Michael Dunn, 47, the Florida man on trial for killing unarmed teen Jordan Davis, 17, during an argument over loud music, claimed that he had “no choice” but to shoot the teen because he feared for his life, reports the LA Times.
Davis was gunned down by Dunn at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida on November 23rd, 2012. Dunn claims that he felt threatened by the teen — who was sitting inside of an SUV with friends — and loud music coming from the vehicle, so he sprayed the vehicle with nine bullets before driving away, leaving Davis to die in a friend’s arms.
None of the teens had weapons.
Dunn was initially charged with 2nd-degree murder but his charges were upgraded to 1st-degree murder, in addition to three counts of attempted murder for each of Davis’ friends who were inside of the SUV.
“Jordan Davis kept escalating this until the point I had no choice,” Dunn testified today. “It was life and death.”
Read more from the LA Times:
Dunn, who is white, said he and his fiancée had left a wedding reception and were heading home when they stopped at the store and pulled into a spot next to a Durango SUV. “Thumping” music came from the vehicle and Dunn asked those on the vehicle to lower the volume. The sound initially went down. But it was turned back up at Davis’ request, other witnesses have testified.
Responding to questions from his attorney, Cory Strolla, Dunn said he has ear damage and the music “caused him pain.”
The dispute kept getting worse, the defendant said. He testified that one of the teens, using an expletive, said “I should kill” Dunn. “There was no mistake in what he said,” Dunn said from the stand. He went on to describe seeing “two young men with menacing expressions” in the car.
Dunn said he asked, “Are you talking about me?”
Dunn testified that he tried to de-escalate the situation, but he said the teenager was “showing me a gun and he’s threatening me. I was in fear of my life.”
He said he couldn’t believe what was happening and was frozen in his seat. Dunn said he saw the door move and thought he was going to be killed, but he said he still didn’t go for his gun. Dunn testified that Davis then said, “You’re dead.”
“This is the point where my death is imminent,” said Dunn. He testified that he responded, “You’re not going to kill me.”
Dunn testified that he shot only after he felt he was “in clear and present danger.”
“He said ‘This sh–’s going down,’” he told jurors. “I grabbed the gun and cocked and pointed it to my left. I said, ‘You’re not going to kill me you son of a b—-,’ and I shot.”