Police: Jacksonville homeowner shoots suspected burglar with shotgun

David Marrero says he came home to find house ransacked, man wielding shotgun

By Corley Peel - Reporter, Colette DuChanois - Web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Westside homeowner managed to disarm a suspected burglar who broke into the house by smashing a back window and armed himself with the homeowner's shotgun, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

The confrontation happened about 4 p.m. Tuesday inside David Marrero's house on Miss Muffet Lane, just west of Lane Avenue South.

Marrero told News4Jax he came home to find his home ransacked and a man, who he later realized he had met briefly a few weeks ago, pointing his own shotgun at him. 

According to the police report, the homeowner confronted the suspected burglar as he was halfway out the rear bedroom window. The suspected burglar then pointed the homeowner's own shotgun at the homeowner, the report said.

"I got out of the way as fast as I could and he started talking, 'Man I’m not going to shoot you.' That’s when I heard the first click," Marrero said.

Marrero said his shotgun was unloaded.

"He insisted, 'Man I just want to talk to you. I just want to talk to you.' By that time, he crawled back inside the window," Marrero said. "He's walking backwards with the shotgun on me the whole time. By midway through the hallway, I recognize the guy. I'm like, 'I know who you are.' And then I heard another click.'"

Marrero said he tried to make a fair deal.

"(I told him), 'I promise you, just leave. You got my gun. You got my money. Just leave. I won't call the cops until you leave,'" Marrero said. "'Just give me my shotgun. You've taken everything from me.' And then he got mad and slams it on the couch."

According to police, when the suspect, identified as Brandon Nicholas, put the gun on the couch, the homeowner grabbed it and pointed it back at the him.

"Well as soon as he did that I grabbed the shotgun and flipped it around and put one in the chamber. I said, 'Now you need to leave. You need to leave now,'" he said.

Homeowner David Marrero

With Marrero’s gun back in his hands, he took control.

“I just said, 'You just robbed my house. I have a 6-year-old daughter.' I said, 'I want my stuff,'" Marrero said. "I started getting a little heated."

That's when he said Nicholas ran outside to the side of his fence.

"He leaned over to do something. And when he leaned over to look at one of the bags, I took my gun around and flipped it around and I smacked him as hard as I could in the back of the neck with the buttstock of the shotgun," Marrero said. "He started to crawl back a little bit and he said, 'I got something for you now. I got something for you.' So when he reached in his bag, going to stand up, I said, 'Don’t do it.' And then that’s when I shot him.”

Police said the suspect managed to run off, but was later stopped about a mile away on Esther Street after a report of another shooting. When officers arrived, they realized there had not been a second shooting, they took Nicholas into custody.

He was then taken to UF Health for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Nicholas, 25, was arrested and charged with burglary and committing an act that could cause death.

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