A Florida teenager lost his life last week after he defended his 5-year-old sister from a home invader armed with a knife. The 15-year-old was stabbed as he fought off the intruder, succumbing to his injuries before authorities arrived.
On Thursday, residents of a Port Charlotte, Florida, neighborhood called the police, reporting that an individual had been seen acting “suspiciously” in the area. Police were en route to respond to the calls when they began to receive more information: The man appeared to have suffered multiple stab wounds, according to WWSB-TV.
Road Closure – Starlite between Olean and Inman (Port Charlotte) is closed until further notice due to an ongoing investigation.
— Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office (@CCSOFLSheriff) September 27, 2019
As police arrived at the scene, they found that the suspect, 27-year-old Ryan Cole, had in fact been stabbed several times in his side and hands. He fled as they approached, but according to Sheriff Bill Prummell, police were able to apprehend the suspect within about fifteen minutes. He was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated as the investigation continued.
Authorities discovered that Cole, armed with a knife, had entered two homes, one of which was the home of 15-year-old Khyler Edman and his little sister, 5. Though the girl was unharmed, her brother had died after a “violent encounter.”
“It appears that the suspect had broken into this residence; a violent encounter ensued, where we believe that the teenager was trying to protect the home and protect their younger sibling,” Prummell stated in a news conference shared by WWSB.
Initially, the sheriff’s office withheld additional information out of respect for Edman’s family, who had requested privacy. However, the teen’s family recently came forward, recognizing their son’s heroism and wanting his name to be remembered in the community.
Few of his age would have had the courage and selflessness to act as he did in the situation.
In a GoFundMe created to help the family with Edman’s funeral expenses, one of Khyler’s parents wrote, “He was only 15 years old and lost his life due to a senseless act of a stranger. My son had a long life ahead of him, that was taken too soon.”
Others also spoke up to honor the teen.
He was taking honors classes and “was the kind of kid that anyone would be proud to call their son,” one person reported to WINK.
“Khyler was a hero. He was a gentle soul. His life was taken away too early,” a neighbor said.
A memorial for the 15-year-old hero is scheduled for Oct. 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Harbor Heights Civic Center at Harbor Heights Park.
Cole, who has already been charged with burglary in the case of the first home he entered illegally, should face additional charges by the end of the week, according to People. He is currently in custody without bail.
Our thoughts and prayers go out for Khyler Edman’s family during this time.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13.
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