A Florida woman in Panama City Beach heard the sounds of three men breaking into his vehicle early Sunday morning. She woke her husband to tell him, the moment so many gun owners secretly dread. He then reportedly got up, had her secure their children, and went out to confront the three men who were breaking into their car outside.
However, this Florida man wasn’t the dolt that has become synonymous with the phrase “Florida man” in recent years. He knew there was a 9mm pistol in the car, and he went out to confront the burglars armed with AK-47.
The incident unfolded around 2:45 a.m. when the homeowner’s wife was awakened by noises outside of their home. The woman then woke her husband, who looked outside and observed three suspects breaking into the family’s vehicles.
The man, who knew a 9mm handgun was in one of the vehicles, told his wife to watch over their children and ensure their safety as he grabbed an AK-47 and confronted the suspects.
Once confronted, the suspects fled to a nearby getaway vehicle, but the homeowner said one of the suspects, who was later identified as 19-year-old Tristen Wilson, turned toward him in a manner that led the homeowner to believe Wilson had a weapon. The homeowner, in turn, fired his weapon.
Wilson was struck in the leg and the gunshots left the getaway car’s windows shattered and at least one tire flat.
It’s important to remember that Florida is a Castle Doctrine state, so the gentleman in question is unlikely to face any legal charges resulting from this. Especially as it seems clear the sheriff believes this was a righteous shoot.
There is a possibility that someone will try to push the angle that the Castle Doctrine laws don’t cover someone breaking into a vehicle, but that should be nipped in the bud. The gentleman went outside armed, but he also knew there was a gun in the car. He had a real reason to be concerned enough about his safety so as to feel he needed a firearm for protection on that tidbit alone.
However, he also didn’t fire until Wilson turned toward him in a manner that the gentlemen believed he was about to be shot at. Regardless of any other facts in the case, that one item alone makes this a righteous shoot.
Let’s not forget about the potential deterrence something like this does. It seems unlikely that any of these three men will consider breaking into cars in the wee hours of the morning as safe an occupation as many might. That’s three men who may begin to rethink their life choices going forward.
That’s not to say we should gun down criminals who represent no physical threat to us, of course. But the effects an armed citizen can have on crime cannot be overstated.
In the internet of today, “Florida Man” is usually something of a joke, a ridiculous individual who makes poor decisions that the rest of us get to laugh at. In this case, the poor decisions fall at the feet of three guys who tried to break into someone else’s car.
Sheriff Kevin Crews’ statement: