On her son’s fourteenth birthday, Florida mom Michelle Dinkins-Penland witnessed a disturbing argument break out between her husband and the birthday boy.
Mark Penland and her son were in an argument so heated that it must have been unbearable to watch.
“My husband saw him on the patio, and told him to ‘Get the ‘F’ out of my face,’ and hit my son,” she tells Fox 35.
Dinkins-Penland explains that when she and her mother tried to break up the fight, it turned even more violent. Mark threw her mother to the ground, punched Dinkins-Penland in the eye, and reportedly started pulverizing the teen.
Her solution to the problem?
“[A]nd that’s when I shot him,” she says.
According to Fox 35, a spokesperson from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said witness testimony revealed Penland had been very violent toward his wife’s son. At one point, Dinkins-Penland provided authorities with a recording in which Penland threatened over and over to kill him. Penland had already broken several of her son’s ribs.
The couple had been married for over a year. Mark was reportedly struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his military service.
“To me, it was just a horrible situation to make the choice of my child surviving, or shooting my husband,” she said.
The State’s Attorneys Office announced it would not be pursuing charges in the case. According to the motion filed by the State’s Attorney, Dinkins-Penland, who has a Florida concealed weapons permit, “is entitled to the no retreat provision found in the Stand Your Ground Law.”
The statement further read that Dinkins-Penland was legally allowed to use deadly force:
“Based on a reasonable fear that her life, her mother’s life and certainly her son’s life were in danger.”
“I feel like this was definitely a victory for domestic violence victims. Now other victims of domestic violence can feel like they can protect themselves and their families,” read the statement.