Together, the two sets of divorced parents form a fraternity to which no one seeks entry. Both have lobbied Congress for gun control reforms and described concealed-carry permit laws and the “Stand your ground” laws as the legal equivalent of a plague. Right now, Jordan’s parents aren’t talking to reporters. They are trying to offer Martin and Fulton support while hoping and praying that a Florida court will see what happened to their son differently.
“The facts of the two cases are very different,” said John Phillips, a Jacksonville lawyer representing Jordan’s parents. “But the tragedy and the set of laws that I think we all saw last week compound the Trayvon Martin tragedy, they are the same. So it’s not clear — not in the way that it ought to be — how much Dunn really has to fear.”
Day at the Mall Ends Tragically
Nov. 23, 2012, Jordan and three friends set out on a parent-free trip to the mall. Davis’ friend, a teenager with access to a Dodge SUV, did the driving. On the way home, one of the four wanted to stop for a pack of cigarettes, according to police reports and court records.
While three of the boys, including Jordan, waited for the fourth to emerge from the convenience store, they listened to music. A black Volkswagen pulled up. The car’s driver, Dunn, told his girlfriend that he hated the “thug music” coming from the SUV next to them. The woman hopped out to grab a bottle of wine. It wasn’t long before Dunn barked at the teens in the SUV, telling them that their music was too loud.
One boy turned the music down. Jordan took off his seat belt and turned it back up. Dunn started yelling. Witnesses heard Dunn scream that Jordan could “not talk to me that way.” Within minutes, Dunn pulled a gun and, after positioning himself inside his car, fired at the SUV as its teenage driver attempted to flee. Eight of Dunn’s bullets punctured the car, coming dangerously close to the heads and limbs of the teenagers inside. Two entered Jordan’s body, lodging in his chest and groin. Dunn sped away from the scene.
The next time Ron Davis saw his son, the teen was lying in a hospital trauma room covered up to his chin with a white hospital sheet. Jordan was already dead.
Witnesses at the convenience store managed to jot down Dunn’s plate number. It didn’t take law enforcement long to find him at his Satellite Beach, Fla., condo, about two-and-a-half hours south of Jacksonville, and bring him in for questioning.
When they did, Dunn explained that the teens had “defied” his “orders.” Dunn’s initial lawyer also told local reporters that Dunn had fired on the car 10 times because he was certain he had seen the muzzle of a shotgun emerging from one of the SUV’s rear windows. And Dunn was certain that the black “men” in the car had summoned gang members to come to their aid. Dunn, said the lawyer (who has since been replaced by Strolla), had reason to fear for his life. Sheriff’s deputies in Jacksonville didn’t agree and arrested Dunn on the spot.
Law-enforcement officials investigating the shooting never found a shotgun and say that none of the teens, including Jordan, was armed. They were, in fact, the kind of smartphone- and video game-obsessed teens, model and average students, who had nothing to do with gangs, Jordan’s parents and their lawyer insist.