'You can protect yourself': Cops say homeowner who shot at FOUR home invaders will not be charged
From the surveillance footage, it could be seen that the suspected intruders gathered outside talking among themselves as they wait for the homeowner to answer the door
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA: Escambia County Sheriff's Office released footage of a home invasion that happened on the night of July 7 at about 11.42 pm on the 700 block of Pinestead Road in Pensacola, Florida from a Ring camera via a Facebook post. From the surveillance footage, it could be seen that the suspected intruders gathered outside talking among themselves as they wait for the homeowner to answer the door. When the victim unlocked the door, two of the three men pushed him into the house and attacked him. The third male then pulled a handgun from his pants and waited outside.
The homeowner, who cannot be seen on camera and was not named, was armed with a pistol. But his pistol fell. "During this home invasion, the victim's pistol fell to the ground and was picked up by one of the invaders," the released notes read. "The victim ran to the back room of the house where he had another firearm and began firing at his intruders." The three intruders "ran frantically from the home to their vehicle where the fourth suspect was waiting and drove off, hitting a mailbox."
The men fled the residence, but investigators were able to identify the suspects. Da'Torrance Hackworth, 20, and Antonio Dewayne Dean Jr., 18, were arrested and face home invasion and illegal gun possession charges. A third suspect, Joseph Roman Sanders, 18, is still on the run, and deputies are still looking to identify the fourth suspect. His image was caught on crystal-clear security footage.
Sheriff Chip Simmons released a Facebook video Friday, July 8 about the home invasion where he noted the homeowner would "absolutely not" be charged because "the homeowner's protecting himself, and in Florida, in Escambia County, you can protect yourself". Simmons added, "We get a report of a third individual that had a wound to the head not long after (the home invasion). The stories he's giving us as to how he got shot in the head are inconsistent at best. In short, we don't believe him. So what we're looking at is to determine whether this is the third person that was involved."
What is the Stand Your Ground Florida gun Law?
The "Stand Your Ground" law allows you to use a firearm, and even lethal force, while inside your home or vehicle to protect it, as per Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys. According to Florida statutes 776.01213 and 776.01314, a person does not have a duty to retreat if they believe that using force is the only way to prevent death or serious bodily harm to oneself or another. To summarize, if a person is inside their home, residence, or vehicle and believes someone is about to commit a felony that will result in their death or serious bodily harm, they are justified in using lethal force to prevent it.
The sheriff has not named a third individual in the home invasion but noted his injury was not life-threatening. Simmons also backed the rights of homeowners to defend themselves.''If someone breaks into my front door, barges in, and attacks me or my family, they are going to get shot,'' Simmons added. ''I afford that same consideration to the residents of my county.''