Florida official faces murder charge after shooting shoplifting suspect

An elected official in Lakeland, Florida, recently surrendered to authorities about two weeks after investigators say he fatally shot a suspected shoplifter.

City commissioner Michael Dunn was at a military surplus shop on October 3 when he allegedly pursued 50-year-old Christobal Lopez and fired his handgun, killing the man.

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Polk County State Attorney Brian Haas defended his office’s pursuit of second-degree murder charges in connection with the incident caught on surveillance camera.

“Let me be clear: It is the policy of my office to comply with and abide by the stand your ground law,” he said. “However, I have determined that this case and the actions of Mr. Dunn fall outside the protection of the stand your ground law.”

The suspect is expected to appear in court in coming days and could face life behind bars if convicted.

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