A New Zealand man who travelled to the US home of a 14-year-old girl he had communicated with online was shot by the girl's mother, a sheriff said yesterday.

Troy George Skinner, 25, was shot on Friday after he allegedly smashed a glass door and tried to enter the home in Goochland, Virginia, said sheriff James Agnew.

New Zealand Police said in a statement it is aware of the incident and will assist US authorities when necessary.

Photo of Troy George Skinner released by Goochland County's sheriff. Skinner remains in ICU after being shot in the neck.
Photo of Troy George Skinner released by Goochland County's sheriff. Skinner remains in ICU after being shot in the neck.

The Goochland County sheriff said Skinner 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 purchased from a Walmart on the day of the attack.

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Agnew said the girl's mother saw a man trying to enter her home, warned him several times she had a gun, then fired after he broke the glass on the second door he tried to open.

Skinner, 25, was struck in the neck and remains in the intensive care unit at VCU Medical Center, according to authorities.

A spokeswoman for the hospital told the Herald she had "no information to give about that patient at this time".

The sheriff said Skinner first encountered the 14-year-old girl using the Discord chat service that allows video-gamers to communicate via their PC or smartphone.

After three or four months of conversation, the girl attempted to end their communication.

"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," Agnew said.

"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," Agnew said.

Agnew said Skinner will be charged with breaking and entering with a deadly weapon with the intent to commit a serious crime. He has asked federal authorities to assist in the investigation. It is believed the FBI will pursue federal charges against Skinner.

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A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson told the Herald the ministry was in contact with Skinner's family and has offered consular assistance, however, for privacy reasons would not comment further or provide more information.

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

Skinner had entered the US last Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport. He had flown from Auckland to Australia, Australia to Los Angeles, and Los Angeles to Washington DC. From DC, he took a Greyhound bus to Richmond.

In Richmond he stayed at Hosteling International USA, according to investigators.

"This was not random, not spontaneous, this was something very planned," Agnew said.

It wasn't immediately known if Skinner has an attorney. His hometown in New Zealand was not given by authorities.