A North Carolina dad protected his young daughter from an intruder on Father’s Day, police say.
The dad fatally shot a 23-year-old man who entered the backyard of his home where his children were playing and allegedly tried to accost his 11-year-old daughter, according to a preliminary investigation by police.
The shooting happened on Sunday in Wilson’s Mills, about 25 miles southeast of Raleigh.
When the intruder entered the backyard, the other children ran inside the house and told their mother and father, according to Wilson’s Mills Police. The suspect, who was unknown to the family, allegedly tried to follow the children into the home, pulling on the back door handle and shaking it violently. The father then shot the intruder, who died from his injuries. The suspect’s name has not been released by police yet.
Wilson’s Mills Police and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene just after 9 p.m. Sunday. Police Chief A.Z. Williams said the father appears to have been protecting his family.
The sheriff’s office is currently investigating the shooting and processed the scene. The Johnston County District Attorney’s Office is assisting with the investigation. The father fully cooperated with detectives and was not arrested, the sheriff’s office said. He is not currently facing charges.
The population of Wilson’s Mills is less than 2,700. The police chief said this was one of the first violent incidents he could remember in the five years he has been with the police department.
North Carolina has a law on the books based on the “Castle Doctrine,” which allows homeowners to shoot intruders who try to enter their home.
“The doctrine says that if someone is trying to enter your home, your workplace or your car — they are presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit a felony, a violent felony, and intending to cause harm to you or your family,” Bruce Mason, an attorney in Wilmington, Delaware, explained in April when “Castle Doctrine” or “Stand Your Ground” laws were in the news due to shootings in Missouri and New York.
“It also states that the person using deadly force is presumed to have feared for their safety, presumed either death or serious bodily injury, and that person has the right then to use deadly force,” Mason said.
Father’s Day this year turned violent in other parts of the country, but in most cases it did not appear to be a father protecting his children.
In New York City, the father of a one-year-old girl was shot dead, one of four shootings in just 24 hours over the weekend. In Washington, D.C., a 6-year-old boy and his father were shot outside their car and rushed to the hospital.