Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has a stark warning to potential looters post–Hurricane Idalia: “You loot, we shoot.”
DeSantis made the statement—just days after a mass shooting in his state—during a press conference Wednesday, in response to reports of looting in the town of Steinhatchee on Florida’s Gulf Coast, after the Category 4 hurricane made landfall.
“People have a right to defend their property,” he said. “This part of Florida, you got a lot of advocates and proponents of the Second Amendment, and I’ve seen signs in different people’s yards in the past after these disasters, and I would say it’s probably here—‘You loot, we shoot.’”
“You never know what’s behind that door if you go break into somebody’s house and you’re trying to loot; these are people that are going to be able to defend themselves and their families,” DeSantis added. “We are going to hold you accountable from a law enforcement perspective at a minimum, and it could even be worse than that depending on what’s behind that door.”
DeSantis made the comment just five days after a racist mass shooting in Jacksonville, where three Black people were fatally shot. The Florida governor was later booed while speaking at a vigil for the victims.