Last week in Glen St. Mary, Florida, three people inside a mobile home woke to the sound of “Sheriff’s Office!” at about four a.m. An intruder in a mask broke down the door and fired a shot. Two of the residents immediately responded, exiting two separate bedrooms armed—one with a 9mm pistol, the other with an AR-15 and opened fire.
Bullets made found their targets in the masked gunman and two other intruders—all who had multiple gunshot wounds. After the shooting, the residents retreated to a safe location inside the mobile home and called police. Other suspects were arrested by police as they tried to flee the scene in a getaway vehicle. One of the three intruders were killed, the other two were taken to hospital.
Apparently, this home invasion was an escalation of an “ongoing feud between two groups” that began on social media. These two groups had been making threats and new each other fairly well.
According to the Baker County Sheriff’s office, the victims told deputies they were acting in self-defense—one victim estimated that he fired over 30 rounds from the AR-15 before the threat stopped.
Five people were charged in the case.
It’s a shame, really, that this situation escalated from some online griping and threats on social media. Lives were lost because of an online feud.
I commend the victims, however, for responding quickly to a threat—which had they not, there would have likely been more lives lost.
This is a good time to remind everyone, especially those who avidly use social media to continue to keep a cool head. We’ve talked a few times about staying calm and deescalating an in-person situation, but maybe we need to also start talking about avoiding online, heated situations as well. This is an unfortunate case where the trash-talking online led to a physical altercation. If you feel provoke into a “feud” online, it’s probably best to unplug for a while. Stay armed, and stay safe out there, my friends.
Have you ever gotten into a physical altercation over something that happened or was said online? How did you handle that situation?