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Panhandle sheriff encourages homeowners to shoot burglars

A sheriff in Florida is encouraging residents to learn how to shoot intruders to "save taxpayer money." (Source: Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 4:37 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The sheriff of Santa Rosa County recently encouraged homeowners to kill burglars and other intruders in order to “save taxpayers money.”

The comments came at a news conference April 21, after a four-home burglary spree in Pace, Florida. After getting multiple reports of burglaries is rapid succession they received a call of gunfire in the area.

Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said one homeowner shot at the man during the burglary spree but missed.

Brandon Harris was caught moments after he jumped out of a window of a house as he was being pursued by deputies, Johnson said. He faces multiple counts of burglary and criminal mischief and was being held on $157,500 bond.

Johnson described Harris a a career criminal with at least 17 arrests. “He just doesn’t seem to get the picture that crime doesn’t pay,” Johnson said.

At the news conference, Johnson said he it was unclear which homeowner took a shot at the suspect, but assured them they were not in trouble. “I guess they think they did something wrong, which they did not. If someone is breaking into your house, you’re more than welcome to shoot them in Santa Rosa County. We prefer that you do, actually,” he said.

Johnson went even further, inviting the man to attend a gun safety class from the sheriff’s office. You’ll shoot a lot better and hopefully save the taxpayers money.”

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