No Charges But Plenty of Unanswered Questions in 2011 Fatal WaveRunner Shooting

Jack Davis, the 14-year-old Miami Shores resident who shot and killed a WaveRunner thief two years ago, will not face criminal charges. Prosecutors announced yesterday that they would not put the teen on trial because he "reasonably believed he and his mother were being attacked and were in imminent danger" when 20-year-old Reynaldo Muñoz stole the jet ski.

In reality however, the Davises were not in danger: Muñoz did not have a gun and could not hear their cries because he was deaf and mute.

Despite the dismissal of charges, plenty of questions remain unanswered. Why did the Davises initially lie about the shooting? Why didn't they retreat if they thought Muñoz had a gun? And why did a Miami-Dade detective wait six months to interview Jack Davis?

See also: Jet Ski Thief Killed By 14-Year-Old With Shotgun

According to the State Attorney's Office close-out memo, Muñoz and his girlfriend rode his own WaveRunner to the Davises' waterfront home in Miami Shores on May 21, 2011. Muñoz hopped off, swam to the shore, and began pulling the Davises' jet ski into the water.

Inside the house, Jack Davis's mother, Yasmin, spotted the thief. According to the memo, she walked outside and dialed 911 while yelling at Muñoz.

But he couldn't hear. Yasmin Davis mistakenly assumed he was ignoring her. She also incorrectly thought he was wearing a bullet-proof vest and holding a gun. Muñoz actually held a device for starting the stolen WaveRunner.

Yasmin yelled for Jack to bring out the family's gun. The teenager came out of the house and took aim. But his mother told him to wait as it looked like Muñoz as riding off on the jet ski.

"They still hoped the strange man would leave," the memo says, "but then [Muñoz] made a sharp turn towards the sea wall and was circling when he put his hand in the front compartment as if he was trying to get something."

"Believing that the strange man was going to retrieve his gun and shoot them both, his mother told [Jack] to shoot. J.D. put the gun up parallel to his face and fired one time."

Muñoz was hit in the right side of his head by two shotgun pellets and died floating face down in the water.

Prosecutors considered charging Davis with manslaughter or murder, but ultimately decided to drop the idea because there was a "reasonable hypothesis of innocence."

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.

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