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Teen Dies in Struggle to Protect Home, Sister

Florida's Khyler Edman to get a hero's sendoff
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2019 1:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – Thousands of people have opened their wallets to ensure a funeral fit for a hero after a 15-year-old boy was killed in a struggle as he protected his little sister during a home invasion, according to police in Port Charlotte, Fla. Khyler Edman went toe to toe with the suspect, ultimately succumbing to his injuries, as his 5-year-old sister watched, the New York Times reports, citing a GoFundMe campaign that has raised more than $75,000 to help cover funeral and moving costs. More on what police describe as a "senseless crime":

  • Ryan Clayton Cole, 27, was taken into custody after a 911 call about a burglary at another home around 4:30pm Thursday. The homeowner tells the Port Charlotte Sun that he found Cole, with stab wounds to his right hand and abdomen, struggling to put on his child's boxing glove, perhaps in an attempt to staunch the bleeding.
  • Authorities would later find Khyler's body inside his home while canvassing the area. "We believe the teenager was trying to protect the home and protect (his) younger sibling," who was unharmed, Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell said at a press conference, per CNN. He described a "violent encounter" between Khyler and Cole, who was on probation.

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  • Cole, who has a history of drug use and was on probation at the time of the incident, has been arrested more than 20 times since 2011, including five times this year, reports BuzzFeed. The outlet describes crimes including drug possession, burglary, and trespassing.
  • Held without bond following medical treatment, Cole is facing new charges of burglary, theft, and parole violations. He's expected to face additional charges related to Khyler's death. "We are working very closely with the state attorney's office to make sure we provide the best case we can so this individual does not see the light of day again," Prummell said.
  • The community, meanwhile, is putting Khyler on a pedestal. Even before he "laid his life down to save his baby sister," he was "the kind of kid you would want to be your son," Mike Riley of Charlotte County Public Schools tells CNN of the 10th grader.
  • "Mostly, he is known for his unselfishness, always putting others before himself," reads Khyler's obituary. He was a member of Charlotte High School's National Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps.
  • In his honor, a neighbor intends to introduce "Khyler's Law," which would permanently jail habitual offenders with 10 or more charges in Florida, per Wink News.
(This grandfather's final act was to save his granddaughter.)

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