The following incident took place on Feb. 28th outside of a Tampa, FL restaurant. Thanks to security cameras, investigators were able to corroborate the victim’s story and rule the shooting justified.
According to a State Attorney’s Office statement, the victim and his girlfriend were inside the restaurant when he and another man got into an argument. This caused the other man’s two friends to get involved. The three men crowded the victim until he left the restaurant and walked to his car. While he was gone, one of the men was seen on camera grabbing a butter knife and a glass.
When he returned to the restaurant, the man he initially got into an argument with punched him in the head. This caused the restaurant staff to force the men outside. The man with the glass threw it at the victim and started stabbing him with the butter knife. The men knocked the victim to the ground and started beating him.
Somehow, even though the victim was outnumbered 3-1, he was able to get to a knee, draw his concealed firearm, and fire multiple shots. One of the shots struck one of his attackers in the head, killing him. It is unclear if any of the other men were struck by the gunfire, but it was reported that they survived.
The victim fled the scene fearing for his safety but returned shortly and cooperated with the police. He surrendered his firearm to the police, which he was legally able to carry since he had a Florida Concealed Weapons Permit. After an extensive review of the case, the State’s Attorney determined that the victim acted in self-defense.
After reading the review, I wonder if the victim went to his car to arm himself and then went back inside the restaurant. The shooting was ruled justified, so I’m not disputing that. I wonder if the shooting could have been avoided if he had just left the restaurant. His girlfriend was in the restaurant, so was he in fear of her life, or could he have just called her to tell her to meet him outside and leave the scene. I can hear the comments now saying that’s being a coward and letting the thugs win. But I would rather avoid all conflict and confrontations if at all possible.