The Teen's Mother, Rachel Cork Image via Screenshot / WCBI
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Would your teenager have the presence of mind to handle a home invader armed with a hatchet? This 16-year-old did. Home alone in Choctaw County, Mississippi, he saw his uncle standing on the porch wielding a hatchet, trying to force his way in. The kid grabbed a .270 hunting rifle and, after the man made an aggressive move toward him, shot him squarely in the chest.

As usual, the incident happened far too quickly for police do much besides clean up afterward. By the time officers arrived in response to reports of gunfire, Jerry Lee Robinson already was dead.

The teen’s mother, Rachel Cork (above), is just grateful that things didn’t turn out any worse.

“It could have been the other way around,” said Ms. Cork. “It could have been my son… I’m picking up and having to bury, but it wasn’t.”

This wasn’t the uncle’s first time causing problems for the family. In a previous incident, he’d confronted his brother (Rachel’s husband) in the backyard while holding not one, but two machetes.

“If there’s something he can’t have, he would get mad, and so he would come and take it out on us,” Rachel said.

From an outside perspective, it seems like most people, including the sheriff, weren’t too surprised and are seeing this as a clear case of self-defense. Robinson was no stranger to trouble.

Jerry Lee Robinson via Choctaw County Jail, WCBI

Violent people are prone to attacking those who are closest to them both in proximity and blood relation and can’t always be controlled by restraining orders or other legal measures. We’ll probably never know whether Robinson deliberately targeted the teenager, knowing he was home alone, but it’s a good thing the kid had the instinct and the means to fight back.

Although the case will be presented to a grand jury in August, no charges are being filed against the teenager at this time.

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  1. .270? I’ve always heard the .270 was a good general purpose round.

    Apparently it is excellent as vermin control.

    Safe storage laws could have turned this into a real tragedy.

    • Nothing to say about the stopping power of a .270. Works fine from conversational distances out to several hundred yards and on bigger things than uncles.
      I just feel bad for the kid having to do in his dad’s brother… A few hunting trips with some long therapy sessions by a campfire might do him a world of good. You did nothing wrong, kid – and a lot right.

    • If the bullet hit anywhere even close to the middle of the attacker’s chest, he would have died pretty much instantly.

      For reference popular 130 grain bullets in .270 Winchester cartridges exit the muzzle at a velocity of 3,100 fps — which would have dumped about 2,700 foot-pounds of energy into the attacker at close range. No human being is going to be conscious after absorbing that.

  2. I’m glad he had the knowledge and the tool available to stay alive and unharmed. Obviously the kid was correct to defend himself but I hope the mental trauma of having to kill a family member, rotten as the uncle may have been, doesn’t screw him up in the long run. Tough situation to be in for a person, 16 years old or otherwise.

  3. I’m surprised a .270 would be inside a house in the Magnolia State. Why? I associate
    the .270 with big game hunting in the Western United States: mule deer, elk, and perhaps even Pronghorn Antelope; the .270 is way over kill on the latter. East of the Rockies
    it’s primarily Whitetail deer. A .30-30 Winchester, or perhaps even a .300 Savage or
    .35 Remington, I suspect would be far more common in the deep South than the
    .270. The late Jack O’Conner: arms and ammo editor of Outdoor Life Magazine did
    much to popularize the .270. Too, I thought in many Eastern and Southern States
    deer hunting was restricted to shotguns loaded with buckshot or slugs.

    James A. “Jim” Farmer
    Merrill, Oregon (Klamath County)

    • Might have been for target shooting, rather than hunting. Might have been a family heirloom from someone who lived out west. Who knows?

    • Jim you’re half right. I grew up in the South and my grandfather had a large farm in Wayne County, Mississippi. In the late 60s early 70s, When I was learning to hunt, almost everyone hunted with a shotgun. You could do everything with it. Killed my first two bucks with a shotgun. Things change. I hunt a working farm in North Florida, 1000 acres+. Soybeans, peanuts, corn, etc, I have several hunting rifles. Calibers include 7mm Mag, 30-06, .270 Win, and .308. I routinely see deer I can’t touch with any of them. The fields are just too big. Oh, and not unusual for a mature buck to be over 200 lbs. That’s a lot of groceries for them to graze on.

