Mixed feelings abound after an older Florida woman said she shot and killed a man who had broken into her home.
Virginia Morrison, 69, told outlets she was protecting herself and her partner after a stranger—later identified as Ezequiel Rosario-Torres, 38—entered her home on Sunday, said nothing, and refused to leave, even in the face of separate warning shots.
“I have feelings. I have God in my life,” she told WOFL. “That’s my main thing: Wondering if God’s going to forgive me for taking a life. It bothers me.”
But at least one member of Rosario-Torres’ family suggested he wanted this to happen.
“Yes, he was very suicidal and this week especially he was acting very strange and out of character,” his daughter, who did not want to be identified, told WKMG.
“I heard the door handle kind of rattle, and then the door opened, and the guy stepped in my house,” Morrison told WESH. “I didn’t know who he was. I looked at him and I said, ‘Who are you and what do you want?'”
He said nothing, she told the outlet.
“The whole time the guy was here, he never said one word and I never saw his eyes move,” she said. “Total blank.”
She said she ran to the bedroom to her partner Charlie, who is almost 80 years old, and told him about a man being in the house. (Outlets give Virginia’s age as either 69 or 70. Local reporting describes her as a grandmother.) She told Charlie to get his .45 caliber gun. Again, she said, the intruder showed no response.
“That gun never fazed this guy,” she said. “Just a total blank.”
Virginia said she attempted to strike the man with a broom, but he swatted it away. Charlie fired a warning shot into the ground after calling 911, she said.
Finally, Morrison grabbed her gun, exited out the back door, and reached the fence. The situation then escalated to its fatal conclusion.
“He starts toward me,” she said. “I fired a shot above him. ‘Back off, dude, I’ll shoot you.’ He just keeps coming toward me. So I shot him.”
Local prosecutors are reviewing the incident.
“Like any other case, the [assistant state attorney] assigned to the case will review the case and speak to witnesses and review the law enforcement report from the investigative agency and take the appropriate actions,” Orange-Osceola State Attorney Monique Worrell said, according to WOFL.
Though she voiced regret over the situation in general, Morrison backed up what she did.
“I didn’t know what he was going to do, but I knew I was going to protect myself,” she told the outlet. “I’m a fighter. I’m going to defend myself.”
For her part, Rosario-Torres’ daughter voiced no grudge.
“I don’t blame her,” she said of Morrison. “Like I get it, my dad wanted to die.”
Her father was legally blind and bipolar. Her family had him taken into custody under the state’s Baker Act in 2018 and that they attempted to implement it again on Sunday, she said. Deputies reportedly confirmed the family got authorities out to their home twice that day, but the first time, Rosario-Torres did not show signs of wanting to hurt himself or others, and the second time, family requested no more action after he was sleeping, though deputies said they explained the family could seek a court order to have him mentally evaluated.
The daughter suggested that her father did not chose the Morrison home in particular.
“I think he was just hoping that they had a gun and they did,” she said.
[Screenshot via WESH]
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