A Florida teenager is being called a hero after deputies say he died protecting his 5-year old sister from a burglar.
Khyler Edman, 15, was found dead inside his Port Charlotte home Thursday afternoon, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.
It’s believed Edman, trying to protect the home and his younger sister, died in a “violent encounter” with the burglar, said Sheriff Bill Prummell. He was a 10th grade student at Charlotte County High School, according to news reports.
The suspect in his death is Ryan Clayton Cole, 27, who has a history of drug use and was on probation at the time of his arrest, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies were responding to calls of a suspicious person in the neighborhood when witnesses told them they had seen a shirtless man, covered in blood and holding a large knife walking down the road, according to the Sept. 26 arrest affidavit.
A man then called 911 and said a shirtless man — with a stab wound — wearing a hat and carrying a knife had just broken into his home and took off with one of his children’s boxing gloves.
Deputies say Cole then led them on a short pursuit and was later found hiding in a backyard — shirtless — with several stab wounds on his hands and side, the arrest report states. He was wearing a child’s boxing glove, according to deputies.
Once Cole was taken into custody, deputies were notified of several burglaries in the area and began searching the neighborhood. They then noticed the door to Edman’s home was forced open and found the teen’s body inside, his little sister unharmed, Fox 59 reports.
Edman died from injuries related to the attack, but the sheriff’s office declined to give additional details on the cause of death. Multiple news outlets are reporting Cole allegedly stabbed the teen to death.
“This has been a very tough scene to deal with,” Pummell said. “It was a senseless crime.”
A GoFundMe page created three days ago to help pay for the teen’s funeral has raised over $50,000, as of Tuesday afternoon, surpassing its $25,000 goal.
“This is not going to only give Khyler the burial he deserves this will allow Kyhlers mom and 5 year old sister be able to get into another house so they aren’t faced with having to relive the traumatic experience over again,” wrote one of the page organizers. “Khyler was a hero protecting his sister but please continue to keep her in your prayers as she witnessed this.”
Cole was taken to the hospital for his injuries and later booked into the Charlotte County jail. He’s charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling and petit theft, but has not been charged with the teen’s death. Deputies say additional charges are possible as the teen’s death investigation develops.