FACT CHECK: Did An 11-Year-Old Girl Kill Two Illegal Immigrants During An Attempted Home Invasion?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A Facebook post claims that an 11-year-old Montana girl shot and killed two illegal immigrants during an attempted home invasion.

Verdict: False

The Butte-Silver Bow, Montana, sheriff debunked the story in 2007. No credible media sources have covered the incident.

Fact Check:

Patricia Harrington, an 11-year-old in Butte, Montana, shot and killed two burglars with her father’s shotgun during an attempted home invasion, according to the Facebook post. Harrington was alone when the men, allegedly illegal immigrants who had killed a man in a previous burglary, broke into her residence.

The Facebook post, which has been circulating since at least 2007, uses the home invasion tale to promote anti-illegal immigrant and pro-gun political views. It also criticizes news networks, including CNN and MSNBC, for not covering the story.

However, there is no evidence that this scenario ever occurred. A LexisNexis search turned up several news articles about young people stopping home invasions with firearms, including an 11-year-old boy shooting and killing burglars in South Carolina, though none matched the details in the Facebook post.

Fox News nor any other major network reported the events because they never actually happened. Some local outlets in Montana did write about the home invasion, but only to debunk it.

In a 2007 interview with The Montana Standard, Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff John Walsh clarified that the incident was an urban legend, adding, “It’s amazing how these things get around.”

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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