Florida sheriff says homeowners 'more than welcome to shoot' intruders
"If someone's breaking into your house, you're more than welcome to shoot them," he said.
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A Florida sheriff is encouraging residents to take gun safety classes and declared they are "more than welcome to shoot" intruders.
Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson made his pro-"stand your ground" comments last week after Brandon J. Harris, 32, allegedly broke into several homes in Pace, Fla.
Johnson said law enforcement first interacted with Harris when he was 13 years old, and since that time he has been arrested about 17 times.
"He just can't seem to get the picture that crime does not pay," Johnson noted.
Harris repeatedly broke into multiple homes on Wednesday, officials stated.
"Probably 20 deputies get there, the dogs are out, and he's jumping fences and breaking into houses as he goes," Johnson said. "One of the homeowners, he was breaking into their house, and they shot at him. So he continues to run, we finally corner him in a house that he broke into on Tom Sawyer and we cornered him in a bedroom."
The sheriff said that while officials do not know who shot Harris, the gunman would not face charges.
"I guess they think they did something wrong, which they did not," Johnson speculated as to why the homeowner has not come forward.
"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," he said.
"So, whoever that was, you're not in trouble, come see us. We have a gun safety class we put on every other Saturday," Johnson said.
"If you take that, you'll shoot a lot better, and hopefully you'll save the taxpayers money," Johnson added, before taking questions.