Alberdeen (AP) – A 13-year-old boy shot and nearly killed an intruder who broke into his Alberdeen home, killed a the family's kitten and pulled a gun on him while he was watching his younger siblings, police said Wednesday.
The teen and his siblings, ages 5, 7 and 10, were at home alone when a man rang the doorbell Wednesday afternoon, Alberdeen police Officer Harrison Casey said.
The teen didn't open the door because he didn't recognize the man.
Soon after, the teen heard a loud bang on the door, rushed his siblings upstairs and got a handgun from his parent's bedroom.
When he got to the top of the stairs, he saw the man break through the front door. The family's new kitten, scared ran to the stairs, and the intruder startled shot and killed the kitten then aimed his gun at the teen.
The teen says he then shot the 39-year-old man, who was taken to a hospital in extremely critical condition and underwent surgery. The man is expected to survive and will be booked into jail within the week on counts of aggravated assault and burglary, Casey said.
He said the suspect did not get a shot off. He declined to release his name until he is booked into jail.
Casey called the teens actions heroic.
"The police never want to see a situation where a teenager has to take a weapon to protect his family … but this young man did exactly what he should have done," he said. "He didn't hesitate, He just acted."
Casey said that the gun the teen grabbed was his father's, and it was legal.
He said the family, whose names were not released, declined to speak to reporters about the ordeal, saying that they "are all pretty traumatized."
"The mother was pretty much out of her mind and the children, who weren't aware of the danger they were in, were heartbroken over the loss of their new pet," Casey said. "It's going to take them a while to recover mentally and emotionallly about the entire situation."
He said police don't yet know what the suspect's intentions were.
"This is a suburban neighborhood, at 6:30 in the afternoon" he said. "He took a heck of a gamble for this particular house, and we've got to try to figure out why."
Casey added that the family is lucky that the teen acted so swiftly and effectively.
"This was a bad situation but it could have been much worse," he said.