Teen Shot for Sneaking Back Into House in the Middle of the Night

Heartbreaking 48

crime sceneA Colorado teenager sneaking back into her own house in the middle of the night was shot and killed this week. To add to the tragic nature of an already sad case, police are now saying it was the teen's stepfather who shot her, thinking the 14-year-old was a burglar.

It's the sort of accident that punches you right in the gut as you grieve for a little girl whose life ended too soon and for a family torn apart by grief. It's the sort of accident that scares you because the moving parts, when put together, all add up to one that truly could happen to anyone.

After all when someone is coming into the house in the middle of the night, what conclusion do most of us jump to? Not that the your 14-year-old is sneaking back in but that someone dangerous is trying to get in at your family.

Reports indicate the teen was coming in a window, and a call went out to police of a burglary in progress between 5 and 6 a.m.

That early in the morning, there's a good chance, not all synapses are firing yet. We are particularly prone to making snap decisions as we work on pure adrenaline. The response most of us would have in a situation like this is to defend the family. Any way we can.

In Colorado, in fact, there is even a law designed to protect homeowners who defend their homes. The Make My Day law allows residents to fend off intruders with deadly force. The law is likely on this stepfather's side -- although the district attorney's office is reviewing the case and will have ultimate decision in whether charges are filed.

Whether or not they are, the fact remains that a 14-year-old is dead, and her stepfather will have to come to grips with the role he played in that death. This poor family has a lot to grieve right now, and pointing fingers isn't going to magically make that pain go away.

It's a tragedy ... and a tragedy we'd all be wise to ponder lest it happen in our own homes.

What would you do if you thought someone was sneaking into your home?


Image Alan Cleaver/Flickr

death, guns


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Tyson Fricker

How do we know this was an accident? A mighty convenient way for a stepfather to murder a stepchild that he either doesn't like or wants to silence. One of the most dangerous people to have around a child is a mother's male love interest when that male love interest isn't the child's biological father.

Neither of the child's biological parents should ever forgive this man for murdering their child for entering her own. Fact is - he fired a shot without knowing who his target was. That makes responsible gun owners like myself look bad. I could never support such recklessness.  

Kattey Kattey

This is tragic.

nonmember avatar lilah

A 14 year old was out in the middle of the night! Kids in this situation are usually killed by a predator. What makes this a tragedy is that a relative did it. Listen up kids these are the chances you take when you engage in risky behavior.

Paws84 Paws84

Exactly, lilah. This is one of the many reasons I didn't sneak out, I knew my father had guns to protect the family and I didn't want to come across that situation. The kid deserved to get shot if you're going to be disrespectful enough to do that. I'm sure all the anti-gun leftists will start screaming, 'see! This is why guns are bad, they kill children!' My husband will do the same thing. If we hear something going on downstairs, the first thing he would do is grab his gun by the bedside table. As a parent, you have an obligation to protect your family and if you wait for 911 to respond, usually it's too late. So yea, what a terrible stepfather... *eyeroll*

2baby... 2babymomma

I bet if your husband shots and kills your child you will not be saying the kids got what they deserved

Kattey Kattey

Wow, Paws84, that's messed up. The kid may have deserved a lot of things for being disrespectful, but being shot and killed isn't one of them. You do realize that calling 911 and waiting in your room to see is the intruder will enter is an option to running downstairs hoping to shoot someone?

Traci... Traci_Momof2

Anyone who can honestly say "kid deserved to get shot" needs to seriously reevaluate their priorities in life.  Who in their right mind would say that a kid deserves to get shot?!?  Just for sneaking out?!?  She was a teenager.  Teenagers sneak out all the time.  Even the good ones.  I went through a two year period in my teens where I was constantly staying out late, sneaking out, sneaking in, cutting school, etc.  It was wrong of me to do those things but it certainly didn't mean I deserved to be shot.  I ended up straightening myself out and became a very productive member of society as an adult.  I encountered enough danger while I was out and about.  Returning back home, even if it was through a window, should've been the one thing I could count on to be safe.

I hope the stepfather is imprisoned for his crime.  He should ALWAYS know EXACTLY what his target is before he even thinks about firing his weapon.

Traci... Traci_Momof2

I take issue with a couple things written in the blog.

1.  You say this "truly could happen to anyone".  Not true.  There is not one single firearm in my house.  Even if my kid was sneaking back inside in the middle of the night (or morning) there is no way either of us could accidentally shoot him because we have nothing to shoot him with.  I also know I am not alone in this.  Most parents who I know personally do not own any firearms at all.

2.  You talked about the hour between 5am and 6am being "early in the morning" and that "not all synapses are firing yet".  Pulease!  By 6am my husband and I are both up and showered and are waking the kid up to get ready for school.  By 5am the radio is on and even though I may not be out of bed yet, I am conscious and hearing everything going on around me and could very quickly have my wits about me if needed.  "Early in the morning" is no excuse for shooting a kid sneaking back in the house.

Krystian Kaufold

Wow....some of you saying that the child deserved to be shot?!?!?!? Seriously?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? 

No this child didn't deserve to be shot, the step father deserves to rot in hell. 

This is why there are no guns in my home, and never will be. 

But on the other hand, maybe, just maybe this child should've taken her key with her, and she wouldn't have had to sneak back into the house. 

calim... calimomma707

she didnt deserve to get shot just because she was sneaking back into her house. thats just dumb. i'll predict that this mother and step father get a divorce soon, even if he didnt intend to kill his step daughter. theres no way i would be able to live with him another day after this. no matter what.

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