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Florida city commissioner charged with killing alleged thief

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) — A Florida city commissioner has been charged with fatally shooting a man he accused of shoplifting a hatchet from an Army-Navy surplus store.

The Ledger reports that a Polk County grand jury indicted 47-year-old Michael Dunn on a second-degree murder charged Friday. A conviction could mean a possible life sentence.

Surveillance video released to the public shows the Lakeland commissioner shooting 50-year-old Cristobal Lopez on Oct. 3. The video shows Dunn holding a gun in his right hand while trying to keep Lopez from carrying the hatchet out of the store. Dunn grabs a fistful of Lopez’s shirt, and Lopez is partly out the door, raising the hatchet, when Dunn fires and Lopez falls, mortally wounded.

Dunn’s attorney, Rusty Franklin, has previously said the shooting was justified because Lopez was holding the hatchet.

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