Fatally injured Jeb Bubanas and another teen stabbed in December during a fight in a wooded area in south Santa Rosa County had launched a vicious assault against the man who used a knife against them.

The attack came as Bubanas and Cole Tolbert sought to vindicate a friend who had been punched. They turned on Bryce Schroeder, who evidence would show had not hit anyone.

Those findings are what led the State Attorney’s Office to conclude that no charges will be filed in the killing of Bubanas and the stabbing of Tolbert.

Schroeder, who fatally stabbed Bubanas, “reasonably believed that he was in danger of death or great bodily harm. … He had a well-founded fear under the circumstances of imminent death or great bodily harm,” an investigative report states.

“The evidence in this case supports a finding that Bryce Schroeder reasonably believed his use of deadly force was necessary,” it says.

Santa Rosa County sheriff’s deputies responded Dec. 16 to a call that a stabbing had occurred in a secluded spot off River Birch Road in Navarre, reports said.

They arrived to find a large group of teenagers fleeing the scene and Bubanas in the back of a pickup truck with a knife wound to the chest. His heart had been punctured, the State Attorney’s report said.

Tolbert suffered a punctured lung from a knife, the report said.

Schroeder told deputies he pulled his pocket knife “and just started swinging it” after being attacked by several people who hit him over and over again, put him in a choke hold and threatened to kill him.

“Schroeder said that he was scared and thought that he was going to die,” the report said. “He believed the action he took was his only way out.”

Bubanas, Tolbert and Ethan Frymark attacked Schroeder after mistakenly identifying him as the person who had punched one of their friends, the report said.

Four people at the scene took videos. They show Bubanas yelling at Schroeder and then punching him in the face and Schroeder backing off as though stunned, the report said. Tolbert approaches Schroeder from behind and also hits him, it said.

The three stop long enough to chase off another teen standing with Schroeder, but then continue “kicking and punching him repeatedly,” the report said.

“Cole Tolbert punches Schroeder with sufficient force that Tolbert sustains a broken hand,” the report said.

The evidence of self-defense was so great that, following the initial investigation the State Attorney’s Office considered filing charges against Tolbert and Frymark for their role in the attack, the report said.

“Based on the totality of the circumstances and Bryce Schroeder’s desire not to testify, no charges will be filed against Tolbert and Frymark,” said the report, signed by James Parker, Santa Rosa County's chief assistant state attorney.