A heroic 11-year-old in Bellingham, Wash., took fast action to save his mother from an attacker in their home on Tuesday morning, using the only weapon he had–his BB gun.
“He kept on hurting my mom, so I went and grabbed my BB gun and I said, ‘Get off my mom. Get off my mom,’” Sturgen told ABC News’ Seattle affiliate KOMO-TV. “And then I shot him with my BB gun.”
The attacker, Paul Newman, received three or four BB gun shots to the face, but was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
The incident began when Newman, who was renting a room in the home of Sturgen and his mother, allegedly arrived home intoxicated around 7 a.m., according to the Bellingham Police Department.
Newman apparently became angry because his room was messy and kicked in the door to Sturgen’s mother’s room and tried to strangle her.
“The 10-year-old heard commotion, woke up, ran into the bedroom and tried to get Newman to stop by yelling and screaming,” Bellingham Police Department spokesman Mark Young told ABCNews.com. “When that didn’t work, he grabbed a board and smacked him with this board, which was successful in stopping the attack on Mom.”
Newman then turned and went after Sturgen, chasing after the boy who he believed had run out of the house.
When Newman got outside, the mother closed and locked the front door with herself and Sturgen inside. Newman tried to get back into the house through an open window. The mother rushed to try and close the window, but Newman grabbed her through the window.
“The suspect grabbed her arms with such force that, at one point, she thought her arm would be broken,” Young said.
It was at this point, Young said, that Sturgen went and retrieved his BB gun to shoot Newman.
“The son levied a couple shots in his direction, three to four times, and that action proved effective,” Young said. “You can’t make this stuff up.”
An injured Newman fell back onto the ground outside. The mother and son, who believed Newman had taken their cell phone, ran to a neighbor’s house to call 911.
Newman was arrested and charged with one count of felony assault and two counts of felony harassment. The mother was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
“What I think it shows is resolve in a time of danger and an escalation of resolve,” Young said. “He tried to be verbal, he tried to use force, he evaded capture and eventually had to use what he felt to be the reasonable force he had available to get the assault to stop.”