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 …

Childcatcher

I thought of the child(ren)

While I’m firmly pro-gun control, it’s still nice to read a story of somone using a firearm who isn’t a criminal/cop/toddler and a shootee who seems to have thouroughly deserved it.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

She was pro gun control, too. That being a good sight picture, a steady hand, proper breathing and squeeze not pull.

Loony control is unfortunately a lot harder in modern society, alas.

Violence control is a wetware issue, not a hardware issue.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

@jake

Sounds like the training didn't work too well. Hit him once in the neck. Other shot probably went through the window of the house opposite, and narrowly missed the occupants who were quietly watching telly.

She was two feet away from him, but couldn't see him to target because of a closed door. The safe option would be to shoot a single warning shot through the top of the door, at an upward angle. Would probably miss, but a) he'd know she was serious and b) no risk of injury to innocent passers by.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

"The safe option would be to shoot a single warning shot through the top of the door, at an upward angle."

Or alternatively, given that she appears to have shot him while he had his arm through the window of the door trying to open it, shoot him in the arm that you can see.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

She was two feet away from him, but couldn't see him to target because of a closed door. The safe option would be to shoot a single warning shot through the top of the door, at an upward angle.

The safe option is to clip him, reload, and clip him again. Repeat until the police arrive or you run out of bullets. When its your child he's attempting to kidnap, rape, and murder, your definition of safe simply doesn't encompass the offender.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

"Sounds like the training didn't work too well. "

She was using a .22 pistol. Hence why he's still breathing. Pretty sure those things deflect a fair bit when going through a door, depending on what material it's made from.

She was also firing defensively, ie until he fucked off and the cops showed up. Else she would have carried on firing.

"She was two feet away from him, but couldn't see him to target because of a closed door. "

That would be the door made from glass? So all she could see was a large black mass and a hand coming through the broken pane. It was 4:30pm, so I presume not too dark.

"The safe option would be to shoot a single warning shot through the top of the door"

The advice I had from a friendly copper was that you shoot the intruder first, and then put a shot into the ceiling later. Then at trial you can claim you fired a warning shot. He also suggested a shotgun, since you can quite happily shoot through a door.

As for the guy, how stupid do you need to be. Don't get into online fights, if your online GF ditches you, then showing up at her place isn't going to change anything. Oh, and if you're plannign a home invasion, the USA is a very bad choice.

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Anonymous Coward

@Jake

To control him the mum needed to do some wetwork

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Coat

Re: I thought of the child(ren)

@Pen-y-gors

On the other hand, it takes a certain knack to shoot somebody in the neck and not kill them.

I'm sure that there's a Pratchett quote that's relevant here but can't remember it for the life of me.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

Thanks for the input from Wales, Pen-y-gors. I'm sure you are quite correct, what with all your experience in such matters.

Love the invented story of the neighbors. Did it make you all emotional as you typed it? Do you realize that that is exactly how your government wants you to feel?

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

@ Pen-y-gors

"Sounds like the training didn't work too well. Hit him once in the neck."

She hit her target, sounds good to me. And as MonkeyCee mentions a .22 will do damage but a door will have considerable effect on the bullet.

"Other shot probably went through the window of the house opposite, and narrowly missed the occupants who were quietly watching telly."

Why? Have you seen the large amount of space they have over there? A lawn and then a wide road then another lawn etc. And you are talking about a .22 fired from a pistol into a door.

"The safe option would be to shoot a single warning shot through the top of the door, at an upward angle."

Hell no. You are the one worrying about the neighbours watching TV and you want to put a bullet through the air which will intentionally miss the attacker? First it will still be affected by the door and will lose a lot of energy just hitting that (and malforming the bullet) but carrying your concern of travelling bullets- what goes up must come down and it would travel much further. As to a warning, she did a verbal warning she has a gun. Thats more than enough.

*I am in the UK but I used to fire .22 rifle.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

"When its your child he's attempting to kidnap, rape, and murder, your definition of safe simply doesn't encompass the offender."

Does it encompass bystanders?

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

DavCrav: Hopefully you do not now, and never will have children.

But if this unfortunate chain of events should occur, please do get back to us when you find out, m'k?

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

What bystanders?

The ones in your head or real ones that somehow aren't mentioned?

