GA Sheriff: Armed Homeowner Defends Family Against Career "Hoodlum"

The sheriff in Putnam County, Georgia says he’s “sick” over a career criminal with a “20-page rap sheet” attempting to break into a home and terrorize the family inside.

Sheriff Howard Sills says 28-year old Hunter Layne Harrison, who was already on probation for three different crimes dating back to 2014, used a concrete block and a dumbbell to break a glass door at the rear of the home, gaining entrance before the armed homeowner fired a shot in self-defense. The shot hit Harrison in the arm, and he dropped to the floor where the homeowner held him at gunpoint until deputies arrived.

The deputies then attempted to detain Harrison and place him in cuffs, but Sills says the suspect battled with the deputies, splattering blood across the kitchen, breaking free, cussing at the officers, and running towards a door that he believed was an exit.

But Sills says Harrison didn’t realize the home was currently under construction and that the door no longer led to a back deck, causing Harrison to fall nine feet to the ground where deputies arrested him.

The officers had to use pepper spray to subdue Harrison and keep his feet in shackles to keep him from running.

While Harrison was en route to an ambulance that had arrived on scene, Sills says he continued to fight deputies. Once inside the ambulance, Harrison was sent to The Medical Center, Navicent Health to be treated for his injuries, including undergoing surgery to remove a bullet from his arm.

Sills exasperatedly told reporters that Harrison is now taking up a bed that could be used for a coronavirus patient, though it sounds like he’ll soon be moved over to the Putnam County jail. Given the fact that Harrison is now charged with home invasion, he’ll likely be facing a relatively high bond, which could keep him behind bars even as other jails around the state are starting to release non-violent offenders. The Fulton County jail released 30 offenders on Wednesday after an inmate tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, but there’s been no sign or indication that sheriffs around the state have plans to release any violent offenders to mitigate the spread of the disease.

As for the homeowners, it sounds like they’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do, but thankfully no one in the household was harmed and they can continue to ride out the pandemic at their place. I suspect, however, that any unarmed neighbors they might have are going to be heading down to the Bass and Antler or Weaver Bros. Discount Mattresses and Guns (yep, it’s a real business) in nearby Milledgeville in the hopes that they can pick up a firearm and ammunition to protect themselves. After all, it’s clear that criminals aren’t sheltering in place, and it’s reasonable for the law-abiding to want their own shelter to be as secure as possible.