Criminal Justice

Lawyer Awakened by Apparent Burglar as He Slept in His Office Shoots at Fleeing Suspect


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Two burglary suspects are in custody after a Florida lawyer sleeping in his makeshift office apartment heard a noise and confronted an intruder with his shotgun.

Sam Bardwell of Titusville told Florida Today he was awakened by the sound of a motion-triggered fan around 4 a.m. on Monday, and noticed a motion-sensor light had gone on. The 60-year-old criminal defense lawyer recognized danger, “so the first thing I was going to do was get myself a gun,” he told the publication.

Bardwell cornered an intruder, who ran from the building. “He was out of range to really kill him, but I wanted to put some pellets in him so they could catch him,” Bardwell said. He fired, but the “bullets went wild,” striking a stop sign.

Police arrested two suspects outside the Titusville courthouse with the help of a police helicopter, the story says. They are suspects in five other burglaries that occurred the same night.

Bardwell said he never represented the suspects and he doesn’t think he was targeted. “I’m just a great advocate of people arming themselves,” he told Florida Today. “Some bad things could have happened had circumstances have changed a little bit.”

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