Homeowner who killed burglar arrested on unrelated charges

Police say shooting was justifiable; injunction prohibited man from having gun

Author: Elizabeth Campbell, General assignment reporter, ecampbell@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 27 2014 01:10:28 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 27 2014 08:11:55 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A homeowner who shot and killed a burglar Saturday morning was not charged in the shooting but was arrested on unrelated charges, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Police said Michael Acord, 59, shot and killed Darren Johnson, a 20-year-old transient, while Johnson was inside his Aubrey Avenue home in Northwest Jacksonville. Acord told police he shot Johnson because he was scared.

Investigators said Johnson broke a side window and entered the home. They said Acord then approached him and shot him. Johnson was taken to a hospital, where he died.

JSO Sgt. Jay Farhat said Acord did not live in the home but owned the property.

"That was one of his rental houses and he spent the night there last night and was doing some work on the house and was actually about to leave when the break-in occurred," Farhat said.

Acord was charged with a misdemeanor violation of injunction for having a firearm.

"It appears that there was an injunction for protection filed against him earlier sometime last year and the stipulation was he was not suppose to have a firearm on him," Farhat said.

Police said Acord had a 12-gauge shotgun in the home that he used to shoot Johnson.

Acord told police his neighbor let him borrow the shotgun to protect his house because of recent burglaries. Acord also said he had nine additional firearms at his home.

"The law prohibits people who have injunctions entered against them from possessing firearms," said Eric Friday, lead counsel for Florida Carry. "The problem is, in this case, breaking the law may have actually saved this gentleman's life."

Friday said in many injunction cases, there's a lack of due process that can lead to a person losing a fundamental right like ownership of a gun without a right to a counsel or jury.

"We need to make sure when we take someone's rights away we have done something to justify the loss of that right and not do it based on allegations and without proper process," Friday said.

Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson said if Acord didn't have the injunction against him, the whole legal process would probably be over for him. But Jefferson said he did do the right thing.

"Absolutely he did the right thing, simply because he protected himself and his property," Jefferson said. "You've got a person intruding, you don't know what their intentions are. Obviously they're not good because they're forcing his way in, and you have the right to protect yourself."

Acord said he's in the process of hiring an attorney and because of that is not able to comment on what happened.

The woman across the street said the home was broken into just a few days before the fatal break-in. She also said the house next door is vacant and people come in and out all the time.