back to article Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops

A New Zealand gamer who flew halfway around the world to confront a 14-year-old girl he met online got more than he bargained for when her mom shot him, according to police. Troy George Skinner, 25, flew from his home in Auckland to Sydney, Australia, took a connecting flight to Los Angeles, USA, then from Los Angeles to …

http://www.esreality.com/index.php?a=post&id=1215499

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If you've done nothing wrong...

Clearly we all have something to very legitimately hide, dear anti-privacy legislators.

Not that the intended victim made much effort to protect her privacy, in this case, but nonetheless it does serve as a perfect example of why online anonymity/pseudonymity is not only justifiable but absolutely essential.

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Anonymous Coward

The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

Given the use of social media and the sheer number of selfies that young people take and post.

Once a potential stalker knows what you look like and approximately where you live it really isn't that hard for the bad guy to find you. Even the likes of Facebook will help you.

This case really shows what a sad world we live in and young people today really have no idea how exposed they are often due to their own actions. The when told about it by us adults they just ignore it.

I'm very glad that I've never even thought positively about signing up for any of the (anti-)social media sites. Thankfully, I'm far too old and wrinkly for anyone to want to stalk me.

Pension day tomorrow. Yay!

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@AC ... Re: The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

Even if you keep a low profile, there are other ways to identify you online. Like thru White Pages where your phone number is published with an address. Or thru your internet connection. They can geocode you to a point... and from there it becomes a bit more trivial to narrow down where you are.

What you and others missed is that the guy didn't get it... When someone says they have a gun... in the US... its most likely true and its a warning... While many in the Western world can't own firearms... law abiding citizens in the US can and many do.

In the US, there's a concept called the 'Castle Doctrine' where you have the right to use lethal force to defend yourself from someone trying to break in. Its important to point out that there is evidence that he broke in to the basement, was scared off and then attempted to break in again. So the second time, she shot him apparently while he was outside of the house but in the process of breaking in. The laws vary state by state, however in this case... she was well within her legal rights to defend herself and her children.

What wasn't told in the story is if she dialed 911 and notified the police before she shot him.... again for those who don't live in the US or have spent time in the US... the police are usually minutes away when seconds count. In Chicago, they can be 5 seconds to 5 minutes away. In rural areas... 5-10 mins to 20-30 mins away. Had she dialed 911 before shooting... she's definitely in the clear. Even from a civil lawsuit.

The moral of the story... don't bring a knife and duct tape to a gun fight. ;-)

[Note: Its very legal to use lethal force to protect people, not property. No property is worth it. ]

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

@Ian Michael

"While many in the Western world can't own firearms... law abiding citizens in the US can and many do.

And non-law abiding citizens in the US are even more likely to...

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

[...No property is worth it... ]

I beg to differ: what I have worked damned hard to acquire is not available for some covetous scrote to help himself/herself/itself to simply because they can't be arsed to work for it. Sod 'em.

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

The guy's lucky it was just a 9mm, up here he would have been peppered with some 7.62's from an AR -15. (YES Canadians CAN BUY an AR-15 if you get an FAQ certificate and some safety training!) Try crap like that the Midwest or southern states like Texas OR here in Alberta or Northern BC, where we are just like Texas. Don't mess with an Albertan or Northern BC'er as we'll make sure ya don't make it out with all yer nuts in place! In places like Virgina, etc. MANY states allow full open-carry for citizens (i.e. carry your gun in public on your hip holster or visible shoulder holster).

SO the moral of the story is...DON'T GOTO a state or county that has open-carry, stand-your-ground and/or castle-doctrine laws and break into a house and EXPECT to live or keep your cajones intact!

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

AR-15s are typically 5.56 mm.

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

> While many in the Western world can't own firearms... law abiding citizens in the US can and many do.

just because you have to have a permit to have a gun in civilised countries doesn't make them illegal

also, this guy was "stupid" for not getting a gun himself, not like anything would prevent such an unhinged individual from getting one in the US

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@Peny-gors ...Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

Yes, criminals being criminals already own illegal weapons. Carrying concealed weapons is a crime if you don't have a permit.

