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Women’s Stories of Survival

Below are some women’s stories of self defense with a gun. Women who found themselves in very scary life threatening situations. They lived to share their stories because they were Well Armed Women; Empowered, Smart & Strong. If you know of a story, or have one yourself please share it with us. Email link.

I had been working night shift for several months, so I had turned into quite the night owl. I decided to go to Wal Mart around 11pm for some milk and a few other necessities.

After I paid for my items, I was walking down the parking lot to my truck when a man approached me holding a large pocket knife. He told me to get my wallet and give it to him. My wallet was in my purse, so I reached in slowly as if to retrieve it. What he didn’t know was I had my gun in my purse as well.
I drew on him and told him it might be a better idea to walk away. He did, and when I made it to my truck, I locked myself inside and called the police.
I was able to give a full description and they found him only 20 minutes later with a couple of women’s wallets and a few hundred dollars in stolen cash.
Thankfully I did not have to pull the trigger. He certainly thought he had the upper hand preying on women at night with his knife.

In August of 1988, I was asked if I would drive to Houston to pick up a friend. At the time my vehicle didn’t have air conditioning so I opted to drive at night because of the heat. On the way, about 4 a.m. my vehicle broke down on the interstate. I proceeded to push my vehicle onto an exit ramp when a car stopped behind me. This man got out and asked if I needed help? He offered to pull my vehicle to a service station just off the ramp. When we got there the station was closed so he offered to take me to the all-night donut shop until the station opened. I said I would stay with my vehicle and he said it was not a very good part of town and he would feel better if I went to this store, he said I would be safer.At that point he said he had six sisters and would want someone to help them if they were broken down. So I believed him and got into his vehicle. I asked where this store was located? He gave me the directions to the store and off we went. After we had driven about a mile he asked me how old I was, then I knew I was in trouble. I reached down and took out my .38 special and just held it down by my right leg. As we reached the intersection he made a wrong turn, I said you went the wrong way, he didn’t respond, just continued to drive. We reached another intersection, he took a left and the pavement ended. I said just stop and I will walk back to my vehicle. He slammed on the brakes and grabbed my blouse and pulled me over to him and said not until I have me some sex. I raised my hand with the .38 and said get out of the car. He said you have a gun, I then screamed get out of the car.I took his car back to the interstate and went past my vehicle looking for something open. I can’t tell you how far I drove, but probably not more than a mile or two. I asked the lady to call the police for me and when the State Cop got there and heard my story he said you should have shot the son-of-a-b****. I did not have a concealed weapon permit, but never went anywhere without my gun. When the Cop took my handgun I told him I did not have a permit to carry, but I would pay a fine for having it because I was alive to pay the fine. After everything was finished and I was released to leave, he unloaded my gun and handed it back to me, then said be careful with this. I said yes sir, thanked him and reloaded my gun and placed it back in my bag in front of him. Shortly after that incident I got my first concealed permit and have been well armed legal for the last twenty four years. The moral of my story is: If I had not had protection I would not be here today to share this story with you. BTW, that man had raped someone two weeks earlier and was out on bail…he went to court and got twelve years for rape and intended rape of me. I don’t feel justice was served but we take what we can get.

Between 2 and 3 P.M. a woman was stopped along the highway when a man approached her car door. He pulled out a knife that appeared to already have a bloody blade and demanded that she go with him. He threatened her, telling her that if she did not comply she would “end up like that woman on T.V.” The woman believed he was referring to a missing teacher confirmed dead just days before. She told the man to wait while she got her cigarettes, then reached down and pulled out a gun. The man quickly fled. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Bozeman, Montana, 1/14/12)

Home alone, a 17-year old girl did not answer the door when the door bell rng. Shortly thereafter, she heard someone jump over the gate in the backyard. She then saw a man reach through the home’s doggie door and attempt to unlatch it. the girl quickly armed herself and fired a shot at the doggie door. Without hesitation, the suspect fled. It is unknown whether or not the man was injured. The are was heavily searched, but police were unable to locate the man. (The Arizona Republic, Glendal, AZ., 2/07/12)

38-year-old woman who was confronted Thursday by an armed burglar inside her northwest Detroit home grabbed her own gun and killed the intruder, police said. The confrontation happened about 10 a.m.

