Get Out of My Garage!

On a hot May day here in AZ 2014 I arrived home to an empty house around 1:45pm to unload my groceries after doing my weekly shopping. I was unloading groceries from the trunk of my car and taking them inside to my kitchen. After about my second trip in and out, I came out of the door that leads into my garage. I was “greeted” by a man who was about 3 feet into my garage headed for the door leading into my house.  This startled me to the point of gasping! He and I were face to face, he was so close I could see the color of his eyes! I immediately shouted “GET OUT OF MY GARAGE!” I went to put my hand on my gun, which I carry IWB, however, I was wearing a tight tank top and could not get to it. He Then said “I just need to use your phone” while still moving forward directly at me. I took a step back while lifting my shirt with my left hand to grasp the grip of my gun, not drawing it, but exposing it to the intruder. I then yelled, “GET OUT NOW!” He glanced at my hand on my weapon and backed out of the garage and took off on foot. I closed the garage door and grabbed my cell phone to call the non-emergency line to Glendale police. When the officer answered the phone my voice began to tremble much like my legs were doing. I told the officer exactly what happened, he asked if I was alone, I told him yes but that my 16 year old son would be home around 2:35 from school. He asked if all the doors and windows were locked….I began to feel the fear rise from my feet to my head at the thought of him returning. I told the officer that everything was locked. He then said, “if this man returns to your home, call 911 immediately.” (As I had called the NON-EMERGANCY line, thinking the emergency had passed.) The officer told me he was dispatching an officer to attempt to find the intruder. He also, expressed how critical it is to understand that 3-4 feet in my garage, was NO different than 3-4 feet inside my home! I had not even thought of that! The probability that this man had every intention on hurting me or worse began to resonate in my mind. Why would he be moving towards the door? Why was he still moving towards me?  Why wouldn’t he ring the doorbell if he really needed to use a phone? (Which I would not have answered btw) Why would he even need MY phone when there are plenty of businesses’ just blocks away? And why was he on foot in a residential neighborhood? As the pieces came together in my mind a feeling of gratefulness came over me. I was grateful that I was carrying. I was grateful he didn’t attack me, because he very easily could have! I was grateful he didn’t come in the house, forcing me to use my firearm. AND I was grateful he didn’t continue to move towards me forcing me to make the decision to draw my gun and possibly fire at him!

The officer began to explain that many criminals search neighborhoods for garage doors that are left open during the day to gain easy access to the inside of a home. Why? To most likely cause harm to a women home alone during the day. This gave me chills and I took my gun out of its holster and placed it on my lap. He asked me to please check outside, through the window to see if the squad car was there, I didn’t see the police car but my 21 year old daughter pulled into the driveway. She also carries daily. I let her in the house, the officer was glad I was no longer alone and told me to sit tight until the other officer arrived or contacted me. Moments after I hung up with Glendale police, my phone rang, it was the officer who was searching for the man, he was glad my daughter was with me, double checked the description and told me he would remain in my area should I need him. Thankfully, my son arrived home shortly after as well.  The officer that was dispatched never came to my house that day, thank God, we didn’t need him to. I guess the important lesson here is sometimes just having a gun is enough to save your life. I’m a success story and I’m very fortunate. This could have turned out very differently for me and or the intruder. I’m just blessed to have had a father who taught me at the age of 16 the importance of always being prepared, and to always have a means of protecting myself as you never know when you will need to! (Even at 1:45 in the middle of the day, just unloading groceries.)

Shelley