A 14-year-old Phoenix boy rushed his siblings to safety before shooting a man attempting to break into the family’s home on Friday.
The boy, who police didn’t identify, refused entry to a woman banging on the front door, then took the younger kids upstairs before getting his father’s gun.
As he returned downstairs, a man carrying a rifle burst through the door, but the boy shot first and nearly killed the intruder, the Arizona Republic reported.
“He took an action that no police officer, certainly no one in our community, wants a 14-year-old to have to take,” police spokesman James Holmes told the Republic. “And yet he’s safe, his siblings are safe, and so now we have to figure out why this happened and why these people were there.”
The children – who range in age from 8 to 14 – were home alone about 4:30 pm when the woman knocked at the door, The Associated Press said.
Because he didn’t recognize her, the boy didn’t open the door.
More from GlobalPost: Man, 80, arrested for shooting burglar
After the shooting, the teen took his siblings to a neighbor’s house and called police.
Paramedics took the 37-year-old shooting victim to hospital with extremely critical injuries.
After surgery, doctors upgraded his condition to critical and said they expect him to survive.
Police said they didn’t know if the young boy’s father taught him to shoot; the suspect didn't get off a shot.
“The dad was pretty much out of his mind with distress, officers couldn't even talk to him,” Holmes told the AP.
The woman who knocked on the door escaped.
More from GlobalPost: Teen mom asks 9-1-1 operator for permission to shoot burglar