The Davie Police Department will likely spend several months investigating the shooting death of a 20-year-old man that occurred on November 1, 2017, inside of a CVS Pharmacy, located at the busy Broward County intersection of Griffin Road and University Drive.
According to the Davie Police Department, on or about 1 p.m. on November 1, 2017, a 38-year-old man and a 20-year-old man met up in the parking lot of the CVS for a pre-arranged Craigslist transaction. The 38-year-old man had agreed to purchase an iPhone from the 20-year-old man for an agreed-upon price.
While in the parking lot, the 38-year-old man became frightened and suspected that he was going to be the victim of a robbery. Allegedly, he tried to get away from the younger man, who had brought a friend along. The younger man supposedly would not allow the older man to leave, purportedly blocking his car. The older man went inside the CVS where he reportedly asked employees to call 911. The younger man and his friend followed him inside.
The older man pushed the younger man away, drew his concealed firearm, and fired the shots that killed the 20-year-old.
Nine days later and no charges have been filed.
The shooter has told police that he was exercising lawful self-defense as he reasonably believed that he was going to be robbed or physically harmed by the victim.
Under Florida's Stand Your Ground law, an individual is permitted to use lethal force if they reasonably believe that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury.
It is reported that the alleged victim told the shooter that he had a weapon on him. As it turned out, the alleged victim was unarmed.
That, however, does not mean a person is not free to use lethal force. Believing that somebody is armed or simply believing that the other person poses an imminent threat (unarmed or not) may give rise to the use of lethal force.
Either way, no arrest can be made until police have reviewed all of the evidence and have interviewed all of the witnesses. Once the investigation is done, the case will likely be presented to the State Attorney's Office, who may opt to present the case to a grand jury.
Since Florida law does allow the lawful use of lethal force is some situations, homicides where self-defense is asserted must be thoroughly investigated.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving the South Florida area.