A Florida man was shot and killed last Friday in the city of Gainesville after police say he assaulted his former girlfriend at her apartment and returned later for a fatal encounter with her armed father.
The Gainesville Police Department reported on social media on Friday that officers were dispatched to the Polos Apartments in the city following the alleged assault of a woman by her ex-boyfriend.
“Earlier in the evening, GPD responded to a domestic battery,” the department said on Facebook. “The suspect was inside an ex-girlfriend’s apartment and physically assaulted her. He fled the area prior to our arrival.”
The department said that the woman’s father also responded to the scene.
Shortly after police packed up and left, the woman’s former boyfriend returned, officers said.
“Approximately 30 minutes later, the suspect returned and made entry into her apartment,” police stated. “The father, who was armed with a handgun, fired one shot at the suspect which struck him in the chest.”
The ex-boyfriend made it as far as his car in the parking lot before he collapsed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police are still investigating the shooting, and the father was not arrested. That is a pretty good indication responding officers looked at the evidence and initially deemed the shooting justified.
The Gainesville Police Department declined to name any of the parties involved in the deadly incident.
The Western Journal reached out the the Gainesville Police Department and received the following statement: ““As our officers were wrapping up their domestic battery investigation, the victim’s parents arrived to be with her. About half an hour later, we were back on scene and discovered that the father of the domestic battery victim had shot the ex-boyfriend who had just returned to the apartment. The father fully cooperated with us when we arrived, turned over his weapon and was detained in handcuffs. He explained to the officer that he was defending himself and standing his ground. That’s when our officer advised him of his Miranda rights, and he stated he wanted to exercise his right to have an attorney.”
Luckily for the dad, Florida is a “castle doctrine” state with clear safeguards that remove the element of fear of prosecution for people who lawfully stand their ground.
This means people inside their own homes have no duty to retreat in the face of a potentially harmful threat.
Florida state law clearly lays out that deadly force is justified any time a person “reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”
If the initial story told by police is accurate, then it appears unlikely the father will find himself in a courtroom. From what we know, he acted within the confines of the law and appropriately as a father and a protector.
Men and boys are supposed to be taught to never strike a woman. Still, women all too often find themselves in situations where they are victims of pattern abuse at the hands of their current or former love interests.
Many have little to no recourse, and some are afraid to leave relationships that are toxic.
Men are more physically imposing than women, and protective orders from the courts are simply pieces of paper.
Police officers make valiant efforts to protect victims of domestic violence. But when someone such as a scorned lover is intent on violating a court order, they will often do so without considering the consequences.
As a whole, the country has done a better job in recent decades in regard to taking domestic violence seriously. But in most situations, police officers can only respond and departments are not equipped to have officers become sentries for vulnerable women.
Also, statistically speaking, once a man lays a hand on a woman, such behavior is likely to continue — if not escalate. This is why women should arm themselves where they are able to, as a protective father is not always around the corner.
It sounds like the dad in this case understood the stakes, loved his daughter the way every father should, and acted appropriately.
Tragically, he will have to live the rest of his life carrying the weight of having ended a human life.
But objectively speaking, an abusive ex-boyfriend dead in an apartment complex parking is a better scenario than a daughter who is domestic violence statistic.
Men have a duty to protect the most vulnerable among us at all times, especially women and children.
And a daughter will always be a little girl to a father whose priorities are where they belong.
That never changes, regardless of her age.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.