ALPENA, Mich. – A 13-year-old Michigan boy is being lauded as a hero after he took aim with nothing more than his slingshot and defeated the attacker trying to abduct his 8-year-old sister.
Owen Burns was identified as the teen who shot a marble and a stone at his sister’s 17-year-old attacker, striking him in the head and in the chest with such force that police were later able to use his injuries to identify him as the suspect, Law Officer reported.
Owen revealed during an interview with local 9 & 10 News that he was playing video games after school when he heard his “mushroom hunting” then 7-year-old sister let out a scream outside their home in Alpena Township.
“So I looked out the window and saw her being abducted by a person and I’m like freaking out,” the boy said. Rather than hesitating or giving in to fear, the teen grabbed his slingshot, took aim and fired, striking the unnamed 17-year-old male suspect in the head and chest, which allowed his sister to break free of his grasp and run to safety.
“I was just lucky. He’s just a big target because he’s not like one Pepsi can.”
– Owen Burns
“On the afternoon of May 10, 2023, an eight-year-old girl was mushroom hunting in her backyard when an unknown male appeared from the woods. The male subject held the victim’s mouth shut before a struggle ensued, and the girl was able to break free. The victim’s 13-year-old brother witnessed the assault occurring in the backyard and shot the suspect with his slingshot in the head and chest,” according to the Michigan State Police account of the crime.
The suspect fled and hid at a nearby gas station. Troopers later found the perpetrator with “obvious” slingshot projectile wounds, according to MSP.
“If I wasn’t out there and I didn’t hear her scream, then she was gone,” the slingshot-marksman said.
Beyond Owen’s ability to react during a moment of crisis, his humility is also noteworthy as he attributed his slingshot accuracy to luck, Law&Crime reported.
“I was just lucky. He’s just a big target because he’s not like one Pepsi can,” Owen noted, using an illustration that makes perfect sense.
WATCH INTERVIEW WITH OWEN BURNS
Owen’s mother, Margaret, is grateful that her son took action so her daughter lived to see her 8th birthday, which was the Saturday following the Wednesday afternoon dramatic encounter. Margaret said her daughter is “okay” and “bouncing back,” but wanting to “forget” about the traumatic event.
According to police, the 17-year-old suspect faces several counts, including attempted kidnapping/child enticement, attempted assault to great bodily harm less than murder, and assault and battery. He is being charged as an adult.
The defendant was booked in the juvenile section of the county jail and is being held on a $150,000 bond, state police said.