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(BBC) – A New Zealand man flew to the US state of Virginia and was shot after trying to break into the home of a teenage girl whom he met online, police say.
Troy George Skinner, 25, was shot in the neck by the girl’s mother after smashing his way through a glass door.
Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew said the man was also armed with a knife, duct tape and pepper spray.
He travelled over 8,000 miles (13,000km) after the girl stopped speaking to him online, police say.
“This was not random, not spontaneous, this was something very planned,” Sheriff Agnew said on Monday, describing Mr Skinner’s two days of travel.
“It’s a new world,” he added.
Police say the man had taken three flights and a bus, and had travelled more than 8,500 miles (13,500 km) from Auckland, New Zealand to the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia.
“He was not invited here, he was not expected here, he had been told in the past that the daughter no longer wished to communicate with him,” Sheriff Agnew said, adding that the two had met through Discord, an app that allows video-gamers to speak to each other online.
The incident occurred on Friday in the Holland Hills neighbourhood while the mother and her two teenage girls – ages 14 and 18 – were painting inside the house.
He knocked on the door, but the mother – who police did not identify – chose not to answer, telling investigators that she was not in the habit of answering the door during the day.
After seeing the mother inside, he yelled that he had hitchhiked 30 miles to the house and needed help.
He then attempted to enter the home, and eventually “he got a brick and attempted to break that door down,” the sheriff said, adding that the “attempted to violently get inside her house”.
The mother warned Mr Skinner that she had a gun, and waited until he had reached his arm past the broken glass to attempt to unlatch the door before she fired two shots.
“All I can say is the manner in which he attempted to enter that home in the face of a firearm pointed at him and the implements we recovered from him – the only inference is that he had very bad intent,” Sheriff Agnew said.
Mr Skinner was shot once in the neck and fled to a nearby yard where he collapsed.
Police found him with a knife, pepper spray, tape and his plane ticket from New Zealand in his pocket.
They say he had planned to return to New Zealand on 30 June.
Police believe the weapons and tape had been purchased hours earlier at a nearby Walmart.
Mr Skinner is now in hospital and is expected to survive.
He is facing charges of breaking and entering with a deadly weapon and with the intent to commit a serious offence.
Goochland County officials say they have contacted the FBI for assistance.
The sheriff said that the girl’s parents were unaware of her contact with Mr Skinner, and that the girl had tried to cut off communication with him since first meeting online four months earlier.
He told reporters that he found it hard to fathom how far the suspect is believed to have travelled.
“When I sit back and think about it, I said: ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.'”
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