Central Florida city commissioner shoots, kills customer at store

Commissioner Michael Dunn shoots man at Army Navy store in Lakeland


LAKELAND, Fla. – Authorities in Central Florida say a city commissioner fatally shot a customer during a dispute over a hatchet inside the Army Navy surplus store he co-owns.

The shooting happened Wednesday afternoon at the Vets Army Navy Surplus Store in Lakeland. Police spokesman Gary Gross said in an email that officers found Cristobal Lopez, 50, lying face-up just outside the door. He died at the scene.

Gross said witnesses told investigators Lopez entered the store with his father. While the older man was making a purchase, Commissioner Michael Dunn saw Lopez trying to steal a hatchet. Dunn asked if he was going to pay the item, a confrontation ensued and Dunn fired a gun, striking Lopez.

A criminal investigation is underway.

Dunn took office on the Lakeland City Commission in January.