Victim: Elias Nazario (killed)
The accused: Samer Hasan

Nazario

Elias Nazario

Hispanic male

Age at time: 26

Weapon: unarmed

Victim photo: Collier County Sheriff's Office, 2005

 
Samer_Hasan

Samer Hasan

White male

Age at time: 28

Weapon: gun

gun

unharmed

Case type:
Citizen enforcing the law

Location:
Defendant's Property

Initiator:
Defendant

Witnesses:
Unclear

Case year:
2005

Location details: Sam's Food Mart, owned by defendant in Fort Myers, Lee County, on July 15, 2005

What happened: After sending employees outside twice to tell a man to leave the parking lot of his grocery store, Samer Hasan grabbed a handgun and went outside himself. He told the man he believed was trying to buy drugs to leave or he would call police. Hasan told investigators that's when Elias Nazario hit or slapped his face and backed him against the side of his store. Hasan responded by fatally shooting Nazario in the chest with the Glock. Hasan previously had been threatened by local government officials with the closure of his store if he did not take steps to reduce drug activity near his address. Hasan was charged with manslaughter after an investigation.

The outcome: Hasan's attorney said he argued his client was "standing his ground." The judge at the bench trial agreed and acquitted Hasan even though Florida's self-defense law had not yet changed.

Investigating agency: Fort Myers Police

Case decision made by: Judge

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: Collier County Sheriff's Office, March 9, 2005.

Source: Fort Myers News-Press, July 15, 2005.

Source: Lee County Clerk of Court, May 22, 2007.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013