Teen who saved sister ‘grabbed for anything’ to fend off alleged kidnapper

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 5:20 AM EDT
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ALPENA, Mich. (CNN) - A 13-year-old Michigan boy who saved his sister from a suspected kidnapper using a slingshot says he knew he had to act.

Owen Burns, 13, says his 8-year-old sister was in the family’s backyard last Wednesday when the 17-year-old suspect came out of the woods and grabbed her. He says he saw the struggle and attacked the suspect with his slingshot.

“I was scared, and I had something to do because… she would been taken away or worse. So, I grabbed for anything I could get,” he said.

Owen hit the suspect twice, once with a rock and then with a marble. Police say the suspect was hit in the head and chest.

“He’s a good shot. He always has been,” Owen’s father said.

His mom added that he was “very brave.”

Police say Owen’s heroic actions saved his sister by allowing her to escape the suspect’s grasp. They say when the suspect was arrested, he had visible injuries from the slingshot.

After the incident, Owen says his sister is still a little startled but otherwise fine.

The suspect is charged with attempted kidnapping, child enticement and assault and battery. Police say they expect he will be tried as an adult in court.

WNEM reports the suspect allegedly confessed to police he planned on severely beating the 8-year-old.