Manatee sheriff: No charges for man, 74, who killed intruder

MANATEE -- A 74-year-old man late Monday shot and killed an intruder who had beaten and tried to rob him in his home, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office said it will not pursue criminal charges against the shooter since the shooting happened in self-defense.

Hosie Harris told investigators that at about 11 p.m., he was home alone in his bedroom in the 2100 block of 15th Street East, when Lee Andrew Johnson, whom he did not know, entered the room. Johnson, 49, struck Harris about the face and head with an unknown type of stick or club and demanded money, according to a news release.

Johnson then grabbed a .22-caliber rifle that Harris kept by his bed. He tried to shoot Harris but was unable to because of the safety being on, according to the sheriff's office. Johnson then put the rifle down.

Johnson turned away and began to look in the victim's closet a few feet away.

That's when Harris grabbed the gun and shot Johnson twice, the sheriff's office said.

Harris then went to a neighbor's house and called 911.

Johnson was was pronounced dead at 11:25 p.m. Harris was transported to Blake Medical Center for medical treatment and has since been released.

Even though Harris survived, the attack the incident shook his family and friends.

“Whoever did this can’t have a heart,” said Shirley Jackson, who has a child with Harris’ brother. “This man has lived here all his life and deserves better than this.”

The man detectives say Harris shot during the attack has an extensive prison record going back to a four-year stretch for burglary in 1989, following by a six-year burglary sentence in 1993, according to Florida Department of Corrections records.

It is also not the first time Johnson beat an elderly person, according to FDOC records. He also received a five-year prison sentence coupled with the 1993 burglary conviction for battery on a person 65 years or older. Johnson had been out of prison since 2007 after serving three years behind bars for selling cocaine, according to records.