Florida City Commissioner Shoots, Kills Alleged Shoplifter

A Florida city commissioner was captured on surveillance video shooting a suspected shoplifter by the door of his Vets Army & Navy surplus store in Lakeland, Florida. Police say that 50-year-old Cristol Lopez, who is homeless and lives at a nearby shelter, walked into the store, put a hatchet down his pants and attempted to leave.

Lopez was confronted by Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn as he tried to leave the store. Dunn grabbed Lopez's shirt and tried to pull him back inside. Lopez managed to get free and Dunn fired two shots, striking Lopez, who fell to the ground and later died from the injuries. 

The Lakeland Police Department said they are investigating the incident and have not decided if they will charge Dunn for shooting Lopez. Dunn's lawyers said that he feared for his life when he opened fire because Lopez was armed with a hatchet. 

“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,” LPD spokesman Gary Gross said.

Authorities said they hope to have the investigation wrapped up soon and expect to make a decision whether to charge Dunn by the end of the week. 

 

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