Before he traveled across the globe to meet a 14-year-old girl he met online, the girl had tried — unsuccessfully — to cut him out of her life, according to authorities in Virginia.
“He was not invited here, he was not expected here, he had been told in the past that the daughter no longer wished to communicate with him,” Goochland County Sheriff Jim Agnew told WTVR.
But 25-year-old Troy Skinner didn’t listen — and flew all the way from New Zealand to Los Angeles on June 20, and then continued on to Virginia in hopes of meeting the girl, the sheriff said. Skinner had been chatting with the girl on Discord, a platform for gamers, WTVR reports. The pair were in touch for about four months before she tried to cut off contact.
Skinner showed up at the family’s home in Goochland County on Friday afternoon, when the girl’s mother was home with her two teenage daughters. Despite the mother’s attempts to make him go away — and despite her threats to call police — Skinner wouldn’t leave, according to the sheriff’s office.
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He banged on their door with a brick and shouted at them that he needed help. He even explained that to get there he had hitchhiked for 30 miles, WTVR reports.
Skinner soon got violent, deputies said: He tried using a brick to force his way into the home through the back basement door. That’s when the mother warned him that she had a handgun on her, according to the sheriff’s office.
Skinner was undeterred, the sheriff’s office said.
He abandoned the basement door and scaled the steps to the home’s deck. From there, he picked up a concrete landscaping stone and lobbed it through the home’s glass door, breaking it, according to the sheriff’s office.
All the while, the mother was warning Skinner not to come in, deputies said.
Now that the glass was shattered, Skinner could reach his arm through the door to open it himself. But as he tried, the mother used a .22-caliber handgun to shoot at him twice — finally driving him away from the home, deputies said. Skinner was shot in the neck.
By the time officers had arrived, Skinner was laying on a neighbor’s front lawn. He was first treated at the scene, and then transported by air to VCU Medical Center, according to the sheriff’s office.
Skinner had taken a knife, pepper spray and duct tape with him to the home that afternoon, Agnew told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He was sporting all black.
Two 911 calls had come in, deputies said: One from neighbors who heard the shooting, and another from the family trying to fend Skinner off.
Charges have not yet been filed, WTVR reports. The FBI is also investigating.