless man attempted to steal a hatchet from his Vets Army & Navy store.
“Let me be clear: It is the policy of my office to comply with and abide by the stand your ground law," State Attorney Brian Haas said when the charges were announced. “However, I have determined that this case and the actions of Mr. Dunn fall outside the protection of the stand your ground law.”
An attorney for the family of Lopez issued a statement following the announcement of Dunn's indictment and said they plan to file civil charges against Dunn.
“There is no way to undo the life-shattering harm that Mr. Dunn caused, but we are pleased that the State Attorney’s Office is moving forward with criminal charges for such an unnecessary and egregious use of deadly force, We are hopeful that through both this criminal proceeding and the civil suit we plan to file, Mr. Dunn will be held fully accountable for the senseless killing of Christobal Lopez.”
Dunn was taken into custody and denied bond. He faces life in prison if he is convicted.