Florida Store Owner Shoots Man Attempting to Steal Hatchet

LAKELAND, Fla. – A Central Florida city commissioner who owns a local military surplus store is at the center of death investigation after police say he gunned down a man trying to steal a hatchet.

Lakeland Police were called to a shooting at Vets Army Navy Surplus just after 2:30 Wednesday afternoon. Investigators say the store’s owner, city commissioner Michael Dunn, told them he noticed a man in the store trying to sneak off with a hatchet he didn’t pay for.

Police say a fight then broke out when Dunn confronted the man, 50 year old Cristobal Lopez. That’s when Dunn reportedly shot Lopez, hatchet still in hand.

Police say a fight then broke out when Dunn confronted the man, 50-year-old Cristobal Lopez. That’s when Dunn reportedly shot Lopez, hatchet still in hand.

“He’s not a violent person, I’ve never even seen him get mad,” explained Angelice Smith who owns a hair salon next to Dunn’s shop. “It was probably a him or me situation, unfortunately.”

Newschannel 8 interviewed Dunn about store security last year. As a weapons dealer he said it was a responsibility he didn’t take lightly.

Still in shock from what went down next door, Angelice Smith says it’s a harsh reminder that crime can still hit no matter the precautions you take.