BURLINGTON, Vt. — A teenager’s fatal shooting of a troubled Army veteran father who threatened his family then tossed the child a loaded gun was legally justified, a Vermont prosecutor said Wednesday.
No charges will be filed against the child of Kryn Miner, 44, a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, who was shot and killed inside the family’s Essex Junction home last month.
Miner had threatened to kill his four children, physically assaulted his wife and threw a loaded handgun to the teen who came to her aid.
“Do you want to play the gun game?” Miner — who served in the 82nd Airborne Division and was sniper qualified — asked the teen, according to authorities. The teen said no, but fired six shots when Miner pulled another gun from a bag. Miner was hit five times.
“The teenager reasonably believed the siblings and mother were all in imminent danger of being killed or suffering great bodily harm,” Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan said. Miner was armed, pointed the gun at his wife and child and “acting with an extreme indifference to the value of human life,” he said.
Miner had served tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and Panama. He had been public about his struggle with PTSD, appearing on a Chicago TV station to talk about the Lone Survivor Foundation, which helps wounded veterans return to civilian life and offers retreats to service members diagnosed with combat-related PTSD.
Hours before he was killed, Miner, a fitness trainer who also worked as a military contractor, had begun acting erratically after attending a wedding with his wife and two of their children, Donovan said. He became verbally then physically abusive toward his wife, who in the past had been able to calm him, Donovan said.
It was his wife’s scream that prompted the teen to go to the parents’ bedroom, where the final altercation happened.