As 17-year-old Jordan Davis was laid to rest outside Marietta, Georgia Saturday a small yet defiant group huddled together hundreds of miles away in Tampa.
The contingent lit candles mourning the teenager's senseless death. Davis was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Jacksonville gas station following an argument over loud music.
Investigators say the deceased was in a Sports Utility Vehicle with friends on Friday November 23rd when he died.
A 45-year-old Melbourne man – Michael Dunn – was on the other end of the disagreement. He was in Jacksonville attending his son's wedding.
Authorities say during the course of the argument Dunn claimed he saw a shotgun and in an act of self-defense fired his handgun into the SUV several times.
Davis was killed but none of the other occupants were injured. Police have yet to recover the shotgun Dunn claims he saw.
During a court hearing earlier this week the suspect's attorney stopped short of saying she would employ the controversial ‘stand your ground' law. The shooting has many comparing Davis' shooting death to the Trayvon Martin case.
Against that backdrop the Tampa chapter of Dream Defenders gathered Saturday evening on the campus of the University of South Florida.
"It so obvious the stand your ground laws and laws that protect vigilantes they're always going to favor those people that society thinks are less likely to be criminals," explained Walt Byars, one of those who attended the vigil.
Organizers say the event was planned for the same day as Davis' funeral for a reason.
"We decided that [Saturday] would be the perfect day to show our solidarity for his family," said Marisol Marquez, an official with Dream Defenders. "[It was also held today] to stand up against that systematic oppressions and those acts of hate and racism."
Dream Defenders has several chapters in Florida. They formed shortly after the Trayvon Martin shooting in February.
What they lacked in numbers – approximately 20 people attended the vigil - they made up with passion and a desire to stamp out what they call unjust murders across the state.
"[This event is to] just show that there are people who are trying to stand up against this," Byars explained. "People who know that this [kind of thing] is not ok."
Dunn originally fled the scene of the crime but eventually turned himself in. He is facing one count of murder.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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