Most of our Armed Citizen stories involve adults using their firearms in self-defense. Yet it’s not uncommon for teenagers to come to the aid of themselves and others when the chips are down.
Here are seven examples of teenagers saving their lives and the lives of their families with firearms.
A 14-year-old boy, Anthony Hernandez, protected his grandparents by shooting and killing a burglar who was breaking into the family’s Charlotte, N.C., home by climbing through a window. “My grandson told him to stop and get out of here, and he didn’t, so my grandson shot him,” Anne Marie Wyant said during a 911 call. An accomplice has been arrested and charged, and police said the shooting was justified. The Wyants made a commitment to teach their grandchildren about self-defense six years ago, after Anthony’s father was shot to death while working at the auto shop he owned. “[Anthony is] his grandmother’s hero,” Wyant said. “If I was by myself, God knows what they [the intruder and his cohort] would have done to me.” (The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, N.C., 12/18/14)
After she moved into a nursing home, an elderly woman’s 18-year-old grandson began staying at her house. He was home alone early one morning when he was awakened by a noise coming from a back room of the home. He grabbed a shotgun from under the sofa he was sleeping on and went to investigate. He spotted what looked like the light from a flashlight coming from behind a curtain covering a glass door. As the teen moved forward, the back door was kicked in and he was confronted by two robbers. The teenager fired several shots. One suspect fell to the ground with a fatal gunshot wound, while the other fled the scene. He was later found at a nearby hospital being treated for gunshot wounds. It was last reported that he was in critical condition. The teen staying at his grandmother’s home was not injured. (Houston Chronicle, Baytown, Texas, 8/29/12)
Kendra St. Clair, a 12-year-old at home alone one day during her fall break, called her mother at work to say there was a man repeatedly ringing the doorbell and banging on the door. When no one answered the door, she said he disappeared. St. Clair’s mother instructed her daughter to get her .40-cal. Glock pistol and go into a bathroom closet. St. Clair heard him break in through the back door. As the man made his way through her home, 911 dispatchers kept St. Clair on the phone. He was inside the home for approximately six minutes before he made his way to the bathroom where St. Clair was hiding. When she saw the doorknob begin to turn, she fired the gun. The 32-year-old intruder was taken into custody after being treated for a gunshot wound to the chest. (The Oklahoman, Durant, Okla., 10/20/12)
A 14-year-old boy was at home watching his three younger siblings, ages 8, 10 and 12, when a woman rang the doorbell. The teen did not open the door when he didn’t recognize the woman. Soon thereafter, there was a loud bang on the door. The teen rushed his siblings upstairs and retrieved a handgun from his parents’ bedroom. A man broke through the front door and pointed a gun at the boy, who then shot the 37-year-old intruder. After undergoing surgery for his wounds the man was jailed on counts of aggravated assault and burglary. (The Durango Herald, Phoenix, Ariz., 6/24/12)
When 14-year-old Brady [last name withheld] went to the kitchen for a glass of water late one night, he heard voices. Brady said, “I walked to the edge of the stairs and I [heard] them talking. I didn’t recognize their voices and I went back to my room and got my 12-guage shotgun. I loaded it.” Then the boy confronted the men. The intruders had their own firearms pointed at Brady, but fled upon seeing his shotgun pointed back at them. (FOX16, Little Rock, Ark., 4/30/12)
Home alone, a 17-year-old girl did not answer the door when the doorbell rang. Shortly thereafter, she heard someone jump over the gate in the backyard. She then saw a man reach through the home’s doggie door and attempt to unlatch it. The girl quickly armed herself and fired a shot at the doggie door. Without hesitation, the suspect fled. It is unknown whether or not the man was injured. The area was heavily searched, but police were unable to locate the man. (The Arizona Republic, Glendale, Ariz., 2/7/12)
Police received a call from a 15-year-old girl claiming there was someone trying to get into her house while she was home alone. She reported that she heard the front door jiggle, looked out the window and saw two men there. One man managed to get into the garage, where he was attempting to steal a pickup truck. After retrieving her father’s handgun, the girl confronted the man in the garage, causing him to immediately flee. His accomplice, who had already made his way inside and was ransacking the contents of the home, quickly followed suit. (The Daily News, Texas City, Texas, 1/15/12)