Last month, a Miami-Dade teenager was visiting his father in an Orlando suburb when he was shot and killed by a community neighborhood watch captain.
The neighborhood watch captain allegedly saw the teenager walking though the neighborhood at night. He became suspicious and called police, allegedly telling police that he was going to follow the teenager. Police dispatch told the neighborhood watch captain not to follow the teenager.
According to the neighborhood watch captain, when he tried to confront the teenager to question him, the teenager became aggressive and attacked him. During the fight, the neighborhood watch captain - who had a bloody nose when police arrived - stated that he felt like his life was in danger and reasonably believed that he needed to use lethal force in order to save his life.
Relying on Florida's Stand Your Ground law, the neighborhood watch captain shot and killed the teenager.
However, this case is calling into question the law itself? Does Stand Your Ground give anybody carrying a gun the right to use it the instant they feel threatened or intimidated?
The law clearly states that no person has a duty to retreat from force and that they may use lethal force if they reasonably believe such force is necessary to save their life or the life of another, or protect themself or another from great bodily harm.
The police, relying upon Stand Your Ground (as well as no other eyewitnesses) did not arrest the neighborhood watch captain as they stated there was no probable cause for the arrest.
The case has been turned over to the State Attorney's Office for further investigation.
In recent days, however, witnesses who heard the shooting (but did not see it) have come forward claiming that they heard a young boy crying followed by a gunshot. Whether this has any effect on the State Attorney's filing decision has yet to be determined.
The facts in this case are still very sketchy and it is unknown whether the neighborhood watch captain was legally and properly responding to a threat against his life or whether he committed murder.