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

I think Mom needs to trade up to something heavier. Theb no-one would have to waste time and money on this wannabe kidnapper's trial and imprisonment.

A .22 doesn't really have enough stopping power to deal with an intruder.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

Do you realize that that is exactly how your government wants you to feel?

What - the Welsh Assembly?

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

" The safe option would be to shoot a single warning shot through the top of the door, at an upward angle."

Unsafe

"no risk of injury to innocent passers by."

Until the bullet comes down somewhere - which can be anywhere up to a couple of miles away.

Unless it's a shotgun, it's better to fire your warning shots _downwards_. That way even if it ricochets the bullet has lost most of its energy.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

"A .22 doesn't really have enough stopping power to deal with an intruder."

The myth of "bigger is better" again?

As with knives (a lot of fatal stabbings are done with a pen-knife), a .22 is quite effective, even in unskilled hands. Amongst other things the bullet has sufficient energy to enter a skull but not enough to leave, so it tends to rattle around inside for a wee while before stopping - resulting in scrambled brains for a tiny entry hole.

As for Skinner - It's good that the girl's mother didn't kill him. He's going to wish she had though.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

As a VA resident who teaches the concealed weapon carry class...

Warning shots are completely illegal. Partly for the reasons mentioned, but if you think a warning shot is called for, you cannot also believe your life is in imminent danger. Movies aren't reality.

Brandishing is illegal. No pointing a gun - if you get it out, you'd better shoot.

If you are convinced your life is in danger, you may shoot at the (assumed) perp.

There are occasional exceptions and variations between states, but they are relatively rare.

If you happen to stop a mass killing or save a whole store/bank full of people, they might look the other way about you being in lethal danger personally. But might is a scary qualifier word, given the letter of the law, and of course if you mess up in some way, which is easy to do, that's right out...

The scuttlebutt (which includes comments from police) is that if you're going to shoot someone in that kind of situation, you'd better kill them. Reason being - assume it is a perp type - they are expert at being dishonest and usually have some experience with the legal system. They're the one wounded, and that makes it possible for a lawyer to make a case it was somehow your fault. In these cases it's he said, she said - but one of them has a bullet hole and creating those tends to be highly discouraged.

In our just-us system, the rules are obviously quite different for police.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

"A .22 doesn't really have enough stopping power to deal with an intruder."

It appears to have stopped the one this story was about.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

Just a small correction here. You seem to have been infected by the NRA description of .22s as 'plinking (sp?)' guns, so a couple of properties is good enough to stop the bullets. Fact is that when I first encountered them a .22 long rifle round was classified as potentially lethal up to 2 miles i.e. you don't have to have an aimed target to kill someone.

Little known fact: Most national level agencies that did that sort of thing preferred slightly overloaded .22 long rifle rounds for assassination. More of the kinetic energy would be transferred to the target, and distance was not normally a factor.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

Have an upvote sir, see my post above for why.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

The scuttlebutt (which includes comments from police) is that if you're going to shoot someone in that kind of situation, you'd better kill them.

Yep, in my experience dead people seldom complain

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

"The safe option would be to shoot a single warning shot through the top of the door, at an upward angle. Would probably miss, but a) he'd know she was serious and b) no risk of injury to innocent passers by."

Shooting upward is one of the most irresponsible things you can do with a gun - those bullets come back down (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebratory_gunfire). Hitting your target is priority #1, not hitting something else is a close #2.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

"A .22 doesn't really have enough stopping power to deal with an intruder."

That is apparently incorrect. The alleged perp seems to have been sufficiently dealt with: he was injured and driven off, and taken into custody.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

Does it encompass bystanders?

Why would she be shooting a bystander?

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

@Pen-y-gors

How do you know she was two feet away? Being two feet away would be a stupid thing because you could easily be hit by door fragments should he bust it open and be within ready reach of the attacker. Natural instinct would be to get as far away as possible and assume a non exposed position so it's more likely that the shots came from across the room. Also as the door was glass and at the back of the house, probably of the sliding variety which is quite common leading to a deck, so she could easily have see him quite clearly. Moreover, given the area is highly wooded it's unlikely a stray level shot from a .22 pistol would make it through the brush.

