14-Year-Old Defends Her Sister from a Professional Criminal

14-Year-Old Defends Her Sister from a Professional Criminal, iStock-1174295368

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- We start with this news story out of Middleboro, Massachusetts as reported by the nearby news station WBZ Boston, CBS-4.

It is 7:30 in the morning. You are a 14 year old girl who is home on a weekday over spring break. Your mom already left for work. You are awake and your younger sister is still asleep.

You hear a strange sound. You step into the hallway outside your bedroom and hear someone in the garage. You run to the kitchen and grab two steak knives. With a knife in each hand, you open the garage door and shout,

“Get out of here. Get out of my home. You don’t belong here.”

The intruder drops the property in his hands and runs to his truck. You pull your phone from your pocket and take a video of the intruder. You also take video of his license plate as the intruder backs his truck down your driveway. You’re frightened, but you manage to call 911.

Your intruder is arrested as he crosses over a local bridge. He is charged with aggravated breaking and entering, trespassing, attempted larceny, and disorderly conduct. He has a criminal history that goes back four decades. The intruder has been arraigned 130 times for burglary and robbery. He is held pending a 200 thousand dollar cash bail.

Your mom says you are amazing.


Let’s talk about what this young woman did correctly, and then think about what we should do before we leave our teenagers home alone.

Our young defender thought that something seemed out of place. Our inclination is to ignore strange sounds if we only hear them once, but this young lady overcame her hesitation and acted to protect herself and her sister. She got up and investigated what was going on. She identified the noise as someone moving in her garage. She armed herself with two knives. She opened the door into the garage, but she stayed inside her home. She gave clear verbal commands. She did not close with or chase the bad guy. She collected evidence with her cell phone. She then called 911 and asked for the police. Her voice was trembling as she talked to the 911 operator, but she did it.

The defender had a number of choices. She could go to her sister’s room, lock her sister’s bedroom door, call 911, and wake her sister. She could call a neighbor for help. She could wake her sister and retreat to a neighbor’s home. She could lock the garage door and stay inside the home and wait for the intruder to leave or for help to arrive. She could arm herself, call for help, and confront the intruder.

That is quite a list. I’m not sure what the best course of action was for this young defender, just as I’m not sure what would be best for your family to do. I am sure that none of those are easy choices in the excitement and fear of the moment.

This defender armed herself with two knives. I think I am fairly large and strong, and I do not want to go hand-to-hand with someone who can cut me with either hand. I might win, but I’ll probably get cut.

Our defender faced the intruder but stayed inside her house. She used a commanding voice and gave clear instructions. Said another way, a 14-year-old girl frightened a 58-year-old man. Well done.

She was frightened but she also kept her wits about her to take a video of the intruder.

What should we do if we were there? I’d wake my children, retreat with them to a secure room, and ask one of them to call 911. If our neighbors were armed, then I’d ask the other child to call a neighbor.

The problem with advancing on the intruder is that I’m leaving my family unprotected behind me. I don’t know how many intruders there are. I don’t know where they are, and I don’t know how they are armed. I might move toward the intruder if there were an armed adult who could stay with and defend my children. Maybe.

That may sound like a good plan now, but how would it sound when we hear unexpected crashing sounds in our garage? Now is the time to talk to your family about what they should do.

Now is the time to build your plan.

Teenagers are at a difficult age when they are old enough to leave alone but not yet old enough to ask them to defend themselves with lethal tools. They already use life-threatening tools like knives and the stove. They may use lawn and garden tools, and some of the edged tools for home and yard care. If they are 15 years old or older then they may have their student driver’s permit. A car is far more powerful than any personal firearm.

When should we teach our children to defend themselves and others? Let me offer you this perspective. Many of the teenagers I’ve met feel invulnerable and they want to confront the bad guy. Rather than argue with them, I ask them this,

“Suppose you win but that you’re hurt in the fight. Who is left to defend your younger brother or sister now that you’re injured?”

That is basically the same question I ask myself when I make a plan to protect my family. That question reminds both of us that our family is our treasure, and not the relics stored in the garage.

Some 14-year-olds might have hunted for several years. Some might have their own firearms, but most do not. Those early teenage years are when I’d introduce them to non-lethal tools like OC spray. Check the laws in your state.

If there is a car in the garage, then teach your children how to hit the car alarm on the key fob. That is another good reason to put your keys in the same place every time you return home.

Your children could set off the home-alarm system if you have one. If you’ve talked to your neighbors, do you have a plan so that your children and theirs can run next door to safety? An angry neighbor defending your kids beats a cop on the phone.

