YULEE, Fla. – A would-be burglar was shot and killed early Monday morning by a homeowner in Yulee, the Nassau County Sheriff's Office said.
Deputies said the suspect, later identified as 72-year-old Timothy Rasbeary, kicked in the front door of a home around sunrise on Miner Road, near Buccaneer Trail, between Turk Lane and Shady Oak Drive.
The homeowner was asleep on the couch and had a pistol with him, Sheriff Bill Leeper said.
The homeowner fired one shot from his pistol and killed Rasbeary, deputies said. He called police around 6:30 a.m. to report the shooting.
“A lot of people have weapons in their homes to protect themselves, which they have a right to do,” Leeper said. “I would suggest if you're going to break into someone's home, be aware that you may get shot."
Deputies said the homeowner's 6-year-old son was also asleep in the home, along with the homeowner's girlfriend.
"This is something that you don't expect to happen, someone trying to break into your home," Leeper said. "And it does startle you, and it scares you, and a lot of people have weapons to protect themselves, and that's what occurred here."
The homeowner, who asked not to be identified, said he was shaken up by the incident. He invited the News4Jax crew at the scene to take a closer look at the damage to his front door, but asked us not to take pictures.
There was visible damage to the door where deputies said the suspect kicked it. A footprint also could be seen on the door.
“It was pushed in. It had a small block on it that was pushed in, so someone did break into the house,” Leeper said. “And the individual that did come in was shot.”
It's unclear if there is any connection between Rasbeary and the homeowner. Both the homeowner and the woman who was in the home are cooperating with investigators, Leeper said.
As Miner Road was reopened later in the day, a green Honda van was towed from the house. It's unclear why the van was taken into evidence.