BARTOW, FLORIDA -- A Lakeland liquor store owner was justified when he shot and killed a burglar earlier this
month, the state attorney's office has ruled.
Store owner John Samanns, 37, of Mulberry shot Larry D. Russell, 41, of Polk County twice after Russell used a metal
pry bar to break the lower deadbolt on an exterior metal gate, the state attorney's report said. Samanns was sleeping
in his store, John's Drive-Thru on South Combee Road, because of recent burglaries when a sensor alarm went off about 2
a.m. Dec. 4.
Samanns opened an interior sliding glass door and saw Russell prying on the upper part of the exterior gate, the
report said. The metal gate was ajar when the two confronted each other, the report said, and Russell was holding the
pry bar over his head.
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