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Thread: Popular music teacher kills armed intruder

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    State Researcher lockman's Avatar
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    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localne...16invader.html
    Also a poll and audio file
    Popular music teacher kills armed intruder in Wellington home
    By MICHAEL LaFORGIA, ELIOT KLEINBERG and LAURA GREEN

    Palm Beach Post Staff Writers

    Monday, February 16, 2009

    WELLINGTON — A popular middle school band teacher shot and killed a masked gunman who broke into his house and forced him into a gunfight early Monday, sheriff's officials said.

    Heath Miller, 34, leveled a .38-caliber pistol and shot Robert Rashard Tomlin, 22, at about 2 a.m. in a duplex Miller rents at 1382 White Pine Drive in Wellington, according Neither Miller, a music teacher at H.L. Watkins Middle School in Palm Beach Gardens, nor his wife, Mirelle, was hurt in the attack.

    "He's better now, but he had to have sedatives to sleep this morning," said Heath Miller's mother, Harma, who took in the shaken couple at her Wellington home Monday morning. "They're fine. They're actually better now, and concerned friends have been calling all morning."

    Tomlin lived a few doors down from Miller and had roots in Pahokee, according to sheriff's officials and family members.

    Detectives said they had yet to pinpoint why Tomlin, who was dressed in black and wielded a .40-caliber handgun, targeted Miller's duplex.

    "I couldn't even take a guess," said Detective Sgt. David Conklin, whose homicide squad was handling the case.

    Just before 2 a.m., Tomlin slipped into Miller's duplex, possibly through a rear sliding glass door, and Miller's dogs began barking. Miller and his wife, who recently bought a home near West Palm Beach and planned to move in two weeks, huddled in their bedroom as the intruder moved toward them in the dark.

    Miller got out his pistol and prepared to fire. Through the bedroom doorway, he saw the silhouette of a gunman moving toward him, said Sgt. Pete Palenzuela, sheriff's office spokesman.

    A gunfight ensued. It wasn't immediately clear who fired the first shot, but after a brief exchange of gunfire, the masked intruder stumbled toward the glass door, where he collapsed and died, Palenzuela said.

    Harma Miller said her son didn't know his attacker.

    "This could have been anyone in the world," she said, noting the apparent random nature of the crime.

    Tomlin's friends and family described him as a quiet, fun-loving man who played football and basketball and lifted weights. He had a 2-year-old son, Rashard Jr. Darryl Woodson, 21, Tomlin's friend and roommate, said they often would sit up nights sipping beers and spinning freestyle rap lyrics.

    "Last time I saw him was 2 a.m. this morning," Woodson said Monday afternoon. "We were all sitting down, drinking, and then all of a sudden he came and got his beer and said, 'I'll be right back.' And he left. And we ain't seen him since."

    Tomlin was arrested six times since 2006 on charges including aggravated battery and violating probation, state records show.

    "I don't believe he did it. He wasn't the type to get in trouble. He got along with everybody," said Tomlin's cousin, Kena Robinson, 30. "Whenever he wasn't at home watching my kids, he was at the labor pool."

    Neighbors told investigators Miller was well-regarded in the neighborhood near Forest Hill Boulevard and Wellington Trace.

    He comes from a prominent Belle Glade family. His father, Henry, owns Miller Funeral Home on Southwest Third Street. His mother served for more than a decade on the city commission and was mayor for at least one term in the early 2000s. She also taught at Palm Beach Community College's Belle Glade campus.

    Heath Miller graduated in 1992 from Glades Central High School, where he served as student council vice president. He earned degrees in finance and music at Howard University in Washington. As a freshman, he led the drum section of the college's "Thunder" marching band.

    Miller worked at his father's funeral home as a security guard and produced music by his sister, Harva, an aspiring recording artist who performed at SunFest in 2000.

    Speaking about the embalming business in 1998, Miller said, "Being around this has given me a respect for life and made me want to live every day like it's my last."

    It was as a teacher that he excelled, his students' parents said.

    Miller bragged that he ran his band with military precision, saying he brought students in line by ordering them to do push-ups.

    "The parents call me: 'So-and-so needs push-ups,' " Miller once said.

    "He reminds you of how the teachers were back in the days," said Latracia Hayes, whose son Jacoby was in the band for part of this school year. "He understands the kids."

    Catharine Darant said she sat down with teachers, including Miller, after her 14-year-old son Derick's grades started slipping. She said the band teacher applied just the right amount of pressure, warning Derick that if his grades continued to fall, he would have to quit playing.

