Shooting Of 14-Year-Old Ruled Self-Defense. Yes, Really

When I think about what my son was like at 14, it’s not that hard to remember. It was just a few years ago. At that age, he was interested in girls and video games, and that was about it. The idea of him doing something that might get him shot was pretty unthinkable. I mean, he was 14.


But sometimes we have to remember that while most kids are similar to how my son was at 14, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, they think they’re grown up and decide to do what they think grown-ups do.

Evansville Police have arrested a man following the shooting of a 14-year-old boy Friday night, Officers arrested Jiles Thomas of Illinois on obstruction of justice and marijuana charges.

The shooting happened at the corner of Riverside Drive and Boeke Road around 8:30.

Officers say when they arrived on scene they found the boy with a gunshot wound to his abdomen.

According to Thomas, the 14-year-old boy met with him for a drug deal and during that deal, the boy pointed a gun at him and tried to rob him.

Thomas said he then drew his gun and fired one shot, hitting the kid. He hasn’t been charged in shooting the kid because it’s been ruled self-defense.

Yes, even criminals can act in self-defense. It’s a right, after all.

But that still doesn’t help me understand what in the hell a 14-year-old kid was doing trying to rob a drug dealer. I mean, we know that kids will get guns regardless of gun laws. They get them just like criminals do.

The question is, how did our society go so wrong that a 14-year-old even thinks about trying to rob a drug dealer at gunpoint?

In a detached sort of way, it’s kind of intelligent. Had the kid been successful, it’s unlikely the dealer would have reported the crime. In fact, it’s intelligent enough that I can’t help but wonder if someone put the kid up to it. “Take this gun and rob that guy, and we’ll split the money,” knowing that if the guy turned out to be a cop, the kid would be treated as a juvenile.


Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.

The boy has been hospitalized and is expected to survive. Additionally, he hasn’t been charged with a crime, though that might change as he recovers.

This is one of those stories where there’s probably a good bit more to this story than we currently know, and I want to know more. Why did a 14-year-old decide to try and rob a drug dealer after asking to buy drugs? This is a question that will be in my head for the rest of the week.

What worries me is that this is just something that 14-year-olds do and will continue to do for as long as there are drug dealers to rob.

If there’s an upside to this, it’s that he didn’t rob a law-abiding citizen just trying to make it through the day.

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