A teenager shot dead a man he thought was an intruder - only to realise it was father after spotting his distinctive tattoo.
Malachi Heisler, 18, from the St Petersburg area of Florida has described how he woke up to calls for help from his mother. After grabbing a rifle, he headed downstairs to find a man dressed in all black, wearing a ski mask pointing a gun at his mother, according to reports.
Speaking to reporters outside his home, wearing a bandana covering his nose and mouth, Malachi said he had “about 5 or 6 seconds to make a decision”.
Upon realising the intruder was in fact his estranged father, he said: “By the time I did recognise him, the decision was made.”
Malachi’s father, John Heisler, 46, reportedly broke into the home following months without contact. Malachi’s mother, Jolene Andrews had a restraining order against her ex-partner, who reportedly has a history of drug and alcohol abuse and prior criminal convictions.
Jolene reportedly obtained the order in May this year, after John entered the home on another occasion brandishing a gun. He was subsequently arrested and charged with felonious possession of a firearm.
John Heisler, who was pronounced dead at the scene, had actually been pointing a BB gun at Jolene.
Authorities in Florida have said Malachi will not be charged over his father’s death.
At a press conference, Sherrif Bob Gualtieri said: “When you open the door and you seem somebody dressed in all black … with a ski mask on with a gun in their mother’s face, he did the right thing.”
Malachi added: “This just shows how well criminals respect law. Yes he had an injunction but he came here anyway, yes he’s not allowed to have guns but he had a gun anyway. So, there you go.”