A Florida man must wait to see if he will face charges related to the death of a 28-year-old man.
It’s actually a test of the state’s “stand your ground” law, as well.
In this incident, a car with a family of five – the 28-year-old man, his girlfriend and their three young children — pulled into a handicapped spot in front of a convenience store in Clearwater, Florida, recently, according to surveillance video. The man hopped out of the car and went into the store with their son, 5.
Police said a 47-year-old man approached the woman in the parking lot and got into an argument over whether it was appropriate to park in the handicapped spot, according to the Pinellas County sheriff.
As the woman exited the car, her boyfriend saw the ruckus as he left the store and then shoved the older man to the ground. That man pulled a gun from his pocket, according to law enforcement, then shot the younger man in the chest as he was backing away.
The 28-year-old man was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The State Attorney’s Office is in charge of reviewing the case and deciding whether shots were fired in self-defense. This law is the same one that was applied to the 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.
The sheriff said that since it appeared in the video that the man was protecting himself after being pushed to the ground, his agency cannot make an arrest. He said only the state can decide if the man was “not entitled to use force in this circumstance.”
The father of the man who was killed said his son was trying to protect and defend his family.
In this case, the man who is alleged to have fired the shot is awaiting the ruling from the state. Before any decision is made, however, it would be very wise for the man to consult a Florida defense attorney to discuss details of the incident while fresh in his mind. His freedom could be at stake.