(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — The Florida man charged with the shooting death of a teen following an argument over loud music testified Tuesday that the confrontation escalated to the point where he feared for his life and had no choice but to fire his gun.
“I thought I was going to be killed,” Michael Dunn, 47, said on the stand at his first-degree murder trial.
Dunn is charged with fatally shooting Jordan Davis, 17, in the parking lot of a Jacksonville convenience store in November 2012 after an argument over loud music.
After leaving his son’s wedding reception, Dunn said he stopped at a convenience store on the way back to his hotel so his fiancee, Ronda Rouer, could buy white wine and chips.
He parked next to a red SUV where Davis and his friends were sitting and listening to music.
“There was music and then it got really loud,” Dunn said. “Body panels on the SUV were rattling, [the] rearview mirror was shaking, my ear drums were vibrating…This was ridiculously loud music.”
Dunn said he politely asked Davis and his friends to turn down the music. One of Davis’ friends lowered the volume, however Dunn claimed the music was then turned back up.
Dunn said he heard a teen yelling over the thumping base.
“I hear, ‘I should kill that mother f—-r.’ I’m flabbergasted. I must not be hearing this right,” Dunn said.
He said he rolled down his window and tried to de-escalate the situation. At that point, Dunn said the teen in the backseat reached down and pointed what he said appeared to be four inches of the barrel of a gun at him.
Dunn said Davis then opened the car door and said, “You’re dead, b—-.”
“I thought he was coming to kill me. I thought he was coming to beat me,” Dunn said. He said he did not see what he believed to be a shotgun anymore.
“What went through my mind is, ‘This was a clear and present danger,'” Dunn said. “I said, ‘You’re not going to kill me you son of a b—-.”
At that point, Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, retrieved his pistol from his glove box and fired. According to a police affidavit, nine bullet holes were found on the SUV.
Dunn said he and his fiancee left the store after the SUV drove away. It wasn’t until later that evening at their hotel after having a drink and ordering a pizza that Dunn said he learned one of the teens had died.
“I ran to the bathroom…I vomited,” he said.
They left their hotel the next morning and went home to Brevard County where Dunn was arrested.
His testimony came on the second day of the defense’s presentation. The case is expected to go to the jury on Wednesday.
Prosecutors have long said that no gun was found in the SUV that Davis and his friends were in.
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