    • The .270 is quite popular for deer hunting in the South, especially hunting over fields, pastures, and clear-cuts. You get the range you need for the long shots with plenty of power for whitetail deer without getting beat up by a magnum.

      • Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!! We have a winner!

        I acquired a rifle chambered in .270 Winchester for that exact reason: the ballistics enable me to ethically kill white-tailed deer out to 600 yards without the recoil of .300 Winchester Magnum.

        Whether or not I can accurately shoot out to 600 yards is another matter entirely. I wanted to be sure that I at least have the option!

      • This. Pretty much every farmer I know in upstate SC has a .270. They shoot flat enough to nail hogs across the pasture without beating you up. I grew up in the hills of Oconee County and my dad only hunted with .270 because that’s what everybody else had when he got into hunting. Even when I go closer to the middle of the state, a long shot is 50 yards or so in the woods, but the fields, pastures, gas lines, etc. seem to go on forever.

    • 270 is great for deer and hogs. both of which are in Mississippi . and to paraphrase TTAG “need got nothing to do with it”

    • Federal makes a 125gr HP for the .30-30 that they tout as a varmint round, but should make one hell of a self defense round.

    • “I’m surprised a .270 would be inside a house in the Magnolia State. Why? I associate
      the .270 with big game hunting in the Western United States:…”

      How many people own ridiculously jacked-up 4X4 trucks and never take them off-road?

  4. 20+ years as an L.E.O. firearms instructor and instructor for CCW citizens. I always asked my citizen student, “What do you think my job is as an L.E.O.?” No one ever got right. I told them I’m a historian and a janitor. I write down what happened and clean up the mess. You should have seen the look of dismay on so many faces. You’re responsible for your own safety. Act accordingly.

    Well done young man! I’m sure you’re sorry you were forced to take the life of a family member, but you’re uncle made that choice for you.

  5. Huckleberry Finn would have been a much shorter and less interesting story if Huck had handled Pap this way in the first (?) chapter.

  6. Where are the idiot gun folks that argue (like the previous post on TTAG) that ALL guns should be locked up and kids have no access to them?

    • Do you really think that Cisco Kid would touch this with a ten foot pole? Or maybe he is in school now….

      • After he confessed to being a pedophile and ttag shut down the thread I’m guessing he got banned, again. He’ll be back under another name.

        • You’re kidding!? I must have missed that confession. Doesn’t surprise me though. When I read his rants he sounded like he had some serious character flaws. Not the least of which was stupidity.

  7. The poor uncle was just turning his life around, having started a new wood-chopping business, when blam!

    It’s a shame, really. He probably would have gone on to cure Dutch Elm Disease or something.

    • Uncle was going to go to college. Drove granny to church every Sunday. Lit up the room with his smile, was the life of the party.

      We have a 2 parent family with a son who has the “common sense” to protect his home and himself with a firearm. Compare that to say Chicago, single parent 16yo with an illegal firearm kills innocence person cause someone else “dis’d” him. What is the problem that needs to be addressed, the firearms or social/family issues?

  8. FYI .270 is popular for hunting in Western NY where I live and hunt, .308, and 7mm08 are popular too, my daughter loves her 08. We have decent sized white tails and the 3,000 acre farm I hunt has some fields a mile across . We also have black bears, and even a few hundred moose in the ADK, although not hunted yet .

    Our neighbor to the south Pennsylvania, has an Elk season .

    One of my closest kill, was a Mulli in Montana lol

    Things aren’t always like we think they are .

    Years back when went from shotgun to rifles ,I bought the .270 for range and it’s easy recoil compared to,the 12ga slugs

  9. Somebody left a high power rifle laying around where a 16 year old could get his hands on it?

    The people blaming the parents for the shotgun/revolver school massacre wouldn’t like that. They’d rather the teen be hacked into bloody pieces.

    • In Florida a 16 y.o.a. can legally possess and hunt with a firearm without adult supervision. I guess we’re ass backwards. Don’t know Mississippi statues on the issue.

    • Ambrose Bierce is one of my favorite authors/ poets an occurrence at owl creek bridge is one of the finest pieces of literature available.


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