Sheriff: Mom shoots New Zealand man who wanted to meet Virginia teen

Sheriff's office: Mom shoots New Zealand man who wanted to meet teen

GOOCHLAND, VA (WWBT) - A New Zealand man shot while trying to break into a Goochland home on Friday had a calculated plan and was trying to see a teen he met online, the Goochland Sheriff's Office said Monday.

The shooting happened around 4:30 p.m. Friday on Steeplechase Parkway, according to the sheriff.

Investigators say 25-year-old Troy George Skinner, from New Zealand, tried to break into a home where a mother and her two teenage daughters live.

Skinner was unable to break into the basement and tried to get through a glass door on the deck by throwing a lawn stone at it, shattering the door.

The woman reportedly told Skinner she was armed with a gun and calling 911. After repeated warnings, she says Skinner continued to reach for the door handle.

The woman then shot Skinner twice in the neck. He tried running away, but collapsed in a neighbor's yard.

Skinner was transported to VCU Medical Center where he stayed until Tuesday. He was then transported to the Henrico County Jail.

"These people are really willing to go to unimaginable lengths to get access to your kids," said Katie Greer. "I'm not shocked, unfortunately."

With the click of a button and now a swipe on your screen, your child can be exposed to a world of danger. Greer would know - she travels the country speaking about crimes against children.

"Be educated. It's not a time to bury our heads in the sand and hope that something isn't going to go wrong," said Greer.

The sheriff's office reports Skinner came into the United States Wednesday, June 20, at Los Angeles International Airport.

Skinner faces a charge of entering a dwelling with intent to commit murder, rape, robbery or arson, with federal charges possible as the sheriff's office works with the FBI.

On Monday, the sheriff's office says Skinner had a calculate plan as he flew from New Zealand to L.A. then to D.C. He took a bus to Richmond.

The sheriff's office says Skinner stayed in Richmond overnight and then went to a house in Goochland to see a 14-year-old he was interacting with online.

The two met while playing games on a site called Discord, the sheriff's office said Monday.

The teen tried to stop communicating, the sheriff's office said, but Skinner wouldn't allow it.

The teen's parents did not know about their daughter's communication with Skinner, the sheriff's office said.

Experts say parents don't have to ban their children from playing online games but there are some questions you should be asking.

"You don't need to play them yourselves. You don't need to get a user name, but you need to know their basic functionality," said Greer. "There are settings that kids and parents can use that can make it so that they're only playing with people that they're personally know, or they can do 'invite only' where they're only playing against people within their WiFi."

She says you don't have to go behind your child's back, but talk with him or her about why it's important to keep them safe from real dangers lurking on what could seem to be a simple and innocent video game.

"You wouldn't let your kids on a Friday night go play games in a park with a thousand random strangers. Don't let them do it online either," said Greer.

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