Lastly, shooting a warning shot at an upward angle is perhaps the worst possible advice since it means that if the bullet isn't stopped by the door, again glass which she apparently shot through, it now has an upward trajectory which only increases the distance the bullet has the potential to reach as it could potentially clear the near line of trees and decreases your knowledge about where it may wind up. Of course with Goochland having a population density of 77 people per square mile it's probably of little concern even if they live only a few minutes from "down town".

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

.22 doesn't really have enough stopping power to deal with an intruder."

Um didn't the guy collapse on the neighbors lawn? They life flight you just for the fun of it either.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

@DCFusor:

This. The concealed carry class that Arizona teaches states rather clearly: You shoot to stop the intruder, not to kill, not to wound, but to stop them from continuing what they are doing. If the perp just so happens to decide to take the 'room temperature challenge', so be it.

I'm pretty certain that Virginia follows 'castle doctrine' (Arizona does), so you are permitted to shoot at someone who is trying to enter your castle uninvited and forcibly. Out here in the wild wild west, we have open carry, so the question of brandishing is... a grey area. (My non-laywer sense says that brandishing out here is having the gun out of it's holster, or in any sort of ready position.)

Warning shots are both patently illegal, ill-advised, and IMHO mark you as an irresponsible gun owner.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

>>"A .22 doesn't really have enough stopping power to deal with an intruder."

>It appears to have stopped the one this story was about.

Because he was shot in the neck.

Folks under attack aren't executing people with a gun shot to the head of an unexpecting (or unresisting) victim. They aren't aiming for the smallest part of the persons profile (the neck) except in the most unusual circumstances. They are firing with the sole intent of stopping the attacker from continuing to be a physical threat to the victim.

So for self defense you would like to have something with enough energy to it to hopefully incapacitate with a single shot to the center of mass (the biggest part of the body thus easiest target to hit) -- not a lucky shot piercing the neck or a skilled shot rattling around in the skull. A .22 long rifle can also be quite lethal if not treated promptly, but eventual lethality is not the same as immediately incapacitating someone and/or incapacitating someone with the fewest shots needed.

When I had woodchuck problems (they were subsiding my front lawn...my house sits on the edge of forests and fields) it always made me feel bad the only rifle I had was .22 long rifle that would drop them immediately and put them in shock -- but would invariably require the administration of a coup de grace to kill them. Wished I could've afforded even a .22 magnum that would have killed in a single shot.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

A .22 unless it hits at right angles to the skull surface, is more likely to graze the bone and ricochet off, imparting little useful energy.

If you are going to have a gun for self defence you may as well have something that will have an effect wherever and however you hit the target, even .38s can be relatively ineffective depending on where and how they hit.

Personally I'm a fan of a big stick, blunt force trauma is very effective and less likely to get me into serious trouble but if I lived in a place where a .45 was legal for home defence, I would probably have one for when the stick is not enough.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I thought of the child(ren)

"Most national level agencies that did that sort of thing preferred slightly overloaded .22 long rifle rounds for assassination. More of the kinetic energy would be transferred to the target, and distance was not normally a factor."

If the kinetic energy of the bullet is mass * velocity squared, then decreased mass can be offset by increasing the velocity (with more charge in the cartridge). A small high speed round is more likely to penetrate but will be slowed dramatically and is likely to ricochet around the body cavity. It is a much louder bang though.

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Re: I thought of the child(ren)

"A small high speed round is more likely to penetrate"

Depends on what you mean by "high speed". I shot a bird sitting on a branch of a tree on my target range once. It was a .22[0] with a trifle more powder, the range was 500 yards. The bullet exploded on impact, killing the bird AND the bird on the branch above it.

[0] For values of .22 that equals .220 Swift, pushed to 5,000 f/s ...

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Childcatcher

Re: I thought of the child(ren)

The safe option would be to shoot a single warning shot ...at an upward angle. ... [with] no risk of injury to innocent passers by.

This is not true and is bad advice on a number of levels. First, what goes up comes down just as hard. While the bullet might lose a little momentum from hitting the door and also from being deformed from the impact, to say there is no risk of injury is incorrect. Once the gun is discharged, there is risk in any populated area.

