Eighteen-year-old Malachi Heisler, who chose not to reveal his face during an interview, acted heroically sometime around midnight Tuesday when he shot and killed a masked intruder that was holding a gun to his mom’s head.

But little did he know that the intruder was actually his estranged father, 46-year-old John Heisler.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

The teen told WPTV that he didn’t realize who the intruder was when he shot him. His 13-year-old sister was also in the house at the time.

“I had about five to six seconds to make a decision,” he said. “By the time I did recognize him, the decision was made.”

Police say the John Heisler John Heisler was masked, wearing all-black tactical gear, a ski mask and thigh holsters.

The New York Daily News noted that the “attack came about five months after Malachi’s mother, Jolene Andrews, obtained a temporary restraining order against him for another armed break-in attempt,” a restraining order that had been extended until May 2016.

When Malachi Heisler heard glass smashing and his mother in distress, he grabbed his rifle and shot his father in the head. The teen is not expected to face charges.

John Heisler was carrying BB guns.

Despite this fact, Pinellas County sheriff Bob Gualtieri told WPTV that Malachi clearly did the right thing.

“When you open the door and you see somebody dressed in all black, in fatigues, with a ski mask on and a gun in your mother’s face. He did the right thing,” he said.

Matt Naham About the author:
Matt Naham is the Weekend Editor  for Rare. Follow him on Twitter @matt_naham.
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