15-year-old 'hero' died protecting his 5-year-old sister from an intruder, police say

Khyler Edman died after a "violent encounter" with an intruder, police said.

October 1, 2019, 11:14 AM

A Florida teen was killed while he was protecting his 5-year-old sister from an intruder who broke into their home, police said.

Khyler Edman, 15, was found dead inside his Port Charlotte home on Sept. 26, police said.

Officers were initially called to the area around 4 p.m. for a suspicious male seen running through the neighborhood who appeared to have been stabbed, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office.

As police arrived at the scene, they located a white male, later identified as Ryan Clayton Cole, who immediately began to flee from deputies, police said.

Cole, 27, was taken into custody after a short pursuit on foot. He was observed to have several stab wounds on his hands and side and was initially taken to the hospital for medical treatment, officials said.

While investigators were trying to piece together what happened, they received reports of multiple burglaries in the area.

PHOTO: Ryan Clayton Cole in a booking photo taken on Sept. 30, 2019.
Ryan Clayton Cole in a booking photo taken on Sept. 30, 2019.
Charlotte County Sheriff's Office

Cole was identified as the suspect at one of the burglary scenes by the victim, who gave a description of Cole and identified him in a photo lineup, police said.

At a second burglary location, police found the front door was forced open and Khyler's body was inside the residence. A second younger child was also found in the home and was uninjured.

Investigators believe Cole broke into the residence and a "violent encounter" ensued where it's believed Khyler "was trying to protect the home and their younger sibling," Sheriff Bill Pummell said at a press conference.

Khyler died from injuries related to the attack, Pummell said, but would not elaborate on how the teen was killed.

"This has been a very tough scene to deal with," Pummell added. "It was a senseless crime."

Khyler's family said the teen "lost his life being a hero" by protecting his sister, according to a crowdfunding page created by the family.

PHOTO: Khyler Edman in an undated photo.
Khyler Edman in an undated photo.
Charlotte County Sheriff's Office

Cole is currently charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling and petit theft for breaking into the first home.

Additional charges are expected against Cole once the investigation into Khyler's death and the break-in at his home has been completed.

"We are working very closely with state attorney's office so we can provide the best case we can so this individual does not see the light of day again," Pummell said.

Cole has a history of drug use and was currently on probation, the police chief said, adding that his officers were already familiar with him.

Police refused to release additional details about the incident.