Second, there was already a warning, several actually, which the attacker chose to ignore. Wasting ammunition in a situation where it will be needed imminently and endangering other people (see first point) for the equivalent of shouting "I really. really mean it" doesn't sound like a particularly good approach.

Third, don't pull the trigger unless you intend to do the damage. If you are in a situation of this nature, don't play around. Do what is needed and be done with it.

Finally, training is one thing, the real world is something else again. It's not like a video game where you can just keep playing until you get it right. She was facing a literal threat to her life and to her child and at the same time had to know the consequences of discharging her weapon were going to be high. Many, many people who have been put in emergency situations fail spectacularly the first time. She did not.

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Windows

Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

Luckily Littel Red Riding Hood was not in a disarmed country.

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

Traditionally, Little Red Riding Hood was saved by a hunter / woodsman with an axe, no firearms involved...

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

To be fair, firearms didn't exist when the fairy tale of LRRH originated ... and I'll go out on a limb and suggest that if they did, the woodsman would have been armed with one.

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

@jake

Possibly, but the woodsman had an axe as a tool of his trade, to cut down trees. It takes a hell of a lot of bullets to chop down a douglas fir!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!" / huntsman

That Little Red Riding Hood hunter / woodsman with an axe was a proper CREEP. Think Jack Nicholson, think "here's JOHNNY!" A double-barrelled shotgun on the other hand... perfectly sane!

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

Now, I know that there are some superb rapid-fire guns for use on ships and the like but not sure that there is one made for the lumber market.

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

LRRH kept her pistol in her knickers.

Everyone knows that.

"The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers. She whips a pistol from her knickers."

Roald Dahl

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

When I'm logging, I often have a firearm (or three, occasionally) close to hand. Dinner lives in the woods, you know.

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

"It takes a hell of a lot of bullets to chop down a douglas fir!"

That would depend on the size of the bullets. It would definitely take more than one, but probably less than 5 or 10 .50 cal rounds.

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At Pen-y-gors, re: bullets & trees.

It only takes one bullet to bring down any tree that isn't petrified. The round just needs to be an armor piercing high explosive one & you can kiss that tree goodbye. If you acknowledge that the round from a Howitzer is a bullet writ large, then it doesn't have to be an APHE one, it just has to hit the tree a glancing blow to reduce it to splinters.

Granted, LRR probably wasn't armed with a Howitzer, but that's only because they're too hard to fit in your knickers.

"Is that a 120mm cannon in your pants, or are you just REALLY happy to see me?"

*Cough*

=-Jp

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

"To be fair, firearms didn't exist when the fairy tale of LRRH originated"

I'm not sure when it did originate (although they existed when the Brothers Grimm wrote it up) but before firearms there were bows and arrows to which firearms were the successor.

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

On my family's property, there is a fir tree that we have been pinning targets on for nearly 140 years. It probably has nearly a ton of lead in it. Over 60 of those many shots were from my Barrett .50, and another couple dozen from the .416 that I traded for it. The fir tree is thriving.

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

and I'll go out on a limb and suggest that if they did, the woodsman would have been armed with one.

Colt made a nifty .22 target pistol called the 'Woodsman'. Quite an accurate and discreet pistol, especially if fitted with a supressor. So "Would be woodsman felled by woman's Woodsman".

But joking aside, it must have been a terrifying experience for the women. The attacker must have been pretty deranged and determined to travel all that way, and based on his behaviour and what he was carrying, his intentions didn't look good. Self-defence seemed quite justified and demonstrate why firearms can be a good thing, especially if home invasions are fairly common, and police response times can be quite long.

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

Bows & arrows aren't handy when cutting timber. Nor do they work well in even light brush. My old Kimber fits the bill, though.

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

I'm not sure when it did originate

10th century, according to various sources - it is originally of French / Norman origin, long before the Grimms happened upon it.

For context, the Chinese were just beginning to use fire lances at the start of the 11th century.

The Battle of Agincourt, which was notable for the mass use of the longbow as a decisive weapon, wasn't until 1415, (15th century) and the first hand-held firearms appeared in Europe a decade or two later.

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

"LRRH kept her pistol in her knickers."

You'd expect nothing less from the daughter of Robbing Hood.

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

Somebody managed to cut down a tree with one of his "toys":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KEz355keJ0

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