An armed Florida family banded together and fought back against a man who police say broke into their home early Monday morning. After the intruder ignored a warning shot, at least two of the family members shot the suspect, killing him.
A mother, father and son living in the Winter Haven, Fla., home reportedly woke up just before 7 a.m. to the sound of an unknown person trying to break in through a porch door. Police later identified the suspect as 40-year-old Mitchell Large.
One of the family members first tried to scare away the intruder with a warning shot. Large apparently did not heed the warning, a decision that would cost him his life.
The intruder managed to make his way into the kitchen — but by that point, three members of the Pena family were armed and ready to defend themselves and their home.
Police Chief Gary Hester said “at least two family members fired in defense of themselves and their property.” Though police say Large likely wasn’t armed, Hester said it appears the family was still within their rights to shoot the man.
“It’s not a very far reach to assume that if someone’s forcing their way into your residence early in the morning, they’re not there to wish you well,” the police chief said. “That’s your castle that a reported intruder is coming into, so whether he was armed or not armed, when he failed to retreat, they certainly had a right — if it turns out this way — would have a right to defend themselves.”
The Pena family told police they did not know Large.