*GRAPHIC* FL City Commissioner Fatally Shoots Thief, Internet Is Blowing Up With Objection To His Actions

LAKELAND, FLORIDA — Surveillance video was recently released that shows Michael Dunn, a city commissioner, shooting a man who stole a hatchet from a store that he co-owns. Video was released, even while the investigation is still ongoing, because many people wanted answers to this incident.

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.

Sometimes, the videos we watch are useless because there is so much back story that we’re unaware of. This video, however, doesn’t seem to fit that criteria.

The Lakeland Police Department issued the following statement about the incident and releasing the video:

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.

The clip that everyone is talking about can be viewed directly below. A longer video, with numerous cameras in use, is shown further down the page.

I’m pretty comfortable saying that it looks like the thief was making an attempt to leave the store, and I’m also pretty comfortable saying that this isn’t a time where I would have fired my gun.

I understand the need to defend one’s life, and this isn’t one of those cases. I also understand the need to protect one’s possessions and livelihood, but we’re talking about something here with a value of around maybe $50. Is it worth pulling the trigger and killing someone?

You could argue that this suspect was a bad person and maybe he’d have committed worse crimes down the road, but that’s not a determination that you can make in the moment. IN the moment, you’re assessing if your life is at risk. That should be the extent of it.

From what I see, the commissioner simply didn’t want to see this guy get away and since he was still trying to exit the store, he saw that his only option of stopping him was to shoot.

Am I wrong?


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