Man cites 'stand your ground' in shooting at Florida pizza shop

Law scrutinized after fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin

Published On: Dec 20 2012 07:53:22 AM EST
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -

A Tampa Bay area man faces charges after authorities say he shot and wounded another man during an argument at a pizza restaurant.

St. Petersburg police say 52-year-old Michael Jock was waiting in line at a Little Caesars on Sunday when another customer, 49-year-old Randall White, began complaining about the slow service. The men exchanged words, which turned into a shoving match.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Jock pulled a revolver and shot White in the lower torso. The two struggled and White was shot a second time.

Jock, who has a concealed weapons permit, told officers he feared for his life and was justified under Florida's "stand your ground" law, which came under scrutiny after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford.

The officers charged Jock with aggravated battery with a weapon and shooting within a building. He was later released on $20,000 bail.

Meanwhile, the state Senate's Democratic leader has filed a bill revising the "stand your ground" law.

Sen. Chris Smith, of Fort Lauderdale, said on Wednesday that his bill (SB 136) was inspired by the death of Martin, who was unarmed. Martin, 17, was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman who is claiming self-defense under the law.

One key change would eliminate protection from prosecution for someone who provokes violence or pursues a victim. The bill also would remove automatic immunity from arrest or detention and clarify that a suspect can be arrested following a questionable death.

It is likely to face opposition from Republicans who control the Legislature and backed the current law. A panel created by Gov. Rick Scott has recommended no major changes.