Florida sheriff encourages residents to shoot intruders to ‘save taxpayer money’
PACE, Fla. (Gray News) – A sheriff in Florida is encouraging residents to learn how to shoot intruders to “save taxpayer money,” he said during a press conference Thursday.
Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson was holding a press conference in reference to the arrest of Brandon Joseph Harris, 32, who Johnson said was breaking into multiple homes Wednesday in Pace, located about 15 miles north of Pensacola.
Johnson said Harris has been known to law enforcement since he was 13 years old and since then has had 17 arrests. Harris spent more than six years in prison for home invasion.
According to Johnson, during Harris’ string of break-ins on Wednesday, one homeowner fired shots at him. The sheriff’s office is now trying to identify that homeowner and offered to train the person to be a more accurate shooter.
“Whoever that 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 taxpayers money,” Johnson said.
Johnson doubled down on his statements, reiterating that homeowners are well within their rights to shoot at someone who is breaking into their home.
“If somebody is breaking into your house, you’re more than welcome to shoot them in Santa Rosa County. We prefer that you do, actually,” Johnson said.
Johnson expressed disappointment that Harris was not injured during the encounter with the homeowner.
“Of course [Harris] didn’t get hit [with bullets], and now we have to pay for him,” Johnson said.
Deputies were able to corner Harris inside a home and arrested him. Johnson said Harris already had active warrants, and he is now facing seven additional charges for the events that unfolded on Wednesday.
“Some people don’t learn,” Johnson said. “For us, he is job security. I mean, we deal with him all the time.”
Harris was booked into the Santa Rosa County Jail. His bond is set at $157,500.
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