MEBANE, N.C. -- Braydon Smith had a $30 gift card to spend as he was walking down an aisle at Academy Sports + Outdoors and saw an ax and a machete.
The 11-year-old decided he could use them to help cut down trees and branches for campfires. His dad put up the extra $15 to make the purchase possible.
"Me and my Dad go camping a decent amount," Braydon said.
Braydon used the tools in the backyard of his gray mobile home that sits amid winding rural roads, open pastures and plenty of woods to explore. The blade on the machete rusted a little and red tape held the handle on.
Braydon hadn't taken the tools camping yet, but the 70-pound sixth-grader with freckles on his nose and cheeks used the machete last week when an intruder broke into his home and tried to steal his PlayStation.
The tools were propped against Braydon's bedroom wall, near his bunk bed, baseball trophies and Pokemon cards. Braydon has been playing baseball since he was big enough to swing a bat. In a cabinet under his bed, he keeps a box with his 11 championship rings from area recreational and travel leagues.
He also likes playing video games and with his dogs, boxers named Dixon and Zena.
Around 11 a.m. Friday, Braydon was playing Grand Theft Auto on his PlayStation when he heard someone outside. He ran to his bedroom in the 900-square-foot home and looked out the window.
A woman was knocking on the door, and two men were standing near a champagne-colored car.
Braydon was on the phone with his mom. He asked her to call the police before he put the phone down in the living room and stepped behind the door in his bedroom.