Society

Florida Family Greets Home Intruder in Kitchen and Shoots

| by Allison Geller

A Florida family killed a home intruder trying to break into their house on Monday.

The Winter Haven family woke early in the morning to the sound of someone trying to get in. Luis Pena, the father, fired a warning shot.

"[A resident] fired a warning shot above the door," Police Chief Gary Hester told My Fox Tampa. "That warning shot did not deter the intruder. The intruder didn't retreat."

All three family members appeared armed and ready to meet the would-be robber, identified by police as Mitchell Large, in the kitchen.

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"It appears at least two of the family members fired in defense of themselves and their property," said Hester.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Large charged at the elder Pena, who fired the deadly shot into his torso.

Large was dead when police arrived.

The family’s daughter was also at home but wasn’t a part of the incident.

Large was unarmed, officers say, but that doesn’t mean that Pena was in the wrong for firing. Police spokeswoman Jamie Brown said that charges will probably not be filed against Pena.

"Whether he was armed or not armed, when he failed to retreat they certainly had a right, if it turns out to be this way, would have a right ... to defend themselves," Hester told WTSP.

The 40-year-old intruder had a history of assault and domestic violence.

The Penas’ surprised neighbors described the area as peaceful.

"That's the way that I would react. I'd hate to do that; I'd hate to shoot anybody. But if it comes to me or them, I would," said Denver Kemp, one of the Penas' neighbors. "I hate that he died, but you got to take a stand against this people that's doing this stuff."

Sources: Orlando SentinelMy Fox Tampa, WTSP