The Florida state attorney's office decided to upgrade the charges against Michael Dunn.
The man arrested for the killing of 17-year-old Jordan Davis was indicted for first-degree murder by a grand jury in Florida, following the shooting of the teenager after an argument over loud rap music.
The shooting last month in Jacksonville immediately ignited new outrage less than a year after the fatal shooting of another unarmed Black teenager, Trayvon Martin, who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer near Orlando.
In the Davis case, Michael Dunn, a 46-year-old software developer, shot the teenager through the window of a sport utility vehicle at a gas station on Nov. 23 before driving more than 170 miles from the scene of the shooting.
Police said Dunn, who is white, fired shots at the vehicle, two of which struck Davis. The three other young men in the car were not injured.
One day after the shooting, Dunn was tracked down by police based on a witness having taken down his license plate information. He was initially charged with second-degree murder to which he pleaded not guilty.
However, the state attorney's office later decided to upgrade the charge to first-degree murder, which in Florida requires a grand jury decision.
Dunn’s lawyer contends that his client thought one of the teenagers had grabbed a rifle and that Dunn went back to his car to get his own gun before shooting at the youth.
He said that Dunn fired the gun in self-defense, adding that he is considering invoking Florida’s controversial stand your ground law, which allows Floridians to use deadly force if they feel they are in imminent danger.
Police said they found no weapons in the car with the four young men.
Davis' father, Ron Davis, has spoken out on the case, saying he wants to turn his son's shooting death into a crusade against guns and Florida’s stand your ground law.
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