Which is why many law abiding citizens do own firearms.

I used to only own air rifles. Why? Because I liked to shoot little holes in paper @ 10m.

Then when I was at my father-n-laws farm, I got a hunting rifle and borrowed his shotgun. Less about killing bambi, but more about protecting the herd from varmints and pests. Also to stop crop damage.

Back in Chicago, when the laws changed and I could buy a handgun, I got one. Why? To shoot little holes in paper at various distance out to 50yrds. Now I plan on getting my CCW permit. Why? Because even in my neck of the woods, crime is up and I choose not to be a target.

The reality is that I will most likely not carry unless I'm out walking my dog early in the morning where there are crazies out who do want to hurt you for no real reason or because they need to get their next fix.

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@Ted Treen ...Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

First, you have insurance so the item can be replaced. The life you take can't.

Second... the guy/gal who's life you took has relatives and they will sue you for millions in a wrongful death lawsuit. You will lose.

The law allows you to use lethal force if you have reason to believe your life is in danger. And its a reasonable belief... like a guy breaking in to your house holding a weapon. It doesn't allow you to shoot someone to protect property.

And then there's Karma. She's a bitch and needlessly taking a life... really pisses her off. Being forced to take a life... she's ok with that. But then you'll have to live with it.

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Star child... Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

AR-15s do not make a good home defense gun.

(Well maybe if they're in 300BLK or if they're a carbine in 9mm or .40)

Castle Doctrine exists in most states explicitly and at the same time... the lack of her being able to retreat is enough to warrant lethal force.

Open carry on your private property is legal. In rural SC I open carried walking down the road and waved to the local sheriff. (I was walking along the fence line to a gate 1/2 mile down the road to where I needed to be.) No hassle.

Again, the moral of the story, don't bring a knife to a gun fight... unless you're a highly trained assassin.

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@Rustbucket... Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

AR-15 can be found in a couple of different rounds like

.223

5.56 NATO (yes, .223 is not the same as the 5.56 round)

6.8 SPC

300 BLK

and I think someone did a 7.62x39mm

AR-10s are .308 or now 6.5 CM along with a couple of Wildcat rounds.

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@Tomato ...Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

First, legally, he couldn't get a gun.

Second... unless you know a guy or know a guy who know's a guy... you can't get a gun.

Third... there are a lot of firearms that you can't own in other countries that you can own in the US and even if you own them. you may not be able to store them in your home. Of course YMMV. However in the UK... you have really weird gun laws.

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Re: @Rustbucket... @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

Wow, an AR-10 in 6.5 cm, that's 65mm!!! A proper hand cannon!

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

@StargateSg7

Where do you get the information it was a 9mm? According to the news story linked in the article it was the 'family .22 calibre pistol'.

Actually, catching a 9mm in the neck would be a pretty big, bad, deal. Given the mass/velocity difference a 9mm is much more likely to do serious damage to the many essential bits crammed into the area than a .22 would.

With a .22 he would be unlucky to be fatally injured. With a 9mm he'd be lucky to survive.

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

In the US, there's a concept called the 'Castle Doctrine'

-----------

Uh, since there are no actual real castles in the US, where do you suppose they got the idea?

I'll wait for you to catch up. You get an extra day off next week to think about it, and there's even a helpful clue in the name of the holiday!

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

You can get them in 7.62 too, You'll pay $2500+ for the privilege but you can get them in a NUMBER of round configurations! I've personally seen them at .223, .22, .177 (BB gun), 5.56, 7.62, 9mm and even .44 which is getting outlandish (if not expensive!)

Some internet youtuber guy made a custom .50 version AR-15 and so long you use a 10 mag in some US states US or up to a 30 mag in others AND it's SEMI-AUTO ONLY you're all legal!

