It should be a potent warning for would be crooks: a gunner's range target on the front door of a Lakeland house, shot up by an accurate marksman- the homeowner.
"We put this sign up to hopefully deter it," homeowner Jared Buys said, referring to recent burglaries in Lakeland. "We don't want to use deadly force, but if we have to we will."
Buys, a Memphis firefighter and paramedic, said he put the target up after burglars kicked the doors at eight Lakeland homes, stealing cash, jewelry, and other items. Buys decided his target is the best way to protect his home and family.
It is not an idle threat...Buys is armed. He said he was driven to act after his home was broken into a couple of times last year. He said he had to do something to protect his family, so he bought a gun and learned how to use it.
"My wife and I both have permits," he said. "We both go to classes and we both go shooting very regularly."
"buys says he was broken into a couple of times last year. The crooks kicked his door in. He said that's when he decided he had to do something to protect his family so he bought a gun and started learning how to use it."
Neighbors that spoke to Action News 5 on Tuesday said the target was a good idea.
"I think it's a fair warning," said neighbor Kelly Straub. "Don't come into somebody's house. You don't have a right to be there, and if you're caught in there, yeah, I think you should be shot."