A Florida sheriff’s video urging residents to kill intruders has gone viral, perhaps saving the state money.
Santa Rosa Sheriff Bob Johnson made the comments after an unnamed Sunshine Stater shot at a burglar with at least 17 prior offenses last week. “If someone breaks unto your house you are more than welcome to shoot them in Santa Rosa County,” Johnson deadpanned in front of reporters. “We prefer that you do, actually.”
As Johnson put it, the owner had nothing to fear from coming forward since they were innocent. The resident was kindly invited to take firearms training to enhance their accuracy.
“You’re not in trouble,” he said. “Come see us. We have a gun safety class we put on every other Saturday. If you take that you’ll shoot a lot better and hopefully you’ll save taxpayers money.”
With regard to house invasions, Florida’s so-called “stand your ground” statute says that a resident “has no responsibility to withdraw” but instead may “stand their ground” and use or threaten to use force.
An experienced police officer with more than 40 years of experience claimed at a news conference that the suspect, Brandon Harris, had previously been arrested when he was only 13 years old and had served six years in jail for a home invasion.
There were felony warrants out for his arrest before it, according to Johnson. “He just can’t seem to get the picture that crime does not pay,” Johnson said.
When 911 callers reported a strange guy breaking into houses in the Pace area on Wednesday, more than a dozen cops were sent to investigate. As Harris kept “jumping fences and breaking into houses as he goes,” Johnson added, they built up a perimeter and deployed police dogs.
When Harris attempted to break into their house, one irate homeowner fired at him in defense, Johnson said.
Another residential break-in led to the arrest of the frenzied thief, who was ultimately apprehended in the bedroom’s closet. Surrounded by police, Johnson says he escaped out the window and was arrested in the rear of an apartment building.
On his way out of the house with children in the house, Johnson stated, “Hopefully this time he’ll go and I won’t get out.” He noted that the lady was able to shut the door before Johnson could get in.
“He doesn’t care about anybody but himself and hopefully he goes to prison for the rest of his life,” the sheriff said.
Johnson decried the fact that offenders in places like New York, California, and Illinois had been given an unfair advantage.
“If you allow criminals certain liberties with your citizens they are going to take the extra mile,” according to his assessment of the country’s escalating crime rates in other regions. Those are the reasons why so many people are fleeing these locations. “That’s why people are leaving these areas in droves. You don’t have the right to protect yourself or your property.”