A teenage boy has died while protecting his 5-year-old sister during a break-in at their home in Florida.
Khyler Edman, 15, was found dead at his house in Port Charlotte on Thursday, September 26. Officers from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office were initially called to the area at around 4 p.m. following reports of an injured male walking through the streets and acting strangely.
The suspect, later identified as 27-year-old Ryan Cole, attempted to flee from the police when they arrived at the scene. Around the same time, an additional 911 call came in to state that an unknown male had entered someone’s property in Conway Blvd.
After they apprehended the suspect, police conducted a canvas of the neighborhood, where they discovered that an additional burglary had taken place on Starlite Lane. During a search of the home, officers found Edman’s body.
“A violent encounter ensued where we believe that the teenager was trying to protect the home and protect their younger sibling,” Sheriff Bill Prummell said at a press conference.
Cole, who was suffering from several stab wounds on his hands and side when he was apprehended by police, was charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling and petit theft for the incident on Conway. Further charges may be brought forward as the crime scene at Edman’s home in still under investigation.
Cole is known to have a history of drug use and was on probation at the time of the incident.
“We are working very closely with the State Attorney’s Office to make sure that we provide the best case we can so this individual does not see the light of day again,” Prummell added.
Tributes have been paid to the 15-year-old who defended his younger sister.
“There is no hero that can amount to Khyler,” Crystal Stone, spokesperson for the family, told WINK. “He loved his family. He was his sister’s keeper.”
Elsewhere, Stone helped set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the teenager’s funeral expenses, which has since gone on to receive more than $23,000 in donations.
“This is not going to only give Khyler the burial he deserves this will allow Kyhler’s mom and 5 year old sister be able to get into another house so they aren’t faced with having to relive the traumatic experience over again,” Stone wrote in an update in the fundraising page.
“Khyler was a hero protecting his sister but please continue to keep her in your prayers as she witnessed this.”
A “Celebration Of Life For Khyler” memorial event to raise money for the family is also due to take place on Saturday at the Harbor Heights Civic Center at Harbor Heights Park.
Concluding his press conference, Prummell added: “This has been a just a very tough scene to deal with. It was a senseless crime and we’re doing our best to make sure that justice is served.”