Two Florida men have been arrested and two are dead after a shootout during a suspected home invasion Wednesday night in Marion County. the Ocala Star-Banner reported.
According to Marion County sheriff’s officials, a homeowner armed with an AR-15 shot and killed two people that attempted to break into and rob his home Wednesday night. Two other suspects, 19-year-old Robert John Hamilton and 22-year-old Seth Adam Rodriguez, were also arrested near the scene, the sheriff’s office said.
The dead suspects were identified as 22-year-old Nigel Doyle and 21-year-old Keith Jackson Jr.
The 61-year-old homeowner, who police have not identified, suffered a gunshot injury but was in stable condition in the hospital on Thursday afternoon.
Rodriguez was arrested and charged with murder and home invasion robbery with a firearm, while Hamilton was charged with home invasion with a firearm. Both men are currently being held in Marion County jail without bond.
After arriving on the scene on Wednesday evening, officer Micah Moore found Doyle with a gunshot wound and a shotgun laying next to him on the ground. When officers entered the home, they found Jackson dead on the dining room floor.
According to police, Jackson was wearing a “Jason” mask on his head, gloves on his hands, jeans and a black t-shirt. Police also found a pistol near the suspect’s head.
As officers searched the home, they found the homeowner in a bedroom. He had an AR-15 rifle on his legs and was bleeding from a gunshot wound to the stomach. Both the homeowner and Doyle were transported to a local hospital, where Doyle died of his wounds.
After searching the home, officers used dogs to scan the area for more suspects. Not far from the home, dogs led them to the locations of Rodriguez and Hamilton, who were hiding in tall grass on the side of the road.
Criminal records show two of the four intruders had previous criminal records. Hamilton served time for grand theft in 2018, and still had pending drug charges from the same year. Doyle was found guilty of DUI in 2017.
No charges were filed against the homeowner.
For many gun control advocates, the AR-15 has become a symbol of everything wrong with American gun culture. Proponents of stricter gun laws have contended the rifle is a weapon of war, and that it shouldn’t be available for typical civilian use. They’ve also fixated on the AR-15 being used in many mass shootings.
The AR-15’s bogeyman status was perhaps best illustrated by way of a stunt undertaken by journalist Gersh Kuntzman in 2016.
In the wake of a deadly mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Kuntzman traveled to a range to fire off a few rounds from an AR-15, the same weapon used by shooter Omar Mateen.
Describing his experience in a widely mocked piece for the New York Daily News, Kuntzman said it was “horrifying, menacing and very very loud.”
“The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face,” he wrote. “The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.”
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