Michael Dunn is facing murder and attempted murder charges in the shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Davis was waiting inside the car with two other teenagers while the car’s 19-year-old driver made a purchase inside the gas station. Dunn was outside the store waiting for his girlfriend.
“They were listening to music. It was loud, they admitted that,” said Lt. Rob Schoonover, a homicide detective with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. “But that’s not a reason to open fire ... and take action.”
According to WSB-TV, a family friend said Davis would split time between his mother’s home in Marietta and his father’s in Jacksonville.
The 45-year-old Dunn was arrested at his Brevard County home, about 160 miles away, along Florida’s Space Coast. He told detectives he had been in the process of turning himself in to a neighbor, who is in law enforcement. Initially booked into the Brevard County Jail and pleading not guilty to the charges, Dunn was extradited to Jacksonville on Tuesday.
Dunn is white and Davis is black, but sheriff’s office spokesman Officer Shannon Hartley said Tuesday that race wasn’t a factor in the investigation.
Dunn had been in Jacksonville for his son’s wedding and was on his way back to his hotel with his girlfriend when he stopped at the gas station, parking next to Davis’ car while his girlfriend went inside. An argument followed and Dunn fired eight or nine shots into the car, apparently not realizing that someone had been hit, Schoonover said.
Dunn, a gun collector who frequented Brevard County shooting ranges, told detectives that he felt like he was in danger, Schoonover said.
“His side of the story is he felt threatened and that is the reason he took action,” the detective said.
Davis was a student at Jacksonville’s Wolfson High School, where about 100 classmates held a vigil Tuesday. The school’s principal, David Garner, told The Florida Times-Union that many students were planning to go to Georgia this weekend for the funeral.