Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Florida Man Invokes ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law After Shooting Fellow Pizza Customer

A Florida man defended his decision to shoot an impatient pizza customer over the weekend, citing the state’s infamous “Stand Your Ground” law.

Michael Jock, a 52-year-old resident of St. Petersburg, was standing in line behind 49-year-old Randall White at a local Little Caesars on Sunday when Jock grew angry over White’s complaints about the speed of service. The two got began to shove one another, prompting Jock to pull out a .38 Taurus Ultralight Special Revolver that had been concealed on his person and fire twice, hitting White both times in the lower torso.

The Tampa Bay Times has more:

After the shooting, both men went outside and waited for police. Jock told officers the shooting was justified under “stand your ground,” [police spokesman Mike] Puetz said.

“He felt he was in his rights,” Puetz said. “He brought it up specifically and cited it to the officer.”

He told officers he feared for his life. He mentioned that he thought White had an object in his hand, then backed off that when officers pressed him. Florida’s “stand your ground law” says people are not required to retreat before using deadly force.

Police, however, disagreed with Jock’s interpretation of the law and arrested him on charges of aggravated battery and firing a weapon within a building.

The Stand Your Ground law that Jock referenced came under intense scrutiny this year after George Zimmerman invoked it to justify his shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin. Multiple studies have found that Stand Your Ground laws increase the number of homicides in a state. Still, such laws are a crown jewel for the National Rifle Association, which has been working tirelessly for years to spread them from state to state.

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