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

He would not have been able to legally obtain a gun in the US. We have background checks, which he would have failed since he was not a citizen, and a waiting period.

As far as getting an illegal weapon - it's not hard if you are a known person living in a sketchy area. You could find a friend or a friend of a friend who would sell you one. A stranger? Good luck. Show up to buy an illegal weapon, and you'll be leaving without a gun or your money.

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Re: @Ted Treen ...@AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

In many states, if someone is in your house without permission, the default assumption is that you are in bodily danger, and may shoot to kill, even if there is no overt threat at all. Not only does that keep common burglars away, but your teenage girl's boyfriend as well.

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Boffin

Re: @Rustbucket... @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

CM == Creedmore.

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@Maty Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

It depends on the hit. A graze from a 9mm could be less of a problem than if you got hit w a .22lr in a vital spot.

I don't know what gun she had... if anyone has a link, please supply.

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@StargateSg7 ... Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

No, you cannot get an AR-15 in 7.62 NATO.

Note: 7.62x39mm (AK-47 round) or .300BLK is available, but not 7.62 NATO

Cartridge is too big.

.50 AE may be possible, however I seriously doubt it would be a good idea to fire. .50 BMG is a much different story. You need to be more specific when you talk about the calibers that a gun will shoot. A good example... a rifle that is designed to shoot .223 Remington cannot be used to shoot 5.56 NATO. While the 5.56 NATO rifle can shoot .223 Remington. (Both rounds are extremely similar however the pressures in a 5.56 NATO are higher. )

And clearly you don't know anything about guns or gun laws.

AR-15 are semi-auto only. Not select fire, nor full auto. ;-)

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@Jtom ... Re: @Ted Treen ...@AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

What you described is what is known as the Castle Doctrine.

While in your house, you do not have the burden to show that you could no longer retreat.

And if you are going to shoot, you shoot to stop the threat. (Yeah its a polite way to say shoot to kill. )

Outside of your home, there's a 'Stand Your Ground' law which varies state by state. Without it, the burden of proof is on you to show that you could not egress from the situation.

Yes, gun laws can be complicated. Just ask Zimmerman. While he may be a stupid git, his case was a clean shoot. The forensic and eye witness evidence supported his story.

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

With a .22 he would be unlucky to be fatally injured. With a 9mm he'd be lucky to survive.

Not so, but there are many myths around firearms. Bigger isn't necessarily better, and I suspect there have been many fatalities, accidental or intentional involving .22 firearms. See Robert F. Kennedy for more info. There's more than enough energy in a .22LR to do lethal damage, especially if using HP or JHP rounds.

For me, the best firearm for self-defence would be one you've practiced with. Preferably a lot. And although a .22 may not be as sexy as a chromed Hollywood Deagle in .50AE.. It's a lot cheaper to practice with. It also has a whole lot less felt recoil than a hot 'self-defence' round, so a lot easier to control a firearm and shoot accurately. It's also a lot smaller, which means you can have high capacity (where legal) magazines in a small frame. Which means it's easier to grip and shoot accurately if you've got small hands, or just want something compact.

So something that's comfortable, easy & cheap to use with the potential to put 5 rounds rapid into a miscreant, should you ever need to. And there are other advantages, ie less muzzle blast. Kind of handy and underappreciated, especially if you're shooting in a hallway and value your hearing. A hot round can end up functioning a bit like a stun grenade given high SPLs bouncing off hard surfaces. And a .22 may also be safer for friends and neighbours, so less likely to overpenetrate or go through walls.

But I'm just a Brit who post-Blair, misses 'plinking' with his old Hammerli 280.. That was a very accurate .22 and also very easy to shoot rapid fire.

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Re: @Tomato ...@AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

@ Ian Michael Gumby

> First, legally, he couldn't get a gun.

really? in country with such lax laws that they are essentially non-existent (ekhm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_show_loophole ekhm)

also, what happened to the "if making owning guns illegal, only criminals would have them", he isn't exactly an upstanding member of society, now is he?

