The family members of slain 17-year-old Trevon Johnson are outraged — outraged that a 54-year-old woman shot the teen while he was burglarizing her Miami home last Thursday night.
“I don’t care if she have her gun license or any of that. That is way beyond the law… way beyond,” said Johnson’s cousin Nautika Harris in an interview with CBS Miami. “He was not supposed to die like this. He had a future ahead of him. Trevon had goals… he was a funny guy, very big on education, loved learning.”
According to police, the homeowner saw Johnson breaking into her home on surveillance cameras she had installed after previous robberies. Concerned about the theft of her belongings, she armed herself and went to find the suspect. She spotted Johnson as he was attempting to climb out of a window.
“She observed a subject leaving the home through the rear,” said Miami-Dade police Det. Dan Ferrin.
Investigators said that there was a confrontation, the extent of which is not clear at this moment. The homeowner fired one fatal shot. Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene.
“What’s wrong with her,” asked Johnson’s sister Nisha Johnson. “She did not have to shoot him.”
“It’s no reason she should have waited until I think he walked out the yard to try to shoot him,” said Harris. “If she called the police already why would she shoot him?”
The family of Johnson insists that he did not steal anything from the home, but investigators did not confirm that claim.
“You have to look at it from every child’s point of view that was raised in the hood,” said Harris. “You have to understand… how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go to school? You have to look at it from his point-of-view.”
Meanwhile, the homeowner is cooperating with authorities. So far, no charges have been filed. The case has been sent over to the state attorney’s office for further review.
“She’s a person that is a little distraught because this is her home that someone obviously was in,” Det. Ferrin said.
Ferrin added that it’s best for the police to confront the suspect, not the victim.
“If there’s any type of situation that happens or they believe there’s a burglary at the home or any type of confrontation, dial 911. Have the police make that confrontation,” Ferrin said. “That’s what we’re here for.”
Obviously, not all the details are known. But from the looks of things, the woman was fully justified in shooting Johnson. For starters, he had no lawful right to be in her home. In fact, he was — if the reports are true, and there’s no reason to doubt them at this particular time — in the act of committing a felony!
Beyond that, it’s not clear what his intentions were. Was it just a robbery? Was he going to physical assault her? Rape her? Kill her? Plus, how is she supposed to know what his motives are when he’s standing in her home?
Florida’s self-defense laws protect homeowners who reasonably fear for their safety. Unquestionably, the homeowner could argue that she had a legitimate reason to fear injury, great bodily harm or even death with a younger, stronger male stranger in her home.
With that said, what are your thoughts on this shooting? Also, what would you say to the would-be burglar’s family who all believe that the homeowner was too quick to pull the trigger?