Florida

Central Florida City Commissioner Fatally Shoots Customer at Store

What to Know

  • The shooting happened Wednesday afternoon at the Vets Army Navy Surplus Store in Lakeland.
  • Police spokesman Gary Gross said in an email that officers found 50-year-old Cristobal Lopez lying face-up just outside the door.

Authorities in central Florida say a city commissioner fatally shot a customer during a dispute over a hatchet inside the Army Navy surplus store he co-owns.

The shooting happened Wednesday afternoon at the Vets Army Navy Surplus Store in Lakeland. Police spokesman Gary Gross said in an email that officers found 50-year-old Cristobal Lopez lying face-up just outside the door. He died at the scene.

Gross said witnesses told investigators Lopez entered the store with his father. While the older man was making a purchase, Commissioner Michael Dunn saw Lopez trying to steal a hatchet. Dunn asked if he was going to pay the item, a confrontation ensued and Dunn fired a gun, striking Lopez.

A criminal investigation is underway.

Dunn took office on the Lakeland City Commission in January.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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