> However in the UK... you have really weird gun laws.

there is a world outside anglophone countries, you know...

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Re: @Ted Treen ...@AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

Ian Michael Gumby

Depends on the state. Texas you can use deadly force to stop some one from breaking into your car o your own property.

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

"non-law abiding citizens in the US are even more likely to" [own guns]

pandering to the perception again, I see.

maybe THIS will help...

icon, because, facepalm at the lamenes and sameness of the anti-self-defense mantra. you probably want EVERYONE (except YOU) to be mild-mannered SHEEPLE, easily controlled, easily herded, etc.. no thanks, not THIS *RAM*. A few of us still have our genitalia intact.

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Re: @Ted Treen ...@AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

How does insurance replace my great-grandmother's letters and photos, my research papers, my 30+ years coding and documentation archives, my reference prototypes....?

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Re: @Ted Treen ...@AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

@Ian Michael Gumby

The law in the US varies from state to state. In most the some breaking into your house does not have to display a weapon to be considered a threat to your safety. In this case he had both a fair warning, AND a weapon, although probably not visible. He was carrying what the police sometimes call an abduction or rape kit. Most states have in addition to a "stand your ground" standard, either overt (as in Florida) or simply by omission as in most of the rest, that means that you can defend yourself if threatened, whether or not you are in your home, even California. While the common advice - even in the US - is to follow Monet Python's example and "run away," many people simply cannot do that because of age, infirmity or simple lack of condition. And, police response time is typically at least an order of magnitude longer than the typical "violent interaction" time between a felon and victim. Ideally, we should prosecute ANYONE who sues someone who defended themselves and injured or killed the felon as an accomplice to the crime. They are after all attempting to profit from the crime or attempted crime. And, while juries occasionally go off the rails, in the US they are not commonly sympathetic with the criminal, injured or not, or his or her relatives.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Rustbucket... @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

You can get a lower chambered for 7.62x39mm but it does not feed very well due to the angles of things and feed ramps etc.

But if you are after using commie ammo then that is the way forward with your AR-15. However, it is much cheaper to pick up one of the 44 billion AKs that are about :-)

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Re: @StargateSg7 ... @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

Indeed no 'A' for accurate :-)

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

Can you be killed by a .22lr? Yes it is possible.

The .22lr is a small cartridge. You can kill someone with a pellet gun too.

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

.223 is small but used in the m16

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Re: @Rustbucket... @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

Better off cambering the ar15 for .308 or socom .458

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

The m16 was specifically designed by NATO to NOT kill, on the theory that the invading Soviet troops would tend for their wounded. It earned the moniker "Widowmaker" in Viet Nam because the troops using it ended up themselves dead so often.

Yes, you can kill with a .22. Also, with bare hands. But the recommendation for effective self defense? My sensi was maximal rank, and he kept a .38 at the house. Well, more than one.

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

No... Show ID for instant check, and waiting period. Unless he has underworld contacts in Virginia to buy a gun illegally, or has obtained Virginia residency ID somehow, he can not legally purchase a firearm. (You *can* *not* buy a firearm outside your state of residence, unless the firearm is shipped to a FFL licensed dealer *in* your state of residence, and you pick it up there. I grew up in a border rural area; "going to town" crossed a state line. To buy a firearm, I would have to drive 50 miles to the nearest town in my state.)

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

And when laws are passed to inhibit gun purchase and use, the only people who suffer are the legal gun owners...the criminals never give a rip about the laws. They will retain their weapons, they will steal weapons or they will make weapons! Just remember this...the police arrive AFTER a crime is committed, and not before. As much as one likes to believe in police protection...it is...largely, a reactionary force.

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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

This nut-job would NOT get a gun LEGALLY in the U.S., certainly as a non-citizen. The idea that just anyone can get a weapon here is patently wrong. Can you get illegal weapons? Sure, and that applies to most nations. It just depends upon how much money you have, or connections to get it done. But creating more laws only serves to hurt the legitimate users, the honest citizens of the nation. The criminals are not law-abiding...that IS their nature.

