Actual headline: Police: Homeowner fired shot because kids wouldn’t leave
Accurate Headline: Homeowner fired shot at parent angry he wouldn’t let kids steal his fruit.
Yesterday afternoon the story was pretty sparse, but last night the local
Democratic Party ABC Affiliate’s story just said someone shot at some kids in his yard. I thought maybe it was a group of teenagers menacing the guy, so when I opened the story I was shocked to see actual children in the story, and not a bunch of 17 year olds.
What a horrible person, right? Who shoots at 9 year old girls?
Well, no one in this story:
She said she and three friends were picking pears and went through Harrison’s backyard. He then told them to get off his property.
“This guy started cussing us out and stuff so I just told him to leave us alone because he kept on cussing us out,” said Freels.
The group then left and told a parent, Brittany Foster.
Foster said she went to confront Harrison and that is when he fired the gun.
“Especially with children being in the present, I just can’t understand why, why he would do that,” she said.
“I got scared,” said Freels.
He told News 2 he is sorry for scaring the children but said he felt like he was in “imminent danger.”
He thought a man was “charging” toward him.
Note that in neither the story nor the video does anyone dispute that a man was rushing towards the homeowner when the shot was fired. I would think that would be a point to emphasize if it were the case.
So to recap:
1. Children “wander” onto property
2. Children begin picking pears that do not belong to them
3. Property owner tells them to stop stealing and leave, using colorful language
4. Kids go tell their parents about the mean man who told them to stop stealing
5. Parents confront/assault homeowner
6. Homeowner fires warning shot at man rushing towards him
Now, it could be that the homeowner is a despicable person who jumps to violence the first chance he gets, or it could be that the unidentified man really was there to do harm.
What doesn’t appear to be the case is that the homeowner fired a shot “because kids wouldn’t leave.”
ETA: I see that the story made it to Knoxville without the important details.