Dressed in black, New Zealand man Troy Skinner allegedly staked out a 14-year-old girl's home in a small, affluent United States town, before attempting to break the door down with a brick.

After smashing through the door of the home in Goochland, Virginia, he reached in, attempting to unlatch it, before he was shot in the neck by the girl's mother.

The 25-year-old Auckland man had been talking to the girl online and travelled across the world to see her, despite the teenager's efforts to end communication between the two.

Skinner, who is in a "fair condition" in a Virginia hospital, has been charged with breaking and entering with a deadly weapon, with the intent to rape, rob or murder.


The maximum penalty for that charge in Virginia is life in prison.

However, he could face further charges from the FBI over his communications with the 14-year-old girl, a minor.

Goochland County sheriff James Agnew said Skinner had "bad intent".

"All I can say is the manner in which he attempted to enter that home — in the face of a firearm pointed at him and the implements we recovered from him — the only inference is that he had very bad intent.

"He was not invited here, he was not expected here, he had been told in the past that the daughter no longer wished to communicate with him."

Troy Skinner from New Zealand was shot by a woman as he tried to enter her Goochland, Virginia, house after contacting her teenage daughter via social media. Photo / Supplied
Troy Skinner from New Zealand was shot by a woman as he tried to enter her Goochland, Virginia, house after contacting her teenage daughter via social media. Photo / Supplied

He was found with duct tape, pepper spray and a camouflage folding clip knife with a 7cm blade.

The duct tape and the knife had been bought from a Walmart on the day he allegedly tried to enter the girl's family home.

Agnew told 1News Skinner had staked out the girl's home for about two hours, dressed entirely in black clothing, before he approached the home.


He spoke first to the girl's mother, telling her he had been hitchhiking 48km and needed help.

She told him to go away, and told her daughter to go upstairs and get her handgun and ammunition.

Skinner then attempted to break through the door using a brick.

"The mother told him numerous times 'I am armed, I have a weapon, leave', and it wasn't until he smashed through the door with the brick, reached his head and shoulders into the door to unlatch it, she fired the gun twice, hitting him one time in the neck."

Agnew said Skinner then became "crazed".

"He tried to flee, and collapsed in the neighbour's garden."

Police arrived shortly after and gave him medical attention, before he was flown to the intensive care unit at VCU Medical Center.


A hospital spokesman told Stuff he had been transferred to a secure unit and was in a "fair condition".

Agnew said after he arrived at the scene he went next door and found the mother and two daughters "visibly upset".

"He was not invited here, not expected here. He had been told in the past this daughter no longer wished to communicate with him. It was not random, spontaneous, it was very planned.

"The family are the victims. They had a very violent man trying to get into their home."

Agnew said Skinner and the girl had met three to four months ago on an online chat group for video gamers called Discord.

"The 14-year-old had tried to stop communications, but we know now that was unsuccessful."

Travelled across the world

Skinner entered the US last Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport.


He had flown from Auckland to Australia, then to LA, and from there to Washington DC. From the US capital he took a Greyhound bus to Richmond, the state capital of Virginia.

Before he arrived at her doorstep in Goochland in the middle of the afternoon on Friday, Agnew said Skinner stopped at a Walmart to purchase a pocket knife.

In his pants pocket he also had pepper spray, and in his backpack duct tape, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

HI Richmond Hostel general manager Brooke Matherly said Skinner stayed one night there, and identified himself as being from Auckland.

"HI Richmond is shocked and disheartened by this incident, and our sincerest sympathy goes out to the family involved," she said.

"Our purpose is to create a more tolerant world, and we pride ourselves on turning strangers into friends.


"There is an unspoken trust and respect among our diverse community of travelers, and it's unfortunate this person violated that trust."

There had been no incidents at the hostel, and they were working in full co-operation with the authorities, she said.

"The last guy I would expect to do something like this"

Shamar Singh, a friend of Skinner's for eight years, told the Herald he was shocked and initially thought the story circulating about Skinner was a prank.

"This was the last guy I would expect to do something like this," Singh said.

Singh said the two had known each other for about eight years after they met in an internet cafe and found they had a common interest in video gaming. Skinner composed music for video games.

Singh had last seen Skinner two weeks ago when he came to borrow a few hundred dollars from him to visit a friend overseas who Skinner said was dying.


"He told me one of his gaming mates was dying."

He had asked for $1000 but Singh explained he didn't have that kind of money to spare.

Other friends told Singh they had been approached by Skinner asking for $1000 and had heard the same story of a dying friend.

Singh said he had no idea of Skinner's plan to travel to the United States and confront the girl.

It was Skinner's first time leaving the country and he had a passport delivered to Singh's house in January.

Singh said Skinner hadn't been in trouble with the law before.


A Herald source also confirmed Skinner was not facing any criminal charges in New Zealand and had no historical New Zealand court matters.

Singh said Skinner had been making a living on YouTube composing music for indie video game developers and had recently been commissioned to make an album.