The one thing any parent wants to know is that their child can take care of themselves in troubled times. We try to teach them how to call 9-1-1 and what to do in case of a fire. You do your best to make sure they know everything they need to know and you pray that it sticks.

For the parents of one nine-year-old boy in Indiana, that’s not an issue.

Kevin Cooksey and Kyle Sparling stopped by the One Stop as strangers for different reason, Cooksey needed ibuprofen for his wife and Sparling wanted Doritos. They didn’t know they’d end up leaving together and chasing after someone they say tried to steal both their cars.

“When I saw my truck door open, I was like, ‘oh my God, what am I going to tell my wife?’” said Cooksey.

That’s because Cooksey’s 9 year old son, Larry Larimore, was inside – with the engine running.

“I was thinking, I hope my son knew what to do in that situation,” said Cooksey.

“As soon as he opened the door, I got scared,” said Larimore. “So I pulled out the pellet gun and pointed it to his head.”

That scared the man enough to get him out of the truck, but then he ran into the next car down – Sparling’s black Trail Blazer, which also had its engine running.

The suspect decided not to risk it and instead stole another vehicle, eventually leading police on a high-speed chase that ended in a wreck.

Cooksey’s fear is understandable. After all, by the age of nine, they’re old enough to be left in a vehicle alone as a general thing. In an Indiana December, I’d imagine that the engine was left running to keep it toasty warm inside. While hindsight might tell you it’s a bad idea, plenty of parents do similar with no ill effects.

It was only this day that someone reportedly tried to get froggy and steal Cooksey’s car…only to find themselves face-first with an armed kid.

Yes, it was a pellet gun, but as we’ve seen before, it can sure look real enough when it’s pointed at you. That’s apparently what happened here, leading the alleged bad guy to relocate his person to another vehicle and skedaddle on down the way.

However, there’s a word of caution to be had here. Just because this worked, don’t assume that a pellet gun will always yield similar results. This was someone in a rush who didn’t want to take the chance. Banking on every bad guy not recognizing a pellet gun for whatever reason and feeling rushed enough to simply assume it’s real is akin to making your retirement plan completely dependent on getting the right six numbers on a lottery ticket.

In other words, don’t.

That said, it worked here, and it’s worth admiring the boy’s determination. There are a lot of adults who would be panicky about raising a weapon–even a pellet gun–on a human being. The fact that Larimore did means he’s someone who will have no problem protecting himself or others going forward.

I feel a lot better about today’s kids with stories like this, that’s for sure.