He was really scared, so he grabbed a knife.
Chris Gaither was home alone last week, “petting the dogs,” when he heard a noise coming from upstairs.
So the 11-year-old in Talladega, Ala. grabbed a knife to defend himself, he told NBC affiliate WVTM-TV.
He saw a man on the stairwell. The guy ran back upstairs, then reappeared seconds later with a gun, Chris told the TV station.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
As the intruder walked down the stairs, “he told me he was going to kill me, f-you and all that,” Chris said.
Seeing that he’d brought a knife to a gunfight, Chris grabbed a 9mm handgun kept in the house, the one his stepfather had taught him how to use.
“I told him I was going to kill him if he didn't get out of my house,” Chris said in a TV interview.
The boy had the law on his side. Alabama enacted Stand Your Ground - a self-defense law that permits the use of deadly force against someone unlawfully and forcefully entering a home or car - in 2006.
When the man, carrying a stolen laundry hamper, got outside the house Chris fired a warning shot. The guy took off running toward the fence in the front yard and Chris fired 12 shots at him. One bullet hit the man as he tried to jump the fence.
“I shot through a hamper that he was carrying,” Chris told the TV station. “It was a full metal jacket bullet. It went straight through the back of his leg. He started crying like a little baby.”
The wound was not life-threatening. Talladega police are investigating the incident.
Chris and his mother said the man, who they don’t know, had robbed them before and was targeting other homes in the neighborhood. Chris called him a “meth head.”
And he had a message for the bad guy: “I hope you learned your lesson coming to this house trying to steal stuff.”