“The victim was inside her home when she heard someone break in,” Detroit Police Sgt. Stephens said. “She observed that the suspect was armed; she was armed herself, and fired shots, fatally wounding the 19-year-old suspect.” (April 5, 2012, Detroit News)

A husband and wife were awakened when suddenly attacked by a man with an unlit tiki torch which he had found in their backyard. Seemingly under the influence of narcotics and wearing only underwear, socks and a bandana around his neck. 28 year-old Matthew Zamora had broken into the home through the back door and used the torch to hit the male resident. The husband grabbed a handgun, but the intruder swung the torch again, knocking the gun from his hand. The homeowner’s wife retrieved a shotgun and ordered the intruder to leave their home. Without hesitation, Zamora ran into the bathroom, climbed out the window and fled. He was later arrested and charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, unlawful use of a weapon, providing false information to police, menacing, criminal mischief as well as an unrelated felony warrant. (KPTV, Aloha, Ore. 12/26/12)

An intruder is in the hospital after a mother walked-in on him in her house, according to Fort Worth police.The woman picked her son up from school and arrived at her home on Peggy Drive around noon Friday. She said she walked inside her home and found a man in her house. She confronted the unwelcome guest and shot him once in the leg, police said. The man ran out of the house and the woman continued to chase him down the road.The man was quickly found by officers hiding in a nearby creek. He is being treated at a local hospital and will be taken to jail once medical officials release him. (NBCDFW 5, Fort Worth, TX 1/27/12)

It was 5 p.m. when a mother returned home with her baby to find the front door slightly ajar and a man wearing a black ski mask in the hallway. The 35-year-old woman quickly shut herself in the bedroom, retrieved her 9mm handgun and proceeded to shout at the man to leave her house immediately. When she opened the door, the man spotted the gun, dropped a piggy bank and  kitchen knife he was carrying and bolted out the back door. The woman went to the door and fired a single shot at the man as he ran through the bushes behind the house. She saw a second intruder running through the bushes. As she phoned police the woman found her stereo system partially dismantled, the speakers ripped from the wall and her wireless internet router on the floor. After the incident, Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said, “I am thankful that someone in her life taught her how to use a firearm and I’m thankful they did because she and her child could’ve been victims. There were two men, one armed with a knife. It could’ve gotten really ugly for her.” (WYFF 4, Greenville, S.C. 12/09/11)

Police were called about 9:30 a.m. and notified by a woman that someone was breaking into her home. The homeowner was awakened by a noise and immediately retrieved her handgun. The noise she heard was the sound of a man kicking in the door of her apartment. She met the intruder at her bedroom door, pointed the gun at him and demanded he leave. The trespasser fled without hesitation. (The Telegraph, Nashua, N.H. 12/13/11

Laycee Lowe, a pregnant 17-year-old, was at home alone in Glendale, Ariz. when she noticed a prowler outside the home. After climbing a fence and peering into windows, the criminal attempted to get into the home through a dog door. Lowe responded to the threat by retrieving a gun and firing it into the dog door, which caused the intruder to flee. KPHO Phoenix, 2/6/12

Following the incident, Julio Lowe, Laycee’s father, praised his daughter’s actions, stating, “She’s just real brave and slick. She handled it real well.” Julio also noted that there had been a suspicious incident at his home involving a prowler a few days earlier, prompting him to teach his daughter how to properly use a firearm. (KPHO, Phoenix, Ariz. 02/06/12)

After a midnight Black Friday shopping trip, the Neal family was followed by a pair of criminals to their home in Apopka, Fla. The robbers stormed the house, threatened the family and pistol-whipped one family member. As one of the criminals put a gun to the head of her eldest child, family matriarch Secretta Neal retrieved a 9mm handgun from a nearby closet and fired at the home invaders, who returned fire. During the gunfight, one robber was killed, the other fled to a getaway car and Secretta suffered minor wounds to her arm and hand. An armed neighbor also rushed to help the family after hearing gunfire. Secretta has been hailed as a hero by her community, but she is just thankful her family is safe, telling the local media, “I just thank God we made it… It wasn’t our time to go.” The Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, FL 11/26/11

After picking up her 16-year-old son from school a woman returned to her home in Fort Worth, Texas to find that a burglar had broken in. The woman retrieved a gun, confronted the criminal, and shot him once in the leg. The burglar fled the home, but was captured by police a few blocks away.

