A homeowner in Pasco County, Florida, fought off three armed intruders over the weekend, killing two and wounding a third.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco praised the homeowner for exercising his Second Amendment right to defend himself and his home.
“The victim in this case exercised in Second Amendment right to protect himself in his home,” Nocco told reporters. “The Second Amendment allows you to protect yourself by carrying and bearing arms. That’s what our citizens of Pasco County will do. I’ve seen it happen before, and unfortunately, I think it may have to happen in our future.”
The incident took place around 12:43am early Friday morning. The teenage homeowner was by himself playing video games when he heard glass breaking in his laundry room, according to the affidavit. He retrieved a Glock 9mm handgun and went to investigate.
He saw someone unlock the door from the inside by reaching through the broken glass. Once inside, he noticed that the intruder was wearing a black mask and pointing a gun at him.
He fired at the first suspect, who fell to the ground. A second suspect came behind the first, and he was also pointing a gun at the homeowner. The victim fired again, and the second suspect fell to the ground.
Finally, a third suspect entered the home, and the homeowner shot him as well.
The sheriff did not say how many rounds were fired by any party, but he did mention that at least one of the intruders fired at least once.
After firing at the third suspect, the victim’s Glock jammed, so he went to retrieve a Kriss Vector 10mm carbine. The suspect had fled when he returned, but his neighbor found him and held him at gunpoint until sheriff’s deputies arrived.
The first two suspects died at the scene. They have been identified as Luis Casado, 21, and Khyle Durham, 21. The third suspect, Jeremiah Tramel, 19, sustained non-life-threatening injuries and is being charged with two counts of second-degree homicide and one count of home invasion robbery.
“He is accountable for the deaths because it was during the commission of a felony that he was involved in that those two people died,” Sheriff Nocco said.
All three men had lengthy rap sheets. Casado has faced charges such as attempting to flee and eluding an officer, driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanor possession of marijuana and resisting an officer without violence, according to Pasco County records. Durham has faced numerous charges of auto and home burglary, including a 2018 conviction of firearm theft.
The homeowner believes the men targeted his home because he is a firearm enthusiast who frequently posts images of himself holding firearms, according to Nocco. The sheriff told reporters the victim and suspects may have been known to each other.
“We believe there was a relationship, there was some type of known entity between the victim and the suspects. So, this is not a totally random situation. This is an isolated, targeted situation,” Nocco said.
The incident is still under investigation and is being reviewed by the state attorney’s office. Nocco acknowledged the tragedy of any loss of life but credits the Second Amendment with saving the homeowner’s life.
“It’s a sad situation when there’s a loss of life. There’s no doubt about it. But for that victim who’s sitting inside their house and hears glass break, they don’t have many other options,” Nocco told reporters. “I can’t imagine someone who has children, a parent, who has to protect themselves. It’s a sad reality of the world we live in today, but we’re fortunate that you have the right to protect yourself in your home.”