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

Christopher_Gomez

Christopher Gomez

Hispanic male

Age at time: 20

Weapon: unarmed

 
Combee

James Brandon Combee

White male

Age at time: 19

Weapon: gun

gun

Defendant photo: Orange County Sheriff's Office, 2010

Case type:
Argument over love interest

Location:
Other Private Property

Initiator:
Defendant

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2010

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/
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: Orlando Sentinel, March 13, 2011.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013