Apparent death threat targets Lakeland commissioner who shot suspected shoplifter

- A Lakeland City Commissioner, who shot an alleged shoplifter leaving the gun store he owns, has gotten an apparent death threat via email.

The threat against Michael Dunn and his 24-year-old son came a day after investigators released a video of the fatal shooting.

Dunn and other city commissioners received an email with this message:

“bang bang pow pow michael dunn. we know where you live, and where your kid is.”

Lakeland Police have launched an investigation, but say the person who wrote it may be difficult to find.

“Emails could easily be made up,” said Gary Gross, a police spokesman. “IP addresses can be changed. There is a lot of technology to conceal identity if they don’t want to be found.”

“It is sad commentary,” said a customer coming out of Dunn’s store, Vet’s Army Navy Surplus. “That kind of individual needs to get some mental health care, some serious mental health care.”

Dunn is not the only one who got a death threat.

RELATED - Attorney: Would be 'shocked' if store owner not charged in shooting

A woman to whom Dunn rents office space for her hair salon received several unsettling phone calls in the wake of the shooting.

When Dunn found out about them, he sent a text message to the city manager.

"[My tenant] has received threats of death and bodily [injury] in regards to her support of me,” he wrote. “Is it possible to get an officer to patrol her business…”

There has been an overwhelming response to the shooting. Almost 600 comments have been left on the Lakeland Police Department's Facebook page, most saying that Dunn should be charged.

The State Attorney’s Office is expected to announce Friday whether or not charges will be filed.

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