We have three separate defense studies to share with you today. They’re all teenagers who didn’t cower to intruders, but instead, defended their siblings, and protected their homes. Each story is significant in imagining prior segments of their lives that ultimately prepared these families for that single moment in time that resulted in keeping kids safe. Why? Because parents had fortitude and self-discipline and sheer guts to help their children know how to act quickly and defensively, even if the training session was a casual conversation that happened months prior to an event that would forever change their lives. How many more children could be saved if training was intentional with purpose and resolve?
3 Teens Shoot Intruders and Save Siblings
# 1 Teen Two kids, a fifteen and twelve year old brother and sister, were home alone the day intruders tried to enter the front and back doors of their home before they busted in a window. No doubt the suspects were determined to get inside this home. The boy grabbed his dad’s AR-15 rifle and started shooting the suspects. Was it luck in a frightening situation or was this young man trained well to shoot to defend? The report says he hit one of the intruders several times. So I ask ‘was it luck, forethought, or training’ and ‘how much’ that brought about results that saved their lives?
Keeping Kids Safe at Home
Can you imagine the shock – the fear – to face a home invasion? It appears the young teen went into an automatic pilot response to shoot well. The boy’s father is a Precinct One Deputy Constable who mentions he didn’t hide things from his children. He can be commended for his brave preparation only he, as a parent, could give his children. Could this be the reason the son was able to withstand the shock of an intrusion enough to defend his sister, his home and himself against such brute, determined attackers?
Family and friends circle around yellow crime scene tape in disbelief that such a criminal attack could possibly happen in their neighborhood. With the sense of personal violation looming over a loss of feeling secure, the outcome still speaks for itself. The intruder was in the hospital – not the teenager and his younger sister. The other intruder was apprehended.
#2 Teen In North Carolina 14 year old fire’s a shotgun at intruders while his 17 year old is hiding in her closet talking to 911.
“I just shot the man. He came around the corner. I shot him. He broke the whole glass out (of the back door),” the teen told the 911 dispatcher.
After the brother got on the phone, the dispatcher ordered him to put down his shotgun.
“I don’t know how many it was (who broke in). Just one came around the corner. I got one more in the chamber. I’m going to shoot again,” the boy said.
“Do not, while I’m on the phone, do not fire that firearm, OK?” the dispatcher said.
“What if another one comes in the house, ma’am?” he asked.
“Let me know, OK, if you see anybody. I will let you know (when a deputy gets to the house),” the dispatcher responded. Read more
It appears the 911 dispatcher is concerned the boy might shoot an officer by mistake but they haven’t arrived at the home yet. Perhaps she thought he would shoot himself, though the boy remained calm throughout the call and even asked the dispatcher if they knew how the suspect was? There was no way of knowing the condition of the wounded suspect simply because she was waiting for the police to arrive and give her some report.
The Role of 911 Dispatcher
I realize the dispatcher was doing what was thought to be best at the time; however, later it is revealed there were 4 men in question counting the one who had been shot. If the other intruders had stuck around to show their faces to the hiding teens, don’t you think they could’ve distinguished between the intruder and a uniformed police officer? It’s apparent the boy had retreated to be with his sister when he took the phone to speak with the dispatcher. It’s further apparent he was thinking out loud counting his rounds and willing to do whatever was necessary. While I agree the dispatcher’s job was to help them stay calm and collected during the situation until help arrived but what if there had been a need to defend – again? Do you think the dispatcher’s verbiage in this defense study was truly about keeping kids safe?
Perhaps it would be advantageous for parents to discuss situational ethics with their teens, especially those capable of defending themselves with a gun. If the other intruders had attacked further with intent to harm the teen and his sister, he would have been within the law to pull that trigger and defend himself even though the dispatcher was ordering him not to shoot, yet the 911 operator commanded not to shoot. What would you tell you teen to do in that situation?
#3 Teen In Phoenix a 14 year old boy is babysitting his siblings, ages 8, 10 and 12 when an unknown woman came ringing the doorbell, knocking loudly, then banging, on their front door. He sensed something was wrong and rushed the kids upstairs and grabbed his father’s handgun. While still upstairs he sees an armed man break into the home and without hesitation, he fires the handgun, wounding the intruder. The intruder never fired a shot but survived at the hospital and was charged with aggravated assault and burglary. Police said the woman got away. Police also said they do not know what the real intentions were.
Intruders in Late Afternoon
“The police and indeed our community does not ever want to see a situation where a teenager of that age has to take a weapon to protect his family … but this young man did exactly what he should have done,” said Officer James Holmes.
“I’m not sure he gave full thought about what he had to do. He just acted.”
Members of the unidentified family were too traumatized to speak with reporters about the incident.
“The dad was pretty much out of his mind with distress, officers couldn’t even talk to him,” Officer Holmes said. “It’s going to take them a while to recover mentally.”
According to Officer Holmes, the couple took “a heck of a gamble” going after a house that sits mid-block at 4:30 in the afternoon, but said the family is lucky the young man acted so swiftly and effectively.
“As ugly as this is, and as much as this family is going through, we don’t have injured children on our hands,” he added. Read More . . .
Keeping Kids Safe
I guess the big question is what outcome are you desiring? Of course for your children to survive even if they’re traumatized! But if dispatchers are only concerned about them hurting themselves or an officer or preventing further trauma – could that futuristic thinking pattern paralyze or distract anyone when they need to be reminded of their rights to defend?
How would you handle a situational ethics conversation with your teenager? How would you want a 911 dispatcher to talk and help your teen through a home invasion? Please share with us so we can all learn together.