It all began in an online chat, when a 14-year-old girl met a seemingly harmless 25-year-old young man.
After three or four months of contact, the teenager decided to terminate her communication with Troy George Skinner, who, unfortunately, didn’t take it well.
Feeling angry, Troy then decided to take a trip. He left New Zealand on a flight to Australia. From there, he flew to Los Angeles and then to Washington D.C., and finally from there took a bus to Richmond, Virginia.
Before breaking into the family's home, this man stopped at Walmart to buy a knife, duct tape, and pepper spray.
Arriving there, Troy picked up a brick and began striking the glass of the house of his pen pal, while her mother was at home with her two daughters. Faced with the threat, the mother warned the offender that she had a gun and that she would use it if Troy continued his actions.
It was when Troy threw the brick into the glass, shattering it around the room, the girls' mother fired two shots, hitting Skinner in the neck.
Troy is currently fighting for his life in a hospital in the United States as police try to investigate the case.
"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," sheriff James Agnew said.
Agnew also pointed out that she believed it wasn’t spontaneous:
That was something very well planned.
The case is still under investigation as the family is trying to recover from this traumatic experience.
It's stories like this that make us tell our children to stay away from strangers on the internet. Never reveal your personal information, such as the address, passwords, telephone numbers. And stay safe!