CRIME

Florida Teen Kills Estranged Father In Home Invasion

He saw the man hold a gun to his mother's head.

A Florida teen won't face charges after police say he shot and killed an intruder at his house who pointed a gun at his mother. 

The intruder turned out to be his estranged father. 

Malachi Heisler, 18, hid his face with a bandana as he spoke with reporters on Tuesday morning. He said he's still rattled by the chaos that unfolded at his home around midnight.  

Cops said John Heisler, 46, tried to break into the St. Petersburg home late Monday night dressed in a ski mask and tactical gear. Malachi Heisler's mother, Jolene Andrews, had gotten a restraining order against the man in April. 

Andrews heard the sound of broken glass outside and investigated with her boyfriend. That's when John Heisler forced his way into the house, according to NBC News.

Malachi Heisler woke to the sound of his mother calling for help, and grabbed his rifle. He found the intruder pointing a gun at his mom's head just outside his bedroom. 

"I had about five to six seconds to make a decision," Heisler told WFTS.

When the intruder turned and pointed the gun his way, Heisler didn't hesitate. He shot the man in the head, killing him.

He told WLFA that he recognized it was his father because of the man's tattoos and physical characteristics, but said he didn't have much of a choice. 

"It was a standoff between me and him. He had his pistol and I had my rifle. It doesn’t matter. A bullet is a bullet. One shot, you’re dead," Heisler said.

At first, Heisler said that he had regrets about what he did. He said that cops flooded his home, questioning him, pointing guns at him and yelling. But by daybreak investigators were calling the shooting a justifiable homicide

Under Florida law, use of deadly force is justified if a person is attempting to resist a murder or felony being committed in their home. 

The weapons that John Heisler had on him turned out to be BB guns, but the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said it won't file charges against the teen. 

"When you open the door and you see somebody dressed in all black, in fatigues, with a ski mask on and a gun in your mother’s face. He did the right thing," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told WFTS. 

John Heisler had struggled with alcohol abuse, according to family. Investigators said he was likely drunk when he smashed windows and forced his way into the home.

"He wasn't a good dad. No [expletive] father of the year awards," Malachi Heisler told WFLA. "I had a feeling that something like this would happen, but I didn’t know when."

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