Ocoee man defends stand your ground law - FOX 35 News Orlando

Ocoee man defends stand your ground law

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OCOEE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

Since  a jury  found George Zimmerman not guilty on a second-degree murder charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin, throngs of people have been marching in protest of the verdict and Florida's gun laws.  

Marchers at Lake Eola on Wednesday chanted about getting changes to the "stand your ground" law, legislation that Chris from Ocoee knows all to well. 

"You need stand your ground law.  I was in a position where I had to save a life," he said.

At the beginning of January 2009,  Chris shot and killed Freddie Carson at a Kangaroo Express convenience store in Ocoee.    He says the man standing in front of him in line raised some red flags. 

"Something didn't seem right.  He was shaky he was all nervous, wasn't paying attention to the clerk at all.  It was all off and then you could see one of the men walking back and forth pacing," said Chris. 

He says he went out to his car to grab his phone, just in case. 

"As soon as I grabbed my cell, I heard screams for help, and I grabbed my gun for the console," said Chris.  As he looked up and inside the store, "I was able to see a swinging motion."

The man was beating the clerk with a 40 ounce bottle of beer. Chris says he ran inside with his gun. 

"I pulled it out I said stop.  As he stood up and was heading around the counter, that's is when I felt threatened and fired," said Chris.  "I feel bad, but he was beating her.   He had her in a choke hold and said if you get up I'll kill you."

Chris then called 911.  He says police handcuffed him when they arrived on scene.  Chris says he was questioned for 8 hours before police released him.  Chris says Florida's  stand your ground law needs to stay. 

"Everybody has an opinion on it.  But I strongly believe there should be a stand your ground law where you should be able to protect yourself or somebody else from imminent danger or great bodily harm."

If Chris hadn't intervened that January night nearly four years ago, he says that clerk may have been beaten to death.

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