    "That's one of the reasons my son is keeping his grades up, so he can stay in the band," Darant said, calling Miller "very influential."

    Miller, a teacher at Watkins since 2005, was selected as the school's most popular teacher in 2007, according to the yearbook. Band parents praised his leadership, especially of the school's award-winning, 40-plus-member drum line called the Percussion Academy.

    As Miller rested at his mother's home Monday morning, investigators studied the crime scene.

    The owner of the duplex, Angelo Palumbo, drove up just before 10:30 a.m. and walked in to survey the damage. He said the rear sliding glass door was shattered and he saw bullet holes scattered through the house.

    Palumbo, who described Miller as a "very good tenant," said the neighborhood has been in decline.

    "The neighborhood's changed drastically over the last 10 years," he said. "It used to be a really good neighborhood. Now it's going down the tubes."

    Staff writer Sonja Isger and staff researcher Niels Heimeriks contributed to this story.

  2. #2
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Glad that the teacher and his wife are safe.

    Do you feel safe at home
    Poll numbers are:

    Yes, I have a gun 67.67% 1601
    Yes, but I don't keep a gun 11.83% 280
    I feel less safe than I did 6 months ago 11.62% 275
    No, I don't feel safe 8.88% 210

    Yata hey


    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Grapeshot wrote:
    Glad that the teacher and his wife are safe.

    Do you feel safe at home
    Poll numbers are:

    Yes, I have a gun 67.67% 1601 Yes, but I don't keep a gun 11.83% 280 I feel less safe than I did 6 months ago 11.62% 275 No, I don't feel safe 8.88% 210

    Yata hey

    Now we need to do a poll among the "I have a gun" folks...

    I have a ______ for home defense

    1:I have a small caliber handgun for home defense

    2:I have a large caliberhandgun for home defense

    3: I have a shotgun for home defense

    4: I have "something special" waiting for ahome invader

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    Now we need to do a poll among the "I have a gun" folks...

    I have a ______ for home defense

    1:I have a small caliber handgun for home defense

    2:I have a large caliberhandgun for home defense

    3: I have a shotgun for home defense

    4: I have "something special" waiting for ahome invader
    Don't forget #5: I have all of the above:celebrate


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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    GWbiker wrote:
    Don't forget #5: I have all of the above
    LOL....poor home invader! Gonna think he walked into a war-zone. :shock:

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    lockman wrote:
    Tomlin was arrested six times since 2006 on charges including aggravated battery and violating probation, state records show.

    "I don't believe he did it. He wasn't the type to get in trouble. He got along with everybody," said Tomlin's cousin, Kena Robinson, 30. "Whenever he wasn't at home watching my kids, he was at the labor pool."
    Yeah, because Miller and his wife, at 2am, kidnapped Tomlin, dragged him in their house, stuck a gun in his hand JUST so they could shoot him dead and accuse him of armed burglary. That makes sense. Just like someone who has been arrested 6 times in 2 years isn't the type to get in trouble. :quirky
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    deepdiver wrote:
    lockman wrote:
    Tomlin was arrested six times since 2006 on charges including aggravated battery and violating probation, state records show.
    Yeah, because Miller and his wife, at 2am, kidnapped Tomlin, dragged him in their house, stuck a gun in his hand JUST so they could shoot him dead and accuse him of armed burglary. That makes sense. Just like someone who has been arrested 6 times in 2 years isn't the type to get in trouble. :quirky
    He wasn't just "charged" with various crimes keep in mind. He was on probation for something, and you don't get put on probation unless you are CONVICTED of a crime.

    I am glad that Miller was able to defend himself and his family, and if once again that had to be at the expense of the bad guys life....well...that was the result of Tomlin's choice of criminal action forced on Miller.

    My prayers are with both family's in any case.


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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    FMCDH wrote:
    I am glad that Miller was able to defend himself and his family, and if once again that had to be at the expense of the bad guys life....well...that was the result of Tomlin's choice of criminal action forced on Miller.

    My prayers are with both family's in any case.
    No winners here but it could have been worse.

    Tomlin's criminal endeavors are at an end, his family suffers and Miller is forced to deal with the emotional consequences.

