A New Zealand man who was shot while breaking into a woman’s Goochland County home had met her 14-year-old daughter online and suddenly arrived uninvited after methodically planning his trip to the U.S., Goochland’s sheriff said Monday.

The man, Troy George Skinner, 25, was found with duct tape, pepper spray and a camouflage folding clip knife with a 2.75-inch blade, Sheriff James Agnew said during a news briefing at the sheriff’s office. The duct tape and the blade had been purchased from a Walmart on Friday, the day of the attack.

“His arrival here was totally unexpected by anyone,” Agnew said. “I have to emphasize very clearly, that while he may be ... in the hospital [with a gunshot wound], he is not the victim. The lady [who shot Skinner to prevent him from entering] and her family members are the victims.”

Skinner’s actions were not spontaneous or random, Agnew said, but part of a carefully planned trip from his native country to see one of the mother’s two daughters, ages 14 and 18. The family wasn’t identified and wishes to remain anonymous, the sheriff said.

According to a timeline developed by sheriff’s investigators, Skinner took a flight from Auckland, New Zealand, at 6:05 a.m. Wednesday to Sydney, Australia, and from there boarded a flight at 9:25 a.m. to Los Angeles.

He took a third flight at 9:40 p.m. from LA to Washington, D.C., and after arriving took a Greyhound bus at 8:35 a.m. Thursday to Richmond. He checked into the Hosteling International USA hostel at 7 N. Second St. downtown.

Skinner then checked out at 8:46 a.m. Friday and made his way — police haven’t yet determined how — to a Walmart store in Glen Allen, where he purchased the knife and duct tape.

Agnew said investigators believe Skinner first made contact with the 14-year-old Goochland girl three to four months earlier through Discord, a voice-over-internet application that allows video gamers to communicate via their personal computer or smartphone.

About 2:30 p.m. Friday, a resident of the Holland Hills subdivision, while driving out of the neighborhood, noticed a man in black clothing and a backpack crossing the road along Bulldog Way and Steeplechase Parkway, Agnew said.

Then two hours later, at 4:27 p.m., Goochland authorities received a call about a man dressed in black attempting to break into the family’s home on Steeplechase Parkway by smashing a glass door with a landscaping brick.

Agnew said the mother was downstairs painting with one of her daughters when Skinner knocked on the front door. Family members didn’t answer — the mother told authorities she’s not in the habit of answering the door during the day.

“They thought that was the end of it until they saw him at the back basement door, which is situated under the deck,” Agnew said. After spotting the family inside, Skinner told the mother through the door, “I need some help; I’ve hitchhiked here 30 miles.”

“He got a brick and attempted to break that door down,” the sheriff said. “This 6-foot-1-inch, 275-pound man attempted to violently get inside her house.”

The mother then locked the door from the basement steps to the main house after she and her daughter ran upstairs. The mother then instructed her youngest daughter to retrieve the family’s .22-caliber pistol, and the mother loaded it.

It was around this time that the sheriff’s office received a second 911 call, from the woman’s husband, who reported his wife had called him about a man dressed in black who was trying to enter their home.

Skinner then reappeared on the back deck and again tried to get inside by throwing a landscaping brick through a glass door. The mother warned Skinner several times that she had a gun. After he broke the glass, reached inside and attempted to unlatch the door, she fired twice. One round struck him in the neck, the sheriff said.

Skinner fled but collapsed in a yard nearby.

Investigators found him in possession of his New Zealand driver’s license, his plane ticket from Auckland, and his bus ticket from Washington to Richmond. The pepper spray was found in his pants pocket, the knife in a pocket in his black hoodie and the duct tape in the backpack, Agnew said.

Skinner will be charged with breaking and entering with a deadly weapon with the intent to commit a serious offense. Agnew has asked the FBI to assist in learning more about Skinner’s background and whether federal charges are warranted.

“They are pursuing federal charges related to contacting” the girl, the sheriff said. “I do not have any background on him.”

Citing the ongoing investigation, the sheriff declined to discuss what exactly he believes Skinner planned to do if he had gotten inside the home.

Although the 14-year-old had been in contact with Skinner via a computer tablet and by cellphone, “the younger daughter tried to stop communicating with him,” Agnew said. However, Skinner persisted and tried another method of communication, but “she did not cooperate with him.”

The girl’s mother was unaware of her daughter’s communication with Skinner until after he showed up at the family’s home, Agnew said.

After deputies found Skinner lying in a yard with a gunshot wound to his neck, they administered first aid before he was taken to VCU Medical Center. He initially was being treated in intensive care but Agnew said he believes Skinner’s condition has improved and he will survive.

Agnew said it’s hard to fathom that the suspect would travel around the world to pursue the teen. “When I sit back and think about it, I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’”

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(35) comments

ROBERT GAMBILL

SURPRISE, Fool! Break into a house in Virginia someone might just bust a cap in you. You got lucky that a dude wasn’t home with a tire iron, and a blow torch and a pair of pliers, and a car battery. Well, I hope that transpacific flight was worth it. Hasta la pasta!

Ron Melancon

The difference of the United States Government and North Korea. Otto Warmber commits a small crime and he is deceased.... this freak does this..... then gets shot...... and then gets a 50,000 helicopter ride to VCU and the best care and intensive care and is alive and the Democratic Party calls us inhumane with how we treat illegals who cross into our country.

Ron Melancon

If the Democratic Party had its way. The mother would not have had a gun... no law can prevent a person who has planned out this well conceived plan ...... the only thing thst saved this family from becoming the Goochland equal of the Harvey’s was the 2nd admendment and the right to beat arms. The Democratic Party mission is to take our self protection always from us.

