Georgia, January 2013...
A 37-year old woman worked at her computer in an upstairs bedroom that had been converted into an office. Her husband was at work and her two children were elsewhere in the house enjoying a school break. Looking out a nearby window, she saw a vehicle parked at the curb and a man she did not know approaching the front of her house. Shouting downstairs to her son, she told him not to answer the door and to remain quiet.
After the strange visitor rang the door bell several times, the woman saw him walk back to his car and retrieve a pry bar. He approached the house once again. At this point the woman called for both of her children to come to her immediately. Once they were with her, the three then hid in an attic storage compartment. However, in the meantime, the woman had retrieved her cell phone and her five-shot Chief's Special.
As the woman talked to her husband on the phone, and he relayed her conversation to the 911 operator, she heard the stranger coming up the stairs. She also heard him use the pry bar to force open the locked bedroom door. Finally, he jerked open the door to their hiding place and looked down the barrel of her .38 Spl. revolver.
Without hesitation, the woman fired five shots, hitting the suspect in the mouth, the lungs, the stomach and an arm. His steel pry bar went flying as he fell to the floor. Quickly, the woman led her children out of the house and to a neighbor's. In the meantime, the burglar was actually able to flee the house and drive off in his car. He was caught a short time later by law enforcement, badly in need of medical attention.
I like to post these success stories from time to time if for no other reason than to illustrate that regular, every-day folks can make a defensive plan work and survive a dangerous encounter. In fact, just about the only thing that I can find to criticize about this event is that the woman called her husband at work instead of calling directly to the 911 operator. Dealing directly with 911 might have reduced the response time of responding officers.
The smartest move this woman made was to gather her children and take a defensive position, forcing the criminal to come to her. This gave her a good deal of advantage and control over the situation and, at the same time, allowed her to protect her kids.
A criminal attack is going to be what it is going to be. However, a sound defensive plan that takes into account the greatest potential threats is the best way we have of making sure that the bad guys lose.