Victim: Christopher Gomez (killed)
The accused: James Brandon Combee


Christopher Gomez

Hispanic male

Age at time: 20

Weapon: unarmed


James Brandon Combee

White male

Age at time: 19

Weapon: gun


Defendant photo: Orange County Sheriff's Office, 2010

Case type:
Argument over love interest

Other Private Property



Case year:

Location details: In a hotel room at Orlando Marriott Downtown in Orlando, Orange County, on May 01, 2010

What happened: James "Little B" Combee and Christopher Gomez argued repeatedly at a downtown Orlando birthday party because they both liked the same girl. The dispute ended with the 20-year-old Gomez dead after he started play wrestling with the girl and Combee pulled a gun. Combee first tried to drag Gomez off the girl, some speculated because he thought he was hurting her. Gomez shoved Combee in response and Combee fired three times, striking the unarmed victim at close range once in the neck. Witnesses said Combee had been showing off the gun throughout the night. Combee's attorney argued in a letter to prosecutors that his client was justified in shooting under "stand your ground."

The outcome: Combee pleaded no contest to manslaughter and was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Investigating agency: Orlando Police

Case decision made by: Prosecutor

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/

Did the victim initiate the confrontation?


Was the victim armed?


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


Did the defendant pursue the victim?


Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?


Was the defendant on his or her property?


Did someone witness the attack?


Was there physical evidence?


Source: Orlando Sentinel, March 13, 2011.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013