When contacted by the local media for comment the woman simply noted that she was protecting her home. An investigation revealed that the intruder had at least one outstanding warrant. (The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas 01/27/12)

Based on a Walmart security camera, police believe two suspects waited around the parking lot looking for an easy target. The suspects thought they’d found one when a 61- year old woman walked to her car with groceries. They tugged at her purse in the shopping cart, but the woman fought back. She drew a .380 caliber handgun and, without a shot being fired, the suspects fled.  They were caught by police. “[The suspects] purposely targeted someone they thought was easy prey,” said police lieutenant John Flowers. “Let this be a lesson to criminals about committing a crime against anyone of any age.” (The Sun Herald, Biloxi, MS, 11/18/11)

Shirley Bennett’s boyfriend taught her to shoot following an attempted break-in at her home three years ago. She purchased a .38 caliber revolver, obtained a permit to carry and no longer felt vulnerable to criminals; criminals such as Joe Covington, a registered sex offender who approached Bennett’s SUV in a bank parking lot. “He was hitting me from behind, trying to force me into my vehicle,” explained Bennett. “I said, ‘I got a gun, don’t make me use it.'” Covington allegedly continued wrestling with her, so she drew her gun and fired a shot causing him to run. Police found Covington several blocks away. “I honestly believe I would not be here today if I didn’t have a gun,” Bennett said. (Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, 11/11/11)

Early one afternoon a man knocked on a woman’s door and claimed to be there to check on roof damage for an insurance company. As soon as he was inside, he punched the woman and knocked her to the ground. The woman broke free in the ensuing struggle and the suspect followed her into a bedroom. She managed to fight off the suspect and claw her way to her pistol. As soon as she had the gun in her hands, the man fled the area. (Ashland Times-Gazette, Ashland, OH, 8/6/11)

A woman in her early 50’s was getting out of the shower when the bathroom lights suddenly went out. An intruder collided into her in the dark, causing her to fall backward into the shower and injure her back. She fought the man, but he put a knife to her throat. “She was telling him that she had money and please don’t hurt her,” said Police Cpl. Edwin Ritter, adding that the attack was an attempted sexual assault. The intruder forced the woman into her bedroom but that’s exactly where she kept her .22 caliber pistol. She broke fee, retrieved the gun and shot her would be rapist several times. He ran outside, collapsed and died. “Thank God she’s okay and she had a weapon to protect herself with,” said a neighbor. “She’s a nice lady, just a sweet lady.” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta GA 5/12/11)

Peggy Melton returned home unaware that a man and woman were in the act of burglarizing her residence. As she entered a bedroom, she discovered the male intruder who possessed a gun illegally. He threatened to shoot her. Fortunately, Melton had a concealed-carry permit and had holstered a handgun earlier that day. She drew the gun and fired three shots, striking the burglar. He ran from the home and his accomplice sped away in a stolen truck. Police caught up with the burglars and took them into custody. (News-Leader, Springfield, MO, 6/23/11)

It’s a familiar scenario: An armed citizen with a concealed-carry permit is likely once again to have saved multiple lives. Several customers were doing business inside a pawn shop when a man walked inside, pointed a gun toward the ceiling and announced a robbery. Did the gunman intend to shoot the clerk? Would he take hostages? We’ll never know because a customer with a concealed-carry permit promptly drew a pistol and shot the robber in the stomach. The robber has been charged with aggravated robbery. (KSAT-TV, San Antonio, TX 6/22/11)