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Re: @Tomato ...@AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

The UK was so depleted in arms during WW2, that many many thousands of rifles came from the U.S. citizenry for UK Homeland Defense purposes to plus up that capability. That fact is not forgotten upon that generation, but it is little known to those outside of that era. Just remember this, under Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Dung or any other socialist dictator...the first event they want to control is any possibility of revolution...which means weapons. The 2nd Amendment was NOT designed for target practice, nor hunting and never states such. All the founders knew damn well what it was for...to protect all the other Amendments!

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Re: @Rustbucket... @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

CreedMOOR

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Re: @StargateSg7 ... @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

Have you EVER BEEN to a US gun show?

I see AR-15's Semi-auto in 7.62 NATO all the time. And YES! I know the differences between 3-shot select fire, full-auto and semi-auto as I used to use the M16 and M4 a lot in my day!

AND YES i know the pressure differences between .223 and the 5.56 rounds. I've also seen AR-15 look-alikes in .50 CAL AND EVEN in customized .60 CAL sizes. In places like Colorado and many southern states there are MANY ATF certified small arms manufacturers that do custom systems for wealthy shooters and for both police tactical and military units.

Every state and even COUNTY is different for gun type, possession, transport and usage so whenever you go out of state or county with your arms you need to check the laws of the in-between and destination state so if you get pulled over during transport you don't run afoul of local laws.

The worst states are New York, New Jersey and California for draconian transport and possession laws. The best are Colorado, the Midwest and southern states. And again for Castle Doctrine laws, YES you can shoot first and ask questions later if someone encroaches illegally upon or into your house/property and you feel your life or the lives of family/friends is in danger!

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Anonymous Coward

"Flew halfway around the world" = "Auckland to Sydney"?

I know El Reg likes to be cheeky and/or provide sensationalist clickbaity article headlines.

But this is highly embarrassing.

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Re: "Flew halfway around the world" = "Auckland to Sydney"?

If you post before reading to the end of the second paragraph you can end up looking a bit of a twit. If your attention span really is that short, perhaps you would prefer twitter where looking like a twit leads to getting elected president.

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Re: "Flew halfway around the world" = "Auckland to Sydney"?

I'm having trouble understanding your "clickbaity" assessment. Can you clarify how it's clickbaity? The title seems to match the news stories going around the US.

If you're an experienced journalist then your explanation could be invaluable in enlightening us all.

Thanks.

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Re: "Flew halfway around the world" = "Auckland to Sydney"?

It really is embarrassing. You see the sentence went, in part, like this:

[...] flew from his home in Auckland to Sydney, Australia, took a connecting flight to Los Angeles, USA [...]

So, yes, if you can only read up to the comma before commenting, you might think that the headline was silly. But, you know, if you could manage to read the whole fucking sentence, you wouldn't look like such a twit. Perhaps it reached the 140 character limit of your brain, or something?

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Re: "Flew halfway around the world" = "Auckland to Sydney"?

Auckland to LA...

It's highly embarrassing you didn't know how to read the article before posting.

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Re: "Flew halfway around the world" = "Auckland to Sydney"?

AC is obviously deliberately combaiting.

Being combaitative.

Laying combait.

Etc

Don’t fall for it!

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Re: "Flew halfway around the world" = "Auckland to Sydney"?

Not as embarrassing as failing to finish reading the sentence you’re attempting to embarrass the author about.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Flew halfway around the world" = "Auckland to Sydney"?

Distance around the Earth: 40,075 km

Auckland to Virginia: 13662.11 km

Auckland to Sydney: 2176.07 km

Number of Words that needed to be read to understand the title and article before making a fool of yourself: 46.

So not technically half way round the world but I myself would class Australia to USA as half way round the world likewise for Australia to London as you are crossing hemispheres. This post is brought to you by the running process which stops me from doing anything work wise.

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