On Monday, WISTV News reported that a Florida sheriff is urging residents to shoot home intruders, in order to "save taxpayers money."
"Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson was holding a press conference in reference to the arrest of Brandon Joseph Harris, 32, who Johnson said was breaking into multiple homes Wednesday in Pace, located about 15 miles north of Pensacola," reported Emily Van de Riet. "Johnson said Harris has been known to law enforcement since he was 13 years old and since then has had 17 arrests. Harris spent more than six years in prison for home invasion. According to Johnson, during Harris’ string of break-ins on Wednesday, one homeowner fired shots at him. The sheriff’s office is now trying to identify that homeowner and offered to train the person to be a more accurate shooter."
“Whoever that was, you’re not in trouble," said Johnson in the press conference. "Come see us, we have a gun safety class we put on every other Saturday, and if you take that, you’ll shoot a lot better and hopefully you’ll save taxpayers money.”
Johnson later doubled down on his remarks.
“If somebody is breaking into your house, you’re more than welcome to shoot them in Santa Rosa County. We prefer that you do, actually,” said Johnson, adding, “Of course [Harris] didn’t get hit, and now we have to pay for him."
Southern sheriffs have been a frequent source of controversy; earlier this month, Sheriff Rick Hickman of Prairie County, Arkansas dismissed the importance of a shooting after learning it was in the Black part of town, then defended himself from public outrage by saying he's not racist because only uses the N-word "occasionally."
Watch his speech here.