Jacksonville, Florida

From News4Jax.com of July 11, 2007

Police: Homeowner Shoots Intruder

A 24-year-old man was shot several times in an exchange of gunfire with a Panama Park homeowner Wednesday morning during what police described as a home invasion robbery.

Just after 9 a.m., police responding to a burglar alarm at 7100 block of Elwood Avenue found the door of kicked in and Jonathan Comas shot several times.

Investigators said Comas and Donovan Thomas, 21, broke into the house, waking up Johnny Johnson.

Johnson grabbed his gun and got to the living room in time to see two men turning around to leave.

“I was the first person to shoot, I guarantee it, because they were in my house,” Johnson said. “I look up, see the guy and I shoot twice, then I start hearing shots.”

Johnson said he fired five or six shots, then dived for cover when he heard gunfire coming from outside.

Police said Comas, who was shot several times, was taken to Shands-Jacksonville Medical Center by Thomas and Sandra Flood, 27, who officers said was driving the vehicle used in the incident. Comas remains in critical condition.

Johnson’s mother, who wasn’t home at the time, got a call from her son.

“He said ‘Mom, somebody broke into the house. I think they’re still in here,'” Joann Christopher said. “As he’s talking to me, I’m hearing gunshots.”

Johnson told Channel 4’s Dan Leveton that he thinks the men turned around and started to leave because there wasn’t much in the house.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” Johnson said. “Somebody could have died, and I could have been me.”

Police said Comas, Thomas and Flood will be arrested and charged with home-invasion robbery.

From the Jacksonville.com of July 12, 2007

Intruder shot in home invasion

A man is in critical condition at Shands Jacksonville. Police say he broke into the house.

Don’t be a hero, Johnny Johnson’s mom begged her 28-year-old son in a phone call Wednesday morning as gunfire exploded in the background.

“Stay low and don’t hang up the telephone,” Jo Ann Christopher said while at least one robber was inside their Jacksonville home with him.

But armed with outrage and a 9mm Smith and Wesson, her 6-foot-5, 260-pound son didn’t wait to see what the people who kicked in his family’s front door wanted.

“I was the first person to shoot. I guarantee that,” Johnson told the Times-Union later.

Surprising one of the intruders in a hallway, he squeezed the trigger as he tried to understand: “Why are these guys in my house” and “which one of these guys is shooting at me?”

After the gunfire exchange, the intruders fled, one while suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Police believe Jonathan River Comas, 24, of Jacksonville was the intruder who was shot. They said Comas was at Shands Jacksonville hospital in critical condition.

Homicide Sgt. Derrick Lewis said police aren’t yet sure if Johnson’s gunshots hit Comas or if bullets from another suspect, identified as Donovan Portez Thomas, 21, of St. Augustine, got him in the crossfire. Police said the intruders were armed and believe one fired into the house from outside.

Thomas and Sandra Jean Flood, 27, of Jacksonville have been charged with home invasion robbery. Police said Flood acted as the getaway car driver.

Police said Thomas and Flood dropped off Comas at the hospital and tried to leave while pretending not to know him.

Johnson said police told him there were two other break-ins Wednesday near their home in the 7000 block of Elwood Avenue.

Detectives think the suspects could have meant to target a different home but got the address wrong.

Crime scene tape looped around the tan, one-story residence near the Trout River for most of Wednesday. Bullet holes pocked the walls and blood spatter stained the floor of the house Christopher said she bought late last year.

Still stuck in the front lawn was a placard from the alarm company whose security system blared a warning and alerted the Sheriff’s Office when the intruders burst in the front door and woke up Johnson about 9 a.m.

He works as a landscaper but took college courses in criminal justice and has thought about becoming a federal marshal.

“I’m in the right. Because it’s either me or them,” he said while waiting for police to let his family back in their home. “… You got a right to protect yourself in Florida.”

And while Johnson gave his mother a scare, when it was over, police agreed.


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