A sheriff in Florida suggested a novel way that taxpayers could save themselves money. Shoot intruders.
Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson offered his tip on Thursday during a press conference held to discuss the arrest of a burglary suspect who terrorized a neighborhood during a 30-minute “burglary spree,” as WKRG called it.
On Wednesday, the suspect, Brandon Harris, broke into at least four homes as he fled deputies.
WKRG reported that Harris fled into a home and barricaded himself in a bedroom as deputies closed in. When they crashed into the bedroom, the suspect jumped from a window but was eventually caught.
One media outlet reported that Harris had 17 prior arrests.
The Sheriff’s Office said that when they pursued Harris on Wednesday he had active warrants for violation of probation, aggravated assault and other charges. Because of his house-to-house dash on Wednesday, authorities added on seven total counts of burglary and attempted larceny.
According to the sheriff, one homeowner shot at Harris multiple times but missed.
Johnson counseled the homeowner to take heart.
“We don’t know what homeowner — which homeowner — shot at him. I guess they think they did something wrong, which they did not,” said Johnson, WKRG reported.
“If somebody’s breaking into your house, you’re more than welcome to shoot them in Santa Rosa County, and we prefer that you do actually,” the sheriff added.
“Whoever that was, you’re not in trouble. 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.”