How a Mouse and a Gun Saved a 13-Year-Old Rape Victim

paul daniel kunzlerPaul Daniel KunzerAn extremely bizarre coincidence in a Utah home has led to the unlikely arrest of a man who had been allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Paul Daniel Kunzler was taken downtown and booked with raping a child after police found a young girl hiding in a closet in his basement. Why the cops were in the house, though, had nothing to do with Kunzler and his horrible secret. Salt Lake City law enforcement officials were in his home because one of Kunzler's roommates had called 911 after he'd accidentally shot a third housemate in the chest while trying to shoot a mouse he'd seen in the kitchen.

I feel like I need a flowchart to explain this wild sequence of events -- it's beyond strange and not just a little bit confusing. But one thing's for sure: Thank god for that mouse.

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Before we get to why that little vermin saved a girl's life, let's try and review the facts.

Roommate 1 tries to kill mouse in kitchen with his 9mm handgun -- Roommate 2 accidentally shot in the chest when the bullet intended for the mouse goes through the kitchen wall and hits him in the bathroom -- cops are called to deal with inadvertent shooting -- while there, cops perform routine search of the house -- go downstairs to discover 13-year-old hiding in the basement -- police arrest 34-year-old Kunzler after they discover he's had a four-month relationship with the girl -- book him on charges of rape of a child, sodomy of a child, and sexual abuse of a child.

My goodness. That's a lot to process. But if it hadn't been for that mouse, that sweet little rodent who was just looking for a late-night snack at 2 a.m. in a Utah home, the young girl's secret may never had been told. And god bless that crazy roommate who thought it was cool to fire off a deadly weapon in the kitchen because he too inadvertently helped that very lost and confused teenager. And let's not neglect the poor guy who took a bullet to the chest -- if he hadn't been there to absorb the blow, the cops would've never been called.

It's a fascinating chain reaction. At first it sounds ridiculous and dumb and funny -- who shoots at a mouse in their house with a gun? -- but once you learn that those consequences led to the arrest of a man who was raping a child, it's no longer ridiculous and dumb and funny. It's profound.

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Photo via Salt Lake City County Jail

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