Cousin of man shot in Winter Haven home invasion disputes story - WFLA News Channel 8

Cousin of man shot in Winter Haven home invasion disputes story

Posted: Updated:
Eddie Roberts Eddie Roberts
POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The cousin of a man who was shot by multiple family members of a residence Monday during what police called a home invasion is speaking out because he believes there's more to the story.

Police say just before 7:00 Monday morning a family on Lake Marianna Drive in Winter Haven heard someone trying to enter through their back porch.

The father told police he fired a warning shot but the man later identified as 40-year-old Mitchell Large kept coming inside.

Three family members were armed and police say Large died of a single gun-shot wound to the upper torso. They found him on the kitchen floor.

Police believe the Pena family protected themselves and property from an intruder.

However, Mitchell Large's cousin is not buying it. He says it doesn't fit the guy who would give you the shirt off his back.

“He was murdered. Mitch was murdered,” Eddie Roberts said.

The thought of his cousin trying to break in a home is something Roberts can't comprehend and doesn't believe.

“I don't give a damn how strung out he was on drugs, if he was, that's not Mitch. That's not him. It don't go down like that,” he said.

Police say all signs show Mitchell Large was a total stranger to the Pena family, and that when they felt threatened of someone uninvited coming into their home, they fired in self-defense.

“It wasn't a home invasion- there's more to it and I'd like to get to the bottom of it,” Roberts said.

Roberts is going back and forth between the sadness of losing the person he says was as close as a brother, and anger for how he died.

“Me a gun-totin' rights activist, I'll shoot you if you come in my house,” Roberts said. “But me and my whole family's not gonna take up arms and meet you in the kitchen and shoot you down.”

“What, these people just have guns laying on the dresser- grab them and start shooting people?” Roberts asked.

Multiple shots were fired in the house-but the autopsy results show only one struck Large, and that was to the upper torso area.

It’s another revelation that infuriates Eddie Roberts.

“Warning shot, yes,” he said in how he would react if he were the homeowner. “Gunfire in the kitchen, no.”

“I might have shot him in the leg, shot him somewhere non-vital,” Roberts said.

News Channel 8 tried reaching out to the Pena family for comment on this story, but no one answered the door Tuesday morning. They told police they are not interested in speaking about what happened.

Once police are finished with the investigation it will be handed over to the State Attorney’s Office for a final ruling.

The Winter Haven Police Chief stated Monday morning that preliminary investigations show it appears to be a case of self-defense.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.



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