Home Invaders Shot By 12-Year-Old Defending Elderly Resident

Home Invaders Shot By 12-Year-Old Defending Elderly Resident

A 73-year-old woman was the victim of an armed home invasion sometime after midnight last Saturday. Two masked men broke into the home and demanded money.  For some reason, after the money demand, one of them shot the woman. While all of this was going on a 12-year-old also in the home accessed a gun and shot the robbers. This caused them both to flee the scene.

Police located one of the suspects with a gunshot wound and transported him to a hospital but he died of his injuries. No word on the other suspect. Also no word on the extent of the woman’s condition.

Police say they do not expect charges against the 12-year-old according to Fox8.

This one is disturbing not only because a 19-year-old somehow rationalized the need to shoot a 73-year-old woman during a robbery but that a 12-year-old had access to a gun during the incident. The 12-year-old is certainly a hero in all this but I seriously doubt that a kid that young had any clue about the risks involved in confronting a pair of armed robbers.

There is no info to suggest why the woman wasn’t able to access the gun for herself. Perhaps it happened too quickly for her to get to where the gun was being kept. However that went down, the 12-year-old knew where the gun was and how to use it. It’s no surprise that a kid that young knew how to shoot but he/she should never have had the chance to access it in the first place.

This could have ended a lot worse and of course, we are all glad that it didn’t but there was no excuse for that gun not being secured in some fashion so the 12-year-old didn’t have any access to it.

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Mark Ehlen is a USCCA certified firearms instructor, a MN DNR Firearms Safety instructor, high school trap shooting coach and a writer. As one of his uncles ran Federal Cartridge Corp for many years and his father retired from there, firearms and ammo are second nature to him. His firearms instruction is aimed at helping new shooters have a positive experience as well as understanding the practical and legal side of concealed carry. Mark can be reached at Marksmanship Firearms Training.
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Be glad the kid did what he did. It could have ended with the criminals doing a lot more to the Lady.


Wow, kid saw his grandmother shot and you question his ability to fight back and use a weapon and grandma is to blame for facilitating this, way to go

Wm Hogsten

No one knows how they will react in any given situation, why training is important. That being said I’m 68 years old and my Dad was an California Police Officer, by the time I was 10 my brother and I both knew firearms safety and access and more than occasionally went to the departments range with our Dad to practice regularly. And did so until I joined the Navy in 1971. Hopefully this kid had similar training and will get some post shooting counseling.




By the time I was 8 I knew where all the guns were and how to use ’em. Also knew not to even think about touching without permission .Asked to use Pop’s 22 when I wanted some squirrels for Granny to fry- would never have thought of taking it out otherwise. Lots of reponsible 12 yr. olds out there . Lots of 42 year olds that still can’t be trusted with a firearm


Completely disagree. This was a responsoble family that clearly taught this child how, and when was appropriate to use. It was a good death!

William Smith

The young man, 12 year old is HERO, but he needs someone to help him through the facts about the death of the 19 year old. The boy was not the problem and to help through his memories of the incident.


I was 12 years old in 1968. Looters and arsonists were rampaging that summer, after Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated within two months of each other. My dad went to guard his business one evening when things were really heating up around the country. He wanted me to stay up and guard the house with a gun, and he let me choose one of his handguns from his collection for that purpose. I chose my favorite – a 1916 P08 Luger. (Loved that gun)

I was the oldest son and my mother had no interest nor training with handguns. I did. A lot of training, under the supervision of my dad at the police pistol range in Lake Worth, FL. He told me that if they broke in the house, shoot ’em.

It was a tense evening with no sleep, and I was keenly alert to every noise and creak in that old house. Glad to report that nothing happened at the house or his business. It was an indescribable feeling when he departed, entrusting me at 12 years old with such a enormous responsibility. I was glad and relieved to see the sun rise in the morning. Looking back it seems surreal. Would I have shot an intruder that evening to protect my family? I believe I would have.

The emphasis in the article on “safe storage” and words spent chastising the homeowner for not securing the firearm “properly” was misplaced. Does the author know what sort of training the young boy had?

No one is minimizing the importance of responsible gun storage, but let us focus on what is important in that heroic tale,shall we?

Bill in AR

A well brought up kid. Gun control is being able to hit what you shoot at.

Youza Dumwriter

So you would rather the thugs murder the woman and the youngster and get away with it just to satisfy some notion that all 12-year-olds are the same and somehow incapable of understanding and doing what is right? Would you then say all old people are senile, too? Or are you too much of a stupid city slicker to understand that not all children are stupid, video game morons who are indoctrinated and brainwashed by the public fool system? Get real! Arbitrary numbers about age do not actually determine the ability of a person to do what is right in a given situation. It is a good thing that young person knew what they were doing and was mature enough to do the right thing. It’s too bad the other thug didn’t get the same.


