Twelve-year-old Boy Kills Armed Thief Who Broke Into Grandma’s Home

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Day 195 - Shut the burglar out by West Midlands Police is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The ongoing global pandemic has been brutal on the economy, but it’s also had another unintended consequence:

A massive crime wave across America.


The spike in crime isn’t just hitting the big cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and LA, either. It’s also encroaching on small towns and hurting families in every corner of the country.

One of those places is Goldsboro, North Carolina, a small city of only 36,000 located in the center of the Tar Heel state. Located about 50 miles southeast of Raleigh, Goldsboro has an unfortunate claim to fame.

With a low income level and various social problems, Goldsboro’s pleasant historic center and Southern charm is overshadowed by something sinister.

Goldsboro is the most dangerous place in North Carolina, with 10.84 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. The average for North Carolina as a whole is 3.7 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. In fact, Goldsboro is the 36th most dangerous place to be in the entire United States.

Now one small boy is making headlines after stepping up and stopping a violent thief dead in his tracks right in Goldsboro.

handgun by robertnelson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

‘It’s Got to Stop’

The recent attempted burglary involved two masked and armed suspects who broke into a Goldsboro home. The woman inside was 73-year-old Linda Ellis, who had no way to defend herself against the violent thugs. Her 12-year-old grandson was also present.

One of the thieves shot Ellis in the leg after she told them she had no cash and her grandson reacted rapidly, going to retrieve a family gun and firing at the intruders. The boy had learned his shooting well, because one of the robbers was struck badly and fled out onto the street only to die shortly afterwards.

Ellis was taken to the Wayne UNC hospital and treated for her non-life-threatening injuries.

Ellis’ niece Chiquita Coley said she heard the news of what happened and was stunned that criminals had shot such a wonderful old woman.

“I don’t know what [the criminals are] thinking around here in Goldsboro, but it’s got to stop,” Chiquita said, adding that she still had hope throughout the situation because “I knew God was on our side.”

The robbery is being investigated but Goldsboro police say they have no plans to charge the minor for firing at the suspects.

More Details Emerge

The suspect who was killed is 19-year-old Khalil Herring. He had shot Ellis when Goldsboro police said the young boy responded with deadly force.

“A 12-year-old juvenile occupant of the residence shot at the suspects with a firearm in self-defense, causing them to flee the area,” they wrote, adding that Herring tried to get away after being shot but was found by police on a nearby street and died soon after.

“Preliminary evidence suggest Khalil Herring was one of the two masked intruders and was shot during the robbery,” police said.

The crime wave in places like Goldsboro is deeply concerning. If you live in Goldsboro in 2021 there is a significant chance you could be the victim of violent crime. Despite the picturesque town, it’s a dangerous place to be for many residents.

Robberies, drive-by shootings and other horrific incidents happen all too frequently in Goldsboro. It doesn’t just include violent crime either. There has been a ramping up of rapes, pedophilia and other crimes as well.

This young boy did the right thing in standing up to the violent intruders who wanted money from his grandmother. One of them already shot her and it seems very likely things could have become more deadly or even led to the killing of the boy’s grandma if the situation had escalated further.