Local family speaks out against 'Stand Your Ground' law

Jim Piotrowski was killed in 2010, shooter claims self defense

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Tracey and Steve Piotrowski describe the increase in Stand Your Ground cases in the state of Florida as excessive and abusive. 

"People are hiding behind that and it's pretty blatant," said Tracey Piotrowski. 

Tracey's husband and Steve's brother, Jim, was shot and killed two years ago on the eve of Thanksgiving. The Fleming Island couple had traveled to Jim's Uncles home in South Carolina, when investigators said 69-year-old Richard Santee gunned down his nephew after an apparent argument. 

"I see my husband at the base of the stairs, covered in blood, full of bullets, pellets and half of his jaw is missing," said Tracey Piotrowski.

A security guard witnessed the shots and returned fire, striking Piotrowski in the back. Santee later told police that his nephew had threatened to kill him and used the Stand Your Ground law as a defense. The former Navy Pilot's family said it wasn't protection, but rather murder.

"I believe that there is so much overkill that is going on that it's just an abuse of the families that have to live with this everyday," said Piotrowski.

In light of the Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis cases thrusting the controversial law back into the spotlight, the Piotrowskis said it's now time for the community to step up in unit and demand more stringent language be written into the law so other families don't have to deal with lingering questions.

"After my husband was killed, I am dealing with people that imagine he did something to deserve being shot four times," said Piotrowski.

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