Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

17-year old Florida boy shot dead by paranoid legal gun owner over loud music

Jordan Davis, age 17
A group of teens were at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida, on their way home from the mall, when they pulled up next to a man, 45-year old Michael Dunn, and his girlfriend.  Dunn complained that the music coming from the teens' car was too loud.  They got into a confrontation, and Dunn claims he thought he saw the barrel of a gun and was afraid the teens were gang members.  He then pulled out his own loaded, concealed handgun and opened fire 8 or 9 times, then fled the scene.

17-year old Jordan Davis was struck and killed.

No guns were found in the teens' car.  No gang affiliation has been found.

Dunn was later arrested at his home.

From an article:

According to the statement from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Dunn told authorities that he had asked the teens to turn down loud music from their vehicle adjacent to his, as he waited while his girlfriend, who was returning with him from a wedding, went inside the gas station to make a purchase.
Dunn told police he felt threatened by the response from the teens, the statement said.
Dunn's attorney, Robin Lemonidis, told CNN Monday that Dunn told police that he reacted after having seen a gun barrel in the window of the teens' car and after hearing a profanity-laced string of threats against him and his girlfriend while the teens motioned they were opening the door.
Lemonidis said that was when Dunn reached for his gun and opened fire on the vehicle. She added that, "When all the evidence has been flushed out, I believe that it will be extremely clear that Mr. Dunn acted as any responsible firearm-owner would have under the same circumstances."
Eight or nine shots were fired at the teens' car, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office statement added.
There were no guns found inside the teens' car, the statement said.
Lemonidis said her client and his girlfriend left the scene after the shooting, fearing that they had encountered gang members and that more would follow.
The couple went to a local hotel for the night, and saw the news the next morning that Davis had died. They returned to Dunn's home in Brevard County, where local police arrested him Saturday on an out-of-county warrant.
Dunn was arraigned Monday afternoon, and Lemonidis said she entered a not-guilty plea on her client's behalf.

From a related article:
But who is the man police believe killed in anger? On his Linked profile Michael Dunn lists himself as the Vice President of Software Development of Dunn & Dunn Systems Incorporated - a computer company in Vero Beach. On the site he lists the company as being the award-winning makers of a computer software called SpiritPOS. He also says he holds a private pilot license for Single Engine Land and Sea. .... 
"Your worst fears come true when the doctor comes in the room with the police officer and the chaplain," said Ron Davis. "And my heart just sank." When they told him his son was dead, Davis couldn't believe it, until he saw Jordan for himself. "And they said this is a murder investigation and they didn't want me to touch his body. And I said 'are you kidding?' And I hugged my son and I kissed my son on the forehead." 
Davis said his son, Jordan, and his friends were heading back from the mall. He said Jordan was in the backseat of the car when he was shot. "I told him that I loved him, and 'Hey, have a great time at the mall and I'll see you when I get home from work.'" And he said 'OK dad, take care. Have a great day!" Davis said the murder has left him with a "hole in his heart," and he wants no revenge on the man who took his son's life. 
"If the person can look in my face and tell me why, that'll be enough for me," said Davis. "I don't believe a life for a life because taking that person's life is not going to bring my son back."

UPDATE (12/28/12):  The shooter, Michael Dunn, is being charged and has pleaded "not guilty."  His lawyer spoke on his behalf, stating, incredibly, "It will be very clear that Mr. Dunn acted very responsibly and as any responsible firearms owner would have acted under these circumstances."

UPDATE (12/29/12):  Dunn has a conceal carry permit, and claims he saw the end of a shotgun in the teens' car, even though no weapon was found there.  From an article:
At that point, she says one of the teenagers told Dunn he was dead. "And that's when the guy in the back seat raised the barrel of a shotgun over the rim of the window," said Lemonidis. "At that point, he just snapped into self protection mode." 
Dunn's attorney claims that's when her client reached for a gun he had in the glove compartment of his car, loaded it, and fired. "Firing at the car, because they're showing him a gun, and he can't see their hands," she said. "And he doesn't know. They're about to blast him in the face with a shotgun, as far as he knows." 
She says Dunn then drove away, not realizing he had hit anyone. The next morning, she said Dunn heard on the news someone was dead. He drove to his home in Satellite Beach, and turned himself in. "He did what any responsible firearms owner would do," said Lemonidis. 
JSO says no drugs and no guns were found in the teens' SUV. 
Action News asked Lemonidis why Dunn didn't call police. She said her client was more comfortable turning himself in at a familiar place. 
She also said her client was legally carrying the weapon. He had a concealed weapons permit. And she said Dunn knows guns. He had been around them his whole life. He was in the military, and frequently practices at a local firing range.
UPDATE (12/5/12):  Dunn's lawyer plans to build his defense around Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which has come under fire for allowing murderers to go free, and gives average gun owners more rights to shoot than even law enforcement or the military.  Here is a good article from HuffingtonPost.com.

UPDATE (12/5/12):  Jordan Davis's father, Ron Davis, has buried his son and has now taken up a public stance against Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.  From an article:
Jordan Davis and his father, Ron Davis
"The first goal is to get Stand Your Ground repealed because that law emboldens people to carry firearms and to use them if somebody looks at them sideways," Ron Davis said. .... 
"I shouldn't be able to end your life, end the life of your children, end the life of your family members, just because I misinterpret your actions," said Davis, a Jacksonville resident and retiree from Delta Airlines. .... 
Davis told his son's classmates and friends during a meeting on Wednesday at Jacksonville's Wolfson High School that he would begin his campaign with a candlelight vigil for Jordan Davis on December 15. 
Wearing a white shirt with his son's picture on the front and the words, "Kill Guns, Not Kids," Davis said he wanted to show the students how he planned to cope with his grief to show them how they could deal with theirs. 
"Kids, especially kids, want to lash out," he said. "I want to tell them, 'Look, if anybody is going to lash out, it's going to be me. I'm the parent. ... If I'm not lashing out, take direction from me.'" 
He has started a Facebook page, "R.I.P Jordan Davis." It now has 40,000 members and the number has been growing rapidly. 
"This is going to be a long fight, and I'm in it for the long haul," Davis said.

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