Florida Sheriff: Homeowners Are ‘More Than Welcome’ to Shoot Burglars

(Cox Media Group) A Florida sheriff announcing the arrest of a man suspected of several break-ins who was shot at by a resident said Thursday that homeowners were “more than welcome” to shoot burglars.

During a news conference, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson announced the arrest of Brandon Joseph Harris, 32, of Milton, who was accused of committing a spree of residential break-ins in the Panhandle city of Pace on Wednesday evening, the Pensacola News Journal reported.

One of the homeowners fired multiple gunshots at about 5:12 p.m. CDT, but there were no reported injuries, the newspaper reported. Harris was arrested about 10 minutes later, Johnson told reporters.

“We don’t know what homeowner shot at him. I guess they think they did something wrong, which they did not,” Johnson told reporters. “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.

“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.”

Philip Marschke was at work Wednesday evening when he received a call from his wife, who said Harris was in the family’s backyard, WKRG-TV reported.

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