    Yata hey


    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    "I don't believe he did it. He wasn't the type to get in trouble. He got along with everybody," said Tomlin's cousin, Kena Robinson, 30. "Whenever he wasn't at home watching my kids, he was at the labor pool."
    How can someone be so delusional? How can you believe he didn't do it, when he was there, shot to death in this guy's house? Not like the real criminal got away and this guy was just the decoy. He had 6 convictions, so a past of violent behavior, and I guarantee the kid wasn't just "sipping beers". Guess heWAS the type to get into trouble, and the trouble got him, but good.

    I'm just glad the article doesn't dwell on this insanity too much, but I'd like to just take these people by the shoulders, shake them a bit while yelling in their face: "COME BACK TO REALITY!"

    The whole anti-gun movement is people just like this, that are completely delusional and psychotic, and we let these people influence politics to the degree they do.....unreal.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    compmanio365 wrote:
    "I don't believe he did it. He wasn't the type to get in trouble. He got along with everybody," said Tomlin's cousin, Kena Robinson, 30. "Whenever he wasn't at home watching my kids, he was at the labor pool."
    How can someone be so delusional? How can you believe he didn't do it, when he was there, shot to death in this guy's house? Not like the real criminal got away and this guy was just the decoy. He had 6 convictions, so a past of violent behavior, and I guarantee the kid wasn't just "sipping beers". Guess heWAS the type to get into trouble, and the trouble got him, but good.

    I'm just glad the article doesn't dwell on this insanity too much, but I'd like to just take these people by the shoulders, shake them a bit while yelling in their face: "COME BACK TO REALITY!"

    The whole anti-gun movement is people just like this, that are completely delusional and psychotic, and we let these people influence politics to the degree they do.....unreal.
    +1.... openmouthed... shaking head... :what:

    "Yeah, because Miller and his wife, at 2am, kidnapped Tomlin, dragged him in their house, stuck a gun in his hand JUST so they could shoot him dead and accuse him of armed burglary. That makes sense. Just like someone who has been arrested 6 times in 2 years isn't the type to get in trouble. :quirky"

    That hadda be it! Case closed!

    Now we need to do a poll among the "I have a gun" folks...

    I haveassault riflesfor home defense

    1:I havelarge caliber handguns for home defense

    2:I have larger caliberhandguns for home defense

    3: I have assorted 12 ga shotguns for home defense

    4: I have"no mercy"for ahome invader




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    As per the poll, I fall into 1 and 4 [my secret weapon is being pasty white ,overweight and defending my home on boxershorts]

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Stuart959 wrote:

    As per the poll, I fall into 1 and 4 [my secret weapon is being pasty white ,overweight and defending my home on boxershorts]
    Thanks for the visual.....:P

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    what a horrible story

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    deepdiver wrote:
    lockman wrote:
    Tomlin was arrested six times since 2006 on charges including aggravated battery and violating probation, state records show.

    "I don't believe he did it. He wasn't the type to get in trouble. He got along with everybody," said Tomlin's cousin, Kena Robinson, 30. "Whenever he wasn't at home watching my kids, he was at the labor pool."
    Yeah, because Miller and his wife, at 2am, kidnapped Tomlin, dragged him in their house, stuck a gun in his hand JUST so they could shoot him dead and accuse him of armed burglary. That makes sense. Just like someone who has been arrested 6 times in 2 years isn't the type to get in trouble. :quirky
    You have it all wrong. Aliens had abducted him for a full examination.To cover it up they carried out the robbery, then planted him in the house and the real alien robber was beamed back up to the mother ship to carry on more abductions and examinations. The CIA really needs to examine the music teacher to see if he is truly human or not.I suspect he is part of the alien invasion to take place shortly.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    PT111 wrote:
    snip.......
    The CIA really needs to examine the music teacher to see if he is truly human or not.I suspect he is part of the alien invasion to take place shortly.
    It has already occurred! Don't you see the evidence?

    Can't buy enough tin foil to be safe! :shock:

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    No winners here?

    It's ALWAYS a win when a piece of trash is removed permanently from society. Always has been.

    There won't be any race-card played here though, as both individuals were black.

    -- John D.
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    Lets just hope that the home owners, sue the roommate, and parents for
    the bullet holes he put in thier home.
    After all, such an outstanding member of the community would want to
    pay for the dammage he caused.

    Aggravated battery, gee the FBI was supposed to flag him from buying a pistol,
    looks like the govenment dropped the ball once again.

    As for who fired first.... this is a no brainer, you have drop on him, the only way
    he gets a shot off is if you didn't blow him away on sight. So he had to fire first
    to be able to fire at all.

