Fla sheriff tells homeowners they are ‘more than welcome’ to shoot burglars: ‘We prefer that you do’

Lest would-be house burglars in Florida have any doubts about their safety, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson stated Thursday that homeowners in his county are “more than welcome to shoot at” anyone who tries to break into their homes.

“We prefer that you do, actually,” Johnson said.

The sheriff was speaking at a press conference about the arrest on Wednesday of “frequent flyer” criminal Brandon J. Harris, who, according to Johnson, has been on his police department’s radar since he was 13 years old.

This time around, authorities were alerted via multiple calls of a suspicious person in a Pace neighborhood, roughly 15 miles north of Pensacola, according to the Miami Herald.

Approximately 40 minutes after the first call was received, one homeowner shot at Harris, who literally dodged a bullet and continued running through the neighborhood.

Harris, who has been arrested on 17 previous occasions, was ultimately apprehended when he came crashing out of another home’s bedroom window, Sheriff Johnson said, adding that the homeowner who shot at the crook has yet to come forward.

“I guess they think they did something wrong, which they did not,” said Johnson. “If somebody is breaking into your house, you’re more than welcome to shoot at them in Santa Rosa County. We prefer you do, actually.”

Though the homeowner fired multiple rounds at Harris, he escaped with only some bloody cuts from fencing, Johnson said.

With this arrest, Harris is now facing seven charges, including attempted burglary with assault, burglary, and resisting arrest.

As Florida’s statute on the “justifiable use of force” clearly states, if you are in a dwelling or residence in which you have the right to be, you have the right to use deadly force if you reasonably believe “that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”

Sheriff Johnson urged the homeowner to contact him, assuring him or her that (s)he is not in trouble.

“Come see us,” Johnson said. “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 save taxpayers money.”

While some on social media appeared mortified by the sheriff’s comments, others were quick to cheer him on.

“Hell yes!!” wrote one user.

Another stated, “Gotta love #Florida. If this was #California, the homeowner would be the one charged.”

Even some on the Left support Sheriff Johnson and Florida’s law.

“Sorry but even as a liberal California Democrat I think I agree with him,” wrote one user. “I would LOVE to live in a world with NO guns, but I doubt it will happen so my Taurus ACP keeps me safe in my ‘castle’ (as in castle doctrine”). WE DON’T DIAL 9-1-1.”



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