ED CHRISTINA

My questions I have not seen answered anyplace: 1-How did this guy find the home address of these folks? Did the girl give it to him, did he hack the info, or some other way? 2-what did this guy do that he could afford a plane ticket like that?
3-If a locked up unloaded .22 pistol can stop a 6 foot 1 crazy person, why the heck would it be even possible for some one with out military training to buy a weapon like the AR 15, which is clearly too powerfull for most civilian applications. 3-How long has Ron had the pollups, and is anyone else willing to chip in for a gofundme for him?

Alice Johnson

LOL! Ron was definitely a short bus rider. The guy probably got the address from a reverse look up site. For a few dollars you can enter a phone number and get a ton of information on anyone.

Dennis Hannick

Your ignorance of firearms is noted and given the due it deserves. The 5.56MM round is considered "low-medium" power in military weapons and in fact, is not even large enough caliber to hunt deer in Virginia. It is used often in hunting varmints. What does military training have to do with purchasing a civilian firearm? No military uses the AR15.

ROBERT GAMBILL

You couldn’t be more incorrect. The 5.56 mm cartridge has been the standard US military load for the light weight, magazine fed, gas operated, small arm, capable of semi automatic and three round bust since it was first adopted for military service from the Armalite corporation during Vietnam. At that time a twenty round magazine was the general load, but it was converted from full automatic and had a magazine increase to thirty rounds for the M16A2. The US military now uses the M4, which is also in the same family with a different barrel length and foreword had grip, but please, don’t shown your ignorance this way.

Ron Melancon

Thank you TSA for Harassing Grandmas with depends on but nobody asked this freak in Customs why he was going to Goochland. This freak I bet he took either UBER or LYFT to the short pump Wal Mart then took UBER or LYFT to the House

Ron Melancon

Thank you New Zeland for exporting your freak and he didnt even work at Burger Bach in Short Pump

E Marshall BUCKLES

[huh] Um, I haven't visited that restaurant yet. Is there something I should know before doing so?! [unsure]

MARK WITTKOFSKI

I do hope the 14 year old realizes that his plans for her were not good based on what he brought with him: duct tape, pepper spray, and a knife. Given his size, he could have easily over-powered the mother had she not taken action against him. It seems that the child's gaming might have been the beginning of what could have resulted in a very bad thing for the Goochland family. I hope others take note about such activities!

JOHN TICHACEK

Great that she was armed. Wonder what little Drake's take is on this??

Drake D Butler

It's complimentary to have people obsessing over me and yearning for my opinion.

DAVID BELL

Well? Do you support a family's right to defend themselves or not? Your silence speaks volumes.

JOHN TICHACEK

Come on little drake...you rant about everything else. I suppose this instance does not fit the agenda huh?

AUGUST KELLER

The drake doesn't have any original thoughts, he gets his opinion form MSNBC or DailyKos and copy/pastes here along with his lies

BARRY WADE

[thumbup]

Ron Melancon

I can’t get a colonoscopy ..... the office visit is not covered but the procedure is but only to remove two Pollups..... but hey this guy gets shot from New Zeland and he does not even work at Burger Bach and he gets free health care

MARK WITTKOFSKI

Maybe you should take yourself out to Goochland and attempt a similar crime. Then after getting shot (if your survive) you can ask the hospital to remove your pollups while they are cutting you up...

Alice Johnson

LOL, your response to Ron is priceless,

Ron Melancon

Perfect crime..... flew here with air fare of 3,000 dollars...... then tries to kill them. The FBI has no finger prints on file..... no DNA no data nothing on this freak. Who is paying for his mecial care now exceeding 250,000 grand when we include the first class helicopter ride

Ron Melancon

I knew it,,,,, I knew it.... who paid for his airline fare? How did he afford it? I bet the teenager must have sent pictures of herself to him and vice versa. This guy was like Rambo ...

LD Lanberg

This is exactly why we need gun control. Shooting a hapless immigrant like that - so what if he's a child rapist on a mission. But seriously...I am (gladly) surprised that a .22 stopped a madman. I have seen people pull those tiny bullets right out of their skin with their fingers after being shot by a .22.

Tom Terrific

Proof that we need a giant wall tall enough to keep out those jets from New Zealand!

BILL BEVILLE

Teenage daughter wanted attention and she got more than she bargain for... hopefully a lifetime lesson

Bob GREENE

Another one for the you don't need a gun for self defense files?

Steve Powell

Exactly!

Dennis Hannick

Drake? Where is Drake? Tell us how this would not have happened with more gun control. Drake?

James McIntyre

Obviously , if someone wants to harm you . . . they will find a way ! If people don't have guns , they will find another way to kill you ! Controlling guns does NOT deter crime ! You can't deter evil with a law ! The gun in this case may have saved 3 innocent lives . . . the very reason we have the Second Amendment !

E Marshall BUCKLES

[lol] Yeah, and how he would have overpowered this guy all by himself! [rolleyes]

JANE BALLARD

Very glad the mom was able to neutralize him.

Rick BENSON

A shotgun would have worked much better.

Steve Powell

With 00 buck or slugs

GEORGE SNEAD

Yeah, but that might have gotten blood and yuck on the rose bushes. BTW, seems like Goochland is experiencing a crime wave. Hope Gilbert will be careful.

E Marshall BUCKLES

Which reminds me, I haven't seen Gilbert lately. Hope he is OK! [crying]

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