I would just like to say, I do not share your concern over the 12 year old having access to a firearm. My grandson is 12 years old, we train often with a real handgun. We train on the range sometimes but more often we train with a drifire system inside the house. We train with the hope that neither of us will ever have to use our training, but we will have reactive capabilities if it does. So I am glad that apparently this child has had gun safety training. Your article makes assumptions that I feel it should not. I will make a similar assumption,… let’s say the reason the 73 year old was shot was because she had gained access to her firearm. Her motor skills or training or maybe she had already fired a round at the intruders and was shot when they returned fire. Now let’s discuss another fact. The odds of anybody (this actually is fact) including trained police in an adrenaline rushed environment being able to land on target more than one round out of ten is unlikely. I was taught to handle firearms and taught gun safety Since I was eight years old. I have likewise done the same for my children and will do (with their parents permission) the same with my grandchildren. Teaching the safe handling of firearms from a young age has significant benefits. There are a lot of competition shooters that are young. Funny how people like yourself look at things like that! Video games and Hollywood make children curious,… they are pounded with violence in both worlds!

Ralph H Thornburgh

Mark, I totally disagree with your comments regarding the storage of the hand gun used by the 12 year old and agree with the other commenters. Storage of the gun is not in question here. Not to be harsh but in this discussion of the shooting you almost sound like a anti-gun liberal that wants us all to have our guns locked away and the ammo stored and locked away in a separate place, which makes the gun totally useless in an emergency.

My analysis of the limited data that we have is that this was an immediate threat of life and the 12 year old (and we don’t know if it was a girl or boy) acted totally appropriate for the situation. We also don’t know if the gun was locked away and the 12 year old may have known how to access it for such a time as this. The 12 year old could have been well trained by someone for the express purpose of defending the 73 old woman.

In a lot of states 12 year old’s are allowed to hunt with guns if they go through the hunter education course, pass the tests and receive their license. So this child could have been one of those youngsters that did that, we don’t know. If this young person didn’t have access to the gun then they may have been shot by the intruders as well. So I think the focus here should be on the hero of the moment and not the politically correctness of gun storage.

Dennis Crumbley

Mr. Ehlen,

Stunning! Absolutely shocking! Unbelievable! I agree with what everyone else has said except with Mr. Thornburgh’s statement that you, “almost sound like an anti-gun liberal”. You don’t “almost” sound like a liberal, you DO sound like a liberal.

I have read many of your articles and while no one ever agrees with everything someone else says, I agree with many things you have said before. This, however, is so far to the left that I simply cannot let this go without saying something. I’m wondering where this is coming from. Did you have a bad experience sometime that has made you slip to the left? Has someone “gotten” to you somehow? I just don’t understand how someone with your years and experience of training youth and adults and boasting about how your family was so connected to the firearms industry can make such a massively contradictory and senseless statement.

First, you say “you seriously doubt that a kid that young had any clue about the risks involved in confronting a pair of armed robbers”. Who does? No matter the age. I’m a former police officer and I know some risks involved but that doesn’t mean I know what the end result will be in a confrontation.

Secondly, you say that this 12 year old, (doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or girl) is “certainly a hero in all this” and then you immediately turn around and condemn them, or someone, because they “KNEW WHERE the gun was and how to use it”. You’re not making sense. I would think you would praise the adult(s) who taught the 12 yr old HOW to use the gun, because obviously they did know how to use it. They actually, literally saved the 73 year old’s life and their own!

Finally, (because I have to finish somewhere), your last paragraph makes you sound exactly like a left liberal because they always say things that simply don’t make sense and are completely contradictory. They just don’t think about what they are saying. I’m sorry to be disrespectful, but are you? “This could have ended a lot worse . . . but there was NO EXCUSE for that gun not being secured in some fashion SO the 12 year old didn’t have ANY access to it”. That statement boggles my mind. I have trained my daughters in gun usage. They are now 17 and 12. My 12 yr old is not as “ready” as my 17 yr old. So I train and have expectations respectively.

Yes, it could have ended a lot worse. If the 12 year old had NO access to the gun, the 73 year old would be dead and the 12 year old would be dead. And the armed robbers would go on to their next job and do the same until some 45 (or whatever) year old stops them. Right? Remember the saying, “I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it”. Your statement supports the left of needing it and not having it!

You have know idea that this 12 year was not trained. The other commenters testify that they were 8, 12 or whatever and were trained. I was also. I was raised in the back woods of Florida in the 60’s and 70’s. We had guns and used them, responsibly! Because we were trained responsibly.

I really can come to only one conclusion. You are being completely facetious and you are not at all serious about what you said! You just wanted to see what kind of reactions you would get.

Harry L. Mallory

That is the key. Train kids on guns. It takes away the mystery & they know how to use them.


You wouldn’t be glad that your kid had the ability to take the firearm and save your life? I know i would!