Video shows Lakeland commissioner fatally shooting suspected shoplifter


This morning authorities released a disturbing video showing a Lakeland city commissioner killing a suspected shoplifter trying to flee from a military supply store.

The video, which was released Monday by the Lakeland Police Department, shows commissioner and store co-owner Michael Dunn struggling with suspected shoplifter Cristobal Lopez inside the Vets Army Navy Surplus store in Lakeland on Wednesday, Oct. 3.

In the clip, Dunn can be seen holding a handgun in his right hand while Lopez attempts to run out the door. Dunn then fires at least once into Lopez's back, who then falls to the pavement outside. For the rest of the video Dunn appears to walk in and out of the video, while no one provides first aid to Lopez.

A medical examiner later confirmed that Lopez died from two gunshot wounds, reports the Lakeland Ledger.
Lopez, a 50-year-old man who was described by police as a transient, was pronounced dead when responding officers arrived at the scene at 2:30 p.m.

According to police, Lopez attempted to steal a hatchet.

Along with the video, Lakeland Police Department also issued a statement Monday saying the video was released in the "interest of transparency."

"At this time, in the interest of transparency, although the criminal investigation continues to be active, we at the Lakeland Police Department have requested and received the approval of the State Attorney’s Office to release all the videos which show the shooting that occurred on October 3rd," reads the department statement.

No charges have been brought against Dunn.

According to the Ledger, Lopez isn't the first person Dunn has shot and killed. The commissioner accidentally shot and killed someone when he was 19 years old.

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