“If someone’s breaking into your house you’re more than welcome to shoot them in Santa Rosa County. We prefer that you do, actually.”
That’s the message from Sheriff Bob Johnson of Santa Rosa County, Florida after one homeowner shot at an intruder on a burglary spree. In fact, he’s inviting the anonymous homeowner to come out and take shooting classes to improve their aim.
It all started last week when police began getting calls about a suspicious person in a subdivision in Pace, Florida, in the Sunshine State’s panhandle.
Police set up a perimeter around the area as the intruder, later identified as Brandon Harris, began to jump fences to escape police and broke into several houses in the neighborhood along the way.
But one homeowner wasn’t having it and fired shots at Harris, who managed to escape until police cornered him in another nearby house before jumping out of a bedroom window and being captured in the backyard.
It’s unclear which homeowner fired the shots at Harris, but Sheriff Johnson has a message for whoever it was:
“You’re not in trouble. Come see us. We have a gun safety class we put on every other Saturday, and if you take that you’ll shoot a lot better and hopefully you’ll save the taxpayers money.”
Sheriff Johnson referred to Harris as “job security,” noting that he was a “frequent flyer” with something like 17 arrests. Harris had recently served 6 and a half years in prison for home invasion.
During his burglary spree, Harris already had active warrants for felony violation of probation, misdemeanor battery and felony aggravated assault. And now he’s also facing a grand total of seven new charges, including attempted burglary with assault, resisting arrest, burglary to an occupied dwelling, and attempted larceny.
“He just can’t seem to get the picture that crime does not pay…
He doesn’t care about anybody but himself, and hopefully he goes to prison for the rest of his life on this one.”
Sheriff Johnson was asked what type of gun was used by the homeowner, and while he wasn’t sure about that, he had a message for others who are worried about defending their homes:
“If somebody’s breaking into your house you’ve got all the right in the world to defend yourself. Of course he didn’t get hit and now we have to pay for him.”