Note: we are republishing this story in light of recent reports that suggest a surge in reported human trafficking incidents and abductions around the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A Florida father was called hero after saving his daughter from an attempted kidnapping and burglary of his home at the hands of four armed teenagers.
Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office said in a press release the four teens "concocted a plan to kidnap" 51 year old Terry Brackney's teenage daughter, ABC News' Good Morning America reported. The teens allegedly had a gun and a knife with them at the time.
"The goal was to first force her out of her car by blocking the road with barrels and garbage cans," the sheriff's office said. "They then planned to head to her house, confront and subdue her father -- who they believed to be wealthy -- and rob the home."
At the time of the incident, Brackney was at home waiting for his daughter, Amber, to get home from her job as a waitress.
"She called me to tell me someone had put barrels in the middle of the road and blocked it and I told her, 'Well, they weren't there when I came home so just drive around them,'" he told Good Morning America.
Later that night, the family's dogs began to bark and a motion sensor outside the home turned on.
"The dogs seemed to be barking towards the garage," he said. Brackney took a gun and went outside to find two people attempting to break into the garage.
"That's when I yelled at them and fired three shots with my Glock, and they took off running," he said. "It was at that point that I went back in my house and called 911."
The father said that when police arrived and found the weapons that the teens had on them, he began to realize the gravity of the situation that had just nearly unfolded at his house.
"At that point is when I got scared, because I knew then that what was going to happen wasn't going to end up pretty had they ended up in my home," he said.
Brackney said he later learned that he knew two of the teens involved, and that the suspects thought he was wealthy when they targeted him.
"Saturday night, Amber and I were eating supper, and we really haven't talked that much about this, but I told her at supper Saturday night, I said, 'You know, had these individuals made it inside our house,'...I said, 'Today would have probably been our funerals,'" he said. "I own a funeral home and a clothing store here in town. The community has been very good to me over the years, and I lead a secluded life, or I did up until this point."
Many readers called for the teens to be punished to the fullest extent of the law, and praised the father for protecting his daughter and himself.
"I hope the thugs get at least 20 years, without the possibility of parole," one reader commented on the site's Facebook page. "We need to set an example to avoid this s**t ever happening again. These criminals would get more time behind bars for a bag of marijuana, than would if they had murdered these two people. Something about our laws and sentencing need to change . This fact is Sad ,,, really Sad."
"Of course you will not see this on CNN or any other news station because he actually had gun rights in the state that he lives in if you did that here in California you would go to jail 4 unlawfully shooting a firearm in the city limits Zone," another added. "Despite the reason why he would have went to jail."
Sources: ABC News