I’ve seen youngsters in firearms safety classes. I’ve seen them in armed-defense classes. I’ve shot against them in competition. I’ve introduced young teens to basic firearms safety. Those activities inform us about their maturity. It is harder to tell when they are old enough to use a firearm for home defense.

Ask yourself if they can control their anger. Does your child know when to stop shooting if their family members were at risk? Before you think that is an easy question to answer, then ask yourself if you are confident that you’d know when to stop your defense if your husband or wife were at risk. Some teens are ready and some are not.

When it comes to weapons of choice for new shooters, some people prefer a small 22 caliber pistol because of its light weight. Some suggest a 22 caliber semi-automatic rifle with a laser sight since that is one of the easier weapons systems to learn for new or infrequent shooters. Think about the type of gun you would loan to a neighbor if there were a storm coming. That is probably a good gun to consider for the younger members of your family.

The best thing to arm your family with is a plan. From there, you’ll have to see what fits your family best.

-Rob Morse highlights the latest self-defense and other shootings of the week. See what went wrong, what went right, and what we can learn from real-life self-defense with a gun. Even the most justified self-defense shooting can go wrong, especially after the shot. Get the education, the training, and the liability coverage you and your family deserve.

About Rob Morse

Rob writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, at Second Call Defense, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.Rob Morse


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The intruder must be from or live in a democratic run state 130 times. The little girl is lucky to be alive and her sister two. Who left the garage open and why was the house unlocked Mom !!! A career criminal would have not fled so quickly knowing that the voice he heard was a young female most likely alone. An adult would have sounded differently, while most 14 year olds would have become victims not detectives taking photos with their phones. A 14 year old home alone with gun in her possession is trouble an all levels. The… Read more »


Good discussion, but what if the man was armed? Her knives might not be enough to overcome him shooting her , even if he wanted to run away! Non contact defense is better, right?

Parents teach your older children how to shoot a pistol responsibly!


Hell what if he had a golf club or bat or found one in the garage.? And determined things could have ended a lot different for this little girl.


that is why the family needs to get her shooting training, and have guns
a nice ar with laser and light; low recoil , pistols require more training

Last edited 19 days ago by swmft

AR’s are heav and often ungainly, and comlicated to run. So hat if handguns “require mroe training”? Get it, do it. Something like the very excellent Sig .22 pistols, or the Browning BUckmark, or the Ruger offerings are VERY accurate, simple, reliable, low recoil, very “handy”. Even the Ruger LCP or Kahr 380 are small and handy, accurate and relable, and still relativelylight recoil. We don’t know how big this 14 year old is. I know some who brely weigh 75pounds, and are tiny. I know thirteen year old girls who are five foot ten, strong, agile, and very capable.… Read more »


im guessing small and an m4 size ar in polymer is lighter than a 10 22 no kick and easy point shoot with laser any pistol like an lcp will have more kick and require getting used to ,watched a friend (she is 5′ 95# ) drop an lcp flipped out of her hand so grip and recoil have to be considered , i loaned her a colt mustang pocket light , it is a little bigger than lcp easier to hold small grip and she could shoot it without incident , was my mothers she was small too, likely… Read more »

Last edited 19 days ago by swmft

I’m not a tiny man, maybe I would feel differently if I’d trained in knife fighting – but I would not feel confident going against pretty much anyone with only two knives in my hands. Sure I would hurt them, but would I escape unscathed? While I’m not a fighter – I believe in overwhelming/irresistible force applied with speed and ferocity sufficient to keep opponent disoriented. Biggest concerns are what Rob said about knowing when to stop (and actually doing so) — but also knowing when to start. I would never go to the gun early, so fear getting taken… Read more »


When I was 14 he would have got his ass lit up.Times were different back then also. Firearms were plentiful in our household and everyone knew how to use them. We were having trouble with someone stealing gas from our tractor and vehicles. I specifically remember the Sheriff telling my dad if you shoot them. Make sure they are dead so they can’t testify in court. Much can be learned from those times. in relation to the crime problems of today..


grew up with a military family parents grand parents and aunts and uncles ,everyone knew how to shoot and as kids we grew up with safety rules and guns cant even remember first time I shot a gun, was always part of me the sign on my fence posted: trespassers will be shot….. ,survivors will be shot again


teach her to shoot, and try an ar in different calibers and a 410 I was out hunting with my grandfather with a black powder Hawkins that must have weighed almost as much as me the new guns are much friendlier


When I was 8 years old I was already shooting at the family gun club once a week I was told never to touch any gun in the house no matter what never to tell my friends that their were guns in the house or show them to anyone. Times have changed so is how a 14 year old child looks at today’s world verses when we were young and how we viewed the world. If that 14 had access to a gun and it was taken away and she was killed with that weapon then her little sister. The… Read more »