The shooting of Jordan Davis occurred on November 23, 2012, in Jacksonville, Florida. Davis, a 17-year-old high school student, was fatally shot by Michael David Dunn, a 45-year-old software developer who was from out of town from Brevard County. The incident began when Dunn asked Davis and his companions to turn down the loud music that was being played in the vehicle in which Davis was a passenger. After the jury was unable to return a unanimous verdict on a charge of first-degree murder, the judge declared a mistrial on that count. However, Dunn was convicted of three counts of attempted murder for firing at three other teenagers who were with Davis and one count of firing a missile into a vehicle. None of the other teenagers were injured.
On Friday, November 23, 2012, around 7:30 p.m., four teenagers stopped at the Gate gas station to pick up gum and cigarettes. While the driver, Tommie Stornes, was inside making the purchase, Michael Dunn and girlfriend Rhonda Rouer pulled into the adjacent parking spot. Rouer left the car to buy wine and chips.
The bass from loud music playing in the teens’ SUV started to shake both cars and bother Dunn, who asked for it to be turned down. Front seat passenger Tevin Thompson initially complied, but then Jordan Davis objected and Thompson turned the music back up. Davis and Dunn continued to talk to each other, with Davis cursing and becoming enraged while Dunn remained relatively calm. Meanwhile, Stornes returned to the vehicle.
According to Dunn’s testimony, Davis threatened to kill him, then opened his car door and pointed what appeared to be a shotgun at him. Dunn, who has a concealed weapons permit, took a handgun out of his glove compartment and started firing at Davis’ door, hitting him in the legs, lungs, and aorta. As the SUV backed up to evade his gun shots, Dunn opened his own door and continued firing at the car, later testifying that he still feared for his safety as well as Rouer’s, who was to return to the vehicle imminently.
Contradicting Dunn’s account, investigators later searched the SUV and found no weapons. Davis’ friends testified that he couldn’t have opened his door because the child lock was set. Rouer later testified that Dunn never mentioned the shotgun that night or the next day, although Dunn claims that he mentioned it several times during that period.
After the shooting, Stornes drove the SUV a short distance away to a nearby parking lot and stopped to find Davis “gasping for air.” Rouer returned to Dunn’s car and they went back to their hotel where they ordered pizza and drank alcoholic drinks. They did not contact the police. The police, not having talked to Dunn, did not secure the nearby parking lot, nor did they conduct a search of the nearby parking lot where Stornes had driven after the shooting of Davis, as they did not yet know of Dunn’s claim of being threatened with a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun.
The next morning, Rouer saw a report about the shooting on the news, indicating that Jordan Davis had died. At her request, the couple abandoned their prior plans and headed straight home. On the drive home, Dunn testified that he called a neighbor who works in law enforcement to arrange to speak to him about the shooting, but phone records indicate that the neighbor actually called him and Rouer testified that the shooting was never mentioned during the call. Eventually Dunn returned home, where he was soon arrested, his license plate having been reported to police by an eyewitness.
Shortly after Davis’s death, his parents hired attorney John M. Phillips to represent them in a wrongful death lawsuit against Dunn. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount in January 2014.
On February 15, 2014, Dunn was convicted on three counts of attempted murder. Dunn, who may face up to 75 years in prison, will be sentenced on March 24, 2014.
The jury could not reach an agreement on Dunn’s first-degree murder charge and a mistrial was called. Florida state attorney Angela Corey stated that her office will seek a retrial for this charge.
Micheal Dunn’s former neighbor, Charles Hendrix, commented on Michael Dunn’s personality and previous behavior. Hendrix says he was not surprised by Michael Dunn’s shooting, and he describes Dunn’s behavior as controlling, violent, and abusive. Hendrix also claims there was an incident, where he interpreted that Dunn suggested if he knew anyone who would act as a hitman.
“I’m in constant contact with Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, and I text Sabrina (Trayvon’s mother) all the time and I just want to let them know, every time I get justice for Jordan, it’s going to be justice for Trayvon, for us,” Ron Davis said. Rebecca Dunn, Michael Dunn’s daughter, defended her father’s story, by her statement during an interview, “he is going to protect himself if he sees no other way then [sic] to bring out his gun, then that’s what he’s going to do.” She described Dunn as “a good man. He’s not a racist. He’s very loving.”