At a news conference on Thursday, the sheriff in Florida urged homeowners to learn how to shoot invaders in order to “save taxpayer money.”
Sheriff Bob Johnson was conducting a news conference in connection with the arrest of Brandon Joseph Harris, 32. Harris was arrested on Wednesday in Pace, which is roughly 15 miles north of Pensacola and was accused of breaking into many residences.
Harris, according to Johnson, has been known to law enforcement since he was 13 years old and has been arrested 17 times since then. Home invasion was the reason for Harris’ incarceration for more than six years.
In the course of Harris’ run of break-ins on Wednesday, Johnson claims that one of the homeowners opened fire on him. That homeowner has not been identified yet, and the sheriff’s office has offered to teach him or her so that they may shoot more accurately in the future.
Johnson said that the property owner should not be frightened to come forward since they had done nothing wrong.“If someone breaks unto your house you are more than welcome to shoot them in Santa Rosa County,” Johnson said in front of reporters. “We prefer that you do, actually.”
“You’re not in trouble,” he continues. “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.”
The so-called “stand your ground” statute in Florida stipulates that a property owner who is confronted by an intruder has the right to defend himself or herself, and “has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and use or threaten to use.”
“He just can’t seem to get the picture that crime does not pay,” Johnson said, adding that he (Harris) had felony outstanding warrants before his arrest last week.
Johnson expressed displeasure that Harris was not hurt during the interaction with the homeowner. “Of course [Harris] didn’t get hit [with bullets], and now we have to pay for him,” Johnson said.
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Harris was apprehended by deputies inside a residence and taken into custody. In addition to the outstanding warrants, Harris is now facing seven more counts as a result of the events that transpired on Wednesday, according to Johnson.
Harris was taken into custody and placed into the Santa Rosa County Jail. The amount of his bail has been set at $157,500.
Featured image: Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office
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