A man who shot and killed his fiancee's brother was not arrested by Lake County detectives because of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.
Just like George Zimmerman, the admitted shooter Jakob Penrod hasn't been charged in this case. But the big difference is several witnesses, including some of the deceased's relatives, say Penrod did all he could to get away from the situation.
Lake County deputies had been called to the Huggins Street home twice Saturday because of arguments involving the 21-year-old Penrod and his fiancee's brother Gregory Gayle, 27.
“I heard a lot of arguing, I almost called 911 but a couple minutes later I see seven police cars,” Leesburg neighbor Diane Chidester said.
Detectives say Penrod wanted the man to move out of the home, and by 9 o'clock that night the argument escalated to the point where Penrod got a gun. Detectives say it was only for the protection of him and his pregnant fiancee.
“He had taken her back into the bathroom, literally barricaded themselves, holding the door shut against Gayle's efforts to push the door in and gain entry into the bathroom,” Lake County Sheriff's Detective John Herrell said.
Authorities say once Gayle got in, he bloodied Penrod's lip and gave him a black eye, so Penrod shot his unarmed soon to be brother-in-law, killing him. Deputies initially put Penrod in the back of a patrol car, but eventually let him go.
“There were several family members of Gayle's that all supported Penrod's history of the events that led to the shooting,” Lt. Herrell said.
Neighbors are well aware of the law and the situation that's drawn worldwide attention in Sanford less than 50 miles away.
“With all the controversy with the Trayvon Martin case I'd rather keep my opinion to myself about this case,” Chidester said.
But Lake County authorities say they reacted no differently to this "Stand Your ground" investigation than the other three they've done in the past.
“We are handling these cases the way we always have, one step at a time, very carefully, very methodically," Herrell said. "We get the witness statements and autopsy results and ultimately refer it to the state attorney's office so they can put their eyes on it.”
The State Attorney hadn't received the full details of the investigation late Monday. The autopsy was completed Monday.