Victim: Christopher L. Danford (killed)
The accused: Timothy Lavorne Johnson

Danford

Christopher L. Danford

Black male

Age at time: 21

Weapon: gun

gun

Victim photo: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, 2008

 
Johnson

Timothy Lavorne Johnson

Black male

Age at time: 36

Weapon: gun

gun

Defendant photo: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Case type:
Attempted robbery

Location:
Public

Initiator:
Victim

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2009

Location details: On a public street after an attempted robbery in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, on Oct. 22, 2009

What happened: Timothy Johnson was with a friend speaking to someone outside a Family Dollar when Christopher Danford pointed a gun at him and demanded money. Johnson's friend fled on foot and the would-be robber got in his car and appeared to be chasing him. Johnson, who had an illegal weapon in his car, said he drove off in the same direction looking for his friend. A few blocks away, Danford and the men with him blocked Johnson's car. Danford got out with his gun and Johnson said he fired to protect himself. He did not call police after the shooting. Danford staggered into All Children's Hospital but died in the emergency room. Johnson was charged with felonious possession of a firearm but not in the homicide.

The outcome: Johnson pleaded guilty to a gun possession charge but was not prosecuted in the homicide. He was sentenced to six months in jail.

Investigating agency: St. Petersburg Police

Case decision made by: Police

Trayvon Martin’s death became controversial because circumstances leading up to the shooting cast doubt on who was to blame. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed other “stand your ground” cases for similar circumstances. The Times relied on available information, some of which may not tell the whole story. When the situation was unclear, that was noted.

Yes No Unclear/
disputed

Did the victim initiate the confrontation?

Check

Was the victim armed?

Check

Was the victim committing a crime that led to the confrontation?

Check

Did the defendant pursue the victim?

Check

Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?

Check

Was the defendant on his or her property?

Check

Did someone witness the attack?

Check

Was there physical evidence?

Check

Source: St. Petersburg Police Department, Oct. 22, 2009.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013