It was a little after 10:30pm when I sat down to watch tv and do some writing. My husband (a police officer) had left for work about an hour or so before, and I had just put our two year daughter down for the night.
It started with a rushed knock at the front door. I wasn't expecting anyone and I knew it wasn't our neighbor because he knew to identity himself.
As I got off the couch, the knocks became harder and a panicked voice screamed, "Let me in!" A quick glance though the peephole, and I knew this was bad. I didn't recognize the man at all.
"Baby, please, we're okay, we're okay! They're gonna kill me! Let me in!" he screamed as the knocks turned into pounds, the door creaking in protest. I grabbed my cell phone from the couch and dialed 911 as I ran to the back of the house to get the gun.
I told the dispatcher someone was trying to get into my house. I heard a loud crash as I glanced at the closed door of my daughter's room. I thought he had broken into the garage, but as I got to the end of the hallway, I saw him, less than five feet from me and coming towards me.
I fired twice - phone still to my ear- as the second shot sending him onto his back. My daughter screamed and I assured her "Mommy's okay!"
I told the dispatcher what had happened and that I was standing over the man with my gun trained on him. My history of EMS as well as dispatching had me asking the man for his name and date of birth, which I relayed to the dispatcher on the phone.
I think the dispatcher told me to put down the gun and I believe my response was along the lines of "your crazy!"
There was no way I was going to give that man a chance to stand up and hurt me or my daughter. When the police arrived, I could finally breathe again. One of the sergeants went into my daughter's room and played with her entire time, waiting to bring her out until after the man had been taken away.
It's been four days now and I don't think the gravity of the situation has fully settled on me. If I hadn't been able to protect her... If I hadn't been armed... I don't even want to think about how different the outcome could've been.
My husband, as stated, is a police officer and we've always had guns in the house. Because of this, I've always insisted from the beginning that I know how to use them. Once I became comfortable with them, I asked to learn different ways to shoot "just in case." I honestly never thought the "in case" would ever come to pass.
We practiced shooting one handed with both my strong and support hand only. We practiced picking up the weapon and immediately firing, among other techniques.
We've also gone over this scenario, as well as many others, and discussed what to do if it ever actually happened. The plan was simple, call 911, get the gun, protect the family.
That's exactly what I did and I'm more than convinced that my husband and the training he have me saved not only my life, but the life of our daughter as well.
I truly hope every well-armed woman has a plan, the proper training, and is comfortable enough with her weapon to protect herself and her family as well.