A Florida teenager was killed last week in an act of heroism, authorities say, when the honors student fought off a burglar to protect his 5-year-old little sister while their home was being invaded.
What are the details?
Deputies from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office were called to a Port Charlotte neighborhood Thursday at roughly 4:00 p.m. after receiving reports of an “injured white male walking the streets.” Around the same time, a call came in that a burglary had occurred in the area, Fox News reported.
The officers were able to chase down and apprehend suspect Ryan Clayton Cole, 27, who was found with multiple stab wounds.
Following Cole’s arrest, authorities searched other homes in the area, and discovered the body of Khyler Edman, 15. Khyler’s 5-year-old sister was also found in their home, uninjured.
“We believe the teenager was trying to protect the home and protect (his) younger sibling,” Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell said during a press conference.
Now, according to local outlet WINK-TV, Khyler’s “family wants you to know who he is.” A spokesperson for Khyler’s loved ones told the station, “He loved his family. He was his sister’s keeper. Khyler was a hero. He was a gentle soul. His life was taken away too early.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family pay for the expenses of a funeral for the 10th grader. As of this writing, it has surpassed its $25,000 goal, and sits at more than $61,000. A Celebration of Life for Khyler has been planned for Oct. 5.
Ryan Cole was already known to police, has a history of drug use, and has been charged with burglary, theft, and violation of probation, KDVR-TV reported. The suspect has not been charged with Khyler’s death, but police said the “scene is still under investigation for additional charges related to the death investigation.”
Prummell told the outlet, “We are working very closely with the state attorney’s office to make sure we prove the best case we can so this individual does not see the light of day again.”