The truly frightening incident began Friday afternoon in Loganville, Georgia. A woman was working from home while her 9-year-old twins, who had the day off from school, were playing downstairs.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she heard knocks on the door around noon, but ignored them because she figured it was someone selling something. But as the knocks grew more persistent, she became worried. So she got the twins and took them with her into a crawlspace that was connected to her office in the attic.
From there they heard a man, later identified as Paul Slater, break into their home with a crowbar then start going through their things. It's hard to imagine just how terrified they had to be in there, trying not to make a sound, trying not to panic, especially as he made his way up into the attic.
But when he opened the door to where they were hiding, he got a surprise. He found himself "staring down the barrel of a .38 revolver," Sheriff Joe Chapman told the paper. The mother fired six bullets, hitting him in the face and neck five times.
Even though she was out of bullets, she told him she'd shoot again if he moved. So as he lay there crying, she ran with her children to a neighbor's house. Slater was trying to flee the home in his car when police captured him.
“When you got five bullets in you, it makes you kind of disoriented,” Chapman said.
Wow, way to go mom. She doesn't want her identity released, for understandable reasons, but I can't believe she had the composure to do what she did, and I wonder if I would. Chapman said, "You go after a mother’s kids and she’ll find herself capable of doing things she never thought she was capable of.”
It's the kind of story that makes gun rights proponents cheer, and it gives them ammunition (if you will) for their arguments that people should be allowed to have weapons. While I do believe adamantly that we need to reform gun control laws, stories like this do make me lean toward a more moderate approach. Of course, for every story like this, there are plenty more in which a child accidentally shoots and kills himself or someone else, so it's much more complicated than one-off incidents.
In this specific case, however, it's hard to deny that it was a good thing the woman had a gun. The story may have had a much more tragic ending if she hadn't, and good for her for having the courage to do what she did.
Do you think you would have been composed and brave enough to do what this woman did?
Image via WSBTV