Victim: John S. Tillman
The accused: John Charles Gray Jr.

John S._Tillman

John S. Tillman

White male

Age at time: 52

Weapon: unarmed


John Charles Gray Jr.

White male

Age at time: 45

Weapon: gun


Defendant photo: Orange County Sheriff's Office, 2007

Case type:
Road rage




Case year:

Location details: Lee Road and Wymore Road in Winter Park, Orange County, on Jan. 11, 2007

What happened: John Charles Gray Jr. leveled his revolver at another driver after the two engaged in a heated road rage incident near Tampa. John S. Tillman said he feared for his life when Gray pointed the gun and yelled he would blow his brains out. But Gray eventually argued he was just defending his life by standing his ground against a driver out of control. The two never came to blows, but Gray was arrested after Tillman called police and directed them to Gray.

The outcome: The 5th District Court of Appeal upheld a lower court's decision to deny immunity in May 2009. Gray pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 18 months probation and required to take a firearms course.

Investigating agency: Winter Park Police Department

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/

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: Fifth District State Court of Appeal, May 29, 2009.

Source: Orange County Clerk of Courts, Jan. 11, 2007.

Source: Winter Park Police Department, Jan. 11, 2007.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013