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Intruder Slain Through Closed Door When Boy Fires Where Dad Taught Him

July 22, 1994

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ The four brothers were home alone when a man burst in. The boys scattered. The eldest - just 13 - went for his stepfather’s .357 Magnum and fired through the bedroom door, striking the man in the chest.

The intruder stumbled into the front yard and collapsed dead.

″We taught him where to aim at the door if the door rattled,″ said the boy’s stepfather, Gary Miner. ″He did exactly as he was instructed.″

District Attorney David Moss ruled it a ″pretty clear-cut″ justifiable shooting. He also ruled out charges against the parents for allowing Jarrod Barnes and his brothers access to the gun.

The break-in occurred in the middle of the day Wednesday, in a quiet, middle-class neighborhood.

Miner, standing on on his porch with a cigarette Thursday, said the boys were coping fine so far. He said he was the one who was shaken.

″I just can’t describe it. You feel violated,″ he said. ″We didn’t know if the man would have considered hurting them.″

Miner, who works out of the family’s three-bedroom brick home, said he was running a business errand when the break-in occurred. His wife was at her office, and the boys were home from school for the summer.

When the man burst in through the front door, the 7- and 9-year-olds bolted into the bathroom, while Jarrod and his 12-year-old brother ran to a bedroom.

As Jarrod reached for his father’s weapon, his brother dialed 911. But the stranger kept coming, the boys told police.

Detectives found a 15-inch screwdriver and a pocket knife on the body.

Police today identified the intruder as Samuel Lee Britt Jr., 41, and said he has had contact with police previously. No other information on Britt was immediately available. Police had said earlier that there didn’t appear to be a connection between the family and the intruder.

Police searched for a woman seen driving from the home; she may have been the getaway driver.

Miner said his two oldest sons attended gun safety classes sponsored by the state Wildlife Conservation Department. And all his boys enjoy fishing and hunting.

″I consider the older boys to be experts with firearms,″ Miner said.

Neighbors and others rallied around the family.

″It’s amazing that it wasn’t the other way around. They could have been the victim,″ said neighbor Norma Row. ″That would have been a tragedy - it is whichever way you look at it.″

KRMG radio talk show host Marc Sherman said 25 people called Thursday morning about the shooting, wanting to make the boy a hero.

″Has there been a fund started for these kids, for this family?″ asked a caller who identified himself as Ken.

″This mom and dad and these kids come home every day and there’s a bullet hole in the wall. There’s blood on the carpet. These things need to be replaced immediately. They need help, they need some counseling. I would be glad to make a donation.″

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