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A 70-year-old Florida woman shot and killed a suspected home intruder who allegedly wouldn’t leave the residence even after the woman fired off a warning shot.
“I didn’t know what he was going to do, but I knew I was going to protect myself. I’m a fighter. I’m going to defend myself,” Virginia Morrison told FOX 35 News.
The stranger, later identified as Ezequiel Rosario-Torres, 38, reportedly walked into Morrison’s Orange County home Sunday afternoon. Morrison said she tried to get him out of the house by hitting him with a broom, but Rosario-Torres reportedly swatted the broom away.
“He stepped in, and I turned around, and I said ‘who the hell are you? What do you want?’ Nothing. This guy never said a word the whole time he was here,” the Florida grandmother said.
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The intrusion escalated when Morrison’s partner Charlie retrieved his gun and fired a warning shot, but the suspect did not leave, she recounted.
Morrison then retrieved her gun and fired a warning shot, she said.
“He started coming toward me and I fired a shot above him. ‘Back off dude!’” Morrison said. “And he just kept coming toward me. So I just lowered my gun and shot him.”
“I didn’t realize I hit him but once I looked, he had a hole in his t-shirt and I thought I got him,” she said.
Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies soon responded to a “burglary in progress” at the home and found the suspect with a gunshot wound. Rosario-Torres was transported to a local hospital where he died.
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“I have feelings,” she said. “I have God in my life. That’s my main thing, wondering if God’s going to forgive me for taking a life. It bothers me.”
The State Attorney’s Office will now determine whether Morrison will face charges for the shooting, FOX 35 reported.
Orlando attorney Mike Panella told the outlet that the shooting may fall under Florida’s “justifiable use of force” law.
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“So if someone comes into your house and you don’t know who they are, Florida automatically says we are presuming you are in fear,” Panella said.
Morrison said she and her partner Charlie, who is nearly 80 years old, have been living in the home for nearly 20 years.
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“I had to do what I had to do to protect myself and Charlie. And I would do it again. If I had to, but I don’t want to do that,” Morrison told WESH. “I hope God can forgive me for taking a man’s life.”