    Hope he looks into better hardware, to allow the BG to work his way back out
    of the house indicates more hardware needed to stop the next one.

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    I saw nothing in the article that said that gun the BG had was "HIS". It may have been stolen. (Oh NM... such an upstanding citizen would NEVER STEAL!!!!!) He was at the miller residence to borrow a cup of sugar I guess..

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    I have a _Lot of choices_____ for home defense

    1:I have a small caliber handgun for home defense, I keep J-Frameat GF's.

    2:I have a large caliberhandgun for home defense,2 M&P's -.45 and .40. (.40 for duty carry...)

    3: I have a shotgun for home defense, 870 Express.

    4: I have "something special" waiting for ahome invader, made by Bushmaster.

    5: If I'm awake, I'm carrying.

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    Regular Member Ironbar's Avatar
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    compmanio365 wrote:
    "I don't believe he did it. He wasn't the type to get in trouble. He got along with everybody," said Tomlin's cousin, Kena Robinson, 30. "Whenever he wasn't at home watching my kids, he was at the labor pool."
    How can someone be so delusional? How can you believe he didn't do it, when he was there, shot to death in this guy's house? Not like the real criminal got away and this guy was just the decoy. He had 6 convictions, so a past of violent behavior, and I guarantee the kid wasn't just "sipping beers". Guess heWAS the type to get into trouble, and the trouble got him, but good.

    I'm just glad the article doesn't dwell on this insanity too much, but I'd like to just take these people by the shoulders, shake them a bit while yelling in their face: "COME BACK TO REALITY!"

    The whole anti-gun movement is people just like this, that are completely delusional and psychotic, and we let these people influence politics to the degree they do.....unreal.
    Dude, this isn't about people who are delusional, or anti-gun at all. This is about victim mentality.

    I'm not going to play the race card here because it's way too easy. However, just take a look at the stories out there of scumbags that have been killed while in the commission of a crime. Inevitably their friends & family will blather on to the media about how Johnny was really a good boy who was just starting to turn his life around after umpteen years of drug abuse, or running with a gang, or other criminal activity.

    ********. The22 year oldkid was a scum suckingpiece of sh*twhoDESERVED to be killed!

    The world we live in would be a very different place if I had my way. To hell with prisons for violent criminals.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Ironbar wrote:
    The world we live in would be a very different place if I had my way. To hell with prisons for violent criminals.
    Jails just cost money. Punishment should be swift and physical. The level of physicallity is directly related to the crime severity. Just as in old times rape, murder, adultery were punishable by death. Others like theft can be dealt with with 30 lashes.

    Take a teenager that steals a car. After 30 lashes (or caining) the next car won't look so good to steal. :-)

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    I find it funny that they had to put this young man in such a fantastic light "never got in trouble, blah blah" then bury his PRIOR CONVICTIONS inbetween the "good" kid and the "militaristic" music teacher. Thanks for always being on the side of the good guy media-types!

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    You guys dont know any of the story other than what you read in one article..

    I am sure some people on here are good people but from what I seen the people w/high post counts are total pariahs in real life I imagine.



    Anyway this guy Harrison that you guys think did the right thing blah blah , perhaps perform some due diligence on those you hook your wagon to..

    The guy that broke in his house was looking for JUSTICE.. his niece was RAPED by this so called great teacher.. as a matter of fact Mr Harrison has been locked up since this incident for rapeing no less than a half dozen children that were under his care..more kids are coming forward almost weekly... this guy was a genius though, not only did he rape the kids, but took pics of the action and saved them to his home computer..

    Thats OK I guess as him being a gun owner and shooting this "intruder" makes him a hero in some of your eyes.. and from what Ironbar said.. he DESERVED to be killed.. yes genius he sure did.. so you too deserve to be killed if some guy rapes your kid and yougo outfor justice..






  24. #24
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    This is exactly what I have been talking about Glock It. If you have knowledge /information to define situation, cite it. Do not leave it to others.

    Judgment reserved in this case, that's why we have grand juries.

    If attempting to take the law into his own hand is what got the intruder shot, he demonstrated poor choice selection, IMHO.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    I can't speak to why the intruder was in his house, but I did find a link to the sex charges against the teacher:

    Charges filed against teacher

    Assuming it's true that Tomlin was there to bring "justice" on Miller, and that it is even understandable, doesn't change the fact that when Tomlin entered Miller's home he was acting criminally, and Miller was within his rights to defend his family, even though he is a scumbag (alleged).

    Joel

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