Police chief has tough message for would-be thieves: ‘We live in Florida… most people are armed’

A Florida police chief has gone viral for the tough message he delivered on Friday to would-be thieves in his community.

“One should expect that if you’re brazen enough to enter into someone’s residence and it’s not yours with intent to commit an unlawful act, there may be repercussions,” Haines City Police Department police chief Greg Goreck said at a press conference.

“We live in Florida, and moreso, we live in Polk County, and most people are armed,” he added.



Homeowner Shoots Intruder

Homeowner Shoots Intruder Press Conference

Note: Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to capture the entire press conference in its entirety.

Posted by Haines City Police Department on Friday, January 27, 2023

The remarks came in response to a failed attempted burglary of local resident Tina Phillip’s nephew that occurred earlier that morning.

“[H]er nephew came home around 1:30 a.m. Friday with his girlfriend and puppy. Chief Greg Goreck says when the homeowner entered his home and flipped the light switch, he saw two burglars standing in his kitchen,” according to local station WFTS.

“Scared for his and his girlfriend’s safety, the homeowner — a legal gun owner — fired five shots from a 9mm handgun at the suspect closest to him,” the station added.


After he shot the suspect, Phillip’s nephew then left his home en route to the police station. On his way there, he was stopped by the police who in turn then questioned him about what had happened.

“Meanwhile, at the scene of the burglary, Goreck says officers used a K9 to search for the two suspects, who he says were in the process of stealing jewelry from the home at the time they were interrupted by the homeowner. When officers arrived at the home on N. 7th St. neither of the men were immediately found,” WFTS reported.

However, one of the suspects, Tyriek Washington, was later found at a nearby park with four bullet wounds — two in his chest and two in his legs.

The officers proceeded to provide him with medical care, thus potentially saving his life.

“He is critical but stable, but he is still alive to today,” Goreck said at Friday’s presser.

The other suspect was still on the loose as of Friday.

As for Phillip’s nephew, he has nothing to worry about.

“Based on the totality of evidence at this time, it does appear to be a case of stand your ground,” the police chief explained.

According to the Bill of Rights Institute, Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law was passed in 2005. It “allows those who feel a reasonable threat of death or bodily injury to ‘meet force with force’ rather than retreat.”

While it’s not clear whether Washington and his partner were also armed, just the fact that they were inside the home appears to provide enough justification for it.

All this said, Phillip’s nephew is a bit out of it at the moment.

“He’s all shook up. He’s a nervous wreck,” she said. “I’m just so happy that my nephew didn’t get hurt, because it could have been bad,” his aunt told WFTS.

What happened in Haines’ city is at least the second example of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law being applied in a Florida case within a span of roughly 30 days.

Indeed, in late December, Judge R. Lee Smith agreed that a shooter who’d opened fire outside a bar in St. Augustine roughly a year and a half ago was fully justified.

“A judge in St. Johns County has dismissed the manslaughter charge against Luis Casado in the May 2021 shooting death of Adam Amoia in St. Augustine, according to a court document obtained Friday by News4JAX,” local station WJXT reported.

“Judge R. Lee Smith ruled that Casado acted in self-defense under Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law. Casado still faces a charge of carrying a concealed weapon. There’s a hearing in the case scheduled for Jan. 12,” the station added.

Apparently, Amoia had attacked Casado, and despite Casado’s attempts to back away, he’d just kept coming for him.

“[T]he Defendant was dazed and disoriented by the ongoing and persistent attack. There was no break in the attack, and without his glasses and being dazed from the impact of the blows, there was no opportunity for the Defendant to regain his orientation and perception,” Judge Smith’s ruling reads.

Republished with permission from American Wire News Service


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