JACKSONVILLE, Florida (USA TODAY) -- The Florida man accused of killing a 17-year-old after a dispute overloud rap music testified Tuesday that he was taunted and felt menacedin the moments before the shooting.
But Michael David Dunn, ontrial for first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder, saidhe drove off from the gas station after firing 10 shots at the SUV inwhich Jordan Davis was sitting because he didn't think anyone had beenhurt. He didn't learn that Davis, 17, had been killed until hours later.
Priorto the shooting on Nov. 23, 2012, Dunn said the teens in the SUVtaunted him and "had menacing expressions" after he had asked them toturn down the music. He thought he saw one of them hold something thatappeared to be a shotgun.
"I had every right of self-defense, and Itook it,'' said Dunn, whose testimony and cross examination beganshortly before 10:30 a.m., not ending until after 3 p.m.
"I was infear for my life,'' Dunn said earlier. "I had never been threatened,let alone with a firearm. I was incredulous. I couldn't believe what Iwas seeing and hearing."
Dunn is white. Davis was black. The casehas drawn comparisons to the 2012 shooting death of another blackFlorida teen, Trayvon Martin, killed during a struggle with neighborhoodwatch volunteer George Zimmerman. A Florida jury later acquittedZimmerman of second-degree murder.
Dunn said he tried to remaincalm behind the wheel of his car while Davis hurled obscenities andthreats at him from inside a red Dodge Durango. But Dunn said Davisreached down, picked something up and slammed it against therear-passenger door of the Durango. Dunn said he spotted about 4 inchesof an object in the window frame that resembled a 12-gauge shotgun --and their dispute over vehicle-rattling rap music escalated.
"Afterthe continued threat of, 'You're dead, (expletive)!' now the door opensand this young man gets out. And as his head clears the window frame,he says, "This (expletive)'s going down now!" Dunn said Tuesday from thewitness stand, jabbing a pointed finger.
"This is the point where my death is imminent. He's coming to kill me. He's coming to beat me," he said.
"I thought I was going to be killed,'' Dunn testified.
Ashe was retrieving his pistol from the glove box of his car, Dunn, 47,testified he felt the situation was "a clear and present danger."
Prosecutorshave said Dunn became enraged during the dispute over loud music andfired 10 shots at the Dodge Durango. Davis and his friends were insidethe vehicle at a gas station parking lot on the south side ofJacksonville.
Dunn, who broke down repeatedly during histestimony, said Tuesday that he feared not only for his safety, but forhis fiancée, Rhonda Rouer, who had gone into the gas station to purchasewine and potato chips.
After firing several shots from hishandgun, Dunn said he fired again into the SUV "to keep the heads down... of three or four potential shooters."
After the SUV drove off, Dunn said he still felt threatened. "I shot at them, now, what are they going to do?"
Oncross-examination, assistant State Attorney John Guy asserted thatDavis was never a threat, and that Dunn merely opened fire after he wasdisrespected by a mouthy teenager.
Guy also said Dunn nevermentioned to Rouer that he thought he had spotted a shotgun in the SUV.Dunn earlier testified he told Rouer they had a gun multiple times onthe way to their hotel after the shooting.
"The truth is, you never told the love of your life that those boys had a gun," Guy said.
"You weren't there,'' Dunn replied.
Followinghis testimony, Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson called Rouer backto the witness stand. Rouer repeatedly said Dunn made no mention of ashotgun, stick or weapon in the Durango following the shooting.
Dunnand Rouer had been in Jacksonville attending the wedding of Dunn's son,Chris. They left the wedding reception early to return to their motelroom to tend to their 7-month-old puppy, a French bulldog named Charley,Dunn said.
He didn't contact police that day, either.
"Youhave to understand, we didn't think anybody was hurt,'' he testified."We were not in trouble with police. We might be in trouble with thelocal gangsters, but did nothing wrong."
The following morning, he was contacted by a Jacksonville detective. Dunn told him that he acted in self-defense.
"Again, I knew I had done nothing wrong,'' he said. He said he never thought he would be charged with murder.
Dunn is a South Patrick Shores, Fla., computer programmer, a private pilot and Port Malabar Rifle and Pistol Club member.
-DAY 1:Prosecutor says Dunn was unconcerned after shooting
-DAY 2:Testimony focuses on rap music confrontation
-DAY 3:Jacksonville Police officer takes the stand
-DUNN'S FIANCE:Emotional Testimony