It was the day after Thanksgiving 2012, and Michael Dunn had just left his son’s wedding. He’d had two drinks but wasn’t buzzed, and he and his girlfriend were in a “great mood” — headed to a nice bed and breakfast in St. Augustine, Florida, where they planned to enjoy a bottle of wine, he told police.
A stop at a Jacksonville gas station would flip the happy day on its head. His car doors and windows shut, he was annoyed by the “heavy bass” coming from a nearby SUV and asked four teens to turn it down.
He heard what might have been a threat, Dunn told police, then saw what might have been a gun. He pulled a 9mm handgun from his glove compartment and fired four times. Then four more times. He picked up his girlfriend as she came out of the convenience store and fled the scene, not realizing one of his eight bullets had killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis, Dunn told police interrogators.
The couple continued on to St. Augustine, where they checked into their room and ordered pizza but didn’t call police, Dunn said.
In a police interrogation video filmed the day after the shooting, Dunn tells a police interviewer that the November 23, 2012, incident began when he asked four teens to turn down the music emanating from their Dodge Durango.
“I was polite. I asked them nicely. … I said, ‘Hey, would you guys mind turning that down?’ They shut it off, and I was like, ‘Thank you,’ ” Dunn tells police.
One of the passengers became “agitated,” Dunn further explains, and someone turned the music back up. Dunn says he wasn’t sure if the teens were singing, but he heard someone say, “Kill him,” so he rolled down his window and asked if they were talking about him.
“It was like, um, ‘Kill that bitch,’ ” Dunn says, claiming that he saw one of the Durango’s occupants produce what looked like a shotgun and open the vehicle’s door.
Asked later if he was certain he saw a gun, he replies, “I saw a barrel come up on the window, like a single-shot shotgun … It was either a barrel or a stick.”
“I’m sh***ing bricks, but that’s when I reached in my glove box, unholstered my pistol … and so quicker than a flash I had a round chambered in it, and I shot,” he says, adding that he has owned the 9mm handgun since 1990 and “always” keeps it fully loaded in his glove compartment.
He initially fired his weapon four times, Dunn tells police, and the Durango began to pull away.
“I was still scared and so I shot four more times … trying to keep their heads down to not catch any return fire. And that was it,” he says.
His girlfriend exited the convenience store to see what was happening, and Dunn told her, ” ‘Get in the car. We have to go.’ I didn’t feel safe there,” he recalls during the interrogation.
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