Sheriff: Homeowner will ‘absolutely not’ face charges for shooting at robbery suspects

“In Florida, in Escambia County, you can protect yourself,” said Sheriff Chip Simmons, noting the homeowner used an “AK-47-style rifle”

By Suzie Ziegler

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida homeowner will “absolutely not” face charges for using a high-powered rifle to shoot three home invasion suspects, police said this week. 

The incident began just after midnight on July 7 when three suspects entered a man’s home, Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said in a Facebook video address. The homeowner initially confronted the suspects with a handgun, but accidentally dropped it, police said. The homeowner then ran and grabbed an “AK-47-style rifle” as one suspect stooped to pick up the dropped handgun. The homeowner fired off shots with the rifle and the suspects fled, police said. 

"He started shooting for his own protection, to get them out of his house and to protect himself," Simmons said. “In Florida, in Escambia County, you can protect yourself.” 

Simmons says deputies identified two suspects as Antonio DeWayne Dean Jr., 18, and Da'Torrance Leanders Hackworth, 20. Hackworth is in custody and Dean is wanted for a slew of warrants including carjacking, assault with a firearm and domestic violence battery. 

Simmons also said authorities found a third man with a non-fatal gunshot wound to his head, but deputies are still working to determine if the unnamed third individual was involved in the suspected home invasion, according to the report. 

NEXT: Sheriff: Homeowners should shoot burglars to 'save taxpayers' money'

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