Florida teen dies protecting 5-year-old sister during home invasion
A 15-year-old is being remembered as a "hero" after he died protecting his younger sister during a robbery at their Florida home.
Khyler Edman was at his family's house in Port Charlotte, Fla., last Thursday when a man broke in, according to WPTV. The burglar, identified as 27-year-old Ryan Cole, fought with Edman, who was reportedly defending his 5-year-old sister
"The suspect broke into this residence and a violent encounter ensued where we believe the teenager was trying to protect the home and protect his younger sibling," Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell told WPTV.
Cole received multiple stab wounds during the fight and eventually fled the scene. He was later caught and identified while trying to break into a different home, police said.
Authorities canvased the area where they found Cole, and noticed that the Edmans' door had been forced open. Inside the house, they found Khyler's dead body, as well as his younger sister, who was unharmed.
"There is no hero that can amount to Khyler," Crystal Stone, a spokesperson for the Edman family, told WINK-TV. "He loved his family. He was his sister's keeper."
Khyler, a 10th grader at Charlotte County High School, was remembered by teachers and classmates as an honor student who was well-liked by his peers.
"[He] the kind of kid that anyone would be proud to call their son," a spokesperson for the school told WINK.
"Khyler was a hero. He was a gentle soul. His life was taken away too early," a neighbor also told the station.
Cole, who has been arrested multiple times this year, is now being held on burglary charges. Police said they will continue to investigate to determine if he'll face further charges.
Meanwhile, Khyler's family and friends have planned a "Celebration of Life" ceremony for Saturday, Oct. 5. The event will also serve as a fundraiser, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the Edman family.
A GoFundMe page was also set up, in remembrance of Khyler, with donations going toward funeral costs and helping the family move to a new house so "they aren't faced with having to relive the traumatic experience over again."
The fundraising campaign, which had an original goal of $25,000, has now raised more than $33,000.
"Khyler was a hero protecting his sister but please continue to keep her in your prayers as she witnessed this," the description for the page says.