A 25-year-old New Zealand man who traveled around the world to meet a 14-year-old girl he communicated with online was shot by the girl’s mother after he tried breaking into the family home in Goochland, Va.
New Zealand Man Travels to Virginia
Goochland County Sheriff Jim Agnew told WTVR that the man, Troy Skinner, had been talking with the 14-year old girl through Discord, a popular chat service among gamers. After a period of three or four months, the girl tried breaking off communication with him.
“The younger daughter attempted to stop communications with him. He was opening other accounts in an attempt to keep communications open and she did not cooperate with him,” Agnew said.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, that’s when Skinner took a flight from Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia. From there, he flew to Los Angeles. He then got on a plane in L.A. and flew to Washington, D.C. Upon arrival there, he took a Greyhound bus to Richmond. When he got to Richmond, he checked into a local hostel.
Last Friday morning, Skinner checked out of the hostel. He then went to a Walmart store, where he bought a camouflage folding knife with a 2.75-inch blade. He also bought duct tape and pepper spray.
From the Walmart, Skinner, dressed in black, made his way to the girl’s home.
At around 4:30 p.m., the mother was painting downstairs with one of her daughters when Skinner knocked on the front door. Nobody answered, as the mother told authorities she doesn’t normally answer the door during the day.
“They thought that was the end of it until they saw him at the back basement door, which is situated under the deck,” Agnew said. Skinner saw the family inside through the glass door, which is when he told the mother, “I need some help; I’ve hitchhiked here 30 miles.”
Skinner then picked up a brick and started to try and break the door down.
“This 6-foot-1-inch, 275-pound man attempted to violently get inside her house,” Agnew said.
The mother locked the door from the basement steps to the main house. She also told her daughter to grab the family’s .22 pistol.
Skinner then showed up again on the back deck. He proceeded to throw a landscaping brick through the glass door leading into the home. The mother warned Skinner multiple times that she had a gun. He ignored her. Instead, he reached inside and tried to unlock the door.
The mother opened fire twice, shooting Skinner once in the neck, Agnew said.
Skinner took off but collapsed in a nearby yard. Authorities arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and transported Skinner to a local hospital. He is expected to survive the shooting.
“[Skinner’s] arrival here was totally unexpected by anyone,” Agnew said. “I have to emphasize very clearly, that while he may be … in the hospital, he is not the victim. The lady [who shot Skinner] and her family members are the victims.”
Agnew said Skinner will be charged with breaking and entering with a deadly weapon with the intent to commit a serious crime. In addition, he’s asked the FBI for help in learning about Skinner’s background and whether or not federal charges might be brought against him for contacting the girl.
“All I can say is the manner in which he attempted to enter that home in the face of a firearm pointed at him and the implements we recovered from him—the only inference is that he had very bad intent,” Agnew said, according to New Zealand news website Stuff.
“This was not random, not spontaneous, this was something very planned,” Agnew added.
The investigation into the shooting continues. The mother is not facing any charges.
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