A 68-year-old grandmother was lying in bed when she was startled by the sound of someone breaking in. So she got up and grabbed her .410 shotgun, a gun she’s kept for self-defense for many years, a gun she was never sure she could actually use on a human being and didn’t want to find out. However, when her French doors flew open and her burglar alarm went off, that was all it took, mortal fear, and she fired upon three men. All three men fled and are in police custody. At least one had been armed. She received many calls and e-mails cheering her actions. One of them said “Go Granny Go,” she recalled. “I don’t consider myself old, but apparently everyone else does.” (WTVF-TV Nashville, TN 8/1/11)

A petite Days Inn clerk prepared the hotel’s breakfast, unaware that a career criminal more than double her size lay wait to ambush her. The suspect sprang on the woman and put a knife to her throat, intent, police believe, on robbery and sexual assault. The suspect put his knife down and prepared to tie up the woman but his plan was never completed. The clerk drew a handgun and shot her assailant once in the chest, killing him. “She did the correct thing-she protected herself,” said Richland County, S.C. Sheriff Leon Lott. “The lesson for robbers is, you never know when you are going to encounter someone who is armed and will protect themselves. The bottom line, he is the one who caused him to get killed.” (The Star, Columbia, S.C., 7/25/11)

A young Oklahoma mother shot and killed an intruder to protect her 3-month-old baby on New Year’s Eve, less than a week after the baby’s father died of cancer.  Sarah McKinley says that a week earlier a man named Justin Martin dropped by on the day of her husband’s funeral, claiming that he was a neighbor who wanted to say hello. The 18-year-old Oklahoma City area woman did not let him into her home that day. On New Year’s Eve, Martin returned with another man, Dustin Stewart, and this time was armed with a 12-inch hunting knife. The two soon began trying to break into McKinley’s home. As one of the men was going from door to door outside her home trying to gain entry, McKinley called 911 and grabbed her 12-gauge shotgun. McKinley told ABC News Oklahoma City affiliate KOCO that she quickly got her 12 gauge, went into her bedroom and got a pistol, put the bottle in the baby’s mouth and called 911. “I’ve got two guns in my hand — is it okay to shoot him if he comes in this door?” the young mother asked the 911 dispatcher. “I’m here by myself with my infant baby. Can I please get a dispatcher out here immediately?” The 911 dispatcher confirmed with McKinley that the doors to her home were locked as she asked again if it was okay to shoot the intruder if he were to come through her door. “I can’t tell you that you can do that but you do what you have to do to protect your baby,” the dispatcher told her. McKinley was on the phone with 911 for a total of 21 minutes. When Martin kicked in the door and came after her with the knife, the teen mom shot and killed the 24-year-old. Police are calling the shooting justified. “You’re allowed to shoot an unauthorized person that is in your home. The law provides you the remedy, and sanctions the use of deadly force,” Det. Dan Huff of the Blanchard police said. Stewart soon turned himself in to police. McKinley said that she was at home alone with her newborn that night because her husband just died of cancer on Christmas Day. “I wouldn’t have done it, but it was my son,” McKinley told ABC News Oklahoma City affiliate KOCO. “It’s not an easy decision to make, but it was either going to be him or my son. And it wasn’t going to be my son. There’s nothing more dangerous than a woman with a child.” (ABC Good Morning America,By KEVIN DOLAK and RYAN OWENS Jan. 4, 2011) Link to Video

This may be a little tough to read – but it is well worth the effort!

A woman was at home in bed in her apartment in Merrimack, N.H., when she was awakened by the sound of an intruder kicking her door in. The resident retrieved a firearm and met the criminal at the door to her bedroom. Upon seeing the gun, the home invader fled the scene. Other witnesses in the apartment building noted that the criminal had knocked on several doors in the building. Police believe he was trying to determine which apartments were and were not occupied, in order to more efficiently burglarize them.

Women's Survival Story Entry Form

Although not often seen in the news, many women have stories of using or possessing a gun in their self defense. Women who found themselves in very scary, life threatening situations and lived to share their stories because they were Well Armed Women; Empowered, Smart & Strong.

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